Archive for October, 2012

Christians-Christ= Pharisees

I think this topic has been percolating inside of me for quite a while. It’s a bothersome topic, I must admit. It buzzes around inside of my head like a hungry mosquito, so I figure that I need to do what I know I need to do.

When did Christians become so Pharisee-like? It’s so sad to me to see religion on full display. So many times, we walk around bound in the chains of a legalistic view of God. We wear our “Sunday Best”, sing our hymns, and nod our heads in the “Holy” way. We regard others with only middling interest at best. We take in the world, and see Christ through eyes that are trained only on what we regard are the rules, and pathway for getting into heaven. The “reward” of heaven is our ultimate goal. This makes me think so much about the Pharisees, and it has been irking me all week. Why can’t we just get out of our own way and make Christianity the heart issue that Jesus meant for it to be?

We can’t serve God with our brains. We think too much about the wrong things. We can’t serve God with our emotions. They are all over the place, and are not to be trusted when it comes to the things of God. Our intellect? It can’t truly perceive God because our knowledge is imperfect. The only way that we can really, and I mean REALLY know God is through our hearts and minds being transformed by the knowledge of the truth. This is knowledge that supersedes everything that we think we know, and every thing that we think that we are. It is a transformation from sinful to righteous that does not make sense, that we are not worthy of, and that we do not have to understand in order to walk in it.

The Pharisees, the Sanhedrin, and those guys were pieces of work.  They were the guys who prayed out loud in the square. They were the bible thumpers. They were the soapbox preachers. They were the judges, juries, and executioners of all things “godly”. At every turn, Jesus was slapping these guys around with a truth that they could not connect with. Even Paul, in Galatians 1, said that he spent 3 years in the desert. He had been so indoctrinated with the poison of religion that God literally had to isolate him and give him one on one tutorial in Kingdom Knowledge 101, before releasing him into the ministry that had been prepared for Him via the Holy Spirit. Yet, we do the same things. We worship a formless God with tightened lips and stiff hands, not realizing that the chains around our hands ad feet are real. We think that there is safety in being bound to the rules, that knowing the 10 Commandments and the Lord’s Prayer are good signs of living a good Christian life. I would submit to you all this morning that we have it all wrong.

Most of you know this. I know that there are so many churches out there who teach that relationship outweighs religion in the eyes of God. so, most of you out there get this, but it’s the ones who have not been liberated that I worry about. Often times, it is these brothers and sisters in Christ who others see and equate Christianity with. Who wants to be a Christian after observing these ways of life? It’s our job to show them our God in all of His beauty, honor, and love. By living legalistic lives, and lives that use rules and chains to define who God is, we instead give them over to all of the reasons why we should not even try to approach God, because we are not worthy in our own right. This is wrong.

Christ came to establish a Kingdom of Love. Love is His very nature. By this Love, we are known as Christians. By this Love, we can relate to Christ. This Love pushes us to become uncomfortable around others, to welcome those who may not “have it all together”. This love arrests us and forces us to live lives of vulnerability, to take chances and risks designed to mature us, and welcome others into the fold. I am convinced that our ultimate goal as Christians is not to make it to heaven. Heaven is just the cream and cherry on top of an uber tasty sundae. Our ultimate reward is witnessing the transformation of lives who have been changed by God’s love, just as ours are.

I could get off into other tangents, but that would not be the point. We simply must remember that without Christ, our “Christianity” is merely a form of godliness without the power thereof. We are no better than the Pharisees is we refuse to live lives of love, and walk free from the chains of rules. Christ’s love calls us to a way of life that is even higher than the rules we support and believe in. His righteousness is a higher definition of living. We can’t forget Christ. We can’t forget love. We can’t become Pharisees. People don’ t need those people. People need Jesus.

until next time, be blessed.

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Sometimes God takes you LEFT to get you RIGHT!! Acts 9: 17-20- Ananias goes to Paul and prats that he would receive his sight and be filled by the Holy Spirit. Paul then was baptized and spent days with disciples on Damascus, then preached Christ in the synagogues. Galatians 1: 15-18- Paul’s version of the same conversion. In Acts, Paul has already been converted, but in Galatians, we see where Paul spent 3 years in the desert because he wasn’t trusted by the disciples. God had called him to Jerusalem, but took him to Arabia first for real time with God. He was in the desert understanding who Chri st really was. He knew the scriptures. Now, he needed to understand the truth of the Gospel. God had to take him left to prepare him for what would happen on the right. 1. The experiences that hurt us most are the ones that God will use to help us the most! So many times we want the right thing first. Many times, God desires us to go left, away from our comfort zone. The right thing feels good, so we are remiss to leave it. But God wants to take us through the desert, to bring about a season of change and transformation. in the desert, God shifts our priorities to where they need to be. He will always take us left in order to get us right. We have to realize that the left thing is a GOOD thing. Its prepatory time. Had Paul not gone to Arabia, He would not have been ready to do God’s calling. Going to the left forces us to go deeper in God. 2. Don’t try to force people right, who just got left. (Don’t think you have to fix people). God takes people we know to the left, but we step in and mess everything up! Quit trying to fix people and let God do what He wants to do in their lives. We must let God do it on His time, so that when He brings them right, they stay there. Moses was a Prince of Egypt, who fled because of a mistake. He spent 40 years in the desert where God revealed Himself. God can grow you out of a difficult place. God meets us in the difficult place and changes us. Don’t run from your desert! The longer you go left, the greater your right will be. When you go through your right season, you will know it was God . You will resist the urge to be puffed up with pride in your own ability. We will know that its by God’s strength! 3. God wants to teach you through the valley, so that you can succeed on the mountaintop. ( Its the pain of the left that keeps me going right!) James 1: 2-3- Count it all joy when you go through tests and trials. It produces patience when your faith is tested. We must realize that God still has His hands on our lives, and is molding us through our time in the desert. Moses had 40 years in the desert before God called him out with a clear path and destiny before him. Then He spent 40 more years with the children of Israel in the desert while God prepared them for their right season. Dont discount your left. God is using it to get us right!

A Tribute to My Pastors

I blogged on this topic in my first blog, One Heart Ablaze, but from a different slant. I used Peter’s words, “Imitate me as I imitate Christ” to talk about how we should find people to imitate in life. Imitation is indeed the sincerest form of flattery, and being under Godly leadership is the best way to imitate someone who is in Christ, while developing your own personal connection with God in Christ as well. Today however, I want to  honor Pastors, particularly the Pastors who have had and continue to shape the kind of man that I am becoming today.

Even when I was not living for Christ, I always admired Pastors. There was something regal about them, even if they themselves did not carry themselves as high and lifted up. They way that could orate and inspire a crowd, or simply motivate a person just by the way that they lived, I always noticed. I’ve had several Pastors in my lifetime, but there are a few who really stand out to me. I’d like to talk about them this morning, as it is Pastor Appreciation Month. To me, a pastor is someone who sees the potential in his or her members, and strives to push them toward the greatness that God has in store for them. A Pastor is unafraid to speak the truth in love, regardless to whether feelings are hurt or not. A Pastor is intent on building relationships and breaking down the walls that can spring up and keep us from coming together. A Pastor is not always just a Pastor. We use the term generally, but I believe that Pastors are often Apostles, Prophets, Evangelists, Pastors, and Teachers. I think depending on God’s calling and missional purpose for that Pastor, those gifting traits show up in many differing manifestations. These are just my additional add ons. I also subscribe to the qualifications listed in Timothy by Paul.

So, with that being said, here is my list.

Pastor John Chapman is first on my list. He was my father’s brother. He never Pastored in “big” church, but spent his entire life dedicated to building a thriving children’s church at Mt. Helm Baptist Church in Jackson, MS. This man was really something. He was soft spoken, but you could feel the love and intensity of his words. He saw something in me, even as a child. I’ll never understand it. He would always rub my head and say that he was anointing me. His messages in children’s church were never original. They always came from a book that he had, but they were extremely relevant. The personal way that he had with each child he met always reminded me of Jesus saying, “Bring all of the children to me, and forbid them not.” He never turned them away. He personally invested in all of us. I didn’t realize how much of an impact he had on my life until I was older and felt God calling me to ministry. That’s when it hit me. That’s why he anointed me every time he saw me. He saw this calling. Now, I can’t even think of him without some kind of tears coming to my eye. While I didn’t know him supremely well, I knew enough about him to know that God used him to play a big role in where I am, and where I am heading. I love you, Uncle JC.

Pastor Calvin Thomas taught me the joy of praise and worship. While playing organ in a church of traditionally Baptist hymns, the way that he would make even the pipes of the organ shout with praise and adoration always moved me. He sang the loudest. He played with a boisterous energy that bragged of the enormous beauty of our God. He was  always so happy, and he always spoke such warmth into me. He accepted the call to Pastor later in his life and moved away to Florida. The Spirit of God was truly upon him in ways that I can’t even explain. After I preached my first sermon, the next time that he was in town, he came and literally did an anointing ceremony in my house. It was one of the truly amazing experiences of my life. He died years ago, but left me much of his sermon materials and his personal bible that he took notes in. For some reason, I can’t bring myself to open it yet. It feels like a relic.

Pastor John R. Johnson, II was the Pastor who helped me hear God’s voice for myself. When He was the Pastor at Mt Helm, he took an interest in me, even though I was the kid whose life was not quite right. I played the role well. I can remember the day he asked me to start coming to his office to talk with him. The first session, I told him, “Before we even get started, I don’t believe that drinking alcohol is wrong.” He laughed and moved on as if I had never said anything. His life, to me, was just…special. God really stirred his heart. He would lift his hands in worship, and become so excited and energetic, but it was a child like energy. His heart was always fully engaged in loving people. His passion was evident from the beginning to the end. I accepted the call to ministry and made it public the Sunday after he had begun his new assignment with another church. Though we have lost touch, I really credit him with getting me back on track and pushing me to be more for God.

Pastors Matt and Crystal Ingle were the youth Pastors when we first moved to Missouri and attended Destiny Church. When we were getting to know them, there was always something dynamic about them, something more than youth pastorship, even though at that point they were not interested in pasturing a church. In the 5 years that we have been here, I have seen such growth in them. While they are still prone to joking and having fun, the calling of God on them has matured them. They have been the Associate Pastors of our church for about 2-2.5 years.  They are full in the Holy Spirit, and it is evident by the way that they worship and minister. And while we are all around the same age, their wisdom and the way that they carry themselves, just amazes me, and causes me to really look up to them. So, knowing that they will be leaving at some point in the future to plant their own church excites me. I can really see how beautifully they will be affecting lives for God. They compliment each other perfectly, and I am excited to see what happens for them in the future. They may not know how much of an inspiration they have been to me, but they have been monstrous!

Finally, Pastors Gene and Melody Bebee are the Lead Pastors of Destiny Church. To say that we have had long conversations, or in depth sharing over the years would not be true. But the few conversations that we have had, and watching how they carry themselves and lead a church, it is fire inducing. From say one, I have watched everything that they have done. I have watched how they relate to people, how they love on people, how they take control in crisis, how they shepherd a church while remaining faithful to the vision that God has given them. It’s been one of the greatest times of my life, being able to serve under them and alongside them. They both have a heart for worship, and over the past 5 years, I have seen them even grow deeper in that avenue as well. Pastor Gene’s messages have such love and power behind them. His vivid images really tie everything together and bring the truth of the Gospel home in a relatable way. Pastor Mel’s devotion to giving God everything in all facets, pushes us on the worship team to abandon ourselves to a God who deserves nothing less. The cool thing about this is that I can tell that God is doing even greater, deeper things in them, which means that the trickle down effect is gonne be AWESOME!!! Simply put, I can only hope that when God ordains the time for me to Pastor, that my wife and I can do justice to all that Gene and Mel have poured into us simply by watching and observing. We are blessed to have them to lead us. They are the epitome of faithfulness to a calling. That’s all we can even push for; to be faithful completely to God and to love His people.

So, these are MY Pastors. They have influenced me in ways that can not be properly expressed. I love all of them dearly and count myself blessed to have been in their midsts. And while I won’t tout this blog posting to make them see it, I do pray that God will continue to bless those who are alive with vision, and help me to never forget those who have gone to be with Him. I love you all! Happy Pastor’s Appreciation Month.

Until next time, be blessed.

Pregnant. Yes, YOU!!

I taught on this at my church about 4 years ago, and for some reason it popped into my head last night. Well, I know why actually. In my own life, God has refocused me on this whole idea. It’s a topic that is very near and dear to my heart, as I believe it affects the things that we do, say, and think. It establishes patterns in our lives, and we often have no idea why. Well, I’m here to give you a little insight into what may be happening in your life. You’re pregnant. Wait, wait, wait, before you faint or go running to get a pregnancy test, let me explain.

 

We spend so much of our lives searching for a meaning to what we do. We have dreams that we have had since birth, that stay with us for one reason or another. Why? Why do you have that urge to do something that people might think is crazy?

 

Let’s look at it this way. In most cases, you can tell that a woman is pregnant because things begin to happen which are outside the normal scope of her actions. For instance, before we knew that my wife was pregnant with our middle son, I noticed that my wife’s normally laidback temperament had been replaced by some kind of ferocious alien entity! I mean, she was snapping at me and everybody else! So, one day I told her to go get a pregnancy test, and it confirmed what I thought. She was pregnant. Let’s look at it from a different perspective. When David was anointed King of Israel, he went back to tending sheep for a while. Now, the Bible doesn’t say this, but I am positive that his mind state was much more involved than normal. Sure, he was still as faithful as ever to tending and protecting his sheep, but I’m willing to bet that his mind raced with what had just happened. He was pregnant.

 

Mary, the mother of Jesus, is not the only person to ever experience a pregnancy of the Holy Spirit. She is just the only one to ever experience it physically from the beginning. Every one of us, from birth, are impregnated with purpose, potential, and power. Our bellies are brimming with dreams, desires, and greatness. Our pregnancies begin in the spiritual, when God speaks His will over our lives. The Bible says that even before we were born, God knew us, and He had a plan for our lives. It is this plan that sits inside of us growing in maturity over time, ready to begin showing outward signs when God starts the countdown.

 

So, let’s look at this in terms of a physical pregnancy, because there are always sure signs that there is something happening. A natural pregnancy has 3 trimesters, and I believe that this mirrors what happens in a spiritual pregnancy. After all, God tells us in Hebrews that what is seen was modeled after that which is unseen; therefore, our natural world is but an imitation of the spiritual world.

 

The first trimester for a woman is a time of excitement. It’s when she finds out that she is expecting. From there, the hopes and dreams for the pregnancy begin to take form. She wonders what sex the baby is. She wonders how the rest of her pregnancy will take form. Her body begins the automatic process of creating a womb for the fetus to grow in, an incubator of sorts. She may notice her energy levels drop, and her appetite begin to increase. Clothing also begins to fit a little differently. This is because the new life is requiring more of her than what she has been accustomed to in her pre-pregnancy life. This is very much what happens with the pregnancy of the spirit. We begin to notice changes in ourselves and our outlooks. Things that once fit our lives, begin to take on a lesser importance. Our perspectives shift and bit, and we usually are not sure why. At some point in the first trimester, God will give us a dream, an urging, a vision, or something that gets our attention. For Abraham, it was God telling him to simply get up and go into a new land that God was going to show him. That was his pregnancy test that showed positive. Bingo Abram, you’re gonna be a papa!!

 

During the first trimester, that one glimpse that God gives, or that one dream God shows you, gets you amped up for what’s to come. Your appetite for God can increase exponentially, as you can’t get enough and are obsessed with finding out more. You can begin making your own plans, or deciding your own fate, tailoring it to fit within what God has shown you, or tailoring what God has shown you to fit within your own desires. That part is a danger. We will talk more about that later. The only difference here is that there is increased energy as you pour more and more of yourself out to God, and watch as He pours more and more of His spirit into you.

 

The second trimester is marked by a noticeable bump in energy in a pregnant woman. She begins to feel more like her normal self, even as her body begins rapid expansion. The fetus is growing. Appetite is increasing. Cravings begin developing. The baby bump begins showing, and people want to touch in order to feel apart of the experience. Privately, the mother may start speaking to the baby, and it’s usually during this trimester that the sex is revealed. Names are given sometimes. I remember that finding out the sex for each of our 3 children was always a high point in the pregnancy. We are the kind of parents who love having names picked out beforehand, just because we feel that it is important to begin calling our child by it’s name. We chose names that speak towards destiny and point to God. For instance, our first child’s name means “Wise Child of Faith”, our second means “ Bold” and “Gift of God”, and our last means “Humble” and “Who is like the Lord”. These names have a deep spiritual meaning, and we have seen how each child is becoming the very thing that we call them every day. It’s exciting!

 

In the spiritual pregnancy, you can see the same kinds of things happening. You will begin to see outward manifestations of your “baby”. God continues expanding you, and His spirit in you, so that the things which could harm His purpose no longer fit into your life. His purpose is to create a singular focus and determination to depend on Him and Him alone. This is a time during which you might feel lonely. There may be sadness as you watch your circumstances begin to change. Your normal, everyday life is shaken. Changes come and leave you wondering what is going to come next. What I have observed in people and in my own life is that during the second trimester, we begin to recognize the gravity of what God has placed within us, and it scares us. For first time parents, there is always a little fear about how to raise a kid, and whether they will know what to do. The same principle applies in the spirit. When we see the bigness of what God wants to birth through us, it’ll rock us to our cores. There will be fear. There will be uneasiness. During this period, it is of the utmost importance that we push past all of this and lean on our strengthening relationship with God to help us rest in Him. Rest will be important, because just around the corner will be a time of working.

 

Now we are into the third trimester. At this stage, the mother is usually asking, “HOW MUCH LONGER!!!!” Lol. Time seems to slow down to a drag. There are pains in parts of the body that she never even knew that she had. There is swelling as fluid is retained. The baby’s movements are now much more pronounced. Clothing can be an issue, as growth happens at a rate of almost a lbs per two weeks. It’s a crazy time. The mother can become frustrated, irritated at the drop of a dime. Emotions are all over the place as hormone production levels increase. The tension is high as everything inside of the body is preparing for the birth, which comes often in violent manner as the baby is forceably expelled from the mother, if the birth is natural. But even if the birth is a cesarean, there is even more cutting and pulling and tugging. It’s a horrible time, but a beautiful result.

 

Now, it’s here where all of the feasting on God bears the greatest results. The birth is the hardest part in the life of the believer. It’s hard on those around us, as they can not understand what we are going through. They can’t see your dream. They can’t see the magnitude of the vision. They can only pat you on the back and give you well wishes and prayers as you are visibly suffering! There are several instances in Isaiah where God speaks of the Israelites as babies being born, and the travailing of their birthing. The pain associated with the birthing of God’s dream in you will be unlike anything you have ever experienced. It will hurt. You will cry. You will wail. But, God is going to tell you to push. He will coach you to push past your distractions. Push past your fears. Push past your doubters. Push past every inclination to run away from your destiny. Push, Push, PUSH, because if you don’t push, you will never see the physical manifestation of what God has been preparing you to do all of your life!

 

YES, it’s gonna hurt, but here’s the beauty of the entire process. Imagine if you will, lying on the birthing table with a storm of people rushing to and fro around you. Listen to the beeping of the monitors. Feel the sweat on your skin as you feel the pressure bearing down on you. Now, look down and see God standing there with a big smile on His face, ready to receive. See, the glory in all of this goes to God, because we give Him back the dream and the vision. We give Him the destiny after we birth it, and in return, He gives us the strength and power to care for it and bring it to maturity! And when we finally see the results of the months and months, or years and years, of pregnancy…our only response will be to glorify God for what He has done through us.

 

Thing is, all of us are somewhere in our pregnancy. Depending on our yielding and submission to God, we may progress a little faster, but understand that it is all on God’s timing. It takes much longer than 9 months though. Also, we can not dictate to God how quickly the process must move. He feeds the baby. He fills us. He fulfills His destiny through us. During your pregnancy, you must be careful to surround yourself with people who will support you, whether they can see where you’re going or not. Satan will seek at every turn to kill your dream, and put an end to your destiny before it even begins heading in the right direction.

 

I could type so much more. I could show you so many instances in the Bible where this process is laid out, but I don’t have the time. I’m also sure that you don’t want to read a 6 part blog post. Lol. The thing that I want to get across to you, is that you have such potential, purpose, and power within you. You don’t even realize the full scope of it yet. Almost 10 years ago, God called me to ministry. I felt Him calling me to Pastor. Almost 10 years later, I’ve always felt like I was not close. If anything, I began to question whether God actually called me at all. Almost 10 years later God showed me a glimpse of the end result, but I can also see that this thing is far off. I’m only in the second trimester. Don’t lose hope. God has a plan. Trust Him to see it through.

 

Happy Birthing to you!!

 

Until next time, be blessed.

 

 

Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone

Giving God Your Awl (all) Ex 21: 2-7 – v7 Master shall pierce his servants ear with an awl; and the servant stays forever. This is the pattern for our lives as Christians. A transition. God is calling us to love Jesus so much that we never want to leave Him. Jesus should be at the center and the top of our love. If you don’t love Christ will all of our hearts, eve rules thing else will get out of whack. We MUST fall in love with Christ! This requires a heart transformation. We naturally get our priorities 1. When we love our master, he has our ear. The awl went through the ear of the servant who didn’t want to leave. The servant freely gave his ear. For us, this shows that we value His voice above anything else. No matter what anybody else says, our Master has our ear and we follow His voice. Its not what everybody says. Its what His WORD says. If i will open up the word and read it, God will open up His word and speak to us. Deut. 6: 4-5 love God with all your heart, soul, and strength. Make no mistake about it, if we don’t serve God, we WILL serve something. We always have a master, even if it’s not THE MASTER! 2. When you give God your all, you gain your freedom. When we give all to God, He gives all to us that we need. Some of us love hearing about the things of God, but we let it go from our minds to our hands, thus bypassing our hearts. We need heart transplant. Ez. 36: 23- I will give you a new heart. I will take out your stony heart, and replace it with a tender, responsive heart. Allow yourself to fall in love with God everyday. We can learn something new about Him everyday.

Breaking and Broken

Listen to this song, and view the words below it.
I’m calling out your name won’t you come near to me
I’ve been missing those times we’ve had give me that passion again
And a heart of clay that you can mold into into a heart that’s pure
Broken for you
Vs: 2

Come and kiss me once again for your love is better than wine
In the secret place I’ve cried out for you
I am weak but you are strong so let me see your face oh God
Cause with one glance of your eyes my heart is broken
Broken for you

Chorus:

Oh I sleep but my heart is awake its the voice of the one that I love
He’s crying will you open me my love my perfect one

I’m convinced that I’ve been in a season of breaking for the past year and a half. I haven’t worked a full time job in that entire time. I’ve been tested, retested, and tested again. My faith has been stretched to the point where at times I feel like I have none left. I’ve seen God move in miraculous ways. I’ve felt like God wasn’t there at all. I’ve learned not to rely on my emotions to tell me if God is present or not. I’ve learned how to press through my lack of desire at times in order to honor God in my worship, because He is worthy whether I feel like it or not.

Being broken is not fun. It doesn’t feel good. Sure, there are moments when the clouds part and the sun shines, but for the most part, God prunes, prunes, and prunes some more. I can feel Him killing off the dead parts, rearranging the things that I thought that I wanted. I can feel my reliance on Him becoming stronger, and thus, my faith and hope in Him is growing as well. There are days when I still rage against His will, because I see with my own eyes how things that we need, things that I need are not being tended too, or at least I feel like that anyway. But I am constantly reminded that God cares about me, that He delights in everything about me. I’m reminded that He loves me whether I doubt His ways or not.
I could tell you all story after story of this process, how it began, and how I’m different than I was, but the truth is, I would rather focus on the blessing of the breaking. I was on a path before that was going to lead to me being completely outside of God’s will, at least i think. I was focused on dollar signs, reliant on my own skill and ability. I thought that if I complained to God enough, that He would bend His will to meet my dreams and goals, but in breaking me, He showed me His passion for my life, and the dreams that He has for me. And while I’m having to wait for it in the middle of all hell breaking loose within me, there are times where I have such peace about things. So, there is a blessing in being broken. The end result is a life that has been refined by the fire of God. A life that is totally molded into one that He can use without dispute. It’s the kind of life that I desired to have all of my life, but was prevented by my own pride and selfishness. I’m not perfect. These last few weeks have been tough for me as some things have happened that are threatening my future, or at least I coudl lead myself to believe that. I’m convinced though, against my feelings and what I see in front of me, that God is working all of this out. Being broken means being willing to accept whatever God sends my way with a glad heart. I’m learning.
I know some of you out there are going through the same thing. I want to encourage you that there is an end result to all of this. Trust God through the pain, the hurt, and the tears. Trust Him through the weeks and months that feel like constant midnight. Trust Him through the disappointments and failures. There is a plan. it hurts, but it is necessary in order for His will to be accomplished in your life. And we all know that this is the most important thing in the life of a Christian.

Lord, Your will be done.

Until next time, be blessed! And I’ll be praying for you.

Lord, your will be done.

Seeking God

This morning, I am starting a new bible meditation in my YouVersion Bible app. It’s called “Seeking God“, and it’s 48 days long. I thought that it would be cool to chronicle my thoughts on the questions asked here. Maybe they will stir your hearts to thinking as well.

This morning’s meditation focuses on how we live our lives. Basically, in the light of all that Christ has done for us, are we living a life that is a testament to His sacrifice, or does our living make a mockery of it? In every aspect of our lives, are we fulfilling the command to love the Lord with every fiber of our being? Our hearts, souls, minds, and strength? So here are a few of the questions from the passage. I’ll answer mine honestly.

1. Is your love for Him cold, lukewarm, or hot? My love for God is probably at the highest level it’s been in a very long time. It’s been building intensely over the last year in particular, but since we moved to Missouri, it has reached an apex. Having to learn who He is through tribulation and hard times, that He is everything that He says that HE is and more, it’s been a journey in learning to love Him. Here lately I have been blessed to really see the beauty of His love and His holiness. This has really spurred my heart to more love. During worship services, I may not keep my eyes closed. I may look around, but it’s because I see His beauty in the workings of His spirit. Just thinking about it gives me chills. So yes, my love is hot! What about yours?

2. Are you relying on His life today? To me, this question is simply asking if my life is my own. I can answer with extreme certainty that it is not. Too much has happened over the 1-2 years for me to answer it any other way. Being forced to quit a job to move into an uncertain field, where nothing is promised will do that to you. Being forced to confront your own pride, and accept that the helplessness that you feel is merely His way of refining you will do that to you. Watching with great fear as your wife is told that she needs an emergency cesarean will do that to you. More than ever before, I know that my life is not my own. I desperately want His will to be done. It frightens me to even think about doing something without Him.

3. Where would you like your relationship with God to be one year from now? I could spout off all of the cliches and Christianese mutterings, but if I’m honest, I would like for my relationship with God to be rock solid. I would like to be able to shrug off my doubts and shun my fears because of His spirit at work in me. I would like to be living a freer life, and to put off the things that irk me in this life. I would like to be closer to God. And how does one even quantify what “close” is? I can’t quite answer that question, but I CAN say that I believe that the relationships between man and God that I see in the Bible are possible even today. I believe that God and I can talk, and that we can interact in those same ways. That is where I want to be in a year’s time.

4. What choices do I need to make to get there? This will probably sound simpler than it is, but I know that I need to just seek God as never before. There are things that God is showing me that He wants to do in our lives that require focus and quiet. So I would like to learn what it means to be quiet in His presence; quieting my mind and soul so that I can listen for His voice and leading. My mind is a loud place. I need to learn how to silence everything and just focus on my time with Him. I also need to choose to believe ALL of God, and not the parts that seem relevant at the moment. I think we all struggle with this one, but God is God. All of Him is true and to be honored and lauded. All of Him is worthy to be praised and worshiped.

So, these are my answers. Challenge? Your turn!

 

Until next time, be blessed!