March 7, 2008
This morning, I was doing my devotion from Oswald Chambers “My Utmost for His Highest,” A great devotional to help someone to grow spiritually. The scriptural basis was Romans 8:37. This is the one chapter in the Bible I have read over my life since I was saved. “A long time” but it says, “Nay, in all these things, we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us.” As Mr. Chambers explains it, Paul is talking about the trials in our life we feel drives a wedge between God and us.
I have discovered that the trials separate us from God but not God from us. As I read this, I thought about all those who come to the knowledge of Christ as their savior. They are still in their old life. Yes, we are a new creation but we still have old tendencies in our life. Yes, you will stumble and fall into sin. The church is supposed to be there with open arms to receive you back. Nothing can stop the love of God for you -- nothing. Our love waivers but not the Lord's. As I read this, I remember watching "Cold Case" on television. It was about a community of people who allowed the young adults to go off and experience life. Well, one young man went off and got wrapped up in drugs and alcohol. He tried to come back many of times but he could not break the addiction he had formed. The community shunned him. Though his parents loved him very much they were afraid he would come back and affect all the others in the community. Sounds to me like a lot of churches. We want people to come but we don’t want their problems to come with them. We should be grounded in our faith enough to help them overcome their addictions. The problem is we ignore the issues already in the church. We don’t deal with our own issues. We just cover them up and when people come and they don’t cover up their issues or addictions, we see our sins revealed through their sins. We don’t want to deal with our own demons, so we push those other people away.
There is a surface level kind of show. Let’s put on a show so no one knows the real hell we are going through because they will not accept us for who we are. We try to be someone we are not and fake our way through life. God forbid if someone really found out how we really are, they might be able to help us and bring life in. As I was still pondering in my devotion, I saw the young Christians as the prodigal son and the church as the Father. The church is suppose to be there waiting for all those children to come back and love them. You see the Father's love never dies. We should always be there with open arms running when the young Christians and our unsaved friends and family come to our gatherings -- no matter what issues they have. We are to be ambassadors of God. Do you know what authority and power the ambassador has for the country or the people they represent? The Character of God never changes. He loves unconditionally so as ambassadors of God, our love should be unconditional. I know it is hard for you to believe God could love some people especially after they have hurt “you.”
As an illustration, let's say the power company is GOD. The power company provides electricity through power lines to our homes (our bodies). Only only see the lines, not the power itself. As believers, our purpose is to connect with God and then raise a family up for God. That is the nature of family. I see people being plugged in to God as a house is connected with the power plant. Both have power as a result of being plugged in. That power is to run all things and to do all things. As we raise our families, they eventually have their own house connected to the power source. Eventually, they will go to the source on their own. They will no longer need a mediator. We need to encourage people to walk with God, to help them hear God for themselves. They in turn are to help others to walk with God. This would be true kingdom networking amongst the saints of the Lord. Just as Jesus appointed people over the crowds, you will always have someone to go to bounce things off to make sure you are hearing correctly and you are not moving in self-motivated desires.
A good way to check your motive is to lay the issue down and give it to the Lord. I do it all the time. I tell the Lord it will happen only if He wants it to happen. I commit whatever it is unto the Lord. I always tell the Lord everything. "I will serve You no matter what it is."
I had a dream the other night about a track meet. All my high school teammates and my football coach were in the dream. I had a pastor tell me the Lord will use people you know to speak to you. In the dream, we were at the track meet and there was a lot of teams there. Our team was just blowing the other teams away. In most events we were lapping them. I asked the coach if I could get into an event -- maybe the two mile or one mile race -- because I wanted to win some medals. He turned to me and said, "I need you rested. You need to be fresh." I told my coach, "This sucks. You just don’t have any faith in me!” Upon saying this, I knew right away the Lord speaking to me. So I got up and went into prayer over the dream. The Lord revealed to me the dream was about our ministry. Although we are ready and prepared, the time (season) was not at hand. It was very encouraging to come to this realization, because it gets frustrating sitting on the bench and I have seldom sat on the bench. I am learning that there is a lot to learn by sitting back, waiting and watching. We can force issues and go off on rabbit trails. But anything we do will be of us. It will be man-made. I want it to be God-made, God-ordained, and God-filled. Into thy hands, I commit my spirit; into Thy hands I commit my time.