Sunday, June 13, 2010

World Changing Ain’t about Gaining or Holding a Lofty Position

"Whoever desires to become great among you, let him be your servant." ~Matthew 20:26


Do you aspire to becoming a world changer in God's Kingdom.. in big, little or in medium sized ways? Where are you temperature-wise with that? Are you spiritually cold, warm, or red hot excited about the future possibilities in Christ?


Got any God-give goals yet? Do you know who you will work with or where you will be sent (God still has room for cross cultural career missionaries)?


What's your specific plan or how do you want to execute all this? Will you teach and minister the Word of God? Hope so! How will you grow and bear fruit? Perhaps you've had a plan for quite some time, and have even applied the Scriptures to the best of your knowledge thus far, but still you wonder why you haven't gained any firm traction with this you've started to feel discouraged?


Is that you? I so want to hear accurately! I wanna pray and obey my way into the direct will of God each year and day.


But has the devil succeeded in getting you to believe that ole lie that God doesn't even love or think about you anymore? Has the enemy got you thinking God is determined to leave you and your family out completely ..and that He is no longer working to build His Church? Man, don't swallow that stuff!


Perhaps you've run into some fierce opposition as of late, from this enemy-wimp, or into some shortsighted alleged Christian leaders who misunderstood you, defamed you, or even lied about you. Have well-meaning legalistic individuals caused you problems and subsequently become impediments in your path? Forgive all those roadblock-people. Don't let them get under your skin or inbetween you and Jesus.  


Have you somehow blundered and now you don't even feel like trying to fulfill your calling anymore? Fight to get back up!


Hey there, it's too early to quit! Adjust your application if needed (not the Message) to be relevant to the times! It's too early to grow discouraged or be hopeless inside, even if things look hopeless circumstantially on the outside. I am here to encourage you to stand up strong and give it another go in the Spirit, 'cause God does indeed care and He has a plan for how this whole "calling thing" can work out for His glory. The Bible says in Jeremiah 29:11, "For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the Lord, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope."


If you've felt down like thowing in the towel.. it's time to streamline, to cut out the unnecessary time eater things, to rejoice in and praise Christ, to adjust a bit, and to tweak a few things for greater spiritual productivity?
I went catamaran sailing with some wonderful friends at Lake Texoma two days ago and as I was just laying there on my back on that trampoline looking up at the beautiful sails and clouds above, traveling north at some 15 knots in speed.. I started to think about spiritual progress and the similarities this had with the Christian life in general. and I started praying for my family and you my friends who would read this.


Man, if we could all just get our centerboard down (basing our actions on the Word rather than upon feelings).. if we could just get the tiller set with the right aim—tacking the vessel in the right direction (..holding our course in seeking Jesus first, letting the winds of the Spirit literally fill our sails).. if we could tie off the halyard and other ropes properly so the sails would stop luffing (and stay true to our inner convictions of conscience), man think about what could happen, Church! We'd then be able to hear the hum of those rudders behind us as we picked up maximum speed gliding and traversing across the waters of life. We could jet above the tribulation and rough waves underneath us! How thrilling would that be? We'd have a shot at flying the hull, getting BIG AIR, reduced resistance!
When was the last time you confessed your sins specifically, forgave yourself and others, recommitted to Christ fully and even asked for a refilling of God's Spirit?


"Sometimes, when we have failed in our Christian walk by disobeying God or yielding to fleshly impulses, we become disgusted with ourselves. We often then take those same feelings and project them onto God. He must be angry and disgusted, too. In fact, we reason, 'He probably doesn't even love me anymore.'" ~Chuck Smith


Are you a person of persevering prayer and of growing faith? Will you reject selfish ambition—seeking glory or spiritual promotion into some "position" for yourself, but instead give all the glory to our Lord Jesus Christ? It's time to help others advance in Him!


Yep, being an evangelistic world-changer isn't really about having a title, a badge, or some lofty position in some church or big "ministry" someplace, it's really about credibility, about letting Christ be Boss and about holding to His course. Those with these things of course can also be effective, but the important thing is that we all live an uncompromising life with the right motives! His way is the way of blessing!


"But the midwives feared God, and did not do as the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the male children alive. So the king of Egypt called for the midwives and said to them, 'Why have you done this thing, and saved the male children alive?' And the midwives said to Pharaoh, 'Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are lively and give birth before the midwives come to them.' Therefore God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied and grew very mighty. And so it was, because the midwives feared God, that He provided households for them." ~Exodus 1:17-21


Ask yourself: who really changes the course of history for time and eternity? Has it typically been rebellious haughty people who grasp for high positions or after what they want for themselves? No! Has it typically been the Kings, the Potentates, the army Generals, the uber-wealthy?


Sure, they can all have a vital part in this to bring change if they opt to be humble enough in Christ, but often times it's been more lowly men, women and children who have zero social standing… people of prayer, repeatedly asking for awakening, for revival, for renewal, for souls.. that significantly reshape our cities and global situation.


"Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others. Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.." ~Philippians 2:3


"Lord, let me live from day to day In such a self-forgetful way

That even when I kneel to pray My prayer will be for others." ~Meigs


"For promotion cometh neither from the east, nor from the west, nor from the south." ~ Psalm 75:6


Read verses 17 through 21 (in context) again. The king of Egypt was fretting about the slaves explosive population growth there so what did he do? He acted according to his own limited understanding, instead of according to God's wisdom. He sent for the two Hebrew midwives, Shiphrah and Puah, and then foolishly commanded them to literally murder all male infants being born to the Jews.


But the cool thing was this; these two God-fearing midwives simply refused to obey this lesser authority figure (the wicked king) and opted to obey a higher Authority (their Lord). Will you do that when push comes to shove in the wrong kinda way?


The king's evil threats could have potentially.. but didn't move these righteous ladies into sin. The ladies were much weaker, but they would not cave under the pressure from this person of high position! They held their course and kept assisting in delivering the male Hebrew newborns. And how could they know where all this would go for them personally? There was no way to know, but their bold obedience to the Lord spared even the life of their own future deliver, Moses.


You remember how King Saul spared king Agag the Amalekite in disobedience (the Amalekites represented the flesh) which later resulted in Saul's own destruction, but these brave acts of the midwives had the opposite effect 'cause they obeyed God. Never forget that a little bit of obedience can bring in a whole lot of blessing!


Wouldn't it be super-cool, in our sex-focused, hyper-sensual, pleasure-seeking society today, if we had more people that would bravely obey the Word of God ..who would stand up against all the worldly pressures, say no to selfish compromise and sex outside marriage, who would resist evil ..and also refuse to abort innocent infants?


"Hey, easy for you to say, Kurt, you're a guy!"


Sure, I admittedly haven't been taken advantage of or know the pressures ladies face, but compromising spiritually is just as easy for guys to commit as it is for the lady folk today. And consistently submitting to Authority is equally as challenging for us all as well.


Wouldn't it be wonderful if there were more godly men with firm convictions who would stand up to the societal pressures and do what's right, right along side of all the women that would also be so brave? Would it be cool to see the boys grow up into real men—holy examples, who would actually encourage the women to love God more than everyone else?


"But He gives more grace. Therefore He says: 'God resists the proud, but gives grace to the humble.' Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. Draw near to God and He will draw near to you." ~James 4:6-8, nkjv


"Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God.." ~Romans 13:1


"And the high priest asked them, saying, 'Did we not strictly command you not to teach in this name? And look, you have filled Jerusalem with your doctrine, and intend to bring this Man's blood on us!' But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: 'We ought to obey God rather than men.'" ~Acts 5:27-29


Even though they had a heart to obey all those in authority short of sinning, it was in civil disobedience that Shiphrah and Puah risked their own lives to protect the tiny ones under their watch-care. They did what was right regardless of the cost. Perhaps God will also choose to save and bless our lives when we obey Him, as He did theirs. But even if He doesn't it's still much better to do things His way.


"Lord, may we have a servant's heart in all we say and do

By placing others' needs above what we want to pursue." ~Sper


These ladies glorified the Lord and were rewarded with families of their own. Many people were rescued by the ultimate Rescuer as they, all together walked safely through the parting of the Red Sea! How tremendously gracious is our Lord! What a joy to know Him and make Him known! With or without a position or impressive title, will you ask the Spirit to fill your sails, help you hold your course in Christ, and become a rescuer too?  

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