Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Be Before You Do, Wait Before You Go, Hear Before You Say!

What you BECOME on this earth matters far more than what you DO on earth.  

In becoming what Christ wants us to be, do we gain godly character, stature, peace, victory and the fruit of the Spirit (which is Love) by merely doing, doing, doing.. more work? Naww. Do we become spiritually balanced, anointed and mature by pushing, pushing, pushing? No no! On the other hand do we appropriate the good things of God by opting to be lazy or never applying the Scriptures. Huh, a thousand times no!!! Oh yes it does matter what you become, but please don’t get me wrong here. What you do and say each day (including your motives, thoughts, inner spirit and attitudes behind all that..) is very important to God for sure and it does involve attentive listening and obeying. No time for having a hard heart! Becoming a person of God is imperative for you (and me)! You are indeed gunna take your character and personal relationship with Christ on to heaven with you believer (as well as many of your willing friends ..hopefully..by faith) even though you'll leave all your dusty medals and treasured certificates all behind. Will it be sad? On the contrary, IT WILL BE RAD-EXCITING TO BE CAUGHT AWAY LEAVING THE JUNK OF THIS WORLD BEHIND!

Christian, what you won’t be taking along with you is your position, your six digit income (or whatever level of pay you're compensated with..), your career, your corner office with that comfy tall leather executive chair, that super cool downtown view, your social status or your temporal shinny trophies. News Flash.. all your stuff and your degrees are non-transferable. We live in an accomplishment, doing, success orientated society and that's the reason why we all need to be extra careful about our busyness and horizontal commitments today. 
    
"But you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall BE WITNESSES to Me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the end of the earth." ~Acts 1:8 (emphasis mine)

“He does not delight in the strength of the horse; He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man. The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him, In those who hope in His mercy.” ~ Psalm 147:10-11

“You ARE My witnesses,’ says the Lord, ‘And My servant whom I have chosen, that you may know and believe Me, and understand that I am He. Before Me there was no God formed, nor shall there be after Me.” ~Isaiah 43:10

Christian, do you feel like a hero or a zero in God’s Kingdom today? Do you feel like a second class citizen today when you see all that some other minister is doing for the Lord?  Cheer up, you ain’t! Quit comparing yourself with other believers. You are not there to compete with them.

Why would you feel like a hero if it’s God who gets the credit for the great accomplishments His servants do in God’s empowering grace? Why would you feel like a zero if God’s Word teaches that your great value and identity are not tied up in what you do for Him? Cheer up, He simply asks that you remain faithful and obedient to Him.

Don’t let any Christian, (including me..) or any well-meaning pastor pressure you into more service unto Christ, or put condemnation on you for not doing enough. If you really don’t want to do it, or give, then don’t. God’s purposes will be accomplished. He doesn’t need you, me or what we can give Him. Salvation is of the Lord, and us bringing closure on the Great Commission is mainly his deal. We are privileged to be a part of it.. if we like. That’s why we can experience JOY ..and don’t ever need to become burned out in Him. If we get burned out, it’s because we took upon ourselves something He never intended for us to take.

"Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me (Jesus), for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.” ~Matthew 11:28-29

Jesus must remain your Lord and first love, not another person. Let Christ lead you and as you continue to seek Him and His Kingdom first, then guess what.. He will bless you and give you the desire to serve in the areas that He wants you in.

Ministry at church can become an idol if you are not careful, but why become a workaholic with leanness of soul ..for God.. just because you want to stay in good graces with some workaholic flawed human leader who insists upon forming you into his own image, instead of letting God form you into Christ’s image?

Prioritizing God first does not mean putting your relationship with God along with your full or part-time ministry work for God ..first. Your relationship with Him comes first, your spouse comes second and your children come third! Your worship of the Lord is to come before all your service for the Lord. Of course there will be times when you will worship Jesus as you serve with Him in practical ways. Pray without ceasing!

 “But Martha was distracted with much serving, and she approached Him and said, ‘Lord, do You not care that my sister has left me to serve alone? Therefore tell her to help me.’ And Jesus answered and said to her, ‘Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. But one thing is needed…” ~Luke 10:40-42

"There is too much working before men and too little waiting before God. There is more and more motion and less and less unction!" ~A. Redpath

He who would talk to men about God, would do well, to first talk to God about men!

Before there was Holy Spirit empowering in the upper room for the Jesus team who wanted to go preach the Gospel, there was waiting on the Holy Spirit in the upper room!

“Wait on the Lord; be of good courage, and He shall strengthen your heart; wait, I say, on the Lord! ~Psalm 27:14

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.” ~Isaiah 40:31

At any given moment you are either abiding in Christ the living Word and wonder worker, or you are striving in the flesh to get it all done so that perhaps you can please Him. We are to work hard and be diligent as unto Him when He leads us to work. But you were saved by faith. You weren’t saved by good works, so why trust in working hard until you drop just to gain you extra bonus grace or brownie points upstairs?

“Are you so foolish? Having begun in the Spirit, are you now being made perfect by the flesh?” ~Galatians 3:3 
    
"Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me. I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.” ~John 15:4-8

All believers are witnesses whether they like it or not.. good or bad witnesses ..depending on their vertical trust and obedience to Christ. Every Christian is a representative for God—good or bad. Which type will you opt to be today? Separation unto the Lord typically comes before a visitation of the Lord. Please take the time to pray and hear from Him.

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