Wednesday, August 31, 2011

What Does This Mean?

We pursue many things in life-some with cognizant effort and others just as intentionally, but without the realization on our part that we are working towards it. We strive to accumulate wealth, develop reputations, establish portfolios that reflect our status, maintain our popularity, and be the person that people count on in crisis

How significant are all of these pursuits? What impact will they make after we are gone from this place? They all end up being temporary reflections of status that can lose all of their value in an instant. Our focus needs to shift from fulfilling these fleeting needs to investing in something that is more eternal. Our intentional efforts should align with God's calling on our lives and the work of the Church that supersedes the time limits of our physical life here.

It can be a difficult prism to examine our lives through, but focusing our efforts into something with true meaning will not only benefit us in eternity, but add greater significance to the life we lead here.

Monday, August 15, 2011

Sheep or Wolf?

The old phrase of "a wolf in sheep's clothing" is used to describe someone who attempts to appear as something other than what they really are. It is usually with a malicious or selfish intent and can be difficult to spot. This type of person can be destructive and extremely harmful to other people.

I heard a car ad today that used the phrase "a sheep in wolves' clothing." The thought occurred to me while driving that this can be used to describe the church far too often. We speak about the power of God to do great things, we sing loudly in worship services, nod at the right places in the sermons and even volunteer down the hall in ministry. The problem is that we then step out into the reality of the world and instead of moving forward with the strength of the Holy Spirit, we meekly shuffle our way through each day with a spirit of timidity. Instead of forcefully advancing the Kingdom we hang back on the fringe while carrying the banner of likability and a desire to not offend. We wear the name "Christian" and "Church", but act like we are much less than that-not something that is dangerous, but something that can be ignored because it lacks power.

The cause of Christ is calling for warriors filled with the power of the Holy Spirit to do supernatural things that can only be credited to Him. When we accept this challenge and gain a glimpse of what God can do through His people we can stop pretending to be something we aren't and become strong, bold Kingdom workers and witnesses to God's ability to change lives.

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

Generals & Gatekeepers

When you read the Old Testament and look at the story of King David you see the many people that interacted with him and those that he relied on greatly in battle. There were valiant warriors and leaders of his military, but there were also faithful people who served in other capacities as attendants in his home, gatekeepers, priests and servants. Each role supported the cause of the kingdom and was essential in its own way to the success of God's work through David.

The same is true of the Church. There are generals with a larger scope of responsibility, but there are also gatekeepers who have extremely important roles as well. Maturity in believers leads us to find what calling we have and then fulfilling our role so that the Church can continue to fulfill her mission. When the church is filled with people clamoring to be a general instead of joyfully and humbly serving in their giftedness and calling, we create missional impotence and the result is a dying church that brings no honor to the King.

Unity of purpose in fighting satan (and a church that cannot be stopped) is found when we step into the battle and serve faithfully together with more concern for the advancement of the Kingdom than our own recognition.

Saturday, August 6, 2011

In Training

It is easy to become overwhelmed by your current circumstances and the hardships you are struggling through. You can become concerned with what other people are saying & doing and your perception of what that means to you. You can succumb to the emotion of the moment and the tidal wave of details that swamp over you and easily forget the big picture of what God is doing.

With your head down (from weariness or frustration) you won't be able to see where God is leading you in the midst of the trials you endure. We are promised that we will endure tough times here-Scripture tells us that time and time again. The key to surviving those is to know two things: God is firmly in control and that He is using this to shape us into warriors for Him. All of what we endure is training for future endeavors and a shaping of our hearts into Kingdom workers. 

My perspective has changed this morning. I am not down-hearted at the difficulties of the last few weeks, but I am instead encouraged at the work that God is doing in me as He transforms me into what I need to be. I see the glimpses of the future that He has for me and I know that this preparation is necessary. Satan will not dissuade me or cause me to lose my focus. 

I am a warrior with a Kingdom cause and I am in training.