Typically, I only post a blog if I have something to say. Over the course of many months, I have had very little to say. Lately I have done a lot of reading, studying, ministering to others and been very quiet. Several studies ago, I did the Armor
of God study by Priscilla Shirer. She placed a challenge to the reader "for the next seven days, try not to say or do anything in response to feelings of insecurity, fear, or really anything that is out of alignment with your true identity in Christ. You might be surprised at how quiet you become." The challenge to the author herself was "not to say or do anything that originates from a place of insecurity... before I choose to accept an invitation... respond to a tweet...add a comment to a conversation, I stop and make myself consider the motivation behind it. Am I doing this because I want validation or the approval of a person, group or people? Or am I doing this from a posture of value and worth in Christ? I want to train and discipline myself not to placate old feelings that the enemy is dredging up from my past."
So I took the challenge seriously and since then, I have been much quieter in general.
However, lately, I have sensed it was time to begin speaking again, write again. My mind is flooded with stuff again.
I had lunch with several ladies the other day, and I was reminded of some truths that no one in the body seems to want to discuss, face and admit. The truth of the matter is the body of Christ is made up of human beings! There in lies the biggest issue. If the Triune God had left that one thing out of the body, it would be absolute perfection. It would not have all the issues that face Christians.
- I cannot tell you how many times I have heard others or thought it myself, "I can love and trust God, it is His followers I have problems with."
- Trouble with this thinking is scripture tells us to love one another and to bear with one another's burdens.
So now that I have spoken the obvious, let's take a look at what may be the root of the issue. It is me, it is you, and it is any other human that has responded to the drawing of the Holy Spirit, accepted the price God paid to settle the sin debt that we owed by sacrificing His son Jesus, and welcomed the Lord's activity into their life.
Is it ok that I am flawed as a follower of Christ? Will you allow me to admit that without God, I am an absolute mess. I would not be someone any of you would care to be around. At best, I would be self motivated to be kind. I would treat people better if there was something in it for me otherwise, I would do what is best for me. I would say hurtful things if I thought it would make me feel better. I would think of my self more than I do of others. I would not love very well if at all. However, I have to choose to allow the Holy Spirit to help me, enable me and equip me so that I do not follow my nature of self-centeredness.
If you encounter me and find any redeeming value in me, it is the work of the Holy Spirit. If you have experienced the me that I mention in the previous paragraph, I am so sorry. That is truly the me that walks by the flesh. That is the me that blows it and misrepresents God in the process. In as much as I will die to myself everyday is as much as I can reflect the image of Christ in my life to each of you.
Anyone of us can wound and injure others either intentionally or unintentionally. We need to be aware of the weightiness of our action and take responsibility for them. We do not want to be like the diciples when they were trying to keep the little children from bothering Jesus, and Jesus scolded them for it. He said do not keep them from coming to me.
Any of us who claim to be a follower of Jesus and yet walk out the desires of our flesh, need to remember that we may be preventing someone from coming to Christ based on the way we are living. I for one do not want to be a roadblock for someone else.
This is a great reason and motivation for us to walk dependent on the Holy Spirit in our lives and obey each thing He places on our hearts. There are so many who have been hurt and wounded by the body, and they are staying away from Jesus because of His followers. If you are one who is hurt, on behalf of the body, I am so sorry. On behalf of Jesus, His arms are open wide to heal your hurts. On your behalf, please forgive and find a place to fellowship with other believers. According to Hebrews we are not to forsake the gathering together and especially as we see the day of the Lord approaching.
We all need each other. The word says the world will know we are Jesus' disciples by our love for each other. Let's love each other well. Let's cut each other some slack. Let's recognize that we are all imperfect vessels in need of help, guidance, love, forgiveness, compassion, and a huge dose of grace.
Let's desire to love one another, let's resolve to be unified in Christ and in love, putting others interest ahead of our own. Can you imagine what a church operating in this manner would be like. I for one love to see it. It is not perfect, but it is good. I love my church.