After the Holiness Movements (Salvation Army, Nazarenes, Pentecostal Holiness, etc) had their effects on what they could impact, many believers thought their highest call was the work of exposure of sin.
One famous TV preacher gets great cheers from his audience when he informs “Washington” of their evil habits from his pulpit. No one in Washington is listening, though. No cheers for admonitions to those who are listening to find their ministries and devote their lives to them.
We should be digging through the dirt in the lives of people we can influence. The purpose of the digging shouldn’t be to convince them of how dirty they are. It should be to find ore, which contains something of value.
When we convince people that their lives contain promise and purpose and great value, it is easier to help them through the process of removing the dirt from the ore.
Invite people to Life; to Love; to Freedom. Hose them down along the way as appropriate. Beating them with evidence of just how much they deserve to burn in hell may lead them to Moses, but we’re here to lead them to Jesus.
We have enemies who are devoted to robbing us of courage, truth and success. Identifying them and their habits and learning to discern their deception will greatly improve our likelihood of being effective in our attempts to hear and then obey our King.
The resistance that is at work in us may be more powerful and more destructive than what stands in front of us, though. We usually defend it instead of rooting it out.
Laziness masquerading as patience, fear masquerading as tolerance, and hundreds of other weak spots in our character can cripple us without the assistance of any enemy.
Our travels through the desert between our call and our success include events and opportunities designed to expose pride and lusts and bitterness and the rest – so that we recognize them and acknowledge them. The point is to overcome them.
Refresh your memory with a search of the Scriptures for the promises made to overcomers. Let it inSpire you to value every difficulty and challenge.
Be free – inside and outside. Be awesome.
Allied forces invading occupied territories brought freedom in their wake. The occupying forces had brought bondage and death. It was easy to see the second invasion as a welcome army. An army unlocking the doors and gates of a prison camp would be welcomed with thankful tears.
We are invaders of the kingdoms and prisons where even the rich and the rulers are bound as slaves. The victims rarely recognize their real abusers. They usually think they are free if they have money.
This inability to recognize their status prevents them from discerning ours too. It takes supernatural preparation of the people we are to serve for them to receive us and our King.
We should probably be unoffendable, and full of courage that is more related to our callings than our abilities. Our King is a Savior. He sets the captives free and opens eyes to see His people and their purpose.
Take the land. It will cost more than your life and be worth His.
Here are a few fresh proverbs:
Peeves make terrible pets. They make too many messes and cost too much to feed.
Stop beating yourself up over missed opportunities and mistakes. Several people are already lined up for the job, which means you are free to focus on more important and appropriate work.
You’re already not using much of the brain potential you possess on an ordinary day. Being pessimistic and negative instead of faithful and hopeful robs you of even more mental strength. You don’t look around long or hard for an item (or an awesome outcome) that you are convinced doesn’t exist.
Most concepts that are related to moral ideas or philosophies or quality can be reduced to a proverb. Doing so can make the concept easier to reference or remember or teach.
Rules work differently. They define or limit actions. They create liberty to do things in one situation and hinder liberties in another.
It is usually a mistake to take a proverb and make it into a rule. As Paul wrote, all things are lawful for one who has faith to walk in danger. Not everything is wise to do, though. Some things I am free to do are stupid.
Good proverbs can lead to wisdom. Even good rules can lead to bandage, though. Rules make me unconsciously feel free from needing the constant advice of the Holy Spirit.
It seemed wise to let James, the brother of Jesus write today’s blog. He had something important to share:
Who is wise and has understanding among you? He should show his works by good conduct with wisdom’s gentleness.
But if you have bitter envy and selfish ambition in your heart, don’t brag and deny the truth. Such wisdom does not come from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic. For where envy and selfish ambition exist, there is disorder and every kind of evil.
But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peace-loving, gentle, compliant, full of mercy and good fruits, without favoritism and hypocrisy. And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace by those who cultivate peace.
James 3:13-18 Holman Christian Standard Bible
In Acts 27, the Spirit of God gave a ship captain and a soldier proper warning that going to sea at the moment was stepping into an enemy’s trap (vs 10 & 11). They valued the captain’s experience more than revelation, and proceeded to sail off. Soon, they were sailing way off.
In spite of the fierceness of the storm, in spite of the refusal of the leaders to honor the revelation, Yahweh saved them because Paul had faith, and he was on a mission. Because of his faith – full presence, the entire crew was saved, and the inhabitants of the island where they crashed were saved.
When you’re surrounded by enemies and warfare, the outcome should not be that you die for your neighbors’ doubt and fear. They should live for your faith and courage and purpose.
Be strong, and very courageous, because Yahweh your God is with you.
When Yahweh encountered the people who were building a tower at Babel, He noticed immediately that they were looking for some alternative to His Kingdom in the earth. He is a King, from everlasting to everlasting, so that’s always what He is noticing.
His response was engineered to empower them to obey His instructions to fill the earth. He divided them into tribes and nations.
He didn’t divide them into kingdoms. They worked that out. They allowed pride and greed and fear of loss to turn them into enemies. They wanted to rule over each other rather than letting Yahweh rule over them.
When someone walks up to us who has the “wrong” hairstyle or clothes or Bible translation or music or accent, we immediately try to pack them into a “those people” box and distance ourselves from them.
Let’s look past the Babel on them and look for the King in them or near them and ask Him how align ourselves to help build what He’s building.
Your enemy said, “I will pursue; I will overtake; I will divide the spoil. My desire will be satisfied at their expense; I will draw my sword, my hands will destroy them.”
But Yahweh blew with His breath, and the waters covered your enemies. They sank like lead in the mighty waters.
Your God prepared a way to safety and Life before there was need for it. (Exodus 15:9,10)
One day all of us will step off the map, into the not-yet-proven; beyond warranties and insurance and money-back guarantees.
We will surrender to the quest for Jesus’ smile. We will stop caring what it costs and how long it takes and how annoyingly inconvenient it is to follow Him into each other’s lives.
We will each lay down our lives so that each other can live abundantly and powerfully. We could go ahead and start earlier than that day if you like.