Monday, October 13, 2014

What Will God Bless?

Colossians 3:17
Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

We need to ask ourselves, "What will God bless?" with regards to everything we do.

I shared "my story" to my church this past week in understanding God's story at Poetry Baptist Church. It was not a "fun" experience, but it did bring great "joy" to those who heard what the Spirit had to say to us that morning.

If we are all honest, there are many roads and reasons we ventured down in the past which we surely would not travel again today if given the opportunity. That's called experience. Sadly, many of our experiences are riddled with mistakes. I am here to tell you that my life is pretty consistent with the normal rate of mistakes.

I gave a synopsis of some pastors I sat under over the years, as well as their struggle to live faithfully while preaching faith. The vast majority of these pastors failed to persist in their followship of Christ, though attempted to maintain their fellowship with the church. Yes, I said "followship" of Christ. I want you to know there is a difference in fellowship and followship. A lot of people come to church, but they rarely come to Christ. A lot of pastors preach about Christ, but they fail to follow Him faithfully.

Why?

Well, you will never know unless you search for truth uninhibited by unhealthy relationships. That means that you must recognize your own emotional, physical, spiritual health in order to adequately discern the relationships and demands around you. You can be walking about with some infectious disease unknowingly infecting others to your and their demise. You may consider yourself to be healthy, or perhaps you just consider yourself to be fool-proof, not recognizing your own faults due to selfish and prideful interests. We fail to see ourselves as we truly are because we consider ourselves better off than the person next to us.

I have walked the trail of broken pastors and even broken families enough to know ... the church in America today is messed up due to a popularity contest. Not all churches are messed up and struggling to survive, but the vast majority are and certainly on the down swing of healthy growth. There is a world on its way to Armageddon while the church is on its way to sleep. We have messed up families which fill our messed up churches, all the while our messed up communities continue to invest in messed up policies. There seems to be little revival and a lot less redemption evident these days. A pastor and his family are key ingredients to the direction and health of a community of faith. With statistics ringing in our ears about pastors leaving the ministry "every 26 minutes" and churches splitting to advance their own popularity, no wonder God is absent in the midst of community.

If you understand that Romans 3:23 is global, including yourself, then you will come to grips with the call to repentance and seek first God's kingdom and righteousness. We are all messed up, but we don't have to stay that way. One pastor friend stated, "At some point all of us show ourselves and our level of emotional health. ... God will not promote us beyond our level of emotional health and if we promote ourselves we will fail." This is the point: "God loves us too much to promote us into failure."

Our world is about fear. Our God is about faith. Our jobs restrain us to fear. Our testimony reminds us of faith. Our family might be haunted by fear. Our church must be a house of faith. If you make decisions based on fear, you will continue to become emotionally unhealthy. However, if you should choose faith, then you can find all the sufficiency you need in Christ (Phil. 4:13). God is at work... are we confident enough to engage the opportunities He leads us through faithfully?

Romans 8:28 And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose.