Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Spiritually Sluggish?

It doesn't take much to get sluggish in the fast-paced, packed full of activity, world that we currently reside in. As a matter of fact, the Bible tells us it only takes "a little"  to get to a difficult place. 

"I went past the field of the sluggard, past the vineyard of the man who lacks judgment; thorns had come up everywhere, the ground was covered with weeds, and the stone wall was in ruins.  I applied my heart to what I observed and learned a lesson from what I saw: A little sleep, a little slumber, a little folding of the hands to rest- and poverty will come on you like a bandit and scarcity like an armed man."

You notice it doesn't say a lot of sleep.... a lot of slumber.... a lot of folding of your hands.  And also take note how poverty snuck up on him.  A great plan of our enemy don't you think?  I mean he is a deceiver.  He does make himself the master of taking something our Lord meant for good...."rest"...and twist it in a way that it becomes harmful. 

Why is it so important to have spiritual stamina?  In 2 Timothy 3:1-9, Paul warns us of Godlessness in the Last Days. 
....people will be lovers of themselves, lovers of money, boastful, proud, abusive, disobedient to their parents, ungrateful, unholy, without love, unforgiving, slanderous, without self-control, brutal, not lovers of the good, treacherous, rash, conceited, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God-having a form of godliness but denying its power. Have nothing to do with them. 

I want to make something very clear, Paul, a man of sound doctrine, confidence, steadfast faith and endurance and enduring love was not saying we should hate on these people or even talk badly of them.  What he is saying is to be spiritually alert to recognize how toxic this can be for you to allow this to influence you.   Yes, sometimes you just don't have a choice but to be surrounded by it.  It's in the church, it's at your work, and sometimes it's in your family. 

Take heart though!  The Lord always provides what you need.  Proverbs tells us that YOU need to pursue it.  Studying and meditating on God's word is as vital to our souls as food is to our bodies.  Without food we feel sluggish, shaky, grumpy, and often sick.  It is the answer!

"All scripture is God breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." @ Timothy 3:16-17

But after that....you gotta do something with that!  We can not be Christians who just read a lot of His word and sit on it.  It might hurt and get messy to actually use it.  The analogy of the vineyard with weeds and thorns would have meant someone had to take care of that when they saw it.  We've got this and He's got us! 

Don't fool yourself and pretend that your vineyard is in tip-top shape if it's not. 

Living this out daily,
The Mrs. Pastor

p.s. I'm close to hitting 6000 views on my blog.  Who would have thought this would go anywhere? 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

The Blacklist

We all have this list of weaknesses  that we wish not to talk about.  Let's call it our "blacklist".  It's those things that you would gladly get rid of in a heart beat.  When someone is on a blacklist you know it's just a matter of time before they are removed or confronted.  It's not something anyone looks forward to. 

It's like that famous interview question that is uncomfortable for many.  You know the one...."list your weakness"  It's even worse when they put a number out there....list 4!!!!  You might give a cushy answer because you are afraid your blacklist is just too black.   NO ONE wants to admit their weak areas, but here it is, if we don't, our enemy will.  He will expose every single one and find just the right moment to bring us down with them.  He did this with King David.

I wonder if David surrendered these areas daily to the Lord , making himself accountable to God, he might not have committed adultery, arranged the murder of Uriah, disobeyed God by taking a census of the people, and ignored dealing decisively with the sins of his children.  The strength of David is that he accepted the consequences and learned from his mistakes.  He did not sin repeatedly.  Can we say the same?

If we really mean the scripture "search me, O Lord, and know my heart" then we must take what comes with it....truth.  If WE are the problem at work, then WE need to fix it and quit blaming it on others or making some excuse to lift ourselves up.  If WE are the problem at home, then WE need to fix WE.  If WE are the problem during worship, WE need to not blame it on the music.  If WE are the problem in our spiritual life, WE don't blame it on "not being fed"....feed yourself.  The church is only responsible for setting up an environment of worship, fellowship, teaching, giving, and serving.  The majority of your growth should take place in your own space at home with God's word in your lap.  If WE are the problem, it doesn't mean others don't play some type of role but if I've said it once I've said it a thousand times.  WE ARE RESPONSIBLE FOR OURSELVES.  The rest is up to God.

God wants to bless his children.  He wants his children to grow daily.  He has plans for good, BUT we play an important role in that plan.  As much as we pray for His blessing, we should pray that He is pleased with us.  In proverbs it talks about the first step of great wisdom is the fear of the Lord.  That is referring to such great respect for His thoughts and ways that is has a great influence on our daily decisions. 

Today's verse to stand on:
" O Sovereign Lord, you are God!" Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant.  Now be pleased to bless the house of your servant, that it may continue forever in your sight; for you, O Sovereign Lord, have spoken, and with your blessing the house of your servant will be blessed forever." 2 Samuel 7:28-29

Check that list.

The Mrs. Pastor