Sunday, March 15, 2015

911....what's your emergency?

When you are in an emergency which requires immediate safety/medical attention, one of two things happen.  You make an emergency call or a witness makes it for you.  Without the help of an emergency crew, the situation could be fatal.
In our lives we have our very own witness who is on duty 24/7.  His name is the Holy Spirit.  He makes the call and he provides the help.  The problem is we don't always accept the help.  He sees that a situation, an action, a decision that needs immediate attention or it could be fatal and yet we refuse service.  The lights are going off, the sirens are loud, everything about it feels not right, and yet we continue forward in awareness of possible fatality.
It 's called conviction.   I'm sure if I would have named this post "conviction", I would have less readers.  No one likes conviction.  I'm certain the prince of this world has his own crew of "pride" that makes sure conviction sees no victory.  It has been a battle since the beginning of time.  From the fallen angel who felt no conviction to Adam and Eve in the garden.  You can read throughout God's word of situations where conviction was heeded and where it was not.  The result was either change for the better or disaster turning into fatality (physical or spiritual).
We see a perfect example of this in Psalm 51 when Nathan approaches David about his decisions.  David could have easily been so angry with Nathan that he had him killed.  He could have made Nathan his enemy for brining something up that was none of his business.  He could have asked Nathan to leave the kingdom and not ever come back.  But he didn't!  He repented. The Holy Spirit knew it was an emergency and needed David to repent and move forward !
The entire chapter is the most beautiful psalm of repentance.  One I would encourage to be a part of your daily reading.  A good gut check if you will.  I will highlight a few verses for the sake of this post:
Verse 10-13
"Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.  Do not cast me away from your presence, and do not take away your Holy Spirit from me.  Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to you

This is a person heeding conviction and begging God to renew and move him forward in God.  This also shows that unless we allow that to take place in our lives we are unable to reach the lost.  Notice what needs to take place first in our life before we can help others.
No it doesn't feel good....it's the worst feeling.  It's much easier to blame others, find an avenue to justify, or simply ignore.....yes that's easier but not productive.  It's miserable.  It's heavy.  It's immobilizing us from moving forward and receiving Gods personal best.  I love at the end of the chapter that it says "the sacrifices of God are a broken spirit, a broken and a contrite heart- these o God, you will not despise."

To know He is waiting to welcome my repentful heart rather than shake his head at me with shame....makes the process not so terrifying.

I'm listening Lord!
The Mrs. Pastor

Sunday, March 8, 2015

Your Measuring Stick

I must ask the question! What is your measuring stick in your spiritual life? This seems like an elementary question, possibly one you would brush to the side, and yet it says much about us.  

There is much that I've learned in my Christian walk, as you have.  But  I can say confidently that I've learned even more when the Lord put me in a leadership role.  My latest inspiration comes by a good read "The Leadership Lessons of Jesus" by Bob Briner & Ray Pritchard.  

Leadership simply means being a person of influence... Pointing people not to ourselves or our ways but to His ways.  This requires a "measuring" if you will.  And what will you measure with? His word says we have a choice.  We can use the "wisdom of this world" , which he says does not come from heaven but is "earthly" and "unspiritual".  Or you can use the "wisdom that comes from heaven which is pure, then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere".  James 3

As elementary as it seems, I must point people to the answer: God's Word!  When you have the knowledge in your mind, then you meditate on it so it stays in your heart.  When it stays in your heart then you are passionate about it and it comes out of your mouth.  

If you are measuring your actions, words, and decisions against God's standards then you should quickly feel the conviction.  This takes place when it's in your heart. The knowledge part is actually the easy step.  We all can be knowledgable about many things but do nothing with it.  I can be knowledgable about the speed limit but choose not to obey it.  It's that convicting voice that moves us to a deep place. A place of depth and intensity.  Where is that voice coming from? The world? Your earthly flesh? Your feelings? Or is it coming from the Holy Spirit?
Let me help you answer that question.  Does your place lead you to peace, love, forgiveness, submissive, mercy, good fruit? If so, then you must be using Gods Word to direct you. 

I love the words from R.C Sprout in his book Pleasing God, " our conscience ( which I'm calling conviction) acts as a kind of governor upon our behavior.  It's the inner voice that either accuses or excuses us. It monitors our behavior by either approval or disapproval. ....we are adept at training it in the direction of self-approval....in order to function in godly way it must be influenced by godly conviction"... 

My scripture for you to stand on: psalm 119:33-40
Teach me, O Lord, the way of your statues, and I shall keep it to the end. Give me understanding, and I shall keep your law; indeed, I shall observe it with my whole heart. Make me walk in your commandments, For I delight in it.  Incline my heart to your testimonies, and not to covetousness. Turn away my eyes from looking at worthless things ( can I say a big amen here), and revive me in your way. Establish your word in your servant, who is devoted to fearing you. Turn away my reproach which I dread, for judgements are good. Behold, I long for your precepts; revive me in your righteousness. 

I'm measuring, 
The Mrs. Pastor