Monday, February 21, 2011

I Hate This Part (1)

I hate two-parters. I mean, really. Whenever I see some youtube video that says, "AMAZING VIDEO .... part 1/2" it just irritates me. Perhaps that has something to do with my generations problem of wanting every piece of information in bite-sized pieces. But, alas, I must throw up a two-parter. Take it how you may.

Peanut butter and jelly. Dogs and fire hydrants. Bagels and cream cheese. McDonald's and obesity. What do all of these things have in common? They go together. Sure, each of these things on their own are pretty good, but together they unite forces to form a brilliant combination. (except for that last one, maybe)

The Bible also points out certain things that go together. Let's take a look. John 4:24 says that "true worshipers will worship the Father in Spirit and truth." For the sake of the whole "two parter" deal, let's examine what that means as it relates to the first part: worshiping in Spirit.

Y'know I'm mostly tired these days. Tired of sin. Tired of worldly pressure. Tired of the world's slow, agonizing decay. But out of all of the things I'm tired of, I have to make the distinction of something I'm sick of, and what is that?


Let me explain. There are certain prerogatives, commands, and promises in Scripture, like using faith "the size of a mustard seed" to "move mountains." Or Jesus telling us that we can do "even greater things" than He did. Or "for me to live is Christ, and to die is gain." Or thirsting for God like "a deer thirsts for water." (which is an intense, soul-wrenching desire coming from the pit of despair) Or loving Christ so much to the extent where your love for anything else, even your own family, looks like hatred compared to how much you love Him.

These are all ideas that we, as Bible-believing, church-going, small-group-leading Christians believe, right? We say, "Yeah, I believe that can happen. I hear all the time about people in Africa or Asia doing great works of the Holy Spirit." But that is where we have missed it ladies and gentlemen.

Those promises are not for "those radical, powerful Christians over there," they are for US. It isn't for the SUPER-Christian, who spends his days with his head in the clouds, it is for the Christian. These are not radical ideas that apply only to those people, but they are EXPECTED from us in our normal lives!

That being said, we should, according to what was said before, move mountains, do works greater than those of Christ, live in complete pursuit of the Father's will, thirst intensely for the presence of God, and treat everything in such a way that it looks like nothing compared to the "surpassing greatness of knowing Christ." Right?

So why AREN'T WE!?

We've become so SATISFIED! We take the measure of Christ that we've had so far and say its enough! We aren't willing to dive into the ocean of God's glory and drink the power of the Holy Spirit!

Now, at the words "Holy Spirit," some Baptists might be going wild right now. They may think that "I'm going Pentecostal on them." But let me remind you, brothers and sisters, that the Holy Spirit is not a Pentecostal thing. It's a God thing.

So what do we do? Realize the problem, and never do anything about it? Cuz lemme tell you, I've seen so many people recognize sin in their lives, feel a conviction, and never follow through with taming that issue. That does absolutely nothing to help you, God, or anyone. So what I'm asking for is action.

Luke 11:5-13 says it better than I ever could:
"So I say to you: ASK and it will be given to you; SEEK and you will find; KNOCK and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. "Which of you fathers, if your son asks for a fish, will give him a snake instead? Or if he asks for an egg, will give him a scorpion? If you then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give the Holy Spirit to those who ask him!"

There it is, guys. SEEK the Holy Spirit. It's really not complicated. Pray for the faith that He will reveal Himself to you, because He promised that He will! If you don't believe that God follows through on His promises, you might as well just stop reading now, cuz you've got bigger fish to fry.

Take time to go to your "secret place," and shut everything off. And I mean everything. Cell phone? Off. Tv? Off. Lights, radio, and ipod? Off. Take time and yes, read the Scriptures, but come before the Lord instead of just reading about doing it. "Don't rush into His presence with words, as fools do," but come before him and "be still." Ask God to calm your mind down from all distractions. Ask God to reveal himself to you, and communicate with you, but then here's the hard part:


Don't just say "I want to know your voice," but then not listen for it! Spend some more time in silence waiting upon the Holy Spirit to do something. And if He chooses to not reveal Himself at that time, don't be upset. This require a daily discipline of actively seeking Him and wanting to experience His glory, and may take a lifetime to achieve. But don't be discouraged. To borrow the advice of a little sea creature, "Just keep swimming."

This, my friends, is one of the biggest reasons that the American church has so failed. The church has failed, and we always blame problems on the church, but the only problem is, well, we are the church. Although not Scriptural, I believe very strongly that "we need to be the change we wish to see in the world."

And older people tend to say, "Well, the only reason that person is saying that is because he is young, and there is a tendency towards extremism and sensationalism in youth." But, once again, I'm not talking about extremism, or being a radical.

I'm talking about following Christ.


I have to say, I normally don't like things in two parts either, but I think this may be an exception as I am really looking forward to reading part two. Once again, this is exactly what has been on my mind lately and I really needed to read this. Thank you.

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