You know, I’ve always thought of things stealing my joy, my hope, my faith as an outside perspective; referring to outside the Christian sub-culture. But now, I am learning that there is as much on the inside that I must guard against from just as well. As I blog and find sites that appeal to me and my interests at one moment or the next, I have learned that if we are not careful, we can really get sucked into an-others way of thinking and forget where we stand on an issue, or better yet, where God stands or what is Biblical. No doubt it’s good to have different opinions and ideas, but if we are not careful our kind hearted critiques can turn into a tool the devil will use to get us off balance and loose our focus on the bigger picture. This is exactly what happened to me today, and may of been happening on this blog for some time now. Again, it’s hard to see, especially when my commenter’s can rally around my pains and frustrations at the time. Let me explain. So I have this passion for the church to be all that it can be. I know that is a loaded statement, but it basically boils down to surrendering our lives over completely so God can get to work and we’ll get radically changed and begin to live for Him alone. No more lip service, but a total life of obedience! But I have found that as great as living victoriously is, we still have the problems of this life, but yes, there is hope! We need to be in the Word of God to get fed and to stand on the promises. Tonight I watched Lifechurch.tv; (I am totally addicted to this)! Guest speaker, Jentezen Franklin did a sermon on “God is Able”. he was talking about how we need to get victory over 5 “kings” in our lives as they relate to the 5 senses.
1. The Sense of What We Smell: I don’t want to “smell” like my problems. He talked about in the Old Testiment priests would burn incense to get rid of a foul odor; and that burning incense was actually a form of worship. We need to get victorious over our problems and still believe God is able. Just because you have been burned by a church, a job, a relationship, ect.. DON’T SMELL LIKE IT BY CARRYING IT AROUND WITH YOU! LET IT GO B/C GOD IS ABLE AND WANTS TO HEAL AND RESTORE!
2. The Sense of What We Touch : In the Old Testament, Isaac went on His feelings when He felt Jacob’s hand but recognized the correct voice( Gen. 27:21-25) thus giving the blessing to the wrong son. If we go by what we feel instead of what we hear from God’s word, we will miss it every time. Feelings will mess us up. Don’t let your feelings get you down. I’m not working for man, but for God.
3. The Sense of What We See: God has promised victory! We walk by faith and not by site. Just because we can’t see what God is doing in the moment, doesn’t mean He’s not working. God does some of His most powerful work behind the scenes. This is what builds up our faith and carries us through the hard times in life.
4. The Sense of What We Hear: Luke 8:18 “So pay attention to how you hear. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given. But for those who are not listening, even what they think they understand will be taken away from them” NLT. This goes right back to what I was saying in the beginning of this post. Don’t get sucked into all the noise, even in Christian circles, but test it all against the word of God. I know this is not always easy, when we think our intentions are good, but oh, how they can get skewed if we are not careful! This is exactly what happened to me as I talked to a friend about some of her issues. I found myself rallying for her and her pain, but later realized that she like me had gotten caught up into the role of being a victim in our circumstances and not a victor. There comes a point in our pain that we have to acknowledge the hurt and surrender it over to God, even if it’s more than one time. How timely this message was for me! Earlier I had written a page of notes on some of my old issues, and later and much happier, found myself shredding that piece of paper, claiming victory once again from my past.
5. The Sense of What We Taste: Do not become bitter from your hurts and rejections. Luke 6:35 “Love your enemies, do good to them. Lend to them without being expected to be repaid. Then your reward from heaven will be very great, and you will truly be acting as children of The Most High, for He is kind to those who are unthankful and wicked”. Ouch! This is a really hard area for me, but I think I am making some head way. We all want acceptance, but we have to remember to strive to get that need met by Christ alone. It’s hard, but I am reminded here too that in my weakness He is made strong.
So as I was encouraged by this in a big way, I too, want to encourage you the next time you find yourself in a pool of doubt, fear, unbelief, loss of hope, or frustration. At those times really try nad check how you are feeling, what are you saying, who are you listening to? If you are hurt or frustrated ask yourself why; and how would Jesus handle such a problem? I know many times, He’d slip away and go into prayer. Thank God we have the Bible and prayer and churches and others! Let us not loose our focus of reaching out to others in a broken world, but acknowledge our issues, pray for help, and get on with the things with God! Amen!