Monday, January 28, 2008

It is Monday!

Yesterday in church, I was so inspired with many thing on which to post...! I hope you too enjoy the insight the Lord gave to me!

In teens we had a leader give the message instead of the teen pastor, and while the lesson was on lying, a verse in the passage spoke to me more directly than did the overall message.

Ephesians 4:21 If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus:

The point was made in a contrast.

"Hearing about him vs. hearing him and Being taught about him vs. taught by him".

That struck me. I have attended a very good church for so long that is is easy to just glean from the preaching and teaching and feel like I am improving without actually hearing God, or being taught by him. Second hand knowledge. As the passage continues,

22 That ye put off concerning the former conversation the old man, which is corrupt according to the deceitful lusts;
23 And be renewed in the spirit of your mind;
24 And that ye put on the new man, which after God is created in righteousness and true holiness.

The result of actually being taught by and hearing from Jesus is a transformed life, which begins with the renewed spirit of the mind. In a previous post I mentioned the weakened state of the mind in the lives of so many Christians. Perhaps only spoon fed Christians. While they know what they need to do to have spiritual victory, it hasn't been practiced. They have been told from the pulpit (of my church)..."Do not believe what I say- search it out for yourself !" and perhaps have not.

This is not to absolve me of the same guilt! I am perhaps the best second hand learner! It is very easy to hear some preaching, to be in a spiritual conversation, to passively listen to a radio broadcast and feel that because I heard the information, know the verses, and could actually teach it to someone else it must mean I have been taught it from Jesus himself and it has been applied so as to transform my mind. While I never read those verses with the same frame of mind as yesterday, I am still accountable for what they say. Though my actions can suggest a transformed mind, only through true trials and testing will the fruit be revealed.

Which brings me to the second message of my Sunday... again by another pastor, and not our regular Pastor G.!

The message was about Abraham and Isaac and the request God made of him to sacrifice him.

After a particular point, my mind began thinking about why we as humans do not shy away from opportunities to test our abilities. In the areas of art contests and spelling bees, soccer games and technological breakthroughs, we say "Bring it" or "Just do it". I wondered why are we so quick to enter a sporting event where our ultimate goal is to show our strength over an opponent.

So why is it... I continued to wonder, that we as Christians shy away from the things that would prove our faith? We too have an opponent, do we not?

Is it because we fear pain?

Tell that to the foot ball player with cracked ribs.

Is it because there is too much emotional investment?

Let the little 6th grader that has ulcers from the stress of a spelling bee convince you otherwise.

Is it because we are afraid of what others might think?

The losers of every major competition still glory in the fact they at least they made it to the finals!

So many questions!

So what is it?! What would make me hope the Lord would not try me? Why wouldn't I want to enter that arena? Why would I not want the refiners fire in my life?

Does anyone really look forward to trials? No, not really.

Does anyone enjoy the thrill of knowing Jesus more? Absolutely!

And the pain of the journey to get there must be worth it. It says in Hebrews how Jesus endured the cross, all of it, for the joy that was set before him. Because we know he really knew what that joy was all about, we should trust that it really is worth anything we might have to endure. "Our light affliction" as Paul says!

So the truth is, I do want the trials. And Lord please help me to be faithful through it all. But first teach me, and let me hear from you!

Draw me nearer, through the fire

I trust my Saviour- to greater goals I aspire!

To know you more, I rest in your care

Try me - grow my faith, and all my weakness bear

For only when I am undone- does your strength show in me

Teach me Lord- Speak to me, I wait for thee on bended knee.


Mrs. Vicky Smith said...

I loved the second you mind if I borrow the topic for a Sunday School lesson?

Isa said...

Very very good, Thank you! May the Lord continue giving you the strength and grace to press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ and like phillipians 3:13 says "forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before" Thank you again! ^_~

Anonymous said...

I love Mission Mondays!
~orange girl

Janice said...

Transparency comes at a price... you all are now in a position to hold me accountable!

Please be gentle,... but not too gentle!

Does that make sense?!