Sunday, December 17, 2017
Sunday Message: It is control?
So today at work (I typed this last Monday night), I was listening first thing (as usual) to David Jeremiah as he told a story of his early days in Ft Wayne. It involved starting out with equipment that was legendarily crappy and ancient (kinda like what we get from our Missouri plant), and how one day a viewer from Ohio asked him to stop in. The man had a daughter in her twenties- totally confined to what was basically a crib. She never passed infantile level mentally or emotionally. But there was ONE thing in the day to day world she ever reacted to- Jeremiah's Turning Point program. In thanks for providing her one spark of life, the family bought Jeremiah all brand new equipment- so that now his clothes didn't "change color" every time he moved.
You get that? God used this woman-child, who might never have affected the world beyond her nuclear family- to bring the Gospel- not only in clearer form to Ft Wayne, but to grow that ministry into what it is today. How powerful a God to make such change from such a fragile shell!
And it made me think of my own ministry, if you like, on my Sunday Messages. Because in a way I am like that girl. I have not been the fully-developed Christian I should be. Perhaps not a baby needing the first "milk" of the word, but certainly far from where I should be. And yet, God shows that He can use me.
But it should be better. The topics I address are borne of the battles I fight, and the battles I fight have a lot more to do with my level of maturity and obedience (or lack thereof) than my closeness in my walk with Christ, or my oneness with the Spirit. Put another way, that girl shamed me.
I know that man's odds of me ever being where I should be are dim. And if you are an outsider, you'd prolly say, "Don't worry, you ain't no worse than all the other alleged Christians out there." Because from the outside, we seem to pretend to Godhood or at least sainthood. But here's the thing about outsiders: they don't read the Word and understand. It's just words to them.
If they did, they wouldn't have to go any farther than the historical books of 1-2 Kings and Chronicles. After Solomon, Israel was split in two- ten tribes abandoning Jerusalem for a bastardized faith, two holding fast to the true faith. Or did they? Look at it this way. The ten that abandoned the faith of Moses and Abraham, NONE of their kings walked in the way of the Lord. Not surprising; but what of the two tribes, the ones who held the legacy, who worshipped at the Temple? You would think the advantages that they had, the resources still available to them, the prophets sent day and night to them, that they would have done better.
But only HALF of those kings walked in the way of the Lord. And far fewer ever did anything to bring the people back to God.
Those were the Chosen People. And you expect that Christians of today, with Jesus a couple millennia back in history, could really do better?
We SHOULD. We have the Holy Spirit with us, instead of just with the occasional prophet or king, who could always lose that spirit if he did not obey. But guess what, still human. Still breathe, still bleed, still have the sin nature.
A couple weeks back, I wrote about Focus-Surround-Control. But I think perhaps control is a poor word for what we do. Control implies we have something to do with the ultimate success. Perhaps reliance would be better, because what "control" boils down to is making the choice to rely on God at the point of decision. Control says we weigh the rights and wrongs of a thing and make the best choice; but what it really comes down to is everything else vs "WWJD". And that I didn't stress that in those posts shows how very far I have to go before I get to where that young lady was, in control of nothing, but willing to be used as a tool in God's hands.