by David Brenneman
There's a home inspector who makes video's that always begin with him showing the viewer something and inevitably he says "It's not supposed to do that".
After each thing he finds and shows, he says that line. I've seen so many of them that when something I see isn't working right, I can hear him say "It's not supposed to do that.".
In recent days God's taken me to write about parts of the body of Christ and what they are supposed to be doing. The Bible says that the Spirit is the one who sets the members of the body of Christ where He sees fit. We read earlier in the New Testament that the Spirit of God is "the Helper" that Jesus said would come. In the original language it's interpreted as "another of the same kind" as Jesus. Thus the three in one God, the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit all are God.
But when running into people not doing what they are to be doing in Christ and it's obvious it makes it harder to know what to do or say. Sometimes those people are Prodigal's. Sons or daughters of God who are indeed saved yet have not come back around just yet. Some are intentional about staying on the side-lines when that's not what God wants of those who are in Christ. We come to Jesus to be saved, we receive the same command as written to the Disciples. Historically speaking when they weren't doing the 'Go therefore..." part of that command God caused the world situation to change in order to cause them to get out and preach the word to the world. Thus the great persecution of the Church in it's beginning.
What came to mind this morning along all of this, when I woke up, was this passage in Romans 10:14-17 NASB "How then are they to call on Him in whom they have not believed? How are they to believe in Him whom they have not heard? And how are they to hear without a preacher? But how are they to preach unless they are sent? Just as it is written: "How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news of good things!" However, they did not all heed the good news; for Isaiah says, "Lord who has believed our report?" So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ."
This comes before Romans 11:29 NASB, obviously, where we read that "the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.". When we come to Christ we are indeed cleansed of sin, and we begin a new life in Him, for Him. Out of gratitude for all that He's done for us. Some of it's honestly going to shake us to our core and rightly so. Sometimes we're going to be on the mountain tops, sometimes we're going to think we're never leaving the deep dark valley's of life.
Sometimes it's going to appear like one or the other is never ending. But it does. All storms come and go. Which is one of the reasons why I love Mark Lowry's one video where he mentions his love for the passage "it came to pass". It didn't come to stay. Whatever we're facing in life it will pass.
But sometimes we don't wait. Sometimes the pain, the hurt, or even the apparent joy and apparent peace, are enough to sideline us from serving God in the way His Spirit intended us to. I was prompted to remind by the words of Charley Pride's "This Highway Leads to Glory" the other day that there's always always always going to be signs to get you to get off the road. No different than billboards on any major interstate in the United States. They only make money if you decide it's worth your time to get off and purchase an item or a service. Satan's only effective if we decide what we see is worth it to go after.
Emotional pain that goes on and on can easily tempt us to take one of those off ramps. Being under immense stress can. Been there, done that. Before we moved I gave away all the t-shirts that proved it. The hardest thing for me at times is that while I may KNOW where someone's headed, if they aren't ready to hear it, I can't tell them what they won't accept in the here and now moment.
Many will stand before Jesus to give an account of their lives in Christ and have not a whole lot to show for it because they gave up. Because they decided it was too much so they pulled off the highway and turned off the car. Some will because of the things that they were going through either physically, emotionally, or both. Sadly it's taken God much of my life to get me to this point where I am in my life today about some things. By no means have I arrived, I just have learned to wait rather than to jump the gun. I don't always, but am getting there more than I used to.
There are indeed those who are born to be preachers of the Word. When you hear them you know it. Billy Graham certainly was. You can tell it in Dr. David Jeremiah. You can tell it in Dr. Charles Stanley. Dr. John C. Whitcomb, whom I've spoken of as well. Their love of God far exceeded or exceeds their views on trials and problems.
The thing is we who are in Christ are to be examples of the Light of Christ to the world in all respects. There's no turning it on or off just because we went to work or got in the car for a drive in a busy city. We don't get a card that exempts us under certain circumstances. Look at the lives of the pillars of the Old Testament who were commended by their faith. Quite often in the book of Hebrews Chapter 11 it's called the "Faith Chapter". It's certainly 40 verses of reminders from God that to stay the course, to finish the race well, is worth it.
We won't ever know it if we don't pursue it. If we don't heed the words of the Apostle Paul in staying the course, in finishing the race.
We will indeed face things that are going to be hard. We will and we need to realize we aren't the one doing that work in us to make us more like Christ. The Spirit is. He's going to have to do spiritual surgeries that are NOT going to feel good in order to make us more like Christ. Our giving up isn't going to stop that. It's going to delay that, but it's not going to stop that.
Our taking the easy way out isn't either. We have a calling that we read in Romans 11:29 that says that it's from God and it's irrevocable. We read in 1 Corinthians 12:12-27 that begins with "For just as the body is one and yet has many parts, and all the parts of the body, though they are many, are one body, so also is Christ." Just as Paul goes on to write to the Corinthians so it's written to us. "If the foot says, "Because I'm not a hand, I am not a part of the body," it is not for this reason any less a part of the body." (NASB).
Because our role isn't turning out to be what we expected in the body it doesn't make it on us to try to change that or to deny it or to stop doing it. We all have a part in the body who are in Christ Jesus, if indeed we are saved through Christ and are in Christ.
So indeed it's difficult knowing how to address things when people aren't supposed to do that.
It's not easy when people choose to be stubborn when you can see the train wreck that's coming.
Have seen many people go through this because of pride. Pride blinds people to the real truth.
We read of Jesus looking over a city and telling the Disciples to pray to the Lord of the Harvest that He may send out more workers into His harvest.
Guess what...that's every single believer who's come to Christ.
When you look at your life, are you trying to figure out how to hide on the sidelines or are you being an Isaiah "Here am I! Send me!".
When you look at your life, have you been just trying to muddle through each day hoping that you don't have to say or do anything to others about God?
When you look at your life, are you trying to recreate yourself into another part of the body of Christ because the part chosen for you by God is getting too painful or got too painful to you?
When you look at your life, would YOU look at you and say "Well done" as we all hope to hear from Jesus when we give an account of our lives before Him?
Will your life show a life of running from God or will it show a life spent running to God? Quite often lives are cut short because people, even Christian's, display a heart unwilling to bend to the will of God for them. For all who come to Christ 2 Thessalonians 4:3a says that His will is our sanctification. Our becoming more and more like Jesus while we yet breathe the breath of life in this world. That workmanship we read in Ephesians 2:10 is that sanctification process. That process by which we take off the old self and put on the new self in Christ...Ephesians 4:22-24.
Look at Jonah a different way. We read of his resistance to the will of God and his running. He had a genuine hatred for the people of Nineveh. He wanted them dead, wanted all of them dead. Jesus tells him that he's not seeing what God sees. In that moment of time, one person would make all the difference in a generation of people turning to God. One person. In our day, one person often is all it takes for God to cause a Spirit lead revival starting. All real true revivals are began by the Spirit of God, not by someone throwing out a tent and saying that they are having one.
One person, called of God, obedient to God can change a generation. That's when a body part of Christ does what it's supposed to be doing...the body works together as intended by the Spirit of God to touch the lives of those around us. When that body part of Christ is either fighting or has given up then it's putting a burden on the other parts of the body to pick up the slack. Put your arm in a sling and try to live a normal life as if it wasn't. Your other body parts try to make up for the inactivity of that part you immobilized.
I've said before that much of what I'm lead to write comes from lessons learned. This is one of them. I tried to jump ahead of God thinking I knew where He was going and I wasn't prepared for it. I hadn't learned the job that I was going to be doing yet...His way. I also had tried to sit on the sidelines hoping that the Rapture would happen and I wouldn't be put in any more situations that caused me grief and stress. I had also tried to be some other part of the body that wasn't for me to be. Tried to also only help those who were Christian's as well and not do what I was called to do. Let me tell you, it's a rough set of lessons.
We often quit and give up because we see the man in the mirror as ourselves not being good enough or strong enough. So we keep trying on other clothes to make that man in the mirror look like someone else in order to feel better about ourselves. Doesn't work that way when it's not the new self in Christ that we're putting on.
Timothy was commanded to preach the word, in season and out of season, when people wanted to hear it and when they didn't. Paul was talking about those in the body of Christ probably more so than those people that Timothy would run into from the world. In the other letters of Paul he warns of false teachers and that they would be in the Church trying to change the Church in ways that God did not want.
Look at your life today and really be truthful to yourself...ask God plainly if you're really living the life that HE intended for you to be living.
Are you that light hidden under a basket that isn't showing itself to the world? Not supposed to do that.
Are you sitting on the sidelines waiting for the return of Christ hoping to not be called into the game? Not supposed to do that.
Are you deciding what you are going to do in service to God instead of what you were called to do by the Spirit? Not supposed to do that.
Have you pulled off the road of life that leads to Heaven instead of pressing on? Not supposed to do that.
We may feel better when we are doing what we're not supposed to be doing...but in the process...we grieve the Holy Spirit by doing so.
Not supposed to do that.
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