Tag Archives: determination

I’m not raising babies in the ministry

Dressing for Success takes on a whole new meaning when you’re talking about church, at least for me. I’m not referring to what you physically wear to church, I’m pretty flexible on that matter, just be decent, and be in church, and I’m a happy camper.  I’m talking about what you spiritually wear to church.

If you’ve been in church any time at all you’ve likely heard a sermon or two preached from Ephesians 6 on the whole armor of God. It’s a necessary sermon for getting through life’s every day battles that leave more than a dent or two on us. But what about the armor we wear to church? Is there such a thing?

I personally want a sermon preached to me that when it’s over my toes are bruised from all the times they’ve been stepped on. I know that’s not the norm. Most people like a sermon that powders their tush and makes them feel all fluffy inside. My opinion of that, is that’s what gotten America in the shape she’s in. My friend Roger preached last night and hit the nail on the head when he said, “We’ve quit preaching on personal sin.” Nobody wants anyone to hold them accountable, they especially don’t want God to hold them accountable. We want the Lord of love but we don’t want the Lord of accountability. Just save us Lord, then leave us be. And so the world now caters to that in churches across the land because it brings numbers… or does it?

I’ve heard those against the mega churches say that those churches are full because it’s easy believism being preached. There are those I’m sure. But I’ve listened to several that stir my soul. And I’ve been in little churches that have been mighty in the Spirit and some that were few in number because nobody was preaching a message of conviction to make anyone loyal to God. We need what David knew was necessary for successful living in Psalm 139:23 when he said “Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me and know my thoughts.” David didn’t want baby powder, he wanted talcum powder from a work out with God.  We need a strong word to make us stronger. Weak words do just that, they weakens us. So stomp my toes Mr. Preacher and I’ll wear the appropriate attire for church.

Fully Dressed

In earlier times, pre-spanking days, a father wouldn’t send you to your room to think about what you’d done. He’d fully dress ya. Maybe that’s a word from our region, I’m not sure, and I really never heard it from my own dad, but I’ve been fully dressed on more than one occasion by God.

10 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. 11 Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Put on the whole armor, not just part of it. While we think of this as verses for life, it’s also verses for church. We need to be prepared to hear the word of God because in that place of worship the first one to show up for a service is Satan himself. He’s got every open pew filled with evil. And with the churches of today, there’s plenty of open seats. But while we’re there we need to come prepared to hear the word of God even if that means we’re gonna be fully dressed by him. That is how we grow. We discipline our children so they know there’s a better way, God does His children no different.

Fully Drawn

12 For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Entering a spirit filled service of the Lord should find our minds fully drawn into the Holy Spirit. Focused on what He’d have us to know even if that means putting on blinders to all else in the room. Satan knows the house of God is a place of business for God. It’s not the only place He works but it’s one of the best. So it’s there that Satan launches an attack to keep eyes and minds off the sermon. He’ll do it with people, thoughts, bugs, babies, anything that can pull your mind away from the word. Get fully drawn into God when you hit the building.

Fully Determined

None of my three points sound like something you put on until you think of them in the spiritual sense. Being dressed, drawn and determined are all spiritual mindsets that must be put on inwardly and worn outwardly so that the not only Satan and his cronies can see it, but others can see it.

13 Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. 14 Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; 15 And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; 16 Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. 17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Each piece of the spiritual armor has a purpose to shielding us from the wickedness of the spiritual realm. But one of the most detrimental things to the spiritual man is self. We have to allow God to dress us when we’re drifting away from His purpose. We have to allow ourselves to be drawn to the spiritual side rather than the flesh and we have to put on that determination before we ever enter the service of God.

Fully Devoted

18 Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; 19 And for me, that utterance may be given unto me, that I may open my mouth boldly, to make known the mystery of the gospel, 20 For which I am an ambassador in bonds: that therein I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

We need to wear it, but above all we need to speak it. Telling others about Christ is a devotion few have any more. They’re devoted to Sunday morning… not so much Monday through Saturday. Tonight is Wednesday and I’ll teach this thought to my teens, because I’m not raising babies in my ministry. I want them battle ready when they hit life head on!0

You can’t hold hands and skip with the world and take a stand

chick hold hands with world

The story of Esther is one of my favorites in the Bible, though I have many, but this morning it is not my favorite character of Esther that I seem to be drawn to in my hour of need from the Lord. It’s her uncle Mordecai; a devout Jew who stood his ground and raised another generation (Queen Esther) to do likewise.

In rebellious arrogance the government of the day had ordered the people, Jew and non-Jew to bow down before their presence, but Mordecai refused. Oh, this sent Haman, who had just received a promotion above the princes into a snit! He tattled to the King who desired to keep his evil minions happy, and at Haman’s plotting the King ordered the Jews destroyed and placed a hefty bounty upon their heads.

Esther 3:8-10  ~ And Haman said unto king Ahasuerus, There is a certain people scattered abroad and dispersed among the people in all the provinces of thy kingdom; and their laws are diverse from all people; neither keep they the king’s laws: therefore it is not for the king’s profit to suffer them. If it please the king, let it be written that they may be destroyed: and I will pay ten thousand talents of silver to the hands of those that have the charge of the business, to bring it into the king’s treasuries. And the king took his ring from his hand, and gave it unto Haman the son of Hammedatha the Agagite, the Jews’ enemy.

I’ve always been a little weird, but God made me diverse (different) from the day of salvation. He spoke clearly to my heart “I have saved you for such a time as this;” which happens to be a quote from Esther 4:14. God called me out of the world but into the world, which didn’t seem the least bit odd at the time. I no longer desired what the world thought was important, but the world was important to me because I wanted to see them saved. So that was and is my mission. Another early verse that God gifted me with was 1 Peter 2:9 ~ But ye are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, an holy nation, a peculiar people; that ye should shew forth the praises of him who hath called you out of darkness into his marvellous light; I knew beyond a shadow of a doubt I was different. I was also brought to a church with the motto “Discover the Difference,” believing that there should be a difference between us and the world.

But twenty years later I find myself struggling with the world which vies for my attention like never before. Going full time ministry was not an easy decision, it meant giving up “things” and most of all it meant giving up control. I no longer bring an income into my home and many of the things that my income provided must now be provided by God or not at all which may be His will. It put my faith to the test and put new distractions in my path. I not only have more time to devote to God, I have more time that can be devoted to worldly things too and it’s been a real struggle. The things I struggle with the world says are fine. They don’t even look at it as an issue for Christians because it’s not wrong… but it’s not what God called me to do. I struggle with job opportunities, music and notions that draw my mind away from Christ. So this morning when I read of Mordecai’s conviction in the face of death my heart was pricked because what God is asking me to do is nothing in comparison. But I can also see the similarities of the government we serve and that which Mordecai faced. The arrogance of American administration for the cause of anti-God groups and religions is very much in competition with Haman.

Mordecai’s stand was an example for his niece, a generation which stood in prayer and determination to make a difference and protect the people of God. I feel no different this morning as I’m about to go to church and teach teens. For such a time is this I’ve been called to be different so that I may make a difference.

You can’t hold hands and skip with the world and take a stand

Determination for the Day!

A Psalm of Determination

Psalm 27:13-14 ~  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

I highly recommend you read the whole Psalm 27, only 14 verses, but it help you gain an understanding of where David’s coming from. He’s determined in his heart that, come what may, “God’s got this.” The whole world can walk out on him, family can leave him, the enemy can set their mind on destruction but he will continue on doing what he’s called to do and he’ll do it in confidence. Not because he’s a mighty warrior, but because he serves a mighty God. Not because he’s got great wisdom, but because He serves the God of all wisdom. David said he’d have passed out if he didn’t believe that he would see the goodness of God, the victory!

Been there? Where you just want to “wake up when it’s over.” Frustration has mounted to the point that you think it’s going to topple over and crush you. It’s blocked your vision of all else, especially hope of a good end and then you hear…“Wait.” A four letter word in the vocabulary of someone like me who doesn’t understand why anyone would want to wait, when you could leap. So God says it again, because He knows I likely won’t listen to the first one. “wait, I say, on the Lord.”

This is a very short blog post this morning, I have to be on the road at 5:30 a.m. But I didn’t want to start my day without an encouraging thought. I’ve had a couple of hard knocks this week. Nothing major in the scope of life, but none the less a thorn in my side that I really would like God to remove. But I hear “wait, I say, on the Lord.” I’d still rather jump. But if I put my confidence in Him (that’s courage) He’ll give me strength to wait. Waiting takes restraint. Again… something I’m not very good at. But I’ll wait. Because God said, “it’s good, not I’m good.” He knows me, and praise His Holy Name, I know Him.