Tag Archives: Separation

I’ve Been Taken to the Woodshed

It’s true. As I wrote the outline for this blog, I arrogantly thought, “Oooo that’s good, I didn’t deserve that.”

And then I heard in my soul… “No. You didn’t.”

And I knew in my heart that this was going to be a teachable moment between me and the Lord. As a “Father and child. Go to your room and I’ll be in later.” Kind of moment.

And unto man he said, Behold, the fear of the Lord, that is  wisdom; and to depart from evil is understanding. ~ Job 28:28

A Healthy Respect

I’d lost it. The (fear). I’d grown selfish in my walk with Christ as I grew weary from responsibilities. And not overwhelming responsibilities, just your ordinary, everyday life kind of duties. I’d finish doing what had to be done and I’d think, “I deserve a break.” And that break would consist of mindless television (Netflix) or a game on my phone rather than going to the word of God or simply having a conversation with Him.

This morning I came to my desk knowing what was on my heart and before me was a bluegrass song I’d been working on the chords for, and lo and behold I got out the guitar and figured them out. Knowing that the Bible was laying there beside me and the Lord wanted to talk.

So… when I finally decided that I could spare a few moments for Him, the conversation turned very serious. I had been disrespecting the Savior.

I don’t believe that God wants me to set with the Bible every second of the day, He knows that life happens and that I need to be with people, else, how will they see Jesus. But there comes a time that He and I should be conversing along the way.

When He speaks, regardless of what’s going on around me, I should pause to listen. Unfortunately the world was too loud in my ear because I had opened that door.

A Hallowed Reverence

Matthew 6:9

After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name.

Note that Hallowed is capitalized. It’s a part of God’s name, meaning Holy. Separate (depart) from the world.

There comes a time when God expects us to shut the door to the world and be separate from those things that draw our minds away from Him. Things that when we see them we know in our heart of hearts, this isn’t good for me. This takes my mind to places it should not be.

For example. Netflix.

I’m not talking R rated movies but just the average sitcom is filled with content not fit for the mind of a child of God.

I love to laugh. It allows me to forget about the cares of the world and escape reality for just a bit. But that bit can turn into hours on Netflix because it literally doesn’t stop. And I get wrapped up in it and ignore the calling of God. I forget that God said, Be ye holy; for I am Holy. ~ 1 Peter 1:16

To be holy is to separate ourselves from everything worldly. Including the mindset that “I deserve this.”

I don’t deserve anything more than God. That’s a hallowed reverence.

A Heavy Reliance

A reliance is a belief and dependence (understanding) on the Lord Jesus Christ for every breath of life. After all, He holds it all in His hand, does He not?

THAT IS WISDOM

Job was so much wiser than his friends who looked at life from a very human perspective. As if they could see inside the mind of Job and know who he was in the secret hours of the days and nights before that dreadful day when he lost it all.

To them, it was surely because of sin. But it was not. It was because God knew the inward strength and character of Job.

We’re not God to know the hearts of other men and women. It’s our own hearts that we have to be concerned about. I’m not Job. I doubt my character would stand the testing and trials he experienced. I don’t want to know if it would. I can’t even resist Netflix. How on earth would I submit to the level of testing that Job did?

This morning God needed me to understand that I was not submitting to Him as I should be. Not even close. I want Him to fix all of my life’s woes: take care of my family, fix my finances and make me healthy, wealthy and wise. And yet when He call on me, I turned a deaf ear.

Without fear.

Without reverence.

Without understanding.

Forgetting that He gave His all, so that I could have life and have it abundantly.

Father forgive me.

Draw me close Lord, This I pray,

Forgive this wicked soul that strays.

Remind me with each breath I take

That I am yours, I’m no mistake.

There is purpose in my soul

But I must give you full control.

Shari

Knitting Lessons

Every year our annual tent meeting has a different flavor. We’ve had years when the fires of Heaven came down and stirred out hearts, this past year it was a calming of the heart having just lost our Pastor of 20 years and facing an uncertain time. This year there seems to be a mending of the community for the Kingdom of Christ. Tears well up in my eyes and joy bubbles in my soul when I write those words this morning. I’ve desired it, I’ve dreamt about it… a time when saying the name of another church didn’t come attached to an emotion of frustration. We can’t worship with them because they don’t believe like us, dress like us, talk like us… Woah… I can feel the room getting quiet.

Hasn’t Satan won a mighty battle in the church when he has us at odds with one another? How many souls go out into Hell each year because they didn’t see Jesus in our testimony, just us? And believe me that won’t save anyone. We’ve spent more time telling the lost what’s wrong with the church rather than what’s right. They see no difference in the house of God than they do a social club because isn’t it really just another “click?” Your friends, your family, your four and no more? Harsh topic this morning and one that has the potential to create a ruckus, and that’s okay, I’m up for the fight.

The preacher of last night’s meeting brushed over one of my favorite bible stories; the story of two best friends, David and Jonathan. I love 1st Samuel 18:1 where it says “And it came to pass, when he had made an end of speaking unto Saul, that the soul of Jonathan was knit with the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” That’s a deep friendship, an example of Christ-like friendship. Jonathan was willing to betray his own father for the sake of David because he knew his father was wrong and that David was a chosen, anointed man of God. It was more important for Jonathan that he be right with God than right with man.

Which brings me to the question of doctrine. I’m not talking about linking up with churches who do not believe that Christ is the virgin born, Son of God, walked among men, crucified and risen the third day, sitting at the right hand of God, Redeemer.  That would make us accountable for sending souls to Hell if we linked ourselves with anything else. But I speak of born again Christians who believe Christ is Lord of all and Creator of the universe, but they do it a little different than I do. It’s not a different doctrine, but rather a different style that has most churches at odds. Doctrine is the foundation of truth, all else is the foundation of men. What are you standing on?

Christ sat down with sinners and we won’t even sit down with each other.

Colossians 2:19 says –

And not holding the Head, from which all the body by joints and bands having nourishment ministered, and knit together, increaseth with the increase of God.

If we hope to increase the Kingdom of God we need to do more knitting and less splitting. Whew! That’ll preach! You cannot detach yourself from another child of God without a disconnection of Christ at some point. Because God is the God of all. And if the “Head” of the church is not Christ, then the blood supply is shut off. Scary thought…

Christ said we needed to nourish one another, feed our souls on His goodness and then share it with everyone. I pray that this year’s tent meeting is the beginning of a knitting session with other Christ believers in our community. I love them…preach on preachers! Hope to see everyone at 7 tonight at Victory Baptist Church!

The Difference in the Church

When I got saved in 1996 I didn’t know enough about the Bible to tell you the difference between the Old Testament and New. I was ignorant of the things of God and the ways of God; so for a time I relied upon the teaching of my new Pastor and little by little I would discover on my own the truths of God as I read and studied His Word. I still make discoveries every time I read it today. For the 16 years I’ve been saved I’ve watched as my Pastor was ridiculed for his stand on the holiness of God and defended him when others mocked him of his strict stance on the holiness of the platform of our church. The Church outside the boundaries of the walls of the actual building have become so much like the world that when the world is brought inside the doors it seems natural. The holiness of God is pushed aside to make way to appease men. Oh, I’m not going to win too many friends here this morning, but it’s on my heart, so I’m going to say it.

As I read Exodus this morning my heart was pierced with this thought beginning in Exodus 24:

1-2 And he said unto Moses, Come up unto the Lord, thou, and Aaron, Nadab, and Abihu, and seventy of the elders of Israel; and worship ye afar off. And Moses alone shall come near the Lord: but they shall not come nigh; neither shall the people go up with him.

God was in church building mode, and from the beginning of it He called them out by name. They were all common people, but their role in the church was anything but common. If they were in His service they talked it and walked it or God smote them dead. I think that means He takes serving on the platform of the church pretty serious. When they began the construction of the tabernacle God was very specific right down to the nuts and bolts of how the church should be built as well as the tapestry and material for the drapes. God’s in the details!

By the same token, ask an unsaved person their opinion of those who serve in the church and they can call out the sinner and the saint in about three seconds. By the way, we’re all sinners, but I’m talking about those who live in habitual un-confessed sin. God set a standard in the Old Testament that hasn’t changed today, there’s a difference, and leadership of the church is going to be held accountable for what’s being allowed to happen in the church of God.

God called Moses and seventy-three others out for a leadership service; He then called Moses forward alone. I’m not a Bible scholar but this is how the Word spoke to me today. Pastor’s are held to the highest of standards, this is why my Pastor holds the platform of the church in such high regard as to be very careful who preaches and sings, because he alone will stand accountable to God for our Church. He wants to know that their testimony stands strong. Are they perfect, of course not, but they should be living in such a way that their reputation is founded in Christ. Church leadership falls right behind the Pastor, and so does their accountability. They will be held to a higher reckoning than those in the congregation for what goes on in the church. So if you’re a Deacon, Sunday School Teacher, Singer or other leader you have to have an understanding of the holiness and separation of God. Not just anyone or anything can be placed before the congregation of the Lord.

The New Testament reads:

2 Corinthians 6:17 ~  And what concord hath Christ with Belial? or what part hath he that believeth with an infidel? And what agreement hath the temple of God with idols? for ye are the temple of the living God; as God hath said, I will dwell in them, and walk in them; and I will be their God, and they shall be my people. Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you.

There’s a difference or at least there should be. I hope to hear from you today! Blessings in abundance to you and your family.