So many times in ministry pastors and leaders are prone to work in the strength and arm of the flesh. Yet the Lord clearly says to us that those that trust in the arm of the flesh are cursed. There is not a divine blessing from heaven for those that rely on their past success, experience and skills. But for those that reconize yes I have ability and talents through practice and discipline the Lord has given me, but I cast myself 100% open His grace again to be used of Him. If He chooses to use some of my abilities as part of the solution we rejoice, if not and God works mightily apart from any apparent human effort then we rejoice all the more gladly for no glory at all goes to flesh or a man's name. I am continually learning this simply lesson that is not by Power nor by might but by My Spirit says the Lord. That to rely and trust fully on the Lord will never lead to disappointment. God will always allow us to be tested to the point where we cast all our hope and trust on Him alone. This is the safest place to be in our walks with Christ no matter how far along the journey we are. May God continue to do the radical and impossible through our lifes as we continue to reckon on the impossible through the mercy of Christ.We close with an excerpt from the famous missionary J.O. Fraser from the China Inland Mission over 100 years ago:"I cannot insist too strongly on my own helplessness among these people apart from the grace of God. Although I have been now ten years in China and have had considerable experience with both Chinese and Lisu, I find myself able to do little or nothing apart from God's going before me and working among them." Without this I feel like a man who has his boat grounded in shallow water. Pull or push as he may, he will not be able to make his boat move more than a few inches. But let the tide come in and lift his boat off the bottom - then he will be able to move it as far as he pleases, quite easily and without friction. It is indeed necessary for me to go around our Lisu, preaching, teaching, exhorting, rebuking, but the amount of progress made thereby depends almost entirely on the state of the Spiritual tide in the village - a condition which you can control upon your knees as well as I ."
_________________SI Moderator - Greg Gordon
Good post. We must also resist the temptation to lean on our own understanding. As you have said, we must do God's work "God's way", which so often seems counterintuitive. That's where faith comes in. Are we going to trust God at his word?In Christ Jesus,Renoncer
As you have said, we must do God's work "God's way", which so often seems counterintuitive. That's where faith comes in. Are we going to trust God at his word?
Very good word.It reminds me of when Moses stood before the "burning bush." At one point, God instructed Moses to place his hand into his bosom. When Moses took it out, it was white with leprosy. David Wilkerson used to teach that this was God's way of showing Moses that work done in the flesh can only produce death...and cannot produce life. An old but very popular cliché says, "God doesn't need your ability. He needs your availability." However, I would go much further to say that God needs only your obedience. Paul, one of the most educated men of his day (in the things of God) counted them all as "dung." This is not to say that God didn't use the knowledge that he had gained. Rather, all of those things were counted as NOTHING when compared to simply knowing Him. Paul didn't rely on gimmicks. Peter didn't rely on gimmicks. John the Baptist didn't rely on gimmicks. Most importantly, Jesus didn't rely on gimmicks. They relied upon the direction of the Holy Spirit and operated out of obedience to Christ tempered with a heart that was desperate for the holiness and honor of God while compassionately seeing those around them as "sheep having no Shepherd." Thanks for posting this timely reminder, Brother Greg!