/// The past several days have presented many challenges to our household. As we strive to maintain family order and peace, we are also humbly reminded of the limited control we have over the lives of the others living under our roof. Each one of us comes with our own set of challenges from the day, and each challenge proves to strengthen the relationships being built in our family. But nevertheless, it is in these times of challenge and growth that we become tired and weary.
I’m reminded of the many instances in Scripture where Jesus instructs us to lean all of our weight on Him, allowing Him to carry us through the loads of life that at times seem unbearable to carry. There is no doubt in my mind that God is showing me areas in my life that I cannot carry alone. I’m the type of person that looks at the shipping container clearly marked “Team Lift” and refers to it as a suggestion. I would regularly tell myself, “I work better alone.” Lies. I just like to be in control.
These past few weeks have taught me that standing on the promises of Jesus requires me to lower my position and posture. There are certain things that are simply out of my control. This lack of control does not negatively reflect God’s authoritative grace in my life, rather it gives meaning and purpose to God’s authority. God’s grace is best bestowed when I recognize my need for it.
Let me encourage you few who are reading to embrace the grace of God in your life by submitting yourself to Him; creating a position that is humbling and full of self-denial. We desperately need to release control and rely on Him. The word of God says that he will sustain you in your troubles, and when you grow tired and weary, Jesus will provide an avenue to help carry the load. ///
/// I’m still writing. It’s just been a really busy season in life both personally and vocationally. Busy seasons can be long and stressful, and at the same time fruitful and rewarding. There is no doubt in my mind that the current season is one that bears much fruit for my life. God continually leads me down new avenues of faith and trust, forcing me to rely more fully on Him. I am finding that my faith in God’s ultimate sovereignty towards my life and family has given me a renewed peace as I pursue ministry. And at the end of the day, that’s what I hope for…renewal! I want God to continually make me alive in Christ Jesus. I desire that I can wake up new daily to the things that God has set aside for me, my family, and my church.
Today, you may need personal renewal in your life. A reminder that God wants to recapture your heart and draw you in closer to Him. This may mean that you have to start walking with intentional faith and pursuing His promises even when they are not in plain view. Either way, God is always doing a great work in the world around us. We must simply open our eyes to the wonders that He is preparing to show us. ///
/// A few Sunday’s ago, my pastor said a phrase that resonates with how I identify as a pastor and as a believer in Jesus Christ. At the end of the message during our second morning service, my pastor stood firmly in the pulpit and said:
There are no sacred things in this church except for Jesus Christ and His Gospel…Paul Sevar- Calvary Baptist Church, January 20th, 2019
Many of us would agree that this statement is accurate for the modern church. There should be no greater priority within the organized church than the service of Jesus and the administration of the Gospel of Jesus. The reason this statement resonates with me is do to the very nature of the content. Jesus Christ and His Gospel! As a pastor, I desire for nothing more than to see this message be the cornerstone of every congregation. Congregations tend to create what I like to call sacred spaces – identifiable areas within an organization that hold a certain amount of prominence or value to the purpose and function of that organization. Some sacred spaces are valuable to the mission of the church, while others distract the congregation from its original, God centered purpose. Most pastors spend a large portion of their waking hours focusing on the spaces within their congregation that have no value to the overall mission of the church; a mission that was handed down through the work of Jesus Christ. The spaces we desire to focus on take a back seat to areas of congregational anxiety that is driven by an attitude of loss or fear. Not to say that all areas of the organizational functions of church are bad, but the emphasis placed on these functions can outweigh the priorities set forth in God’s Word.
The church is a wonderful extension of God’s grace, and it is evidenced through the work and teachings of Jesus. If Jesus is the whole reason for our organization, then Jesus needs to be the main focus of our meeting together. As believers, we must recapture our primary focus on a day to day basis, not just as the church cooperatively but as individuals personally. What sacred spaces have you removed God from in your church? What sacred spaces have you removed God from in your personal life? What spaces have you deemed as sacred that operate for self-interest and ego? Following Jesus Christ means transparency. We must become people whose lives are completely open and transparent before our Creator. We must be willing to allow God into every space of our life. Spend a few moments today to ask God to reveal sacred spaces in your church and personal life that He has yet to gain control. What can you start doing today to allow God to work in these spaces? Write it down and seek God’s guidance in bringing these areas under submission to Him. ///