One thing that has oftentimes been a point of much disturbance is when those outside the household of faith are unwittingly scattered because we are not walking in the Spirit. True; there are many who will reject our testimony regardless of how close to the Lord Jesus we may be. This will increase greatly as the age draws to its conclusion. There are, however, observers in the ambience who may have been considering the path of eternal life but were turned off by those who appear to either live a life of contradictions or present a “form of godliness” gospel that’s lacking in real power. Or they may wear a “Christian name tag” and but are completely occupied by the goings on of this present world. Before going any further, it’s important to acknowledge that I’ve done a lot of scattering in the past and while the Lord is always ready to forgive us when we blow it, the thought of souls that may have come to Jesus but didn’t because of something of my words or actions (or lack thereof) is heart-wrenching.
It’s a thing that I’m confronted with daily as the complex situation in this household fosters memories of the years when I was profoundly backslidden. To a large degree, the continuing dramas in this household are the fruit of a season when I had become overcharged by the cares of this life and unwittingly placed God on a back burner. I praise God for a restoration in a way that only he could have done, but those earlier years can never be retrieved. (Speaking of complexities at home, last Friday we learned that Morgan is pregnant. Her due date is march 16, 1010.) Such memories serve to remind me all the more to watch what I say, watch what I do, and always strive to walk in the Spirit. The souls in this household, the souls at American Axle, the souls in Three Rivers, Sturgis, Constantine, Elkhart, Kalamazoo, and all of the venues that formulate my extended haunt, are eternal. They don’t need to see someone carrying a sign that says “Christian” on it; they need to see Jesus manifest in the lives of those who claim to know him.
John 15:8 “Herein is my Father glorified, that ye bear much fruit; so shall ye be my disciples.”
Acts “Now when they saw the boldness of Peter and John, and perceived that they were unlearned and ignorant men, they marvelled; and they took knowledge of them, that they had been with Jesus.”
Thursday evening, the Lord was revealing to me some areas where incredible growth is needed in a number of ereas; namely walking in the Spirit and striving to be less like me and more like Jesus. That folks would truly see Jesus in me and know that I’m not just someone whose putting on a show. While at my normal work station, I was glancing around the plant when I was spoken to in a way that will stop one in their tracks. “Most of these folks are heading into eternity without Jesus.” This tragic situation; enhanced by these words and coupled with an understanding of just how much time I waste on any given day. It was sobering and resulted in a night of much examination. Oftentimes the perceptions that others have of us can be in stark contrast to where we perceive ourselves to be and I wondered “are people truly seeing Jesus in me or are they seeing a form of godliness?” On a far more dangerous level, our perception of where we are spiritually can be an inaccurate picture of our actual state. The scripture “for now we see through a glass darkly” is encompassing of an array of venues which we normally don’t associate with it.
I arrived home at my normal 3:30 am (we work some really strange hours; 4:30pm to 3:00am) and did a quick blog check. I wasn’t intending to get too involved, but soon found myself at Richards site where the following post had been presented:
After everything else that I had been dealt with over the course of the evening, this post was an exclamation point. Richard tells us of a young man named Bradley who has been so bound by the forces of darkness that the church, by and large, simply doesn’t know how to respond. The people around us who are lost will not be delivered by a religious show that’s filled with vain philosophies and lacking in power. The captives need a supernatural deliverance and it’s imperative that we’re continuously “at the ready” when divine appointments manifest. Bradley is on my prayer list and I praise God that he came into contact with a saint who’se walking in the Spirit and was up to the challenge. Yet so many other Bradleys, in this land where a church sits on almost every corner, go through their days without ever encountering such a one. Throughout the night I thought on this and the many other issues that were front and center.
I Corinthians 2:4-5 “And my speech and my preaching was not with enticing words of mans wisdom, but in demonstration of the Spirit and of power: That your faith shjould not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.”
This post was started Thursday afternoon and was intended to focus on the fruit of the Spirit being manifest in our lives. This was to be tied into the times at hand and how we’ll be unprepared for what’s coming down the prophetic timeline if we’re pandering to the works of the flesh. After the playing out of Thursday evening / Friday morning, I realized that I have much growing to do in a number of areas. And this is part of the process whereby the Lord is preparing us to present the truth and hold fast the testimony of Jesus. Not only for today, but also for the times ahead when the the man of sin is permitted to make war with the saints and prevail against them. The Lord is gently pulling back the scales and allowing us to see things about ourselves that we must come to terms with NOW and not wait until it “fits into our schedule.” There’s no romantic philosophical element in this venue; it’s just the Lord Jesus and us, us. A side-by-side comparison wherein the Holy Spirit reveals areas in which we have growing to do.
I sometimes find myself wondering how the Lord can be so longsuffering with me, after all of my blunders, counter-blunders, missed appointments, and just plain rebellion over the years. I’m then reminded that his love is far beyond our ability to fathom. He is eternal and not linear. Forever past, forever future, and the hearts of all are ever present before him. We often use the saying “to see the bigger picture.” God sees the entire picture in full panoramic display. And still, he so loved us that he sent his only begotten Son to pay for our sins on an old rugged cross. Well I need to be going for now. We’re in a time of preparation; not only to be effective ambassadors for Jesus in these final moments of the general continuance; but also for the times ahead when our faith will be tried in ways that are presently unimaginable. What I’ve been going through for the past 36 hours is a much needed step in that preparation. And even with the revelation that I have a lot of maturing to do, it’s been a time of incredible felloswhip with the Lord Jesus.
Blessings always in Jesus name.
Isaiah 55:6-9 Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near: Let the wicked forsake his way, and the unrighteous man his thoughts: and let him return unto the LORD, and he will have mercy upon him; and to our God, for he will abundantly pardon. For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”
Philippians 3:13-14 “Brethren, I count not myself to have apprehended: but this one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind, and reaching forth unto those things which are before; I press toward the mark for the prize of the high calling of God in Christ Jesus. Let us therefore as many as be perfect, be thus minded: and if in any thing ye be otherwise minded, God shall reveal even this unto you.”