“For the Kingdom of God is not just a lot of talk; it is living by God’s power.”
I Corinthians 4:20
Sooner or later there has to be power. You can talk all about the virtues of a team in sports but it will be obvious whether they can live up to the hype when they play a game. You can say how good a recipe is but after awhile all the adulations in the world won’t make a difference, you have to taste it for yourself. Paul heard about the arrogance of some of the teachers in Corinth but there was only one thing Paul wanted to know. Was the power of God alive in their ministry? We can tell all our friends, neighbors and relatives about God but they are more interested in the difference God is making in our life. Is God’s power alive in the way we pray, the way we live, and the way we serve? Is God’s power manifested in the changed lives of those we have introduced to Him? Is the fruit of the Spirit alive in our daily walk with Him because of the transforming power of the Holy Spirit? Today let’s do more than talk about God. Let’s talk to Him, and ask Him to exhibit His mighty power in everything we say and do for Him.
I needed a serious chat with myself and with God yesterday. As I have entered into the trap of exposing myself to rejection. The still fear brewing inside of me which at first appeared to be an harmless feeling which quickly escalated to a fear that keeps growing with confidence.
While it stands valiantly in the Valley screaming and taunting me of the slave mentally it will confide me to once it has prevailed. I shudder with fear and I could do no other than to just stand and listen and receive the onslaught of my thoughts to my character. It once again has arrived to take victory over me as so many times before.
I somehow do not want to accept the fear that is staring me down. As I come face to face with this fear full of pride and arrogance it becomes evident that I have but a few options, one option to dig deeper and persist and another to once again step away to avoid the possibility of hurt. I have asked God to protect me from any pain. But the reality is, is that I am experiencing the pre rejection pains already. I do trust in God but the damaging relations I have on my relationship portfolio to be honest is less than impressive. But my fear is rejection. And I am facing that Giant in the Valley.
It’s in a moment like this that I have to come back to my post. The word of God then jumps out at me and grabs me and it’s the voice of Isaiah that came to me on the first occasion and with memory I recalled this verse.
When the enemy shall come in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord shall lift up a standard against him.Isaiah 59:19
and on the second occation the following word from the Holy Bible to assist me with my upcoming victory, which I might add belongs to the Lord.
Then He said, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord, but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind an earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; 12 and after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire; and after the fire a still small voice.
So it was, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle and went out and stood in the entrance of the cave. Suddenly a voice came to him, and said, “What are you doing here, Elijah?” 1 Kings 19
What am I doing! What a question! Guess not much would the answer be. The answer also might contain that I am just living in fear. God reminds me that I need to fight the good fight of Faith! I shall see the enemy no more!
Today I speak to that fear, this unwelcome stronghold. And As David asked Israel, I am asking myself.
IS THERE NOT A CAUSE?!
I face this giant and hand him over to my God and speak the word of God over my life! The Cause is God’s reputation in my life.
When I base my identity upon what the Word of God has to say about me, I will become virtually rejection-proof. I can become immune from the wounds of rejection as long as I am not basing my identity upon what that person thinks of me.
Rejection and rising above rejection is all about identity and what you base your identity upon.
So what exactly does God’s Word tell us about who we are in Christ?
- Because of God’s great love for us, we are adopted into His family [1 John 3:1], and made joint heirs with Christ [Romans 8:17]
- We are made to sit in heavenly places (of authority over all demons, sickness, etc.) with Christ [Ephesians 2:6]
- We are blessed with all spiritual blessings in Christ [Ephesians 1:3]
- We are the righteousness of Christ through faith, thus being made right before God [Romans 3:22]
- We are entitled to a clean conscience before God because of the Blood and can have full assurance of faith when we go before Him [Hebrews 10:22]
- Our sins have been removed from us as far as the east is from the west [Psalms 103:12], and God Himself has chosen not to remember our failures [Hebrews 8:12]
- We are loved with the same love that the Father has for Jesus Himself! [John 17:23]
When Jesus had finished speaking, he said to Simon, “Take the boat into deep water, and put your nets in the water to catch some fish.”
Simon answered, “Master, we worked hard all night trying to catch fish, and we caught nothing. But you say to put the nets in the water, so I will.” When the fishermen did as Jesus told them, they caught so many fish that the nets began to break. They called to their partners in the other boat to come and help them. They came and filled both boats so full that they were almost sinking. Luke 5:4-7
When have you prayed something like this when God has guided you to make a particular decision? God, I hear what you’re saying, but I have to say that I don’t think it will work. I’ve tried already. I’ve been patient. Nothing has happened. But if you say so, I will.
Or have you been more stubborn and explained to God why something wouldn’t work, not adding the additional commitment to yield to his instruction?
Simon trusted Jesus. He obeyed even though it didn’t make sense to him. It was more important that he follow Jesus than do it his own way. His rationalization didn’t cause him to ignore Jesus. He took the focus off the solution and placed it firmly on the one who was giving the solution. He might not have trusted the solution, but he trusted the solution-giver.
When has someone given you advice that you ignored because you were confident it wouldn’t work? When has someone given you advice you thought might not work or would be uncomfortable for you but you followed it anyway because of the respect you had for the person?
When people have proven themselves trustworthy to us, we’re more likely to listen. When we prove ourselves as trustworthy, others are more likely to listen – even when what we suggest goes against what someone thinks will work. Of course, we as humans aren’t always going to have the right answers, so we have to discern whether or not the advice given matches with God’s Word and his character. When it does, we can proceed. Even when we’re not sure but can find nothing that conflicts with God’s Word and character, we can at least proceed with caution. God is trustworthy. Build trust in relationships he is bringing into your life.
Take a trust inventory. Who in your life is consistent with God’s Word? How consistent are you? You don’t need to isolate yourself from those who are inconsistent. After all, we all have faults and are growing. However, be discerning. God will guide you as you invest in relationships.
Do you despise the church of God by humiliating those who have nothing? I Corinthians 11:22
The servant of Christ Paul was concerned about the selfish practices of some of those that were coming to their Christian fellowship and worship service. They were being gluttons, getting drunk and totally ignoring the needs of the poor that were there. It was a form of discrimination that angered Paul and brought shame to Jesus Himself. Paul wrote to them saying that humiliating the poor by ignoring their needs, flaunting their riches in front of them and not having compassion on them was the same as despising the church and bringing disgrace upon it.
God cares for the poor and needy.
The question is, “Do we?” When the needy suddenly appears next to your car window and suprise you completely, do you look away and think that a feeling of deep pity will put bread in the hand of that person.
Do you go about in a frantic panic looking for some change around you and realizing that you have none, knowingly that you have some paper notes in your wallet and then its at this point where you just say sorry and move on to the next traffic light.
Do you get irritated and just say to yourself it’s going to booze anyhow.
Do you chase them away like dogs and feed your pets better at home than the needy.
But then you say, “Listen I work for my money, so can they”
Have you seen the unemployment percentage in this country, are you blind? Don’t you know that your salary comes from God? Don’t reason like a fool!!
Paying tithes maybe your excuse too. But inside you know that the issues are not linked at all. Give bread if that is a tip to you.
Do you Despise the Church of God. Just a though.
It’s up to you!