Monday, January 21, 2013

Staying with God

1 Peter 5:8-9 - Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Resist him, steadfast in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are experienced by your brotherhood in the world.

I was approached yesterday by a man who so wanted to be doing God's will but instead he finds himself being easily distracted, troubled, distanced from those around him, dejected, and alone.  This man is not alone.  One of the greatest tricks the devil ever presented was getting man to believe that he does not exist.  But he does.  The battle between good and evil is very real and as we venture in the last days, the battle is intensifying.

For the man I met with yesterday, he is a strong believer.  He was recently baptized.  And God has given him visions of what He wants him to do.  But in typical manly fashion, the vision was easily cluttered by what man believes is important.  The pomp, circumstance, and the show have absolutely nothing to do with what God wants to accomplish.

In business there is a saying that goes like this "People do not care what you know, they want to know how much you care".  The same is true in our walk with Jesus.  We do not bring others to the Lord by creating a show.  But rather we lead others to the Lord by:
  1. Being open and approachable -If you are truly a follower of Jesus, no one can get to know you or Him through you if they can not approach you.  If you are unwilling to have more than the superficial Sunday morning "Hi, how's it going" conversation in passing, how can you ever get to the next step?
  2. Be willing to listen - The world is full of pain.  But it is also full of joy.  If you are unwilling to listen, being more in a fix it mode, how will you know what a person truly needs.  If you think you know best, how will God be able to guide you?
  3. Sharing your story -You do not have to have experienced exactly what anyone else has.  But it is your responsibility to share with others what God has done in your life.  If you look carefully, you can see where His power has worked in your life.  I used to look at my life as a series of one bad thing after another, but looking at it now with Jesus at my side, I see where He intervened, where He supported, where He improved my circumstances.  What has God done in your life that shows others how much they need Him?
  4. Be a vessel -You do not need to provide the answers for what ails those around you.  But you have to be willing to get out of your own way to be used by God.  Are you willing to let God use you?
  5. Pray - Above all else, you can pray.  In our days, sometimes just knowing that someone thinks of you enough to converse with God on your behalf can be more supporting that you are aware.  
We all have times where we feel alone and defeated.  Read John 10:10 and you will know the battle plan for both the devil and for Jesus Christ.  But those times can be fleeting when we are with God and when we surround ourselves with people of like faith.

I pray peace and blessings for each of you today.  God loves you and so do I.
Pastor Jim

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