Yes, but how was your heart changed? How was mine? How is mine? I promise you my brother 12 years ago you would have wanted nothing to do with me or even believed I was saved for that matter.
God is showing me that if we want to see revival then we will have to work for it and we cannot try to separate the wheat from the tares; thatâ€™s Godâ€™s job. Our job is to point out the tares.
Iâ€™ve seen no or very little fruit from the battle royale thatâ€™s gone on in the pro-scamily battle, and what Iâ€™ve seen revealed from many a heart (mine worse of all) is not something that would cause revival.
Please understand that I am not saying we accept immoral behavior, but you donâ€™t cure a cancer patient by trying to beat it out of them. I fear that too many of us have strewn the road to redemption with the carcasses of weaker brothers and sisters to the point I cannot imagine a prodigal son or daughter wanting to return home.
I donâ€™t know, pray for me. I struggle with this everyday. Some days I believe I need to take my sling and go after all the goliaths attacking our nation and other days I feel I need to call Zacchaeus down from the sycamore tree and have dinner with him.
The more I think Iâ€™m sure of my heart the less I trust it. The more I read of Scripture the more I see the tremendous need for growth in my walk with Christ.
The more I know the less sure I become…
This encapsulates my daily struggle. Last night I received some wonderful godly counsel from my pastor and two fellow council members at my church. My pastor said, â€œEvery time you get called up to the next level, the pitching gets harder to hit. At AA ball youâ€™re an all-star, but when you get to AAA and the first time you see a curve ball or one high and tight, you realize the pitching has changed.â€
Solomon wrote in his old age:
â€œI communed with my heart, saying, â€˜Look, I have attained greatness, and have gained more wisdom than all who were before me in Jerusalem. My heart has understood great wisdom and knowledge.â€™ And I set my heart to know wisdom and to know madness and folly. I perceived that this also is grasping for the wind. For in much wisdom is much grief, and he who increases knowledge increases sorrow.â€ (Ecclesiastes 1:16-18)
Billy Graham tells the story of a woman who was a Bible teacher and was attending some Bible training in Arizona. A very elderly black man gave his testimony on all the hatred he had experienced because of the color of his skin. He testified of how the love of Christ gave him the grace to forgive and love those who had so reviled him.
The woman went home that night and was literally haunted by the manâ€™s stories of such horrible treatment he had received. She could not sleep and kept praying and praying and finally cried out to God for mercy from her thoughts. She says a peace came over her and the Holy Spirit spoke to her heart these words: â€œIf you want to know my heart, you will have to know my grief.â€
There are so many days where I am so sure of myself that I actually believe I have the whole world figured out. You would think by now with my track record that would be a huge warning sign, but nope…I go happily skipping along in my own wisdom. And then God always has to remind me He is in control. The Prophet Isaiah writes:
â€œThus says the LORD, your Redeemer, and He who formed you from the womb: â€˜I am the LORD, who makes all things, Who stretches out the heavens all alone, Who spreads abroad the earth by Myself; Who frustrates the signs of the babblers, and drives diviners mad; Who turns wise men backward, and makes their knowledge foolishness; Who confirms the word of His servant, and performs the counsel of His messengers; Who says to Jerusalem, â€œYou shall be inhabited,â€ to the cities of Judah, â€œYou shall be built,â€ and I will raise up her waste places; Who says to the deep, â€œBe dry! And I will dry up your riversâ€; Who says of Cyrus, â€œHe is My shepherd, and he shall perform all My pleasureâ€, saying to Jerusalem, â€œYou shall be built,â€ and to the temple, â€œYour foundation shall be laid.â€â€™â€ (Isaiah 44:24-28)
In his first letter to the Corinthian church, the Apostle Paul warned Christians to be sensitive to othersâ€™ consciences:
â€œNow concerning things offered to idols: We know that we all have knowledge. Knowledge puffs up, but love edifies. And if anyone thinks that he knows anything, he knows nothing yet as he ought to know. But if anyone loves God, this one is known by Him.â€ (1 Corinthians 8:1-3)
I want to be known by God. I want God to confirm my word because I am His servant. I want God to perform the counsel of the message He has given me. I want to edify and not be puffed up.
These last couple of days I have not used my spiritual armor. Yesterday I forgot my shield of faith and a fiery dart got through. I was accused of bigotry against homosexuals because of my opposition against gay marriage in New York. This accusation did not come from a homosexual. It did not come from a liberal. It came from someone who considers themselves a conservative Christian who has known me for almost ten years. This person told me that homosexuals are born gay so God accords them the same rights because they are in line with natureâ€™s laws and Godâ€™s laws. This person said that the law in New York is a good law and in accordance with natureâ€™s law and Godâ€™s law.
All this began because of my questioning the wisdom of Governor Rick Perry having stated he was okay with New Yorkâ€™s gay marriage law because he believed in statesâ€™ rights. As I was leaving the church last night my pastor offered me this last bit of advice. He said be aware that when to speak out against peoplesâ€™ idols you will get attacked. He would know better than anyone else I know. I donâ€™t personally know of a man who has been attacked more for the work of the Lord than my pastor.
Beloved, I covet your prayers. I have shared with you in the past that I have a warriorâ€™s spirit. I not only am at the ready to unleash my sling at the goliaths of this world but also all too anxious to unsheath my sword and start whacking away. And when I do so I litter the road to redemption with the carcasses of weaker brothers and sisters.
Pray that with the knowledge the Holy Spirit gives me that I will not become puffed up but that I will edify others with love. And pray that with the more I learn I will understand that I am just beginning to learn.
May the Lord richly bless you…
If youâ€™re receiving these devotionals for the first time and would like to receive them on a regular basis, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org and use â€œPlease add to Devotional Listâ€ as the subject.â€
Copyright Â© 2011 David Jeffers