This morning on my walk I was praying, "I want to be in your perfect plan for my life. Lord, help me stay on course. I don't want to get off. I don't want to do more or less. I never want to be ahead of you or behind you!" You might say, "Shawn, you are a missionary, you should be praying that. I am not a minister. God doesn't have a specific plan for my life as he might with you." I don't know where you got that only ministers should seek the Lord for the plans and purposes for their lives. It wasn't just 5 years ago I was a successful Realtor and a house flipper. If it was up to me back then, I would still be in the real estate business to this day. Even though I wasn't a minister, I was still seeking God's face for what he wanted me to do in my life; always being open for him to speak of his direction for me and my family.
God wants us in the game! We are not spectators. We are to be participants in the Kingdom of God. A recent trend I am seeing more so, people attending church in front of their TV. Huh? That doesn't make any sense at all! Only under certain circumstances should this ever be the case. The bible says in Hebrews 10:25 (NLT), "And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near." We are NOT to neglect meeting together! Even in the times of the early church some were already skipping the house of God. But we are to encourage others to attend, even more so as the return of him (Jesus) is near! I don't know about you, but I believe we are getting closer to his return! I don’t want him coming while I am skipping church and sitting in front of the television with the remote in my hand!
This is an excerpt from the Fire Bible commentary:
"Following and serving Jesus takes spiritual courage, faithfulness, power, and determination. It requires constantly seeking for or making ways for the gospel to go forth, knowing that it will face opposition. It involves maintaining the driving strength in the mission to reach others for Christ."
Does this statement sound like those that are sitting in their reclining chair on game day? The Kingdom of God is constantly getting attacked from the Kingdom of Darkness. You see in scripture, "The Kingdom of Heaven has been forcefully advancing!" Look around, do you see the church forcefully advancing today? We can't even get people to show up to change diapers in the nursery let alone help park cars in the parking lot. We are living in such a time of "Me, Myself, and I" society. If it isn’t Johnny's soccer game on Sunday, then it's we must get to the beach before someone takes our spot. Where are those that are strapping on their boots Sunday thru Saturday to be ready whenever they need to serve in the mighty Army of the Lord?
I can hear it now, boy, you sure are judging and pointing your finger. You bet I am, there is something that crawled up in my spirit on this. I didn't even intend to blog about this subject. I would even go as far to say, many probably stopped reading this as soon as they felt a little heat. The church has gone so far now you dare not tell the darlings anything that could rattle them. They don't want to hear it. The church has come to the point in many cases that they are no longer teachable. If it doesn't feel good and you are not tickling my ears, I'm out of here. I'm going somewhere else where I will be loved. Did you know, discipline is love? I believe encouraging others to be all that they can be for his Kingdom is love. Love can sometimes sting, but in the long run, it produces fruits.
The wicked and lazy servant is a representation of a believer and follower! We are not talking about someone that doesn't know the Lord. In the parable, he was a servant but sat on the sidelines doing nothing for the Kingdom. We are not going to debate what the out darkness is, but we can say, weeping and gnashing of teeth is a form of regret of what could have been. Don't and again, I will say, don't put yourself in this position! This is eternal we are speaking of!
I would hope we can agree it’s time for ALL of us to be on the field. We ALL need to be suited up and ready to fight the good fight of faith. No one is exempt. Where the Lord places you, that's between you and him. I know in war, there are some on the front lines getting shot at and others are in some dark hole safe from all battles flying drones over the battlefield. In the Army, it's not your choice where you are placed. You show up, salute, and say, "Yes, Sir!"
I don't know about you, I like solutions. Yes, I can agree, I was a little rough, but hopefully, some of you got shook up. I hope you are now examining your life. See, I like that. We should always be thinking. I don't know where exactly you are in your spiritual walk with the Lord. There are so many stages and levels of development to maturity in Christ. I can tell you this. We ALL need a house of God to help us grow and develop. We ALL need a pastor over our lives. We ALL need to be serving in some form or capacity! It's not about when you want to, it's about serving consistently and faithful in the role God has placed you in. We all need a place to come together to worship corporately. We ALL need a place to give our financial resources. See, this isn't what I say, this is what the bible says!
Today, I want to encourage you to deeply look at your current life. Where are you with God? Where are you at in relation with him and his Kingdom? Are you in the game or a spectator? Are you rattling your sword to come against the Kingdom of Darkness? A great question would be this. If you were a business owner, would you hire yourself if the only qualification you had was to examine your active role in God's Kingdom? Ouch, that could really sting. I know for many if they were truly honest with themselves. They would answer; no, I would not hire myself. But you know what, it's not too late. God is a god of forgiveness and new beginnings! Right now, is the time to make things right and place yourself on a new course in your relationship with the Lord. Be determined that you are going to make the right choices by getting actively involved in his work for your life.
If you are not in a church right now, find one! Years ago, my wife and I moved to a new city. We started to attend a church that we felt would be a good choice for us. We attended for about 3 months, but it just seemed like we were taking a shower with our clothes on. My wife and I started to pray for the Lord to lead us. It wasn't but 2 weeks later, we found the perfect home for us. We attended this church for 9 years until we moved to Kentucky to join Abundant Life Church. I can tell you, those 9 years were some of the most fruitful times in our lives. Our pastors were some of the most precious people of God that taught and trained us to be strong believers in Christ. See, if we allow God to lead us, he will. The church is a family. Sometimes we have words with our biological family members, but we never leave them. We work things out. That's what we do with the church family as well.