Month: April 2016

What is absent in a good man?

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What is absent in a good man?

We can all probably list things pretty quickly that make up a good man and could probably make a list of things we would never expect a good man to do but what is absent in a good man?

Absent with no future of becoming present.

What would those things be?

This is an important question because we use the term “good” for men and women all the time.

She is a good woman – He is a good man.

and the word “but” generally follows with information that is anything but good concerning that person.

We often like to feel good about ourselves. We often like to think we are good people even though we do things, say things, and treat people in ways that aren’t good. In ways that if we were really “good” would be absent from our lives. “Nonexistent” if you will.

Now before you get all “spiritual” on me and say “there is none good no not one”  I would like you to consider Acts 11:24 which describes Barnabas as a “good man”. The differences between these two sayings maybe for another post at another time…

or maybe not…

but

If Barnabas can be called “a good man” what made him good?  What would have been absent from his life because he was a good man?

The simple answer is everything bad. Everything that would be evil, or morally wrong.  Things like lying, cheating on your wife, cuss words, sinful anger, bad attitudes towards people, a lack of caring for others, self focused ignoring others needs, playing politics, supporting things that are wrong, complaining, manipulating people, drug abuse, alcohol abuse,  using people for your own purposes, passing judgements on people, etc… because the list could go on, and on.

The question – what is absent from a “man” that is good – is an important one.  If you think about it in the light of Jesus Christ you will began to realize somethings you need to let go of. Things that you are doing that goes against your belief that you are good. It will bring conviction and set you on a path to becoming a true “good person”…

like Barnabas.

5 Reasons We Do Not Follow the Holy Spirit

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Following  the Holy Spirit’s lead is often a tricky thing.  We might want to say that the trickiness of it is because He doesn’t exactly “speak” like He did in Acts 13:1-3.  “If He would” we surmise “it would be a whole lot easier.”

But, I would submit to you today that the real reason it is “tricky” to follow the Holy Spirit at times has more to do with us than it has to do with Him.  What we are very good at is muddying the waters ourselves which lays the “trickiness of following Him at out feet”. We are the ones that make it difficult, here are 5 reasons why we struggle following Him at times.

1. He doesn’t always work within our systems…

“Our” – organizational, theological and belief systems.  We often try to determine what is of God through man made lenses rather than the word of God and the movement of His Spirit.  It is tough sometimes to know the difference between a man made system and one the Bible actually teaches.  We fear going against the frame work of how we have been taught the Holy Spirit works.  Part of this is a good thing, it comes from a desire not to err doctrinally.  But when doctrine prevents us from following the Holy Spirit (though we may not realize it because we feel comfort in the system we have) we wind up in the place we were fearful of – doctrinal error. If that happens – the truth is – we have been living in doctrinal error for quite sometime and the situation we are faced with at that moment is God’s way of helping us correct that.

2. It’s hard.

Sometimes we have done a tone of work, we want something to go a certain way and we have set a plan in motion and are following it then the Holy Spirit moves and we ignore His voice because it would be too much work to retrace our steps and redo the work we have done and change it to His. We are good at coming up with reasons why our way, the one we have worked on, is the way we should do it. The problem is we are very unsettled in the depths of our souls about it.  We repeat the reasons to some how bring peace to our souls but it never happens. Why?  The Holy Spirit wants us to change what we are doing and will continue to prob us/ unsettle us to try to get us to listen to Him and follow His directions.

3. We like to talk, go slow and pray too much.

Sometimes people will talk and talk, discuss and discuss, and pray and pray, just filling the room with noise to give the facade they are trying to discern God’s will.  Sometimes it is because people are fearful of taking the next step and talking, discussing and praying is a safe measure that gives them the feeling they are really doing something. (Politicians BTW do this all the time with the exception of course or praying).  Sometimes people do this because they really like their plan but are unsettled about it (see #2 above).  So they talk, discuss and pray hoping they will make it to a place where they feel good and safe before they make a decision.

I am not against prayer – it is very important. But when prayer is used a stalling agent it hinders the progress of what God wants to do.

4. When we are more concern with people’s approval than we are stepping out and doing what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do.

Going against the flow can be a daunting thing. So, we choose to go against the Spirit’s call which seems to be easier though its more damaging for us spiritually.  What we are saying is, the price we would have to pay to step out is not worth obeying the Spirit’s call. So we convince ourselves we must have not “heard the Spirit correctly” to cope with that fact.

5. We really just want things to remain the same.

We go to church, we want church to be the same as it always has been or like the church down the street.  If things even smell like they are changing our opinion is voiced.  There is something uneasy about following the Holy Spirit sometimes. Not because of what we stated in #2 above, but because we often find our security in the way things have always been done rather than in God.  The way things have always been done is very attractive because we understand how those things should function, if they were to be changed it would be unsettling and we just don’t want anything else in our lives to come unhinged.  This is misplaced security.  Our security should be in God and in Him alone.

That said, what are some reasons you think people choose not to follow the Holy Spirit?  Please state them in the comments below…

 

God

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You know sometimes it is difficult knowing exactly what to write. Maybe that is why for so long now I haven’t posted much.  It’s not that I haven’t had topics that have been on my mind that could have become post, because I have. Its more of those topics that have been on my mind I just didn’t feel comfortable posting my thoughts about them.  Some of those thoughts had to do with marriage and divorce. Others thoughts had to do with people who decided not to follow God and his purposes for their life. Some of the thoughts were about the current political environment. While other thoughts centered around the current bathroom issue in North Carolina.  All could have gotten responses that were not so positive.  I even tested the “bathroom” issue on Facebook this past week and was surprised at some of the comments that were made to the point I deleted the post. For me once you get past a G rating with the language someone chooses to use in their comments it is time for that post to go.

I choose not to post not because I am ashamed of the truth or anything like that.  Its I honestly just didn’t want to put up with the mess people throw your way when you speak to some of these issues.  With the push against “bullying” in this country it sure is amazing to me that bullying has gotten worse rather than better. The main tactic today for a lot of people when it comes to an idea or fact that goes against what they want to believe is to shout it down.  You know truth has been spoken today anytime words like biggot, stupid, or racist are used. People get upset not because they are right but because truth is unsettling.

 

But then there is God who is at work in spite of all the junk that is going on in the world.

There has always been junk going on in the world

Maybe its not in spite of…

Maybe he works above the junk.

I know he does and that settles my soul.