i wanted to share a few things i have learned that have impacted me for eternity. some of these things, you would think, should be common sense for a Christian. most of these have a similar theme, and it boils down to people and relationships.
- people are the heartbeat of God. it’s why He created us in the first place, to have a relationship with someone who wants to have a relationship with Him. He gave us the power of choice, and He earnestly longs for us to choose Him. i’ve heard that God’s favorite seat in the tabernacle is the mercy seat (Unknown).
- sometimes, salvation is not what someone needs at that moment. Romans 2:4 tells us, “the goodness of God leadeth thee to repentance.” sometimes someone has a need and has nowhere else to turn to. sometimes people need to feel loved or feel like they’re a part of something. years ago, a young lady was trying to pray, please don’t stop praying for people, but this guy praying for her was yelling and spitting in her face and trying his best to force-feed her the Holy Ghost. it broke my heart. she left frustrated and crying. i’m not sure she ever came back to church. i regret not stepping in and calming the situation down.
- before COVID, we had high expectations for the year 2020, and i believe God will turn it around OR all of this will play into His greater purpose. at the start of that year, i learned about the “open hand,” an open hand in praise, an open hand in letting go of what we are holding on to, and an open hand ready to receive from God.
- i’ve learned to elevate my level of expectation by focusing on God and not what others say. you cannot do it yourself, but do not worry, for there is nothing too hard for God! never hold back your worship and never withhold from the voice of God; hold on to His promises! we can’t pour out into others when we have nothing left to give. having just enough in our spiritual tank to survive, and be content, is no good to others! where there is submission, a desire only for the will of God and faith – a confidence that the Lord will guide you as He has promised, there will be rest of heart, peace of mind, and joy in the Spirit!
- be intentional about everything; be determined to have a good church service even if they don’t play your favorite song. don’t get upset when God uses others in various ways or someone gets the spotlight that you thought you were destined for. rejoice! sometimes there is a price for that experience that you would be glad you didn’t have to pay. don’t quit when you can’t feel God; there are dry places, deserts, and valleys. i promise, He is still here, and His Glory will return; keep pursuing God!
- i’ve learned that i need balance in my walk with God, and sometimes i have to wait on God because waiting gets my hand off the situation. trust in God and the vision that He speaks to you with JOY!
that brings us to Romans chapter 12. the entire chapter is an excellent lesson on being a Christian. From “beseeching” to “transforming” through “live peaceably with all men” and “overcome evil with good,” Romans 12 is an incredible resource. BibleHub.com breaks this chapter into three parts: first, Living Sacrifices; next, Love, Zeal, Hope, Hospitality; and finally, Forgiveness. what i have learned falls, interestingly enough, into the final category, the Forgiveness section of Romans 12, and is found in verse 15, “Rejoice with them that do rejoice, and weep with them that weep.” this principle has been taught more than once, but i learned it best through the example of my Pastor. in our first meeting, he wept with us as we shared with him that evening. i could feel the burden on our behalf and the sincere love that came from him, and the only way i could describe it is “Christ-Like.” that’s the way Jesus would have responded if He was sitting in the room, AND HE WAS!! that is the way Jesus expects us to respond to the hurts and desperation that are all around us every day. i am so thankful for our entire church staff, and for the lessons we have received, and i’m looking forward to many more!
to be continued.