Friday, July 29, 2011

Face & Hands

    Please, take a moment and read 2 Timothy 3; yes, the entire chapter.

    I believe this passage is a prophecy for the very season in which we live.  The rainiest days of the world will too soon be upon us.  As Pastor Franco states in the Possessing the Promised Land with Thanksgiving and Praise  if we want to invite God to stand between us and our enemies, we had best understand Praise and Thanksgiving.

    This was the most convicting of the whole series, to date, for me.  If you haven't yet heard it, please click the link above and listen to it now.  It boils down to mighty, actionable guidance from the Holy Spirit.  It reduces to humbly seeking His Face, while never failing to appreciate the Hands that are always at work for our good (Romans 8:28).

    We at "Sow What?" quickly realized that fellowship with God in all its forms was critical to getting this right.  That is, when we spend time in relationship with Him (possible only by His love, grace, mercy, and power), we will seldom forget the wretch-to-Savior ratio of things.  We will be less likely to doubt Him, to raise our heads against His oracles, and stray from following after Him.  Our circumstances shrink to right proportion as surely as we do, and the miasma of life loses its power to derail our hearts' natural song of praise and thanksgiving.  We seek His face, and in so doing recognize the signs of His going before us and walking beside us - the work of His hands - and can rightly give thanks.  We stop believing the hype of the world and our flesh.

    That relationship-borne humility has other benefits: it gives us pause before criticizing others.  Who are we, but for Christ, anyhow?  We are freed by His love and by His word, and can pray for/convict others rather than condemn others for being in the traps from which we have just been sprung.  We seek to bless, not tear down, as we are flabbergasted still at the Lord's deep heart for us.

BLUF # 5:

* Form the habit of praise and thanksgiving with God, spouse, and family first

* Veterans of trials have something to offer others who are embattled, still in the fog of war

* Who am I anyway, apart from Christ, that I should criticize others or grumble about my life? ( Matt 7:1 , John 7:24 )

* Allow God to sanctify you through your circumstances

* Remember that Praise & Thanksgiving invites God to stand between you and your problems (and as Pastor said "have a little talk with your enemies")

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