Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Saturday July 16, 2016

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s humble ourselves, Amigos.

Back in 1980, I ventured off to Bible school. I knew God had called me to preach. I knew He led me to Rhema Bible Training Center in Tulsa. What I didn’t know was that they had rules! First, they wanted me to quit smoking in order to be accepted to school. I didn’t like it, but I understood it. It stinks. Then, on registration day, some guy went down the line looking at men’s hair length. Mine was too long. I was told to get a haircut before classes started. Now we’re on fighting ground! I was a 32-year-old man with a real job, I had been on my own since I was 17. I didn’t like these folks telling me what to do! In fact, none of us particularly likes being under the authority of other people. It rankles our rebellious, fallen nature. It is also a necessary ingredient for healthy Christianity.

One of the key principles in overcoming life’s difficulties and living free in Christ is learning to submit to authority. OUCH! The truth is, if we could have changed ourselves without help, we would have already done it. Here are a few simple truths that help us live free:

1. I can and should humble myself, rather than waiting to be humiliated by circumstances. James 4:10 / Proverbs 16:18

2. Part of submitting to God is submitting to others. 1 Peter 5:5-6 / Hebrews 13:17

3. Look for people of character to establish relationships.

a. Look for someone who has served another Luke 16:12

b. Look for someone with a good report from others, not just themselves. 2 Corinthians 10:18

c. Look for someone with accountable relationships in their own lives. 1 Corinthians 4:15-17 / 16:16

d. Look for someone whose life impacts others. 1 Corinthians 11:1 / Philippians 2:19-22

4. Look for those who have overcome your particular problem. 2 Corinthians 1:3-4

5. Find groups to join and places to go that foster growth and freedom.

a. Support through small groups is helpful. Get honest and be accountable.

b. A church where it is OK to be under construction.

6. Be prepared to stay past the first time someone corrects you or disagrees with you. You can never grow if you are right all the time.

We all need somewhere to go that is more than a class, a concert, or a ritual. We need to be face to face with someone who can speak truth to us.

Somebody Said: Football is like life – it requires perseverance, self-denial, hard work, sacrifice, dedication and respect for authority. Vince Lombardi

Scripture Reading: As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend. (Proverbs 27:17 NLT)

We desperately need other people in order to grow in God. We need face-to-face interaction to keep us honest. This is not the norm for most relationships in our culture. It will take effort to find them, but it is imperative that we do it. We become Christians as individuals entering into relationship with God, but we live as Christians in community and communion with other believers. The quality of that communion is key to overcoming the things that bind us. Ask for help. Be accountable.

Virgil Stokes
FCF of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745

To find our book, “God Help Me, ICan’t Quit!”, visit our website at fcftucson.org. This material is drqwn form “7 Principles of Recover,” also available at the website.

One thought on “Out of the Abundance of the Heart

  1. Thank you pastor, your awesome.If I trust anyone it’s God first and then your teaching. Because I know what you teach is straight out of the word of God. Thank you for being an example of true authentic humility for me and the lives you impact in the church. God bless you and Just.

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