Out of the Abundance of the Heart

Wednesday, February 7, 2018

Building People of Substance for Works of Power

Let’s pay attention to His presence, Amigos.

It just happened again. You know what I mean. You leave work with something on your mind. You walk to the car, get in, and drive off. A few minutes later, you realize you are pulling into your house with no real memory of how you got there. Your recall of the trip has been overwritten in your mind by the other things you were thinking about. Thank goodness, this is a very familiar drive. Your internal auto-pilot got you home safe and sound.

Unfortunately, we often have similar experiences with church. We go, we go through the motions, and we go home with no real memory of what occurred. What is supposed to be a vital, transformative interaction with the living God and His family is reduced to a semi-conscious habit. There are many factors at play, but the issue is really just human nature: We don’t want anything real enough to threaten our comfort and complacency, so we homogenize our services. “Please, Pastor, don’t offend the visitors, and don’t challenge the saints, especially me.” When it comes to nurturing the supernatural move of the Spirit in our services, we have to declare along with Pogo, “We have met the enemy, and he is us.”

The big three personal attitudes that push against the supernatural are:

1. Pride tells us we want to be part of a “respectable” organization. We want sermons that reflect intellectual prowess and social responsibility. We don’t want anything going on that might label us as culturally marginal.

2. Sloth wants things to be predictable and familiar. Unpredictability demands attention, thought, and response. We would rather observe, judge, and leave. If it’s unpredictable I may have to think.

3. Complacency wants us to be encouraged to be nice without challenging us to be holy. It wants to be affirmed but never inspired. If God is really speaking, if He is actively moving in our midst, we must either change or escape. Sameness is not an option.

Somebody Said: I cannot live in mediocrity, content with merely knowing that there is more of God to experience and explore — and then do nothing about it. Truths that are not experienced are, in effect, more like theories than truths. Whenever God reveals truth to us He is inviting us into a divine encounter. Bill Johnson

Scripture Reading: Remember, dear brothers and sisters, that few of you were wise in the world’s eyes or powerful or wealthy when God called you. Instead, God chose things the world considers foolish in order to shame those who think they are wise. And He chose things that are powerless to shame those who are powerful. God chose things despised by the world, things counted as nothing at all, and used them to bring to nothing what the world considers important. As a result, no one can ever boast in the presence of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-29 NLT)

The beginning of the supernatural is a desire for a real encounter with God, no matter the consequences. Be careful not to offend anyone, and you’ll surely offend the Holy Spirit. Don’t settle for good preaching. It is possible to be doctrinally sound and spiritually dead. Any doctrine you hold which is not manifest in your church is a dead spot. We have to continually contend for reality, not just description. Human nature always descends to its comfort level. Don’t let human nature run your service. It ain’t easy, but it will be worth the effort.

Pastor Virgil L. Stokes
Faith Christian Fellowship of Tucson
3141 W. Ironwood Hill Dr.
Tucson, AZ 85745
Office: 520-792-3238

Visit us on YouTube to taste the goodness @FCFTucson.

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