Monday, June 8, 2009

Devotional 080609

Dear brothers and sisters,
Good morning. Praise God for a new week of service to Him. I woke up early this morning in preparing for a long day of meeting. Several missions organizations and seminaries will come together to talk about strategy of promoting missions education. Since I am a new kid on the block, my involvement is to listen and learn. I thank the Lord for giving me opportunity to learn from so many experts in this field. Pray that God will help me put into practice of what I learn. Otherwise, it will be futile to study if I do not apply what I learn to either my life or the ministry that God appoints me to do.

"Now that you know these things, you will be blessed if you do them" (John 13:17). If you do not cut the moorings, God will have to break them by a storm and send you out. Launch all on God, go out on the great swelling tide of His purpose, and you will get your eyes open. If you believe in Jesus, you are not to spend all your time in the smooth waters just inside the harbor bar, full of delight, but always tied up; you have to get out through the harbor bar into the great deeps of God and begin to know for yourself, begin to have spiritual discernment.

When you know you should do a thing, and do it, immediately you know more. Revise where you have become indigestible spiritually, and you will find it goes back to a point where there was something you knew you should do, but you did not do it because there seemed no immediate call to, and now you have no awareness, no discernment; at a time of crisis you are spiritually distracted instead of spiritually self-possessed. It is a dangerous thing to refuse to go on knowing.

The counterfeit of obedience is a state of mind in which you work up occasions to sacrifice yourself; enthusiasm is mistaken for discernment. It is easier to sacrifice yourself than to fulfill your spiritual destiny, which is stated in Romans 12:1-2, “Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is--his good, pleasing and perfect will.” It is a great deal better to fulfill the purpose of God in your life by discerning His will than to perform great acts of self-sacrifice. "To obey is better than sacrifice." Beware of harking back to what you were once when God wants you to be something you have never been. "If any man will do . . . he shall know."

Experience God involves Obedience. Without obeying what we know about God’s guidance and expectations, we will not know who He really is. God wants to reveal Himself to us at all times. It is God’s nature to communicate because ‘logos’ is His name. Everything we see and hear in Nature is God’s way to communicate to us. God wants to have intimate relationship with us. That’s why He created us to be relational. Any meaningful relationship involves two ways communication. When one party chooses to ignore or appear indifference to what the other party tries to say, there is communication break down. It will hurt the relationship as a result. If we choose not to obey or respond to God’s word, we will have communication break down with God. We fail to know God affectively. We distance from God to a point that we doubt His existence at the end.

God wants to re-establish His relationship with mankind, even though we chose to distance from Him. “The Word became flesh” means God wanted to communicate with mankind again by getting involved. The word communication does not mean broadcasting (one way street), it means “communion” or “community.” God wants to have communion or community with us. That’s why He entered into human history as a man. This gesture that God expects a response from us is obedience. We don’t have to guess what God wants from us. The Bible makes it very clear to us what God wants. The problem is whether we want to obey. When we obey, it means that we are saying 'Yes' to God. Then, you will know Him even more each day. Let’s encourage each other to put off our self-centeredness and put on the Christ-centered lifestyle.

Love you out of obedience,

No comments: