By Mary Lindow
I invite you to step out from the familiar comfort zone in which you now are and take a risk. In the body of Christ today there are many different kinds of comfort zones. Step out from your comfort zone that leaves you in the place of being a “Fallow ground- Christian.”
What I mean by that statement is;
“Being currently inactive but with the possibility of activity or use in the future.”
Are you living as unto yourself, basking in self-approval or self hatred, or are you self-consciously living for God’s glory and for the encouragement of others? Is there joy in your life, and a deeply developing love for God, in the “routine” you have carved for yourself?
We all need the discipline of doing something that goes beyond our comfort zone. Some of us need to risk being at an event whose only purpose is to pray instead of going to get something or hear something that will feed our own need for more attention and self-focus.
How many times have your heard the line, “If I won the Publisher’s Clearing House Sweepstakes, I would do sooooo much to help others who are poor or are going through difficult times?!” Or, maybe you have said, “When I close this business deal, get my family inheritance, sell that piece of property (uh…brings to mind a certain Ananias and Sapphira from Acts 5) then I will obey the prompting of the Lord to “Do something to help.”
A MOVE FROM GOD’S HEART
If we are truly going have a move of God’s Heart not just His Hand in the form of a “Harvest”, we need to start living the lifestyle that sets a precedence for such a move!
Prying our fingers away from what we will not share with others until “we” are first satisfied and justified in our own “Self preservation.” This does not just apply to material goods. It means sharing from the heart humbly, partaking openly with others allowing them in, and allowing tears to flow in vulnerability.
These make us equals in painful times and equal when we rejoice. If folks can’t share during their good times and seasons of abundance, they will not fully obey the Lord in caring for their brothers and sisters when times are difficult.
Time, resources, wisdom, counsel, transparent dialog. And, how about a focused “Listening ear” instead of a benevolent sort of “tolerant” dead-pan stare as someone pours out their deeply bruised soul, looking for a handhold or foothold that will assist them in grappling with the overwhelming “mountain” of life.
“For the LORD searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts.
If you seek him, you will find him; but if you forsake him, he will reject you forever. “
1 Chronicles 28:9
Woe to those who think they are fooling themselves when they say that they “need to be careful” when they give so people don’t “depend on them or expect more from them! Imagine Jesus saying that! He would never withhold from us in order to protect “His” investments or hard earned, “worked to the bone” assets! He gave ALL with no guarantee that we would ever appreciate or value it.
JUST DO IT!
Invite another family or friend to your home. Don’t wait to be invited. Take the initiative. Eat together around the table in your dining room or kitchen. Talk together. Pray together. Start a plan of blessing someone in need that you know of - together.
DO YOU HEAR VOICES?
Stop the mindless chattering that is allowed in most of our self-talking heads that allows the flesh to push aside the promptings of the Lord!
Times are getting tough, and those who have been reluctant to share when the times were not nearly where they are heading now, will be called up for service again, and asked by the Lord to assist those who are perhaps weaker, lesser, and much “leaner” in their provisions.
Start with something small, something useful. Keep it going. And whatever you do, keep it between you and the Lord, where your reward is given weight in the records in heaven for eternity, not just for a few fleeting strokes of the ego here on earth.
THE “PRIVATE THINGS” OF PERSONAL RENEWAL…
Begin a private life of personal devotion.
Rediscover your prayer closet.
”Very early in the morning, while it was still dark,
Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place,
Where he prayed.”
GUT IT OUT WITH GOD
Confess your dissatisfaction with the stale places where you have allowed “moss” to grow over in your devotion to the discipline of Reading the words of Jesus, Heeding the words of Jesus, and then Feeding the Words of Jesus to the hungry, lost, and scared people around you in your daily “Missionary calling” as a follower of the Great Reviver of your soul.
”For this is what the high and lofty One says— He who lives forever, whose name is holy: "I live in a high and holy place, but also with him who is contrite and lowly in spirit, to revive the spirit of the lowly and to revive the heart of the contrite.”
- Isaiah 57:15
Personal revival is usually needed when something in our walk with the Savior has gone into a “Flat line” and needs to be “shocked” back into a proper heartbeat.
The closer we become devoted to and more intimate with The King, The Comforter, and Savior, the more near He is to us and, will reveal His daily “Divine Appointments” for our lives and for His Glory.
If Jesus did it to survive- so must we!
“But Jesus would often go to some place where he could be alone and pray.”
WE NEED TO BE ALONE!
Why? In order to not have the distraction of leaning on someone else to “do the praying or talking” for us for one! We gain perspective, and refreshing after repenting, and a “reality check” regarding how we are to live the lifestyle of a Christian in an ever-darkening world where morals and values are crumbling at an uncontrollable speed.
LET US SEE AND HEAR AND ACT!
As we face the fallow ground left unfruitful (through intentional denial that we allowed this) in our lives and allow the Father to create a clean heart in us, and renew or “Revive” a right spirit (godly attitude) within it, the soil can be a host for seed and harvest.
He gladly does this! WE are His faith seeds in the soil of Earth!
"He who goes out weeping, carrying seed to sow, will return with songs of joy, carrying sheaves with him." Psalm 126:6
"He restores my soul.
He guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake."
WISDOM FROM THE SPIRIT
If you want present day revelation, you must have a level of solid Christian maturity to not only discern it, but to apply it. There are more and more ”Muddy” approaches regarding how to be wise or savvy in living your life being sold in bookstores and every media venue out there!
If you want to drink or eat re-cycled food…well, be my guest. BUT! If you truly desire depth and a secure anchor for surviving and flourishing in any circumstance that you surely will have attempt to sidetrack and undermine your Godly Destiny, you and I will have to go to THE SOURCE of Wisdom and stay there until we “Get it.”
”We do, however, speak a message of wisdom among the mature,
but not the wisdom of this age or of the rulers of this age,
Who are coming to nothing.”
1 Corinthians 2:6
”But solid food is for the mature,
Which by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.”
GIVE JESUS JOY
"Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer."
- Romans 12:12
These are the attributes of the faithful and true follower of Christ. And, as Jesus watches over our coming and our going, every moment of every day, His joy is made complete when He sees the evidence of a restored life being fruitful and steadfast, no matter what the condition of their circumstance or surroundings.
Believer. Let us press on into the walk of maturity in Christ where nothing shakes or shatters us anymore, because we live in the light of His Glorious Grace.
”So we praise God for the glorious grace he has poured out on us
Who belong to his dear Son.”
- Ephesians 1:6
~ QUOTE FROM OSWALD CHAMBERS ~
"Whenever we are obstinate and self-willed and set upon our own ambitions,
...We are hurting Jesus.
Every time we stand on our rights and insist that this is what we intend to do,
...We are persecuting Jesus.
Whenever we stand on our dignity we systematically vex and grieve His Spirit; and when the knowledge comes home that it is Jesus Whom we have been persecuting all the time,
...It is the most crushing revelation there could be.”
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" THE MESSENGER " ~ Mary Lindow