God really spoke to me earlier this month at the Calvary Chapel annual Sr. Pastor's Conference. Since then, His word and Holy Spirit have been working in really cools ways, and changing people's lives and faith. I really look forward to more of the same as we move forward in our growth as individual believers, and as God grows our church. This devotional is the first in a series of three that are designed to offer a God ordained path towards getting yourself and your walk with God back where you want it, and where it ought to be. This three-step process is something the Lord clearly placed on my heart that I want to share with you as a means to look anew at our relationship with our loving Father and Savior. _______________________________________________
There are times when we all must stop. Too much in our lives happens too quickly, and we just don't give ourselves time to react in a Godly way; a way that has been balanced and checked against scripture, and that has been prayed over and through. Decisions are made without devoting due effort in prayer and in time of waiting on the Lord, and then we are surprised, often devastated when the results are not what we had hoped. "Life" happens at such a quickened pace that ultimately drives us to 'self' and away from 'God'.
When we allow life to control us, instead of allowing Jesus to guide us and control us, we have not only lost our focus, but we have lost our ability to witness for Christ, and our relationship with Jesus is in serious jeopardy.
When we are not spending the quality time we need in the Spirit, getting away from the pull of the world's ways and desires on our lives, we become driven to do so much: for ourselves, for our family, for others, for the church, even for God, that when we finally slow down to catch our breath the first thing out of our minds and mouths is, something like, "WHEW! – I need some ME time!" we begin to think, that we need more time for ourselves, more time for our hobbies, more time for our likes, and our wants. Vacations, man or woman toys, boats, or technology are the things that come to mind. When this happens we have to train ourselves to STOP. And STOP IMMEDIATELY.
When we allow ourselves to get so exhausted from the things we allow to dominate our lives, we are standing on the precipice of serving God, or serving our flesh. We are just so caught up in the moment of our exhaustion and stress that we do not recognize the seriousness of our position.
Yes, it is no surprise that we need time for refreshing. As a matter of fact, it was during a time of great refreshing that God has given me this word to share. But our refreshing must come from God. Not from a vacation or a toy, or a boat or the latest piece of cool technology. It needs to come from God and God alone.
If when you think of refreshing the first thing it means to you is a weekend in Las Vegas with "the girls" or without the spouse, or if it means an evening at the pub with 'the guys' or feeding your mind with electronic gadgetry, if refreshing is designed to feed your flesh before it is designed to feed your Spirit, than we have lost our first love (Revelation 2:4-5). From here we must remember from where we have fallen. Where did our burning desire to know more of, and get closer to Jesus fall away? At this moment, and especially if you find yourself their right now, you must repent, or see your lampstand removed.
A.W. Tozer said it this way: "Christian churches have come to the dangerous time predicted long ago. It is a time when we can pat one another on the back, congratulate ourselves and join in the glad refrain, "We are rich, and increased with goods, and have need of nothing!" It certainly is true that hardly anything is missing from our churches these days--except the most important thing. We are
missing the genuine and sacred offering of ourselves and our worship to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ...."
If you seek more strongly, and arrange your doctrine to defend and feed your flesh and the things of the world in the name of 'freedom in Christ', before you defend the perfect righteous of Jesus that we have been called to emulate, and before you feed your soul with the rich Words of God, than a refreshing will not help you.
You need a refocusing…