It's All Relative
I've been thinking a lot about not being stagnant in the things of God. Heaven forbid that one should think he or she is somewhere in the Lord, making progress, maturing in Him because in relation to others with whom one associates or fellowships, it seems like there is a grace in operation. It's all relative and who wants to be a relative Christian? I am a middle school educator and I tell my students all the time, an 'A" student in one school or even classroom is not necessarily an "A" student in another. "But, children of God are not to compare themselves to one another", you are thinking and you are correct!
2 Corinthians 10:12
For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.
Still in all, we must remember that "Iron sharpens iron". It is important that we fellowship with those who compel us to do and be better. These are usually folk who are pursuing Him! God, I need to be around folk who have not lowered their expectations of what we are called to do as Believers. We are to be imitators of Christ, actually doing the works that He did under the unction and direction of Holy Spirit. (John 14:12) I do NOT want to be mediocre or worse yet, complacent. Jesus is our exemplar and we are striving to be like Him, not people. "It's all relative" to Jesus! I say all of that because we do tend to compare ourselves with others. It is just human nature. We are comfortable with a ministry if it looks and sounds familiar. It's got to come a certain way, be a certain gender, age, denomination or we have not been in church service, we will not receive it and we will even reject it. That implies that God is not moving, even blowing like the wind, by his Spirit. Such a stance is from one who is stagnant. And frankly, because God is boxed off and limited the "ministry" is boring. The God of all creation is not boring. This walk is a great adventure! God is fathomless and multifaceted! The predictable, "same old,same old" is the death knell of a ministry. Now, understand me, I do not mean entertainment "MAKE me worship", cheer leader ministry. But, we should expect God to do a new thing! Newness of life! HIS life with all of its variety of colors and scents and shapes and sounds and seasons. And so is the authenticity of being "me" in Christ Jesus. Because, "By the grace of God I am what I am". Just today as the closing credits of a movie I was watching scrolled down my television screen, I recognized the singer as John Legend. He has a unique voice. It is different to the degree that when I first became aware of him I thought he could not sing. Why? He did not sound like other popular singers! "He is singing as HE sings", I thought. That is HIS authentic voice just like God made him. And he is effective in his little niche of that industry. Well, we have a "voice", too! To squelch it, package it, present it in a way that makes it "acceptable" and palatable to some in a state of stagnancy or limited expectations is just wrong. I do not mean ministry unaligned with the Word of God, but I DO mean that when we say "God, I know there is MORE!", then expect MORE! And stop telling God how it is SUPPOSED to come. Over the years I have encountered some in church who based on THEIR experiences with God actually call a genuine move of God witchcraft. Just as the Pharisees accused Christ of working for the devil. (Matthew 12:24) Still others try to control a true God-called servant of God. Like some personal Holy Ghost! The devil is a liar! Beloved, God's servant must not be weary in well doing, but be led of the Spirit!
I must admit I have been praying my concerns, as should we all. One thing that has come out of it is that I am at a place of surrender in a different way. It's not UP to me! God orders our steps and He is well able to prevent us from stagnating. So now I am looking at the picture of the row of light bulbs above not so much as shining relative to others even as there is a realization that this is not IT. Truly there is more! I am reminded, instead, that,
“You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden.
YOU be reminded, too! It is not too late, there IS more, and what God showed you and I SHALL come to pass. GOD IS going to do it! God's plans and purposes for our lives are going to manifest in a more profound way and no devil in hell can do a thing about it. All we have to do, is stay the course believe God, and nurture our relationship with Him! All real and effective ministry flows out of that intimate divine relationship. Remember that! Oh, I am seeing it now! He's going to have us in the right place at the right time, with the right people of like same faith! You will be able to be YOU in Christ Jesus, You will flow in the grace upon you by his Spirit! And know this: It's all worth it! You know, just posting this after having been absent from the ARNION MINISTRIES blog for months has encouraged me. Yes, "David encouraged himself". If even one person is encouraged, though it may be only myself, my work is done! Stagnancy be gone! Let us look up and see the face of God!
In His service,