Prayer doesn’t change God, it changes us. The man who doesn’t pray is a man under the false delusion he needs no further changing.
Reading Challenge for this Week:
Read 1 JOHN everyday. All FIVE chapters. It will be a challenge. Stretch yourself. Trust God to speak.
Here is the stark spiritual reality of all of our lives: We are all disciples of someone or something and we are all discipling someone.
The second reality, that can equally as startling, is that it is not all that difficult to determine what we are becoming and what we are creating. The Look around you. What do you see? Does the old saying, “Junk in, Junk out,” apply to you? What is coming into your life will determine what will come out of your life. It is one of the most elemental principles of this world. The Bible says it this way,
7Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap. 8For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life. (Galatians 6:7-8, ESV)
There it is. The issue is not whether or not we are disciples. We all ARE disciples. The issue is whose disciples are we. The principle contained here is that the God as established the order in this world to function according to a certain pattern. What you do will have corresponding effects. That is why Paul says that we should not be “deceived.” Why not? Just because we do not understand what is taking place beneath the soil when a seed is put there, does not mean that nothing is happening. God has established the process of sowing and reaping. That is why God is not made to look foolish, even when the results are delayed. This delay is a perception issue, not a reality.
In the same way that seed germinate and bring forth the plant, so do our choices germinate and bring forth the consequences of our actions. Our inability to witness the process does not mean that it will not take place. God is at work throughout his creation. Our job is understand this and then to walk in faith, trusting that God will accomplish his purposes according to his plan. This truly is the power of faith. God is returned to his rightful place in our lives.
If we are going to BE disciples of and for Jesus who MAKE disciples of and for Jesus, we have to make sure that we are following the right person. As we have looked at earlier, we have to make sure that we are following someone who understands what it means to be followed! False humility about our worthiness to lead others into a closer relationship to Christ will not achieve our goal.
Take some time this week to look around your and see who you are following and ask this question: Is who I am following leading me closer to Jesus or further away? If the answer is not what you want it to be, ask God to send someone into your life that will help you make the necessary course correction.
The hour is steadily drawing nearer when it will be seen if we have built on “the rock” or on “the sand”.
In November of this past year, 2011, I attended Timothy Eldred’s pre-conference seminar on youth-led ministry at the National Youth Workers Convention in Atlanta. Since that time I have dealt with the ideas, concepts and challenges that Tim offered to us as we listened and talked. What is the purpose of Youth Ministry and the Youth Minister/Pastor? What is it that should be the goal of each? I can not say, not yet anyway, that I know all that I should be doing, but I will say that what I have been doing is not the answer.