Boat-Rocking 103

WHEN’S THE LAST TIME YOU WERE CALLED TO ACCOUNT?Interesting question ‘eh?If you’re like me you’d rather be CALLING someone to account for their words, behaviors, choices, doctrines and relationships… rather than being the one “on the hot seat”!I bet most reading this are like me.And one thing I learned long ago: if it’s been a loooong time since someone asked you about something in your general life and/or behavior, beliefs and such where you really couldn’t (or decided it best to not) blow them off and just walk away or break fellowship… how did you respond to them and how truly accountable are you… really?That old double-standard of talking to or about this or that person or group re. negatives… how often are you actually on the receiving end of such yourself? Have you considered sometimes you’ve earned it? Is there any truth in the words we’d rather not hear?I’m not even thinking about the specific issue in question, not whether you or “they” are or were right or wrong, or who was 60 percent correct or 20 percent or whatever. I’m not talking about winning or losing an argument. I’m really not even talking about gossip, slander or what the old King James version names as “backbiting”. Interesting word, that :)Rather- if it’s rather rare… maybe even super-rare that you have to re-think your thoughts, choices, behavior, even spiritual positions on things it’s also likely you are removed from the sort of deeper fellowship that would engender spiritual growth as God would have it in your life. Or perhaps your relationships, even friendships in Christ are more superficial than discipling.It often stings when someone cautions us. We don’t like our “boat rocked”. As I say, it’s far easier to rock others than to be rocked!But in the end, there are two (among a lot more…) verses that come to mind from God’s Word:Eph. 5.21 “…and submit to one another out of reverence for Christ.”Ever asked yourself how much true reverence for Jesus you have in relation to how truly submitted to He and His godly people you actually are? I have. Ouch. But if we see things God’s way, a really good ouch 🙂 Crosses are like that.1 Pet. 5.5 In the same way, you who are younger must accept the authority of the elders. And all of you must clothe yourselves with humility in your dealings with one another, for “God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble.”Note: less-spiritually-mature-and-experienced AND “ALL OF YOU” meaning gifts, calling and position isn’t the core matter here, only one of them. And the core of the core in all this? Humility. Yep. Another good ouch!All of us must learn to listen, pray, take other’s views to heart and take the time and gain the humility to “search the scriptures [daily] to” find out if what an individual or group is saying to -you- is true or not, is actually based in the Word of God… and then if you don’t have more than a rather non-challenging relationship with friends… (huge issue there!) I would suggest you ask someone with the love, wisdom of the Lord and His Word who actually knows you and has the sense as well as courage to tell you straight whether or not the input directed to you should be acted upon.It is this area where my title “103” comes in.Lots of believers have a genuine salvation, an authentic walk with Jesus Christ and take time to pray, study the Bible, attend a local fellowship of Christ-followers where the Word is both preached and the people seek to apply it in all areas of their lives and service. Excellent! And such a sad deal when you are a believer who lacks any of these!And yet, many of us camp on a spiritual plateau due to need of personal revival, renewal, a fresh move of God the Holy Spirit in our lives.I think prayer (many forms…), solitude, quiet reflection, excellent books and writings online, etc., audio/video, web forums, chatrooms and various methods of spiritually-focused schools (be they organic, local church-based, Bible college, seminaries, what-have-you) are all wonderful parts of our growth process. BUT… BUT… BUT…:Far too many Christians love these methods and more due to a relative safety due to distance allowed within them. Even in the midst of several of these which include accountability measures, one can often ignore or “duck” the crosses of someone disagreeing with you or challenging you to a greater depth or integrity, or merely to learn more about an important area of God’s heart and your own life.Let me add that NO MATTER THE DELIVERY OF THE TRUTH, truth is often the last thing I want to hear when it has to do with me having to change. How about you?Therefore, some of us camp out on a sort of spiritual island by ourselves… and wonder why we are so lonely, “always mis-understood”, afraid, and really disengaged from the actual spiritual battles God would have us strengthended through. Yes, I said “through”. For if you only hear, read and walk with those you  are comfortable with- how much of The Comforter do you really think you have in your life?God the Holy Spirit loves you and I, and will frequently use “enemies”, “false friends” and those we think (rightly or wrongly) are “lording it over us” to bring us back to Himself, to His Word (especially on the core issues in question) and for the maturing and solidifying of our own faith and spiritual growth.The more you avoid such encounters the less you grow up into Him Who is the Head, that is, Jesus Christ!Why?Because God uses books, internet writings, audio, video, film, nature and plenty of other means by which to speak into our lives and cause growth in His character, nature and in fruitful service to Him and others… but He also uses people in our direct, sometimes daily life, to speak truth to us. And by the way, whether that truth is spoken in love or not!Paul rightly tells us we don’t fight flesh and blood. Has he ever been in a deeper relationship with another human being… church Christian, ANY Christian or non-believer??! Ha! Of course he was. But we often would rather fight, get defensive and park on our own position than pray, search our hearts, search the Word of God for -truth- about ourselves and our situation than to admit we may need to re-think and perhaps change.By the way, I do not write this as a pastor or a position of Christian leadership- rather as a brother in Christ just as much in need of input as any individual Christian! Please know that.None of us is God. Not one of us has a full, revealing spiritual mirror, but if and when we are able to hear and actually in a right heart, respond to input from godly people who love us enough to bring correction… we can continue a disciple’s path of spiritual growth.I have heard plenty of input in my life about my own shoddy Bible interpretation, plenty of poor sermons, songs that I liked that others thought worthy of leaving off cds, harshness/lack of love, inability to communicate well (and of course communication is the main thing I do!!) and on and on.I have been loved, and also loved inadvertenty by folks who would rather have seen me driving a garbage truck than being in any position of leadership or speaking into their lives. And by the way- I have been greatly blessed and benefited from all and each of these.Paul writes: (Rom. 8.28) We know that all things work together for good for those who love God, who are called according to his purpose.Nice verse. Do I, do you, do we Believe this when it comes to someone disagreeing with us or challenging us regarding an area of our life?I am convinced many Christians are stunted in spiritual progress due to lack of relationships where genuine, godly and wise people speak into their life. Further, they either have never begun such a practice or are so out-of-practice with such input they consistently close up, close down and separate from those who seek to help them face “blind spots”, or perhaps areas of actual rebellion against God.You can dress this up any way you like but in the end, if it is true about you (as it has been from time to time with me!), I suggest taking steps of linking with someone and paying the price of a genuine spiritual accountability.But if you are looking for non-stop ice cream and cake experiences with God and His people… and if you are not willing to get out of your boat of safety and security (my/your old life and comfort zones) I suggest you stop listening to Jesus who is calling you out on the water.”My sheep hear my voice and I know them… and they follow Me.”When’s the last time you were called to account? How did you react? How might you do better in this area?I have benefitted GREATLY from such input. It rarely “feels” nice. But chastening that really comes from God- even via others:Years ago my boat began to be rocked as well as finding myself out on the water from time to time. Hebrews 12 sums it up rather well I think:11 Now, discipline always seems painful rather than pleasant at the time, but later it yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.  12  Therefore lift your drooping hands and strengthen your weak knees,  13  and make straight paths for your feet, so that what is lame may not be put out of joint, but rather be healed.  14  Pursue peace with everyone, and the holiness without which no one will see the Lord.  15 See to it that no one fails to obtain the grace of God; that no root of bitterness springs up and causes trouble, and through it many become defiled.Let’s rock! Love, -Glenn

3 thoughts on “Boat-Rocking 103

  1. Boy, I really needed to HEAR this! Thanks, Glenn, for being a Godly brother & friend – as well as TIMELY w/ regards to staying in step w/ the Spirit (see Galatians 5:25-26.) Care if I use share portions of this post w/ our college students? Love to you, Wendi, Ami/Brian, & the rest of the Jesus People! 🙂

  2. Thanks so much Drew, prayers coming your way- Blessed Thanksgiving to you, family and students there. Certainly feel free to share any or all of this as you see fit. Hugs, -Glenn

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