Partnering with others to grow in faith………………………….Matthew 28: 19 & 20
“Only a disciple can make a disciple.”……..A.W. Tozer
In His “Great Commission”, Jesus charged us to make disciples. Many churches today seem to me to be just “salvation mills”. Let’s get them in the door and share the Gospel, get them saved and report the numbers. That’s only the first step. We have a responsibility as disciples to make disciples.
I first accepted Christ at age 14 in a church that had very little opportunity for me to get “plugged in”. Although there was a youth group, my dad was the youth leader. I didn’t listen to him at home and I wasn’t about to listen to him at church either. There was a lot of; “Don’t do that, or don’t act like that.” Practical examples of right living didn’t exist. I didn’t understand why at the time, but there was no joy in his heart. This just seemed another avenue he could take to tell me how to live. No one was investing in me, so I was still lost. Needless to say, it wasn’t long and I stepped right back into the world. This selfish path continued for another 24 years before God got my attention again. Ironically, it was prophecies given to me by my dad that would lead me back to the cross.
I praise God often that He led me to a Foursquare church where there were people willing to invest in a stubborn, broken-hearted sinner like me. What a difference it made to be shown the love of Christ instead being judged and told how to live. That church is where my family and I served for many years.
All in or not in at all……………………………………….Philippians 1: 27 through 2: 17
Here at The Fort Church, we urge our brothers and sisters to grow by serving. Understanding that submission to the Word by serving others is the quickest way to growth for a budding leader, is paramount in our ministry. Therefore, we try to create opportunities for others to take advantage of this path. I have no problem allowing others to get their feet wet. It took a long time for me to learn the principle; “if you try to do everything, you’ll do nothing well”. Now that Jesus is the head of my life, I love to partner with others to fulfill His purposes for us.
Correction and refinement………Daniel 11:35, 1 Corinthians 3:10-15 & James 1:12
Understanding why God allows adversity in our lives is half the battle, and understanding that battle belongs to God and not us is the other half. Questions regarding these principles are the basis for most of our requests for counseling. Dealing with the constant attack of our adversary can be a difficult process to teach. Contemporary society would have us think that believing there are demonic forces that attack us is just something out of the past. We’re “enlightened” beyond that kind of thought. Modern science and medicine have attached a name to every kind of affliction or behavior one can imagine. “It’s not my fault; I’m just a victim of this condition or that other one. I can’t be responsible for my behavior.” This seems to be today’s mantra.
Standing together against the world’s traps………………….Ephesians 6: 10-18
What an amazing time in history to be called into service. Pat and I are honored and humbled God chose us for ministry in these last days. The book Prayer Is Invading The Impossible by Jack Hayford, had a profound effect on my heart in regards to where we must live spiritually. In it Dr. Hayford teaches the difference between having a prayer life and living a life of prayer. A prayer life is a compartment of our faith to be used as needed. Living a life of prayer is an understanding that everything in our lives can and must be in fellowship with our Father God. It caused me to realize the great examples of this kind of obedience I’ve had in my life. While reading this book I understood how my grandmother had made this principle the central focus of her faith. She loved Jesus and prayed about everything. I remember fondly how she would pray for the chickens as she gathered the eggs, and pray for the eggs as she put them gently into the basket, and then thank God for the chicken-house to protect the chickens. This was just matter-of-fact for her. Looking back, I believe it’s not a coincidence my grandparents and my parents ran that farm for 60 years without ever losing a crop to the elements or animals to any kind of disease. Our faithful God was honoring the prayers of His faithful servant.
I refer to this matter-of-fact fellowship with God as “living in the throne-room”. Figuring out that the battle belongs to God and not to me changed my life significantly. The story in 2 Chronicles chapter 20 of King Jehoshaphat of Judah and the battle with the eastern armies is my favorite battle story. After the people fasted and prayed, God sent prophecy that they should put the singers and musicians out in front of the army to precede them in battle. Any military leader would tell you to lead with your artillery. The smart money would have been put on sending the archers first. God instructed them that sending His artillery was sending the singers and trumpet players first. By doing so He would precede them in battle because the battle belongs to God and not to them. As I said before, the Psalmist reminds us that God inhabits the praises of His faithful people. What an amazing outcome! The army arrived on scene to discover all their enemies had killed each other down to the last man! Prayer and praise are heavenly artillery! Praise God again for clarity!