Boxes and Fruit

When (not if) we put God in a box, we actually put ourselves in a box.

Religion is our attempt to limit God so we can keep our boxes closed which feels safer but actually disconnects us from God and one another.  Religion focuses on activity not relationship.

When we are numb we do not feel pain and can be blind to that which hurts us.  We mistake the lack of our feeling pain for a false nobility (honour).  We first need to acknowledge pain in order to see what caused it.

Fear and being unforgiving box us in.  Vulnerability is living outside the box, a box which is sustained by fear or being unforgiving.

Faith overcomes fear, grace creates space for forgiveness.  Live outside the box.

Fear leads us to look at problems.  Faith leads up to look to God.  Fear steers us to either try to remove those problems or block them out.  Faith steers us to see problems as opportunities for growth.

Battering rams only lead to stronger draw bridges.

We all want to see more fruit in the church.  But as branches do we pursue good tasting fruit or a healthy root connection to the vine?

A healthy root produces good fruit.

Duty follows love, but love cannot follow duty.  But duty may usurp the heart if we don’t feed the heart in love.  Sons not servants.  Identity.

Duty dries out life.  I do things because I have to not because I want to.  Love sees people for who they are and looks to give them what they need.  Where has the passion gone?  Passion fuels endurance and warms the heart like the sun.

Learning when to wait and when to act

Look and listen – like we learned when crossing the road BUT it’s learning to look and listen with spiritual eyes and ears.  And learning to wait until the Lord says to cross.

Green Cross Code

  1. THINK! Find the safest place to cross, then stop.
  2. STOP! Stand on the pavement near the kerb.
  3. USE YOUR EYES AND EARS! Look all around for traffic, and listen.
  4. WAIT UNTIL IT’S SAFE TO CROSS! If traffic is coming, let it pass.
  5. LOOK AND LISTEN! When it’s safe, walk straight across the road.
  6. ARRIVE ALIVE! Keep looking and listening

The waiting is hard but we need to keep asking as in the parable of the widow and unjust judge.

Luke 18:1-8

The Great Romantic, Purpose and Destiny

Purpose is important. Purpose gives you a reason to get up in the morning. Without purpose we become depressed. When we lose purpose our identity has been stolen.

True purpose is God’s calling into destiny. Our hearts awaken simply at the thought of that. Something to live for, something to long for, something to die for.

God is a romantic. He yearns for you,  searches for you, and greatly desires to win your heart and having won your heart, to captivate your heart.  He is the knight in shining armour, fighting his way through the brambles, breaking into the castle to kiss you and wake you up from a 100 year sleep.  There is nothing he wouldn’t do and in fact He has already done it all on the cross.  All we have to do is to turn our face towards Him and receive the kiss of life.

Once we wake the Lord puts Himself in us and sends us as knights in shining armour to more castles enclosed in brambles with many sleeping beauties within.  What can we do but get out our sword and fight for those we love.

The Great Romantic calls us into Purpose and Destiny.

Rick Oldland – Spiritual Warfare in the Church (Parts 1 and 2):

 

Suggestion is the enemy of integrity

The enemy finds many ways to whisper suggestion in our ears and sow seeds of doubt about people or ministries.

We need to recognise when suggestion is at work and cut through it looking for the truth as seen in the open and the fruit of those concerned.