Murray’s ministry was in the 1800′s. He wrote hundreds of books and tracts. He passionately lived a life fully devoted to Jesus Christ. He desired that all people do the same, but noted obstacles to participating in the life of God.
“Murray wrote to interpret the Scriptures in such a way that Christians were free to believe and experience the grace of God. He believed that God had done everything necessary for people to live rich, productive, meaningful lives that participated in the life of God. The obstacles to such lives included half-hearted surrender to God, a lack of confidence in the anointing of the Spirit, and a deep-rooted skepticism about the power of prayer.”
I too, wish to live passionately and participate in the life of God. This brings me to consider the impact of his noted obstacles on my life. I must ask myself….
- Am I fully surrendered? Unlikely
- Do I lack confidence in the anointing of the Spirit? Probably.
- Am I a skeptic about the power of prayer? Maybe
This is all a bit frustrating. I have been a believer for 50 years and can’t confidently answer I am fully surrendered, fully confident in the anointing and equally confident in prayer. What happened?
I find myself crying out, “Father! What must I do? Help me! Remove any obstacles in my life. Allow me to live a life fully participating in the life of God… “
What obstacles are keeping you from living a life fully devoted to God?
Surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…
For more GodSpots – 37stories Enjoy!
I blog, twitter, facebook, email, text and whatever else I can to contribute toward building a social network. Today, with twitter I followed a number of other people who also twitter. Uniquely, the people I chose to follow had used the word God in their “tweets”. Now that can be good or bad depending on how you use the word.
One of the twits said he was a “self confessed atheist” or something like that. He said he was being followed by someone that claimed he had seen god at least 37 times and was willing to convert if I had. My gut reaction was a desire to reach for the nearest Bible and beat him with it. Why is that? Why would I want to beat someone with a Bible?
You know that type of reaction is not just from me. It is typical of the way one religion feels and reacts to another religion. Each one thinks they have it right and the other one is suspected of going to hell.
In reality it was only a few seconds before my mind drifted from Bible thumping to finding humor in the proclamation of being willing to convert if I had seen God 37 times. I really have spotted God more than 37 times so I look forward to one day seeing this twitter convert to a belief in Christ.
My response was one of giving thanks that God has no borders. He is not confined by religion, race, size, gender or whatever. God loves us all. He really wants us to see Him and acknowledge His bigness by submitting to His authority as Creator. He wants us to return His love. Is that so hard…
Guest post by Greg Coplen (originally on Greg’s facebook). He issues a challenge:
I think that Jeff Harris did a series entitled something like “What’s your story” recently so I may be stealing the title from him.
People are inspired and moved by life-change. Seeing someone else rise from the ashes makes us want to do the same.
I’ve heard that any good testimony has three parts: What life was like, What happened, What life is like now. Many of you know my story, but I’m going to give another brief run-down for reasons that will become clear later.
What life was like:
My life was in shambles. It had started out well enough. I started in full-time ministry back when I was 24 years old as a Music Director at a local church. Through the years though my alcoholism, which I had been fighting since my late teens, began to overtake anything and everything that I deemed important until it finally overtook me. By the time I reached 30 years old I was jobless, homeless (in a physical and spiritual sense) and in horrible physical condition. I didn’t really eat or take care of myself other than just enough to get by for the day. Alcohol had become my meal of choice. I was no longer welcome in my family’s life. Everything in my life that I truly loved had been taken away.
Aug. 8th 2005: I was driven to University Hospital in San Antonio, TX and spent a few days there detoxing from alcohol. I was then driven to a treatment center in Fredericksburg, TX where I began a recovery program. I had no hope that it would work because nothing ever had before. But, what I did have was the knowledge that I could not go back to the way life was because I knew that I would kill myself.
So, I asked God to walk with me one step, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I asked Him to take away the desire to drink. I asked Him to give me my family back and I asked that I would allow Him to guide each of my steps.
In short I began a process of exchanging my own life for a life that I hoped would not only exemplify Christ in me, but would truly be Christ in me. For some it happens overnight, for others it is a process. But, what I know is that God heard my prayers and saw my desire to be the person He had called me to be.
What life is like now:
In short: incredible! I’m on a journey that is so much more than just recovery. I’m on a journey that challenges me to love people I don’t want to love, to walk with those in whose steps I have already taken, and to be open and authentic about who I used to be and who I am now.
There is no place and no time for hiding my past. If my past and my mistakes can be a part of leading someone else to the Cross then what a blessing that is to me.
I’m on a journey to be the husband, the father and the friend that He has called me to be. I’m on a journey to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.
Finally, I’m on a journey to let go of all that I hold dear and recognize that it’s all just a gift from God. I’ve been given the responsibility to take care of it while it’s in my possession.
Am I up for the challenge? Today I am!
I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
So, the question is, what’s your story? I would love to hear it and so would the rest of the world.
I’m going to put this on my profile for the FB world to see.
Are you willing to share your story?
Surf on over to Greg Coplen Facebook and leave your story. Thanks Greg. This is incredibly encouraging! God bless.
I was listening to a believer friend the other day expressing frustration at an acquaintance who said she knew where she was going when she died but it was none of my friend’s business. It was the opinion of the secret holding friend that these things are personal and should not be discussed. Huh?
Now if I thought I was going to hell, I might not tell you. I wouldn’t want you to think less of me here on earth. But because I know I am going to spend eternity in heaven, I quickly want you to know about it. So why all the secrecy by others?
Could it be in this politically correct society, we have added one more “don’t ask, don’t tell” to the list. Now, I shouldn’t talk about politics, religion or eternal destiny. I don’t know if I buy that. I have to think, “WWPJ”. That’s an Archie original and stands for “What Would Paul Do”?
From my friend Faith. What a great name!
No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.
So…most of you know that this last week was pretty intense for my family. I received the call Friday evening from my parents telling me that my mom had been having chest pains, had been to a cardiologist, and that she would have a heart catheterization (with stints or bypass) on Monday. My entire family rushed to Missouri to be with my mom and dad. My mom was having all the symptoms of a heart attack on Sunday and was taking nitroglycerin. On Monday, the doctor told us that my mom had some anomalies (defects) and 2 clogged and calcified coronary arteries. He told us that he was pretty sure that she was going to have a triple bypass. We rallied, prayed, and hoped for the best.
An hour passed and the doctor came out with a perplexed expression on his face. He said, “She’s fine. Actually she is better than fine. Her arteries have zero plague and no calcification. Being 65, she should have some but she doesn’t. Not only is she plague free, but the abnormalities on the CAT scan just aren’t there anymore. I cannot explain it, and I called 3 other doctors in to look…God must have performed a miracle.”
My mom went home that evening and has had no chest pain or any symptoms. My mom says that all her symptoms went away shortly before they wheeled her into the procedure room and that it was fascinating to watch the doctors freaking out because they didn’t see what they thought they would. They even checked to make sure they had the right CAT scan.
I am praising God because I truly believe He healed my mom…a mighty demonstration of His power. As you pray and listen to God this week, what is God demonstrating to you?
“As Christ’s ambassador and now a prisoner for him, I wouldn’t hesitate to command this if I thought it necessary, but I’d rather make it a personal request.
If he damaged anything or owes you anything, chalk it up to my account. This is my personal signature—Paul—and I stand behind it. (I don’t need to remind you, do I, that you owe your very life to me?) Do me this big favor, friend. You’ll be doing it for Christ, but it will also do my heart good.” Paul
It seems Paul had the authority to command this or that to be done. He chose to allow those who “owed him” the opportunity to do based on their love for him. He reminded them of the debt, but much preferred they exceed his expectations out of love.
That is much like the relationship we have with Christ. God created man. He is in authority over us because He created us. God has certain expectations of us. He could command us to do this or that. Sometimes, I think He does. But you know, He much prefers we exceed His expectations out of love.
Creation alone is enough justification for authority and the right to tell us what to do, but when God suffered even as His Son suffered on the cross His authority was further authenticated. As Paul said, “… you owe your life to me”. As believers, we owe God our life because He created us and doubly owe Him our life as He saved us from eternal Hell and gave us eternal life.
This prompts me to consider: What command has God directed to you and I, that He much prefer we do out of love and exceed His expectations? I wonder if it is even possible to exceed God’s expectations?
I have to say, losing my tv signal was grossly overrated. For months, that is all I heard of interest from my tv. I kept hearing how in just a few months, then weeks, then days and finally “its only minutes away!” I was going to lose my tv signal.
From all the hype, I thought it was going to be some event near as big as Jesus coming again. But, it never happened. I did lose the programs normally seen. But the signal is still there. I can watch as much tv as I want. It is just the content that has changed.
It’s 2:14 AM and for hours now, the station has been telling me how to connect my cables and recommending I go spend money to purchase a converter box. So far, I am happy enough with the new programming. It is handy to know how to connect stuff and what tv gadget boxes I should buy.
I think I’ll stick with the new programming and see how things work out. The only shows I miss are the same ones I missed before the programming change. The English comedy went off the air a while back on PBS and I was stuck watching goofed up people on sitcoms doing goofed up things.
Yeah. I’m ok with the new programming. I’ll just probably watch a lot less of it.
In the Word there is the story of a single Godly prophet challenging the prophets of baal. I figure they were the prophets of the evil one. Certainly, God’s prophet challenged them with fire from heaven and torched them. As I recall, it actually cost them their life.
Then, I remember the story about the men attempting to be of God challenging the evil spirits in a man and received a thrashing by the spirits. I hope I got the story right.
Yesterday, I spoke words into the comment field of a blog that was obviously evil. I was offended by his unGodly character and chose to speak kind words, fully expecting kindness to be repaid with venom. I was not disappointed.
Now the question becomes, when is it wise to do battle with the evil one? I may have posted my comments out of distaste, but my motive may have been for the sport of poking the evil one. I wonder if there is wisdom in poking the evil one for the sport of it?