Choosing God

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” (Luke 6:46).

Whenever we find ourselves with competing desires demanding our loyalty and obedience, choose God.

This is so much easier said than done. Because whenever I find myself with competing desires demanding my loyalty and obedience, it’s almost always my will, my desires, my yearnings competing against God’s will. I know how this battle will end. Unless I work really hard, my will wins. Unless I really work on choosing God’s will, my will gets done.

The default mode is choosing my will, my desires, my wants, my yearnings. God’s will is such a distant third, fourth, a hundredth choice away. I have to recall God’s will and then I have to remind myself to choose God’s way. It’s hard. It’s a lot of work. It’s exhausting. But if I don’t, God’s will loses. I end up sinning.

You see, disobeying God is not only a bad idea but it is the arrogant declaration that I know better than God. Why else wouldn’t I choose God’s will? Disobedience is the absurd and arrogant declaration that God is wrong about knowing what is best for me. It is the absurd and arrogant declaration that I know better what is best for me than God does.

That’s just dumb.

Of course God knows better. Of course God knows what is best. After all, he is God. He knows all things.

Look. I get it. Choosing God’s will is difficult. It’s hard work. It’s exhausting. But do it anyway. For your sake and mine.

Whenever we find ourselves with competing desire demanding our loyalty and obedience, choose God.

Pray

“If my people, who are called by my name, will humble themselves and pray and seek my face and turn from their wicked ways, then I will hear from heaven, and I will forgive their sin and will heal their land” (2 Chronicles 6:29).

A simple request – join me in prayer. Join me in praying:

  • For our country – our president, his cabinet, the senate and the congress, our military
  • For our city – our leaders, first responders, health care workers, schools, homeless neighbors, those battling mental health, and those battling addictions
  • For our Little Church and Lakewood Grace – for the weekend services, for small groups, youth, children, for our members

The ministry of the church is not about human innovation or effort. If the ministry is to impact lives and change the world it will because God unleashes his Holy Spirit to do that work. God promises when his church humbles themselves, pray and seek God’s face, turning from our wicked ways, God will hear from heaven and forgive our sins and heal our land.

That’s the ministry of the church. Human beings cannot make that happen. That only happens as God’s people pray and God unleashes his Holy Spirit.

Please, join me in praying. We’ve made it very easy for you. You can join me by zoom or in person in the church offices at 6:30pm on Wednesday evenings. Prayer is the backbone of ministry.

I know many of you pray on your own. I am asking that you take the time to join me in prayer so that corporately we can call upon God to do what only God can do. God loves answering prayers.

The Little Church has many important decisions to make. There is much ministry to be done.

Church, will you join your pastor in praying?

See you Wednesday.

Pastor James <><

No More Addition

“You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness” (Ephesians 4:22-24).

One of the reasons why so many have difficulty and fail in their faith journey is because of addition.

When Christ invites us to receive him as Lord and Savior, he is not asking us to add him to our selfish, sinful, dying old self. Christ is not asking us to clean some stuff up and make room in our old life for Christ. This is the problem of addition. This is the problem of addition.

Old, Dying, Nasty, Sinful Life + Christ

Look at the text for this day.

  • PUT OFF your old self which is corrupted by deceitful desires
  • PUT ON the new self created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness

This is not adding Christ to our old life. This is renouncing our old life for Christ and the new life he offers. This is not making room for Christ, this is taking the fulness of Christ and the new life he offers.

New ways of living. New priorities. New perspectives. New life.

Any time we attempt to hold on to our previous way of life – a life that was under the control and influence of the flesh and sin – we will struggle.

Just because we choose to take on the new life Christ offers doesn’t mean that it’s easy sailing from that moment. The old flesh will continue to fight. Our old ways of being and thinking will still wriggle its way in. It will be a constant battle to reject the old ways of living.

If we’re going to struggle either way, what’s the point?

Great question. The point is joy, contentment, peace. If these things matter at all to you, you will want to put off your old self and put on the new self Christ offers. You will battle and struggle, but should you choose Christ you will have joy, contentment, and peace.

No more addition. PUT OFF the old self.

A transformed life. PUT ON the new self.