God has really been laying this heavy on my heart as of late, so here is the back story behind it:
Sunday Morning David Ring came to speak at First Baptist Church of Orlando. For those of you who don't know who he is- David Ring is one of the most influential pastors/speakers of this quickly ending era; he also has cerebral palsy. As one of our pastors helped him to the stage I couldn’t help but feel sorry for him, although I knew his story would be one of how God had worked through him and how he had overcome his “handicap.” As he began to speak [You had to listen very closely because he had a speech impediment as well] I tried to go in with an open mind. What the Holy Spirit revealed, blew me away.
His story was one that had truly been used by God, who had not used his handicap as a justification. The one statement he used repetitively in his sermon was, “I have cerebral palsy. What’s your excuse?” As he repeated that statement throughout his sermon, it hit me harder each time and caused me to examine myself. What excuses was I making in an attempt to rationalize my actions or lack thereof? I had a bad day, so I snap at my parents and my younger brothers; a customer gave me a ration at work, so I speak poorly of them behind their back. This man who stood on stage before me had every reason to want to curl up into a ball and die. David Ring’s life has been nothing more than a worship song to Christ and his story. What have I been doing the past twenty years of my life?
This is where you come in. Now I know some of you are new Christians and still have that fire, while others of you like me, have been Christ followers for years. Whether you’ve been a Christian for two years or twelve years, I urge you- DO NOT BE COMFORTABLE! How many times do we consistently read our bible then get satisfied with how close we have become with Christ. We then gradually stop being consistent, and slack off; satisfied where we are. Do not allow the time you spend in church service to be the only time you are getting fed. Spend time in the word every day, by any means necessary.
If we relax and become content with where we are, we begin to congeal and our flame fades. People complain about the camp high, and that they wish every day could be like that. IT CAN! We go to camp to feel that flame rekindled but the truth of the matter is that church is supposed to be that spiritual kerosene for us each week. I suggest finding a church that will challenge you in your spirituality and is active in the community. Do not go to church expecting to be entertained; allow all the distractions-s the type of music, or the missed cues- to fall away && focus on WHY you are there.
I have heard not only from friends, but my own younger brother that he does not enjoy going to church anymore. The fact of the matter is that we need to get over attempting to go to church to be pleased. Find a church that preaches the bible but is that kindle that stokes the fire. Take what you’re learning and actually apply it! Dedicate your day to Christ before even stepping out the door. Glorify God in ALL of your speech and actions and allow Him to take over your day. Be consistently stepping out of your comfort zone and stepping up like Christ has called us to!
i shall be telling this with a sigh
somewhere ages and ages hence:
two roads diverged in a wood, and i -
i took the one less traveled by,