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Time Out!

Ever wrestle with God?

Often, when I am trying to do things in my own strength, determined to accomplish something the Lord either told me not to do, or beyond the scope of what He required, [they even have a name for that: “hell bent”] the Lord will wrestle with me. Sometimes, it is the hand of God’s discipline that takes something away from me or allows me to fall into the bed I have made in order that I may lie in it. Other times, circumstances rise up against me causing confusion, frustration, or some blockade that prevents me from building my idol to the counterfeit god, Progress. But, when I am deep in the word, steeped in prayer, and faithful to “be still and know” that He is God, the voice of the Holy Spirit will set me straight or someone in pastoral authority over me (a mentor) will ask me a “killer question” that will recalibrate my heart in an instant.

This is one of those times.

I won’t get into great detail yet. But, someone had put an idea out there to me and I decided (without consulting the Lord) that it was a great idea. I went, hell bent, on the trail to “making it happen”. As a self inflicted storm of busyness ripped through my life, a familiar fog of confusion settled in. Frustration wasn’t far behind as my plans were tossed about and made impotent. I had allowed self effort a very short, but typically effective, reign rather than the Spirit.

I took a sabbath last Friday and went to a local monastery where I knew I could step away from the many loudly spinning plates I had in the air.

I could almost hear the madness creaking to a halt as the silence settled in. 

Growing Up into Maturity

     This month, a lot of our conversations in discipleship meetings have been related to interpersonal communication – a term I’m calling henceforth “relational injustice”. When someone does you wrong, there’s a debt/debtor relationship established. Some of us are great at cleaning the ledger through forgiveness and reconciliation and others are not… True? Sometimes. Sometimes, we’re great at it with everyone but the people closest to us. Their injustice can drive us crazy, pushing us into the “I’m not doing/saying anything until he/she/they apologize(s)!”

     Discipleship is about letting the truth of God shine a light on the dark places in our soul (mind, will, emotions) to expose the junk that’s clinging to us and stunting our spiritual growth. It’s about God growing us up into the image and stature (fullness) of Christ. (See Eph. 4.13-16) When we, broken and maturing people, regardless of that level of maturity, yoke ourselves to others relationally, there will be relational injustice. Somebody’s always “doing someone wrong”, even if only by accident.

     Next week, expect to see articles about how some people are handling the “relational injustice” in their lives, truth about the dark places in their hearts, and what it means to “grow up” in the faith.

     For now, we’re looking forward to a great wedding this weekend of two people that have been “sitting at Christ’s table with us” for a while. Watching them grow up in the faith and deal with the relational injustice factor has been an honor and a pleasure. It may seem strange to take pleasure in hearing about how people fight with each other, but this is more from a therapeutic and developmental angle – we love to see them grow to be more mature “contenders” with each other. As they (and by extension, we all) yield to who God is making them to be [that is, “one flesh”], contending becomes more mature. We become “kinder fighters” as one would have it.

    We look forward to walking with them in this new season of life. Keep Rory & Coral in your prayers!

    If you have not recently heard Pastor Andy Stanley’s excellent message on growing up (for adults only) called “Gentelmen’s Club” – PULEEZE, click here and watch part 2 of the series. It is as apropos to married couples (who also need to date each other) as it is to singles.

Growing Up into Maturity

     This month, a lot of our conversations in discipleship meetings have been related to interpersonal communication – a term I’m calling henceforth “relational injustice”. When someone does you wrong, there’s a debt/debtor relationship established. Some of us are great at cleaning the ledger through forgiveness and reconciliation and others are not… True? Sometimes. Sometimes, we’re great at it with everyone but the people closest to us. Their injustice can drive us crazy, pushing us into the “I’m not doing/saying anything until he/she/they apologize(s)!”

     Discipleship is about letting the truth of God shine a light on the dark places in our soul (mind, will, emotions) to expose the junk that’s clinging to us and stunting our spiritual growth. It’s about God growing us up into the image and stature (fullness) of Christ. (See Eph. 4.13-16) When we, broken and maturing people, regardless of that level of maturity, yoke ourselves to others relationally, there will be relational injustice. Somebody’s always “doing someone wrong”, even if only by accident.

     Next week, expect to see articles about how some people are handling the “relational injustice” in their lives, truth about the dark places in their hearts, and what it means to “grow up” in the faith.

     For now, we’re looking forward to a great wedding this weekend of two people that have been “sitting at Christ’s table with us” for a while. Watching them grow up in the faith and deal with the relational injustice factor has been an honor and a pleasure. It may seem strange to take pleasure in hearing about how people fight with each other, but this is more from a therapeutic and developmental angle – we love to see them grow to be more mature “contenders” with each other. As they (and by extension, we all) yield to who God is making them to be [that is, “one flesh”], contending becomes more mature. We become “kinder fighters” as one would have it.

    We look forward to walking with them in this new season of life. Keep Rory & Coral in your prayers!

    If you have not recently heard Pastor Andy Stanley’s excellent message on growing up (for adults only) called “Gentelmen’s Club” – PULEEZE, click here and watch part 2 of the series. It is as apropos to married couples (who also need to date each other) as it is to singles.

The Words of Our Mouth

     This morning, we heard great words of wisdom from Andy Stanley about Love, Sex, and Dating – great advice even for those who are married (remember to date your wife and work on your marriage – the “Right Person Myth” has destroyed more marriages than I care to imagine). LOOK FOR THIS MESSAGE on North Point’s website this week (video messages are usually up by Tuesday or Wednesday) at www.northpoint.org/messages.

     Tonight, my cousin, Nicole, passed on an article she was reading from Andy’s Dad, Dr. Charles Stanley. Entirely different subject – but it relates to how we conduct all of our relationships and is incredibly apropos in our discipleship relationships. Men, as you disciple your sons; leaders, as you grow your staff and speak into their lives; women, as you go about your business(es) – consider what scripture has to say about “The Words of Our Mouth“.

HT: Nicole Lewis

Pass it on!!!

AP