[Spanish Translation] [French Translation] From time to time, there are some messages that come with heightened sense of urgency in my spirit. The last one was about how we need to be relentless. [Read here] This one is one such post that the Lord has been stirring within me.
About a month ago, we were in Indonesia for couple of days for a crusade. During that visit, my heart was troubled and overwhelmed by so many thoughts.
Our world is strewn with examples of great leaders who have had a sad ending and many simple people who had great endings. My spirit groaned as I wished to know why and how such great leaders, who had seen such great impacts, could be blinded by these traps of the enemy. I knew we had the same path ahead of us and we needed guidance, wisdom and much grace.
Even after the service, my heart continued to groan as I went to sleep on my bed. Silent tears fell on my pillow, as I longed to hear what God had in his mind. Unusually, I was awakened by a dream at 4am. I realized the Holy Spirit wanted me to pray. I staggered out of my bed, freshened up and began to pray as my spirit continued to groan within me. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me. Here are few things that I learnt that morning from our Helper:
1. Renewing the Right Spirit
King David, one of the most successful leaders and the King of Israel, had many flaws. Even though, he loved God with all his heart, he still had many failings that could have cost him everything. But he had a prayer that he lived on closely, Psalms 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.” That morning in my hotel room, I heard the Holy Spirit clearly say the key was,‘renewing right spirit – daily!’
After a while of being on the throne, the passions that he had not given in to earlier had now taken over King David. From lust to adultery which eventually even led to murder. The problem was that he had become familiar with the things of God. How often have we come across people who have been on the throne for so long that they feel anything they do is justified? No matter how long we have been in the ministry or no matter how big our church is, there is a prayer that we have to pray every day – “Lord, renew a right spirit within us”. It does not matter, how many years we’ve been in the church. Do not let our spirit get accustomed to our everyday life. Do we need a spirit renewal? Let us desire everyday for the renewal of our spirit from the dirt of this world.
2. Beyond Mere Experiences
After someone has gone through a series of learning, they are then called an experienced person or some even call them a guru. He has learned it because he has been through it. But something about the Kingdom of God is that God has never worked based on the experiences of man. God has always done things in a new way. Now I am not saying experience is bad, experience helps us be cautious but when it comes to ministry and serving God, we do not live by sight, we live by faith; we live by hearing what God wants us to do. We must continue to surrender our head knowledge into the hands of the Holy Spirit to do beyond what we have seen or heard lest we act from our experiences.
3. The Teachable Spirit
It is very interesting to me that even after His resurrection; Jesus was still led by the Spirit. The Bible says in Acts 1:2, that Jesus had given commands to the disciples through the Holy Spirit. The danger lies in when we come to a place where we do not learn anymore. If you have begun to feel that you have lived long enough and that you know it all, then I believe you have stepped into a place of stagnancy. We need to continue to subject ourselves to learning all that we can learn through every situation. Despite where you are in the ministry, keep your heart open to learn the new things of God from all areas of life even from people whom we do not expect to learn from.
4. The Sense of Achievement
That morning as I was with the Lord, the Holy Spirit brought to me the thought of how we must guard ourselves from the sense or the feeling that we have achieved something. As the root of this sense of achievement is pride, the sense of achievement is no achievement in itself. When we find our security in our achievements, two things happen. One, you then shut yourself from giving God the glory and secondly, you then have already opened the door for the enemy to sow more pride into your life. And, we all know, the fall follows.
If 3 prophecies come to pass because we prophesied, we do not become god on earth, we are still His servants. If there are 10,000 people in our churches, let’s agree it is not us but the Lord’s work and pray for the rest of the millions who are yet to know Christ in our city. But the second, we feel we have achieved something, then we have already begun slipping. Let us not forget that there are and there will always be, greater things that God can do through us.
2 Corinthians 10:18 says, “For it is not the one who commends himself who is approved, but the one whom the Lord commends.” Let us guard our hearts today from any achievements that can take away the glory from God to ourselves.
5. Strive for Clean Hands and Pure Heart
Again, from the life of David, Psalms 24:3-6 he wrote that those that dwell with God are those that who have clean hands and a pure heart. Clean hands show our actions in our life. Have we acted just? Pure heart shows our motives and thoughts. In our desire to keep people happy and to be in good books with everyone, we sometimes let ourselves be deceived by doing things just for the sake of it.
Galatians 1:10 says, “For am I seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Sometimes we can act diplomatically well but mean wicked in our hearts. Let us keep both our hands and heart clean and pure before God. Are we really pleasing God in what we do or are we doing it for the acceptance of people? Do not let your self-image come in between daring to live pure for God.
Notice that David prayed these prayers. Yes, before we are able to live it, we need to seek God for strength to live it. A good place to start off is with a heart’s desire for the need to change and live a life that pleases him.