Archive for November, 2015

Go Where God is Working

Henry Blackaby said in his book Experiencing God that we needed to determine where God was working and then get involved as he led. That made sense to my wife and I, and so we applied it a few years ago to what church we joined.

We checked out several churches in our area that were solid in their biblical teachings. But one stood out as having the evidence of God doing a special work there. That was the main reason we chose this church. We wanted to be involved in what God was doing in his world.

Seeking World Peace

Why Go Where God Is Working?

Wouldn’t it be more important to go where we felt the most comfortable, the best taught, or the most needed?

The answer for us was no.

A church can do nothing without the Holy Spirit (John 15:5). A church can teach good doctrine, have good people, and be doing good in the community and still be an unhealthy church. If the church has grieved or quenched the Holy Spirit, it could be a dying or a dead church, no matter how much Bible the people know.

The sad truth is that God can and does withdraw his Spirit from churches (Revelations 2:4). He may not due it entirely, but he doesn’t work where he is not welcomed. Just as we can grieve and quench the Holy Spirit as individuals through disobedience (Ephesians 4:30; 1 Thessalonians 5:19), so can churches. We would rather have minor roles in a church that is alive than to be leaders in a church where God is grieved (Psalm 84:10).

Final Thoughts

God’s Great Commission to us is to go and make disciples as he leads and empowers (Matthew 28:18-20). He invites us to join him in his work in deepening and expanding his church. May we look for where God is doing this and get involved.


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Responding to Pain

I like life to be comfortable. Therefore, I hate pain, especially the chronic kind. So, I have struggled the last nine months over having chronic pain.

But life’s not supposed to be this way! What’s wrong?

Probably nothing. The Bible teaches that pain and trouble will always be a major part of our lives (John 16:33). The real question is how do we respond to pain and difficulties when they happen?

Climbing a mountain

A hard truth that we need to face is that God is more interested in our godliness than in our comfort (Philippians 3:8). I have known this truth for many years – and for many years I have not fully accepted it. Yet, his chipping away at my independence is relentless and a fulfillment of his promised intention to see Christ formed in me.

But I want comfort! However, Paul considered comfort rubbish compared to being like Jesus.

Another aid to enduring difficulties is that God promises to bring good out of them. “I cause all things to work together for good for you” (Romans 8:28, paraphrased).

But I often don’t believe this because I don’t understand how this miserable pain could cause a good. But God says, “Trust Me and don’t rely on trying to understand how I will make your pain work a net good for you” (Proverbs 3:5-6, paraphrased).

A final thought about how to respond to pain in a godly way is remember that God walks with us through the difficulties. He helps us get through them. As I reflect on how he has worked to help me through painful times, I am amazed I was able to endure. These include three years of near constant neck pain and one year of 4 root canals and a tooth extraction. But he got me through them as he promised he would (Philippians 4:13).

So, cheer up! Our pain is to help us become godlier (James 1:2-3), May we set our minds on what God is doing and not get buried in our painful self-centeredness (Colossians 3:2).

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