2 Corinthians 3:2-3 “You yourselves are our letter of recommendation, written on our hearts, to be known and read by all. And you show that you are a letter from Christ delivered by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts.”
I love and esteem God’s Word and I can understand you thinking that with my blog titled, ‘God’s Letter to the world’ I was going to be speaking about the bible. However, I’ve discovered like you have, the world doesn’t read its bible but it does read its Christians.
Paul in his letter to the church in Corinth didn’t need to send a reference letter to them because the people themselves were his letter of recommendation. The credibility of Paul’s ministry was found in the people whom he’d ministered to.
The canvas of ministry is people. A ministers work of art is people. Every minister should look at people like Picasso looked at a blank piece of canvas and see incredible potential. Recently, I had the privilege of baptizing a new believer into the life of the church. At his baptism his family and friends came up and expressed with heartfelt emotion their appreciation for us investing into their loved one’s life. They shared how amazed they were at the difference in the young man’s approach to life and priorities because of the time and energy I and others had invested into him. This is what winning looks like in God’s kingdom. When God takes a person who is broken and restores them, he is sending the world another letter of his love, power and grace.
Your life is a letter from Christ delivered to the world. God is writing on the tablet of your heart. Your heart is the canvas God writes his story upon. He doesn’t use ink but he uses the Holy Spirit. This means you need to pay attention to your story because your story is your brand, your message. Every one loves a story, especially kids. Every night before bed, my youngest son, Joshua, will ask me to read him a story. As we get older, we become weighed down by information but a good story will snap us back to life straight away.
What’s your story? What has God written on your heart through the different experiences you have had in life? Take time out to pause and reflect on your story. Where has God taken you in the different seasons of your life? What have you learnt? What has the devil meant for evil that God has turned into good?
Your story is your work of art and it’s God’s letter to the world!
One of the principle weapons Satan uses to disable God’s people is discouragement. Every person I’ve ever met and conversed with about their personal life journey have got reasons to feel discouraged enough to want to quit. Sadly, some people do quit and give up. Thankfully, others refuse to lie down and inspire us by their example.
We live in a fallen world that is characterised by selfishness, doubt, pessimism, discouragement and darkness. The kingdom of God is counter-cultural and is marked by generosity, faith, optimism, hope, encouragement and light. If your life is going to reflect the kingdom of God more than the kingdom of this world, you will have to be intentional about it because your flesh will naturally default to the spirit of this age.
I wrestle with discouragement a lot. It can come over me like a dark cloud and blanket me in such a way that it feels oppressive. The only way I break through it, is not by positive self-talk but by pressing into the sanctuary of God’s presence. In his presence I’m reminded that nothing is too hard for him. In his presence, my joy returns and I find the strength to keep believing, keep moving forward and keep positioning myself for greater things to come. God’s presence is a tower of strength and when we distance ourselves from him, we become a target for the devil to take us out with discouragement.
Too many of us accept the lies of the enemy too readily. Too many of us allow Satan to steamroll us with a barrage of condemnation and accusation, as if we were utterly powerless. But the truth is, we are powerful in God and his purpose for us (Ephesians 1).
I encourage you to draw a line in the sand and make a decision to stop entertaining the discouraging string of ideas Satan sends your way. Stop the broken record of wrong thinking and renew your mind with God-Truth. Life is fleeting and days pass by so quickly. Don’t give your best thoughts and years to the enemy of your soul. Your better than that and Gods calling on your life is too precious to let go of just because you’re in a season of discouragement. Refuse to lie down.
Hebrews 12:1-2 ‘Let us lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith.’
God can accomplish in a moment what man attempts to lay hold of in a lifetime. When God speaks, don’t add to what he has said and don’t try to bring to pass in the flesh what God has promised he will do by his Spirit.
The bible is littered with reams of examples where individuals and people groups tried to bring to pass in the flesh, what God had determined by his Spirit. Abraham is a classic example of this but Israel in the wilderness is the example that comes to mind. When Israel had rejected Gods call to possess the promised land, they were rebuked and judged by God to spend the next 40 years wandering around the wilderness. In response, a band of the Israelites decided to take matters into their own hands and attempt to force their way into the land, only to be defeated in battle by some of the occupants of the land. Moses told these men after the flesh, ‘I told you so’.
The flesh is immature, insecure, impulsive, impetuous and ill discerning. Faith is mature, secure, measured, patient and discerning of who God is and what he wants in any given situation. Faith is obedience at the point of risk to yourself. There is always a measure of risk in taking a step of faith but the alternative is not an option. Someone has described FAITH as:
Forsaking All I Trust Him!
I wish I could say that I demonstrate the dynamics of faith in every area of my life but the truth is, I ocassionally give into my fleshy impulses. Your flesh is like a shirt coloured green, representing a work of the flesh and little faith. You and I need to take it off and put on a garment of faith. The works of the flesh are in direct opposition to the spirit of faith in our lives.
What has God asked you to do that you are trying to bring to pass in your own flesh? Don’t birth an Ishmael when God has an Isaac waiting for you. God’s best is always worth the wait but it will only be possessed by the spirit of faith, not by the arm of the flesh.