Monday, August 9, 2010

The True Riches Of Believing


I recently read an article about a pastor who was preaching in view of a call. As he got up to approach the pulpit, the chairman of the pulpit committee told him to notice an elderly lady sitting on the front row. She was dressed rather shabbily with several patched holes in her dress, and the leather of her shoes had begun to separate from the soles. The preacher later remarked about his distress for her, and wondered if she was in need of financial assistance.

Then the story was told. She and her husband were sheep farmers and lived in a small cabin and owned an old, but reliable truck. One day oil was discovered on their ranch. Contracts were signed and wells put up. However, before the first royalty checks arrived the husband died. Between her grief and timidity, the woman chased off the lawyers and never signed any additional papers. The wells continue to go up, and she continued to refuse the papers, and so the royalty checks kept amassing; never cashed. She was a millionaire on paper, but a pauper in existence.

Likewise, I am convinced that too many of us that call upon the name of Jesus live in want because we have chased away the Holy Spirit. It is not always intentional, but it is a reality. How do we grieve (chase away) the Spirit? Perhaps we are like the farmer's wife and we are too timid. The Bible says that we are not given a spirit of timidity, but of power, of love, and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7) Many believers don't accept what God has in store for them. Or, even sadder, they won't accept the challenge that God gives them.

The inverse is also true, however. Some seek position and prominence in the church. This also grieves the Spirit. The Lord does not like a haughty spirit, or one who is puffed up. In-other-words, full of themselves. (See Proverbs 6:17) When a Believer seeks prominence, instead of allowing God to call them to some task, they are running ahead of God. This comes through most obviously, to me anyway, in some men who have an "itch to preach." No, you have an itch to be scratched. If you stand before God's people to deliver God's words, you better make sure you have been called. Many good intentioned men have taken churches down roads of irreparable harm because they felt an itch, which could have been scratched by teaching a Sunday School class.

All in all, though, the basic idea is that we are missing out because we grieve the Spirit. I cannot help but think about so many Believers that are this way. Jesus said that we have not because we ask not. (Or that when we ask, it is of the wrong spirit.) We are millionaires in the heavenlies, yet we live like spiritual paupers on earth. That is the whole point of victorious Christian living. Instead of us feeling empty, and tired, and bankrupt, we should be freed to live like the victors that we are. Life will not always be easy; we will not always have our wants fulfilled; but we can be victorious in the life that we lead! If we will seek His will, His face, and suplant our desires with His.

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