Contending

 

In the clearing stands a boxer

And a fighter by his trade

And he carries the reminders

Of every glove that layed him down

Or cut him till he cried out

In his anger and his shame

“I am leaving, I am leaving”

But the fighter still remains    -The Boxer, Simon & Garfunkel*

 

Have you ever been in that place?

Have you ever fought for years, maybe decades, for something? We all have dreams and visions. We have all been gifted with a calling, a passion for something that will put demands on our time, our ambitions and our priorities. It will ultimately shape our destiny. And the world will never be kind. It will never be supportive. You will often feel that you and your dreams are not welcome here.

And we come to that place in the clearing.

And there is a choice before us.

You may have faced setback after setback. You may feel that all you’ve known is failure. It may be that every time it looks like things might start coming together, they fall apart. Another dead-end, yet another disaster, and now what? We carry the reminders, don’t we? And just in case we forget for a moment, we have an adversary who’s all to happy bring it all back to our minds. But there is a choice. We are contenders. We are fighters by our trade, and this has been our training. How long it will take, and where it will take us, only God knows. But we do know this; God loves us and it is in His hands to bring us to that place where faith is complete. If we are living according to His will, then we can be assured that our dreams are in accordance with that will.

We could look back and say ”I am leaving, I am leaving”, or we can be the contenders that God created us to be, and press on even if it takes another 20 years to see our dreams fulfilled.

But the fighter still remains.

 

*Thanks to Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel, who will probably never get wind of this post, but if, by some incalculable chance, they do, My hope is that they won’t mind me quoting their lyrics.

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lesser known gifts

 

 

I believe this blog is meant to be an avenue for prophetic messages, for articles that will bring unity to the body of Christ. Usually, that’s exactly what you will see here.

But lately, due to a series of events, something a bit different has gotten my attention.

Most Christians are familiar with the gifts of the Holy Spirit. You can probably name most, if not all of them. We have healing, miracles, prophecy, and tongues. There are gifts of wisdom and knowledge. You could add more, like discernment, etc. We would all agree the list is quite wonderful. The church  currently operates in most of these, some of the time, but not all of them all of the time. Why that might be, is a good topic, and it’s one for another post.

But lately, I’ve been seeing something else. I’ve seen Believers operating in their own special set of ‘gifts’. I’ve made a list of these lesser known gifts, and it looks something like this;

There’s the gift of accusation. Fault-finding is another. Another is the gift of superiority, which is closely related to the gift of exclusivity. There’s a gifting of being extremely opinionated, miraculously, about things the individual knows very little about. Judgementalism, if I may coin a term, is a big one. And we can’t forget the gift of witch-hunting. Not real witches. No, these witches are all in the mind of the hunter. Of course, all of these ‘gifts’ owe their very existence to the most effective gift of all.

Fear.

Fear of change. Fear of the unusual. Fear of loss. Fear of difference.

Of course, all fear is from the enemy, and so are all the other ‘lesser known gifts’. But that doesn’t stop Christians from operating, even reveling in them. The devil uses the unwitting participants to bring division to the body of Christ….

Think about this.

No, it’s not for somebody else.

Are you bringing unity to the church, or division? Perfect love casts out fear. It’s not enough to just say ‘I’m walking in Gods love’, without showing it. There’s got to be fruit. Jesus is not returning for a splintered bride. Let’s start perfecting our love towards our fellow believers, and cast out the fear!

The Change

There is a pivotal moment in every life, whether it’s a person, a place or a movement. It is the quintessential point in time when everything shifts, and nothing is ever the same again.

From a purely practical aspect, consider the introduction of the wheel, electricity, and more recently, the internet which have changed the world in which we live forever. This blog, delivered wirelessly to your personal computer or phone, is an example of just such a shift in the world we live in.

Looking at it from an emotional angle, there are many such events in our personal histories as well, such as marriages, births, career moves and so on.

The greatest change of shift you will ever experience, however, is most probably not practical in the ordinary sense. Nor is it entirely emotional, even though it does involve your emotions.

It is spiritual.

Around 2000 years ago, God physically became part of His own creation. Spirit and soul, divinity and humanity, became intertwined in a way never seen before in this world.  Life has been altered forever.

But it doesn’t end here. There is so much more. What is available to us now defies any kind of description! God has made Himself intimately available to us. No, it’s more than that; He passionately seeks a deep relationship with each and every one of us, and that’s still not all. God wants to indwell you and me in all His fullness.

His intentions for us are to feel the total weight of His Glory.

Some of us have had a taste of His Glory, but compared to the fullness, it’s rather like the little samples of food they let you try at the market. There is so much more!

Many people have been waiting expectantly for God to move, to pour out His Glory upon us, to visit us with revival. We wonder when and where it will come.

Please listen carefully my friends. God is waiting for us.

When we are ready, when we are striving and contending daily for His presence, both individually and corporately, It will fall upon us like never before in the history of the world. And then we will know what it truly is, to feel the weight of His Glory.

And the world will never be the same again.