Leading With The Need: How We Get More From Church

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Leading With The Need: How We Get More From Church

Why can church seem plastic and empty?

Because I come to the King’s treasury laden with debt but I pretend like I’m rich.

I only leave empty because my pride prevents me from taking advantage of the King’s debt forgiveness program.

In order to do that I have to openly declare bankruptcy.

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.”
— Matthew 5:3

In James 5:16, the author writes,

“Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.”

Notice that confession of our sin PRECEDES healing —the establishment of healthy function.

Very often I get nothing from church because I pretend that I have it all together.

A pastor and mentor of mine, Pearson Liddell, advised me regarding ministry, “get real as quickly as possible, otherwise you’re wasting people’s time”.

When we don’t confess our sin, we leave money (healing) on the table.

So, for me, moving forward, every church service, fellowship, Bible study will begin with this question, “Where is the sin in my life?”

And what is sin?

Missing the mark.

It’s being outside the circle of love, outside the Kingdom of God. (sin state)

The result is always that we don’t love properly. (sin action)

Leading with the confession of our sin requires humility, looking into the mirror of the perfect law of liberty, turning the sword of the Word (which is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart -Hebrews 4:12) on myself (rather than against others as we so often like to do) and praying, “Lord, show me where I’m apart from You. Show me the areas where Satan sits on the throne in my life. Show me where I’m failing to love properly.”

There will always be something to confess, always an area where we can be healed, always a place where God can make us more glorious.

“If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.”
— 1 John 1:8

There’s no sense in being sick, coming to the hospital and pretending that I’m OK.

I come to Christ through fellowship because I’m in need.

We should lead with our need.

I’ll start:

One of the greatest hindrances to my loving properly and to God’s glory being expressed in my life is that my regard for many things in this world have not yet descended to the level of trash.

“Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ”
— Philippians 3:8

I am preoccupied with my appearance and have burdened myself with debt and unnecessary things to bolster it which keeps me from fellowship and hinders me from following Jesus completely and fearlessly.

Please pray for me.

Maintaining Focus On The Mission: A Task Evaluation Workflow

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Maintaining Focus On The Mission: A Task Evaluation Workflow

My plate has been overflowing as of late and I find myself tremendously stressed and my internal dialogue dominated by, “I have to do “.

But after a moment of prayer and bringing the thought captive to Christ, it occurred to me that the phrase “I have to do…” sounds like a great way to identify an idol.

Why do I feel like “I have to do” these things?

In many ways fear is the reason. I’m afraid that if I don’t do these things I’ll lose some security: income, a client, a job, approval, or that I won’t be loved. This fear enslaves me and drives me to do things that are neither profitable or healthy.

Also, there are times in my life when I felt “stuck” and it is usually due to me not sticking to a course of action that progresses my mission. Instead, I allow myself to be distracted and allow my time and resources to be diverted to someone else’s mission.

So, I’m starting to push back and examine the assertion that I have to do anything besides what God has commissioned me to do.

Jesus was constantly approached with the desires and priorities of others, but Jesus was singular in His focus,

“For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.”
— John 6:38

As my example, I want to be like Jesus and be successful in my mission. To do that I must first be focused on His will and secondly be centered in the security that God provides:

“And God is able to make all grace abound toward you, that you, always having all sufficiency in all things, may have an abundance for every good work.”
— 2 Corinthians 9:8

I believe that when I work on behalf of God, and unburden myself from debt and unnecessary things, that God will provide everything I need.

Operating from this confidence, I hope to be more intentional about what I do and more courageous about rejecting activities that do not further my mission.

There are dozens of new potential tasks that I am confronted with everyday. So, I’ve developed the following decision tree to help evaluate which of the following responses are most appropriate: Delete, Delegate, Delay, Date (schedule), Do.

And as far as advancing the mission goes, there’s a sixth “D” or category of activity: Discipline. There are some activities that I should be doing routinely (such as prayer, Bible study, communication with my wife or going to the gym) that perhaps more than anything else, contributes to progress.

Philosophy Is Not Faith

Paul Luckett | Brainflurry.com - Philosophy Is Not Faith

Beloved, be careful with all the -ologies and -isms. It is easy to confuse human wisdom and philosophy for faith.

With philosophy, we can stay in our heads.

But, unlike philosophy, faith requires an other person because our faith is in a Person.

So, the principal thing is a real, dynamic relationship which is characterized by an ongoing encounter with, producing a growing understanding of, an other Person.

All the -ologies and -isms may have some utility in technically describing what happens as a result of the encounter but cannot be used for technically achieving the encounter or what happens as a result of it: knowing God and being known by Him, salvation, sanctification, intimacy, or love.

All of these things, an authentic encounter and its effects, are outworkings, responses to the Person you’re relating to —all which are out of your control. It’s grace, that flows like water that you flow with, not works like points you plot.

Jesus came so that you can know God, not so you can have ideas about Him.

“Hear Him.”

Scripture is closed, but God is still speaking. The Word, through the facilitation of the Holy Spirit, trains our ear to know His voice and to hear Him.

“So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”
— Romans 10:17

We can really know God and have a real, living, growing relationship with Him.

It starts with humility and the Word.

Seek Him.

Not philosophy, but the person of Christ.

“But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.”
— Hebrews 11:6