SOAP 11/6/10

Are you so foolish? After beginning with the Spirit, are you now trying to attain your goal by human effort? Galatians 3:3
But now that you know God – or rather are known by God – how is it that you are turning back in those weak and miserable principles? Galatians 4:9

How I love Galatians! It must have been very difficult for one who had lived by the law for so long to live differently. Life for so long had been defined by what you could and could not do. Even hearing the Good News of Jesus Christ and being filled with the Holy Spirit, it is hard to give up your old patterns and ways. However, speaking from experience, how lonely and tiresome is it to try to do the works of faith without God. Paul seems confounded by the ability of the galatians to simply turn back to their old ways. How could you go back once you are known by Jesus? How could you go back after beginning with the spirit? Aren’t you aware that your human effort can only get you so far and usually with great effort and pain? Tradition and habit is powerful that way. As a believer, we need to continue to be aware of the presence of the Holy Spirit and be aware that those who are newly saved come with a ton of baggage, history and habit.

For me, I am too far into this to be so foolish! Why is it so easy for me to try to attain my goal by my own effort? This is why daily devotions and getting to know God better is so important. I can read John Maxwell or Andy Stanley until I am blue in the face but I can’t become the leader I want to be without being in a relationship with God and knowing his word.

I pray I would do things by the Holy Spirit and not by my own power. Help me to rely on you and not return to my old ways. Help me have compassion for others who are leaving their old habits and ways behind for a life for you. Thank you for your continued blessing in my life. Bless today. Help me to pour into a generation of young women. Amen.

Art for sermon graphic The Holy Spirit Comforter for the Uncomfortable:


Good Question

Why are we as a culture so afraid to ask questions?  We are told there are no stupid questions (even though there are some stupid questions).  We find ways to make sure we don’t need to ask questions.  As Christians we confuse asking questions with doubt and insecurity with God.  Unfortunately when we don’t ask questions, we may never find answers and in return we may never grow.  Stunted in fear, insecurity, or pride.  Weak, vulnerable to the pray of big questions that others are not afraid to ask Christians… the worst being sometimes “Do you actually believe that?”

I was struck last week by the questions some young people had.  They were amazing forming questions of faith.  Questions that CS Lewis would be honored to answer.  They were questions that many in the church would have scolded them for asking.  It was really a thing of beauty.  The beauty being that the Holy Spirit moved and I was actually able to answer the questions.

I think that is the real reason that Christians are afraid to ask questions.  They are afraid of the answer.  They are afraid that the answer  might change them.  They are afraid that the Holy Spirit might not give an answer.  It is a trust issue.

If you trust that God is who he says he is: all knowning, all loving, all powerful (and I do) then you should trust that the answers are from him as they line up with his Word.

The Bible calls us to reason with God.  I boldly ask questions to God so that I may grow in my faith and I may have a deeper understanding of who he is.

This weekend, amidst Easter (Jesus, the bunnies, and colored eggs) ask God questions. Lord, you really did all this for me?  God how did these colored eggs get involve?  How do I know I am saved?  Jesus, when you were 12.. did you know you would go to the cross?  Do you love me? Lord, is this all real?  How do I know?

Ask.  The ways He answers are suprising, beautiful, and always perfectly timed.  Trust God enough to ask a question.