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A phone with no service and someone without a strong Spirit-signal, find frustration and meaninglessness.
What’s on tap in your kegs? 2 kegs are on tap in your heart and ready to roll through your life. One keg contains love, joy, & peace — the other keg: anger, misery, & envy. What’ll you have?
Should we tap into our desires, preferences, opinions, feelings? Or should we tap into the Spirit? “Walk by the Spirit and you will not gratify the desires of the flesh. For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh. They are in conflict with each other.” –Paul of Tarsus (Galatians 5:16-17).
Life really is a simple, clear choice.” A man reaps what he sows (taps). Whoever sows (taps) to please their flesh, from the flesh will reap destruction; whoever sows (taps) to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.” –Galatians 6:7-8
With which flow will you go? The living water of the Spirit or the stale sensations of the flesh?
“Holiness” = right living/righteousness.
One of the founding principles of The Salvation Army is holiness–right living. Christ-followers are called, not just to get themselves to Heaven, to get others to Heaven, and to serve others on earth. We are also called to live a holy, obedient, and pure lifestyle here on earth. The blue in The Salvation Army Flag symbolizes “holiness.”
Jesus put it this way: “Seek first the kingdom (rulership) of God and His righteousness . . .” Holiness/right living is not automatic. It is a pursuit. We must seek/strive to live right and to obey Jesus. Fortunately, we Christ-followers have the Holy Spirit (the living, resurrected Jesus) living in our heart to give us the wisdom and the power that we need to obey Christ.
So the question becomes a matter of choice: 1) Do I choose to ignore, deny, justify, or overlook my wrongful thoughts, attitudes, words, and behaviors? Or . . . 2) Do I choose to acknowledge them, renounce them, and continually strive to overcome them? Holiness demands from me, choice #2.
“Holiness” is a word that all of us who claim to be Christ-followers should seek to live out in our daily lives, with all of our hearts. Do you? Will you?
Confess any known sin in your life to God and to another human being and ask for forgiveness.
Then begin to fight against those sins with all your might and with prayer, faith, reading the Word, worship, accountability, etc.
Also, ask God to show you any sin in your life that you are not aware of. If you have the courage to do this, the Spirit and your conscience will begin to show you unknown sins in your life. Once you see them, confess them, turn away from them, and fight them will all your might.
Self-protection produces isolation, defensiveness, self-focus, and alienation from others. Self-surrender produces openness, understanding, community, and mutuality.
Self-protection quenches the Holy Spirit and will keep God distant from you. Self-surrender opens the flood gates and lets God’s rivers of grace and glory flow from within your heart.
A formal program facilitates self-protection. Open sharing and testimonies facilitate self-surrender. (Perhaps churches should be less formal and more participatory.)
Self-protection produces suspicion, insecurity, worry, fear, and anxiety. Self-surrender produces love, joy, peace, faith, and trust.
“The greatness of the man’s power is the measure of his surrender.” –William Booth (co-founder of The Salvation Army)
The audience of One! Most churches have a platform or stage that lifts one person (or a few people) above the rest of the people and creates the atmosphere of an audience watching a performance.
However, the New Testament calls the church a body and says that every part of the body has an important role to perform in ministry to one another. Perhaps, from God’s perspective, everybody present in a church meeting is on the platform (stage) and He is the audience — the audience of One!
When no human is lifted up on a platform above all the others, a fresh message comes across:
1) We are all equal before God.
2) Everybody is free to participate as led by the Spirit.
3) The leader is the living, resurrected Jesus who is, Himself, invisibly directing the meeting.
4) The invisible God is actually present and watching everything we do.