Tuesday, March 11, 2008

The blame game... are you an empty pod

with no seed inside?

"I was not disobedient to the heavenly vision."
Acts 26:19

Have you taken personal responsibility for your walk with God, and your calling? Your personal journey with God and your obedience to His call on your life rests squarely on your shoulders, no one else's.

Many people want to blame God and everyone else when have been disobedient, whether it be a case of being backslidden, or walking out on their call to the ministry, or doing anything that's wrong, instead of putting the blame right where it belongs...solely on themselves.

Today I was having my time in the Word and prayer this morning and one of the books I was reading was My Utmost for His Highest, and Oswald Chambers said, "If we lose "the heavenly vision" God has given us, we alone are responsible— not God. We lose the vision because of our own lack of spiritual growth. If we do not apply our beliefs about God to the issues of everyday life, the vision God has given us will never be fulfilled. The only way to be obedient to "the heavenly vision" is to give our utmost for His highest— our best for His glory."

Many people walk out on God or their ministries and use what they perceive as a negative situation or even God Himself as the convenient "excuse" as to why. When we fail, when we quit - we are many times looking around everywhere else for a reason to pin it on. Some people blame it on being mistreated or abused. This is sort of a "trump card" of sorts when it comes to being disobedient because who wouldn't sympathize with someone who is abused? But the truth of the matter is, you didn't choose to be abused but you can choose your reaction to it. And disobedience is not a proper reaction even if you were flogged and hung upside down by your toenails.

Lest you think I'm unsympathetic let me say I've been through some pretty hard stuff in my life. I understand pain. But something that has become a reality in my life is taking responsibility for my REACTION to that pain.

Particularly as leaders, we must come to the place where we realize that difficult times are actually an opportunity to do some of our best leading! Dr. Lee told Larry and I that people tend to lead best in crisis. Why? Because they are leaning more on the Lord than ever, instead of themselves. They are walking closer to Jesus out of sheer necessity.

Some don't do that. They miss the opportunity to move even closer to the Father, and they make choice after choice in being disobedient. Then, floundering in the sea of their transgression, they say, "look at my circumstances....they drove me to this..."

No. Disobedience is a place you drive yourself to. Period. And the more disobedient we are, the more lonely, displaced, and hurt we will feel until we come the point of obedience. God designed disobedience to be painful for a reason.

Today if you are facing difficult times in your spiritual walk, in your life, in your ministry - you have a choice. You can't control what happens to you, but you can control your reaction to it. Determine to lean on God closer in this time of trial. Make a decision to let the power of God rest upon you and work through you in your weakness. As someone once said, "Pain is inevitable. Misery is optional."

Oswald Chambers goes on to say, "Watch for the storms of God. The only way God plants His saints is through the whirlwind of His storms. Will you be proven to be an empty pod with no seed inside?"


Lady Melissa said...

Pastor Deanna,
This is as good as it is true! I know from personal experience, I've wanted to and could have given up in several occassions but the seed on the inside of pod just wouldnt let me. This was a must read and very much needed for me today, thanks.

Pastor Shrodes said...

good post... Love you babe, Larry

Deanna Shrodes said...

Thanks Lady Melissa...and Teeb. :-) I love you both.

Kerry said...

This is so true and very insightful. Being hurt by someone does not give us an excuse. If we think we are hurting that person back by not forgiving or being disobedient to God, we are so wrong because we are only hurting ourselves. Our reaction to the situation will be judge by God one day and He will ultimately have the final say. We have to be accountable to Him.