Spirit-less Christian

This past week I went out of the country on a mission trip to the Dominican Republic. It was an amazing experience that would take me days to write about, but I want to focus on a specific ministry God worked through while I was out there- my heart.

While on a mission trip you are immersed and pushed into nothing but the Lord’s work. You have no choice but to rely on the Lord and whatever he wants to do through you. You wake up every morning and go to sleep every night constantly fed by God’s word and surrounded by people with the same focus. It becomes easy to get wrapped up in what God is doing through you, or even what you feel like God ISN’T doing through you.

The first day I was very discouraged and couldn’t believe he did so much through my other team members, but I couldn’t think of one thing he did through me. I didn’t save anybody or heal the sick, I didn’t speak during street evangelism, and I didn’t connect with anyone at their youth service. I didn’t feel called to go on the mission trip by a dream or vision, and there was not any radical miracle of how I ended up there- and that made me feel useless.

My heart was heavy.

I reached out to others about what I was feeling and listened to a sermon my pastor preached, and God spoke. There’s only one thing needed to create a wall in my heart to stop the flow of the Spirit to fully build God’s kingdom and that was myself. It’s like building a house. If you aren’t filled with energy you can still do the work just not with 100% effort, and therefore you probably won’t reap as great of a reward since your work is done with a tired and lazy mindset.

You can be a Christian and still not be spirit FILLED.

The reason why I wasn’t “feeling” like God wasn’t moving through me was because my heart was so full of doubt, comparison, fear, and pride that the spirit had no more room to poor into me. I mean believe me, he was there… But my heart just wasn’t full of him, and because of that my flesh ruled majority of my actions. In Acts 4:23-31 we see that Peter and John returned to the other believers to tell them how they just had been freed from trial for preaching God’s word. The believers all began praying and singing praises, and in verse 31 it says, “After this prayer, the meeting place shook, and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit. Then they preached the word of God with boldness.” Sometimes we think that in order to feel the spirit or be filled, we have to do, do, and do some more- preach God’s word, serve in the church, heal, read, do this, do that… But these believers weren’t filled by the doing. The believers sought God and THEN were filled to carry out the mission. Also, in Acts 13:52 it says, “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.”

I don’t believe any order of how the Bible is written is by accident. The verse says that the disciples were filled FIRST with joy because joy is an effect of being filled with the Holy Spirit. This begs the question that if you aren’t continually filled with joy, are you truly full of the Spirit?

Yes, you can continue to live your Christian life not filled by the spirit and probably still get into heaven, but is that what you truly want out of your relationship with the Lord? I hope that when I meet Jesus it’s an embrace and not a handshake, a “well done good and faithful servant” and not just a “welcome to heaven”. The only way we can get there is through emptying our hearts of ourselves and things of this world and instead filling it with the Spirit and things of heaven.

So what are the bricks in your life that are building up in your heart to prevent a constant flow of the spirit every day? 

Start tearing them down and allowing God to use you. Not because he needs you, but because he wants you, and if you don’t allow him to then he’ll find someone who will. Be encouraged! Don’t be a christian who is Spirit-less, but Spirit-filled.

Philippians 2:5-8 “Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.”

 

How beautiful art thou

In my last post, I shared about how us Christians should be more aware of how we treat the earth because of the God who created it, but today I wanted to share a new perspective when it comes to the earth and us humans:

I went on to a hiking trail to admire the beautiful things God has created apart from the vast amounts of cement and brick that surround me daily. What I saw was awe-inspiring. I took so many pictures and spent much of my time breathing in the air and touching every.little.thing.I.possibly.could. But God reminded me of one simple fact… He only spoke these things into existence.

So many times we look around us and fall in love with simple waterfalls or night stars and the beauty becomes overwhelming… These moments that we connect with nature can be life-changing and mind-boggling, but if God can speak these beautiful things into existence.. How much more intricate and beautiful are the things he used his hands to create?

“You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body and knit me together in my mother’s womb.” ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭139:13‬ 

Humanity has become normalized, the way people look and act has become predictable, and standards have accustomed us to believe that our natural best still isn’t good enough.  Because of this we can live our whole lives defeated and confused because we feel as if our purpose and existence is void on earth…. but God shakes his head in disapproval of this way of thinking.

“Then the Lord God formed the man from the dust of the ground. He breathed the breath of life into the man’s nostrils, and the man became a living person.”      ‭‭Genesis‬ ‭2:7‬ 

Can you imagine? God spoke our earth into motion for 6 days, rested for a day, and then took a step off of his thrown to bend down and dig his hands in the most defiled part of the world-dirt- in order to create us. Let me repeat it again just incase you missed it: God, as holy and clean as he is, 

  1. Had to rest before he made us (meaning he totally wanted to put his best breath into mankind that he possibly could)
  2. Hopped off of his thrown (THIS LET ALONE IS BEAUTIFUL, and isn’t the only time he takes a break from his thrown for us, just saying)
  3. Dug his clean and perfect hands into dirt (this should be an oxymoron)
  4. Took his own breath to make us come alive in his likeness..

I mean… Wow. Reading this makes me think of Psalms 8:3-6, “When I look at the night sky and see the work of your fingers— the moon and the stars you set in place— what are mere mortals that you should think about them, human beings that you should care for them? Yet you made them only a little lower than God and crowned them with glory and honor. You gave them charge of everything you made, putting all things under their authority—”

God is crying out to you! “You do have purpose, you do have beauty, you do have authority… The way you see my creation is the WAY I SEE YOU!”

So dear friends, you can walk a little bit taller, run a little bit faster, and smile a little bigger today knowing that YOU are the most beautiful and intricate masterpiece known to this world. In all of your faults, in all of your weakness, in all of your flaws.. YOU were placed a little lower than God himself and have been crowned with glory and honor.

But if you still can’t grasp the idea behind your beauty.. The prophet of Isaiah has a couple words or two..

What sorrow awaits those who argue with their Creator. Does a clay pot argue with its maker? Does the clay dispute with the one who shapes it, saying, ‘Stop, you’re doing it wrong!’ Does the pot exclaim, ‘How clumsy can you be?’ How terrible it would be if a newborn baby said to its father, ‘Why was I born?’ or if it said to its mother, ‘Why did you make me this way?’”                                      ‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:9-10‬ 

God.has.you.here.for.a.reason. And his promises are never in vain. Especially his promise that “his plans for you are good and prosperous” (Jeremiah 29:11) or his promise that you were “fearfully and wonderfully made”(Psalm 139:14).

How beautiful art thou….