Posted by: pastortomvabeach | February 20, 2018

Thought for the Week February 25, 2018

This week I attended a leadership seminar conducted by our regional leadership. The first speaker of the day, Dr. James O. Davis, founder of The Billion Soul Network, began his talk with a quote from the late Dr. Bill Bright, the founder of Campus Crusade For Christ, who is very likely responsible for more people coming to Christ in the 20th Century than any other person.

This quote sort of settled in my spirit and framed everything else that was presented the rest of the day. I may not have it exactly as Dr. Bright said it because I was writing as fast as I could but here is the gist of the quote: “It is always easier to work with someone who wants more of the Lord and is hungry for Him than with someone who thinks they have it all and is no longer hungry.”

Now Dr. Davis was setting up a talk about going after your dreams and leadership principles that fit with that but my first thought upon hearing that quote was, “Which description fits me?” I wondered whether I was someone who is still hungry or whether I had gotten to a place of complacency, thinking I had all of the grace, power, wisdom, revelation, and presence of the Lord I need, and was consequently less passionate about seeking the Lord and drawing near to Him and growing in my relationship with Him.

Paul gives us a stunning picture of spiritual hunger in Philippians 3:12-14. This man, after he had evangelized nearly the entire known Gentile world, after he had written many letters which would become a major part of the canon of the New Testament, at a time when he was imprisoned for the faith, said this, Not that I have already obtained it or have already become perfect, but I press on so that I may lay hold of that for which also I was laid hold of by Christ Jesus. Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

Paul never felt like he had reached everything that Jesus called him to be, know, and do. He knew that the storehouse of God’s grace, love, power, and Person was so great that no matter how much he received from the Lord, there was more to be had. He was passionate even when he had earned the justification to maybe kick back and take a rest, to kind of say, “I have arrived. Let me bask in this comfort.” Instead he said his passion was to keep reaching, keep striving, keep getting closer and closer to the heart of God, more in tune with the Spirit of Christ.

Listen to what he said just prior to the above verses: whatever things were gain to me…I have counted as loss for the sake of Christ….I count all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them but rubbish so that I may gain Christ…that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death; in order that I may attain to the resurrection from the dead. (Philippians 3:7-8, 10-11). After all he had done, all he had experienced, all the Holy Spirit had revealed to him, Paul felt there was more to be known of Jesus!

When I heard the quote from Dr. Bright, I had to say that there are times I probably am not hungry and passionate for the Lord like I should be, sometimes too many times. Yes, there are times and areas of life where I do have spiritual hunger but, if I am honest, it’s not always where it should be. I came home thinking a lot about that. I prayed about it as I was waiting for sleep then again during my time with the Lord in the morning. It is hard to face the brutal facts about your spiritual life, but it is a good thing if you take it and run with the truth.

I am asking God for grace and for a re-ignition of passion. I want to be the guy that is hungry for the Lord right up to the day I see His face in heaven. I don’t know if I’m there but it’s something that is gnawing at me today.

What about you? Which one would you be in Dr. Bright’s quote? If it’s the one who is feeling good about where you are and has lost some of that hunger, here’s the good news. You can’t change what happened yesterday or even this morning, but you can change what happens after you read this and tomorrow. Ask the Lord to rekindle the fire in your heart so that you are hungry for the things of God. Ask for a Paul mindset. I am pretty sure that is a prayer that Jesus would say yes to! Just a little food for thought to hopefully make you uncomfortable for a moment and stir you up for the Lord.


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