Sunday, August 22, 2010

A Call to Excellence

It has been quite awhile since I wrote my last blog...I think this stems from the fact that I want my blog to really say something important. So I wait until something hits me and I go from there. Well, it is three in the morning...and something has hit here goes.
Gregg and I were reading in the book of Joel today and as it was talking about the swarms of locust devouring the field, God revealed a bit of spiritual wisdom to me. It said first the swarms of locust came and devoured everything, then whatever was left was devoured by the bigger locust, whatever they left was devoured by the small locust and finally whatever was left was devoured by the "other" locust.
This summer we got a taste of what a devouring grasshopper could do. They came in and stripped the leaves off of nearly every green thing in their path. I had several peony bushes that were just getting a good start, but alas, they are all gone. Eaten to the point of no return....they died an excruciating death...Eaten alive!
At one point this summer, the whole side of my house was covered in grasshoppers, both large and small. When they moved to the fields, Gregg called me out to look across the field....the green was a funny yellowish brown color and we wondered why it looked that way only to discover that every stalk was covered with devouring grasshoppers which made them appear yellow. They dined on the stalks stripping every bit of green, killing the plants, then moved on to the next green stalk until the field was barren of life.
Then it hit me....that's what grasshoppers (locust)do! They devour life! As we read the scripture, God revealed to me that our lives and the lives of those around us are similar to the field. The seed has been planted,watered and nurtured by the worker and has sprouted up into fresh green life. Even before the fruit begins to appear, or the harvest is ready, the devourer comes to destroy it. It strips the new green leaves, leaving it to wither and dry up, sucking the life out of it.
There are so many devourers in our lives. They come in all forms of "locust". They do not wish to see us reach fruitfulness. They do not want us to see abundant life...they come to steal and destroy! They devour our life and our fruit before it reaches maturity. They leave us to wither and dry up...close to spiritual death.
Are "locusts" devouring your time? Your energy? Your money? Your spiritual fruit? In other words, are you allowing "locusts" into your life that will end up stripping you clean and leaving you fruitless and fighting for life?
The sad part I am seeing is that we don't even realize that it is destroying us until it is too late.
One area that I have especially been aware of recently is in the area of excellence. As Christians, we have been called to be ambassadors and represent the King himself, yet we allow ourselves to be fooled into a life that is ordinary instead of an "extraordinary life".
Our pastor has been preaching on this and explained to us that the difference between "ordinary" and "extraordinary" is the "extra"! Yet our lifestyles are an indication that we just don't get it! When you can't tell the difference between a follower of Jesus Christ and a non-believer...there is a problem. We are not taking the "higher" road or going the "extra" mile. We are not representing our "King" correctly. If people can't "see" the difference...then I guess there really "is no difference." The "devourer" has done his job well.
I am deeply disturbed by the fact that the younger generation of "Christians", although passionate about their belief in Jesus, so often fail to display that passion in their lifestyles. They fail to understand who they represent, and thus become "ordinary". They lack the understanding of God's holiness and the gift of His grace and see no need for the "extra" so settle for the "ordinary" which in truth is a misrepresentation of who God really is.
God's grace is a call to "excel" in all things not the freedom to do whatever we want! We are called to a higher purpose. As ambassadors to Jesus, we are called to serve and represent Him in all areas of our life.
If I remember correctly, Satan has a is "Do What Thou Wilt." In other words, do whatever feels good, whatever you want, whenever you want, however you want. The devourer uses lies to convince you that it is all about you! He subtly leads you down paths of destruction. He knows that living for yourself will ultimately destroy you and your service to Jesus.
The only way to fight off the "locusts" is to remain in the vine, Jesus Christ. He is "the Life". and to remain in His word, The Holy Bible.
But...if the devourer can isolate you through his lies and deceit...and away from "the Truth" he will eat you alive! "Satan is like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour."
Are you remaining in the vine....that will keep you alive and growing? Are you striving for excellence and being "extraordinary"? Don't settle! Jesus offers abundant life, full of new growth, and plenty of fruit for the harvest.
It's not about you....It is about representing the one who died for your sins. And make no mistake, "we all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God." "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord." Your sin earned you death....but Jesus Christ paid the wage for you! Praise be to God!
He deserves your best....your "extra"....your "excellence"!!!

1 comment:

Gregg said...

Whenever God is moving in our lives creating abundance of growth, Satan will send the devourers, intending to consume that new growth and stop the production of fruit. However Jesus said in John 15:2 that God prunes us so that we may bring forth "more" fruit. God can use the devourers in our lives to prune us for His purposes, if we will allow Him to. Romans 8:25 says "that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are called according to his purpose." We should not be content to allow the devourers to stay in our lives, but certainly should use them to take a long true look at ourselves to see what God desires to prune away.