Navigating through Decisions: 4 Questions to Consider

What a great day!  We have been journeying through 1 Corinthians on Sunday at Kfirst and came to a message called “Slave to My Whims” today.  Paul, in 1 Corinthians 6:12 writes a warning to the church in Corinth to help navigate through issues of sin and Christian freedom: 

Just because something is technically legal doesn’t mean that it’s spiritually appropriate. If I went around doing whatever I thought I could get by with, I’d be a slave to my whims.

 

I’ve been asked to post a few of the notes INCLUDING the four questions to ask yourself when navigating through decisions of conduct.   So here are some of the thoughts from today along with the questions: 

  • One of the greatest symbols of the grace of God is not something we hang on a wall but Jesus displayed in a life.
  • The Human conscience, like a COMPASS, is a sensitive instrument, and can easily malfunction.
    • It can get trapped in magnetic fields that pull it off course. (WHIMS)
    • It can allow itself to be PULLED in a particular DIRECTION.
    • You need a TRUE NORTH.
  • This is where the Corinth church is at:
    • Paul says, make sure whatever activity/subject/decision, it starts in submission to the Lordship of Jesus.
    • They need a TRUE NORTH to navigate through the questions of sin and freedom in Christ.
  • Paul is determined: don’t be a slave to your whims…Jesus is YOUR TRUE NORTH

When it comes to SIN and MY FREEDOM, there are 4 QUESTIONS to ask:

  1. What does the bible say about this?
    • We must be careful to NOT simply go with our GUT/WHIMS without if we haven’t CHECKED it against biblical truth.
    • Where the bible has clearly spoken…God has clearly spoken
    • Stepping outside of the boundaries of God’s wise commands never will lead you anywhere good.
    • You need to know the difference between the “Gospel according to the Jesus” and the “Gospel according to YOU”
  2. What does the Holy Spirit tell you about your freedom?
    • Christian freedom is not freedom to do what you like, but freedom from all the things that stop you being the person God really wants you to be.
    • BUT NOTE: Submission to Christ can lead you away from things that are not an issues of sin but of Lordship. 
    • 2 Thoughts:
      • My personal preference is not an absolute truth
      • My opinion doesn’t have to be a point of division.
    • On matters of freedom in Christ…remember: 
      • Just because I CAN doesn’t mean I SHOULD
      • Just because YOU CAN’T doesn’t mean I CAN’T
      • Just because I CAN’T doesn’t mean that YOU CAN’T
      • Just because YOU CAN doesn’t mean I CAN
  3. What does Godly counsel say?
    • Chapter 9: Paul shares from his own viewpoint and experience
    • If the scripture doesn’t seem quite clean and I’m seeking direction from the Holy Spirit, I’ll seek out  CLEAR a wiser person.
      • Those who have been there…further down the road 
  4. What is the wise thing to do?
    • In light of my PAST experiences, my CURRENT circumstances, and my FUTURE hopes and dreams, what is the wise thing to do?
    • In light of my AFFECT upon people…
      • Marriage, kids, co-workers…
    • In light of my TESTIMONY…
    • There are things where freedom MAY allow but wisdom DOES NOT…
  • Jesus didn’t come to get RID of the culture; he came to REDEEM it.
    • He did it by CONFRONTING the CULTURE with the KINGDOM
    • It was his REDEMPTIVE RESPONSE
  • Christ-followers should INFLUENCE a broken culture not in REJECTION…we walk in a REDEMPTIVE RESPONSE
    • We have lives that are not driven by our whims but have Christ as the “True North”
    • It’s not about me living in PERMISSION in this life; it’s about me living in SUBMISSION.

“Jesus, lead me in the life that is completely submitted to you.”

 

 

Thanks for letting me ramble…

“You are the answer to your own prayer”: 7 prayers you may be the answer for.

“Prayer reminds us that we are human while also reminding us that God is God.” Charlie Dates

In daily prayer life, people can tend to miss a couple of things. First, we miss out on some very important aspects of prayer.  The largest portion of our prayer shouldn’t be spent on petition (presenting requests). In fact, I feel more time should be placed upon exaltation (act of elevating something or someone…namely Jesus), adoration (confession of passion), and intercession (the action of intervening on behalf of another) than upon our own petitions.  It helps us get our eyes off of ourselves and place our focus upon the Lord.  It removes selfishness within our prayer by making others a priority.

Secondly, we miss being the answer we’re praying for.  We pray in order to release something out of our hands so that it can be God’s responsibility.  It’s sounds great.  I love taking things to the Lord and praying the words of Jehoshaphat, by saying: 

“We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.” 2 Chronicles 20:12

It’s within this moment that, perhaps, we don’t always catch that, what we are trying to release to God, He may not want to release us from. Perhaps, if we’re willing to listen, we’ll realize we may be the answer to the prayer we are praying.  What I mean by that is that if we are willing to be obedient to the Holy Spirit, it is through you that the Lord wants to work in and through you to provide the answer to the prayer you’ve been praying.  We’re so easy to use prayer as our way of, to use a cliché, of “letting go and letting God.”  Why don’t we see ourselves as candidates for God to work wonders through?  I love what Paul said to the Galatians

“…It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me…”

Paul recognized that in his every day life, it was the life of Christ that was working through him.  The grace of God empowered him to live his life as well as be a blessing to others to see Kingdom work accomplished. It wasn’t done to EVER exalt Paul, everything was done to exalt Jesus. Here you go, 7 prayers you may be the answer for

1. “Lord, there’s a family in need in my neighborhood.  Can you send someone to help them?” 

2. “I pray that you would help the people in my workplace/school hear/see a clear display of the Gospel.” 

3. “Please give my children an example in their life of a Godly man/woman.”

4. “I pray for that person that’s been struggling with sickness.  Can you send a pastor to visit them?”

5. “I saw some new people in church on Sunday. Would you send someone to connect with them?”

6. “Would you send someone to disciple my friend who is a new Christian?” 

7. “There’s a ministry need in our church, will you put that need in someone’s heart to step up and volunteer?”

Jesus is always the answer.  But stop eliminating yourself from being used by Him in opportunities that He is making available to you.  Perhaps the miracle people are waiting to see is not necessarily you, but Christ working through you.  Step out as a vessel of the Holy Spirit and watch God do amazing things. 

Spend some time in prayer today.  Be ready to respond in the way Eli told Samuel to respond

Speak, Lord, your servant is listening.

Thanks for letting me ramble…