Often times we go to church, we hear a message, get excited, even talk about it for hours-on-end following the service – but then the hard part comes. The part where it is time to apply what you heard. I have found myself struggling with the “A” word often. I usually instinctively respond in the following ways. First comes the natural application, where I try and try within my own strength to live up to the instructions I heard on Sunday morning. That is usually followed up by me beating up on myself the instant that I fall short. Then there are the parts of the sermon that I refuse to reconcile with. Stubborn much? Welcome to my world. I simply could not see how I could surrender a particular area, deep within, or shortcoming (that I didn’t see a problem with in the first place). What’s worst is when the message simply goes way over my head. Now this is not any fault of the messenger, but my being clueless, at times, as to where I fit into the message. Well, over the last number of Sundays as Pastor Jumaine, Pastor Rob and others have been delivering what seemed like gold, straight from heaven. Since the DECISION NOW series began, I was intent on listening and applying in a way that would be effective. Of course, my initial reaction was to respond as I typically do, but this series was way too valuable, and way too life-changing. So what did I do? I prayed like I had not before. I decided that applying what I heard was going to be up to God this time. I began to be completely honest with God about every convicting message point that I believed referred to me. I also asked Him to reveal and perform surgery on the other aspects that I was blind to. It was not that easy to come face-to-face with areas in my heart, mind, and even flesh, that was boldly called-out on the pulpit. However, I believe that when all is said and done, I will be better, stronger and more able to impact the world and advance the Kingdom of God. Actually, that is what Pastor James Marshall left with me on a recent Sunday. In His final prayer as He asked the Lord to help us apply the word spoken. It really rang home to me; God has to have a major part in the application process. Just – Let Him – Do It!
“For God is working in you, giving you the desire and the power to do what pleases him.” (Philippians 2:13 NLT)