Monday, October 19, 2009

Words of Encouragement


Search me, O God, and know my heart: try me, and know my thoughts: And see if there be any wicked way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting. – Psalm 139:23-24

What does the word “quest” mean – The act or an instance of seeking or pursuing something, it is taking a search.

So to take a Spiritual Quest, we are being called to search ourselves to see where we stand before the Lord. This scripture says to us that for a spiritual quest to take place we must go to God and ask for his help. He is the one that knows what needs to be cleansed, removed, repented of, changed or renewed. Without a spirit life rooted in God we cannot take a place within the church, because we are not truly a part of the body, which is made up of blood washed believers living for the Lord. Nor can we work within our Spiritual gifts, which are given by God through his Spirit, if we are not allowing God’s Spirit full access and control of our lives. So in order to be part of the church or work with our spiritual gifts, we have to first start here, our spirituality. This quest then should lead us to ask some questions about ourselves in our search.

Is there something hindering my growth? – What gets in the way of me serving God completely? What is delaying or interfering with my growth? Are there some things that I should be doing but I am not and therefore I am not growing, as I should? And let me caution you. Do not say, “I read my Bible and I pray everyday” as if you have said some great thing. Those statements are all about you, and that is your reward. The real question we should ask is, Lord I read your word, but am I receiving a better understanding of you and your ways? Am I allowing you to speak to me through the pages and then am I applying what I have learned? Lord I pray, but do I come just giving you my “to do” list, or do I come to reverence you, honor you and be quiet to hear from you? Am I being what you wanted me to be today? These are the things we need to seek daily. The focus needs to be on God and not simply on us completing some spiritual task or “to do list”.

Am I dedicated to a relationship with God or am I more concerned with simply doing for him? – I do not want us to misunderstand this point. It is important that we are doing the things of God, but we want to be careful not to make what we “do” the goal or the prize of our walk. I may teach Sunday school but if I am not seeking daily to walk with God, to talk with him and to listen to his direction for me, then I become satisfied in what I do and I become stagnant. Have you become stagnant in your walk with God? Have you become satisfied that you sing in the choir, teach Sunday school, serve on a committee or two and therefore do not think there is anything else that needs to be done, as if you have arrived? God wants us to be open to him so that he can show us every area of our lives that he wants changed, to bring him glory. This is the ultimate goal of the believer, to praise God and to allow our lives full access to him so that he can be honored from our lives.

Are their things inside that need to be released so that I can go forward? – This can be hard for some, letting go. Are there past hurts that we are still holding onto that are keeping us from moving forward. Are you saying things like, “I would help with that, but the last time I offered my help, they didn’t want it?” or “I don’t do anything because of what this person or that person said of did to me?” Those are past hurts keeping you from being obedient to God. God calls us to release all those things to him because they hinder us. Or are you holding on to fears, afraid to let go and trust God in every situations and circumstance? Are you afraid to do that which God has already shown you he wants you to do because you think you can’t do it? If God has called you to it, he will see that you through it. We must search our hearts and ask God to show us what we need to release to him, so that he can move us forward.

Am I open to hearing God’s voice? – None of the previous questions will help much, unless we are open to hearing God speaking to us. He can speak to us through the pages of the Bible or in answers to our prayers. He can also speak to us through the encouragements of others, such as the Minister or Pastor’s message for example. But when you hear it, he wants you to become a “doer” of his word and not a hearer only. So ask yourself some really deep questions to find where you are in the Lord. And until we take this quest and begin to question where we stand, we will not find true peace or rest in the Lord.

This is a lesson that I did sometime ago, but I thought it would be worthwhile to present it. Look for the remainder of this lesson in the next few weeks.