Numbers 13:25-33....Moses had sent out 12 spies to explore the land God had given the people of Israel. Caleb and Joshua saw all the wonders of God's gifting to them. The other 10 saw only the difficulties and hardships of receiving those gifts. Caleb and Joshua saw who they were in Him. The 10 only saw themselves without Him. What they saw were themselves as grasshoppers......Eugene Peterson said, "Don't let the church you desire become the enemy of the church you have." To that I would add, don't let the life and ministry you desire become the enemy of the life and ministry God has given you.

Have you ever thought upon all the times you've sung or testified about how God was "more than enough" in any situation? Have you ever dwelt upon all the times you told someone else that all they really needed was Him? In short, have you ever realized how often you and I have magnified Him with our words but minimized Him with our lives? Of how that has really become a character trait in us? I have, and it shames me. It shames all of us.

In his book "Unlimiting God," Richard Blackaby tells of an experience he had as young preacher in his first pastorate. It was a Sunday summer morning, and as can so often be, many people of his already small congregation were missing, among them both his pianist and worship leader. Adding to that, he had a couple visiting for the first time. By appearance alone, he could tell that these were professional people, and he was sure that they were used to and expected the very best in everything, and his church would be no exception. As the service began, he was acutely aware of his fellowship's seeming lack. He began to make excuses for the sparse attendance and use of back-up workers. His spirit plunged downward, and he doubted these visitors would ever come back, if they even remained for the entire service. He writes, "I felt self-consciously that our modest church had nothing to offer these sophisticated guests. The Spirit whispered to my soul, 'Don't ever be embarrassed about representing your Lord. If you speak for Him in front of thousands of people or you talk about Him to a prisoner in a jail cell, it is an undeserved honor." He reminded me that I had an almighty God's power at my disposal whether I had a two hundred voice choir backing me up or was leading a small Bible study in an apartment building." When I first read this account, I was cut to the quick. I wrote in the margin of the book; "How often have I been guilty of this same thing? Lord, forgive me." Why is it, whether as concerns our corporate gatherings or our day to day challenges, encounters, and testings, that we don't feel God is enough at all? Why do we feel a lack? Why do we think we need something more? Why do we always feel like grasshoppers when the Almighty God of the universe has promised to stand with us? Oh, and as concerns the couple? After Blackaby heard the voice of the Lord, he preached a message empowered by His Spirit. That couple returned the next week, and every one thereafter. They told him what stood out to them above all else was that they had heard and encountered God in his message that first morning.

I identify completely with Blackaby, because I have been in that place so many times. I have felt like the ten far more than I have Caleb and Joshua. I have too often seen my lack, my church's lack, than I have seen His endless sufficiency. I have seen my resources while missing the One who is my Source. I know I'm not enough. My failure has been to not know that He is more than enough. In every place and in everything, He is more than enough. Abundantly more.

Have our fears and feelings of inadequacy kept us from hearing the same Spirit that Blackaby heard? Have we forgotten that He has entrusted us with not only His message, but with His Life and Presence? To be His witnesses? Have we lost sight of the great honor He has given us in representing Him anyplace and anywhere, no matter who and how many might be listening and seeing us? Are you guilty as I've been guilty? Can we confess it, repent of it, and move out anew in Him?

The enemy and the world system he operates in are masters in making us feel like grasshoppers. God calls us His mighty men and women of faith. Wherever we are, He's entrusted us with Himself; His life, His presence, His reputation. No greater honor could be given us. In ourselves, we're all inadequate. In Him, we are more than enough for any challenge. Know that today. Walk in that today. Let the grasshopper become the giant Him.

Pastor O

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   July 2019   
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