Lord On Board?

    

      "After Hezekiah received the letter and read it, he went up to the Lord's Temple and spread it out before the Lord."  2 Kings 19:14........"It is not by reading the Scriptures in the original languages or in some contemporary version that makes us better Christians.  Rather it is getting on our knees with the scriptures spread before us, and allowing the Spirit of God to break our hearts.  Then, when we have been thoroughly broken by God Almighty, we get up off our knees, go out into the world and proclaim the glorious message of Jesus Christ, the Savior of the world......Experts who know everything but what is essential in the spiritual life are now running our churches.  What I want to know is, what are they expert in?  It does not seem that many of them are expert in knowing God as the Fathers knew God."  A.W. Tozer
      Recently, a good woman told me of the many, lengthy, and intense leadership meetings she'd been a part of.  They were exhausting her.  I felt led to ask her how much of the time spent was invested in seeking the heart and mind of the Father.  She told me that they did open each meeting with a short devotional....From time to time I "look in" on internet pastoral discussion groups.  One of the main topics is the decline of the church's influence in the west and what needs to be done to reverse that.
I looked at a very long thread on that topic and saw many ideas and thoughts.  The problems were clearly stated, and the suggestions for resolving them were well thought out.  The minds and thoughts of those involved were clearly expressed, yet nowhere did I see the suggestion that all involved would seek out the heart and mind of Christ in it all.  On another thread, a pastor told of how he was seeking to preach a series of messages from the prophets, and asked others for suggestions on what he might effectively preach on.  There were many, but the question that lodged in my heart was, would not the leading of the Holy Spirit be the very first Person whose thoughts were sought?
     I'm not trying to be super-spiritual here, because I have been in these very places myself, doing these very things, and I can easily drift into it all anew.  But as He takes me deeper into Himself, I see an increasingly alarming trend that we are becoming more and more reliant upon our own understanding than His.  I don't think it's because we disdain Him, but more a result of our assuming that whatever we come up with already has His approval upon it.  We have moved far from the attitude of Hezekiah, of "spreading" out our lives, ministries, and decisions before Him......I recently heard a mother tell her children to "keep the Lord on board" in their lives.  Most of us are very willing to do that.....so long as the Lord stays in the back of the boat.  We don't mind if He's sleeping while we carry on the business of "getting to the other side" so long as He's ready to get up and deal with whatever pesky winds and waves that might arise in the course of the journey.  Once they're taken care of, we'd prefer He goes back to the rear of the boat we continue to steer.
     Pastor and writer Donald Rumble said, "When fellowships are formed and controlled by our hands, we can only expect shakings.  When they are fashioned by His life, we can expect glory and the manifestation of God's wisdom.  When He shakes, we have the opportunity to repent and build correctly."  Moses told the Father that if He did not go with he and Israel, "do not let us move from this place."  Most of us would say that is our heart as well, but the question lingers, does this attitude show in our lives?  In our fellowships?  Or, are we content to have "the Lord on board," as we plot our course, seek results, and move towards where we think we should be going?  Tozer, comparing the spiritual lives of the grandchildren of those who first entered into the fullness of Israel's promised land said, "Instead of their religion (faith) carrying them forward in holy passion, they were trying to carry their religion, and the weight of it brought them to...weariness....fatigue, and final collapse."  It will bring us to the same.  I know.  I have been there.  I think many of you know as well.  You've been there.  Maybe you're there right now.
     How are you living life, work, ministry?  Is your motto, "Keep the Lord on board," with your strength growing steadily weaker?Or, like Moses, do you stand still and go nowhere until you hear His whisper into your heart, "This is My way.  Walk in it."  

Blessings,
Pastor O
     
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