Friday, June 13, 2008

The "Hate" List

The Lord is taking our church to the next level in leadership. We're all realizing that the staff can't do everything! in order for our church to grow we as a body need to grow. Now to grow physically, we need nurishment. We went through a time that we needed milk, major doses of the Word, of counseling, and worship-but if we want to go to the next level, like Paul says, we must be weened from the bottle...Along with nurishment from food, we also need exercise-putting what we've been taught to practice. Each message can be this deep experience-but unless we can play it out, the message and the time spent listening is meaningless. Our awesome leadership of Pastor Stovall and his staff are preparing us as a unit to grow beyond just sitting in service. Just like Jesus, we aren't going to sit and pray for the world to change, we must be the change.
So about a year ago, the church implemented Careforce training. Gary and I never had the chance to go through the 10 week course because of other duties at church and then our full time jobs. But now, God's given us time to go to the group training. We are attending another campus' meeting because it is on Tuesday (Our campus has it on Wednesday and we have FUEL then).
I LOVE GOING TO THIS GROUP. It is so incredible for Gary and I to be around so many new faces. We all, together in that room are so hungry to glorify God. It's been great because so far, the message as been to remember God's grace. Remember his love, his mercy. The longer I follow God, the less talk about his grace there is, and more about his judgement. I guess it's because the longer you serve and learn about Him, the more you are able to see all of His characteristics. My mistake sometimes is i forget about how merciful He's been to me. I start focusing on all I can do to bless him, how much I do to show my love for Him...I forget about how much He loves me. When I really pray on that, an unexplainable overflow of love comes out of me.
Since summer has started for me, I've been blessed with these incredible quiet times with God. I picked back up my Beth Moore's Loving Well Bible Study. This study has been great because it goes beyond the head knowledge-and pierces your heart. It's challenged me to let the teachings flow into my veins.
We all are different, some of us get encounters with God from worship, or praying, or lying prostrate on the ground...Gary asked me the other day a time where the presense of God was so thick that I couldn't even explain how much I loved Him. I instantly resorted back to all the times people had shared with me about their experiences with God....and mine was never like their's. I haven't ever had the "fall out" experience...mine often comes as I read His word, like in a study or just reading the Bible. His love is so thick I am instantly humbled and feel like I'm a bath soaking in His presence...this study has strongly brought God into my heart.
So, why am I sharing all of this?
All of these things have been coming together-Careforce, my quiet time, His love...even the songs i sing...
"I tell you who hear me: Love your enemies, do good to those who hate you, bless those who curse you, pray for those who mistreat you." (Luke 6:27-28).
I haven't met one Christian who has ever asked me Who I hated, who makes me blood boil, who I never would ever forgive, who falls under the word enemy in my soul...who annoys you so much that you try bipassing them in the FOYER at church. We all have felt it, or feel it now. We all have that someone we can't there a reason we aren't honest with it?
During Careforce and throughout this study I've been challenged to be honest with my hurt... to go beyond myself and truly serve people who fall under this "can't stand" category. I know it seems harsh, but it's the truth. The people that bug me in the end aren't who get me mad or bitter, it's the fact that I've allowed the hate and unforgiveness to ruin me going further with God. These people we don't like are never around by choice, might I say....but the situation has chosen us. God usually continues to bring these people so He can work out what is self-centered in us because it takes everything in us to love them.
As leaders we can't just help who we want. I mean we could, but how effective for the Kingdom would we actually be?
Remember the whole grace deal? God's been so forgiving of me, His mercies were definitely new EVERY morning. I didn't just experience God and was instantly saved the next minute. What if someone I went to as a leader decided they couldn't handle my ISH (issues)?
Isn't it scary to think that we could be on someone's "hate" list?


big John Scott said...

awesome thoughts rachael...and thanks for all your comments the past couple of months...i just found them stuck in a spam folder! be sure to include your url next time and that may untrack it.