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How far are you willing to go? Level: MODERATE

Scriptural Base:

Ezra 7:8-10

Ok, if you are a “church goer” then I’m sure you’re familiar with this scenario. Sister/Brother (Insert your name here) I been hearing from the Lord and He told me that you need to be in this week’s pumpkin patch festival (or whatever event God apparently likes to tell secrets about). The Lawd told me (Insert Tears and Theatrics here), ever since Sister Tucker got that Malaysian Hook Worm infection in her big toe (or whatever inconvenience comes up) I been praying to God to send me someone to help with the pumpkin patch festival ministry, Hallelujah! (Insert Praise dance music in E flat).

I always wondered in those times. Why was he/she so special that God would go tell him/her my business? And what was I doing wrong that He didn’t share such obviously outstanding information with me personally? (I’ve seen wigs get danced off after someone told someone else what God told them to tell that person). Truth is, the times of the Moses/Pharaoh scenario has long since past and because the Comforter, i.e. Holy Spirit has come, visions of other believers should serve as CONFIRMATION not REVELATION to the believer. That is to say, if sister Jenkins done walked up to you and said what God supposedly said to her to say to you and you ain’t never got a message like that from Him (assuming you have the Holy Spirit), then chances are, that message was conjured from sister Jenkins fantasy of a solution and not God’s will. So, in short before continuing, if somebody is telling you what God said and it’s not in the Word or something that is spiritually confirmed either before, during or after you hear it, then there’s a good 100% chance that it was NOT from God.

Same Page? Good. Let’s move on.

So, if it’s not from God, what motivates good-willing but not God-willing people to attempt to spiritually coerce you into some sort of Christian mobbery in respect to church events? Today, I want to open up for discussion the realm of thinking as it comes to God and His requirements of us with our assignments. Does His mercy endure forever? Yes. Is His grace sufficient? Yes. However, to paraphrase one of my favorite songs, “there is more required of thee”

A lot of times when we ask God to use us or when we ask God to do anything for that matter, we really have no idea what we are asking for. I mean, the naïve parent asking for more patience might have thought twice about it if they would have known that God was going to give their child what seemed to be the spirit of Beelzebub the next day at the supermarket while in line next to a CPS Worker. Would I really have prayed for peace if I had known God would burn His supernatural peace into me through bringing me through some of the most un-peaceful seasons in my life? (displacement, addiction, two spells of homelessness, and danger on every corner to name a few things) Would you? We must always remember, that our expectations of what God should do and what God actually does will forever be two different things [Ref 1]. So, if that applies to the things we pray for (spiritual), why shouldn’t it apply to the things He charges us with? (also spiritual)

God doesn’t just ask you to help little old ladies to cross the street or slip an extra $20 in the check at your local eatery, He will command you to build a boat… literally. In the middle of a land where that type of rain has never happened and every engineer and competent person for boat building thinks you’re crazy and will have nothing to do with you, God will call you to take a hammer and some nails and just three other people and build a luxury, and sea-worthy freightliner. God will call you to step out of a barely floating boat in the middle of a hurricane and... wait for it… walk on water. God calls us to not just the palpable, easy tasks that many Christians struggle to do on a daily basis (when’s the last time you went out of your way and helped that person in need? Or took on a financial burden, not because it was a need or it was deserved, but simply because you felt led to?). God calls us to what seems outlandishly deranged, beyond the scope of reality, and sometimes downright impossible. Now, don’t get me twisted, there is purpose in the little things God calls us to, for if we fail at little tasks then building a boat would equate to a drowned family and a failed mission, even if you were 6 Michael Phelps [Ref 2]. But it was when I looked at the travel of Ezra that this message stood out to me. A lot of scholar’s skip over Ezra’s 5 MONTH journey just to get to Jerusalem (mostly because long travels were more common then than now) and get straight to the “evil” adversaries of the land and the Sanballat’s (Nehemiah) and the Rehums and the Artaxerxes’ and Darius’, but pause for a second, think of the last thing your poured 5 MONTHS or more of your life into and tell me that it wasn’t/isn’t a major life necessity or event (i.e. career, house, car, etc.). When is the last thing from the Christian perspective that you have poured out before God, not because you get to go to heaven after for being a “good little Christian”, but simply because He laid upon your heart to do so? Today, if you aren’t already doing so, I want to challenge every one of us to walk forward in the spirit with the same zeal for success as we do in the physical. Pour yourself out for God and the assignments that He gives you with the same passion that you pour yourself out for your children and more (especially if you got the Beelzebub kid from earlier), because each and every believer has an assignment just as big as Noah and his boat; or Moses and his staff, even if you don’t believe it. But to be clear, God will not give you the immense weight of a 5 month journey if you are not willing to walk across the street. Because instead of that weight being the momentum that propels you into an amazing revelation, blessing and relationship with God, it will be the device that crushes your soul and brings defeat into your life, and, because God is incapable of giving bad gifts to His children [Ref 3], He will let you die struggling with helping the old woman across the street before He kills you by putting more on your plate than you can handle. So at this revelation, the question becomes “How far are you willing to go?” How far will you follow? How much will you pour out?

You want more of God? Know that if the answer is yes, then He will give you more tasks that require you to hold NOTHING but His unchanging hand.

Ref 1: Isaiah 55:7-9

Ref 2: Matthew 25:19-23

Ref 3: Matthew 7:9-11

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