The following article is largely a tribute to the late John Stott with some tough (but largely deserved)comparison to televangelists. I find his conclusion naïve but hopeful.
Monthly Archives: July 2011
The follow quotes from a single page of this book provoked a lot of thought as I pondered them (this is why it takes me forever to read Willard, ugh).
Read these thoughts and ask yourself about how certain unsanctified feelings impact your life, your marriage, other relationships, work, even the church you attend, ministry and even your relationship with God.
“Much of the great power of feelings over life derives not just from the fact that they touch us, move us, but from the fact that they creep over into other areas of our life; they pervade, they change the overall tone of our life and our world. They spread like an unstable dye or a viral form or a yeast. They may take over all else in us, even that to which they have no relevance. Things and people around us then look different, take on a distinctive tone or meaning. And that can even determine the tendency and outcome of our life as a whole.
This explains why it is so hard to reason with some people. Their very mind has been taken over by one or more feelings and is made to defend and serve those feelings at all costs…
…Beyond the individual level, poisonous emotions and sensations often take over entire social groups, blinding them and impelling them on terrible courses of destruction.” – Willard (Renovation of the Heart, p. 124)
From this, what are some important questions that you (we) need to ask yourself about unsanctified feelings? What questions do you (we) need to pray through for God to help you(us)?
Following Jesus requires faith, let alone to serve and obey Him. He gives us faith, but we have a pat too. In my life, I have found that His word speaks faith into me and strengthens me. Again, for your consideration are some texts that He uses to build me up:
The LORD is my light and my salvation;
whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life;
of whom shall I be afraid? (Psalm 27:1 ESV)
God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 ESV)
As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.  For he knows our frame; he remembers that we are dust. (Psalm 103:13-14 ESV)
but whoever listens to me will dwell secure and will be at ease, without dread of disaster.” (Proverbs 1:33 ESV)
Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5 ESV)
fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10 ESV)
“Blessed is the man who trusts in the LORD, whose trust is the LORD.  He is like a tree planted by water, that sends out its roots by the stream, and does not fear when heat comes, for its leaves remain green, and is not anxious in the year of drought, for it does not cease to bear fruit.” (Jeremiah 17:7-8 ESV)
The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end;  they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness. (Lamentations 3:22-23 ESV)
Though the fig tree should not blossom, nor fruit be on the vines, the produce of the olive fail and the fields yield no food, the flock be cut off from the fold and there be no herd in the stalls,  yet I will rejoice in the LORD; I will take joy in the God of my salvation.  GOD, the Lord, is my strength; he makes my feet like the deer’s; he makes me tread on my high places. (Habakkuk 3:17-19a ESV)
 “Therefore do not be anxious about tomorrow, for tomorrow will be anxious for itself. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.” (Matthew 6:34 ESV)
“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.” (John 15:7 ESV)
“No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.  For I am sure that neither death nor life, nor angels nor rulers, nor things present nor things to come, nor powers,  nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 8:37-39 ESV)
So we do not lose heart. Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison,  as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen. For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal. (2 Corinthians 4:16-18 ESV)
Fear can be a window into areas of unbelief in our life. If, as you have read through these Scriptures, you have allowed God to bring you faith, ask Him to show you which areas of your life you need greater faith: money, your family, success, possessions, relationships, your image, etc. as Jesus said: “Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.  Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30 ESV)
NOW… Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand firm.  Stand therefore, having fastened on the belt of truth, and having put on the breastplate of righteousness,  and, as shoes for your feet, having put on the readiness given by the gospel of peace.  In all circumstances take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming darts of the evil one;  and take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God,  praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints,… (Ephesians 6:13-18 ESV)
Follow and serve Him in faith.