Telescoping Truth Principles from God's Marriage Axioms  

Posted by Mike Sharrow

Did some talking and thinking this week about the telescoping truth principles that link marriage and our individual God journey. Read the full posting at:

Argentina Blog (click on Argentina Blog tab when at this site)

How Can You Stutter and Lead in God's World?  

Posted by Mike Sharrow

For the Kingdom of God does not consist of words, but of power.

- St. Paul's first letter to the Christians gathered in Corinth

Olympic Christianity  

Posted by archie

I think I am beginning to "get it". I keep hearing about the disciplines of the faith and kind of appreciate what is being said. But, I'm not sure how it really impacts me.

I know I should read the Bible, pray and maybe fast if someone really pressures me. But the problem is really a simple question. "Why?" Life is pretty good without the hassle of doing things that don't fit my routine. But I said, "I think I am beginning to get it".

The getting "it" really centers around the Olympics. There are ten of thousands of athletes around the world that get it. They have a dream of someday being a participant in the world Olympics. Take Phelps for example. He gets it.

Phelps as well as the many others who desire to participate in the Olympics devote their life to the goal. There is nothing more important than winning gold at the Olympics. They likely leave home at an early age to train. They give up free time to train. They give up relationships to train. They give up their body for the cause.

Think about it. Everything consumed by them in body, soul and spirit is in preparation for achieving "the high calling of Jesus Christ". Whoops. Where did that come from? I should have said, "It is for achieving the honor of winning gold" or is it?

Unrestrained Following, Unquenched Flames, Unconditional Faith  

Posted by Mike Sharrow in , , , , , , ,

Leadership Summit 2008 was excellent. The faculty delivered a series of powerful punches that struck me and thousands of other leaders in a number of ways...some of which I'm still unpacking. One resounding theme across the speakers was courageous, uninhibited, relentless, risky, consuming pursuit in faith of the things God put before them. Whether a pastor pursuing laser-focus on the mission, a teacher to stand against the wind of educational demise in urban areas, a business-woman diving into a holy discontent for prison recidivism trends or a lawyer selling the farm to address injustice across the globe - each story contained brilliant brushstrokes of radical risk in commitment. Jeopardy was a given, failure a real possibility but quitting, safety and partial investment ruled out.

These themes were heard like a punch in the gut. The Bible commands followers of Christ to not quench the Spirit (1 Thess 5:19). It's a passage that has always troubled me. So many times we talk about desiring to hear God's voice, see His leading, know His will - but this passage suggests we would intentionally douse the flame of God's consuming presence. Surely not! How crazy! It makes you feel like Peter, so confidently guffawing when Jesus suggested someone would betray him (Judas) and one who loved Him would even deny Him (Pete) multiple times. Surely we would never push God away, right?

Yet, I confess, it is my most perpetual act of disobedience. I want closeness with God, but at the depth I'm comfortable swimming, at the pace I can still steer, at a temperature I can control.

This fear is well founded. Indeed, the Bible even attests to the nature of God dramatically, using terms like a "consuming fire." It's the same problem the Rich Young Ruler had with Jesus...the utter and complete consumption of being God desires. There's a terrifying reality of truly being consumed by God as you draw near to Him and He begins to fully invade your life and take you places only He is adequate to sustain. There's a tipping point of the soul that I so often pull back from.

I'm guilty of teaching instead of leading, of offering instead of exhorting, of dabbling instead of diving, praying silently instead of intervening intercessently, hinting at hope instead of proclaiming incredibly good news, being content with status quo or slightly "better" practice instead of running into frontiers where God has called me to...of pouring water onto the very flame of the Spirit of God to subdue it back to a controlled burn...running at a pace I can endure and sustain without overly depleting my own reserve rather than abandoning myself in His race...reducing His message to tolerable bites for concern of how I'll be perceived or what doorways it might thrust me through...
James 5:16 says confession is healing. Next comes obedience in response.

How are you quenching the Spirit? In what ways do you pander God by minimizing calls He has in your life? How are you dialing down the intensity and vibrancy of God's movement in and through you?