BIBLE READING: 1 Timothy 4: 14 - 16 14 Do not neglect the spiritual gift you received through the prophecy spoken over you when the elders of the church laid their hands on you. 15 Give your complete attention to these matters. Throw yourself into your tasks so that everyone will see your progress. 16 Keep a close watch on how you live and on your teaching. Stay true to what is right for the sake of your own salvation and the salvation of those who hear you.
BLOG: I have been speaking to how God "shifts" our lives. Much like you shift a standard transmission, God will shift your life to the next level He has planned for you.
Romans 12:1-2 I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.
I spent most of the summer studying the book of Romans. What a powerful book that can change your life. But through it, I see Paul leading the church through a series of shifts. These shifts were designed to move them from their selfish ambition to being selfless followers of Jesus who loved one another.
In the book of Acts, as I pointed out Sunday, the Holy Spirit leads the church through a series of shifts that transforms them from a localized Jewish cult to a worldwide phenomenon of faith.
But before you can shift you've got to get started.
So if you have never driven a stick shift before, let me describe how it works. Put your foot on the clutch, which puts the car in neutral, your other foot on the brake, so it doesn't roll away, and start the vehicle. Shift the car into 1st gear, and simultaneously let out the clutch while giving it a little gas. Then as you hear the engine wind up faster and faster, it will be time to shift. Clutch in, foot off the gas, shift, clutch out and foot on the gas. No, it isn't easy, and yes, it takes practice.
But someone asked me Sunday, "What if you stall out? What do you do?"
First of all, DON'T STOP! You've got momentum, use it to your favor. If God is doing a work in your life to transform you, don't give up just because you missed a gear.
Clutch in. Put the car in neutral but don't hit the brake. Don't fret over stalling out and don't roll to a stop. You may need to forgive yourself for something you did or ask forgiveness from God.
Put it in gear and let the clutch out quickly. The car will jump, but the engine will turn over and start. Pretty? No. Keeping your momentum is the goal here. How do you get a rolling start?
Examine your spiritual habits and ask yourself if you have slacked off on any of them? If you have, reengage them now.
Prayer and Fasting works. Need to get things going now? Pray and fast about it. Fasting has an incredible impact on the inner man.
Ask for help. Talk to a spiritual mentor or join a small group. Other people have been where you are at. Learn from them.
PRAY: Dear Jesus, help me to keep my momentum and growing in my relationship with You. AMEN