Answering Questions #2- How are we going to grow spiritually

Many students feel that I have personally helped them grow in their own spiritual journey and I think its great.  But someone are wondering how they are going to grow spiritually with me leaving.  

My first response is- you are little confussed. It is God who has been working in your life.  He just decided to use me to help you grow. If you continue to seek hard after God I believe he will continue to help you grow.

My second response is- OWN YOUR FAITH.   I suggest you visit Ron’s blog and read his post titled The Water is Stirring. Good thoughts Ron- I hope students step up!

And third- talk to your small group leaders.   Tell them the areas where you need to grow.  Ask them to help hold you accountable.  

Fourth- Get under the teaching of Gods word. Dont stop coming to church.  Come more often.  Listen to podcast of other pastors you like.

Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk, so that by it you may grow up in your salvation, 1 peter 2:2.


Answering questions- Confusion

This morning I woke-up thinking about some of the questions and struggles many of the students from The Open Door Church are having as a result of my resignation this past weekend.  The next serveral days I want to try and help answer some of their questions via my blog.

Many students have simply said they are confused and they just dont understand.  I want to say that it is okay to feel confused. Its okay to not understand what is going on. But let me encourage you to be faithful to God no matter how confused you become.

For the past three years I have been hear watching God work in and through your lives.   Many of us have become good friends.  To you, me leaving just doesnt make sense.  You might be saying:

  • God been working in our ministry.  Why now? – Because God has called me to another place where people need to hear what I have already shared with you.   And, I believe the both you and the leadership are ready to handle doing ministry without me.  
  • It seems like every time I get closer to God, someone I am close to in this life leaves, and I just want to know why? Honestly, I dont know the answer.  But I do know that our hope and trust must be in God not a person.  I do know that God has allowed the Satan to be the ruler of this world (  Jn 12:31, Jn 14:30) and I dont think God causes all things, but sometimes He allows them. 
  • God has used you to bring me closer to God and I am not sure how I will continue to grow without you.  As I have taught ever since I got here, you gotta Own Your Faith.  Know what you believe and why you believe?  DRINK AND FLOW.  Personally drink deep of Gods love and allow it to flow through you to others.    Commit to DWAPS.  And finally God promises in Jeremiah 29:13 that those who seek Him will find Him.  Continue to seek GOD.  Abide in Him for He produces Growth.  John 15.  

When stuff happens in our life  and it does not make sense to us, our first reaction is to blame God, because we dont understand.  But I want to encourage you to seek God.  To be faithful to God.  And over time, even if you dont understand completeley, I believe the picture will become more clear.    

Let me give you a couple of examples:

  1. Moses was asked by God to communicate with Pharaoh to set the people of Israel free.  The very first time (Ex 5) Moses asked Pharoah to let the people go, Pharoah made the people of Israels lives miserable.  You want to talk about confusion.  God you asked me to do this, but now the situation is even worse.  Confusion continues to occur as once again Moses is asked by God to speak to Pharaoh.  Moses response is a good one.   Ex. 6:30- “I speak with faltering lips, why would Pharaoh listen to me?”   Moses says God I dont get it.  Out of all these people you chose me? And besided Pharoah already told me NO.  CONFUSION.  The confusion for Moses only gets worse, because time after time  Moses goes to Pharaoh and is told NO.   CONFUSION.  I just dont get it.Moses remained faithful to GOD despite the confusion.  The result of being faithful even when confused was the promise of God- “I will gain Glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the Lord.”
  2. The confussion of the cross.  I mean think about it.  It still doesnt make sense to me why God would send His son to die on a cross for my sin.  And I am sure that it did’nt make sense to those who were there on the day Jesus died.  CONFUSSION.  But the result of confussion this big leads me to FAITH.  We just gotta trust in the promises of God.  We gotta trust that His ways are not mine, but yet His ways are right.  We just gotta to be faithful to God despite the confusion of our circumstances.

So Jeremy, I am confused, why are you leaving?
Because,  I desire to follow hard after my God.  I desire to live my life for His honor and His Glory.   My heart beats to teach people that we need to live our lives for the Honor and Glory of God, we need to surrender our lives for HIS GLORY.   Many of the ODSM students and leaders have done this.  You have surrendered to God’s Glory.  Now its time for you to live for God’s Glory no matter what happens in your life.  BE FAITHFUL despite confusion.  God is faithful and He loves.  

Please follow my lead, and no matter how tough the decision, no matter how many people are disappointed, hurt, or confussed by your decision, BE Faithful to be where God needs you to be.