Friday, January 13, 2012
Pastor's Perspective - Forcefully Advancing
Are you an aggressive person?
In the Kiefer family we have found that some of our kids are more aggressive than others. This observation is historically highlighted and reinforced during each soccer season. While our uniformed youngsters are dashing back and forth on the pitch, mom and dad are on the sideline losing their voices and dignity! Predictably, we cheer when they show aggressiveness and energized effort. However, at the sign of indifference or lethargy, we get a bit exasperated. We know that they can do better. In other word, we believe that if you’re going to indentify yourself with a team, wear a uniform, be on the field, and have others watching you – you ought to play all-out!
This morning in my ‘alone time’ with Abba, I read something that Jesus said about this whole aggressiveness thing. Though the world sometimes associates Him with passivity, in this verse, He said something quite different.
‘From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it.’ – Matthew 11:12
I tried to just read on, but admittedly, I had to go back to it again and again.
I began to wonder about something -
How many times have I frustrated my heavenly Parent through my spiritual apathy, indifference, lethargy and laziness?
I mean, let’s be honest!
As a born again believer, I’ve identified my team. At my baptism I donned my uniform. As a child of God and pastor I’m on the field daily, surrounded by a cloud of witnesses. And understandably I’m playing for something so much greater and honorable than a youth soccer game. I’m playing for the glory of Almighty God!
Yet, honestly, sometimes we just don’t feel like it. We run out of energy because we’re not properly nourished spiritually. We wander out of position. We needlessly compare ourselves to other players. Or, we see other teammates not playing aggressively, so why should we rise above the gravitation?
Friends, let me remind you that we are all soldiers engaged in a real raging war for real human souls. Our divine objective at FCC is advancing the Gospel and expanding the kingdom until He comes. By grace we are mysteriously and scandalously somehow part of Heaven’s population initiative; yet, we are opposed. Our enemy is proven, fierce, scheming, deceptive, and unrelenting.
Again, the mission objective is not just holding our position, it’s advancing our position! Realistically, this will never happen if we are content sitting in our comfy foxholes sipping coffee wearing clean uniforms. Forceful advancement only happens when forceful men lay hold of it.