The Word of Life
- Created: Monday, 07 October 2013 00:07
- Last Updated: Saturday, 26 October 2013 17:29
- Published: Monday, 07 October 2013 00:07
- Written by Mark Neddeau
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1 CORINTHIANS 7:35 And this I speak for your own profit; not that I may cast a snare upon you, but for that which is comely, and that ye may attend upon the Lord without distraction.
Ministry is like a basketball game. We ministers (pastors, preachers, what have you), are trying to plant a seed in a mind that will bring salvation to a soul. The devil and the world are seeking to stop that. So he sets up blockers and defenses in order to keep us from planting that thought or idea that will stir you, the recipient, to action - thus saving your soul. Distractions such as attitude, activity, noise, or others come along and are very effective methods of keeping your mind off Jesus and ensuring that whatever is planted is either missed or misused, leading to spiritual death. Another analogy we like and use here is that church is like a farmer's field. There are some things that we plant in spirits that require special preparation and attention. Some concepts of God that must take root before any true spiritual growth can occur. Peter talks of these things and makes it known that some folks deliberately do not receive these concepts, while others are actively distracted from them.
2 Peter 3:16 He writes the same way in all his letters, speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain some things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction.
We read here that all his letters are written clearly and consistently, offering some hard things but not impossible thoughts. But ignorant and unstable people distort the words to their own destruction. Not only they, but all who allow distractions to draw the hard things from their minds. You know, there are some things that must be focused on in order to understand. Some deeper concepts of God must be received unhindered in order to settle in the soul. When there is confustion, calamity, or distraction there is weakness. The opportunity exists for Satan to take away from the effectiveness of God.
LUKE 8:5 A sower went out to sow his seed: and as he sowed, some fell by the way side; and it was trodden down, and the fowls of the air devoured it.
This is where the concept of a field comes in. The devil is called the Prince and Power of the Air (EPH 2:2) - it is no wonder then that birds are mentioned as a type and shadow of beings who snatch up the seed thoughts that are planted by preachers. We need to begin acting as scarecrows over our seed. We need to begin setting an atmosphere that tells the ravens seeking our soul that we are on guard against their plot! Think of it this way: A scarecrow is planted in a field to provide movement and a human silhouette in order to confuse and frighten birds away. Using this simple tool gives farmers an added protection against the creatures that would come in an pluck up the seeds, which reduces their harvest, if not outright destroys it.
Using that analogy then, we say this: when there's confusion, we must calm it. When there's distraction, we must identify it. We must set our atmosphere! We must give our atmospher to God and learn to operate in a proper method of worship and attentiveness that gives the Word a chance to settle in our hearts. More importantly, we must set an atmosphere that allows our babes, our weak ones, our newborns a chance to grow safe and strong.
Philippians 4:7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
But don't leave it up to God alone! The key to victory is being aware of the atmosphere around you and the actions of the devil (and others). Taking authority is our God given right and His expectation! Competing with noises and distractions provides an uncertain sound and it is not the way to effectively plant seed. It foils the way God wants to know you and have you understand him. This is spiritual warfare! We are at fault and souls are lost if we do not effectively deal with our atmosphere. Flush out and scare off any of the crows pecking at your heart, or the heart of your young saints! HOW? By worship, prayer, and attention to God's move in the sanctuary.
Too often now we are seeing chit-chat take the place of prepatory praise and worship. Too often we see giggling and whispers replace the listening when pastors begin to speak - or the Word is coming forth. What ever happened to the reverent FEAR of the Lord? We are still required to come before God properly!
In church the pulpit is the focal point. Teach your young saints to pay attention to the actions at the pulpit. Teach them how to properly respond to preaching, music and other aspects of service. In that way you operate as a SCARECROW on their behalf, protecting the field of their heart from birds who will pluck the word away. Weak and distract leadership leads to weak and distracted church. But you can make a difference. You - a saint or minister in your local assembly can begin to change things. When my wife and I go to church we sit up front, and insist our young-in-spirit saints sit with us. No distractions from the back-pew crew, as we call them. We show them how and when to worship, and nudge them when they don't, or when they get distracted (and yes, some of our "young" saints are older than we are - but not in the Lord)! WHY DO WE DO THIS? We are not suppossed to play NICE with this thing, we are at WAR!
Romans 7:23 but I see another law at work in me, waging war against the law of my mind and making me a prisoner of the law of sin at work within me.
We must develop our own style, but within God's direction and the church's oversight. We must be free enough to act but act accordingly. God will make us what we should be, but only when we control our atmosphere! If we accept an atmosphere of distraction, not condusive to God's spirit, or if we are silent watchmen, the blood of innocents is at our hands! We must take control - practice SCARECROW religion and frighten the scavengers (vultures) that seek to devour our spirits. We are at fault if souls are lost because we did not watch over them. Set the atmosphere of praise, worship and proper attention, friends. Let the seed settle on good ground and watch growth spread in your church.
Elders Mark and Dana Neddeau