My pastor is currently leading a teaching series entitled “Go There”. Thus, the challenge is to go wherever God leads us, willingly, boldly, lovingly, authentically, truthfully and purposely. As I have pursued this truth deeper, I have been encouraged to discover how practically everyone used by God throughout history seem to share three commonalities as they live and go in faith:
Associations: We have heard it said that one bad apple can ruin the bunch. Likewise, our associations wherever we go are critically important (Proverbs 24:21). For who we spend our time with greatly impacts our testimonies. Taking it further, can others see a definite association with Jesus Christ in our life, or is it vague at best? Can we clearly be associated as a Christian, and if so, are we willing to stand-out and submit to all that requires of us?
Agitations: Why is it that even when we walk with God, go where He sends us, seek and obey His commands, we still face adversity? Can’t we catch a break? But when we study God’s word, we can clearly see, practically every person used by Him had agitations (1 Peter 4:12). Even Jesus couldn’t escape it. Therefore, there must be something vitally beneficial to our challenges. When we realize this truth and allow God to have His way in our life, we begin to see the opportunities our various irritations create for His glory and our good.
Advocations: Wherever we go, do we willingly and eagerly share our faith through our lifestyle, actions and words, or would someone have a hard time determining our beliefs? For example, it’s aggravating when the desires of my flesh flare up and I face those same old temptations that cause me to once again focus on me, myself and I. Yet, thankfully, I have learned this is when God’s grace is greater than my flaws and as I seek Him, He grants me the strength to overcome such selfish desires. He reminds me, I don’t have to worry if I have enough, or am enough. For I am His child and He is faithful to meet my every need. This stimulates my gratitude and praise – thus, promoting my advocation of His goodness to others (Romans 10:15).
Application: “Caring There” – 1 Corinthians 13:1-3
Ultimately, in order to be effective in our witnessing as we go there, we must care there. In other words, what good are deeds without love? For if our hands are to be His hands, He must first transform our hearts. Then, His love and fire propels our feet into action. As mentioned earlier, all of God’s children throughout history have had associations, agitations and opportunities for advocation; and realizing this can help us maximize our opportunities as we dare to go and live for Christ.