Previous Challenge Entry (Level 2 – Intermediate)
Topic: Police (10/12/06)
TITLE: Your Under Arrest
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God put me under arrest, hand cuffed me, and put me in jail. He stopped me from doing everything. God was no longer going to allow me to continue to find my WORTH in the things I was doing. I began to see what God was wanting to show me. Even more I began to understand the real life experiences that ALL of God’s people had to go through for the advance of His Kingdom. Just like it was with people in the Bible like Joseph, Daniel, David, and Paul (just to name a few), it was time for me to step into God and God alone. To have no more reliance on me and what I WAS doing and have it ALL in God and what He IS doing.
As I re-read each one of the stories of these men in the Bible, God was able to show me why He had to ARREST me. It was time to break my dependency in the things I was doing as a gauge as to who I was or how I was doing. It was time to take away ANY worth I had in ANYTHING other than GOD.
Ephesians 2:9 “Not by works lest any man should boast.”
Joseph was thrown in a pit, sold into slavery, and spent time in prison. Daniel was thrown in a lion’s den. David had to live in a cave for a period of time. Paul lived out his remaining days in prison. Each one of them experienced a time of being arrested. A time of imprisonment because God had to get them to a place of COMPLETENESS in Him.
It is so easy to grab hold of works as a gauge as to who we are or how we are doing. After all, the world has been teaching us to get our self WORTH from works our whole lives. To get our identity from our accomplishments. Because of this way of thinking we get much of our meaning and purpose from OUR good works and end up losing the identity of Christ in our lives. Instead of others seeing Christ in us, they see US in OUR righteousness (Isaiah 64:6). It is hard for the lost to see a difference between us and them. We push them away from God. Not only do we push the lost away, but we even push each other away. Our good works enable us to exalt ourselves against each other!
I cannot continue to grow in the Lord if I am still using the thinking of the world. In order for my identity to change, my focus must change. For my identity to be Christ I must focus completely on God. I must focus completely on God. I must focus completely on God. Nothing else! My JOY must NOW be found in Him and not in whether I am preaching or teaching or counseling. My WORTH must NOW be found in Him and not in whether I am reading or writing, sitting or standing, or in whether I am silent or speaking. My CONTENTMENT must NOW be found in Him and not in whether I am in a physical place of comfort and ease.
Only when we go through our arrested time and find our worth in God can we truly set the example of love to others. When our contentment and comfort in life is not dictated by what we are doing or not doing. When our joy in life is not determined by our circumstances or situations, but in our TRUST and FAITH in God and His ability to make ALL things GOOD (Romans 8:28-29). To get to a place where even in the deepest parts of prison and there seems to be no way out, WE PRAISE GOD.
Stop trying to escape and learn to see God in your arrested time and you will be freed from the prison of the thinking of the world (Romans 12:1-2). In turn God will be able to use you to show others how to be free. Isn’t that what it’s all about?
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