Monday, February 8, 2016

Don't Be A Settler

Not too long ago, I saw a Direct TV commercial about some settlers that got me thinking.  The commercial starts with an Amish looking man who is working the land on a plow being pulled by two strong oxen.  His rough wooden house looks like a settler’s cabin from the 1900’s but on either side of it are modern suburban houses with yards and SUV’s in the driveway.   A boy in ragged clothes runs out of the house and asks his dad, “Dad, why can’t we have Direct TV like the McGregors?”  His father replies, “We’re settlers son, we settle for things like having cable.  …Now go inside and churn some butter and after that make your own clothes.”  This commercial really struck me because I have seen so many people who have settled for so much less than all that God has for them and as a result become spiritually frustrated.

One of the ways that I settle is not allowing the Holy Spirit to work and empower my life. God wants to heal us, bless us, challenge us, strengthen us and provide for us.  Why don’t I let him?    Jesus promises that the Holy Spirit will teach and instruct us in all things, yet I so often try to figure things out on my own and use my own knowledge and experience.  Only after I hit a dead end do I stop to pray and ask God to show me his will in my situation.   

Why would we settle for our limited knowledge rather than asking our all-knowing God for his perfect will in our lives?   I have noticed that my friends and I can become spiritually complacent like the famer who still uses an ox and plow to prepare his fields.  If we don’t constantly seek to grow and develop our faith, it will become stagnant and we will not only lose spiritual ground but we will start seeking after other things to fill our needs and desires.   I believe that this tendency is one of the greatest ways that Satan’s deceives us and steals the abundant life that Christ died for us to have. I have had a ten year obsession with King Hezekiah.  He let pride over his past spiritual accomplishments keep him from giving glory to God in the present.  This failure had a lasting impact on his son and his country.  I am struck by so many people who were brought up in Christian homes that are now dabbling in Hinduism, Buddism and even Islam. I believe it is because they want a real life changing experience with God. They don’t want to settle.  They want more but often the Christians around them never modeled how to go deeper and experience more of the Holy Spirit in their lives.

The biggest reason that I have been guilty of settling for so much less than what God has for me because I am afraid of change.  Just as switching from cable to DirecTV has some inconvenience- you have to get a satellite dish installed, learn a new remote and pay a different company- this short team pain is outweighed by the benefits. At times I have been scared of really seeking after God, totally surrendering my life to him by growing in scary ways through the gifts of the spirit like speaking in tongues, prophecy, casting out demons and interceding for people in hopeless situations.  Hezekiah’s life taught me that if I am not seeking to grow and experience God in ways that stretch my human understanding, my kids won’t see a real and active faith that is different from all other the religions.  Our God is powerful, he created the world with immense potential, he designed microscopic bacteria and massive Mt Everest, atoms and electricity. Before humanity ever climbed Everest or unlocked the power of an atom, the potential was there. Just like satellite signals are streaming all around us even if we don’t have a satellite dish to receive them, God’s power is available in spiritual realm through the Holy Spirit, if we take the advice of a commercial and “Don’t be a settler.” 

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