Have you ever been in church and the preacher’s message spoke directly to you?
It happened to me last summer. Once a quarter our church hosts a special church-wide Prayer Gathering on a Wednesday night. The entire worship team participates and we invite a guest speaker. A few hundred people attend. It’s an awesome time for our church.
This past August, Bill Elliff, pastor of Summit Church in Little Rock, spoke to us about the danger of quenching the Spirit. In his conclusion, he challenged the congregation to ask God if there was any area of our lives that might be quenching the Spirit’s activity in us.
Immediately, I was stung with conviction over an area of subtle compromise in my heart. At that moment this thought became loud in my conscience:
“It’s not worth it.”
In other words, there is nothing in life so valuable that it is worth losing the anointing of God’s Spirit, quenching His work, or His presence in me. Compared to being right with God, in every recess and secret corner of my life, nothing else has a right to compete. Whatever it is—it’s not worth it.
In that moment last August, I prayerfully surrendered to the lordship of Christ all over again. Regular surrender is always the right thing to do. Jesus advised His followers to come to God on a daily basis praying like this: “Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven” (Matt. 6:10).
As we’ve frequently heard from others, “If His Kingdom is going to come, my kingdom has got to go!” Surrendering to the lordship of Christ—praying for His kingdom reign in our lives—suggests numerous implications for us. At the very least it means I cannot erect outposts of rebellion in my heart while simultaneously flying the flag of my Lord and King.
In the 21st century life is pretty good if you like immediate access on your smart phone to
… listening to the music you love
… scrolling your social network of lifelong and new friends
… streaming movies
… reading the book you’ve been trying to finish
… checking your email
… shopping online
… sending quick texts to your family,
… receiving reminders of how many steps you took yesterday
…. reading your favorite blog.
However, you have to make choices about the best use of your time. On average, we spend 24 hours a week looking at a screen (compared to nine hours in 2000). We have to constantly ask ourselves if how we’re using our time is worth the life we’re exchanging for it.
Our spiritual health demands a similar consideration. Prayerfully surrendering to His kingdom rule will always come down to a decision about what matters most. Compared to living under the joy of His royal reign, if I choose any other option, I will regret it. It’s just not worth it!
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