My mom was in the hospital with an infection, and although she came home yesterday afternoon, she isn’t feeling at all well (which isn’t helped by the strong antibiotic she’s on). It’s frustrating to her because she is used to bouncing back fast, despite her advanced age.
Anyway, I stayed home from church so that Mom wouldn’t be alone. For my Sunday message (until the Boise Vineyard’s service gets posted on-line), I watched the Week 3 Living Beyond Yourself video. This lesson is called "To Live by the Spirit." Wow! This was packed with wonderful morsels to chew on. The primary focus was on those gray areas in life, those things that are not simply black and white, not obviously good or evil. It’s in the gray areas where we so desperately need the power of the Holy Spirit to develop within us heightened perception, discernment, and insight.
I loved one of the last things Beth said: "Walking in grayer areas necessitates two things: (1) A meaty and steady diet of God’s Word; (2) The filling of the Spirit."
A meaty & steady diet: I think it is so important for a follower of Christ to both "read" the Word and "study" the Word. I think we should read the Bible as we would any book, from beginning to end (and then read it again and then read it again). And I think we need to take smaller parts and study them, dissect them, get out the various study aids like Bible dictionaries and really pursue the deeper meaning, understand the context, etc.
Filling of the Spirit: As I listened to Beth, I thought of some of the gray areas in my past where I needed that heightened perception, discernment, and insight. Without the Spirit speaking to my spirit, I would have been lost and confused.
But here is my favorite part of today’s lesson:
Philippians 1:10 says, "so that you may be able to discern what is best…" There are many, many good things that we can do — go on a missions trip, feed the homeless in the park, lead a Bible study, participate in a small group, etc. But one person cannot do everything. We aren’t meant to. We are meant to do what God wants us to do. I’ve heard this before but it bears repeating: The enemy of "the best" is not "the worst." It’s "the good."
I think most women are natural multi-taskers, and we often find it hard to say no to something that is obviously good. But if we fill up our lives with too many good things, we will miss the opportunity to say yes to the best God has in store for us. We need to learn to listen to the Holy Spirit’s guidance on all things, large and small.
I believe this is part of my "Peace and Simplicity" message for 2007. Choose God’s best, not just the good.
In the grip of His grace,