Friday, July 5, 2013

A Thought from Pastor Shishko, Franklin Square OPC

"Know what God wants.  Make it your want" - Leadership Qualities (link is to a Word .doc)

This one hurt.

It is easy enough to know what God wants.  That's the (comparatively) simple task of study of Scripture, formulation of doctrine, and a synthesis of facts into a cogent idea.  The scribe who answered well was not far from the kingdom of God.  He knew that to love the Lord and to love your neighbor was more than all burnt offerings (he'd read the Psalms).

But, as a dear retired PCA minister in our congregation pointed out in an excellent sermon on Mark, "Not far is not in."

Maybe I know what God wants.  But I sure do know what I want.  I want convenience, I want comfort, I want security.  God wants some things, too.  Holiness, obedience, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self-control, wisdom, prayer, meditation on His word, love for His bride and service to her, etc.  Yeah, I have a decent idea what God wants.

But exterminating my wants and replacing them with God's wants is hard.  It's so hard, in fact, that it takes the power of God in Christ through the Holy Spirit to conform me to the image of His Son, Jesus.  I think the adoption process has been good in this regard, but I know that the process will be nothing compared to having Garnet home with us, learning what she needs, and doing it regardless of our/my wants.  Because (we think) God wants her to be our daughter.  God wants us to care for the orphans, that much is plain.  Making a love for orphans, the widow, the stranger, my want is hard.  Just doing is a necessary but insufficient condition.  If we want what God wants, then we will work heartily, as unto the Lord, no matter what task He assigns.

So thank you, Pastor Shishko, for the godly challenge.  May we rise to it in the strength of His might, and remember always Ps. 115:

    Not to us, O LORD, not to us, but to your name give glory,
        for the sake of your steadfast love and your faithfulness!

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