Pass the Baton or the Remote?

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By Beau Leaman

God has a sense of humor with these things. As I began to write this I violently choked on the glass of water I was drinking. Self-examining my heart is often difficult, but when writing about a subject like this it is intriguing the way the Spirit nudges oneself to examine their heart before talking on specific subjects. Oftentimes I have a sense that the closer I get to Jesus Christ, the more the enemy wants to turn up the heat. Living our lives in bold action is a dangerous and risky lifestyle. At the end of day we all attend the track meet, but some choose to run the race, while others choose to be spectators.

One of my favorite passages comes from 1 Corinthians 9:22-23. It says, “To the weak I became weak, that I might win the weak. I have become all things to all people, that by all means I might save some. I do it all for the sake of the gospel, that I may share with them in its blessings.” Paul lived his life through confidence in the power and truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ. Paul knew what it meant to draw near to God, and be a fisher of men. Today, we have an even greater gift in the life-giving nature of the Holy Spirit. The Spirit walks with us to conquer our greatest fears, and all too often His power is forgotten. Tertullian said, “The Lord challenges us to suffer persecutions and to confess him. He wants those who belong to him to be brave and fearless. He himself shows how weakness of the flesh is overcome by courage of the Spirit. This is the testimony of the apostles and in particular of the representative, administrating Spirit. A Christian is fearless.”

Part of Elim’s Mission Statement is too know, grow, and go. These three keys all go in succession. When we know God we will grow. When we grow we will want to go. There is an important key here that I want to communicate. We cannot pass the baton on the couch, and passing the baton is not the first step. The first step is knowing and drawing near to God. We do this by loving Him with all of our heart, soul, mind and strength. How do we do this? We pray, we read his Word, we involve ourselves in life-giving community, and we cling to Ephesians 2:8-9. Through this process God begins to open our eyes and rip off the calluses, and we begin to have encounters with God.

Passing the baton must be a work of the Spirit. In John 14:17, it says, “the Spirit dwells in you, and will be with you.” Also, in Mark 13:11, it says the Spirit helps us speak in difficult situations. J.I. Packer says, “The Christian’s life in all aspects—intellectual and ethical, devotional and relational, upsurging in worship and outgoing in witness—is supernatural; only the Spirit can initiate and sustain it. So apart from Him, not only will there be no lively believers and no lively congregations, there will be no believers and no congregations at all.” The Spirit bears witness to the fact that we are sons and daughters of the Most High. We receive our boldness from the Spirit and He walks with us in our most difficult circumstances. To pass the baton, whether it be in the mundane or the crazy, we must draw near to God and fight for what Paul found most precious, the furtherance of the Kingdom and the fellowship of the saints. May we trust God in our encounters with others, live life in bold action, and answer in a firm “YES” when the Spirit beckons on this day, and forevermore.

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