The bible study group is looking at the book of Acts. We started last week. I am looking forward to this series of studies because I know that this is the story of the beginning of The Church. In it we learn that the Holy Spirit corrects disciples who have gotten themselves ‘off message’ for God, and that God-fearing men can have genuine differences of opinion about people but that such differences should not be fudges or ignored, leaving us with a lowest common denominator faith but rather thrashed out and discussed openly so that the whole of the fellowship may be taught and strengthened.
I must admit that I do not want to see a repeat of the story of Ananias and Sapphira with two members of any fellowship struck down dead, but I do want to see all the Church, and certainly all who attend the Bible study group come to realise that God is not to be mocked.
We all have integrity, just like rock has the name of the resort running all the way through it, and that may be for us good or evil. If we are filled with the Spirit of God, and desire to please Him at all times, it will motivate us. It will motivate us to speak and behave and to think in ways that please Him and not our fellow men. Yesterday, on the site called Mind Renewers, Pastor Jon Gleason posted this:
It used to be that Evangelical Christians obeyed Scripture but now it appears that they do not bother or they rationalise away those parts of Scripture that do not conform to the prevailing opinion in society at large. Too often we forget that the society in which we are placed to serve God is a corrupt and idolatrous society, and that it is controlled by forces that are opposed to God. Do we conform? Or do we transform the society we are in to make it more like the place that God would have it be?
When we say the Lord’s Prayer, how can we say “Thy will be done on Earth as it is in Heaven” if we do not start with that part of the Earth over which we have some control, our own lives. It does not matter whether we are rich and powerful or poor and weak, there is some part of our life that we do have autonomy over, and that is the part of our life where we need to start bringing God’s Kingdom in and making certain that His will is done. It may be something as simple as giving God thanks for the food we have for a meal, praying over the office and workplace where we have to exercise authority over others before anyone else arrives, or checking that the old person in our street is well when we do not see them. It all depends on our circumstances and what god has laid on us to do.
We are in the midst of a spiritual war, although we may not realise it. Forces of evil are trying stir up hatred of Christian against Muslim and Muslim against Christian, kill unborn children because they are not considered any more valuable than the cells of a cancerous tumour, and tear families apart by preaching feminism to all who will listen, to bring about the destabilisation of the family unit. We do not need to be on the front line to be involved in this war. Students of history will tell you that the reason that Rommel lost his North African campaign in the Second World War was because his supply lines could not support his fighting forces. We may be part of the supply lines, praying for the people who need support when they are in the midst of the fray, but we need to be one with them in prayer.
To provide the support we need spiritual nourishment, and that comes from reading and studying Scripture, and then putting it into practice. I pray that we will all play our part in this over the coming weeks.