This quote is a screenshot from a Sunday morning message given this past week by Pastor Jordan Easley of First Baptist Church, Cleveland, Tn. He’s in a sermon series entitled “How the Church Acts.” In this message, he addressed that the church is to be made up of people who live with purpose. It wasn’t a message that churchgoers haven’t heard before, but this statement shed a different light on the message.
What is a non-negotiable anyway? My words-something that a person won’t budge about. For instance, I’m an Alabama fan-not going to budge on that one. I don’t eat brussels sprouts-pretty sure that’s not going to change. You get the point.
So when it comes to churchgoers, how is it possible that they have non-negotiables? According to Pastor Easley, it’s possible because they’ve become too comfortable. He wasn’t necessarily referring to being too comfortable in our lifestyle; he’s referring more to our view of God, our relationship with the Giver of Life both now and forever.
This statement made me think the rest of the day. Made me question what non-negotiables I may have. Made me wonder if I could be drawn to making some and what would be the result. Made me wonder enough that I’m sharing it with you.
Non-negotiables won’t exist in heaven. Makes me want to eliminate them today.
Revelation 22:3 was in my @youversion reading plan today. It reads, “and there will no longer be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and his servants will worship him.”
That first phrase jumped off the page. So I spent much of the day working on lyrics to a song entitled “The Curse Will Be Over.”
Today is the same, same as the rest
Knowing it’s closer than it’s ever been before
My heart knows you’re there preparing the best
To give me the joy of meeting you when I walk through the door
The curse will be over
My eyes will behold you
The lamb who was slain, the risen one
I’ll sing to proclaim your worth
I’ll finally be home
And the curse will be over
The garden was where this curse was begun
The bitten lie pierced my soul, ushered in shame
You said, “I’m not done.” You sent down your son.
I’ve bowed my knees, said please forgive me. I come bearing his name.
Over, death and the grave
Over, disease and pain
Over, darkness and shame
Over, temptation and blame
Over, hatred and war
Over, betrayal and hurt
Over, anger and fear
Over, apart from you
Over, it will be over
Sin’s curse will be over
(Day 22 in a 28-day series from First Bradenton)
Your kingdom come, Your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. (Matthew 6:10)
When we pray earnestly and sincerely like a child…
After we’ve put on the full armor of God and prayed the offensive prayer to keep us from temptation and protect us from the enemy…
After we have prayed the submissive prayer, subjugating our own desires and committing ourselves to the perfect will of God…
Then we are ready for the bold Kingdom prayer. “Father, let your kingdom come and your will be done here in my heart, in my home and in my country as it is in heaven.”
The writer of Hebrews encourages us:
Therefore let us draw near with confidence to the throne of grace, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need. (Hebrews 4:16)
If you had a request to make of the president of the United States, could you just waltz into the Oval Office, or even call him on the phone? Even if you want to talk with the pastor, you must make an appointment. However, as God’s children we have full access to the throne of Heaven. We can approach Him with confidence that He will hear us and answer our petitions.
Jesus is our great high priest. He made the sacrifice for us so that we could be adopted as heirs in the family of God. He stands at God’s right hand day and night to intercede for us. Because of what He did and who He is and where He is, we have direct access to God to offer our prayers.
It is our privilege to invite heaven to invade earth. We ask God to set up His rule in our hearts. He affects the world around us through His work in us. He only intervenes when we make that request of Him. Therefore, this prayer is our honor, our responsibility and our sacred duty.
We remember who we are as the children of God. We confess our sins and pray for protection from the evil around us. We submit ourselves to the will of God for our lives, even if we don’t understand the path He chooses for us. And then we invite the Kingdom of God into our reality.
Dear Father God, may your perfect plan be executed and may your Kingdom reign on this planet in the same way that it exists in heaven.
Understanding the moral climate in which we live, can there exist any bolder prayer than that?
By Lisa Fulghum
(Day 16 in a 28-day series from First Bradenton)
“Yet not as I will, but as you will.” (Matthew 26:39)
For just a moment, put yourself in Jesus’ shoes. Imagine the Son of God seated on His throne in heaven right next to His Father. The crystal sea, the golden pavement, the perfect peace, the angel voices… It is incredible, beyond our imagination. Jesus is God. He is one with the Father. Yet, when God asked, Jesus laid aside His authority, His divinity, His rightful place, His glory and His immortality. He willingly submitted to His Father and became a helpless human infant. He grew up and experienced life just as we do, and He willingly laid down his life as a sacrifice. He died a brutal and humiliating death because He was fully surrendered to the will of God.
Jesus is our example. We are told to:
“have the same mindset as Christ Jesus: who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be used to his own advantage; rather, he made himself nothing**by taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to death—even death on a cross!” (Philippians 2:5-8)
Most of us will never be asked to make the ultimate sacrifice. Rather we are called to daily surrender our lives in service of each other. It’s easy to be nice to a cashier or hold the door open for an older person. But do we follow Jesus’ example and surrender our own will when our spouse is doing that annoying thing again? Do we lay aside our desires when a child needs some one-on-one? Do we help with dishes even when it’s been a very long day? Do we maintain our composure when an unsaved coworker gets under our skin?
Jesus prayed, “Yet not as I will, but as You will.” Can we do the same? The submissive prayer puts our hearts and minds in the proper position before God so that we follow His directive, even when we don’t understand why. If Jesus being God would submit to the Father’s will, and He is our example, then we should do no less.
Hanging on the cross at the very end, Jesus said, “Father, into Your hands I commit my spirit.” (Luke 23:46) That should be our own battle cry every morning.
“Father, I lay down my life today. I choose to surrender my will to your own. I choose to serve the people you have put into my life. Into Your hands I commit my spirit, my heart and my life.”
By Lisa Fulghum
Paul David Tripp’s book Awe: Why It Matters for Everything We Think, Say & Do has been added to my list of must reads.
- If you battle dissatisfaction, this book can help.
- If you feel like you and God don’t get along or aren’t on the same page, this book can help.
- If you work in ministry and have lost your joy, this book can help.
- If you seem to be stuck figuring out your feelings, this book can help.
- If you are angry with God, this book can help.
- If you just can’t overcome complaining, this book can help.
- If you have a shopping addiction, this book can help.
- If you struggle processing what’s going on in the world, this book can help.
- If you tend to control too much, this book can help.
- If you struggle parenting, this book can help.
- If you are looking to define success, this book can help.
- If you aren’t sure whether heaven exists, this book can help.
Follow this link to Tripp’s website. Then buy this book. Read it soon. We are all at war over our awe. Learn why awe matters, what this war is even about, and let an awe correction change your life.