We Need One Another

John 15:4
Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

In this passage, we find Jesus talking about His ability to bring life and fruitfulness to all who abide in Him. He speaks of the Father being the husbandman and Himself, the vine. Just as He has total dependency on the Father, we must have total dependency on Him to complete us, if we wish to bear fruit. In other words, we cannot truly succeed alone.

In Genesis God said it is not good for man to be alone. The Father is literally telling us that being alone is bad for our future progress and growth. This statement is not just related to marriage but encompasses the need for healthy relationships in all areas of life. We thrive as a part of something beyond ourselves. Without God, we are dead in trespass and sin. Without each other, we suffer a lonely existence void of celebration and community. To experience life in its fullest expression, we truly need one another.

I have recognized the great value of cultivating healthy relationships time after time in my own life. They help us through difficult times, and they offer a venue to share our joy communally through great times. There is nothing like partnering with people to share life!

In light of this deeply-ingrained need for one another, how should we look at being part of a local assembly? Our place in the corporate context of other believers is vitally important because it’s the only plan God made for our fellowship with each other. If we hope to be fruitful and successful in life, we must learn to work together. There is no escaping the great expectation God has for all believers to coordinate our efforts and learn to bear fruit as a unit, and not just individually.

Over the last few decades, there has been a shift toward idol worship, super-stardom and covetousness throughout the world. Whether in sports, music, television or ministry, there seems to be a longing for the spotlight to validate and authenticate our actions. The concept of team building is being cast by the wayside and the art of networking has become altogether selfish.

Jesus related the Kingdom to a man who cast a net into the sea. If we play with this concept a little we can see the Kingdom rests in the hands of Jesus, and we are the net (or network) being cast in order to bring about a harvest of souls. The net must be whole, complete and strong for maximum impact—the harvest is lost when there are tears and gaps.

The same concept works in our lives individually. We need power relationships and a local assembly to work alongside other believers. Without this structure in place, our results will be greatly limited. We can achieve a level of success individually, but we will never realize the God potential that comes with the corporate dynamic.

In the coming holiday season, find the time to evaluate your value on the various teams you find yourself in. As a parent, sibling, co-worker, parishioner, etc., do you bring what is necessary to bless and support others, or would things work out the same without you? Now is the time we as believers must be willing to engage ourselves! Let this season be a time of transition from self-centered thinking that says “what about me,” and find your refreshing in how you can bring value to the teams you’re on.

If you don’t have strong relationships, a thriving personal network and a place to serve, my prayer is you will not rest until those areas of your life are whole and functional.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken can be found each week at Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the website to check out his sermons and/or learn more about Spirit Life.

Faith That’s Tried

1 Peter 1:7
These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.

I’ve always been an all or nothing kind of guy. This tendency has no doubt served me in many ways but in some ways, it sets me up for defeat. For example, when I decide to get on a health kick, I go all out—radical changes to my diet, an hour of cardio a day, gym memberships complete with the latest in work-out apparel, etc. Unfortunately, going from couch potato to triathlete in a week is impossible and attempting such a regimen quickly left me burned out time and again.

So this January I took a new approach. I began implementing small changes into my lifestyle. Things such as starting the day with push-ups or cutting fried foods out of my diet. Small things that only took a little discipline. Not only was it easier to stick with, but when I started to gain small victories in my physical life I found it easier to incrementally build on them. No one has the discipline to go from zero to hero overnight, but if you take exercise the discipline you have to accomplish a small goal, it will grow and soon you’ll be amazed by what you’re capable of. Building discipline in this way is a lot like building faith.

Much like physical exercise strengthens our muscular system and provides us with greater confidence in our physical abilities, the testing and trying of our faith in Christ strengthens our spirits and leaves us with a greater confidence and trust in God’s providence over our lives. Faith that is untried and untested may be true faith, but it is certain to be little faith and will remain so without proper trials.

Throughout my Christian walk I’ve found that faith never prospers so well as when all things seem to be against us. It is when all options are removed that we have the opportunity to wholly trust God. Every believer trusts God to some degree, but it is when the flesh has no confidence in the things of this world that our spirit is free to make a truly powerful connection with the Lord. It is faith that makes this connection and it is faith that grows up in the face of adversity.

In Mark 11 Christ told us that we are to place our faith in God and then we could say to a mountain be removed and cast into the sea and it would obey us. What a powerful picture Jesus has painted for us here. The real power is not found in us, but in the object of our faith which is the Christ the Lord. Our faith in God releases the grace of God which delivers the results we are desparate for. Mountain moving faith depends on absolute confidence in the creator. This is the kind of trust that can only be built in trial fires throughout our Christian walk.

Unfortunately there are many incorrect concepts and doctrines being taught on the subject of faith. I’ve seen men take credit for acts of God based on their own faith. I have also seen people condemned because of their lack of faith. Jesus is our eternal example of redeemed humanity, indwelt by the Holy Spirit, and having faith in God. Faith simply builds our divine confidence in God and keeps us properly connected to Him.

Remember that the trying of your faith is working to your benefit and not your detriment. Stay focused on the big picture in your time of need and you will realize that your faith has grown, your need was met, and Jesus is Lord of all.

God Bless.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken speaks weekly at Spirit Life Church. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.

Church Unity

There are many books written on the topic and in fact, much of what we read in the New Testament deals with the harmony between the brethren. We are instructed to love, pray for and even serve one another. Though this seems simple enough in theory, the practical application is much harder. Still, maintaining relational, theological and even philosophical unity is imperative to be successful in working together to fulfill God’s great commission. We don’t have to universally agree, but there is a set of unanimity that must be preserved in order for a church to walk together and build together. Unity is the most important asset for a team and must be preserved at all costs! When there is disunity, it must be dealt with. This brings about the question of church discipline and how it should be administered.

Church discipline is an ecclesiastical function that is mandated by the Great Commission found in Matthew 28:19-20. This responsibility was given originally to the Apostles and continues today, falling upon the shoulders of Senior Elders.

This come under the doctrine of spiritual authority. I am not exempting eldership from correction and I do not believe that true spiritual authority creates hierarchies and citizenship structures—the catch with true spiritual authority is that it cannot be exercised beyond a believers willingness to receive it. There is no physical infrastructure to enforce the authority of God’s word like there is with the laws of this nation via the police and the criminal justice system. Whether or not a resolution takes place is up to the individual’s willingness to receive from the leader.

The Purpose of Church Discipline

First, church discipline should seek the restoration and reconciliation of the believer who is going astray. Going astray doesn’t necessarily mean open sin, though it absolutely applies to sinfulness. It can boil down to believers with inappropriate motives and bad attitudes that can affect and infect the entire church if it is not dealt with. As a shepherd this cannot and will not be tolerated. As I already stated, unity is the single greatest asset a group or team can possess and we must protect it.

There is always room for dissent and disagreement in our church but we must go about resolving these issues in a Biblical, loving manner. The good news is that if this is the focus of our actions, most issues can be handled easily. If we have a loving, trusting relationship there shouldn’t be anything we can’t work through! The bad news is that if this isn’t carried out, disagreements and misunderstandings can become toxic and spread to others, provoking offense and hurt feelings that really should never have arisen.

Revelation 12:10 exposes Satan as the accuser of the brethren and I believe it is accusation, not temptation, that is his most potent weapon against us. Satan accuses us and he accuses others in our minds. In no time at all a simple difference of opinion can escalate to full fledged bitterness. Instead of trying to reconcile we find ourselves building a mental case against a friend or leader, preparing for some kind of impending show-down and recruiting alliances across the group. The bottom line is that it never has to go this far and if we could step back from a situation and carry ourselves like mature believers, it wouldn’t!

And so, church discipline cannot be ignored. It must be undertaken in love, but undertaken nonetheless. Frustration, offense and bitterness are all signs of a troubled soul that left unattended, have the potential to do great harm to the unity of a local assembly, potentially even leading the individuals into sin. I know of no ministry that enjoys this particular function of the priesthood, but it is an integral part of spiritual growth. In order to have a Godly church there must be a standard upheld by the entire local assembly. There must be a willingness to seek God and an openness to redirection when necessary.

The Theology of Church Discipline

1) When conflict or sin has come between people, the goal is repentance and reconciliation, along with recompense, if needed.

2) Church leadership must be committed to the reputation of the Gospel and the well-being of the entire church, not just the interests of the individuals who are disgruntled or sinful.

3) Such matters in the church are entrusted to Christian leadership, namely the elders of a local assembly. Leaders must be careful not to abuse in any way the responsibility to oversee the unity of a fellowship of believers. In some situations there may arise an impasse, where people reject the counsel of leadership. This is a situation that must be followed by quick repentance and heart-change in order to preserve fellowship. Open discord is the antithesis of church unity and cannot be allowed to persist if the integrity of the work of God in that local church is to be maintained.

4) Discipline is never pleasant but the finished work will be a unified group of holy people, distinguished clearly from the world by possessing the heart of Christ.

5) For the truth to emerge, the elders must hear firsthand reports from all sides in the dispute before a decision can be reached.

6) Witnesses should be present in any dispute but the most important person to have present, is the one you’re offended with. If you’re qualm is with Brother Jones, why would you talk to Sister Clara about it? Grab a leader, sit down with Brother Jones and work it out! Our shared faith creates this enormous common ground upon which to build a solution—it pains me that we so often turn to school yard antics in the face of conflict.

7) The fellowship of the church is commanded by scripture. God’s people must be reminded that unrepentant sin and unnecessary division are unacceptable to a Holy God. We must look at sin—our own sin and that of others—in the light of God’s grace, forgiving one another and committing to allow Him to help us all grow.

Scripture references: Romans 16:17-18, 2 Thessalonians 3:6-15, 1 Corinthians 5:13, 1 Corinthians 14:40, 2 Corinthians 2:7, Revelation 2:2, 1 Peter 5:1-5, Hebrews 12:11, Proverbs 16:32, Proverbs 17:27, Acts 15, 2 Timothy 2:14-26, 2 Timothy 1:4-7; 2 Timothy 4:1-8.

Everyone has a choice regarding where they will attend church and with which local assembly they will serve. If the place you serving is not to your liking or you do not respect and trust the leadership, by all means exercise your free will and move on, but don’t allow the enemy to cause you to become an accuser. We only have a short time to labor.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Check out the church website for sermons and more!

Trust Him… and MOVE!

We’ve all heard the the expression that life is the sum total of our choices. Whether or not you completely buy this relationship is immaterial. What is clear, is that life shouldn’t be left to chance. We need to make the right decisions. For a believer, this isn’t as daunting as it appears because God is on our team!

My father used to say if you don’t know where you’re going, any ole’ road will do. In other words, if we don’t want to wander aimlessly, we must determine a course for our lives—a goal and destination—that orders our steps and strengthens our focus.

Obviously the most important decision anyone can make to start determining this destination is to accept Jesus Christ as savior, thereby beginning the journey of faith that brings us to a personal relationship with our creator! From there, the path of our lives requires a great deal of prayer and consideration regarding things like our career, marriage, parenting, etc. Life is filled with tough decisions. I get it.

I run into people all the time that seem to be living in survival mode. When faced with the uncertainty and difficulty of life, we sometimes become overwhelmed and focus on maintaining our current situation rather than forging ahead toward our destinies. The trials and tribulations of life can often lead to inactivity. Falling into this trap is a terrible mistake that will cost you dearly in the end.

I think the problem is often that we become too paralyzed by fear of the unknown to make the bold decisions that accomplish our goals and progress our plans. We say things like, “I’m just trusting God,” or “I’m believing for a turn-around.” While I urge each and everyone of you to trust your lives to Him, I don’t think we realize the latitude and freedom God gives us to determine our destinations.

Too often we use these statements to mask or rationalize our inaction, which is never the right choice—if you’re not ever learning, moving and growing, you’re falling behind. Life is no doubt filled with tough choices, but for a believer in the context of a relationship with Christ, trusting God means believing that He isn’t going to let you fail!

A good example of what I’m talking about in scripture is the parable of the talents in Matthew 25. In this parable, Jesus tells of a business man who goes on a long journey, entrusting his wealth to his servants. When he returns, he finds that two of the servants have worked out business plans and doubled his investment. He rightly commends them saying, “Well done, good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!”

In stark contrast the third servant reveals that because he was afraid to disappoint his master, he buried the investment in the ground, reasoning that this would be the safest possible use of the talents entrusted to him. Angrily the master scolds the third servant and sends him away.

While the parable should be very familiar to most of us, I believe we often miss some of its central truths. Most significantly, this is a story of opportunity—the opportunity God gives to all believers to take what He has entrusted us with and get the best from it. When God blesses us with children, a loving spouse or a rewarding career, we must be prepared to work hard, seek God and do what is right. Preparation is key and action is a necessity.

Part of this preparation is putting a proper plan with measurable goals. Next, we can’t be afraid to change up the things in our lives that aren’t working—there is no shame in going back to the drawing board!

We must become comfortable with doing what is necessary to put things into proper order. I urge each and every one of you to strive to become architects of your lives. A person of dedication to the outcome is not always comfortable or even right, but we can move boldly forward knowing that a believer is never alone.

All of us must trust God, but in trusting Him, we have a freedom and mandate to charge ahead, implementing plans and using the talents and abilities God has placed in each of us.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.

Church Culture pt. 2

Sometimes people spend so much time focusing on the details, that we completely lose sight of the big picture. I find this is especially true in the church world—ministers and parishioners run around so consumed by programs, classes and servicing the saints that we forget about the big things—the great commandment to love God, to love neighbor and, most importantly, the great commission. The biggest concern of any group of believers should be how to take the Gospel message to those who are far away from Christ.

If you polled a typical group of believers, I suspect the consensus would overwhelmingly support this idea, yet we continue to sit in our churches, so hyper-focused on ourselves—our preferences, tastes and comfort—that we do nothing to reach the lost and demonstrate the love of Christ to the world in a meaningful way. Moving a group toward a specific goal is naturally difficult—with so many people and parts involved in a typical church, without a strong, united vision, it is very natural for individuals to lose sight of the mission and focus on positions and departments. Church culture proliferates this tendency through exalting individuals and minimizing the collective mission.

My father became a pastor when I was very young, so I’ve seen the gamut of church styles, doctrines and administrations over my lifetime. More often than not, I’ve observed good intentions for reaching the lost in these churches, but their policies, attitudes and behaviors work in direct opposition to these intentions. In order for the church to thrive and meet the Gospel mandate in an ever-secular world, we must move away from the personality driven model that is so pervasive in the contemporary church, towards a system that builds strong, Spirit-led cultures that organize individuals and departments around a collective mission. The Gospel message cannot remain in the confines of the hallow buildings we call churches—it must be actively carried by people who are passionate to see lives changed in every day life.

I’m talking about empowering people to be effective ministers—energizing and motivating them to work towards a common, Godly vision. These ministers will know the Gospel message and have the confidence to communicate it in a relevant and vibrant manner. The personality-driven model has made Christianity a spectator sport, but Jesus and the Disciples played full contact Christianity!

One of the profound characteristics of the early church was that they held the teachings of the Apostles in common. This common, empowering culture that produced the incredible results observed by early church disciples like Stephen. In churches today, disciples are too often relegated to church service rather than Christ service—they open doors, usher folks to their seats and help with the mundane needs of the church. While these things are necessary for a successful corporate gathering, do they do anything to empower and equip the saints for the real ministry of Christ? Just about nothing the modern church concerns herself with helps to reach those far away from Christ. Our systems train the saints to serve the church and promote the idea that the work of ministry should be carried out by a select minority of believers.

The view that God has gifted and chosen a few and the rest of us are there to watch the show, go home and leave ministry at the church door must be eradicated from our thinking! I fully acknowledge the leadership gifts that God gives to the church—throughout the early church God sent men to groups of people. These men preached the Gospel with power and God confirmed His word with many signs and wonders. I am in no way suggesting that leadership should stop leading—rather, I am proposing we reconsider how Godly leadership trains, equips and empowers the saints. I am suggesting we strive to build a church culture that moves us toward our mission and puts the big picture front and center. Instead of the iconic-personality approach of modern day Christianity, we need to trust the Holy Spirit to inspire everyone to participate in ministry. We have glamorized senior ministry to such a degree that we have buildings full of people waiting for their big chance, meanwhile missing all the simple, everyday opportunities for ministry that made Jesus and the early church so effective at reaching the lost.

The big picture is not filling seats—it’s evangelizing the lost and making strong disciples. I want to encourage everyone to realize you can make a difference in the world, and it starts one life at at time.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.

A letter for 2013 from Pastor Ken

An open letter from Ps. Ken for 2013:

I believe this coming year will be one of the most significant in the history of our church. 2013 brings with it as much excitement and promise as any of the past decade, and the opportunities available to us for ministry, and in the marketplace, are unprecedented!

Hard-times and difficulties of the past few years are yielding to opportunity and growth. This shift is taking place now—not sometime next year or here after a while—pursue your new business idea and embrace your wildest dreams because this is a year of divine favor.

Through careful planning and deliberate change, Spirit Life Church has evolved steadily throughout the last year in a meaningful direction. Our departments have gained renewed purpose and direction, and continue to align towards a single, united set of goals.

We must continue the constant evaluation and adaptation of our organization if we hope to take advantage of the favor of the coming year. Though it is there for you to take, success requires diligent effort and careful planning.

Now more than ever our actions must be deliberate and the commitment we make to our responsibilities must be paramount. No doubt we are up for the challenge.

Hebrews 6:11
We want each of you to show this same diligence to the very end, so that what you hope for may be fully realized.

Start preparing, planning and executing towards your goals because they are yours to take in 2013.

Together we achieve greatness.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken VanHoose is pastor at Spirit Life Church in Piqua. Visit the Spirit Life website to listen to his messages online.

A letter for 2012 from Pastor Ken

An open letter from Ps. Ken for 2012:

Dear Spirit Life Community,

The New Year never ceases to bring with it a sense of hope and the feeling that what lies before us is filled with God-provisioned opportunities and possibility. My prayer and earnest belief is that this will prove to be especially true of the coming year—the winds of change are blowing and I’m more excited about our future together than ever!

The shift in the dynamic of our church’s culture that began taking root last year will flourish in 2012, ushering in a renaissance of ideas and strategies, building servant leaders, renewing our sense of corporate purpose and fueling the drive towards our mission.

I believe our community is at a critical mass of believers who, like myself, insist the season of saint-oriented church is over. The time for church politics is over. Our new mantra is culture and building the sort of New Testament community we’re striving to become will require a great collective of effort and cooperation.

1 Corinthians 12:12
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.” 1 Corinthians 12:12

Over the coming months our departments and ministries will continue to be evaluated and purposeful, poignant reforms will follow. Too often we continue the status quo in perpetuity for no good reason—this is mental laziness at best and narrow-mindedness at worst.

Change is never easy but I believe we are up to the challenge! Focus on the big picture in 2012 and let the wisdom of God order your actions accordingly. Each person that supports this community financially or through serving in a department is vitally important to our success. Know that your sacrifice is not overlooked or under-appreciated.

Together we achieve greatness.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.

That Which We Are, We Shall Teach pt. 2

This is part two of a guest blog series from Julie VanHoose. Read part 1 here.

1 Corinthians 12:12:
Just as a body, though one, has many parts, but all its many parts form one body, so it is with Christ.

What you celebrate becomes your culture.

In our families, our work place and everywhere else, we have the power to set the pace of culture with our thoughts and actions whether we care to acknowledge it or not. What do we celebrate corporately?

We should be striving to celebrate what God is emphasizing right now. Can we move passed the star-studded, “what’s my gift” 1990s, or are we so short sighted that we fail to see the power of coordinated, corporate effort? It seems like most of us consider our service to the local church community a chore—we come in once a week and do our penance, all while exerting as little effort as possible.

Rather than working to build a new testament community, we focus on socializing with our clique and where we’ll go to lunch afterwards. Has the great commission been overlooked and under taught?

I believe we are coming into a season where each hand, even each finger, are vitally important to the mission. The season that is coming will require the formation of functional teams, exalting ideas rather than amazing stars and great voices, and celebrating the wonderful uniqueness God has instilled in all of His creation!

I envision a local community that sacrifices and succeeds together. An elaborate tapestry of talented individuals possessing a culture that is teeming with innovative ideas and synergistic potential, allowing us to take the message of the gospel to unbelievers in a fresh, new and relevant way!

Get on board, challenge your old ways of thinking and embrace change! Together we can accomplish much!

– Julie

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Julie is the wife of Ken VanHoose, senior pastor at Spirit Life Church. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

That Which We Are, We Shall Teach

Ralph Waldo Emerson:
That which we are, we shall teach, not voluntarily, but involuntarily.

How were you raised? Were you brought up in a church that literally “scared the hell” out of you, leaving you with fear every night that you might not make it in? Did it seem like every little bit of fun you had was going to cost you big, eternally?

Unlike my husband, I wasn’t raised in church. I was, however, raised in an area with a high percentage of church attendance. It only makes sense that this led to me being a little afraid and occasionally trying to make deals with God for something.

Since I became a Christian in my early twenties, I’ve noticed a disturbing trend among believers—the ones who were raised in church and should have a deep-rooted sense of Christ’s love, His sacrifice and the resulting justification, simply don’t. The very people who should recognize our God as the loving Heavenly Father He is, seem to be even more scared and condemned than I was as a little girl. It seems those who have been churched the longest, are the very ones who have the most trouble with fear and unrest.

Matthew 11:30, NIV:
For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.

My experience with Christ was entirely different than that of these believers. I came to Jesus a sinner, broken and when I discovered the liberty Christ offered, my burden truly was lifted! My condemnation was gone the moment I accepted Jesus and that’s where it stayed.

Are we collectively carrying the burden of Christ or are we aspiring to be like some man on a platform we admire? I’m afraid some of us are as bad off as if we were lost, looking to something other than Christ to satisfy our soul.

We are often quick to condemn the lost. We judge their every movement. Rather than being attractive like Jesus, we are condemning and judgmental and sometimes even scary. The condemnation and fear that was taught involuntarily, to so many of the Christians I know in their childhood, is now being transferred to all who come into contact with them voluntarily. It is tarnishing our interactions with the lost and our relationship with Him.

Do we care about the Great commission and our individual part in it? Do we notice the needs and wonderful Christ likeness around us in the church or are we so put off by change or people we don’t understand, that we ignore the lost and dying we run into every day?

What would it look like for a church to work through the concept of
1 Corinthians 12:15-31?

We are all necessary. The fields are white with harvest.

– Julie

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Julie is the wife of Ken VanHoose, senior pastor at Spirit Life Church. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Spirit Life Church.

His Strength is Made in Perfect Weakness

2 Corinthians 12:9, NIV:
And He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My strength is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

2 Corinthians 12:9 is an incredible verse of scripture that reveals the anatomy of a believers success in Christ. A fundamental requirement for serving God is understanding your own weakness. When a believer is faced with conflict, if they enter the battle filled only with unmitigated self confidence, they are setting themselves up for a great failure. We cannot trust ourselves for the wisdom and strength for even the smallest task—our victory comes not by might or by power, but by His spirit! The person who desires to truly serve God must understand it’s His way, His strength and that He will never accept their service. The simple fruit of the earth the Lord casts away, He only accepts the seed sown from heaven, watered by grace and grown by His deep love for His people. In the simplest way I know how to express it, God will only bless what He controls.

I am not suggesting that believers are to strive to stay weak and immature and I do not believe this is what Paul was suggesting to the Corinthians either. It simply reveals to us all that we must understand our limitations and depend fully on God for every need. Only He can supply our needs according to His riches in glory! The man that trusts his own armour is foolish. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty through Christ and only after He empties us completely can He fill us with what He has.

In the Old Testament we see the theocratic acts of God in people such as Samson, who slew a thousand Philistines armed only with a jaw bone. The secret was in God’s ability in Samson, since no man could accomplish this feat in his own strength. Some attempt to relegate these as stories of antiquity designed to inspire children about God, but I say the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob is the same God we serve today! I believe God wants to do miraculous things in and through the lives of believers today, but this is possible only when we are willing to understand our carnal limits and allow God to use us as empty vessels, full of weakness, to bring Him glory.

So many Christians desire to do great things for God, instead of allowing God to do the great things in us. He does not want you to perform a miracle, He wants you to become a miracle! This is the greatest obstacle to becoming more than victorious in life—allowing God to do the work in us.

Take opportunity to introspect and find your greatest weaknesses. Maybe it’s the fear of death, failure or rejection. Whatever the case, allow that weakness to be eradicated by the divine working of Gods power. Only then will you understand how His strength is perfected in weakness.

Live life with passion, love strong and only believe.

– Ps. Ken

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Ken is the pastor of Spirit Life Church in Piqua, Ohio. Visit the Spirit Life Church website to learn more about Ps. Ken and listen to his messages online.