I guess I don’t get it

Dear Jesus,

I think I must be missing something in general.  I guess I don’t understand what it means to be changed by my salvation.  I guess I don’t understand what the proper way to behave, speak, act or be in my non-church life.  I mean, I have heard people dropping f-bombs and using off-color talk, in a joking manner, and these are leaders in the church.  I really don’t know what to think because I am not sure how I can reckon it with what I know.

It leaves me wondering how is the Spirit changing anyone.  If it is possible to talk like the world does so as not to appear different and just claim I am a screw-up who just keeps screwing up, then I don’t understand sanctification.  I don’t know what it means to be sanctified and to be purged and purified as the Spirit sanctifies me during my time here on earth.  I don’t what the Spirit is doing within me besides being a Heavenly Conscience.  I just don’t know if we as a church understand the teaching of sanctification anymore.

Forgive me, Jesus, if I sound like a holier-than-thou Christian because You know and I certainly know that I am not holy.  I am painfully aware of my shortcomings and how many times I let You down.  But I am having trouble coming to grips with some of the things I see and hear within the church.  Are we supposed to be separate from the world yet still living in it, or are we supposed to be almost as we were before salvation came with not much distinction from the world?

I know I should be doing more in comforting those who are hungry, in prison, orphaned and beat down in this world but I don’t know how I can ignore what I have seen and heard within the church.  I guess I just don’t get it and I need some clarity.  The Spirit is within us but is He there as an Agent of change to change us to be more Christ-like and a shoulder to lean on, or is He just a shoulder to lean on whenever life gives us a beat-down.  I don’t know anymore.

Please, Lord, and Holy Spirit, open my eyes to what I should see and what I should understand, and how to know what to care about and what to not let bother me.  Sanctify me and teach me what sanctification means.

Thank you,

Mike

January 15, 2015

It is that time of year, in the U.S., where it is the playoffs for the NFL.  The playoffs are a weeding process where what really stands out is the ability of the coaches as much as the talent of the players.  It is during this part of the season that the A-list coaches set themselves apart from the rest of the coaches.  The mediocre coaches are exposed because talent doesn’t matter as much as it does in the playoffs as it does in the regular season.  A mediocre coach can excel in the regular season if he has good talent on his team but will be shown as mediocre by a better coach in the playoffs.  They are the coaches that stand on the sidelines with that confused look on their face.

An A-list coach can formulate a game plan that can utilize the talent of his players to the defeat their opponent.  They not only know the talent they have but they know how to “coach-up” the lesser talented players so they seem better than they actually are.  A great coach assesses a players talent.  They see where the player is in the development of that talent, they recognize how much talent or the limits of that talent, and know how to develop that talent to its full potential.  In other words a great coach does this:

  1. Identify the level of talent for individual players
  2. Identify what stage that talent is at in it development
  3. Understand how to mold the player to reach or exceed the full potential of their talent
  4. Then puts forth the plan to develop that player and utilize his talent on the field to help  the team win.

A great coach not only sees the amount of talent in a player, he can take them from where they are to where they should be.  He can see who they are now and bring them to where they should be.

Recently, a preacher used this analogy about the Holy Spirit.  In a sense it true.  He is our Advocate before the Father and Son but it is His job to coach us, a.k.a. sanctify us, in our spiritual life.  He was sent to us my Jesus to be our Mentor, Coach, Confidante and Motivator, among other things, so we can continue to grow and be more like Christ everyday.  He is the Helper that Jesus promised.

In sports, there comes a time when players begin to resent a coach, no matter how great they are.  Sometimes this affects the whole team and sometimes it only affects individual players, who are then cut or traded.  In any case the coach has lost his influence and his coaching goes nowhere and the team goes nowhere.  Do not become deaf to the coaching of the Spirit.  Pray that we all will have attentive ears when He is speaking because He will give us the game plan to overcome this life and the struggles we face.