Its not enough to be compassionate, kind, humble, submissive, patient, and forgiving. Love has to be put on like a train that fills the temple. That’s when God does his best work in your life, when his love sits on the throne of your heart.
“But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.” James 1:25 ESV
Have you ever been in a place of worship/church and notice some members or church goers or even leaders seem so high minded that they can’t even connect with worship, praise, prayer, or the word? It can be even the most touching of moments where it is obvious that the fire of the Holy Spirit just moved through the place, but such individuals just choose to oversee and observe proudly in approval and sanction of what is going on or would be the first to boldly disapprove, oppose or reject in an open and scornful manner, not considering that their approach can be considered disrespectful and impolite. In some cases their actions can even deter others from not only fellowshipping in the place but even discourage and put a blockage or change in others hearts towards their personal view of the church as a whole.
Wow. It is truly amazing the effect that just one can have on a multitude. Many can attest to seeing this behavior in many churches across the world. Depending on the position, title or status of such impactful and influential persons, the effects can be devastating in such that it can affect the growth and stability of the church in multiple areas and functions. It truly is an elephant in the room that can make God’s people appear blind and bound because it reduces the impact of the authentic and unhindered manifestation of the blessings of the Holy Spirit.
We cannot lose focus on the purpose of the Church and the Grace that has brought us into our New Testament and new dispensation (appointment, inheritance, governing and covering authority). Edification is vital to the healthy blood pressure of the church, ensuring that the precious blood of Jesus that is pumped by the heart beat of the Holy Spirit is effective to ALL members. Not just to thrive and survive but to overcome and prosper in the plans that God has for each of us to the building up of the church as one body.
If we give each other the benefit of the doubt, we will see that many of those same individuals have underlying good intentions for the church and the Lord’s people. An even closer look can further reveal a series of personal sacrifices made for the acquisition, establishment and building of many places of worship all throughout the earth, as well as sacrifices of family, time, resources and labor.
But regardless if how good or great our intentions and sacrifices are, we must be mindful that our approach, words and actions can easily become misconstrued and misinterpreted to mean something that we didn’t intend and thereby can appear to render our current contributions as ineffective, cast aside, and disregarded because it is unrecognizable to those who hear it as something of edification that gives Grace. The bible says “… Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, And to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.” 1 Samuel 15:22 AMP. “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 ESV.
Interpretation of those that hear what we say and do is of great importance to God, despite our intentions. “But speaking the truth in love [in all things—both our speech and our lives expressing His truth], let us grow up in all things into Him [following His example] who is the Head—Christ. From Him the whole body [the church, in all its various parts], joined and knitted firmly together by what every joint supplies, when each part is working properly, causes the body to grow and mature, building itself up in [unselfish] love.” Ephesians 4:15-16 AMP
Edification Speaks loudly and interprets the move of the Holy Spirit, revealing God’s love and Grace that nurtures, sustains, and builds, keeping us humble, receptive and partakers of the fruits of the spirit.
“Remind the people of these facts, and solemnly charge them in the presence of God to avoid petty controversy over words, which does no good, and [upsets and undermines and] ruins [the faith of] those who listen. Study and do your best to present yourself to God approved, a workman [tested by trial] who has no reason to be ashamed, accurately handling and skillfully teaching the word of truth.” 2 Timothy 2:14-15 AMP
Ever feel like whether you’re qualified by experience or qualified by education and degrees and certification, that you still receive pushback when it comes to your growth and success in various areas in your life? Regardless of how many reasons you can think up of; unfair judgement, politics, etc., none of those reasons may change the fact that you still remain right where you are. Sometimes we get depressed and feel like we’re not valuable or worth the advancement in the eyes of others, no matter what we do, and how much we strive to show ourselves approved. But God sees all and knows all. Know that you are receiving the pushback in order to drive you into your area of purpose.
So many people have found their joy, passion, and purpose in the place that God has meant for them to be and blossom and shine in, all because of the pushback they have received from areas of their lives that they were committed to and thought that their breakthrough would come from. The place that you are expecting your furtherance to come from may not be the place that God has set aside for your next level. Remain faithful where you are, trust and believe that God will spark that light and fire within you, that will turn your heart and desire to where he will move you, into the biggest upgrade you can ever imagine. God has a work for you. You are called, you are chosen, and you are not forgotten.
Follow your heart and wait on the Lord, and even while you wait, “… God is able to make all grace [every favor and earthly blessing] come in abundance to you, so that you may always [under all circumstances, regardless of the need] have complete sufficiency in everything [being completely self-sufficient in Him], and have an abundance for every good work and act of charity.” 2 Corinthians 9:8 AMP.
Thank you for loving me, thank you for keeping me, thank you for uplifting me. Thank you for your faithfulness and mercies that is new every morning. I ask for your forgiveness and cleansing for anything I have said, done, and thought that is not pleasing unto you, as well as everything that is not beneficial to the life and plans of the abundant life that you have planned for me. I thank you for the set backs, the step backs, the turnarounds, and the closures that have redirected me in my path to your promises. I thank you for the favor, blessings and resources that you have made accessible to me to continue my journey and pilgrimage throughout this land. I understand that no matter what I face, and no matter what I encountered, that I am a child of God, an heir to the kingdom, and that no weapon formed against me shall withdraw me from that status.
Help me to continue to walk in your Grace and in your light. Order my steps so that they are powerful, humble, impactful, and so that it leaves a remnant for those who come after me. Speak to me every chance you get my attention. Speak to me in my dreams, when I’m awake and even when I daydream. Cover my mistakes and my shortcomings so that it does not hinder or take away from my value or effectiveness. Touch my tongue. Help me to speak life, encouragement, wisdom, and motivation so that it may uplift and edify those who hear me. Allow your words to spill out of me when I open my mouth, so that it is fortified and rich with your spirit. Teach me to discern what is right for me and what is right for your people. Move me into position and protect my eyes and ears so that they do not create enticing lures that turn my heart from your ways and precepts. Help me to shift from the things that I do that may unknowingly chip away at the things you are building; bring comfortability until I no longer enjoy the things that is not good for me. I do not want to miss out on any of your promises that you have in store for me because I know that they are sure, as long as I stay the course.
Draw me closer to you and allow me to encounter your presence all by myself, without needing a warm up or a pep talk. Reveal a joy of intimate relationship with you that I can feel into the depth of my soul. A joy that I constantly think about, a joy that keeps me satisfied no matter what the situation. A joy that keeps me thirsting after a deeper relationship and knowledge of you. A joy that keeps me in your presence always knowing that you are near, even with just a slight brush of a summer breeze. Keep me encouraged and get me through the tough times always eager and looking for your next move. Let me see miracles, signs and wonders. Thanks again for purposefully creating me, and for creating me with purpose, knowing that every level of my life that you lead me into is purpose being fulfilled.
“Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.” Ephesians 4:29 ESV
Speaking down is easy, thoughtless and even feeds that side of us that believes that our freedom to speak comes without limits. That rebellious nature, that instinctively speaks first and processes later. But Speaking Up is a responsibility and usually is spoken from a responsible person.
Speaking Up is building, uplifting, edifying, teaching, educating, boosting, and elevating each other to a higher state of Character. The bible does not just tell us to speak what is good for building up, but it also says “as fits the occasion”.
There are many ways we can Speak Up to others but it does not mean that it helps them or even interests them, in any way that is useful to them in their current lifestyle or mindset. 1 Corinthians 10:23 AMP says, “All things are lawful [that is, morally legitimate, permissible], but not all things are beneficial or advantageous. All things are lawful, but not all things are constructive [to character] and edifying [to spiritual life].” When the scripture says “All things are lawful”, this does not take into account things that are not lawful because we, as people, are held accountable and are expected to operate according to the law, what is generally accepted as right, and what is proper according to our places of residence (whether Christians or not). So the scripture is merely explaining that while we operate in that truth of lawfulness (because we are within what is right/good), we also need to acknowledge that not all those things are beneficial for us nor builds us up as an individual. So if we are in tune with the environment, culture, community, mindset, emotional, social, statistical, economical, spiritual and many different areas that affect each of us differently, then we are able to interpret our words to what best fits the opportunity or the moment, so that our words can be an asset to the hearer and they can prosper from it.
Therefore Speaking Up is a two edged sword. We can build others because we’re being built. We can educate others because we’re being educated. We can uplift others because we’ve been uplifted. But for it to be a help and be beneficial to others, we must do so as it fits the occasion. And that’s how it gives grace to those who hear it; because we are speaking not just from experience, education, and insight, but we are also speaking with understanding, wisdom, and consideration (careful thought, examination or study of how to apply).