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Not too many of you are aware that I’m in a writing project.  I’m not sure that anything will ever really come out of it, but Patti thought I should share yesterday’s entry.  So, I’m taking her advice and posting this devotional.  Hope it is helpful!   -MDP-

“Without oxen a stable stays clean, but you need a strong ox for a large harvest.” Proverbs 14:4, NLT

“And now they’re at it again! Take care of their threats and give your servants fearless confidence in preaching your Message, as you stretch out your hand to us in healings and miracles and wonders done in the name of your holy servant Jesus.” Acts 4:29-30, MSG.

Dr. Ryrie says, “There is no milk without some manure.” He said it much nicer than I would have said it, but you get the point.  I was romantically naïve when I first got into ministry.  I had a Bible verse for every problem, a nice little Christian antidote for everybody’s difficulty.  My insights were shallow and religious and it might be that they still are, but to coin a title from a book I once read, I’VE LEARNED A FEW THINGS SINCE I KNEW IT ALL.  It took some time, but the practical education of serving the local church is challenging to say the least.  As bad as it sounds, there were some battles fought that were not worth fighting.  The color of the carpet in the sanctuary or the administrative rule of the deacons or which Bible  version is legitimate or how much you pay the janitor is a ridiculous reason to have to shovel crap out of the church.  In a way, change and growth creates problems.  Reasonable stewardship has to cope with the increase.  It’s a good problem I guess, but it stands to reason that we have to provide more care, more facilities, a bigger mortgage and a bigger staff as the congregations continues to expand.  It’s just the way it is.  Where most of the problems begin in this context is that not everyone in the congregation is spiritually-minded.  They see the church much like they do their country club.  They pay their dues, vote their convictions and feel pretty much entitled to run things as they see fit.  Let’s call it what it is:  MANURE.   Now I remember why I was gray by 40 years of age!  Religious devils are still very much active in the church today!  I’m willing to shovel the manure, but I want to know it is for the right reasons.  Fighting with the “church” devils isn’t too high on the agenda these days.

Here is a truth that I will get into the sewer about:  When the winds of the Spirit blow, waves of resistance will come. When the life of the Spirit explodes and life begins to manifest with power, there will always be a push-back from darkness.  In fact, it is usually the measurement to know whether or not we are actually doing the business.  If you want it neat, if you can’t handle the mess, stay with religion.  If you want the real, if you want to see Him move with power, if you really do want God to do things His way and you desire to give the Spirit permission to move, WATCH OUT!  It’s going to get a little sketchy up in here!  Why?  Because the real stuff always exposes the fake.   Life is contrast to death.  Health fronts out sickness.  Light fills the void.  BLOW WIND BLOW!  COME SPIRIT COME!  But, go ahead and grab your shovel.

For Your Journal

See 1 Peter 4:12-14.  How does this relate to today’s topic?  Seriously, what do you want, nice comfortable religion or to do the business?  Are you willing to pay the cost?

Categories: Uncategorized
  1. amanda db
    November 15, 2010 at 7:12 am

    Wow, very good stuff! I like how you put it! love you!

    • Kayla Phillips
      November 15, 2010 at 9:50 am

      glad you posted this today. I feel the wind blowing and thus I’m tightening my grip on this shovel! 🙂 love you.

  2. Ashley Musick
    November 15, 2010 at 8:34 am

    I like this Mike. I’m praying the real stuff exposes the fake in my life! Blow Spirit!

  3. Bethany
    November 15, 2010 at 9:24 am

    i cant wait to buy this devotional.

  4. November 15, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Love this! Great word!

  5. Kara
    November 15, 2010 at 10:01 am

    Glad Patti requested that you share this : ) love it, and LOVE YOU.

  6. Sydnee
    November 15, 2010 at 7:22 pm

    thank you for posting this.
    love you!

  7. Sarah
    November 16, 2010 at 3:21 pm

    yeah! i’m ready for the completed project 🙂 love you!

  8. Carla
    November 17, 2010 at 3:13 pm

    Good Stuff! xo

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