Mark Affleck

I Was Taken Advantage Of By Christians. Ouch.

June 28, 2018
Spiritual Growth , Stories

I had coffee at Starbucks yesterday with one of my dearest friends and his lovely wife to discuss life and the fact that we had all been taken advantage of recently by people we had trusted. It was very painful and a “spiritual challenge” to keep our anger from boiling over.

Throughout the chat we kept asking God to help us say no to anger and yes to him for the wisdom and patience we needed to meet this challenge head-on in love and “spiritual strategy.”
Yes, spiritual strategy. The same message Paul delivered in Colossae when he thanked the people for their faith and love and then prayed specifically for their spiritual growth. Here’s how he framed it:
“For this reason we have always prayed for you, ever since we heard about you. We ask God to fill you with the knowledge of his will, with all the wisdom and understanding that his Spirit gives.” Colossians 1:9 GNT
Paul is saying that knowledge without discernment and Christ-like love will eventually take us away from the will of God. The Pauline prayer model is not only brief and piercingly clear; it is “spiritually strategic” in its focus on real issues in the very real life of all believers.
He is pushing for spiritually strategic prayers to counter default prayers that pivot on health, wealth, and easing the discomforts of life. These are TACTICS and God says no!
Our prayer focus should be on growing in Christ-like obedience. Just like Paul told the Colossians. And just like my friends and I resolved to do yesterday at Starbucks.
I ask God to remind me that knowledge without discernment and Christ-like love will eventually take me away from his will.
How full is your tank on the knowledge of God’s will, wisdom, and understanding of his Holy Spirit?

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