Obedience Through Shutting My MOUTH!

“Hold your tongue and do not share openly what you are doing right now.” That was the impression I heard from the Lord.

I remember I was out for a run in early January, when I knew the Lord was telling me to not say a word about what he was doing accept for my immediate family and a few select people who I knew would pray for us, but not try to solve the problem for us. This was a tough challenge from the Lord for me, because when presented with a problem to solve I WILL find a solution. And with this directive he took one of my greatest problem-solving skills away…networking to find a solution. I left my job, didn’t know what was next, and I could not utilize my network to find the job he had for me. I had to give up all control on this one, risk being viewed as lazy for not looking for a job, and put it into his hands.

As the weeks ticked by this directive became increasingly difficult for me because people knew something had changed and some asked questions. One such instance came up in the beginning of February, not very long after hearing from the Lord about moving mountains. A previous salesperson for a vendor that I had previously worked closely with reached out to me to see what was going on. In a moment of weakness, I shared with him that I had resigned and was looking for the perfect opportunity.  He shared with me a potential opportunity and put me in contact with one of the hiring managers. My mind immediately went to work researching the company, the people, the culture, everything I could find out about this company. My mind desperately wanted to believe this was the door the Lord was opening, and I would see this season come to a quick end with the perfect job. I scheduled a phone call with the contact, and we had a great conversation that ended with an agreement that I would apply for a specific job and she would get the process rolling. That all occurred on a Friday afternoon and that same evening I spent the time walking through the application process and submitting my resume, cover letter, etc. 

Saturday was spent consumed by the thought, “This is it, the season is coming to an end and I will have a job soon!” This is a gift and a curse that I have had to learn to control and discipline over the years. When presented with a problem, my brain will be consumed with it until it is solved. This is good when I can impact the problem, but when I cannot do anything about it, my brain will continue to focus on the problem…that’s the curse. I woke up Sunday morning and as the family and I were getting ready for church, I received an auto email from the company I applied to.  It was one of those canned and artificially sympathetic emails letting me know that I was not chosen for the job. HOW IS THAT EVEN POSSIBLE? I just had a great conversation, we discussed having conversations with a few more members of the team and before any of that could happen, I was told I was not the right fit???

I spent the following few days trying to understand what happened, reaching out to my contact and receiving no response, and just generally trying to process what in the heck happened. I remember waking up and going for a run a few days later and hearing my Father’s whisper again after being completely consumed by the opportunity for the last four or five days and forgetting about him. “Scott, I asked you to not talk about this and try to come up with a solution…I asked you to leave this in my hands.” I had allowed doubt of what the Lord had spoken to me a few weeks earlier and my desperation to provide for my family financially, get in the way of what I knew the Lord had asked of me. I had gotten distracted and wasted time and energy that could have been focused on what the Lord had called me to do: run, write, and serve. And just like our amazing Father, full of love and mercy, he allowed me to walk down the wrong path for a few days so I could remember that the best solutions occur when we submit to his will and allow him to go to work on our behalf. This was approximately the 777th time I have had to learn this lesson.  Father, I lay myself and my family at your feet…we are yours…have your way!

Just a few observations and challenges as I read through this post again. I love to talk and be in conversation with people regardless of the topic. Let’s just say it is hereditary. Like all gifts and strengths that we have, we must learn discipline. We use our gifts and talents to serve, to love, to encourage those around us. When we use them for our own purposes and our own desires, we end up never realizing the fullness the Lord intended in our lives. This was a season where the Lord was asking me to be disciplined and to keep my mouth shut, he wanted me to focus on him and what he asked of me during this season.It was a lesson I needed to learn AND he was not going to let me out of the season until it was learned.

I want to encourage you to evaluate your gifts, are you using them to serve others? Is the Lord asking you to commit those gifts to him and his service completely? We will only discover the fullness HE has to offer us when we fully submit our gifts to him…and sometimes he ask us to fully give up the gifts we carry for him…that is where we have the opportunity to profess he is the Lord of our life with more than words…

Blessings, go and serve with all you have!


Walking By the Spirit

I find it so interesting the older I get and the more I read the Bible, the more hungry I become to learn and grow in the ways that Jesus taught. My standard M.O. is I will read a passage, a chapter, a story, etc. and it will get stuck in my head. I will mull it over in my brain throughout the day and into what becomes days of processing. Usually the Holy Spirit will use other circumstances and people to speak a very similar message in a slightly different way causing me to look at all angles of the idea or thought. Such a thought entered my mind last week when I was reading Acts (specific passage to come later).

When Jesus died and His Father raised Him from the dead, he made this statement to His disciples…

But I tell you the truth, it is to your advantage that I go away; for if I do not go away, the [a]Helper (Comforter, Advocate, Intercessor—Counselor, Strengthener, Standby) will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him (the Holy Spirit) to you [to be in close fellowship with you].

John 16:7 AMP

Jesus left so the Holy Spirit could come and journey with us through this life. Ensuring we had the help and guidance along the way to meet His purpose and accomplish the works the Father created for us before we were even born…IF we choose to be obedient and open ourselves up to host the presence of the Spirit of God. Every Christian denomination believes in the Holy Spirit in some capacity; it is one of those absolutes of our faith. There are many interpretations and doctrines throughout the denominations that attempt to capture the Holy Spirit and His purpose. I am not confident any of them or any of us as individuals capture His essence and purpose well enough, because honestly, how to describe and capture the Spirit of God in words completely. I do not think you can and I believe that is part of the mystery of God. We can only know the Holy Spirit if we invite Him to journey with us in every area of our life and even then, it is a journey of mystery where you discover more of Him every single day.

There is a specific section of Acts that the Lord used to once again demonstrate to me the significance of His Spirit and challenge me to continue to let go of my perceived control and open myself up in a deeper manner to His guidance. Acts chapter 10 tells the story of Cornelius and the Apostle Peter; for the sake of space, I will include the link here to read the chapter. Ask for the Lord to guide you and then read the full chapter if you have time. Acts Chapter 10

Everything that takes place in this chapter is due to obedience and faith in the Holy Spirit; it is pretty incredible when you sit down and put yourself in the shoes of the people in the story. I want to walk you through a few observations.

  • Cornelius – He was Roman Centurion or as I understand it the commander of about a 100 men. Caesar was god in the Roman Empire, but Cornelius was different and worshiped the True God. He feared God and gave charitably to the Jewish people.
  • Cornelius had a vision where the Lord told him to find Peter who was staying with a man named Simon the tanner, whose house is by the sea. Invite him to your house.
  • Cornelius sent 2 of his servants or Roman Soldiers to find Peter.
  • Peter (missionary to Jews only at this point) all of sudden got hungry and as he was waiting for food he fell into a trance and had a vision.
  • The Lord told Peter to kill and eat all sorts of animals. To which Peter said no, I have followed Jewish law all my life.
  • The Lord told Peter what I have made clean is good for you to eat. The Lord showed Peter this vision 3 times, because we all know Peter is stubborn and needs to hear things 3 times…I think my name may be Peter too, haha.
  • Peter was trying to figure this out when the Lord told him to go down stairs because there are people waiting for him there.
  • Peter left with the men and they went to the house of Cornelius where Peter offered the Gospel message.
  • As Peter was speaking the Holy Spirit fell and all of Cornelius’ household was baptized in the Holy Spirit, thus confirming to Peter and eventually the whole church that God wanted the Gospel to go to every person including all gentiles.

This story is one of the coolest stories and examples in the Bible of who the Holy Spirit is and what He can accomplish with individuals who are devoted to following the path of the Lord. Throughout this story, the Holy Spirit speaks through visions, guides the footsteps, directs multiple individuals in different areas to converge on one house whom the Father loves and wants to pour out His Spirit on. There is no research on which is the best road to take, what restaurant we should stop by, it is simply 2 individuals seeking God and being available to the Spirit of God. There is no way for me to put into words the desire that arrises in my heart when I read this passage. I can only say I want to make myself available to be a host for the Holy Spirit in such a significant way that he directs every action I take so His will and purpose can be demonstrated and achieved in my life. I don’t want to strive, I don’t want to guess, I don’t want to follow the desires of the flesh, I only want to do what the Father does and say what the Father tells me to …

How can we as the Body of Christ begin to host the Holy Spirit in our lives in a greater capacity? How can we let go of our plans and allow the Holy Spirit to achieve His plans through us? How can we stop saying the words of the flesh in favor of only saying what the Father asks of us…to speak words of grace, mercy, love, encouragement, etc? How can we break down the box we have built around the person of the Holy Spirit, you know the one that say He can’t do that or He doesn’t do that any more? How do we, most of all, let go of our pride and our concern for what people might think if we fully surrender to the Holy Spirit?

I don’t know about you and your family, but for me and my family I want to experience what Peter and Cornelius experienced; the active guidance of the Holy Spirit that led to God’s Spirit being poured out on Cornelius’ entire family and more.

What will you change today to begin the process of hosting the Holy Spirit in your life?

I love you…may you be blessed today in the name of Jesus!