Guest Author - Dountonia S. Slack
Last year was challenging to say the least. It was littered with division, misunderstandings, unfulfilled tasks, heartache, disappointments, and attempts at “Christ-less, grace-less change” (David Powlison). As a result, my attitude was rank. My passion for Truth was viewed as anger/intolerance/impatience which made it difficult for others to see Christ magnified but me undignified.
The message and love of Christ is too important to be muffled by an instrument that does not resonate with the harmonious sounds of the truth in love, kindness, tenderheartedness, and forgiveness (Ephesians 4:15, 32). Therefore, Christians have a responsibility to play the music of the Gospel the way God composed it to be played – in unison with the entire Body of Christ so that the world may hear only Him. Changing the melody to conform to our preferences only leads to frustration, bitterness, and an obsession to be “right.”
“He makes the whole body fit together perfectly. As each part does its own special work, it helps the other parts grow, so that the whole body is healthy and growing and full of love” (Ephesians 4:16 NLT). For this reason, I long to be an instrument of praise that plays the notes gifted to me which magnify the Lord and overflow with love. I yearn to be in an environment where brothers and sisters in Christ live joy-filled lives that are pleasing to Him. And, I pray for authentic fellowship that disciplines for unconfessed sin, nurtures the community, and unapologetically shares the truth of Christ.
Accordingly, when I meditate on Ephesians 3:20, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through his mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think,” I am convicted by how much more I need to surrender to Him and submit to the Holy Spirit. The divine power of a Christian whose life is immersed in the spirit of peace with the brethren through humility, gentleness, patience, and grace (Ephesians 4:2-3) does more for the advancement of the Kingdom than a disconnected, anthrop-powered Christian armed with good intentions.
Our Sovereign Lord has every thing under control. His plan will be executed and His Will will be done. Therefore, there is no need for any of us to get discouraged or behave unseemingly when what we see (or hear) does not line-up with what God ordained. Our job is to worship Him in spirit and in truth no matter where we are and to be connected to a spirit-filled Body of Believers that preach and teach the Gospel in a God-honoring way.
Dear Heavenly Father, thank you for another chance to fulfill what you called me to do. Thank you for the truth of your Word and the help and comfort of the Holy Spirit. Father, I pray that “more of you and less of me” be more than the empty words of a New Year’s Resolution, but the lifestyle of a renewed attitude that unifies and is inviting. Transform the cacophony of my words, both written and spoken, into a symphony of love conducted by you and built-up by the Body. It’s in the name of your precious Son, Jesus Christ, that I pray. Amen.