This will be a recurring section in which I highlight various recent posts of interest around the blogosphere.
With God, Nothing is Impossible-- thats goes for both Introverts and Extroverts!
This week, Dan Edelen continues his excellent series of posts on hidden messages in the American Christianity with a post titled: Pastor O'Gill and the Little People. In the post, Dan, who describes himself as a "raging extrovert", makes the argument that introverts are too often left out of the leadership and activities of the American church, since the church is mostly overrun with extroverts.
I offer the following observation-- one I think Dan would agree with. While it is true that God has endowed each of us with a unique personality-- we need not be limited to whatever our so-called personality "type" is. Sometimes life calls upon extroverts to act in introverted ways, and sometimes introverts are challenged to become like extroverts. If each of us is relying on the empowering of the Spirit as we pursue obedience to God's mission for us, we may be expected to get out of our comfort zones.
The example of Moses
Moses, for example, didn't seem to view himself an "extrovert". When God called upon him to lead the people of Israel out of their slavery in Egypt, he complained to God that he wasn't very good at public speaking (Exodus 4: 10). Nevertheless, God expected that Moses would have no problem fulfilling the call God was giving him, saying to Moses, "Who has made man's mouth? Who makes him mute, or deaf, or seeing, or blind? Is it not I, the LORD? Now therefore go, and I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall speak (Exodus 4: 11-12)." When Moses still hesitated, the Lord became angry, but in seeming concession to Moses' lack of confidence, he appointed Moses' brother Aaron, a more natural speaker, to become the mouthpiece of Moses, as it were. Yet we see from God's anger towards Moses that God would have been more pleased if Moses had relied upon Him to provide the necessary enpowering to speak the right words in his appointed ministry.
Purpose-Driven or Spirit-led?
Over at Windows to My Soul, Victoria Gaines has an interesting post titled Be Led, Not Driven. I think her post is a good warning to heed in regard to much teaching Christian teaching today regarding pursuing your purpose. "There is no purpose or destiny outside the life of Jesus Christ. We can't have life unless we have HIM," Gaines says. She continues:
... I'd rather cling to Jesus than all the motivational quotes in the world. I'm starting to see how power and enablement come, not through grand human effort, but by His Spirit. I want to work in tandem with His purposes, fueled by His Holy Spirit, but I need to be willing to pull away when all the world beckons. It also means giving up my dreams, my goals, my ambitions. It's a paradox. And it's a hard word: surrender. But in surrendering my agenda, I find His.
When life gets riddled with dream-speak and purpose-driven agendas, hey--just give me Jesus. Not programs, growth methods, or man's plans. Just Jesus.
His purpose for me is to know Him...
I agree with her main point, yet I do believe that God may inspire us through dreams, visions or just via the motivatios and giftings He has given us. I think that natural gifts and motivations, just like the spiritual gifts God equips us with, are not accidental, but given to point each of us in a direction that coincides with God's specific calling. Nevertheless, the important thing is not to hold tightly to such things, but to be willing, as Gaines says, to surrender all to the Lord, in order to discover His agenda.
Hat tip to Milton Stanley at Transforming Sermons.
Reformed Charismatic Debates with Cessationsists
Regarding the ongoing blogosphere discussion about spiritual gifts, continuationism vs. non-continuationism, etc., Adrian Warnock recommends two pastor bloggers who are reformed charismatics and notes that the debate has seemed one-sided so far, with Reformed Charismatics mostly offering their side. Diane over at Crossroads accepted the debate challenge with several posts, such as this one on healing, which I am only now discovering and catching up with. And Rob Wilkerson has again updated his massive and well-researched overview of the larger blogosphere discussion on this topic, in his post A Theological Pillow Fight Refereeing the Debate Between Cessationists and Charismatics. Thanks Rob!