…They Do Not Wear Boxing Gloves
“People filled with the Holy Spirit should be marked with the true features of witnesses. They neither dither nor dogmatize. They are sure of their aim but are not arrogant. They have the cool assurance of knowing that two plus two equals four with no need to prove it – no polemics. They are passionate but not pushy (with a few exceptions). They let the truth speak for itself, no browbeating people into submission. They do not wear boxing gloves. The preaching formula is always ‘thus says the Lord,’ not ‘I’m telling you!’ Witnesses just pass on what they had heard and saw. It is not their business to defend it or even to invite questions. It is the Lord’s responsibility to confirm the righteousness of His own Word.”
What a beautiful quote!
I confess, I have spent the better part of my life aspiring to more knowledge, particularly spiritually, and desiring to convey that discovered “truth” to any and all I could. Sometimes this looked like spiritual fervor, sometimes this took the form of evangelistic frenzy, sometimes it felt like academic zeal, and always it represented my deep and abiding desire to KNOW GOD and to see as many others come savingly to the knowledge of him, also…..And being a Philosophy major in college only fueled my passion for the DEBATE! I loved to be RIGHT, and to PROVE I was right (to the degree I would even now say that “being right” is one of my most dominating heart idols!). I was convinced this was what it looked like to “love the Lord my God with all my *mind*!”
Even though I desired that others might be saved, it was still colored by my feeling the need to fight to persuade (which had very little about it a *heart* of love, at least that any of my would-be listeners could discern).
So more recently, with the advent of some of the “discoveries” (RE-discoveries?) I’ve been making by God’s grace over the past year, I am becoming more consciously aware of what the Apostle Paul means, in the letter to the Colossians, to “let the peace of Christ RULE in your hearts” ~ and it is this very peace that I think Brother Bonnke is referring to above, when he talks about that “cool assurance” of disposition. Akin to when Paul also says in Philippians that our “gentleness” should be evident to all…..
I have had many occasion to *fail* in how I’ve lived by or displayed this peace, or gentleness, or cool assurance. I am definitely not “mature” in this area, yet. But just hearing these words sends a thrill to my heart, and I know it is that to which I am aspiring, and it is the FULLNESS of this that I am convinced the Lord is working in my own heart (yes, *heart*)….and it is the overflow of these “meditations of my heart” that I hope will increasingly characterize the “words of my mouth.”
Jesus was full of grace AND truth ~ too long I’ve felt compelled to *prove* the truth, when all I’ve needed to do is stand on it. If anything, perhaps I ought to look at this as a way of *proving* grace? not in a “straining effort” kind of way, but just in terms of being *intentional* about living forth from the grace of Christ, and I can only do that if I am totally immersed in it….in HIM. And I can trust the Lord to *prove* himself when it comes to the “truth” of who he is…..how very freeing!
Lord, I’m hanging up my gloves. 🙂
Posted on February 7, 2012, in Challenge, Encouragement! and tagged courage, Discerning, feelings, GRACE, imperfect, LOVE, Ministry, ReinhardBonnke, RenewMind, REST. Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.