My husband, Craig, recently had the honor to speak at the Hillsong Conference in Sydney, Australia. I was delighted to travel as his companion for this amazing gathering to worship, learn and grow along with thousands of others from around the globe. Upon returning, I thought it might minister to you if I posted a few of my favorite notes and personal takeaways.
Brian Houston – Pre-Conference Network Luncheon
When they (Jesus’ disciples) heard that Jesus was alive and that she (Mary M.) had seen him, they did not believe it. Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either. Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen. He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.”
Resistance can keep us from God’s mission.
While external forces are always among us, resistance is often an internal issue to battle.
Here are four forms of internal resistance:
- Procrastination – We put the mission off and off and off. Step out to find out TODAY not TOMORROW.
- Rationalization – We come up with all sorts of reasons not to GO. Fear is often the root of this.
- Self-Sabotage – We don’t show up. Jonah tried to run away from the mission of God. Sometimes, so do we.
- Unbelief – So Peter was kept in prison, but the church was earnestly praying to God for him. Acts 12:5 Get this: Peter had a miraculous jailbreak but couldn’t get into the church’s prayer meeting! They thought it must be his angel knocking at the door! They were astonished that God had actually answered their prayers! This is a strong example of a believer’s UNBELIEF.
As Christ followers, God calls us to live out His co-mission! We’re going to need to fight a good fight against resistance!
What is God specifically calling you to do? Write it down. Stay focused on the Great Co-mission!
This was a great message to remind me to fight against all resistance to fully obey God!
What area(s) of internal resistance do you struggle with? As much as it pains me to admit, it’s often unbelief that holds me back from obeying God.
Sadly, I’m not alone.
How pathetic that Jesus’ closest disciples, who lived by His side and repeatedly saw His mighty miracles, were still filled with unbelief at the resurrection.
The problem is always the same: We look at the immediate circumstances instead of the Eternal Savior!
I can so relate with Gideon’s need for over-confirmation from God! I want to know that God is indeed really guiding me. This is important to know! Right? In Judges 6:17 Gideon pleads, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, give me a sign that it is really you talking to me.”
Just like the disciples, sometimes I’ll pray so very earnestly about a situation but I am just not sure that God will respond as I’d hoped.
So what do we do with about our unbelief?
Here are a few things that I’ve come to understand: I won’t have all the answers to my “whys?” but I still know what God wants me to do.
So what does God want us to do about our unbelief? (These may seem obvious to you BUT if they aren’t applied, your faith won’t strengthen.)
- Seek to know who God is! – I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. Ephesians 1:17
- Read, listen to, believe and apply His Word. – Consequently, faith comes from hearing the message, and the message is heard through the word of Christ. Romans 10:17
- Pray! (God tells us to pray continually.) Ask for God to grow your faith. – But you, man of God…pursue righteousness, godliness, faith, love, endurance and gentleness. 1Timothy 6:11
I’m praying for the Church to grow deeper in our faith and commitment to the Mission! I want to see the Church knowing that nothing is impossible with God and expecting our prayers to be heard and answered in glorious ways.
Jesus rebuked the resistance of unbelief in the disciples and then immediately directed them to “Go.” So let’s not slow down His mission due to discouragement. Be encouraged by God’s loving rebukes. They are for our benefit and His gloriously great co-mission!