This morning in my devotions I was rereading the notes I had taken from Henry Blackaby's study on the book of Samuel, and I came across this quote from Mr. Blackaby:
"To tell the people that He is with us in all of His power when there is no evidence of it in our lives is a betrayal to God's people."
This convicted me when I first read it 7 years ago, and it convicted me again this morning. It's so easy for us as leaders to stand up in front and proclaim God's awesome power. They hear it in our messages and our praise choruses. But do they see it in our lives? I mean, really? Is God's power visible in our lives? Or is it just lip service?
I'm about to launch a series of DVDs that rather boldly proclaim God's power. We've shown samples to the children's ministry leaders of several denominations, and they've found it so impactful they're looking for ways to use it across thousands of churches. One curriculum leader at a major denomination said, "There is nothing like this out there. There has never been anything like this out there."
Wow. That's pretty exciting to hear. It makes me feel like we're on the right track – like we're on to something here.
But… this will only reach its potential if God shows up in it. If His power is manifest in this work, and, more importantly, in my life. Am I just giving God lip service? Just repeating things I've heard in a million praise choruses? Or am I bearing witness to a God who has made Himself present in my life? Am I focusing on the work, or on God?
How about you guys? The world doesn't need to see how clever we are. The world needs to see the manifest presence of God in our lives. The power of God. On the canvas of humanity. It doesn't matter what comes out of my mouth, if it isn't coming out in my life.
Thanks for the reminder, Henry.
Amen, Phil. Amen. Let these words be a challenge to us all. Thanks for sharing them.
It’s something we all could use a little help with: no body’s perfect (unless Christ is reading this.)
In a new class for Spring semester the teacher asked us to introduce ourselves. When I said my favourite book is the Bible, they laughed. That was a bit of a shock.
I hope The Lord is with you and your new show. It deserves to take off. Kids need this kind of show!
Thank you for reminding us. Ultimately the biggest project that we can undertake is ourselves. We strive for perfection in our endeavors but are We endeavoring to perfect ourselves? You know, the way that God is perfect.
Wow Phil, I was feeling down and discouraged on Wednesday, and I re-read the ending of your book, hoping for some insight on why things are going the way they are. I read what you said about the Blackaby study on Samuel, and then, as I was heading out to take my daughter to her Bible study, I saw my worn copy of Experiencing God, also by Henry Blackaby. I grabbed it, and while I waited for my daughter, I reviewed that study, which I did 10 years ago. I was struck by the exact same thing you were. He said “What our world often is seeing in our day is a devoted, committed Christian serving God. But they are not seeing God.” It made me realize that I have been busy doing a lot of things, but they have not been the sort of things that only God can do. It is not only a betrayal to God’s people, as he says in the Samuel study, but we also fail to truly show the power of God to a watching world.
Wow! That is exactly what I’ve been asking myself. Every time I sing a song like the ones mentioned above, the thought goes through my mind, “This is a message I have told, and can tell in many different ways. But am I living it, is it obviously coursing through my life?” It’s good to know that I’m not the only one.
And Mr. Vischer, I’m glad you’re realizing that too, God wants you and JellyTelly to grow up RIGHT!
Read your book at Christmas time. It has been very helpful to me. Being a 54 year old guy who can’t seem to get a promotion has been difficult. They pay me well but my lack of promotions feels like failure. Perhaps God is not interested in my promotion. I have read the last 3 or so chapters of your book multiple times. Your book really challenges me and I appreciate that you are sharing your stories in this fashion and that you were on Focus on the Family so that I could find out about how he is working in your life. Thanks for sharing!
This reminds me of the most profound thing I walked away with after reading your book “Me, Myself, and Bob”: God doesn’t want or really need my great works, my big contribution, my big idea. (It all comes from Him anyway.) God just wants me! That’s awesome! And He wants my heart to be His and His alone. That, honestly, can be difficult. God help us get there.
We have had an goal in our home that if nothing else our children would see the power of God moving in our lives. We fall short a lot but we keep striving to be more like Him and not just profess our faith but actually live it. We enjoy jellytelly and look forward to the new DVD series, we see so much possibility in what God can do with it for us and those we come in contact with.
I am in that study myself right now. It is truly amazing. I can not wait for the new Bible seris DVD’s. Keep it going Phil!!
Thank you – Definately needed that.
Your original creation of veggie tales et al shows me that you are not only a really good artist, but good at original ideas, and I believe that they can’t keep a good man down, and theres always room for good workers. Follow your insight from God and he through it will lead you to fruitful applications of it.
ABSOLUTELY !!!! 🙂 Reminds me yet again of Francis Chan’s Youtube video “Balance Beam” !!! GOD seems to keep prodding me to be accountable to HIM for how I spend my time and HIS Resources !!!! Note : It’s only “MY” time if I refuse to give it to HIM !!!! 🙂
I just finished reading “Me, Myself, and Bob.” I purchased your book at the Writing for the Soul Conference in Denver in February. These past few months have been full of many ups and downs in my family and my work, and your story has resonated with me since I heard you read excerpts at the conference. Reading it again, I hear your voice of conviction…oh my. To say that I also want to be at the center of God’s will is just an echo–but after some of the changes I’ve had in my life professionally, I have to say that one way or the other, that is where God will put me. It’s just hard to see around the bend sometimes. Guess we’re not really supposed to, are we? Thanks for sharing your story. You and your family are in my prayers for continued faith and peace.