Saturday, November 25, 2006

Don't flinch.....ever.

In September of 1986 a friend sent a most amazing note my way. I had sent an earlier note expressing my being stumped as to how to approach the work of the church while sitting in on one hostile/frustrating meeting after another. Fear was holding us back....and I was a part of it....and I wasn't sure what/if to do.

Dear Terry,

My friend.....hang tough!

Legalism and pharisaism are hoodlums on the loose in our Lord's Body, the Church. They have always killed and destroyed, assaulted and raped, clawed and crushed, bruised and battered the spiritual lives of others. Our Savior reserved His severest words for those whose hypocrisy and squint-eyed judgmental attitude bullied others into submission.

Stand fast. Stand against. Stand alone, if necessary. But stand in the Ephesians 6 "full armor of God" with that effective "shield of fatih" that extinguishes all the adversary's flaming missiles. All.....including legalism and pharisaism.

I respect you for your discernment. I affirm your courage to face wrong head-on. Don't even flinch, Terry. God honors those rare spokesmen who trust Him in the hard places. You're one of 'em, my friend.

Praying for you....honestly,
Charles R. Swindoll

Just ten days ago I received a similar S.O.S. from one of our most brilliant ministers pleading for prayer over him as he felt he was dying in his work. I thought of Swindoll's note and pass it along to those of you who really needed to read this letter today. God has a way of providing that just right message...even from a twenty year old letter!

10 comments:

Lee Keele said...

Thanks Terry. I'm going to curb my inclination to try and say something profound. I'm just not really very good at being profound. Thanks for your encouragement.

David U said...

Good stuff......God stuff.

DU

Darrel M said...

1986 at Memorial Drive and we were frustrated?? There were meetings where nothing was accomplished??

Seems so long ago and God has done so much. He was working all that time and we were blind to it.

Jeff Jenkins said...

I can comment now.... Your blog has been healed.

Regardless of what issue is on the table - fear will always be the single element preventing God's people from experiencing and doing what we've been empowered to do.

I can't remember - in the three years I've been at Shannon Oaks Church - ever having a single frustrating meeting about an issue. I know that sounds impressive or naive - one or the other.

But now - the frustration is that there is freedom from "issues" here - and there's even greater frustration because the responsibility is so much greater now.

I have the freedom and support to do whatever God calls for without debate, committee formation, deliberation, or controversy - but, I get frustrated about the barriers in my own soul that prevent me from experiencing ALL that God wills for me.

Terry you taught me courage before I ever preached a sermon - it was in the message you gave at WFR "Flexing Your Faith Muscles".

Thanks

Anonymous said...

I believe a lot of things have changed for the better for lots of churches since 1986. It's amazing what God can do when man (we) just get out of His way. God still does miracles, we just have to let Him.

Wendy said...

Hey, Darrel M!
How are you guys? Any chance you're going to visit Memorial this Christmas or workshop time? Tim, Dusty and I would love to see you and Barbara!

Darrel M said...

Wendy, here is my email address
mantodr@swbell.net

Lee Hodges said...

Thanks Terry for sharing that!

Terry Rush said...

Darrel,

Your comment brings to the front the hope we are allowed to actually possess when church seems to have shifted from the Rock to rocky. There is hope in dead situations and He works well in the center of them....Romans 4:17.

Thanks for enduring with us!

Stoogelover said...

I remember you showing me that note once when you were out here in California. It impressed me then. Thanks for sharing the content with us. It's very encouraging.