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January 21, 2008

Stomach Capacity

I've been privileged to have many voices of truth from the past and present speak into my life over the years. One of my favorite Truth teachers that I never met, but through his messages I feel like I know is Dr. John Write Follette, who was an old AG minister. Sometimes I look around the church today and listen to the latest greatest methods for winning the world for Christ and I wonder what those old holiness preachers would think. Were they just out of touch, stuck within the four walls of the church holding the fort till Jesus comes? I think we make a big mistake if we think they were all like that. I think we have given in too much to self in this generation and we have gotten used to seeing a reflection in the mirror that looks a little more like us than Christ. We have made Jesus out to be something that conforms to the culture instead of the culture conforming to Jesus.

I remember Follette used to always say many had stomach capacity, but no spiritual capacity. In John 6, Jesus feeds the 5,000 and then the next day the crowd comes looking for him. Jesus of course discern the real motives of their hearts in vs.26 and tells them they seek him only because he fed them. What would Jesus discern in our lives when we follow him for what we can get? Do we go to church so we feel better or so we can experience good worship or get connected with people or get a free breakfast, or do we go because we are hungry for the Bread of Life? I don't see many people who are hungry for the Word and hungry for Jesus. I see the big crowds who have stomach capacity, but very little spiritual capacity.

Some things never change because it was the same for Jesus. He told them and us that if we want to follow him, we have to deny our self. Make self take a back seat and submit to the spiritual. Jesus could have had big crowds, but there were only a few in the end who finished the race. Jesus drew people with his love, compassion, and a good story, but he loved them enough to give them the plain old, challenging, convicting, holiness, sacrificing, absolute, good news truth of himself. We can follow Christ for no other reason than because He is truth and His precious love and amazing grace demands everything of my life. We have to be willing to ask others to follow him for that reason as well.

Paul tells us in Phil 3 that many are enemies of the cross of Christ and heir end is destruction because their god is their appetite and they set their mind on earthly things. Should we keep catering to that appetite to keep people in the church, or should we love them enough to hold up a high standard. Jesus said if I be lifted up, I will draw all men to myself.

Lets lift him up before all men and be willing to hold the line tight. Lets love people and teach them to let go of their desire for the natural and embrace the spiritual. I want to see the Holy Spirit raise up a generation of mighty kingdom men and women with spiritual capacity, ready to server the Master.