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Gospel Gazette Online
Vol.  11  No. 1 January 2009  Page 7                    powered by FreeFind

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Are You Holding the Lord Back?

By Tim Childs

Tim Childs

A parent may use a harness to restrict the forward progress of a young, energetic child who might otherwise fall into some danger. A trainer may use a bridle to slow a horse wanting to run. We recognize sometimes there is energy that needs to be restrained.

Jesus was a “man on a mission.” He was a man on the go. He traveled into the districts of Palestine, into the villages, homes and temple. He went where the people were. During His day in the flesh, He could not be held back by friend or foe. In spite of his imprisonment for Jesus, Paul affirmed how “…the word of God is not bound” (2 Timothy 2:9).

Why are brethren restraining Jesus? Why do some of us try to silence him? How does Jesus see our actions? Does he see us as “holding back” the advancement of His kingdom? Woe unto those who do!

If you’re not present on the line, you’re holding the Lord back. Two considerations: (1) you’ve got to be present and accounted for, and (2) you’ve got to be pulling at the line. God doesn’t need spectators. He needs workers. “Brethren, please put on some suitable clothing and get in here and pull.”

If you’re not keeping yourself spiritually fit, you’re holding the Lord back. In Paul’s first epistle to the Corinthians, he classified some of the brethren as being “weak and sickly” (1 Corinthians 11:30). Without due emphasis on our spiritual condition, we may become weak in faith and suffer from a weakened conscience, too. On the other hand, you and I may make outstanding contributions when we are being “…strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might” (Ephesians6:10). There is no greater strength anywhere.

If you’re primarily focusing your mind on worldly things, you’re holding the Lord back. Paul wrote to the Philippian saints about the nature and actions of some who were enemies of the cross of Christ. They were a people whose interests were fixed upon “earthly things” (Philippians 3:18-19) and whose lust (flesh, eyes and pride) will ultimately pass away along with the material world (cf. 1 John 2:15-17). Where is your heart?

If you’re not pulling with all your might, you’re holding the Lord back. A man may be standing with his team, holding the rope and in the pulling stance with his fellows, and yet be failing to actually pull. He looks good, but it’s only an act of self-deception. God knows if our heart is really in it. The only true form of leadership is that which is done by example.

If you refuse to have a “team spirit,” you’re holding the Lord back. Some folks betray themselves by their use of the pronouns “I” and “me.” Some individuals are only seeking attention, glory and praise, and they act accordingly. The body is one, and made up of many different members who contribute important functions within the spiritual body of Christ. None are un-needed. God has given the church no “boss” to whom we surrender. Jesus is the Lord, and we all need to follow his direction. He is the Captain (Hebrews 2:10).    


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