It seems that I was spiritually connected somewhere. The pastor at my old church preached a series on the very same thing I was teaching in the bible study. Interesting... He just does a lot better than I ever could. I learned quite a bit and with his permission will try and share it here.
We focused on Romans 12:1-2 last week in the bible study. Pastor Eppard focused on Romans 12:2 which reads..
And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God. Romans 12:2.
The devil wants us to be "conformed to the world" and he, I believe helps us to create comfort zones. It was explained as if you have cattle and you need to confine them so you put them in a pen. The pen or fence is the comfort zone where you feel "secure." This really got into my spirit because in stepping out and leading a bible study, I "got out of the pen." I got outside my comfort zone of just sitting in the congregation. So as I see it the devil has been chasing me around for two months trying to throw me back in the pen!!! but now I'm not happy in the pen and I keep getting out!
Pastor Eppard also said that you need to be "transformed by the renewing of your mind." How many times have we heard this?? If you were in the bible study, you heard it every week. He explained it quite nicely, "not by praying you'll be different but by applying the Word to your circustances and experiences and finding out what God says." God wants the new creation that you are to shine thru. You implant the Word into your spirit. This doesn't happen by osmosis folks, it's by repeatedly choosing and doing what the Word says for that situation. It's like grafting a branch to a new tree. It doesn't happen overnight, it takes a few weeks for the tree to "accept" the new branch. (accept is the key word here) You also have to "receive and believe" what the Word says about you, about who you are as a new creation in Christ.
Pastor Eppard taught that you need to make a "Quality decision" that your life will not remain the same. Did I ever learn that! Doing something God called me to do and stepping into that role changed my perspective on a lot of things. When you feel and see the spirit working how can you not make a quality decision ?? Well some people can. The definition of a Quality decision is a decision that you do not pull back from. Don't let your past experiences dictate what you do today!! Learn to encourage yourself in the Lord. God will help you face your "giants" but you have to want to step up to the plate and say you're ready. I am going to keep on teaching and give the devil a run for his money!!