Saturday, September 17, 2011

What are we nurturing?

Triumphant Victorious Reminders
Inspired by the Holy Spirit
Written by: Teresa Criswell

"The Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have. But what I do have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."
~ Acts 3:6 ~

Beginning in verse 1 of Acts 3, the setting brings us to a man who was born lame. He was carried daily to the gate of the temple called, Beautiful. The purpose for his being carried by others to this place was to collect alms from those who entered in. As this man saw Peter and John entering into the temple, he had also asked them for alms. Peter then said, "Look at us." As the man turned to face them, he expected alms when Peter said, "Silver and gold I do not have. But what I do have I give you, in the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk."

This story leads me to what the words I awoke to this morning, "Nurture only warts the problem..." I was stunned and quite frankly upset. I thought, "No, 'nurture' doesn't do that; that can't be true."

As I prayed about this, I said, "How can this be?" That is when I heard more, "What are you nurturing?" I began to think about this poignant question. I realized, "O my goodness, I see it more clearly Lord." The Lord was helping me to distinguish the "what" to the "who". Does that make sense?

Let me further explain. Notice the man who was born lame. He was carried daily by one or more people to the gate of the temple to collect alms for himself. The people really thought they were doing what was right. Upon this eye opening moment, I realize that when I nurture the "what", I am not focused on the person, whether it is me or someone else, I am focused on what the need is, versus the one who needs. Notice how Peter addressed the true need, it wasn't the alms that he truly needed; it was the potential of healing that was within him. Peter addressed it immediately and then with boldness nurtured the man's need to walk. He walked away that day no longer lame but whole.

Praying more about what I had awoken to, only confirmed what was being brought to the light. Terry, our small group leader was helping us last week to distinguish the difference between what small group focuses on and what it does not focus on. The tool that small group provides is to focus on discovering the God-given potential within people, developing them to become leaders by the power of His Holy Spirit and His Word. As they discover they are a leader, they are then able to disciple their nation (sphere of influence) by the power of the Holy Spirit and God's Word. It was an eye opener to realize that small group is not about discovering potential within a program, developing a program and then discipling others with the program. We as a whole must shift from developing programs to developing people.

When we nurture a program and not the people involved in the program; we only cause the issue that people are dealing with to fester; causing setbacks as they continue to experience the vicious cycle of defeat. The program draws the people with their issues; but it doesn't draw the 'defeatism' from the issues out of the people.

I am reminded that Peter no longer nurtured the man to remain in his state of being lame; but he nurtured the need for this man to walk away from his state of being lame. By God's Spirit and the authority of the name of Jesus, Peter knew to draw the issue out of this man as he experienced what the 'program' of alms never provided; the ability to walk.

The rest of the word came to me, the word that I had awoken to was 'buttoned up' like this:
"When I nurture people's problems, it only warts and glorifies the problem. However, when I nurture people, they become thrivers in their discovered God designed destiny. Take notice! God does not nurture sin; but He does nurture the person with the sin. He calls them forth as Redeemed, Liberated, Victorious, Free, Triumphant and Restored because of what He has done."

1 comment:

  1. Oh Yes! Amen! Let us all nurture the person...let us all have the ability to walk victoriously! God bless you, sweet sister in Christ! xoxo

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