Saturday, March 5, 2011

From Craig

Hello Gang,

The past few weeks have been very inspirational for me. From the Sweetheart's Night at WILDMEN to the joint meeting with the new IRONMEN at Sarasota Baptist this Thursday night, I have felt the Spirit telling me that He is well pleased with our ministies...we are doing good things for the Kingdom. it enough?
WHAT is "enough"? Should we ever be satisfied with where we are spiritually? Is there more we can do; SHOULD do? Has God ever said to you "Thanks, but that's all I had for you. Just maintain your current pace and I will be happy..."? The answer is pretty obvious isn't it? We "...ALL sin and fall short of the Glory of God...".

I am not talking about guilt here, Christ did away that for all believers. His Grace is sufficent. He does NOT want us wallowing in guilt. He wants us to shake off the guilt which comes from the evil one. Our sins are as far from His recall as the "...East is from the West." He allows us the freedom to serve Him in ways we have never dreamed of. To "Boldly go where no man has gone before.." in our service to Him. Keep your eyes and ears and mind and spirit and body open to the leading of the Holy Spirit. Listen for the command to charge into battle!

Yes gentlemen, we are in battle as real as any ever fought on any battlefield in history. Billy Tullos reminded us Thursday night at IRONMEN of the scripture passages of Ephesians 6:10 and following; " strong in the Lord and in His mighty power. Put on the FULL armor of God so that you may take your stand against the devil's schemes...". One of the chief tools of the enemy is to lull us into complacency and routine. When we are doing really good things for the Kingdom, we get tricked into thinking that it is enough. As long as there are un-saved people and sin on this earth, we are NOT doing enough! As long as there is divorce and pornography and alcoholism and physical abuse going on in our lives and the lives our loved ones and in the Church as much as in the secular world; WE are NOT doing ENOUGH!

What does God ask of us? Jesus told us to " Holy, just as your FATHER is Holy..." WHOA!!!!!!!!! What was that? Is that where the bar has been set? A big part of our discussion at IRONMEN was on just that scripture. There is nothing short of PERFECT that is good enough. Have we set our sights at the proper target? Another scheme of the devil..."I can never be perfect, so why should I even think about that...Surely God doesn't REALLY expect ME to be PERFECT...". that is another lie form the devil. Yes God does expect us to strive for that perfection and our battle is not over until we get there! God never said the Christian life would be easy. But He did promise to be with us through the entire war...every attack, every retreat, every wounded soldier, every fatality, every charge and every VICTORY! There will be casualties of war. There will be wounds, but there WILL BE VICTORY! (I have read the Book; I KNOW how the story ends)!!!!

Billy pointed out several scriptures Thusrday night. This is one that I find very appropriate and uplifting...a big part of our arsenal. 2 Corinthians 10:3 and 4; For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have devine power to demolish strongholds." THAT should boost your self confidence going into battle! Our weapons have THE DEVINE POWER TO DEMOLISH STRONGHOLDS!!! How cool is that! We are equipped. We are armed. We are already IN the battle. Time to step it up! BOLDLY proclaim your faith PUBLICLY! Never shy from your open love for our Savior! Do not deny Him as Peter did when he was surounded by the enemy! Peter recognized his mistake and made it public knowledge so that others might learn from his example. King David sinned mightly and yet was still called "A man after God's own heart" because of his repentence and because he re-engaged and stayed in the fight. Moses, a Hebrew child abandoned; a murderer on the run from the law; with a speech impediment. Paul, a pursecutor and murderer of Christians. Fishermen, tax collectors, tent makers.... WHY would I ever think that GOD can't use ME! Has he not shown us that He can, and will use anyone. Well Gentlemen....That means YOU and ME too!

We will not be of much use on the battlefield until we heal our own wounds. WILDMEN is here to help each of us fight our own personal demons, to help heal our wounds. To make us better men, better fathers and better husbands. But that is not the end. To make us better...SO THAT....we will be faithful, strong and courageous soldiers of the Lord! We must recruit new soldiers. And lets covenant to stay with them through Basic Training so that they can become successful. well equipped soldiers. It is a life-long process. Lots of In-Service Training and On The Job Training. We are not not going to save men and families by making Christianity look easy. It is a constant war. Christ needs soldiers, not puppets. God has equipped MEN to be the leaders of the armies in this war. Reject Passivity, Accept Responsibility, Lead Courageously and EXPECT God's reward!

If pride is a sin, I am about to sin right here in front of God and this great cloud of witnesses. Thursday night at the IRONMEN meeting, we had several of our very own WILDMEN there in support of those guys at Sarasota Baptist as they begin their new ministry. There was probably close to ten guys there from our Tuesday night WILDMEN. It did my heart good to see the support for this new ministry. We have a great bunch of guys in WILDMEN! GOD IS GOOD!!!!!!!!!!!!

I hope to see you guys all at Woodland on Tuesday night. Call any time.

Craig Smoot

To the WILDMAN who called me twice last week and didn't leave a message...LEAVE A MESSAGE! It took me a week and a half to figure out who was calling!

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