"Yippee" was the feeling of glee the young driver felt. It was the first time for her to drive after she got her license. All those school classes on driver safety, reading and reciting that boring driver's manual were over; and now the moment of freedom was not far away. She could go anywhere daddy's car would take her.
"Well, what's the first thing I should do? Oh yeah, check the mirror. Okay. Check the driver's mirror. Check. Check the rear-view mirror. Oops, my lipstick needs a little more on the top lip. Double-check. Adjust seat. Put on the seat belt. Check. Put the key in, and turn it on." A little burst of excitement made her smile as she was seconds from a world she had wanted to enter for way too long. "Put it in drive, and away we go," she giggled. This was it. "A little bit on the accelerator, and?"
The car would not move. "Maybe a little more gas?" The car inched forward, lurching and jerking. It did not want to cooperate. "Hmm. What didn't I do?" The novice driver double-checked everything she had done so many times before.
More gas, and, still a lurching forward. "Something is wrong here," she concluded. "I had better check with Dad." As she put the car in park, turned off the ignition and prepared to leave the vehicle, something caught her eye. Someone had left the emergency brake on. Again she restarted the car, removed the emergency brake, put it in gear, applied the gas; and she was off. The brake made it almost impossible for her to get anywhere!
In church, there also may be securely applied brakes that keep many from going forward for God. The appliers of the brake often mean well, but sometimes they unintentionally restrict others from moving smoothly forward in Christian service.
These "brakes" are often:
Unkind, unthought-out words such as, "We ain't done it that way before," "That's not how we do it around here," "When you've been saved as long as I have, you'll know better," "I'd never do it that way." Although there should be proper ways to do things, since any ministry is representing the church, too often we can deflate one's enthusiasm to move forward for God, because of unedifying, self-purposing, wrong words.
Very few attend church-wide events such as: church, prayer meetings, visitation, church dinners, or other church functions. Lack of attendance instantly sends a message to those that do attend, that they are not like anyone else, and maybe they are "taking this "Christian" thing too seriously." Immediately their zeal is quenched, and they soon could be one more Christian that is sitting and not serving.
The longstanding members and leaders do not attend church regularly. New converts and visitors see their lack of support for the ministry and instantly halt their zeal in attending. "Well, if they're not coming, then maybe it really is not important for me to attend all the time," could be their thoughts.
Members are late. Lateness gives a clear impression about the importance of attendance. One would not think of being late for school or work, because it is important. Church attendance is also important!
Complaining and murmuring among members magnifies to the on-looker that maybe this is not really a happy church family. It also does not help, when someone in public prayer, makes it clear that they are not happy with something that is going on in the church. Under the guise of spirituality, it is sometimes prayed aloud, "Please pray for Brother So-and-so that he will get his heart right and stop lying," or some other cutting remark about a situation. Those cowardly attacks never do anything positive; they only increase discord and hurt feelings. No one is usually fooled and realizes that the person is venting his opinion about how they think people or situations should be dealt with in the church. The Holy Spirit should handle most situations and not us! If we do feel the need to make sure the matter is handled, it should be dealt first on a one-to-one basis (Matthew 18:15-17)!
There are enough obstacles in serving the Lord already without our discouraging others, intentionally or unintentionally. The work is great and so is the battle (Ephesians 6:12). There is more said in the Bible about encouraging others and ourselves than there is in our being volunteer holy spirits, and our telling others how to serve God. The real Holy Spirit can certainly do a better job in speaking to hearts and guiding one in the way He would like it done. We need to be more like accelerators, and less often "brakes"!"If you are busy rowing the boat, you won't have time to rock it!"
taken from "The Bible View"
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