About Those Pokes From God Part One

Fresh Manna
by Pastor Tim Burt

Have you realized that people often speak higher of themselves than what they actually live out. We all have areas in our life where we esteem ourselves or view ourselves as more developed and mature than we truly are. The truth is, we all have shortcomings that reveal our need to spiritually grow and mature. Ignoring that truth leads to stagnation, while being aware of it keeps you pressing and developing in God’s evolving plan and purpose for your life.

We see an example of what people say they’ll do vs. what they’ll actually do play out in a parable Jesus told in Matthew 21:28-32 NIV.  “What do you think? There was a man who had two sons. He went to the first and said, ‘Son, go and work today in the vineyard.’ ‘I will not,’ he answered, but later he changed his mind and went. “Then the father went to the other son and said the same thing. He answered, ‘I will, sir,’ but he did not go. “Which of the two did what his father wanted?” “The first,” they answered. Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, the tax collectors and the prostitutes are entering the kingdom of God ahead of you. For John came to you to show you the way of righteousness, and you did not believe him, but the tax collectors and the prostitutes did. And even after you saw this, you did not repent and believe him.”

Nothing Jesus teaches is for the purpose of producing condemnation, guilt, or shame. Jesus already took care of that. It’s about the mercy and grace of God and developing and maturing in who He’s called you to be, and letting His Holy Spirit help you develop in that daily! What He says is written to prick your heart, challenge you, and move your forward in your thinking, maturing, and life-choices. If you can feel that poke, it means that your heart’s not hard which is good news! It’s sensitive enough to feel the conviction of the Holy Spirit and note that need for change. Remember, Jesus told the religious leaders of His day that they were stagnant and everyone else was passing them up in their spiritual growth.

Each and every one of us is in need of ongoing change in our life. We all need the transforming power of the Holy Spirit to help us become more like Jesus. Hopefully, you’ve figured out by now that we will never attain perfection or be perfectly like Jesus in this life. That’s why Jesus came and paid the penalty for our sins and imperfections. Our faith in Jesus and in His sacrifice of taking the punishment for our sins, is what makes us righteous before our Heavenly Father. Our faith in what Jesus did is what makes us spotless in God’s eyes. What a magnificent thing that is! But, we still see our own imperfections and flaws and areas of needed change. Jesus cares about them and desires transformation within us because otherwise, they work to hinder our blessing and effectiveness in influencing others for the Lord. 

Still dealing with anger? Or jealousy? Or unforgiveness? Or sexual improprieties? Or lack of restraint? 2 Corinthians 3:18 NIV, speaks of the need for this ongoing transformation saying, “And we who …all reflect the Lord’s glory, are being transformed into His likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.”  This verse reminds us of the need to experience life-long transformation that will come only with the help of the Holy Spirit within us. So, we don’t beat ourselves up but we do take honest assessments of the need for transformation as the Holy Spirit convicts and shows us. And we walk with the understanding that since His poke is love, you’ll feel them ALL your life! And that’s a good thing! So when you get thoses pokes from God, embrace them! It’s His love, not condemnation, reaching to help you become all He has planned for you in this life!

Philippians 1:6 (NLT2) “And I am certain
that God, who began the good work within you, will continue his work until it is finally finished on the day when Christ Jesus returns.”

In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt

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