Spiritual Constipation and the Gospel

This past week I had a wonderful opportunity to sit down with someone who I had hoped would help out with an existing ministry at Redeemer. But first I wanted to hear his story, how God had worked in the past, and what the Lord was doing now. He was connected to one of our C.D. (community/discipleship) groups now, and had been involved in a previous bible study for a few years. So after I had discerned the desire to grow, and to continue to grow in his faith, I laid out an opportunity before him. He gobbled it up like Pacman. 

But how he responded brought me more joy than simply his response. I’ve been feeding and getting fed for a while now, and I’ve been ready to serve for a while. I’ve been getting fed and now its time to feed others. I can’t hold this stuff in. It’s uncomfortable to continue being fed and not feeding others.

He had been experiencing what I call “spiritual constipation.” That is, that he’d been feeding and drinking deeply on the gospel through our bible studies and CD groups and felt spiritually bloated. He was stopped up. I know that’s somewhat graphic language, but this is a reality for many. We’re not designed to experience the blessings of the gospel only to hold them in. We’ll get backed up. We’ll be uncomfortable, or at least forfeit some of the joy of following Jesus and fellowshipping with Him. In the end, if we are truly growing in grace, we’ll desire to serve and bless others.

In Genesis 12:1-3, we see that Abraham is blessed SO THAT he would be a blessing to others. God has never in the scriptures blessed anyone so that he/she could simply revel in that blessing and keep it for themselves. And we now know that it is through Jesus, that we inherit the blessing promised to Abraham (Galatians 3:29), which is ultimately “every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places (Eph 1:3).” With these blessings, and “every” sounds like a pretty large number to me, YOU do have something to offer. 

If you are the lad or the lass who believes it is important to go to a bible study each day of the week, and yet you are not serving in the local church, I would like to encourage you to consider that this MAY not be God’s design for you. He designed you to be a conduit of gospel blessings, not to be a storage container for them to remain stagnant. My hope is that you would begin to feel spiritually bloated and uncomfortable, because it is not God’s design for you to be “spiritually” constipated. 

Now of course there are caveats if you simply need a break, or you’ve been burned out, or if you have to wait to join to serve, or if you can’t say no to anyone who asks you to do something. But consider that you serving the church with your gifts, and reaching out to those outside the church is not only to benefit others. It’s for you as well. 

I hope that you can find a spiritual comfort that comes with being a conduit for the gospel instead of keeping all the good stuff to yourself. Yes you’ll enter into suffering at times, but you won’t regret being used by God to bless others with the blessing secured to you by Jesus.

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