Sacred Cows

A tough question to often ask yourself goes like this: “Is there a sacred cow, or two, that I have been holding onto?”  Or you could even pose it this way:  “Is there something I cherish, or give priority to, that may be in the way of God’s plan?”

A sacred cow is defined this way: something that is highly regarded, cherished, or worshiped by some people with such respect and honor that they do not like it being scrutinized, criticized, or questioned (, Wikipedia).  In almost every compartment of life, at one time or another, we can think of and recall a few sacred cows.  Things that were held with such reverence that no one dared to bring it to attention or question it.  That would be forbidden.

But I often wonder, in my own life, what would have happened had I not kicked the sacred cows to the curb.  You know, they say that sacred cows make great hamburger; at the very least, they surely need to be ground up.  But for real, what if I gave priority to the cow and ignored what God was saying, doing, and revealing?  What would have happened?  Probably this:  The cow would become greater and would, by all accounts, become some sort of “idol.”  Even when it’s not intentional ~ it happens.  Look at all the idols out there today.  Like never before have there been so many things to worship, give priority to, and spend time & money on.

Yes, sacred cows and idols rob God of His honor and glory.  Not some of the time, all of the time.  Far be it from us to ever be guilty of that ~ of creating “things” that replace God Himself.  In order to ensure it doesn’t happen and never happens, we must be intentional.  We must be purposeful.  We must put God first in each and every area of our lives, constantly and daily.  Really, it’s not that He doesn’t want and desire us to have “other” things; other things we love, enjoy, and want/are gifted to do.  In fact, He created life ~ and found it (His creation) to be good.  It’s just that He requires we don’t put these “things” or “people” ahead of Him.  More often than not, and more often than we are willing to admit, we know what we have placed things ahead of Him.

Advice from all of this:  Sacrifice the sacred cow.  Easier to say than actually do?  Yes.  But nevertheless, whatever the cow is, or resembles, or represents ~ purge it and own it no longer.  God moves and God Himself, in all of His fullness, understands that methods will change ~ means will transform ~ new levels of commitment are necessary.  It doesn’t mean the Message changes; the Message remains the same.  It is eternal and endures.  But how we share must develop, and grow, and extend, and branch out.

May God, through the Person of Jesus Christ and by the Power of the Holy Spirit, help and guide us in this.  May His conviction come…may His will be done…as the cows (and even the comfort that may be associated with the cow) is burned up and disposed of.  Then, at that point, will God truly be the Lord of our lives and can we claim Him as our Savior, King, and Lord.  We will worship Him in the splendor of His holiness and beauty!  Talk about freedom during this 4th of July Week?  There is no freedom like the freedom He brings, and gives, and makes available to us.

Blessings and joy from a “sacred cow-less” friend…



Whatever It Takes

This year’s Team Meetings here at Ridgecrest have been deep, timely, and God-ordered.  Clearly the Holy Spirit is here with us – from the messages to the testimony; from the music to the fellowship.

Dr. Jesse Middendorf, our G.S. who is retiring in 2 short months, has left nothing on the table.  It is evident that the Lord has used him in a mighty way, here, to reach His people and His Church now.  On Thursday evening he challenged us all on the attributes and manifestations of Christian unity, humility, and surrender.  A powerful response followed at the altar ~ with dozens of people coming forward under the anointing of the Holy Spirit.  Today, with Dr. Barnes’ message on “love always wins” coupled by Dr. Middendorf’s testimony of what is happening in the Church in many world areas was extremely encouraging.  And yet, there is so much more!

Through the past 24 hours, what has settled on me here has been this statement:  “Whatever It Takes.”

And the question is this:  Are we willing, and available, to do whatever it’s going to take to share, lift up, and proclaim Jesus to our families, friends, neighbors, and communities?  Not just talk it ~ but truly model and live Jesus in front of others.  Are we able and willing to do that?

Much more of this is to come because we must work out what God has worked in.  To witness real life transformation and see a movement of God that can only be instrumented by the Holy Spirit ~ we must individually and collectively be seekers and imitators of God.  The truth is:  It is possible and He has made provision for it.  May we believe that and receive it in hope, in joy, and in true gratitude.  There are open doors of opportunity all around, in fact, there are more than we can even imagine.  Lord help us so that we would further become more fully devoted, seriously committed followers where You have planted us – that You would increase our faith and reach!  Help us to be willing and available, unified and determined – to levels we have not yet experienced. 

Joy and peace…