An online magazine for pastors and church leaders.

Take a little break these days in December and re-center yourself with these devotions from the Sunday| Mag contributors.

You, however, are not in the flesh, but in the Spirit, since the Spirit of God lives in you. But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him. (Romans 8:9 HCSB)

Expanded: Romans 8:1-11

I was right there! Right in front of him. In fact, so close he spoke to me and stuck his hand out to shake mine. I didn?t know what to do, I was in awe and dumbfounded. What was I supposed to say? How was I supposed to act? Was I supposed to smile? Was I going to play it cool and say in the deepest voice I could, ?Hey man?? I had even rehearsed it, but now that it was reality, I didn?t know what to do.

I remember those kinds of thoughts as a 10 year-old boy the time I got to meet my favorite baseball player from childhood, Chipper Jones. He had come to a local mall to sign autographs. A sports card trading shop within the mall brought him. My parents had paid a fee to get me in line and then spent way too much on a replica bat for him to sign. I had been waiting for months?well, for the entire span of time from them buying the ticket until then. It was then my moment to interact with him, but all I knew to do was stand there. In awe. This was the guy I had always wanted to be like in my backyard. He?s the reason I would turn on the TV to watch the Braves play. Even though I knew he was completely approachable, I didn?t know how to react. And I think that?s sometimes how we should approach God.

In Romans 8, Paul, the writer of Romans, is giving us a similar scenario. You see; when we have Christ living in us, it not only changes our eternity, but it also changes our current reality. So many of us, especially those of us that find ourselves leading something, concentrate on our dreams and visions and often miss the fact that Christ gives us a new identity?a new position right in the face of a loving, all-powerful, and all knowing God. We fail to stand in awe of Him.

Instead of walking according to the Spirit that we have complete access to and that literally dwells, not just in front of us, but in us, we often get caught up in those dreams we have and go to great lengths (any lengths at times) to get them. We see what so and so is doing and we want to replicate it. We forget that they did the hard work and so we?re tempted to take a short cut? even if it means abandoning the voice of the Spirit in us. We see what God is doing in someone else?s church or ministry and, instead of doing it the right way through listening to the Spirit and using our Christ made position with God, we try shortcuts to build what only God can build.

Your personal dream isn?t worth abandoning your personal Savior.[quote]Your personal dream isn?t worth abandoning your personal Savior.[/quote]

I know we don?t think we do that, but we?re tempted to. We?re tempted to abandon the Spirit of God and chase the ?dream?. What we have to remember is that God still works through people, but He uses His Spirit to draw them.

Don?t take the shortcut, no matter what you?re dreaming of or thinking of today.

Let your position in front of the Savior be a place of awe. Spend time there and let your dreams and actions follow. Listen to the Spirit within you.

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