When I was little, I was scared of quicksand. I was absolutely certain I was going to fall into some quicksand and never get out. I don’t have facts on this, but I’m pretty sure there isn’t even any quicksand in West Virginia. Anyways, try telling that to a 10 year old.
Anyone who has ever seen a Western or Indiana Jones, can tell you – don’t struggle! It will only make you sink faster! If you just remain calm, you may have more of a chance… to find a rope, or branch, or call out for help, or something.
2 Cor. 12:9-10 tells us that God’s Grace is sufficient. His power is made perfect in our weakness. Boast happily in your weaknesses and then the Power of God may rest upon you. If that doesn’t make your heart burst in praise, I don’t know what will. The weaker you are, the easier it is for God to jump in and blow that hardship out of the water? Sign me up!
Tenth Avenue North has a song called, “The Struggle.” It has a line that really resonates with my wife and I. “We are free to struggle, We’re not struggling to be free.”
Every night at around 10 o’clock, I let my dog out for one last time. The first thing I do is look up to the sky and see if “the stars are out.” I’ll tell my wife, “Man, the stars are really out tonight!” or “No stars out tonight!” Now, I know full well that the stars are not precarious things that are sometimes there and sometimes hiding. It’s just that on certain nights, I cannot see them. I can thank Miss Grewe at East Dale Elementary for that.
There are times when you feel like God is not there. Saint John of the Cross called it “The Dark Night of The Soul.” You walk out into that night and there are no stars. The sky is black. Your gut sinks as you peer into the cold vast nothing. You are unprotected, alone and forgotten.
God has gone out of His way to let you know how ridiculous that is: Deut 31:8, Heb. 13:5, Joshua 1:9, Phil. 4:6-7, and Psa. 55:22 just to name a few. Over and over He tells us we are not alone, He will never forsake us and He protects His children. So when your flesh is weak and when your heart fails, remember – God is there, He has not left you and He alone can get you where He needs you to be.
The stars are ALWAYS out there, it’s just sometimes you can’t see them.
The Human condition leaves many people feeling disconnected, isolated and forgotten. “Who cares about me? What does any of this mean?” A.W. Tozer called it “cosmic orphanage*.”
This feeling couldn’t be further from the truth. John 1:12 tells us that anyone who “even believes in His (Jesus) name” is now a Child of The King! God gives you that right!
To be a child is to join in the inheritance of the Father. We are co-heirs with Christ! (Romans 8:17) Not just conquerors, but MORE than conquerors! Romans 8:37)
So forget this disconnected, isolated and forgotten nonsense. You are no longer outside the Father’s house in the cold, alone and naked. The Father welcomes you in. Take that human condition and kick it out the door. Claim your right! God bless!
Twice Jesus said that He desired mercy over sacrifice (Matt. 9:13 & 12:7). Telling us something once is enough, but twice? He really must’ve wanted us to get it! So what does it mean to desire mercy over sacrifice?
Jesus was quoting from Hosea 6:6. The Israelites were offering sacrifices to God because it was their duty not because they desired to please Him. Their hearts were not close to God. There was no relationship.
Jesus is saying He desires that we genuinely love him. He desires that we follow His will because we truly want to. He doesn’t want us coldly following rules like the Pharisees.
God sees the heart and no amount of rule following can replace a heart that isn’t true. Mercy wins over sacrifice, everytime. God bless!
A.W. Tozer said Faith and Prayer are two sides of the same coin. They are inseparable!* A faithful Christian prays. A prayful Christian has faith. I guess you can pray without faith and you can have faith and not pray, but that’s not the most effective way to deflect the enemies arrows.
James tells us if we don’t have something, it’s because we haven’t asked for it (4:3). We are also told to pray without stopping (1 Thes. 5:17). Brittany’s Mom made a good point on this very subject the other day: the question isn’t “Are you praying?” It is “Why have you stopped praying?”
According to Tozer, it doesn’t take much wisdom to know our next move: Pray, pray, and pray!
Are you a happy witness? That may sound like a childish question, but I would like for you to take a few seconds to meditate on it. Am I happy in my Christian walk?
Everyone loves a camp fire. Camp fires put out a lot of heat and light. But if you don’t keep your eye on it, the fire will die down. Ever notice how cold it seems AFTER a fire burns out? It didn’t seem that cold before you started! It also seems so much darker AFTER a fire. Your body got used to the warmth. Your eyes got used to the light.
To keep the fire going you have to keep stoking the flames. You have to put more logs on the fire. You have to keep your eye on it. David prayed, “Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,” (Psa. 51:12).
Only Jesus can restore your joy. Only He can sustain you. It is through His salvation that all things have their luminance. It is through His salvation that all things have their warmth. Renew your relationship with Jesus and then you will rekindle your happiness in your Christian walk.
Anyone ever ask you to pray for them? Sounds… almost… peaceful, doesn’t it? In reality they are asking you to engage in warfare. Intercession is throwing yourself into the spiritual battle raging all around us (Eph. 6:12).
How do I pray for someone? Charles Stanley mentioned this once and it always stuck with me: Pray Eph. 1:17-19. This scripture is the perfect intercessory prayer to get you started.
Take comfort that you are not alone in this fight. As you intercede, Jesus intercedes for you (Heb. 7:25). As sons and daughters of God, we have a direct line to go boldly to the Throne (Heb. 4:16).
So, the next time someone asks you to pray for them, roll up your sleeves, arm yourself with Eph. 1 and get ready to fight! God bless!