Wednesday, December 30, 2009

2010 Offering HOPE!

“I hope I make it.” “I hope I get the part.” “I hope you have a good time.” “Here’s hoping we get together again soon.” “I hope it doesn’t rain.” “I hope I brought enough money.” “I hope YOU brought enough money!” “I hope he isn’t upset.” “I hope she gets the scholarship…”


Daily conversation has morphed the word HOPE into becoming synonymous with the word “WISH”. By doing so, the very core value of the word "HOPE" is erased. For if HOPE be merely a wish, we have no HOPE at all. If HOPE expresses any measure of uncertainty, the future becomes meaninglessly unknown - offering no meaningful specifics.


How utterly void of value God’s Word would be without the true message of HOPE.

“For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have A FIGHTING CHANCE.” – Romans 15:4

“And now these three remain: faith, POSSIBILITY, and love. But the greatest of these is love.” – 1 Corinthians 13:13

“Now faith is being sure of what we THINK MIGHT HAPPEN and certain of what we do not see, I THINK.” – Hebrews 11:1


If the word be synonymous with any other it must be synonymous with the word, CERTAINTY, bolstered by SECURITY and expressed with JOYOUS ANTICIPATION!

“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively HOPE by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, to an inheritance incorruptible, and undefiled, and that fadeth not away, reserved in heaven for you who are kept by the power of God through faith unto salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. Wherein ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations that the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honour and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ. Whom having not seen, ye love; in whom, though now ye see him not, yet believing, ye rejoice with joy unspeakable and full of glory receiving the end of your faith, even the salvation of your souls.” - 1 Peter 1:3-9


We are not relegated to superstitious tradition. Much the contrary; we are elevated to see, with anticipation and assurance, a wonderous future prepared for us by Christ! It is not something we “DO”, it is everything WE HAVE!

So as we enter 2010, let's do so with -


Tuesday, December 29, 2009

A Very New Resolution ...

A friend of mine had resisted efforts to get him to run with our jogging group until his doctor told him he had to exercise. Soon thereafter, he reluctantly joined us for our 5:30 a.m. jogs on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays.

After a month of running, we decided that my friend might be hooked, especially when he said he had discovered what "runner's euphoria" was. "Runner's euphoria," he explained, "is what I feel at 5:30 on Tuesdays, Thursdays, and Saturdays."
-- Neil P. Budge

The “in between times” determine the sole/soul commitment to a given resolution. Begrudgingly or superstitiously approaching a modification in one’s behavior often results in failure. A mental callous develops resulting in a dulled sensitivity to the original quest. Not that the importance of the endeavor has diminished, but the overcoming victory of the pursuit and benefits awaiting the committed participant are at best delayed and too often lost.

That being said, I am tempted to slip into 2010 with the utmost anonymity. If I make no resolution, I fail no endeavor. If I share no goal, I face no accountability. I’ll just stay, “under the radar” unknown, un-relied upon, with little or no responsibility.

Then a verse begins to ring in my heart:

"For I know the plans I have for you," says the LORD. "They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” - Jeremiah 29:11

The plans HE HAS MADE FOR ME? For my GOOD, and not disaster? To give me a future and a hope?

Wait a minute! I’ve been trying to accomplish that year after year. Hmmmm ... Perhaps, just perhaps, MY plans have not been in MY best interest. Perhaps He has protected me from my will and the results that would have caused me harm so that He can bring me to this year, 2010, and the awareness of His will that has been custom designed and tailor fit to give me a future and a hope.

“…to give you a future…” it’s as if I really never had one while I was dependent upon my will, my strength and my dedication. Have you considered this? There is no future for the non-believer, true; but there is also no future for the uncommitted believer.

“…and a hope.” What is “hope” to the child of God? We will be looking at this in the weeks to come. One thing is for certain, the words used in the Hebrew language for the word “hope” ALL focus upon the certainty of future events. This particular word emphasizes His guarantee.

My New Years resolution? Simply put, to commit to His plan while enjoying the fact that every moment of 2010 has already passed His inspection. His plans are for my good, not disaster, that I might actually have a future, precisely the future He has prepared just for me. I am hopeful; I am confident; it’s a done-deal!

Happy New Year!

Sunday, December 20, 2009

Seeing Christmas in a New Light

“And Jesus said, for judgment I am come into this world, that they who see not, might see; and that they who see, might be made blind.” – John 9:39

Jesus spoke of ‘spiritual sight’ not physical. The religious leaders boasted of spirituality but in reality were spiritually blind. They were the paparazzi of Jesus day, following Jesus only to stand witness against Him at His slightest transgression of their law. In chapter 9 of John and verse 14 they seize opportunity; Jesus had healed a man born blind – on the Sabbath! Some of the Pharisees attempt to press Jesus into further self-incrimination by asking, “are we blind also?”

So Jesus decides to present to them the entire plan and purpose of His coming in a most glorious, and yet subtle manner. Let’s look at that purpose in John 10.

“Verily, verily, I say unto you, he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber.” – John 10:1

“But He that entereth in by the door is the shepherd of the sheep” – John 10:2

“To Him the Porter openeth, and the sheep hear His voice; and He calleth His own sheep by name and leadeth them out.” – John 10:3

“And when He putteth forth His won sheep, He goeth before them, and the sheep follow Him; for they know His voice.” – John 10:4

“And a stranger will they not follow, but will flee from him; for they know not the voice of strangers.” - John 10:5

Notice that at this point, no one understood what Jesus was saying! And so, Jesus begins to, “flesh-out” his analogy - only to create even more confusion; maybe even to us today!

“Then said Jesus unto them again, ‘verily, verily, I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.” – John 10:7

“All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers; but the sheep did not hear them.” – John 10:8

I am the door; by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out, and find pasture.” John 10:9

I am the good shepherd; the good shepherd giveth his life for the sheep.” – John 10:11

Simple enough – right? Look again…

Sit, for a moment, as if you were one of His disciples. What did He just say? He is the door? He is the shepherd?


Didn’t He say (vs.1) “he that entereth not by the door into the sheepfold, but climbeth up some other way, the same is a thief and a robber”? What is the sheepfold – heaven? IS THERE ANOTHER WAY BESIDES THE DOOR?

Didn’t He say (2) “He that entereth in by the DOOR is the SHEPHERD of the sheep”? Wait a minute - is He the door or the shepherd? How can He be both? Can He enter HIM?

(3) Who is the Porter – I mean, besides being a door-man? And from where is this shepherd leading the sheep?

We now begin to understand their confusion. Going further verse 9 poses additional problems. If Jesus is the door – why would anyone want to go in and out?

Let’s review the passage once again in the spirit of the Christmas Story.

This world in which we live is a vast sheepfold filled with many sheep. Jesus chose to enter this world in a very miraculous way. As you look at verses 1 – 3 we see a striking parallel to Luke 1: 26 – 35 wherein the angel Gabriel visits Mary and announces the coming birth of Jesus. In Luke 1:34 Mary asks a very logical question:

“Then said Mary unto the angel, How shall this be, seeing I know not a man?"

Listen to what the angel says; it is important for us to understand his reply so that we can see more clearly what Jesus is saying in John 10.

“And the angel answered, and said unto her, The Holy Spirit shall come upon thee, and the power of the Highest shall overshadow thee; therefore also that holy thing which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God.”

The Holy Spirit is the Porter opening the door of the miraculous virgin birth of Jesus into the sheepfold of the world. Anyone claiming previously to be the shepherd was a thief and a robber. No one had entered the world in this manner before or since. It is a CLOSED DOOR, entered and shut by Jesus.

Jesus, the Good Shepherd, calls His sheep by name. His sheep hear Him and He goes before them and leads them out of the confines of this world and its system to a citizenship eternally with Him. He is the OPEN DOOR of the sheep. He remains open today for any who will spiritually hear His voice.

He is the REVOLVING DOOR (9) of fellowship leading to the throne of God in prayer by which we find pleasant pasture (Psalms 23) before Him and in our daily lives.

In John 10:24 a frustrated crowd demands:

“…How long dost thou make us to doubt? If thou be the Christ, tell us plainly!”

Jesus responds with comfort to those whose eyes are open and who hear His voice:

“Jesus answered then, I told you, and ye believed not; the works that I do in my Father’s name, they bear witness of me. But ye believed not, because ye are not of my sheep, as I said unto you. My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. And I give unto them eternal life; and they shall never perish, neither shall any man pluck them out of my hand. My Father, who gave them to Me, is greater than all, and no man is able to pluck them out of my Father’s hand. I and My Father are ONE!” - John 10:30

That is pretty plain talk, isn’t it?

What a wonderful gift Jesus has given! What a wonderful story God has revealed through John. In the hustle and bustle of this Christmas Season, have you heard His voice? Has he touched your spiritual eyes so that you can see Him for Who He really is? Have you received His gift?

Finding balance and living within God’s will begins with becoming part of His family. He calls and offers Himself through His birth, His life, His death and His resurrection!

Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Who was this man, Joseph?

I have been thinking about the story of Jesus’ birth and one remarkable man who is often overlooked, Jesus’ step-father, Joseph. I came across the following article and would like to share it in it’s entirety with you!

Joseph and Mary would have to be two of the most amazing people - not merely because of what happened to them, but in their responses to those events.

Luke says Mary was astonished, perplexed, afraid, incredulous. She was not, as the Church has depicted her - at least initially - passively accepting her role as bearer of the Son of God.

Someone has suggested we imagine it this way. The angel Gabriel comes to a teenage Palestinian girl and says she is to give birth to the Lord, the King. 'I think you must have the wrong Mary,' she would have replied. 'I mean, you'll need someone influential, important, of royal descent, well off (you can't have the Lord running around in rags, or receiving a sub-standard education)... If the Lord is to be born into poverty, well, you'd need an experienced mother who's got several kids already (who are healthy and well-adjusted)... I don't even know how to hold a baby, and you're telling me that my first baby will be the Lord. What if I drop him? And, by the way, what is Joseph going to say?'

Mary continues: 'Then imagine the scene with Joseph. "Why Mary you're looking big... Why, Mary, you're pregnant! Who with?" And I answer, "With the Lord." What's his line after that?'

Doesn't happen every day, eh?

But my point this morning is not about what happened to these two Paelstinian peasants, but what they did with what happened. Here are two human beings who are invited to collaborate with God in the most dramatic event in history: God being clothed in human flesh.

Now the Gospels and the Church invite us to believe that Joseph was not the physical father of Jesus. He was 'born of a virgin'. I for one have never doubted that. If Jesus the Christ was God-with-us it seems to me to be a lesser thing to believe that he entered and left the world in miraculous ways...

What do we know about Joseph? He was a descendant of David, a carpenter, maybe older than Mary (and maybe a widower with children) who was alive when Jesus was twelve, but may have died before Jesus' public ministry (why, perhaps, was he not at the wedding in Cana?). That's it.

Oh no it isn't. When he learned Mary was pregnant - presumably to someone else - Matthew gives us some interesting insights into this amazing man. This must have been a staggering blow to him. His bride-to-be had betrayed him. She'd been 'sleeping around.' Most fiancées would have exploded in vindictive rage. His gut reaction might have been to humiliate Mary as well as drop her. But he didn't.
How should a God-fearer respond to a situation like this? There are six very helpful clues in the Joseph-story.

First, Joseph was a thoughtful person. (Matthew 1:19, 20). So the first thing he did was to do nothing. He 'considered' the situation. For days, weeks, months... who knows? No doubt he prayed fervently as well. The moral for us: when you have to make a difficult decision, don't be in a hurry: more mistakes are made by hasted than by delay.

Second, Joseph was a 'just' man (verse 19). That is, he lived under the law of God. His obvious question here would have been, 'What does the law of God say?' Answer: (see Deuteronomy 24:1): he had to put Mary away. According to Jewish custom, a betrothal could only be terminated by 'divorce'. Indeed, Mary should have been stoned. So the moral for us: Always ask 'What does the Word of God in Scripture say about this?' Nothing is ever right if it contradicts God's will for us.

Third, Joseph was a tender, compassionate man (verse 19). He believed that justice must be tempered by love. He had to obey the law of God, that was clear. But how to do it in Mary's interests? How could he avoid embarrassing her? Joseph did not want to put Mary to shame. We know the sequel: it was revealed to Joseph that Mary was not guilty of adultery at all, but was highly favored by God, impregnated by the Spirit of God. The lesson here for us: Always ask, not only what God's law requires, but how to apply that law in love. Not even Joseph's hurt feelings or his religion's legal requirements could overrule something more important: his compassion for someone who was 'down'. 'In spite of the terrible thing he thought Mary had done to him and to their dreams, Joseph still had deep feelings for Mary the person and could not find it in his heart to add to her burden, or to use the modern phrase, "to stomp on her while she was down'.' (John Claypool, in an unpublished sermon).

Fourth, Joseph was open to mystery, to the incredible. Now he was a male, and would have prided himself on his logical approach to things (and carpenters have to think in those terms too!). Mary impregnated by God? What? Is there a precedent for this? Ridiculous! But no, Joseph's response was not circumscribed by his logic or his experience. What Gabriel said to Mary, Joseph also obviously believed: 'With God all things are possible.' That's what faith is all about - letting God be God, not restricting God within the limits of human experience...

(There are books of 'bloopers' which collect the statements of people who have trouble here. Like what happened with the historic flight of Wilbur and Orville Wright in 1903. When word got back to their home town Dayton, North Carolina, about what happened in the Kitty Hawk the editor of the newspaper there refused to believe it and scoffed: 'I do not think human beings will ever be able to fly; and if anyone ever does, it won't be anyone from Dayton!').

Fifth, Joseph was humble enough to be willing to listen to the voice of God, even in a dream. I have found that people in so-called 'Third World' countries are more open to hearing God in dreams and seeing God in visions than better-educated Westerners are. I have asked pastors' conferences in Africa and India: 'How many of you responded to God's call to ministry in a dream?' and the majority have put up their hands. Never happened like that in the U.S., Canada, the U.K., New Zealand or Australia!

But sixth, Joseph was a man of action. With only the word of Mary and words in a dream to guide him, he took Mary to be his wife, and took her away from Nazareth (ostensibly to register in his home-town of Bethlehem, but also, I have no doubt, to get Mary away from the wagging tongues up north!). He later moved the little family to Egypt to get away from the murderous Herod, and then back to Nazareth rather than Bethlehem to avoid the political climate.

John Claypool again: 'Sam Keen defines a wise person as one who knows what time it is in life, and Joseph eminently qualifies for that title... He was profoundly aware of what was going on around him, and just as importantly, had the courage to act on the sense of promise that beckoned him to venture forth. This courage of course was the offspring of trust - in Mary, in the angel, and in his own experience of truth, and as we now know, Joseph was not disappointed. In fact, because he did trust so courageously, look who came into the world - a Son who was taught from the cradle, in Carlyle Marney's term, to "faith it through life", and who was able, again and again, to recognize when his hour had come and to venture forth in courage and purpose.'

Last week in Canberra I heard someone quote the Old Testament scholar Walter Brueggeman's response to the question 'What is the Old Testament all about?' 'It's all about a God who gives us laws but who then gives himself permission not to enforce them sometimes,' (or words to that effect). When Jesus was confronted with a woman who had committed adultery, he first said 'I do not condemn you' before he said 'Go and sin no more.' Pharisees, ancient and modern, who only ask 'What does the law say?' and not 'How can I act like God, with compassion?' could never say that. Jesus had learned some wonderful lessons from this wonderful man Joseph.

So this Christmas, I invite you to use this wonderful man Joseph as your guide when confronted with a difficult moral situation. Let us do what Joseph did, namely: reflect deeply, for as long as it takes; ask 'How does the Word of God instruct me here?'; act always with compassion; be open to mystery; listen for the voice of God, in whatever medium God chooses to speak; and then act.
Rowland Croucher
December 2000.

Sunday, December 13, 2009

Staying Balanced

The holiday season! Thanksgiving, Christmas; good food, good fellowship, good times!

It’s a time for me to renew acquaintances I have not seen at the gym since last Christmas! Some are working in preparation for the grand Christmas feast. Some are working to ELIMINATE the grand Thanksgiving feast. Others are temporarily dedicating themselves to accomplish both!

I tend to go in cycles spiritually; what about you? I’ll find myself “feasting” on the Word of God, enjoying the fellowship of His presence, relaxing in His will… only to become self-content, self-indulgent leading to the sinking feeling of being spiritually useless. And it can happen so quickly!

How can I stay above it all?

My thoughts are turned towards the story in Matthew 14: 23 – 33. Here we witness Jesus’ disciples in a boat that is being tossed during a violent storm. Jesus comes to them walking on the water. Picture that for a moment … There’s JESUS, calmly walking above the storm. Jesus greets them as if the storm did not exist:

“… be of good cheer; it is I; be not afraid. And Peter answered him and said, Lord, if it be Thou, bid me come unto thee on the water. And He said, come. And when Peter was come down out of the boat, he walked on the water, to go to Jesus. But when he saw the wind boisterous, he was afraid and beginning to sink, he cried, saying Lord save me. And immediately Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught him, and said unto him. O thou of little faith, why didst thou doubt?”

It is incomprehensible - defying the very laws of physics but, Peter walked on the water TO GO TO JESUS. He was totally focused upon JESUS! He had a definite purpose - TO GO TO JESUS! He gave no thought for himself or his circumstances. While he kept his focus upon Jesus he was able to rise above the storm. But the moment he took his eyes off Jesus he began to sink.


Why does my spirituality come and go in cycles? Because I take my eyes off of Jesus – and it need not be a storm that distracts! ANYTHING that takes my focus off of Him will cause me to sink. It can happen so quickly!

The story doesn’t stop there. Matthew, an eye witness to the event, tells us that Jesus stretched forth His hand and caught Peter IMMEDIATELY! Jesus is ever so near and ready to take hold of us when we call upon Him.

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” – 2 Corinthians 12:9

“But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellency of the power may be of God and not of us”- 2 Corinthians 4:7

Earthen vessels, filled by faith, rooted and grounded in love, to accomplish more than can be comprehended, by His power, throughout all the ages!

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

"Who's Will? Who's Power?"

I understand my faith should be grounded in the FACT of God’s presence and not the “feeling” of His presence; but should I totally ignore my feelings? Something about that just seems unreasonable. After all, I AM HUMAN. I HAVE FEELINGS; I CAN BE EMOTIONAL!

The Bible has comforting news for us. Emotions are said to be neither good nor bad, but the behaviors that arise from them can be either positive or negative. For instance, anger is an emotion – not necessarily a pleasant emotion at that. But the Bible does not define anger as sinful. In Ephesians 4:26 we read:

BE ANGRY, and yet DO NOT SIN; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and do not give the devil and opportunity.”

Throughout the book of Psalms King David expresses a myriad of emotions, joy, sorrow, anger, loneliness, frustration, and fear. But God refers to David as a man after His own heart. God expresses His love as David records in Psalm 36:5-7:

“Your love, O Lord, reaches to the heavens, your faithfulness to the skies. Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains, your justice like the great deep. O Lord, you preserve both man and beast. How priceless is your unfailing love! Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.”

Feelings are a natural part of being human. While we take refuge in the FACT of God’s presence and will, we do not totally ignore feelings that may signal we are missing the mark.

1 My will and My own power: Symptoms: alienation, loneliness, butting head into wall after wall, breaking of self, fatalism.

My will under God's power: Symptoms: frustration, superstition, anxiety— God won't be manipulated this way, even though many try–including a high percentage of Christians!

God's will but under my power: Symptoms: burnout, putting God or others on my timeframes, overplaying my role, messiah-complex, being judgmental toward others.

God's will under God's power: Symptoms: peace, sense of safety, perspective, poise, energy when I need it; BALANCE!

“Letting Go, Letting God.” “God’s Will Under God’s Power”. “A Pause, not Applause”. “Coming in Second and Winning”. “Being IN THE WAY without being in the way”. “A Proper Positioning”.

“Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” – Hebrews 12:2

The Author and Finisher of even our faith! Who better to trust? Who better to serve? Who’s will, Who’s power?

“For this reason, since the day we heard about you. We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work. Growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For He has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves in Whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins.” – Colossians 1:9-14

Think of it; ALREADY QUALIFIED! All that is left is obedience and the peace that comes from enjoying your one-of-its-kind, customized and wonderful will of God! Until Sunday, God's richest blessings upon you!

1(excerpt from Xenos Christian fellowship

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Letting Go

When should we “let go and let God” deal with the challenges of our life, and when is it time to “suck it up” and face the challenges of life on our own?

Obedience allows us to enjoy the reality of His care and His will. A true awareness of Christ’s promise to lead us, allows us to relax in His care. No challenge can arise that has not first been met head-on by Him. But do we really believe it? Do we actually live it? Or do we live our life as if [we are] prisoners to its circumstances?

“Casting ALL your care upon Him; for He careth for you.” - 1 Peter 5:7

I am always impressed when theologians give us deeper insight into the meaning of a verse based upon precise words used in the original text. Although I am not a theologian, allow me to attempt to make this one simple observation: ALL means ALL, and that’s ALL - ALL means. Casting ALL your care upon Him.

This is not to say that sadness, disappointment and fear are strangers to the Christian. The challenges of life are experienced by every living person. Christians, however, do not experience them alone!

Our faith is not in the “feeling” of His presence, our faith is in the FACT of His presence! When we “feel” alone, it is precisely at that moment we claim His promise; He has never been closer!

“We are troubled on every side, yet not distressed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; cast down, but not destroyed;” - 2 Cor. 4:8-9

“Be careful for nothing [In nothing be anxious—ASV]; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God. And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.” - Phi. 4:6-7

"The everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the earth, neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the weak, and to those who have no might He increases strength. Even the youths shall faint and be weary, and the young men shall utterly fall, but those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." - Isaiah 40:28-31

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our tribulation, that we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For as the sufferings of Christ abound in us, so our consolation also abounds through Christ." - 2 Corinthians 1:3-5

" all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord." - Romans 8:37-39

"Seeing then that we have a great High Priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession. For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin. Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need." - Hebrews 4:14-16

"Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen."
- Ephesians 3:20-21

So, go ahead; “let go, and let God.”

Tuesday, December 1, 2009

A Pause, Not Applause

We’ve looked at God’s will as a position rather than a place. It is a reassuring relationship, not a random responsibility. Living within the will of God is recognized and enjoyed as we are obedient. We recognize prayer as our primary method of communication with God and His Word as His primary method of communication to us - therefore we regularly frequent both opportunities. We receive fellowship and counsel from those whose lives proclaim Christ. Having therefore the willingness to yield to His will, the verification of our spiritual position through obedience, and the readiness to respond to opportunities, we DO. That’s it; WE DO! We DO whatever it is in front of us TO DO.

Ah, but one might quote Psalm 46:10:

"Be still and know that I am God.".

If THIS is the secret to knowing God’s will there is ample evidence that the majority claiming Him are most certainly IN HIS WILL!

But no; this “stillness” is not the picture of a once raging river having become a quagmire, a cesspool of lifeless inactivity. No, this phase denotes the vibrant, active, involved, servant of God totally relying upon HIM for sustenance while willingly DOING His will and giving Him all the glory! It is “going limp” to self-will and resting in His promise and provision. It is facing the uncertainties of life with the assurance that His finger that points our way is only part of His hand that supplies our needs.

Put into context, Psalm 46:10 takes on a different meaning. It tells us that in the process of DOING His will He is there to accomplish those things we cannot.

Go back and read all of Psalm 46 if you want the full power and promise of God to uplift you! Oh my! This little phrase sneaks up on you as you read:

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah. There is a river, the streams whereof shall make glad the city of God, the holy place of the tabernacles of the most High. God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved: God shall help her, and that right early. The heathen raged, the kingdoms were moved: he uttered his voice, the earth melted. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah. Come, behold the works of the LORD, what desolations he hath made in the earth. He maketh wars to cease unto the end of the earth; he breaketh the bow, and cutteth the spear in sunder; he burneth the chariot in the fire. Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth. The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge. Selah."

May you enjoy His presence, His peace, His glory, His power, His provision, His plan, His will!