Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Take Your Hands Off Your Ears

Psalm 16:8
The Voice

He is ever present with me; at all times He goes before me.  I will not live in fear or abandon my calling because He stands at my right hand.

No matter how loud the distractions of life are, He doesn't change.  Some days you do want to abandon where God has placed you because you feel like you think you cannot hear His voice anymore.  Those things that distract us - and they are different for each of us - can get so loud at times.  Spiritually, mentally and emotionally you feel like putting your hands over your ears and shutting it all out. 

In a lot of ways, it does come down to fear.  Fear of others, fear of a situation, fear of weakness...insert your own fear here.  According to this scripture, and I love this particular version of it, He is always present, He is going before us, He has called us and He is the power in our lives. 

Remember these things, take your hands off your ears and you'll find the distractions have dulled and faded to a whisper. 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Get Over Yourself

Luke 18:9-14
(Easy to Read Version)

There were some people who thought they were very good and looked down on everyone else. Jesus used this story to teach them: 10 “One time there was a Pharisee and a tax collector. One day they both went to the Temple to pray. 11 The Pharisee stood alone, away from the tax collector. When the Pharisee prayed, he said, ‘O God, I thank you that I am not as bad as other people. I am not like men who steal, cheat, or commit adultery. I thank you that I am better than this tax collector. 12 I fast twice a week, and I give a tenth of everything I get!’
13 “The tax collector stood alone too. But when he prayed, he would not even look up to heaven. He felt very humble before God. He said, ‘O God, have mercy on me. I am a sinner!’ 14 I tell you, when this man finished his prayer and went home, he was right with God. But the Pharisee, who felt that he was better than others, was not right with God. People who make themselves important will be made humble. But those who make themselves humble will be made important.”

I think this passage is pretty self-explanatory, so I won't bore the reader with a long dissertation about it.  Now we all know that the Pharisee was not without sin - okay, maybe he didn't do the things he mentioned, but at the very least, he was guilty of a proud and haughty spirit.  There were most likely other things he was guilty of, but maybe only his wife and children knew about those things.  Maybe it was something he was even hiding from them...and only God knew.  Either which way, regardless of his own opinion about himself, he was a sinner just like the tax collector.

The problem, as I see it, is when you look around and observe people and start to make judgments or assumptions about them and where they are at with their relationship with God, you step into God's shoes.  Besides the fact that that is a really brave thing to attempt - have you seen the work of God in someones life?  Have you seen where He has already brought them from?  Do you know how much junk they had to crawl through just to touch the hem of His garment?  Have you read the parable of the Pharisee and the Tax Collector?

Here's some advice, if you find yourself looking around and thinking or saying anything that smacks of judgment like you must know everything about someone - seriously, get over yourself.

Thursday, August 15, 2013

Call Me Crazy

2 Corinthians 5:17


Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

17 Therefore, if anyone is united with the Messiah, he is a new creation — the old has passed; look, what has come is fresh and new!

No one wants to re-create or re-invent something that's already been done.  Well, unless they are just a little bit crazy.  Generally, though, we don't do that because we are already benefiting from the original creation.  And once something is invented or created pretty much all you can do is improve on it.  The proverbial wheel, for example.  At some point way back when, someone had a great idea and figured out that with a round shaped object, things move faster.  Today the wheel has been improved and upgraded to the point of being way faster than the original inventor, I'm sure, ever dreamed of.  But, it's never been re-invented.  In fact, if someone was to attempt to re-invent the wheel, they would probably end up in an asylum somewhere.  You can't do it, it's been done.  

Well, call me crazy.  I do believe in re-inventing, re-creating.  Only, not the physical, the emotional and spiritual.  So many of us feel the need to cope and trudge along in the things that overwhelm us.  You know, just find a way to improve ourselves or our situation and circumstance.  And there are plenty of self-help ways to attempt to do this.  And one might find themselves improving.  Awesome, right?  

That is, until you read this scripture.  I don't care how long you have been filled with the Spirit, I don't care if you grew up on a church pew, I don't care how many self-help books one has read, I don't even care how "improved" someone might be...it is not the same as being in unity with Christ.  While the words are not in this passage, this sounds like healing to me.  This sounds like something beautiful.  This sounds like something joyful!  

I'm not looking for or settling for an improved self...I am going to let the re-invention power of the Holy Spirit take over - and create a fresh and new me!