“Chicken Little” Alive and Well?

scared chickenWe have such curious, busy imaginations.  Given the “right” set of circumstances, we can imagine any number of things happening.  This can be a good thing as we dream big.  It can also be a bad thing as we “nightmare” big.

We get worried over the things that “might” happen.  Maybe we are a little more like “Chicken Little” than we like to admit.

Worry is not something we should practice.  We have a trustworthy God.  We say we trust HIm.  We say we believe Him.  Then why do we spend time worrying over things  for which we have no control?  Why do we waste energy worrying over what “might” happen?  Yes, we’ve all had difficult things happen and we’ve seen other people deal with tough times but the question still remains, do we truly trust God or not?  Is He truly in control or not?

In Matthew 6 Jesus tells us many things about worry.  He says not to worry about life, what to eat, what to drink, about our body, about clothes, about tomorrow, and then He tells us that each day has enough trouble of its own.  He also tells us to seek His kingdom and His righteousness and that when we do that He will give us the things we need.

If we are filling our time worrying, we are wasting valuable energy.  If we are filling our time seeking Him and His kingdom and His righteousness we are using valuable energy on what really matters.

The truth is, only God knows the future.  We know that.  We don’t know what’s coming.  We have the moment we are living right now…and that’s it.  We handle everything that comes at us one moment at a time.  As we give those moments to God, He can make the most of them.  He puts His energy into us as we turn our energy and attention to Him.  His valuable energy plus my valuable energy makes a priceless commodity.

“Dear God, Help me remember that I only have this moment to live for You.  Let me live it with Your kingdom in mind.  Help me to make each moment count for you.  Live in and through me, I pray.”

photo courtesy of Microsoft Clip Art

Greatness

GreatnessWe tell our kids, “God has great plans for your life”, “God has something wonderful for you to do”, and that kind of inspirational “thing”.  Then kids grow up wondering where the great thing is.  When are they going to learn what this big, wonderful thing is that God has for them.  Kids can become adults who get discouraged by the fact that they live a “normal”, everyday, average life…because they get so focused on waiting for the greatness.

But, what if the greatness is in how we live our “normal” everyday-ness of life?

God’s word says that there are 2 things that are important: loving HIm with all we are and loving those around us (Matthew 22:37-39, Mark 12:29-31).  His Word says that we are to live lives worthy of bearing His name (Philippians 1:27, Colossians 1:10-12,  II Thessalonians 1:11-12).

Most of us will not be called to the grandiose similar to people like Billy Graham or Charles Spurgeon or Kay Arthur or Beth Moore.  Most of us will be called to live as salt and light in a darkened world.  The people I  know who have had the greatest impact on my life and on the lives of others around them are the people who have walked the walk of faith through a difficult time. The people I’ve seen who are great in their faith (because of God as they would tell you) are those who have continued to walk with God even when they didn’t have the answers, who have continued to apply God’s word to their lives even when the world thought THEIR world was falling apart, who have been steadfast to trust God and live out that trust even when circumstances seemed impossible.  They held on to the One Who made all things possible.  These people are the ones who have walked the regular life in an irregular way-irregular to the world-a life lived for God fully and completely.

I think that’s what true greatness is.  Living daily in the presence of God, believing what He promises, and holding on to the Rock when the storms are raging.  Sure, the world’s idea of greatness is different, but, as a friend reminded me recently, we are not of this world.   We belong to a different Kingdom, our citizenship is not of this earthy, praise God.

“Father, today, let me walk in Your greatness.  Let me shine for You and You alone.  Let me live this simple life as You desired, loving You first and then others.  If there is to be any greatness in me-let it be You.”

 

 

 

photo courtesy of Microsoft Office Online

The Hardened Heart

It was the most amazing thing.  these men had walked with Jesus and witnessed His miracles, His power, HIs ways, His teachings.  There probably was not much of Jesus that the disciples had not experienced.  In Mark 6 they had just been watching as Jesus broke the bread and fish and fed over 5,ooo people.  Then He sent them off across the lake in a boat while He went off by Himself to pray.

Scripture says that during the night He went to them walking on the water.  He was about to pass them by and they saw Him and were terrified because they thought He was a ghost.  Have you ever been that afraid that it was beyond fear, you were terrified?  Something strange happens in a person when they are that afraid.  Reason leaves them.  The thing that  they fear becomes greater as time goes on and fear can take over.  When this happens to the disciples,  it is somewhere between 3 and 6 a.m. so it is probably still dark and all of the sudden something…or someone is walking towards them on the water!  Fear took over.

Jesus identifies HImself and tells them not to be afraid and He gets into the boat.  The most “natural” thing happens…at least it’s natural in nature, the wind settles down for Jesus’ presence has settled it.  Jesus didn’t need to settle the storm for Himself.  He was in control of it and could have kept walking through it.  He settled it for them. He knew that the fear was taking over in them.  Mark 6:51 says that the disciples were completely amazed.  Maybe they are amazed because this vision of which they had been afraid was the One who had sent them across the lake and He didn’t need a boat to get to them.  Maybe they were amazed because the winds obeyed HIm.  Maybe they were amazed because once again, He showed who the power in who He really was.

But, what really caught my eye was what is in verse 51-52.  “They were completely amazed because they had not understood about the loaves; their hearts were hardened.”  The feeding of the 5,000 men, not to mention women and children, had just happened and yet they so quickly forgot.  They had seen His power.  They experienced what it was like to pick up 12 baskets full of leftovers…enough for each of them.  They saw Him take care of these people who had come to hear Him teach.  But they still didn’t get it.  When within the next few hours, they were put into a challenging, difficult, trying, and maybe dangerous situation…at least they thought it was dangerous…they forgot…they still didn’t get it.

When it says that their hearts were hardened, it wasn’t like they were opposing Jesus or anything He did or was doing but their hearts were not in line with His yet.  They were too dull and desensitized to life that they didn’t immediately resort to “Oh, remember, this is Jesus…He can deal with this…we have nothing to worry about.”  They were so used to facing situations themselves in their own power and trying to “fix” things themselves that they were relying on themself in this storm as well.

I wonder how many times my heart is hardened or dull or desensitized so much so that I don’t turn to God first…I try to “fix” it myself…which just makes more work for God as He has to undo what I did and do what He would have done if I had I let HIm do what He does His way to begin with…take care of the storm. 

“Dear Father, Today, may You be my first and only resort!  May You be my first answer, my only answer.  Please do not let my heart be so accustom and desensitized to my own way that I miss the blessing of doing it in Your way.  Take care of the fear I may feel as I learn to do this and let me trust You in the midst of the storm.”

Move Over

This morning I was reading from “Jesus Today” by Sarah Young.  The reading was about going through a dark time and trusting in God’s Sovereignty.  One line read, “So it is crucial at such times to remember that I am your constant Companion.  Moreover, because I am Sovereign God, I am able to turn your darkness into Light.”

But I misread it and read, “Move over, because I am Sovereign God, I am able to turn your darkness into Light.”   I think I like that better because “maybe” too often I get in the way of Him and slow down the process He’s working in me. 

Philippians 1:6 says “being confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.”  I wonder how many times I slow down that work being completed because I get in His way like when I attempt to retain control or exercise control that is not mine or when I try to find my own answers rather than search for His.  Just wonderin’…Maybe, just maybe, I need to learn this before He has to move me over or out of the way…just maybe…

Today, Father,, please help me not to get in Your way of accomplishing what You want to accomplish in and through me.  Help me to move over and let Your Sovereignty bring LIght into my life.”