When Home Is Hostile

August 30, 2016


Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.  Psalm 37:3

Many have prayed for the will of God, followed His voice, and experienced complete disillusionment when they found themselves in hostile surroundings.  They blame God for being unloving or they blame themselves for being poor listeners.  Hostility within the will of God is common and should not surprise God’s children.  (Though I am not speaking of physical hostility where safety at home is threatened.)

Abram, the father of our faith, entered the land of the Canaanites, hostile company epitomized, and settled there.  Though he was the only Yahweh worshipper, He built an altar for everyone to see.  With far less revelation of God than I have, he was strong enough in his faith to stand out and be different from everyone else.

Some years back, our family lived in a hostile environment.  We begged, daily, for release.  We were willing to move anywhere and do anything to escape our surroundings.  Surely, we reasoned, God wouldn’t want for us to endure such a place.  Weren’t we promised blessing?  (We didn’t have a firm theology about the meaning of spiritual prosperity.)  Yet, every request for a move away was met by the silence of God.

One morning in prayer, the Spirit of God spoke to me through today’s verse in Psalms.  “Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.”  Psalm 37:3    We had to learn how to make our little home a place where the glory of God rested.  It was necessary for us to understand how to eat the sumptuous spiritual meal God provided daily while in the midst of our enemies.  We stayed three more years before God moved us out and that time proved to be one of the most formational times, spiritually, in our family’s history.

Small-Kitchen-Table-and-small-kitchen-ideas-by-way-of-redecorating-your-Kitchen-in-the-company-of-astounding-design-idea-22

Many live in the midst of hostility.  You might be one of the ‘many’.  Unfortunately, the place of hostility can be with a husband, wife, child, or aging parent.  It can even be in a place of ministry where flesh rules and Spirit-led leadership is lacking.  Scorn and ridicule are the backdrops of your daily life.  Instinct says to escape and to do anything to run from such discomfort.  But God’s way is for His child to learn how to make Him their home.  The glory of Christ can descend on the darkest environment when one lone person is faithful to allow the candle of the Lord to shine through them.  It takes grace and grit – but both both are promised via the wind of God’s Spirit.

Give your children spiritual grit today and the courage to stay in a tormenting place.  Grant them peace in submission.  In Jesus’ name, Amen

When Changes Come In Waves

August 29, 2016


Deep calls to deep at the roar of your waterfalls; all your breakers and your waves have gone over me.  Psalm 42:7

Have you ever been knocked over by a huge wave?  I have.  As a child of 5 years old, I almost drowned when I was knocked under, then tumbled round and round for what seemed like an eternity.  I couldn’t get my footing for the next wave that came so down I went again.  My parents plucked me out of the water.  To this day, I’m not real fond of the ocean deep.

Too many changes in one’s life, all at once, put a person in a fragile place emotionally. It seems too much to process as each change knocks me off my feet like a towering wave.  I have no perspective as I struggle to discern direction.  When I initiate the changes, it’s easier but most change is what happens to me and I have no control over it.

How do you handle change? Do you have a strategy? It’s easy to conceive man-made ones. 1.) Cope with today and don’t borrow tomorrow’s trouble. 2.) Lean on family and friends.   This is usually the best that we can initiate without God. If things are really hard, these won’t sustain. Inner stability will deteriorate.

There is a certain kind of personality that thrives on change but I contend that it’s change they control. No one likes an unexpected knock on the door that brings tragic news. I’ve had my share of seasons where everyday brought some kind of bad news. Difficult times never seem to last a year. Instead, five years, twelve years, even twenty-two years. I’m very familiar with how that looks since severe depression runs in my extended family. I’ve seen some break with reality. Feeling that I could also follow my genetic leanings, I knew that I must draw close to Jesus and follow His lead in developing spiritual strategies.

What did Jesus do when he felt the pressures of his life? Got alone with His Father to pray. He reviewed the scriptures and God’s history. This is the prescription for any of us today who know that the only stability available to us is the foundation of our faith in God.

  • God knows all things future. He’s not wringing His hands over this change in my life. Acts 8:26
  • God already knows the outcome and, if I’m willing, will lead me safely to the other side. Numbers 23:19
  • God is unchanging. Though my life shifts, He is always the same. I cling to Him and not temporal things. James 1:17
  • God is still a righteous Judge even when it appears evil is winning. Psalms 7:11-13
  • God is faithful and true.   Deut. 32:4

When I’ve lost my footing and can’t see my way forward, when too many changes are happening all at once, I bind myself to You since You are my future.  You pluck me out of the deep and set my feet on solid ground.  In Jesus name, Amen

Save

Save

As for me, I shall behold your face in righteousness; when I awake, I shall be satisfied with your likeness.  Psalm 17:15  People have many faces. Meeting a stranger, I can often tell a lot about them from an initial glance. Their face can be inviting, stoic, hard, relaxed, gentle, depending on their state of …

Continue reading

When I Hear God’s Voice

August 24, 2016


The Mighty One, God the Lord, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to its setting.  Out of Zion, the perfection of beauty, God shines forth.  Psalm 50:1-2

Christ’s death on the cross was for everyone.  The call is universal and it is sounded out to all men and women.  Jesus showed us the way to heaven, revealed that He is the door, and announced that He was the light of the world.  But men have always loved darkness rather than light.  Instead of the light being attractive, we are repelled by it.  Christ is just not desirable to us.  His light is too bright and we shield our eyes from it and turn away.

So, who will believe if all people love darkness?  The ones God specifically calls; the ones whose eyes are opened to see His glory.  Ah, this call is personal.  This call came to us by name.

Whenever God speaks a word, it is effective.

  • God spoke a Word and this dead planet began to pulsate with life.  What once looked like Mars began to grow green.
  • God spoke a Word to a dead man, a decaying man, wrapped up like a mummy, and this man came to life.  His body regenerated.  “Lazarus, come forth!” was the call.  God’s Word produced life out of death.
  • God spoke a Word, called my name, and I was awakened out of spiritual death.  The call prompted me to turn and look into the face of Christ.  I understood His message of salvation and believed.  If He hadn’t spoken to me and opened my eyes, I would have continued on my death march.

Nobody knows whom God will call.  Because of that, my heart reaches out to God in prayer for those who haven’t yet heard their name spoken by God.  Now, Christ is still unattractive to them, even repulsive. Once God calls their name, they will never be the same.

The call is powerful like dynamite.  It transformed a brutal murderer into a zealot.  The Damascus road was the place it happened.  Paul was the man.   I know this transformation, too.  Don’t you?  The longer I live near Jesus and soak in His Words, the more I cease to know the old me.  You’ll never know how many times I read old journals and respond out loud, “What was your problem, Christine?” 

The call is to a new life.  Don’t walk!  Run to Calvary if you are hearing your name whispered in your soul.

Oh, still speak.  I love how You speak to me.  I love the results of Your touch on my life.  Amen

SaveSave