Thursday, October 13, 2011


Stopping at the right place is important. If my son and daughter-in-law hadn’t stopped when they name my grandson Jude he would have been called Revelation. That would have been an unusual name to live with.

When something is lost and then found, we often say it was in the last place we looked. Why would we continue looking once we found it? Stopping our search at that point was appropriate.

Typically, we continue looking when we think there might be something better. You find a shirt you like and carry it around with you while you keep looking for something else. You surf through the channels while watching one show to see if there is something else on of greater interest. You have one child then keep having more to see if you can do better. (Well, maybe not on that one.)

But we’re always looking to see what else might be coming along. People that win the lottery usually keep playing to see if they can win more. They can’t just stop the search and be content.

The issue is thinking what we need is still yet to come.

Paul said we need to learn contentment. Believing that at any and every moment we have what we need. It’s a declaration of sufficiency. I may not have all I want but I have all it takes.

When he wrote “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,” he was establishing the base line of what makes life work for him. Whatever I am called on to do, whether that be financially, physically, emotionally, intellectually or spiritually, I can do it because the strength necessary is already provided.

I never have to feel impoverished. I always have enough.

That being the case, looking beyond the Lord for our strength means we have continued looking after we had found the answer. Quit looking. You’ve arrived.

Tuesday, October 11, 2011

Moving Belief into Trust

The emphasis of faith changes once we are saved. Initially we need faith to believe—to buy into what we understand to be true. To willingly call upon the name of the Lord and enter into relationship with God through Him I must believe that He is and that He is the rewarder of those who seek Him.

Once that is realized, our faith shifts into trust. We’ve already declared our belief in God and all He said in His Word, now we must rely upon Him for the outcome of our lives.

For many the road stops at the beginning. They declare with fiery fury how much they believe but the content of their character, the display of their difference, the ergonomics of their exercise indicates they are far removed from living in a dependency-based relationship with their Savior.

Paul uses a unique tense in describing salvation. It is past, present and future all at the same time. I was. I am. I will be. It looks back. It looks within. It looks forward. Each has the same intensity of the other. What I have been, I am. What I am, I will be. What I will be, I always was.

The power of getting saved is the power of being saved. The statement of belief in the beginning carried the promise of entrusting my life to Him. I may not have known how to do that or all it would mean, but it was there. Why would I want into something and prefer not to live according to the practice of what I am committing to?

Trusting God is our vital connection to all He has provided for the godly life He has called us to. It is our honest understanding of His commitment to us and our response to Him.

Without trust, I am nothing more than a believing atheist. I accept He is there but I live as though He isn’t.

I declare my trust in Him today. I will walk relying upon Him. I will run and not become weary that I am running alone. I will sing because I feel His accompaniment. I will dance because I know the joy of His presence.

Monday, October 10, 2011

What an incredible God!

Copied from

A group of American Christians in the nineteenth century planned to visit London for a week. Their friends, excited for the opportunity, encouraged them to go hear two of London’s famous preachers and bring back a report. On Sunday morning after their arrival, the Americans attended Joseph Parker’s church. They discovered that his reputation for eloquent oratory was well deserved. One exclaimed after the service, “I do declare, it must be said, for there is no doubt, that Joseph Parker is the greatest preacher that ever there was!”

The group wanted to return in the evening to hear Parker again, but they remembered that their friends would ask them about another preacher named Charles Spurgeon. So on Sunday evening, they attended the Metropolitan Tabernacle, where Spurgeon was preaching. The group was not prepared for what they heard, and as they departed, one of them again spoke up, “I do declare, it must be said, for there is no doubt, that Jesus Christ is the greatest Savior that ever there was!”

Here is the goal of our preaching and singing together on Sunday mornings: That we proclaim Jesus Christ, our glorious Savior and all he has done for us, and urge everyone to respond to him appropriately. When people leave our churches, may they not say, “What moving worship, what a great worship band, what an incredible preacher, or what a cool building,” but may they say, “What an incredible God!”  

Friday, October 7, 2011

Fill Me, Lord, Again

The lake keeps going down. Every day the shore line gets further away from the bank. A dried-up lake is depressing. It’s unnatural. Or is it?

The goal of a drought is to dry things up. What’s natural is that the places where water used to be will lose what they have unless more water is added. Evaporation is a continuous action of water being drawn back into the atmosphere. Typically that water is replenished by rain runoff but without rain, since evaporation doesn’t stop, what little you had will soon be taken away. The lake will go down.

Peter found a corollary in people who live in a drought. They are like waterless streams. We call waterless streams ditches. Out west they call them washes. Dry as a bone unless it rains. Because they aren’t taking in, they’re going to run out.

These drought-laden people live with no understanding of what it means to be filled and overflowing. They look at God as they might at clouds and only long for Him to make things better, to help block out the misery of the scorching sun. Far from their hopes are the cleansing and replenishing rains that can actually bless their lives.

What they need is God’s reign in their lives—the filling influence of His Spirit within them to overflow and outflow with power for life. It is the natural expectation for believers. We’re supposed to be full. Paul’s words were: be in a constant state of being continuously filled with the Spirit of God.  How? Draw near to God and He will draw near to you. Get closer to the “spicket” and keep asking Him to turn the handle. To know where the water comes out and avoid getting near it is ridiculous.

I look at the lake and wish for what was.  But by faith I anticipate what will be. This drought won’t last forever. The rains will come. The lake will fill. Refreshing times will come again.

I look at my life and dream of what is possible. I settle myself underneath the source of God’s filling and ask Him to let it flow. Reign on me, Lord. Fill my life with the joy of who You are and all you want to do. Fill me till I want no more…at least until next time.

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

The Act of Balancing Our Lives

It is much easier to trust God when everything is going well than it is when the bottom is falling out. Confidence rides high when it’s not forced to prove itself. Words assuring ourselves and others we are living by faith and prepared for whatever may come are but fluffy meringue when the test comes. They are but “clouds without rain.” Puffs of promise with no ability to quench a thirsty moment.

In reality, trust is designed to operate as designed. That design is that whenever we lose peace, trust compensates to bring us back into balance.

Like a rock precariously sitting on a pencil point precipice, it remains there because it’s balanced. To remain balanced, whenever something overloads one side, something must be added to the opposite side. Too much on one side without compensating means the rock will fall down.

There is a balance in our lives called peace. It is an intended tension between forces trying to take us down and those providing our support. Like the dynamic between gravity and lift that lets a plane fly. One force pulling down the other pushing up. During the moment of flight they balance one another then the greater force wins out—lift. When lift does it’s work, gravity must give way to it.

Trust is like walking spiritually. It is a balancing act plus movement. I cannot walk leaning away from where I’m going, nor go straight while tilting to the side. Following Jesus requires us to walk as He did. That walking carried Him upright, purposeful and in absolute peace that the Father would be faithful to Him and through Him.

If I am without peace, I am not trusting. If I am trusting, I have peace. If my life is out of balance, I have gone with the weight that is pressing me down not the One seeking to lift me up.

I choose to walk strong and upright today!