Sunday, January 20, 2013

Disappointment And Questions

With some disappointment this past week also came the questions myself and from some close friends as to whether or not I am pursuing the right path. The tendency after a long period of waiting is to question. I think we all do it. But God, He never questions His plans and His purposes. During these times of uncertainty it is most absolutely incumbent on us to continually seek His face and place out trust in Him either to continue as we have or to hear from Him and make a change.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young we read:

Approach this day with awareness of who is boss. As you make plans for the day, remember that it is I who orchestrate the events of your life. On days when things go smoothly, according to your plans, you may be unaware of My sovereign Presence. On days when your plans are thwarted, be on the lookout for Me! I may be doing something important in your life, something quite different  from what you expected. It is essential at such times to stay in communication with Me, accepting My way as better than yours. Don’t try to figure out what is happening. Simply trust Me and thank Me in advance for the good that will come out of it all. I know the plans I have for yo, and they are good.

“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth: It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.” Isaiah 55:9-11

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11

Saturday, January 19, 2013


Last night I watched a part of one of those storm chaser programs; you know the ones where crazy guys drive around trying to take video of tornados touching ground. In the episode they kept looking at this massively powerful storm formation with a huge bowl that just would not touch down in the form of a funnel. It would come partway or maybe even in several funnels, but it just wouldn’t touch down. As they studied it they also speculated that the reason for it not touching down was high pressure coming up from the ground as the hot air was held in. In this case it would be a good thing for people whose lives and property were in danger. In a spiritual sense, though, maybe the reason God does not unleash Himself in our hearts and lives is due to our own resistance.

Today in “Jesus Calling” by Sarah Young I read:

Seek My Face, and you will find more than you ever dreamed possible. Let Me displace worry at the center of your being. I am like a supersaturated cloud, showering Peace into the pool of your mind. My Nature is to bless. Your nature is to receive with thanksgiving. This is a true fit, designed before the foundation of the world. Glorify Me by receiving My blessing gratefully.

I am the goal of all your searching. When you seek Me, you find Me and are satisfied. When lesser goals capture your attention, I fade into the background of your life. I am still there, watching and waiting; but you function as if you were alone. Actually, My Light shines on every situation you will ever face. Live radiantly by expanding your focus to include Me in all your moments. Let nothing dampen your search for Me.

When You said “Seek my face,” my heart said to You, “Your face, Lord, I will seek.” Psalm 27:8

Before you know it, a sense of God’s wholeness, everything coming together for goo, will come and settle you down. It’s wonderful what happens when Christ displaces worry at the center of your life. Philippians 4:7 (MSG)
You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Make Your Convictions Those Of God

Our most recent election was charged on a number of issues. For some things have calmed down, but for others they haven’t as things that they hold close are challenged in various ways by our government and our courts. The issue of gun rights, which is protected in our second amendment, is foremost now because of some recent and very grievous tragedies. But is it really about the tragedy, or competing convictions? There is much discussion today about protecting to Constitution of the United States, and it is a very, very important discussion. For in our Constitution we find the fabric of how we should live as a people under God. But as God is pushed out of our Constitutional picture, we find that other things are pushed out as well.

Should we really be surprised at this? Consider what people have done with another document, one which was breathed by our infinitely wise and sovereign God. Jerry Bridges deals with this in chapter 10 of The Discipline of Grace.

The Discipline of Grace by Jerry Bridges
Chapter 10, The Discipline of Convictions

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. Romans 12:2

In the early 1990s the authors of a book on contemporary American society wrote, “In the 1950s and even in the early 1960s, there was something much close to a moral consensus in America…. There is absolutely no moral consensus at all in the 1990s. Everyone is making up their own personal moral code—their own Ten Commandments.”

It should not surprise us that society in general has moved in the direction of ancient Israel when “every man did what was right in his own eyes” (Judges 21:25, KJV). Western civilization has deliberately turned away from the Bible as its moral authority. Now we are suffering the consequences.

What should disturb us, however, is that evangelicals are moving in the same direction. “Four out of 10 people who call themselves evangelicals don’t believe there is such a thing as absolute truth, according 10 a Barna Research Group poll.” If this means that these 40 percent decide for themselves what is right and wrong instead of going to the Bible, then it is no wonder there is often little difference between the ethical views and behavior of professing Christians and those who have nothing to do with Christianity. Morality becomes merely a matter of one’s personal opinion. In fact, I am aware of situations where Christians were confronted about sin in their lives and responded, “That’s just your opinion.”

Let’s move closer to home, however. What about the remaining 650 percent of evangelicals who apparently do believe there is such a thing as absolute truth? Does such a belief affect our behavior or change our character? To what degree does a belief that the Bible set forth absolute truth determine that way we live? …

If we are going to make progress in the pursuit of holiness, we must aim to live according to the precepts of Scripture—not according to the culture…. To pursue holiness, one of the disciplines we must become skilled in is the development of Bible-based convictions. A conviction is a determinative belief: something you believe so strongly that it affects the way you live. … Someone has observed that a belief is what you hold, but a conviction is what holds you. So the discipline we are talking about is the development of convictions, not mere beliefs. Convictions, of course, can be good or bad, so we want to make sure our convictions are Bible-based, that they are derived from our personal interaction with the Scriptures.