Never too Far

First off, thank you to those who expressed to me how they miss it when I don’t write.  It can be easy to listen to the lies that say my writing doesn’t matter, I don’t matter.  I have appreciated the encouragement.

I was praying the other day and realized that I had once again turned to complaining.  This is all too common.  Strangely common also was that this was during a worship service.

I know!  I shouldn’t be complaining during worship.  It just seems that so often when I am declaring His greatness it step right into wondering why my problems feel so difficult and why can’t He do something about them.

And really, maybe it is a bad thing, complaining in worship but in one sense, I’m “ok” with it.  For me, the whole idea of falling on my knees, raising my hands is a coupling of two ideas.  One is God’s greatness.  The other is my complete dependence on Him as His broken, flawed, desperate child.

Anyway, in the midst of worship, in the midst of complaining, a theme arose around Psalm 23.  Different parts of it came out but I got stuck on “your rod and your staff, they comfort me” (verse 4).

I haven’t read a commentary on this so maybe I’m seeing it wrong, but I think a rod is for whacking and a staff is for yanking.  I mean, the rod is what was used to smack the sheep if they weren’t moving along or going in the right direction.  The staff is like the shepherd’s crook that has a hook on one end, which I think is used to pull a sheep back.

I’m not finding a lot of “comfort” in these ideas.  I said something to that effect to my King and He said, “find comfort in knowing I will never let you go too far.”

So, in the immaturity I show, the messed up marriage that I am half of, the ineptitude of my parenting (and now grandparenting), in my complaining and anger and fear and distrust of my Lord, He will prod, He will yank, He will guide me always back to Him.

I would run.  Life seems so hard sometimes.  But, He promised He would complete me.  And, as much as I am “me” (more so), He is God.  I’m not so bad He can’t handle me.

 

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From Salvation to Slavery

The story of Joseph in the book of Genesis is one of my favorites. How he was spoiled and hated, sold as a slave, honored, betrayed and then honored again. When he finally reveals himself to the brothers who hate and abused him he says an interesting thing.

“Come closer to me,” Joseph said to his brothers. They came closer. “I am Joseph your brother whom you sold into Egypt. But don’t feel badly, don’t blame yourselves for selling me. God was behind it. God sent me here ahead of you to save lives. There has been a famine in the land now for two years; the famine will continue for five more years—neither plowing nor harvesting. God sent me on ahead to pave the way and make sure there was a remnant in the land, to save your lives in an amazing act of deliverance. So you see, it wasn’t you who sent me here but God. He set me in place as a father to Pharaoh, put me in charge of his personal affairs, and made me ruler of all Egypt. (‭Genesis‬ ‭45‬:‭4-8‬ MSG)

God meant for their time in Egypt to be a salvation for many. So why is it that it turns into slavery for them? What happened over the years that made them, allowed the people of Israel to accept the position of slavery.

Exodus tells us, “A new king came to power in Egypt who didn’t know Joseph. Exodus‬ ‭1‬:‭8 MSG)”. So why didn’t the people leave? I guarantee this didn’t happen overnight. I am guessing that there were political, economic tremors that had been felt and discussed for years. And I’m betting that the Israelites knew about it, saw it in the way they were treated, felt it in the stares of their neighbors.

So why didn’t someone remind them that this was never intended to be a permanent solution, this place was never supposed to be their home?

How about you and me? Are there things in your life, habits you’ve developed, places you go, a job that you took that at first helped you, at first provided comfort and help, but now you are a slave to it? Now you feel you can’t get free.

The people in Egypt had to be set free in amazing, miraculous ways. They went through 400 years of misery before they were free. You don’t have to wait for a Moses. You don’t have to wait for miracles, and you don’t want to.

You have a choice.

You Call Me Lord

You call me Lord and you say that you love me                             But I can see your disguise                                                                You want the victory that I can give to you                                                                                   But you don’t yet realize                                                                                                           That I must be conqueror, ruler and King of you                                                                       Savior in the midst of your strife                                                                                           Comforter, counselor, Prince of Peace                                                                               Creator and giver of life

How many know that if God wakes you up to these words, you would do well to pay attention?  Now, I had written the lyrics for this song some thirty-three years ago and have sung them from time to time.  But, for the most part, despite the catchy tune, the words are a little to convicting and I haven’t played it in a very long time.

But God reminded me of it.

I would like to think that He wanted me to tell you the words, to convict you, to let you know who He is.  It would be nice to think that I’ve grown to where I preach at someone else.

Not today pal.

So again I ask myself, what do you want to be?  What should I look like when I’m all grown up? What type of man do I want to be known as?  Do I want God bad enough to want EVERYTHING He offers?

I want my legacy to be a life lived for Jesus.  I want to live as a warrior for my King.  I want those around me to know me as a servant, someone who loves deeply and puts his life on the line.

And, I want to know my God.  I want to believe in Him in a way that goes beyond my words.  I want His life, His plan, His love.

Guided By…

Sharon Brooks (http://www.arevivaloftheheart.com/) shared this with me.  A beautiful, powerful word picture that I just had to share with you.

Looking at you I notice what you cannot, behind glasses too dark to see through. In the land of habit, where questioning not during your day in a comfy chair kinda way, slothfulness, body worshiping, blind leading the blind, afraid of the light, hide. To a discerning eye, greatness is visible underneath the costume you wear like skin; most precious it is.
A lighthouse can be a comforting sight when I realize I’m lost. Sensing it wants nothing more than to help me help myself, I welcome its guidance to navigate this boat, brighten the night skies, lead me to where a prosperous, peaceful day lies.
Forward I go into uncharted land, even bigger than I’d dreamt it’d be. One foot in front of the other, one step at a time I face, what I once could not. Then lo, to the delight of my heart I see… it was fear yes fear guiding me.

 

Please check out my book “Daybreak” at this link:

https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/384362