Hungry

I pretty much start every post with a feeling of needing to apologize.  My understanding of so many things is very limited.

This one is no exception.

Being an overweight person makes anorexia such a foreign concept but it plays into what I want to discuss.

So…  Sorry.

God has been hitting me with an idea from several sources so I feel the need to share.  I have some thinking that is just messed up.

A person that is healthy doesn’t treat food like a checklist.  The variety and tastiness of a healthy diet is not something forced, something that must be coerced.  It is actually a joy.

But then we look at our spiritual diet.

I was starving so I forced myself to read a verse out of the Bible.  I was overwhelmed so I threw out a ten second prayer.  I feel surrounded by problems, attacked on every side so I went to church and left as soon as the preacher said “amen”.

We have all been in that place where we feel like we can’t even get off the floor.  We can’t lift our hands in worship.  The songs won’t come.  There are no answers to prayer and no one seems to be listening.  The words on the page mean nothing.

The condemnation that religion would heap on us in those moments is a lie straight from the pit of hell.

But to stay there, or to never step into the fullness of a relationship with our Father, is equivalent to anorexia. Patterns of behavior based on false images, unhealthy concepts of who I am, and who I should be.

And we are dying when we should be so alive.

And so, like the anorexic, we have to force ourselves to eat, spend time in the Word and talking to God, until our taste for food returns. We have to spend time with people, many who are struggling just as much or more than we are. We have to look beyond ourselves and the absolutely screwed up view we see. Then reach out a hand – one to our healer, one to someone who needs healed.

We need to be hungry.

We need to be thirsty.

And start eating.

Send Them Away

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.””‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭ESV‬‬

His first disciples seemed eager to send people away.  Before Jesus fed the five thousand, before he placed the child on his lap, the followers of Jesus first sought to send them away.  Let them find their own food.  Let them find acceptance and love from less important people.

Both responses were rebuked.

“You feed them.”

But they couldn’t.  They didn’t have enough.  And they were right.  Not in their hands and not in their hearts, truthfully they did not have enough.

“Don’t hinder them.”

No question of whether the disciples had anything to offer here, and children smell a fake a mile away anyway.

Now I’m not writing to rebuke anyone, but to ask a question.

Are you hungry?  Come to church, come to God’s word, come to His heart.

Are you lost and hurting?  Just come straight to Him.  His people can help you and those who know Him best help the most.  His word, the Bible, is rich in healing and talks so deeply of His love.  But come to Him.

Seek His presence, listen for His voice.

All He is asking, right now, is for you to come.

Poured Out

A familiar story can lose some of its punch over the years, and some things I just never got before.  So it is with the story of Elijah and the prophets of Baal.

Disclaimer:  I am shamelessly plagiarizing much of this from our awesome youth pastor, Andrew Williams.  Thank you God for sending him to us.

Many of us have heard the story.  The people of Israel following idols.  The prophet declares that there will be no rain.  After three years there is a showdown, Elijah the prophet of God versus the 450 prophets of Baal and 400 prophets of Asherah.  Winner takes all, all the people that is.

The challenge, both set up altars with an animal sacrifice on them.  Whichever one goes up in flames wins.  The prophets of Baal and Asherah go first.  For hours, they chant and rave, even coming to the place where they are cutting themselves and going crazy.  Nothing happens.

Then it’s Elijah’s turn.  But he starts by telling them to pour water on the sacrifice, but not just a little bit, dig a trench around the altar and pour so much on that everything is soaked and the trench is filled.  Elijah prays and boom!  Everything is burned up.  And I mean everything.

But hang on.  I’ve heard it told that the water was to make it more difficult for the sacrifice to burn but that doesn’t make sense.  Somehow, the fire would have more trouble with burning things if they’re wet.  That never seemed to fit for me but I couldn’t understand why they poured water on it when they were already in a drought.  Where did they get the water from anyway?

It is one thing to watch God do something miraculous.  I stay on the outside and watch.  It is another thing to be His vehicle of transformation, His conduit of power and grace.  I can’t stay on the sidelines for that.  I have to jump in, and it will cost me.

For the people of Israel it cost them their most precious commodity of the time.

Water.

Where did they get it from?  From the last bits, the last drops that they could survive on.  It took them becoming so desperate for a move of God that they would risk their lives to see Him show up.  And so they poured out.

I’m desperate for God right now.  I need Him to move in my life.  I need Him to act, to show up.

You need it too.

So….

What’s your water?

Pour it out.