Wednesday, June 8, 2011
Have you ever been in a spiritual desert? You are doing all the things that you are supposed to as a Christian but you really aren't feeling it. If you are not careful you will start to serve God either out of ritual routine or a performance mentality. I believe sometimes that God allows us to enter into the dry land so that we will realize that our walk with the Lord is not about feelings but a faith walk. It is a daily walk and sometimes minute by minute as you hang on by the tiny thread of a rope. To be in a spiritual desert causes us to realize that we were created for God. Nothing in this life will satisfy our hunger and thirst like Christ will. When you finally come out of the spiritual desert and sense His presence it is like drinking a tall glass of ice water. What I want you to take notice is that we don't have to wait to experience His presence to enjoy Him. We know that Jesus says in the Word of God "I will never leave you nor forsake you!" That is a promise spoken by the Son of God Himself. In Numbers 23:19 it says "God is not a man that He should lie nor a human being that He should change His mind. What He says He will do He will and what He promises He keeps." You never have to doubt God's presence in your life if you are His child. He will not abandon His children and leave them Fatherless. A lot of people grew up without a father or has an estranged relationship with one. The Heavenly Father gives us the perfect model of what a loving Father is in a person's life. Maybe you have a difficult time receiving love because you never received unconditional love from a parent. God loves you with no hidden agenda. All He asks is that you trust Him and surrender your life to Jesus. We are all going to experience the desert from time to time but it is what you do in the desert that is important. Keep loving and serving Him in the desert. Never stop loving people and showing them where they can find eternal life. Some of the greatest victories have come from being in the desert. If God calls you into the desert remember that where you are now is not where you will be forever. He is wanting to show you something or most importantly show you more of Him. So, if you find yourself being in a spiritual desert keep pressing forward and don't look back. As God led the Israelites out of the desert He will also lead you out. Many Israelites didn't make it out of the desert because of their lack of faith and grumbling. God gives us a free will to decide in how we are going to respond. So, the question is are you going to keep walking forward or quit? You see it is a normal feeling wanting to quit as long as you don't follow through with it. Don't quit now! You have come too far! Who knows maybe your breakthrough is right around the corner! Keep looking up relying on the Heavenly Father and He will draw nigh to you!
Thursday, June 2, 2011
As a little child I always wanted to walk in my Dad's shadow. He was my hero and still is today. I knew if I could stand in his shadow that I would be protected and feel his strength. When I surrendered my life to the Lord I found myself standing in the midst of another shadow, which was the Cross. I think about what if there had not been a Cross or what if Jesus changed His mind at the end? But, Jesus Christ didn't give up on us! He was faithful to complete His purpose and that was the Cross. When we come to the Cross it brings everything into perspective as Christ gives us life and His peace. Christ was at the center of God's will as He went to the Cross and died a gruesome death in our place. The Bible clearly shows us that God's plan included the Cross. Jesus came to fulfill the Old Testament prophecy found in Isaiah 53:4-5 "Surely our griefs He Himself bore, and our sorrows He carried; Yet we ourselves esteemed Him stricken, smitten of God and afflicted. But He was pierced through fore our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell upon Him." What stood out in this passage of Scripture is that our sins and the penalty fell upon Him. What falls upon us? The shadow of the Cross where there is forgiveness and mercy. The mistake that many Christians make is that they visit the Cross once to receive salvation but they never return just to gaze upon the wonderful Cross. The Cross is where our sins and forgiveness met and Christ's blood triumphed. Ozwald Chambers once said "All heaven is interested in the Cross of Christ, all Hell terribly afraid of it, while men are the only beings who more or less ignore its meaning." We must never forget that we are forever under the shadow of the Cross. What took place there on Calvary's Hill will forever be imprinted on the inside of Jesus' hands and feet. The blood that was shed on the Cross purifies our blatant sins against a Holy God. There is power in the Cross because of who hung there over 2, 000 years ago and three days later conquered death and the grave. Today, if you are searching for the significance of life come under the shadow of the Cross. If you are struggling in your marriage or relationships come under the shadow of the Cross. If you are battling addictions or hopelessness come under the shadow of the Cross and meet the Risen Lord who loves and cares for you! The shadow of the Cross is where I choose to reside. What shadow has fallen upon you?