Thursday, December 18, 2014

The Paralyzing Effect of Worry

Years ago we took a young preacher into our home for a brief time to help him out. Quite often he’d sing the little chorus, “Why worry when you can pray.” But then, with a quaint smile, he’d change the words to, “Why pray when you can worry.” Using Ezra’s words, “I am ashamed and blush” to admit I have practiced the latter of these two renditions, more than the first.

When we worry, we become the victim, and paralyzed with fear. The root word for worry is to choke or strangle. Jesus said when we are full of care that we “choke the Word” within us; and it “becomes unfruitful.” Worry can neither prevent nor solve our problems. It’s futile, it drains us of our entire Spiritual and emotional energy. Most worry is beyond our control, and it’s very frustrating trying to control the uncontrollable.

Worry is a sin! It is diametrically opposite of trusting God. It is magnifying the problem in your life over the person of Jesus Christ. It’s misplaced focus, instead of looking to Jesus, we look at the waves. It is focusing on what you don’t want to happen, but believe will. Whenever we worry, the attention is centered on us, in spite of God continually exhorting us, “Look unto me." Someone said ego means, “Edging God out.” And this is exactly what worry will do every time.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Don't Mistake the Two

"Him therefore I hope to send presently, so soon as I shall see how it will go with meBut I trust in the Lord that I also myself shall come shortly." There is a special trust in God that has to do with specific things, times, situations, etc. Then there is an general overall trust, which involves our day to day living. Some people confuse the two, and as a result create a crisis out of every event that arises.

Does this sound inconsistent? "I trust in the Lord, but I'll have to wait and see how things will go with me." It isn't if you are referring to the latter type of faith I mentioned above. Yes, if the former. In this second type of faith there is no "claiming" a promise, but calmly awaiting an outcome. He did not know whether Nero would condemn or acquit him. He did not possess a particular faith for deliverance, but one of submission.

Sometimes we have to trust the Lord and just wait and see; this is not unscriptural or unspiritual! 

Saturday, December 13, 2014

All In Good Time

"To every thing there is a...time to every purpose under the heaven." I remember my dear Granny saying,  "All in good time." This is what the wise man is teaching in Ecclesiastes chapter three. He tells us, from birth to death and all in between, there is a time element involved in the things of life. As I have often mentioned, one of the most important, if not the most important, words in the Christian faith is, "wait." God's promise to all who do so is, "None that wait on thee [shall] be ashamed." 

No one ever had reason to blush who waited on their God. He always comes through, though admittedly, most of the time, it's at the nail-biting last minute. There were no red faces on the likes of Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Zacharias, as well as scores of others who waited long for God to fulfill His promise to them. And I can assure any and all who may be reading this article, who have been patiently waiting for their Lord to keep His Word to them, He will never cause you any embarrassment!

"[At] an appointed time...though it tarry, wait for it; because it will surely come, it will not tarry."

Thursday, December 11, 2014

Don't Give It a Second Thought

I’m speaking to Spirit-filled believers, and, I promise, I will not be offended if you disagree (Psl.119:165). I am going to by-pass Mr. Webster and give you my personal and practical definition of two words. They are: impulse and instinct. As to the first, I believe all will agree that it means “to act without thought,” but I’m not sure the second definition will get a unanimous approval. Nevertheless, here goes: Instinct: to act upon your first thought. The first has to do with no thought, the latter, with your first thought.

This is something that has always worked for me through the years. In fact, when I have gone contrary to it, I found myself in some real messes. I've passed this principle on to my wife and children, and I believe their testimony would be that of my own. I remind you again, we are not speaking of fleshy impulse, but rather Spirit-filled instinct.

In almost every situation, if I go by my first thought (impression), I come out O.K. My second thought generally leans toward my human ingenuity and understanding. It always has to make sense. There is never any mystery connected to a second thought (Isa.55:8-9). The first thought, I find, is Heavenly; the second is always earthly.

There is no second guessing with the Holy Spirit; He’s always right the first time.

Monday, December 8, 2014

How We See Ourselves

“…we saw giants…and we were in our own sight as grasshoppers, and so we were in their sight.” It is not so important how others see us as it is how we see ourselves. Because of the image they had created in their minds of themselves, they mistakenly thought others saw them the same way. Interestingly, the giants had never even seen them at all

There is a two-fold danger in every Christian’s life. The first is thinking more highly of yourself than you ought. The second is to think less of yourself than you should. The former makes one overconfident. The latter leaves us underachievers.

Some years ago, a young man who meant a lot to me committed suicide by literally drinking himself to death. He left a note. On it was written these words: “I ain’t never been nothin’ and I ain’t ever gonna be nothin.’” That’s what he thought; it’s not what God thought!

Nothings become “somethings” in the hands of God

Sunday, December 7, 2014

Christian Idealists

Webster defines an idealist as, “an impractical person; a person who represents things as they might or should be, rather than as they are.” For example, the young girl who believes her marriage will be free from all trouble, or the teen-age boy entering service believing he will return from war as a hero without a scratch. Such immature imaginations are idealistic, that is, “It just ain’t so.”

Christians can be idealistic about spiritual things. Many have manufactured a life void of all problems. They believe they simply turn everything over to God, thus taking them out of the equation. This sounds good, but it is not reality. We are never removed from the picture. It is always us and God within the frame together (Philip.4:13). It is not I without God; nor is it God without I. It’s God and I together.

The carnal idealist rejects everything not within his plan; a Spiritual realist accepts all things as God’s plan.

Saturday, December 6, 2014

Undoing God's Done

How many of us there are who attempt to undo what God's done. True, what God joins together no man can put asunder; but just as true is the fact, what God puts asunder no man can put together. It is futile and frustrating, to say the least, to try. As the children's story says, "All the king's horses and all the king's men couldn't put Humpty Dumpty together again." And neither can we!

Tradition tells us, when the Lord rent the veil of Temple in twain from top to bottom, thus making the way open to approach a holy God, the priests sewed it back up. For them to have endeavored to undo what God had done was to keep the greatest of blessings from them. We will never come to truly know God by undoing the things He has done in our lives. No matter how large the rend!

It is well to remember, whenever God seems to be "ripping" things apart before our very eyes, He is actually making a new and living way for us to approach Him that we had not experienced previously. 

God does not strip us so that we can graft back in the dead and rotting He took from us.