Saturday, 31 January 2015

Foggy Vision

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. (John 1:5 ESV)

Anyone who’s ever been caught on a foggy road knows how terrifying it can be to suddenly not be able to see two feet in front of the car. Sure, if someone is ahead of you, you can try to inch up behind them and follow along . . . but here’s the deal . . . they probably can’t see either! Best case scenario is that they fall off the cliff first!

My daughter was on her way home one night on a back country road when her car lights just shut off inexplicably. She stopped and played with the controls, finally getting the high beams to go on and crept her way home. There was nothing else she could do, but she felt terrible for the few drivers that came towards her – she knew that her lights were probably blinding them!

We like to see where we are going . . . it is only human nature.

So many people are lost and are just following their friends or family down a dark path, not really knowing for sure if they know where they’re going.

Others are being blinded by people who are giving off a false light, making them unable to see the Truth and putting them in danger.

The Word is full of verses about lamps and lights. We are called to be a light to the world, a beacon of safety. We best be knowing where we are going and that we are speaking the truth into the lives of those around us. And remember, His light is gentle, not brutally blinding.

Father, we thank You that You are the Light of the world and that You choose to use us as vessels to show others The Way. Help us to shine a sincere light and to stay on the path that will lead them to You. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Photo by Linnaea Mallette

Friday, 16 January 2015

Kicking and Screaming

And when we had all fallen to the ground, I heard a voice saying to me in the Hebrew language, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting me? It is hard for you to kick against the goads.’ (Acts 26:14 ESV)

As a city chick, born and bred, I never truly understood what ‘kicking against the goads’ meant. I recall a Christian band called ‘The Goads’ that sang a song my kids learned, ‘God Made me Thumbody Special’ but that was about the only context I had. I never dug in to find out more.

So when our pastor recently told us about how the goad was a stick with a sharpened iron end that was used to prod on stubborn oxen, I giggled at the sense of humor Christ had.

And people ask me if God laughs!

Saul (later known as Paul) was determined to wipe out Christianity. He was a zealot amongst zealots! He himself was at the stoning of Stephen and our pastor mentioned how it must have been such an amazing testimony to behold. And still, the stubborn Saul kicked against the Truth.

His kicking finally lead to a sentence of three days of blindness in order to see The Way.

Now before we gang up on poor Paul, let’s acknowledge that we ourselves have been known to do some kicking and screaming ourselves. I know I have! In fact, whenever I hear myself say, ‘I never will’ I stop myself now. I’ve read the Word and lived through a few good goad pricks of my own . . .  repercussions of telling God, ‘no!’

God is going to use who He’s going to use. And if He is tapping on your shoulder as you read this, best to just surrender and let Him lead you. After all, who wants a sharp prod to the backside!

Father, we thank You that You mix Your lessons with humor. Help us to hear Your voice with clarity and that Your character would shine through giving us glimpses of You. Forgive us for our stubborn kicking and fill us each day, Holy Spirit, that we would walk controlled by You instead of by our own willfulness. In Jesus’ name, Amen!

Thursday, 1 January 2015

I Resolve

If you do not listen, and if you do not resolve to honor my name," says the LORD Almighty, "I will send a curse on you, and I will curse your blessings. Yes, I have already cursed them, because you have not resolved to honor me.  (Malachi 2:2 NIV)

Never join a gym in January. You can’t get on any of the machines and the parking lots are always full. No, much better to wait until February when you’ll get all kinds of discounts and the workout equipment and parking spots will be vacant. It would appear that people tend to lose their resolve faster than their excess weight.

So, what do you resolve this year? What changes do you wish to see in your life?

I, for one, never make New Year’s resolutions. As a youngest child, and as a competitive person, I don’t like to fail at things. So why on earth would I commit myself to change something that I haven’t been able to make happen in the previous 365 days? On January 1st, does my entire DNA suddenly align differently giving me new miraculous abilities to overcome horrible ingrained habits? 


For most of us, it takes a strong desire, or critical health issue, to make such changes.  To think we change with a flip of the calendar would be downright silly.

Not so silly is the decision to start the New Year with a fresh commitment to the Lord; to resolve to honor His name and to listen and seek His face in obedience each day.

That is the key to all worthwhile change, His Spirit living within us. After all, the fruit of the Spirit is actually a great listing of most of the character flaws that we need help with in order to see any positive, external changes in our lives:

But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control; against such things there is no law. (Galatians 5:22-23 ESV)

So we should take time alone on New Year’s Day, asking God to direct our paths, to transform us, and to stir up a renewed fervency for our First Love.

Lord, we thank You for this fresh, new year, full of promise. Please help us to walk in Your light, allowing your Holy Spirit to make the changes You desire in our hearts as we resolve to honor You and Your name in all that we do.  Amen.