Saturday, October 31, 2009

Focus on your goal, not your obstacle

Have you ever received a phone call in the middle of the night? If you are like me your first thought is not a good one. I immediately think something must be wrong. I even hate to answer for fear of what I might hear. The news has to be bad.

Or Someone says to you, "There something very important I need to talk to you about." I immediately think, "this can't be good." But often it wasn't at all what I thought it was and most often not near as bad as I had figured it would be.

Why is this? Why are we so negative in our thinking? Well, it's not just you and I that do this. It seems that everyone does this as we can clearly see from several passages in the bible. Must be the way God wired us. It must be because we simply can't see what God knows. He knows already what the call is about. He knows already what's so important on the mind of our friend that needs to talk. When we face difficulties that overwhelm us... we can't see our way out, but God simply speaks and the problem is solved or goes away. So saying all this and understanding that we are weak and He is strong. The only way we can overcome those obstacles that are in the way of our goals would be to depend on God to remove the obstacles in the way of our goals.

Trust in God's provision and power is the answer. I'll give two examples in the bible, one being a lack of trust or understanding of God's power and the inability to see how the goal or objective can be obtained while the other being one of faith and trust that everything will be worked out even though we may not know how.

Doubt... This illustration comes from the book of Mark 8:1-4 The disciples were concerned about the well being of the large crowds that we're following Jesus.

(1) About this time another large crowd had gathered, and the people ran out of food again. Jesus called his disciples and told them,
(2) I feel sorry for these people. They have been here with me for days and they have nothing left to eat.
(3) If I send them home hungry, they will faint along the way. or some of them have come a long distance.
(4) His disciples replied, "How are we supposed to find enough food to feed them out here in the wilderness?

The disciples did what we do. They couldn't see past their own intellect of what was before them. Jesus is saying we need to feed them, but they say, we can't. We don't have food out here... it's not possible. But Jesus did it and he did it with only seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. By contrast look at this next passage of scripture...

Mark 16:2-4 These women had their minds set to anoint the body of their crucified Lord.

(2) Very early on Sunday morning, just at sunrise, they went to the tomb.
(3) On the way they were asking each other, "Who will roll away the stone for us from the entrance of the tomb?"
(4) But as they arrived, they looked up and saw that the stone, which was very large, had already been rolled aside.

Not knowing how they were going to roll that huge stone away from the entrance of the tomb, they went anyway. It could have been very easy to see the impossibility of the task and just stay home and say it's not possible. But they did it, they went! When they arrived the stone was already moved away so they could enter. God took care of it for them. The obstacle was not their focus but rather the objective or goal was. That's how they were able to stay the course and press on even as they wondered among themselves how it was going to be possible.

It's too bad that so many times we go forth, only when we clearly see how it's possible. We need to keep our eye on the goal and less so on the obstacles in our way. We need to see past the obstacle. We need to peak over or look around whatever it is that blocking our view and even then we still may not be able to see or understand how. The good news is... God sees it. He can get you to your goal. There is nothing that stands in the way of God, and when we have God's power with us, that means we have nothing that can not be overcome that prevents us from accomplishing our goals or objectives. Lean not on our own understanding, but instead trust in the Lord.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Witness without saying a word

Today as I was driving to work I heard someone on the radio say something that hit me like a ton a bricks. Being Sunday morning the program I was tuned to was a message about spreading the "Good News" of Jesus Christ to others. Whoever was speaking this morning Quoted a person that said...

"Go ye therefore and spread the Gospel to all the ends of the Earth, and if necessary use words."

Our actions do speak louder than words don't they? How we live for Jesus says a lot about our commitment to our Lord doesn't it? It's important to know how to tell others about Jesus using our speech but to live for Jesus gives credibility to our words. Often we don't have to speak at all for others to see Jesus. Our loved ones and friends pick up real quick that we're different and although they may not fully understand they see it and they are curious about it.

As I said earlier, this message hit me like a ton of bricks this morning. Yes, a reminder that I'm not living my life for Christ as I should. I think it's important to understand that there's not a magic list of do's and don'ts that define me as a Christian. What defines me a s a follower of Christ is my realization that Jesus loves me and He wants to save me. It's my knowledge that without out Christ's forgiveness of my sin I'm a lost sinner destined for the fiery pit of Hell. Sure it's good to tell people about Jesus, but I believe it's better to show them Jesus. One things for sure, it's really confusing if we say one thing but live another. If our life doesn't match up to our beliefs , then how effective are we really? What kind of witness are we?

Look at the skies, they display the craftsmanship of God almighty. Without even a word spoken God is made known just by looking around at all that He created. Do we, through our lives, make Him known?

PSALM 19:1-4
(19) The heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftmanship.
(20) Day after day they continue to speak; night after night they make him known.
(21) They speak without a sound or word; their voice is never heard.
(22) Yet their message has gone throughout the earth, and their words to all the world.

Dear Lord Jesus, forgive me for living my life without putting you first. May your Spirit fill me today and overflow to others through my actions and love. My I spread the Gospel to everyone I come in touch with without even saying a word. Thank you Lord Jesus, Amen.