"O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, the city that kills the prophets and stones God's messengers! How often I have wanted to gather your children together as a hen protects her chicks beneath her wings, but you wouldn't let me.” ~Matthew 23:37
Whose voice do you listen to? If you are a Christian, you have the Holy Spirit in your life. He is your guide, and He speaks to you with gentle nudges that let you know when something isn’t right. He isn’t rude; however, He will not shout to be heard. If you push him away or ignore him, He will not force his opinion on you.
The more you push him away, the easier He is to ignore. Soon, you will cease to hear his voice at all. After all, He will not stay where He is not wanted.
Recently I was trying to find something to watch. I started one program that looked interesting and was several episodes in before I noticed a certain author’s name in the credits. This particular author is famous for writing strange and horrific tales that are downright demonic at times. I avoid his work like the plague. I tried to reason with my conscience, telling myself that what I had watched so far had only been a little on the strange side (O.K., a lot on the strange side.). Maybe I could continue watching until I saw something blatantly evil. I caught myself. I realized that if I have to find reasons that it’s O.K., it’s probably not. If I’m arguing with my conscience, then my conscience has already spoken up to tell me that it is wrong. I stopped mid-episode. I still don’t know how it ends.
When you have that gentle prick in your conscience, listen to it. The more you argue with it, the quieter it will become. If your conscience has become quiet, pray that God will awaken the Holy Spirit in your heart and life once again or for the first time.
Just Say the Word
“Just say the word from where you are, and my servant will be healed.” ~Luke 7:7b
In Luke 7 we read the account of a soldier who had such great faith in Jesus that he knew that Jesus need only speak the word and his servant would be healed. Jesus was willing to come and lay hands on him, had even started the journey, but the soldier knew that it wasn’t necessary.
My son has intractable epilepsy. Every time he has been in the hospital for anything either me or his dad has been there; sometimes both of us. We’ve laid hands on him. We’ve prayed for him. We’ve been by his side. Next week he will be having brain surgery. It will be one of the most critical moments in his life and for the first time, we can’t be there. I’ve struggled with this. I’ve cried over this. I’ve wracked my brain trying to figure out a way that I can be there with him. There is just no way around it. I’m going to need faith. I’m going to need to trust. I’m going to need to believe that I don’t have to be there physically to lay my hands on him. My prayers are not limited by space because my God isn’t.
What big struggles are going on in your life right now? Are there instances where you feel as though you need to be two places at once? Is there someone you are praying for that you cannot physically be beside? We need to remember that God is not subject to physical constraints. It only takes a word.
"16 for through him God created everything
in the heavenly realms and on earth.
He made the things we can see
and the things we can’t see--
such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world.
Everything was created through him and for him.
17 He existed before anything else,
and he holds all creation together."~ Colossians 1:16-17
Trials. Sorrows. We all have them. They are a part of the human condition. The trick is to remember that we are admonished to 'consider it all joy.' ~ James 1:2 How can we find joy in the midst of our trials? It is because through the testing of our faith we have the opportunity to develop grit,determination, staying power, call it what you will. We are being given a spiritual workout.
As with our physical well being, our spiritual well being is greatly dependent on what we take in. If we want to be able to endure, we need to make sure that we have the right fuel. We need to have God's word hidden in our heart so that when our times of hardship come, we will have a well to draw upon.