Stomping With The Big Dogs
If a mother decides to take her 3 year old daughter to the mall with her, she’d be wise to also take a stroller. Why, because not too long after arriving at the mall, that child is going to look up at mommy with that “I’m about to cry look.” As a result, mama is gonna have to carry that child all over the mall. “Ok now, are you ready to walk yet?” And of course, the answer will be, “Uhhhh…unn-unn.” Lord help us. Likewise, God puts us in tribulations that last a very long time so that our endurance can be stretched. He wants us to be able to hang with the big boys. He wants us to be able to stomp with the big dogs.
Does God Believe In “Abortion?”
In the Book of James (around chapter 1 starting at verse 12) the Bible tells us that sin begins with a desire. And once the desire to sin is conceived, that desire gives birth to sin. We all can relate to this process…having a desire to sin and becoming overpowered to a point where we eventually act on that sin.
I don’t believe God believes in abortion – that is, aborting a child. However, I do know for certain that He believes in aborting sin. In this case it’s ok to have an abortion. Once the desire to sin manifests, you can abort the desire. This is the type of abortion that Jesus approves of. If you’re gonna have an abortion, do it this way.
The Glory Is God’s
In Exodus 9, God sent a plague that wiped out all the Egyptians’ livestock. All their horses, donkeys, camels…all their animals died. But He spared the animals that belonged to the children of Israel. What a display of power! That’s a Word to us today. God gets the glory for your hamburger. Kroger has good ground beef. HEB has good ground beef as well. But the glory belongs to God because first He has to choose not to send a plague on our livestock. If God send a plague on our livestock today, McDonalds, as rich as they are…as many restaurants as they have, will be forced to go out of business. Popeye’s will have to go out of business. Wendy’s will have to close the doors. Those are successful businesses, but the glory…the glory belongs to the Lord!
We have come this far…by faith. God has brought us from a mighty long way. Surely, we have come this far…by faith.
And so, today friend, in these difficulties, these current ailments, trials, hardships and frustrations, continual exercise of your faith is mandatory. We’ve come this far by faith, and walking by faith is the key to making progress in today’s heavy issues. We have not been relieved of our obligation to walk by faith. Instead, we have gone to the next level. And we will make progress…through faith in the Lord Jesus Christ.
You would think that maturing in faith always means that this thing gets easier, but on the contrary…often times maturing in faith means walking by faith becomes more difficult.
Like a child gets in the tub with toys and play in the tub until his or her hands and feet become wrinkle, the next level of faith often requires us to soak in the Spirit for extended periods of time – just to be enabled to walk in faith on the next level.
Soak in the Spirit…
Do you remember the story in the Bible about Job? The Bible says that Job was tested two times. The first time, Job lost all his livestock and children in one day. And the second time he was tested, he lost his health. So Job lost it all for a significant amount of time. Job was tested. You and I will be…tested. Amen. Like my pastor says, “If you can’t say ‘amen,’ say ‘O my.'” Sometimes a test will last for a few hours. Sometimes for a few days. Sometimes, a few weeks. Sometimes, a couple of years. A man can undergo testing for “a couple” of years. But regardless of how long your test lingers, it is still just a test. There’s something about it. Knowing that it’s just a test makes a huge difference. Job’s tests ended. After all he went through, it was just a test. Can you hear Job saying, “It was just a test?” It is just a test…
One of the most frustrating things, one of the most nagging things that happens is when you’re cruising down the boulevard on a beautiful day, feeling real good, and all of a sudden your check engine light comes on. Lol…
Has that ever happened to you? When it happens, we say, “O Lord. What can this be?” It could be something major. It could be something minor. Whatever it is, something is wrong – especially if the light doesn’t go back off.
When Christians live in sin, a “check engine light” comes on in our spirituality. Something is wrong. Something is not clicking on all cylinders. Some mud is in the oil. The fluids are low. The head gasket is about to blow. The check engine light to our spirituality comes on when we live in sin.
“Blessed is the man who sitteth not in the seat of the scornful.” (See Psalm 1:1-3) If you let someone’s slander of another turn you into a hater, you have been led astray – because God doesn’t bless scorners and mockers. Besides… people are always more impressive than their obvious flaws that we tend to focus on. Think about it; can God really work mightily through a hater??? Refrain from hating and slandering. In Matthew 7:5 Jesus said, “First remove the plank from your own eye, then you will be able to see clearly enough to remove the speck from your brother’s eye.” If a person says, “Because I see a flaw, I am against so and so,” that person has a right to think how he or she wants to think…but that is foolish thinking. If you need to see perfection, you will be all alone in this world. No friends, terrible family relationships, terrible marriage, terrible rapport with church members…etc. This is poisonous, self-destructive thinking. And God doesn’t bless that type of loveless attitude. It’s hard to be a leader with that type of attitude, and it’s hard to be a follower with it too (because you will always be deranged by critical thoughts towards your leader or followers). Just poisonous! Some used to have good sense until they joined forces with a hater. And so the dynamic Proverb says, “Go from the presence of a man when you do not perceive in him the words of wisdom.” (Proverbs 14:7)
The Heart Of A Champion
Coach Rudy T, former coach of the Houston Rockets, coined a popular saying: Never underestimate the heart of a champion.
A heart that will not persevere is good for nothing. Who can count on a quitter? Can the pastor? The job? The best friend? The ministry leader? The significant other? The sibling? Can anyone along the way?
Winning hurts so bad that we can just do without it. But God promises to restore us.
“After you have suffered a lil while, the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ Jesus, will Himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” (1Peter 5:10)
A HEALTHY PRAYER LIFE
Then he returned to his disciples and found them sleeping. “Couldn’t you men keep watch with me for one hour?” he asked Peter. (Matthew 26:40)
An hour of prayer…
Is that a long time? The text indicates that it isn’t for those who are the closest followers of Christ. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. To not pray enough is to operate without that which is essential for operations.
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