New Territory

This past Sunday night, the 24th, was my appointed Sunday evening to preach. The Lord had given me the text, John 2 on the first miracle, several days in advance so I had plenty of time to study. The message was on the old verses new covenants, and then the marriage that began His ministry and the one that will conclude it.

The content led me into some verses from the book of Revelation. If you’ve read some of my previous posts you know that this is not my strong point, so to speak. After the service I told one of my brothers that k had ventured into uncharted waters in that sermon. But the Lord lead me there so I went, not with great comfort but with confidence in Him.

Of course on the way home the devil began his rotten and devious work, telling me what a terrible job I’d done and that no one was able to make heads nor tails out of what I said, etc. Thankfully Monday God saw fit to provide me some encouragement through folks that had heard the message and received some thing from it.

As I reflected on this message and the texts that I was given to use I realized something: God had put me out there in those “uncharted waters” to stretch me and to grow me. I’m well aware that He has a purpose behind every thing He does. But I’m so glad that at times He lets us see a bit of that purpose, as a way of telling us “Child, I did that for you and here’s a little of why I did…”.

He is so very good, all the time!

Lost Dog

Galatians 5:17 For the flesh lusteth against the Spirit, and the Spirit against the flesh: and these are contrary the one to the other: so that ye cannot do the things that ye would.

This afternoon one of our dogs went missing, after someone opened the gate on our fence, for several hours. I looked for him as best I could but my physical limitations and being sick really limited what I do as far as searching goes. After two hours of driving the neighborhood, walking as much as I could and hollering for the dog I was exhausted. I came home and began to pray at that point.

I knew that what I was asking, for God to deliver Jack home safely, was just a raindrop in the ocean compared to His power. After all, my God spoke the universe into existence, created all things and has moved mightily in my own life; this prayer was a pittance to Him compared to many that He has already answered.

Time drug on slowly. An hour later my wife came home and began to search the neighborhood. As she searched I moved inside the house to continue to pray. Another hour or more passed and I realized something: My flesh was warring against my spirit. My head kept trying to say it was hopeless, it had been too long, Jack wasn’t coming home. But my faith kept saying trust in God. It was a very real battle and I can’t really explain to you how it felt to know it was going on as it was.

Thank God after over four hours of being gone a neighbor several homes away, who I don’t know, brought a still-damp Jack home. He had fallen into her pool and had been treading water for God only knows how long. She said she went out to put chemicals in her pool and found him, got him out, dried him off and brought him to his address on the tags. She added she’d never have seen him if it weren’t for adding this chemicals and she hadn’t planned to do it today but for some reason did. I told her the reason was that she was used to answer my prayer.

I said all that to say this: Even though we are redeemed through the blood of Christ we are still going to have fights with our flesh. Though we are not of the flesh any longer we are still in the flesh. And as long as we live in this fleshly body we will have to fight against it, for it is still part of a fallen creation. So don’t let the battles drag you down; that’s what the devil would love. No, instead rejoice! The war is already won and as long as we keep up the fight one day we’ll experience the total victory!

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What Do I See?

Rain water droplets
Image by jcolman via Flickr

It is rainy and overcast today. This kind of weather makes my bones ache and my mobility even more limited than normal. It would be easy to see today as gray, gross and a waste to me. And in the past that has often been exactly my perception of these types of days. Today I see it differently though.

The Creator of all things is giving His creation the water it needs for life and to thrive. The rainfall will bring greener trees and grass, healthier plants, fruits and vegetables, and provide for animals and men water to drink.

The sight of the rain coming down is pure beauty. Watching the flow of water on the street and from the rooftops is beautiful to behold. To say nothing of seeing it fall from the sky itself.

The sound of the rain falling is music to my ears. The tapping sound the drops make as it hits on the roof and pours down the gutter is like a symphony.  The rhythm soothing and calming to my very soul.

What I see today is a loving God making provision for His creation.  I see the ultimate Artist showing His amazing work.  And I hear the Master Composer playing another of His wonderful masterpieces.

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