Saturday, October 25, 2008

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV)

Isaiah 26:3-“You will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

I’m still trying to tread water.

I believed what Jesus said, that I could walk on water just like Him. So, I got out of the boat. That was a big mistake.

I can’t.

I can’t even begin to tell you how embarrassing this is for me. I can’t believe that I even have to write this down, but here it is for everyone to see. I can’t do it. I lost my focus.

Please understand, I still have faith; I still believe and know that Jesus is Lord and He can do whatever He wants. I’m just slipping away.

I’m losing hope. I’m losing my lifeline. I’m hanging by that proverbial thread, and it’s unraveling quickly. I can sit here watching it, fiber by fiber.

See, I feel like I’m some great huge puppet being jerked around by the great puppet master. He’s not being mean or hateful; he’s just trying to entertain himself and his friends. In the end, the show will be over and I’ll just go back into the trunk.

That’s how I feel, but it’s not what I believe.

See, I believe that what I consider perfect peace, and what God considers perfect peace are two COMPLETELY different things. And one of us needs to change our focus.

I believe that fear is a killer, but it doesn’t come at you all at once, like the boogeyman or a serial killer with a gleaming blade or a gun.

No, fear gnaws away at you. It eats away a little at a time. Then one day, you wake up, and you realize how much fear has actually taken away from you. It’s like the story about how you boil a frog. You don’t immediately throw it in the hot water; you put it in cool water and heat it up slowly so it doesn’t know what’s happening.

Only thing is, I’m not a frog; and I know what’s happening. Why am I still here? I know one reason, and I’m scared to say it as well.

Maybe I don’t believe as much as I think I do. Maybe I’m still walking in sight and not by faith. Maybe my entire life in Christ is built on what He’s done for me, instead of what He means to me.

Maybe I’m just not what I think I am. Maybe I should just give up; I mean, if I don’t have hope, what’s left?

Shhh….did you hear that? It’s a smooth, silky voice. I can’t quite make out what he’s saying though. He’s elusive, like a breeze. I heard him loudly earlier, but then I started telling God honestly how I felt.

Wait, where’d he go?

My heart still has a burden, but it’s not near as heavy as it was earlier. The voice is not nearly as strong.

You know, I’m starting to realize that the voice I heard wasn’t comforting me. It was reminding me that next week is coming and it’s going to be miserable. I’m going to have such a bad week, and I might as well just quit.

Where’d that other voice go? Okay; I started this out by just talking to God. I told Him where I was at and what I thought. I’m weak and frail and I wanted Him to know that so He could kinda……understand……

I remember now. I remember when He first met me a long time ago. I talked to Him in my kitchen in a house we had over 10 years ago. I had reached the end and had nowhere else to go. I wasn’t looking for Him, but He had been waiting for me my whole life.

He told me that if I wanted to, He would take over my life for me. He said it wouldn’t be easy, but it would be worth it. He said He’d never leave me, even when it seemed like He had done just that in my life.

And then He showed me my life behind me. The beach, the sandy beach…and the single solitary set of footprints; Him carrying me because I couldn’t go any further.

I’m on the beach again, and I look down. I see one lone set of feet carrying me, and I feel strong arms holding me close. I look up and see that face, the face of my Lord, and there is no awkwardness or discontent. There is only love.

I’m ashamed, so ashamed. I’m hurt that I can’t even go for a little bit without falling to my knees in weakness and insecurity. I can’t stop thinking about myself and what the world will do to me. I can’t stop crying.

He doesn’t care. He just smiles at me. We’ve stopped.

I look around at the desolate beach, and see how close we are to the water. I look out, and I see a storm brewing. I see a tiny boat out there, with some other friends I know. They are at the end; they want Jesus, but they can’t get to him. They’re trapped in the boat.

Jesus sets me down, and looks lovingly at me. Then He asks me, “Can I get you to go with me out there and rescue them? They need to see Me in someone else’s life so they know they’re not alone.”

But….how would I get out there?

He grabs my hand, and starts to take a step off the beach, into the water.

I’m hesitant. What if I fall again and someone sees me?

"Keep your eyes on Me; you’ll be okay. I promise. Focus on Me, and you can even walk on the water.”

I’m still scared.

He looks at me with a knowing twinkle in His eyes. He’s God, He knows how I feel. He wants me to stop feeling, and start trusting.

I’m taking the step.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Zechariah 4:6 (NKJV)

Zechariah 4:6b (NKJV)-“’Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit, says the LORD of hosts.’”

This verse has been running around in my head for a couple of weeks now. I don’t know why it has affected me so much. I guess it’s just that so much has gone on lately in my life and in the world around me, that it’s just easy to lose sight of what’s important.

I thought once that if I’m a child of the Most High God, He should answer my prayers; all of them. I mean, I’m deserving of it, right? I’m His kid, and He loves me and wants what is best for me, right?

I also thought that it would make trials a lot easier to go through if I had a defined start and end time to them. No matter how long it went, if I knew that it would end on THIS date I could make it okay.

Don’t laugh at me; don’t you dare. If you were honest enough with yourself, you know that you’d admit it too.

I mean, wouldn’t it be great if God would just come to you and tell you…

“Hey, Bo, I’m glad you’re here. I need to talk to you.”

Oh, hi God. Umm….I’m right in the middle of my verse posting for the week. I guess its okay though; You are the God of the Universe!

“Yeah….anyway. You’ve got some stuff coming up next week at work, and you know that the women in the house are due in the next couple of days…”

Wow. Umm….that’s kind of like not really a lot of time to prepare God.

“What do you mean?”

I mean, couldn’t you have given me some warning in advance?

“I thought I was just now.”

No, I meant like a couple of weeks ago. See, if You had told me then, I could have put it in my calendar on my handheld and in my phone. It would have given me some time to get extra Bible study in and really bulk up for this stuff.

“Really?”

Yeah, and see now, you’ve hit me with this here, and I’m trying to get the memory verse out, and I’ve got to iron Sammy’s pants…oh my gosh! We’ve got to take her to downtown Knoxville tonight for a school concert! I can’t enjoy it if I know that I’m going to be having troubles next week!

“But you’ve got Me.”

Well, yeah. But you could’ve let me know that this was going to happen, so I could have gotten a little closer. You know, study up some.

“But you’ve still got Me. You can’t do this on your own; that’s why I’m here.”

Right, I understand that. But now, I just can’t focus. I can’t even think straight knowing that You’re gonna put this on me. Hey, I got it! Why don’t you give me an extra week to prepare? I’m sure that there is another family that’s more than ready to get some trials thrown at them.

“I’m gonna pretend I didn’t even hear that.”

But God….

~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Does it look stupid written down? It does, right? But we do it all the time. We treat God not like the Creator of the Universe who bridged the gap between us and Him. We forget that we were separated from Him because of our sins, and so He voluntarily bridged the gap that we couldn’t.

Nope, we treat Him like a servant. We treat Him like an ATM. We got our PIN number from the Bible, and we only want Him around when something is happening or when we need something. We just want to come up to the machine, stick in our card, get out what we need, and then just walk away.

We don’t seem to realize that our account is in the red. We are way, way, overdrawn.

I can’t do anything on my own. My might and my power can’t accomplish diddly-squat. Why do I continue to rely on them to get me through? Why do I continue to believe that I can dictate to God how He interacts with me?

We all know that if God told us we were going to go through something, the first thing we’d do is try to negotiate our way out of it. Next, we’d talk about this person, or that person; how THEY don’t go through near as much as we do in our life. Next, we might succumb, but we’d want to know how long it was going to go on. Why?

If you knew a trial was going to last 3 weeks, you’d whine at 2 weeks 5 days because you’d think this had gone on long enough and you didn’t need to prove yourself any longer.

It comes down to pride. We want to be able to say we did it ourselves; we pulled ourselves up by our own bootstraps. We want to be able to talk about what we accomplished instead of what God accomplished through us.

We want the power and glory to be ours; we just want God to be the battery.

I hope this makes sense to you, because it does and it doesn’t to me. Does because when you see this stupid theory written down in plain words, you understand how ignorant it is. And doesn’t because no matter how dumb it looks, I know that I think this way a lot.

The way and the truth and the light and the might and the power and everything else are not mine. They are God’s. He is just using me as His symbol on Earth. I am just His expressed glory and love on this ball of dirt.

I don’t know what’ll happen today, tomorrow, or next week. But I know Someone who does. And He’ll take care of it, the same as He did yesterday, today, and forever.

He has never left me nor forsaken me; and He has never forced me to beg for His love or protection. Instead of demanding He do this, we should be thankful He has already done that.

We need to remember that it’s not us, but Him.

Thanks to all of you who talk to me and are honest about what’s going on in your lives. It helps me to be more open and honest with you. We are all going through things. It may not be the same as everyone else’s, but the answer to it all is.

He said it’s “by My Spirit.” The tests may be different, but the answer key is all the same. You don’t have to guess. You just have to believe that He is who He says and that He loves you with an unsurpassed love.

Be blessed in the Lord today,

Bo J.