DEAD BUT STILL DEADLY

Image result for Facing Your Giants SpiritualThe epic tale of David and Goliath is one of the most well-known stories in the Bible. On one side of the Valley of Elah stands the Philistine army, with their nine-foot-tall champion named Goliath. On the other side of valley stands the Israelite army, cowering in fear under the leadership of their king named Saul. For forty days Goliath has been taunting the Israelites and holding them in the grip of fear. Day after day he has been challenging them to send out one soldier to face him man to man. But so far, nobody has volunteered.

Perhaps you can relate to the plight of the Israelites. Some kind of giant is standing before you keeping you from being less than God wants you to be. The good news is that God has made a way for these giants to fall. Jesus came to set you free from the giants who rise up against you and hold you paralyzed in fear.

Jesus has already overcome the enemy. However, as we read in 1 Peter 5:8, the devil still “prowls around . . . looking for someone to devour.” In many ways, he is like a snake with its head cut off. When you kill a snake, you have to be sure to bury its head, because even after death the serpent holds a lethal dose of venom in its fangs. If you step on a dead snake’s head, you can still get poisoned. In the same way, even though Jesus broke the power of Satan at the cross, he can still inject his deadly poison into our lives. He is dead but still deadly.

If you truly want to see victory over the giants in your life, you need to understand your dependency on the all-sufficiency of Jesus Christ. Victory is all about trusting in Christ and not about trying to succeed.

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The Big Picture

My wife loves putting puzzles together. She says it is relaxing. (I’ll take her word for it.) Sometimes when I walk into the room and look at the puzzle she has just started, I cannot tell what the finished puzzle will look like. I have to pick up the box to see the complete picture. 

Life is like a puzzle. (Can I get an amen?) Sometimes we try to make sense out of a situation when we only have a few “pieces” of the puzzle. As God allows more “pieces” to fall into place; life becomes clearer. Why God does not reveal the big pictures all at once to us remains a mystery. Deuteronomy 29:29 says, ” The Lord our God keeps certain things hidden…”

I love the song that Babbie Nelson sings,  “When you cannot see His hand, Trust His Heart.” That is very good advice. 

Like It or Not…

The most often asked question that a pastor is asked is “How can I find God’s will for my life?”  I have found that the majority of people who say they want to know God’s will, want to know so they can decide if they will obey it or not. It is very unlikely that God will reveal His will to people who have that mind-set.

We sing this chorus in many of our churches:

‘ll say yes, Lord, yes
To your will and to your way
I’ll say yes, Lord, yes
I will trust you and obey
When your Spirit speaks to me
With my whole heart I’ll agree
And my answer will be yes, Lord, yes

It does not say, “If I agree with it, I’ll say yes.” To know God’s will, we must be willing to obey BEFORE His will is revealed to us.

“Whether we like it or not, we will obey all that the Lord our God says.”  Jeremiah 42:6

GPS

Confession: I love electronic gadgets; especially my phone! The GPS is a tremendous help (most of the time.) When I type my destination into my phone, the first question that come on the screen is this: “Directions from current location?” In other words, “Do you want to start where you are?”

Of course I want to start from here. Sometimes I am not sure where “here” is! As soon a I tell the GPS yes, it begins calculating my route – not from where I started before I lost my way, not from the direction I should be headed but from right where I am now!

The most common reason people give for not following Jesus is that they want to get their lives together first. They want to start their journey from somewhere else than where they currently are.

Jesus reaches out to with grace and love and invites you to follow Him, right where you are. Start following Him right where you are and He wants you to start now!

Trust His directions!

When a coach loses too many games; he is fired. When a company loses customers and revenue; the CEO is replaced. When a pastor does not live up to the congregation’s expectations, often a new pastor is called. Have you ever stopped to consider that almost all agencies of the U.S. government have failed?

The US Department of Energy was created in 1977 to reduce our dependency on foreign oil. FAILED.

The US Department of Education was created in 1979 to ensure that every American had a quality education. FAILED

In 1913, the IRS code consisted of 400 pages. In 2013, that code has grown to 73,954 pages. FAILED.

The Department of Justice was created in 1870 as an effort to shrink and professionalize the federal government. FAILED.

The U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs = FAILED

The FBI. CIA, Treasury, NSA, TSB, Postal Service, Labor, Transportation, Homeland Security and on and on have failed.

The purpose of this blog is not to create a sense of hopelessness. Nor is it a call for the disbanding of government agencies but rather a call to return to the God that made America great! 2 Chronicles 7:13-14 In all of our planning, we failed to include God in our planning. Unless the Lord builds a house (or government), the work of the builders is wasted.” Psalm 127 

Life is a matter of trust. In the home, on the job and in a country. It is all right to vote for the presidential candidate that you feel is most qualified but ultimately our trust must be in God. Only He can save us.