Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Putting on Spiritual Glasses

I think I started wearing glasses when I was 11 or 12. When I first got them it was amazing what I could see that I hadn't previously been able to see clearly from a distance. My mother has told me how I exclaimed over things that she took for granted because she was able to see them. She said it made her feel bad that she didn't realize before that time that I needed glasses. That is something that I couldn't fault her on because I never told her that I couldn't see clearly because I didn't realize that I couldn't see clearly. To me not being able to see individual leaves on a tree or clearly being able to see birds or flowers in the distance had become my normal and I didn't realize that it could or should be different. My problem with my vision has always been about distance; as I have always been able to read or do close with without my glasses. In fact, to this day I take my glasses off to read, do computer work, sew or any thing that I do that is within an arm's reach.

Today I headed to church early and decided to stop by this little local coffee shop and have a coffee and a tea cake. As I sat there drinking my coffee and eating my cake I took off my glasses so that I could play "Words with Friends" on my phone and to talk with my family via texting/messaging. It was probably 10 or 15 minutes of sitting there completely absorbed in my electronic communication when I heard the words, "John was the precursor to Christ" and my head jerked up and I kind of saw some figures sitting across the room. Since I did not have my glasses on I could not clearly see them but as I reached for my glasses to see who was speaking about the Bible the Lord spoke to me. He told me that so many times we get caught up in our lives and situations that are close. We allow our focus to be only on those things that affect us directly or that are within arms reach. When we allow our focus to be on only ourselves, our struggles, our pain, our joys and our sorrows, we fail to clearly see the struggles, pain, joys and sorrows of our harvest field. When we do not allow God to open our spiritual eyes we fail to see our co-workers that are hungry for a Savior or our neighbor that is stricken with grief. Without the eyes and heart of Christ we fail to understand or feel burdened to pray for the orphans of the world, or those that are suffering a life of slavery or torment. Without seeing as Jesus sees, we are like the man who had his vision restored but saw men as trees walking (Mark 8:22-25). We must fine tune our vision with the compassionate love of Christ and the boldness of faith and the fervency of knowing the times. The Bible says in Proverbs 29:18 "Where there is no vision the people perish..." so if we do not get a clear, compassionate vision of our harvest field then those people in that harvest field will be lost.

Let it be your prayer today and every day that God would open your spiritual eyes to see the world as He sees it and that He would give you a clear vision of your harvest field.

Friday, September 16, 2016

The Power of Yielding

"Neither yield ye your members as instruments of unrighteousness unto sin: but yield yourselves unto God, as those that are alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness unto God." Romans 6:13

Each day I go through life I consciously or unconsciously yield to many things. Some things that I yield to are for the good and some things are to my hurt. There are times I yield to faith, compassion, love and mercy but there are times I find myself yielding to offense, anger or disbelief. Yielding is simply ceasing resistance to something. If I am yielding myself to the lack of faith then I am finding myself to be resisting the scripture "That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God." If I am yielding to weakness and fear then I am resisting the scripture, "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear: but of power, and of love, and a strong mind." When I find myself yielding to offense then I am resisting the verse "And blessed is he, whosoever shall not be offended in me." Am I really shining the light of Jesus to my harvest field if I do not yield myself to the scripture "The Lord is gracious, and full of compassion; slow to anger, and of great mercy."  When we yield to unforgiveness and holding a grudge we are resisting the scripture "But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses."

Life is really full of yielding and resisting. Today what am I going to yield to? Will I choose to yield to annoyance and scorn when I see a mother with a screaming child at the store? Or will I yield to compassion and say a prayer for that family? Will I yield to anger and bitterness when I see the rise of the wicked or will I instead emulate the love of Jesus and pray for their souls? Will I yield to frustration and anger when someone cuts me off in traffic or will I use it as an opportunity to pray for that person that crossed my path? As I step out the door this morning I want yield my members to "right living" and not unto sin. When I am yielding to God then I am standing on the promise "Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."

Sunday, September 11, 2016

Willing to be Healed

This morning on my way to church I was feeling grateful and excited about how far God has brought me in my healing process. The past year or so has been extremely difficult and my heart, mind and soul had gotten quite battered, bruised and broken. There have been many times that I wondered if it was even possible to be healed completely. This morning as I thought about where I have been in the past year I could only compare it to a person who has been through an horrendous fire. The skin is burnt and melted and the healing process is excruciating.The process/treatment for this type of injuring is usually through debridement, which is removal of the dead skin from the wounds. There are times that patients who have gone through the debriding process have decided that it was too painful and they want to just stop and let whatever infection that will set in just happen because the treatment to heal them is just as painful as that fire. That horrendous pain and stench of death is the only way I can express where I was 10 months ago. I was in debilitating emotional pain that brought the stench of death to just about every area of my life, especially spiritually. So my ability to rejoice and be thankful for my emotional and spiritual healing, knowing where I had been, was and is a big thing. As I was thanking God for the incredible healing work he has done in my life He brought to my mind that one spot. You know that one emotional spot that you try to protect from hurt so you keep it hidden. The one little area of your life that is so painful that you try to pretend isn't there. It is that one sore that refuses to be healed. As I spoke with God this morning I knew that it was time to give that one spot to Jesus so that I can be whole, so I could be restored. In case you are wondering, God never does anything by half measures but confirms His Word, with His Word. Pastor took his text from Mark 8 this morning.

"And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the town; and when he had spit on his eyes, and put his hands upon him, he asked him if he saw aught. And he looked up, and said, I see men as trees, walking. After that he put his hands again upon his eyes, and made him look up: and he was restored and saw every man clearly." Mark 8:23-25

After Jesus spit in the man's eye the man was no longer a blind man. He couldn't see properly but he could see so therefore some could argue that he was healed. But Jesus wasn't satisfied with a half-measure healing. He again touched the man's eyes so that the man was restored. Jesus isn't interested in just the surface of a person, he is interested in healing that part that no one can see. God cares about that little wound that you keep covered so that people don't realize that you are hurting. Jesus showed us with this blind man that he wasn't interested in merely giving sight to the blind but to restore all, including sight to see clearly. But the blind man had to be willing to be healed. In order for Jesus to touch him and restore him, this blind man had to seek out the Healer. He also had to be willing to be led by Jesus, even though he could not see where Jesus was leading. For us to be healed of our hurts, pains, losses and diseases, we much first be willing to be healed. We must seek the Lord and be led of Him in order to for Him to restore all. It is in our surrender of ourselves to Him that we can be made whole and find clarity in His calling.