Help! Today, I feel like a Zombie
The zombie life (as far as I can tell), looks like this: growl, lumber and slump while staring vacantly, attack people you once loved, let hopelessness set in and repeat. But WAIT! There is someone Who knows how to revitalize life and love and outlook, His name is God. So to start:
* Refocus on God. Psalm 130:5
* Seek Godly counsel and truly listen. Proverbs 11:14
* Repent and accept the Lord’s discipline and correction. Proverbs 3:11
* Pursue forgiveness. Matthew 5:23-24
* And forgive those who have wronged you. Matthew 6:15
* Reinstate Godly habits. 2 Timothy 1:13-14
* Purposefully pray and seek help. James 5:13
* Take the initiative and relax. Psalm 119:37
* Choose courage. Mark 15:43
* Commit your works to the Lord, and your thoughts will be established. Proverbs 16:3
After all, Christ has already redeemed us from our zombie existence: And YOU He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins! (Ephesians 2:1) It is time to awake and live!
Irony of Ironies
“Delight yourself also in the LORD, and He shall give you the desires of your heart.” ~ Psalms 37:4
Most of us have read this verse hundreds of times. And our focus nearly always lands on what God is going to do for us instead of what we are supposed to be doing. The irony is that this fact aptly demonstrates the true state of our hearts. Our delight is still in our desires rather than in the Lord.
We tend to think of this as scriptural support for pursuing a bartering relationship with God: the sure way to get what we really want. This is wrong. We cannot earn any of God’s grace and we cannot manipulate Him to get what we want. Disciplining ourselves to the delight in Him gives God a consistent open door in our lives… to change us and make us (and our dreams) who He wants us to be. This change alters our thinking and slowly transforms what our heart desires to new and “renovated” dreams that glorify Him.
Which is great, but at some level, at least some of us are thinking: So, I get nothing. Eventually, most of us find ourselves pouting and ultimately, whining, “God, you never give me what I want.” And when that happens, the challenge is to back up one verse to Psalms 37:3 and start again. Trust God. Do good. Dwell in the land (i.e. fully live out the opportunities God has given). And feed on His faithfulness. God is always loving and constantly seeking our good, even when those desires closest to our hearts go unfulfilled in the moment.
Look, and Take Instructions
I admit it: I was watching TV and I don’t even remember the show. But clearly, the men in this drama sought to establish themselves as men through: Speed. Strength. Stuff. Purpose. Fame. They acquired it all – yet still strove for… something.
So, what truly makes a man? I first thought. Then realized, I would be better to answer; how do I achieve womanhood? How do I make sure that “I measure up” as a woman?
Women all around the globe try to measure up by comparing their beauty, weight, money, clothes, man, jobs, and talents. Men compare their strength, exploits, conquests, drinking, money, women, and jobs. Many seek but do not realize they can never achieve that elusive goal of being valuable.
Let me be blunt: Being the richest, the thinnest, or the smartest cannot make you value yourself. Being able to drink the most or having slept with the most or controlling the most, cannot make others value you. And none of these impress the only One worth impressing – He even says so (Psalms 147:10-11):
He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He takes no pleasure in the legs of a man.
“The Lord takes pleasure in those who fear Him,
In those who hope in His mercy.”
That is how I measure up: I do not need to. I already am a child of the King.
“For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.” Galatians 3:26
Renewing the Call
“Be of good cheer. Rise, He is calling you.” -- Mark 10:49
I tend to think of “being called” in the past tense – it happened. Jesus called me to believe in Him as the only way to please God and gain eternity with Him. But it isn’t just past tense.
Calling is in the present tense. God is continually calling.
Come…deeper into knowledge and relationship with Christ.
Go… speak truth into a neighbor’s life.
Stay… still and listen to the Holy Spirit.
Find…comfort in the Everlasting Arms.
Lose… your life in pursuit of Christ.
What is He calling me today? What is He calling you to?
A Tree Planted by the Waters
This tree looked as alive as any deciduous tree looks in the winter. Big and beautiful, as far as I could tell from the outside, it was healthy. Then the driving rain stripped off the bark and the moss and all that was left was a rotting mass of spongy decaying wood. What had been cleverly concealed, was now plain. This tree had been dying for a long time – it only looked alive.
The storms of life reveal who we are on the inside. Our true colors show. There is no longer any place to hide; no way to gloss over the utter devastation. One’s character is fully exposed. But for a child of King Jesus, being known by God and others is not meant to be a dreaded state of affairs. For us, it is supposed to be the way we live life. We recognize that every moment is lived in the sight of God and for His favor. This truth of the constancy of His presence grows in our lives what that tree lacked: life, fruit, and rich fulfillment.
For you, O God, have tested us; You have refined us as silver is refined. You brought us into the net; You laid affliction on our backs...We went through fire and through water; But You brought us out to rich fulfillment. – Psalms 66:10-12
Come with me as we grow in fellowship with each other and our Savior to whom belongs the Amazing Escape from sin and death and the Amazing Journey into glorious life.