I went running today because it was so much cooler than it has been (i.e. under 100 degrees). And even with a stiff breeze, it was still grossly hot. But what did I expect? It’s summer…in the desert. But as I ran, I saw a blessed sight. Off in the distance, the wind was blowing clouds over the Sandia Mountains. Flushed and sweating, it was easy to pray for God to bring the rain.
Full of expectation, I watched those clouds drift in and park on the mountain; they never got anywhere close to us. I was disappointed and nearly home before I started getting pelted with cold, high desert raindrops. Then I realized the truth: rain was coming -- not from the clouds I could see, but from the clouds I couldn’t see.
The whole time I prayed, I fixated on the clouds in front of me – they were where the rain was going to come from, I was sure of it. But I was wrong. God was bringing the rain from behind me.
He is always faithful to bring the rain. But He gets to choose the source and I get to be grateful.
“That’s what my neighbor said, ‘I can’t believe in a God Who won’t allow people who love each other to be together.’ So, I asked him if I could take his wife home, and he told me not to be stupid!”
But that idea isn’t stupid. It’s ignorant. Paul tells us that the ignorant do not know the righteousness of God; instead they are hell-bent on establishing their own righteousness (Romans 10:3). When those who we are mentoring are ignorant, we need teach them submission to the holiness of God. Otherwise, they will become wise in their own eyes and end up as the fool.
“Let me get this straight: he walked her to her door, but didn’t want to stay to explain to her father why they were so late…so he got hid in the bushes and got stuck? That is so stupid!”
Okay this one is close. But more than stupid, it was immature. The author of Hebrews tells us it is babes who cannot discern between good and evil. When we are instructing those who are immature, we are to exercise them to improve their judgment (Hebrews 5:16).
“Right in the middle of the store, the son was yelling, ‘Don’t tell me what to do!’ His mother was about 75, and if he was a day younger than 50…I’d be shocked.”
Now that was stupid! Because…
“Whoever loves instruction loves knowledge, but he who hates correction is stupid.”
– Proverbs 12:1
Happy Father’s Day!
Written especially for those fathers whose favorite verse is Proverbs 12:1!
“I kid you not! That drunk guy stole the pick-up, drove it the wrong way on the freeway, just so he could run it into the church! It was so stupid!”
No, it wasn’t stupid -- it was shortsighted. Peter says that someone lacking in Christ-like character is shortsighted to the point of being blind. If those we are discipling are shortsighted, we need to purposefully encourage them to diligently growing in faith (2 Peter 1:5, 9).
“It was right in a Christian school too! He got up and said that the universe created itself – that it is the only thing that exists, has ever existed, and will ever exist. It was stoooopid!”
Unfortunately, that statement wasn’t stupid – it was foolish. David reminds us that the fool has said in his heart there is no God (Psalm 14:1). When those we are speaking to about the truth are foolish, we are to silence them by our good conduct (1 Peter 2:15) and reflect their foolishness back to them (Proverbs 26:4-5). If we don’t, we allow them continue unimpeded into woe (Isaiah 5:21).
My coat was stuck, caught on a hook that I couldn't see. I fumbled a minute before I closed my eyes and concentrated my entire brain power. Not two seconds passed before my jacket popped free. Success!
We close our eyes a lot in life. Trying to remember? Close your eyes. Enjoying the fresh baked bread with butter? Close your eyes. Kissing your spouse? Attending the orchestra? Smelling the roses (or better yet, the lilacs)? Fishing around for a piece of glass in someone’s foot? Close your eyes, close your eyes, close your eyes.
Why? Because: our gift of sight smothers our other senses…including our faith. We often allow our sight to dictate how good something tastes, how soft something feels, or how obedient we will be to God’s calling.
Physically, we know this and often instinctively close our eyes to allow us better concentration to do, experience, and enjoy. Spiritually, we need to learn how to just close our eyes and trust because the righteous shall live by faith.
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.