Judges 6:12 – And the Angel of the Lord appeared to him, Gideon, and said to him, The Lord is with you, you mighty man of, fearless, courage.
Bobby and I enjoy hiking but not just any hiking, waterfalls. Our hiking quest is always in search of outstanding waterfalls. We have hiked many of the norms, Abrams at Cades Cove, Vogel, several around Vogel State Park, but we have such a thirst for out of the norm waterfalls.
From the time I was twelve until I graduated from high school, I lived in an environment of verbal and emotional abuse. During that time, I learned to stay within the safety of the four walls inside my bedroom. As long as my music could not be heard or my one friend who could come to my house was quiet, I was shielded from the abuse.
As the nails of adversity were continually being pounded into my heart, I taught myself how to escape through my dreams and I developed an increasing desire for chocolate. God had been pushed to the back for a season because Mother and I no longer went to church nor did she and I read God’s Word together anymore.
Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord.
Joshua took his stand for God many years earlier. In Numbers 13, when is was time for the Israelites to go into the land God had promised them, all but Caleb and Joshua chose to retreat and disobey God.
When our sons were in high school they were in the marching band. At first, Bobby and I were just spectators. For us that was not bringing the thrill we wanted because being bystanders does not fit in our vocabulary.
After several games, the band director started speaking our language, he was interested in the fact that Bobby was creative and had artist skills. Our position went from spectators to chaperoning band students to chaperoning band equipment and that was speaking to us. The music continues to play long after the football game is over.
Psalm 119:125 – I am your servant; give me discernment that I may understand your statutes.
We need discernment so we can understand and apply Scripture where we need help. God’s Word is a lamp to my feet and a light for my path, Psalm 119:105. However, God’s Word only goes to work when we apply the lessons, commands and examples to our lives.
Psalm 119:18-19 –Open my eyes that I may see wonderful things in your law. I am a stranger on earth; do not hide your commands from me.
Seventeen years ago, Bobby and I came face to face with a situation that was caused not by our doing but by someone else. We could have approached this situation with denial, blame, running from it or looking for someone to rescue us from the situation. We chose to walk through this situation with all individuals involved with care, guidance from God, and seeking spiritual maturity from all parties involved.
At first, the individuals that caused the situation seemed to want to mature in their walk with God; they seemed to want to provide the best for each person. They were taking responsibility for their actions that caused the situation.
Were Judas or Peter flawless men? Am I a flawless person? The Christian life is a process of becoming more and more like Christ. In the process of becoming, we must overcome.
Sometimes what we are tempted to do is not wrong in itself. Eve wanted to be like God. This is humanity’s highest goal. However, Satan misled Eve concerning the right way to accomplish this goal. He told her that she could become more like God by defying God’s authority, by taking God’s place and deciding for herself what was best for her life. Satan told her to become her own god.
Am I a true disciple and follower of Christ, or am I an uncommitted pretender?
It has been over three painful, heart breaking, years since someone I love dearly has called me a hypocrite and other cutting hurtful words. As I unfolded the letter that this individual wrote, I was frozen. I could not believe that I was reading this type of letter from this individual. The words that were in this letter could not be from this person.
The cutting words not only stabbed my heart but it was the statement after the cutting words that have torn my heart into a million pieces. I was told that our relationship could not be restored. There was no explanation for either the cutting words or for our relationship to be cut.
Two years after the tragic death of my father, my mother sat me down and told me that she had cancer. This was news that turned our feet toward God not away from Him. My mother did not blame God for my father’s tragic death neither did she blame God for cancer.
James 4:8 – Come near to God and he will come near to you.
In the process of refining metals, the raw metal is heated with fire until it melts. The impurities separate from it and rise to the surface. They are skimmed off leaving the pure metal. Without this heating and melting, there would be no purifying. As the impurities are skimmed off the top, the reflection of the worker appears in the smooth pure surface. As we are purified by God, His reflection in our lives will become more and more clear.
1 Peter 1:6-7 – In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that your faith, of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire, may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed.