Saturday, December 1, 2007

Four-Wheel Drive

Is any sick among you? Let him call for the elders of the church; and let them pray over him , anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord: And the prayer of faith shall save the sick, and the Lord shall raise him up; and if he have committed sins, they shall be forgiven him. James 5:14-15

Very familiar scripture. As a matter of fact, I heard it last week as a women was anointed at church. What stuck in my mind, and got me thinking, was her comment. She said that she had tried everything else, but should have tried God first. Sounds like me, and you, and millions of others doesn't it? We have so many "cures" in the world today that we sometimes forget to call on God for our infirmities and weaknesses. Worst of all, we can also let them effect our service to God. If we see this beginning to happen, we need to get back to the "hubs" of our relationship with our Lord. Prayer and the Word.

There are several things that can knock us off track, and put us down in the valley. Here are a few.

ANXIETY- What are you anxious about? Hows your nerves? 1 Peter 5:7 says to "cast all your cares upon him, for he careth for you". Philippians 4:7 says "And the peace of God, which passeth all understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus". That peace, His peace, that passeth ALL understanding, will keep our hearts and minds. Maybe we don't ask for help because we just cant understand in our human nature, that he is there for us in all things.

DISCOURAGEMENT- What discourages us? Having trouble at work? Arguments at home? No matter how much or how long we pray, we still have unsaved loved ones. Galatians 6:9 says "And let us not be weary in well doing, for in due season we shall reap if we faint not". Isaiah 41:10 says "Fear thou not for I am with thee; be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness".

EMPTINESS- Do you ever feel empty? Maybe you've been on this way for a long time and you just get stuck, with no excitement in your christian walk. Psalm 107:9 says "for he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness".

LONELINESS- Ever feel like your fighting your battles by yourself and you're all alone? Psalm 16:11 says "thou wilt shew me the path of life: in thy presence is fulness of joy; at thy right hand there are pleasures for evermore".

WORRY- Whats on your mind? What are you worried about? Are the bills all paid? What are the kids doing? Don't worry. God will provide all our needs. Have faith in Jesus and claim his promises. 1 John 5:14-15 says "And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask anything according to his will, he heareth us: And if we know that he hear us, whatsoever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we desired of him".

SUFFERING- This is the big one! This is something that each of us will face in one way or another, especially as we grow older. But there is hope! Suffering has profit! Hebrews 12:6 says "For whom the Lord loveth he chasteneth, and scourgeth every son whom he receiveth". And in that same chapter in verse 11 it says "Now no chastening for the present seemeth to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yieldeth the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised therby". Suffering also deepens our faith. 1 Peter 1:6-7 says " Wherin ye greatly rejoice, though now for a season, if need be, ye are in heaviness through manifold temptations: That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ". And just in case we forgot, suffering is also to be expected. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 says "And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me. Therefore I take pleasure in infirmities, in reproaches, in necessities, in persecutions, in distresses for Christ's sake: for when I am weak, then am I strong".

So here we are, with all these problems. Anxiety, worry, discouragement, etc... How are we supposed to move on? I read a story today about a man who suffered from one or maybe all of the above mentioned problems. It said that the man was found outside cuddled up under a tree, screaming and begging for his life to end. He was so empty both physically and mentally, that he finally just collapsed! The story went on to say that when he woke up, someone had left some food for him, so he ate, and went back to sleep. When he woke up again, there was more food. The man eventually recovered and went his way. Seems like all he needed was a little rest, a little food, and some time with God. If this was you or me, our families would have probably had us committed! He was definitely in a suicidal state of mind. By the way, just in case you don't recognize the story, it wasn't today's newspaper I read it in. The man is Elijah. And not only did Elijah recover, he was also in the presence of God! Not in the wind, not in the earthquake, not in the fire, but in a still small voice.

When we get down in the valley, can we take the time to wait and listen for the still small voice? It seems that in today's world we don't wait. We look for shortcuts for everything. I don't think that there is any food left in the world that cant be cooked in a microwave! But is it as good as the old fashioned way? The way that takes time and effort? The hand mixing of ingredients that we watched our mothers and grandmothers do? I don't think so. That way was the "hub" of cooking. Like I said at the beginning, there are millions of us that don't take the the time to trust and wait on God, but turn to the pill bottle instead. Don't get me wrong now, I believe that God has given us modern medicine and doctors, and I am thankful for them, but perhaps we have become more dependant on modern technology and modern medicine, and lost our dependency on God. There are even some who would rather take their problems to Dr. Phil, then take them to the Great Physician! We want the "quick-fix". We want what the doctors say will work rather than waiting and looking and listening for that still small voice.

Lets become more dependant on God for all our troubles, and let him bring us out of the valley. Today's world has a lot of gadgets to make life easier and quicker for us, especially automobiles. There is a button for everything! But when your down in that valley and stuck in a rut, gadgets are not what you need. We need to step out of our comfort zones, get right out in the mess and realize that we are truly stuck, bend down, get on our knees, and lock in those HUBS! The hub of prayer! The hub of Gods word. Before we know it, we will start digging in and climbing out of that rut, and begin climbing back up the mountain. And if along the way we find ourselves in another rut, don't panic. Call up your friends. I know they will bring a chain (prayer) and pull us out!

4-wheelin anyone?!

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