Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Patience’

 

Today’s world is instant everything. No waiting. From fast food, microwaves, Keurig’s, iPhones, computers, the list is endless. Waiting takes patience; and patience seems to be a fruit of the Spirit we no longer deem important.

McDonalds

So what causes your toe-to-tap this morning? Tell the truth—shame the devil. The long line at McDonalds when you’re late? A spouse who can’t seem to get his/her act together? Lazy kids? A promotion at work? A neglected raise in your paycheck?  A new house? A new car? Your children to grow up and attain the level of success you ask? Or a kajillion other must haves on your list of life’s most importants?

But look around. Are all these things the reason for success? Or are we missing the point—the eternal point? Dr. Tommy Nelson, ThD in Lewisville, Texas, writes:

“History goes this way: What one generation resists, the next will allow. What one generation allows, the next will embrace. And what one generation embraces, the next will enforce.”

Think about it. Where do you think America stands today along Dr. Nelson’s timeline?

Ellis Farm 3

Within the space of several paragraphs in the Psalms, inspired by the Spirit of God, David wrote these words:

“And now, Lord, for what do I wait? My hope is in Thee” (Psalm 39:7 NAS).

“I waited patiently for the Lord; and He inclined to me, and heard my cry…” (Psalm 40:1 NAS).

“I delight to do Thy will, O my God; Thy Law is within my heart” (Psalm 40:8 NAS).

“As the deer pants for the water brooks, so my soul pants for Thee, O God” (Psalm 42:1 NAS).

Everywhere we turn this morning there are problems. Problems beyond our ability to solve. Serious problems that no political party will or could solve. Americans have been asleep at the wheel and our nation has been pushed and is careening off a dangerous cliff, destined to crash in flames on the jagged rocks below.

Where is your hope anchored? Who is your delight? What does your heart pant for?

We’ve been so busy taking care of me and thee, we haven’t concentrated on Him. The Giver of life—the Author of Creation—the Lord God Almighty.

earth-implosion

We’ve looked in every nook and cranny for the answer to social, economic, and political disasters—everywhere but to the place and to the One where true answers lie. Why? Because to search in that place we must stop our searching and wait. Wait on God.

I can see you shake your head and hear your thoughts, she doesn’t have a clue. Really? Man is the only being on this earth when danger and calamity rears its ugly head, we run faster. And faster. And faster. Even though we can’t see.

David tells us four times in the above Psalms what we are to do and what God will do in return. But this is a matter of the heart and requires each one of us to quietly submit, prayerfully contemplate, totally surrender, and thankfully worship. And we don’t know how to be quiet, contemplate, surrender, or worship.

 

To solve problems, you must determine the crux of the problem. And if we stop and truly think about this question, I’m sure none of us will like the answer. The crux of the problem is me—and you—and us. We think we’re smart enough to solve any problem. Right? Look at all man has accomplished in the history of the world. But isn’t that pride and arrogance and deception? And I’m the worst of the worst.

We’ve listened so long to Satan’s war drums; we no longer have the ability to discern deception or recognize danger. Our schools have taught our children there is no such thing as absolute truth, and we nod and rush them to the next sporting event to let them participate.

Ever pushing and shoving them and ourselves to the next thing. Rather than obeying what God said to King David, a man God identified as being “…a man after His own heart.”

A Matter of the Heart

God made us to win. To overcome. Not to just participate. Overcoming requires waiting before the God who made you and seeking His perfect plan for your life.

If it’s not too late, we must come to grips with the following questions:

  • When is enough, enough?
  • What am I working, waiting, longing for?
  • Where is my hope?
  • What will it take to humble my heart?
  • Am I ready to wait on the Lord?
  • Am I willing to do His will—not my own?
  • Is His Law written in my heart?
  • Does my soul pant for God like the deer pants for the water brook?

Ellis Farm

Are you, as a citizen of this once great nation, ready to sacrifice whatever it takes to bow your knee before the Lord God Almighty and ask Him to search your heart, to make His will known in your life, and then are you determined to obey what He tells you?

He is our only hope. His Spirit will bring revival—When the Church repents, waits for God, confesses our sins, and pants only for Him.

“He brought me up out of the pit of destruction, out of the miry clay; and He set my feet upon a rock making my footsteps firm. And He put a new song in my mouth, a song of praise to our God. Many will see and fear, and will trust in the Lord” (Psalm 40:2-3 NAS).

Arbuckle Mts.

 

 

 

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

I glanced at my watch, fifteen minutes to spare. Super. I whipped off I30 and pulled into the local McDonalds to quiet the gnawing of my stomach on my backbone. The line was long, but I had a margin of fifteen minutes. No problem—

When the cars finally moved enough for me to place my order I was committed. “I’d like a ham and egg McMuffin with no cheese, please.” She repeated the order and I confirmed, “That’s right. No cheese.” I pulled forward and waited. And waited.

The car in front of me must have been ordering food for a multitude. No joke, ten minutes passed. And I waited some more. When the car pulled away, the McDonald’s lady handed me my sack and a giant coke.

“No cheese, right?”

She smiled and nodded.

My fifteen-minute margin had been gobbled as I pulled back onto the freeway. I unwrapped my McMuffin, anticipating the deliciousness, but noticing the wrappings seemed thinner than usual—there was no egg!

Just a slice of ham and warm muffin slathered in melted, yellow, gooey stuff. So ooey-gooey I couldn’t separate the ingredients from each other.
Now any other time, I would have looped around the restaurant, gone back through the drive-through, and demanded they fix the problem. But I was already headed west on I30, and running late. I took a bite or too, but the greasy processed yuck impersonating cheese coated the roof of my mouth. I stuffed the remains of a breakfast-gone-bad back in the bag and pouted. Gonna be a long time ‘til lunch.

No Cheese photo

With every spin of the tires I grumbled about the kitchen staff’s inability to fill a simple order. What’s so hard about leaving off a piece-a-cheese?

And God let me grumble for a mile or so—until He pointed to the comparison between the cheesy sins I served Him each day. with my lack of regard or remorse for not giving Him what He asks.

“But these are incompetent people,” I argued. “… not paying attention or caring what they’re doing.” Silence filled the car and the space in my mind.

“…not paying attention or caring…” circulated in my mind while I recalled my harsh words to my husband the evening before when he hadn’t done something I thought should be done. And the Lord punched the play button on the tape of my incompetent and rebellious moments where He specifically asked me to discard distasteful habits in my life. Habits I had drug home and allowed them to take up residence—worse yet, habits—no let’s call them what they are—sins I paid no attention to as they grew new roots, attaching and renewing themselves to my heart and mind like weeds.

No Cheese photo 1

I won’t even bother to record my list. I’m sure you have your own.

Sins, like melty cheese on my deformed McMuffin, that stick to hearts and minds. Sins we all are either too lazy, too unobservant, or too ignorant or rebellious to scrape off and throw in the trash. But we need to identify and own up to our sins, seek God’s forgiveness and healing, through the blood of Jesus Christ.

Paul tells us in Colossians 3:8-11 we are to put aside:

“anger, wrath, malice, slander, and abusive speech from your mouth. Do not lie to one another, since you laid aside the old self with its evil practices, and have put on the new self who is being renewed to a true knowledge according to the image of the One who created Him—a renewal in which there is no distinction between Greek and Jew, circumcised and uncircumcised, barbarian, Scythian, slave and freeman, but Christ is all, and in all.”

But Paul doesn’t leave us standing naked and exposed. In Chapter 3:12 of Colossians he tells us what to put on.

“So as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you. Beyond all these things put on love, which is the perfect bond of unity. Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body; and be thankful.”

It’s impossible for me to be thankful when I’m gripping. And as if to test what I learned last Saturday, when I pulled through another McDonalds yesterday, one where they never mix up my order, guess what? Yep, I got everything, including cheese. So what was I supposed to do—suck it up and eat it anyway? Oh no. We are to instruct, rebuke, and teach—in a kind manner. I looped around the building and asked them to give me the order I requested—a McMuffin with no cheese.

No Cheese photo 2

And likewise, God requires you and I to take another loop around His Word, so He can instruct, rebuke, and teach us to put to death the unrighteous, cheesy sins that separate us from fellowship with Him and each other.

“Let the word of Christ richly dwell within you, with all wisdom teaching and admonishing one another with psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father” (Colossians 3:16-17 NAS).

Read Full Post »

This past weekend a group of people watched horrified as a speeding vehicle crashed through barriers and flipped upside down, submerged in the Utah River, with three teenagers inside.

With one spirit, in one accord, this group of people jumped into the turmoil, turned the vehicle right-side-up in the water, and rescued the teens who are reported to be in stable condition.

The event made national news and we celebrate this unified selfless act of saving lives. But isn’t that what Christ called the Church to do—rescue rebellious people from their wrong doings and introduce them to Jesus!DSCF2480

Before the foundation of the world God put in place everything we would need to work in the power of His Holy Spirit to do the work He preordained for each one of us to accomplish. And what better picture could we have than the courageous group from Salt Lake last weekend.

I can’t pick up a car, can you? Of course not, but working together with a single goal and one spirit, these folks saved three disobedient teens from drowning. And that’s our calling—rescuing DSCF3049people from the power of the evil one, wrenching them from the claws of sin, and telling them how Jesus died to save them. Forever.

Ephesians 3:16 tells us every believer, according to the riches of God’s glory, will be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man. So Church, let me ask, where’s our power? Has the Spirit changed? Or are we the rebellious ones, speeding through life, giving no thought to how far we’ve catapulted into the enemy’s camp?

Paul implores us to “…walk in a manner worth of the Historic Churches 0018calling with which we have been called, with all humility and gentleness, with patience, showing tolerance for one another in love, being diligent to preserve the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace” (Ephesians 4:1-3 NIIV).

Well now, that certainly explains our problem, doesn’t it? The Church is called to unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace—Uh oh. Peace in Baptists ranks? Or humble, patient Presbyterians? How about tolerance for one another in love by the Church of God folks? Do I need to continue? Does anyone think there’s going to be a special Southern Baptist section in heaven? Or are Bible Churches going to be given top billing? Of course not. We are all being built-up into one body, in Christ. His body. His bride.

And we wonder why we’re impotent? We’re so full of ourselves and our own agenda. Proud. Arrogant. Selfish. Self-willed. We’ve got it covered. We’re upside-down in the flood waters of life, deprived of the breath of the Spirit destined for death, ‘til the doctor DSCF2348delivers a tragic diagnosis. ‘Til a husband, wife, or child dies. ‘Til another 9/11 and we come face to face with our mortality and insignificant, hopeless state without God.

We skip across the pages of The Word, grabbing a morsel here, a snack there, yet never pausing to let the wonder and glory of the LORD God Almighty fill our soul. That’s not belief. That’s not faith. That’s pride. No wonder we’re in the mess we’re in. Confused, weak, tossed about with name it and claim it philosophies and countless other deceptions which have captured the minds of the Body and carried our hearts to a pagan land. We are prattling children. Unaware. Fiddling while our family, our neighborhood, our nation burns. Just like in the days of Noah.

Hell is the apparent destination for many I know. Many you know. They don’t know Jesus. But we refuse to grasp the urgency of their DSCF2344peril, to open our eyes to the finality and horror of separation from God forever. We refuse to tell them about what Jesus has done in our lives. Or is there nothing to tell? Do we really care about lost folks? Are we complacent, thinking whew, I’m safe. Too bad about them? Good thing the Salt Lake City folks recognized the teens would die if they didn’t act right then and in one accord.

Jesus gave us one assignment. “Go make disciples.” Like those folks jumped into the river with no thought for their comfort, their safety, their appearance. With a unified voice we must break down those embassies of hell entrenched in every city and town in our nation. And yank those held in the fierce jaws of Satan into the Ark of the Lord Jesus Christ. We can’t save them, God does, but we are responsible for the yanking, telling, loving, and nurturing them to hope and healing in the unity of the Spirit in Christ Jesus.

If we come to our senses, see their danger and ours, and come together in the only Holy Spirit of the Lord, the same power that Historic Churches 0007_edited-1fell at Pentecost will sweep across this nation with purifying wind and fire, saving multitudes, and the Holy Spirit will revive, rejuvenate, and transform the Church.

It’s our choice. Yours and mine—one saved sinner at a time–To repent and walk in a manner worthy of our calling or continue grieving the Spirit of God.

“I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you will know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints, and what is the surpassing greatness of His power toward us who believe” (Ephesians 1:18-19 NIIV).

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: