From the monthly archives:

July 2010

"The angel of God... moved and went behind them." Exodus 14:22

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”  Exodus 14:14

Great faith speaks words of faith.  Little faith should simply be quiet.

The sons of Israel had been delivered from Egypt but not from their grumbling tongues and faithless hearts.  Their faithlessness was legendary and was carried away from Egypt like fine china when they left for the wilderness.

Faithlessness is the term but caustic and cynical are descriptors of the language and attitude.  Remember, “Out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.” Certainly,  the abundant faithlessness of that multitude spoke volumes.

“Is it because there was not enough graves in Egypt that you took us to die in the wilderness?”

“It would be better for us to serve them than to die in the wilderness.”

“Leave us alone that we may serve the Egyptians!”

“Why have you dealt with us in this way?”

Faithlessness fills an empty heart like a tumor.  It is poison to the soul and crawls like a creeping vine through the rank and file of the saints.  But here is the problem…. every person at one point or another has been faithless. Every Christian has suffered the silent questions and entertained the lies of Egypt’s slavery.  So what to do?

When the Isrealites were pressed into the sea by the Egyptian chariots, Moses stood above them with staff in hand and declared,

“The Lord will fight for you while you keep silent.”

Stop complaining.  Stop murmuring.  Stop rehearsing your fear.  The words are strong… SHUT UP.   Do you get the point? The best thing that the faithless can do is be quiet.  It is then that the Word promises “the Lord will fight for you.”

In the midst of 1st century persecution, a hymn was sung often enough to be known by all.  One of the lines was recorded by Paul in his letter to Timothy.

If we are faithless, He remains faithful; for He cannot deny Himself.

The psalmist said,

For He Himself knows our frame ; He is mindful that we are but dust.

He has an answer for the weak and faithless and it is this.  Be still, be quiet, stop the overflow of caustic and cynical chatter and “the Lord will fight for you.” God always… always… solicits our participation in His plans.  For the faithless it means to stop.

  • Stop complaining… it wearies everyone around you.
  • Stop murmuring… it is the sin of faithless Israel.
  • Stop casting fear… it yields a crop of thorny thoughts.

Spurgeon wrote,

“Who told thee that night would never end in day?  Who told thee that the sea of circumstances would ebb out till there should be nothing left, but long leagues of the mud of horrible poverty?  Who told thee that the winter of thy discontent would proceed from frost to frost, from snow, and ice, and hail, to deeper snow, and yet more heavy tempest of despair?  Knowest thou not that day follows night, that flood comes after ebb, that spring and summer succeed to winter?  Hope thou then!  Hope thou ever! For God fails thee not.”

Has your anchor of hope broken loose and thrown you against the shoals of murmur and the caustic rocks of faithless chatter?  You always have a choice, friend.  When all is lost and no hope of self-deliverance is left, throw your rope to the heavens and then keep silent, for the Lord will fight for you.


The Best Life Ever

July 25, 2010

"I have tested you in the furnace..." Isaiah 48:10

Sanctify them in the truth… John 17:17

~Sanctify (sāngk’tə-fī’) – To set apart for sacred use; consecrate.~

Even the words of the definition are antiquated.  Like a tool replaced long ago by the efficiency of power and modern engineering, the word is recognized as being religious but not practical.  It has been put on the shelf, pushed into the antiquities closet of modern Christianity.

Antiques are replaced by things that are “as good as.”  Sanctification has been replaced with religious relationships, trying hard to be good, seminars/books/blogs on parenting and marriage and the most damaging of all, feel-good preaching that interjects the bible without ever touching the soul.

Jesus prayed to the Father (John 17:17) in the most poignant prayer ever spoken, “Sanctify them in the truth.” What He meant is simple and life changing.  In John 14:6, Jesus made three “I am” declarations.

  • “I am the way”… This statement simplified the confusing hall of mirrors that the Pharisees had constructed to keep people from knowing God.  Want to know God?  The path is Jesus.
  • “I am the truth”…  This statement removes all fear from following Christ.  It is the answer to the question, “can I trust You?”  At the beginning of His earthly ministry He said He was not only telling the truth but that He was truth to the core of His nature.  To those who had been fooled and robbed by man and Satan, Jesus promised truth.
  • “I am the life”…  I don’t know how Jesus would have finished this sentence, but quite possibly it would be, “I am the life you have been looking for.”  Certainly, He meant that the only hope to return to pre-sin life is to trust Him through His way and His truth.

Sanctification is critical to having the kind of life that can be used by God.  If a person’s life is to truly matter on this earth being set apart for sacred use is the first step… not the last step but the first.   Knowing Jesus… His ways, His truths, and His life… is the path to being set apart for a purpose beyond what you could ever hope to achieve.

One more note.  Trust is the result of adding up the experiences of the past that predict events in the future.  To trust someone, you simply look at past relational behavior and predict their future behavior.  If the past behavior is positive, you can trust that person in the future.  Faith is when we put our trust to work… it is the most normal, practical and reasonable response to a God of love.  Sanctification is the end result in your life.  He’s a God of love, a God of truth and He knows the way.  Trust Him all the way to sanctification.

It’s the best life you can ever have.


On a First Name Basis

July 21, 2010

“I am Jesus…”  Acts 9:5 The other day I introduced myself to a doctor who was meandering through the clinic checking on patients.  Before he approached Jan, I stood, extended my hand and gave him my name but got nothing but a smile, a nod and a handshake.  I guess he figured I must already […]

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How to Overcome being Overwhelmed

July 19, 2010

Are you overwhelmed today?   It can be the kids, the job, the spouse, or the weather, it doesn’t matter the reason or cause. Being overwhelmed means that we have been emptied of everything good and overflow with stress.  People describe it as being paralyzed, filled with anxiety or numb.  Life is grey, people are a […]

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The Potter’s Hand

July 14, 2010

I watched her diminish through January.  Each night when I would leave the hospital room she would smile her goodbye.  I would cross over Buffalo Bayou to the oh-so-tiny apartment where I would sleep a few hours before returning to the hospital in the daylight. The cliche is true… life is seldom what we expect.  […]

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Fresh Oil Needed

July 7, 2010

What I need is a fresh anointing, not more advise, knowledge or religious activity.  What I need is consecration, holy desire and a broken heart, not what is added to that mixture by those who lack the Holy Spirit.  Every move of God comes to a crossroad of either crying out for a greater outpouring […]

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Why Do People Ignore the Gospel?

July 4, 2010

“… faith working through love.”  Galatians 5:6 I have some special friends who are close to the shallows of this life, closer to the end than the beginning and they do not know Christ.  I am not the only Christian they have known through the many years they now possess.  In fact, they have known […]

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On Dead Men and Roses

July 1, 2010

The Rose Garden at Hermann Park is located in the heart of downtown Houston.  It is eye of the storm of cars, metro’s, universities and the mammoth multi-hospital system which surrounds it on all sides.  But on this unusually cool and overcast first day of July even the noise of the traffic jams cannot rob […]

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