Our Toolbox

This morning I was pondering faith. I instantly saw in my mind’s eye a flat tire. I saw a person staring at the flat tire and hoping that it would become repaired. They were sincere in their hope and really wanted the tire to be repaired. God showed me that often this is how we approach things. We have something in our life which is broken down. Maybe it’s a sickness. Maybe it’s someone who is antagonizing us. We really want God to fix the situation. We pray to him and ask repeatably for him to intervene. We believe. Now flash back to the flat tire. I saw the person get into the trunk of the car and pull out a jack, tire iron and spare tire. They proceeded to jack up the car, take off the flat tire and replace it with the new tire. God showed me that when we have broken situations in our lives, He has given us the tools we need to make repairs. Here are just a few of the tools at our disposal:

II Corithians 10:5 Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ.

1 Peter 5:7 Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

Ephesians 6:13-17 Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

God tells us that life and death is in the power of our tongue. The words we speak have power to transform (repair) our situation. God also tells us that faith without works is dead. God has given us the tools we need, now it’s up to us to use them. The tools God has given us (His Word) are designed for every situation we will ever face in this life.- II Peter 1:3 His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.

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Religious Nutjob

A title given to me because I simply believe

in something greater than me which I cannot see

Weak I am framed because I call unto His name,

why reach out to emptiness and hope to obtain

A pointless endeavor I hear them exclaim

My words fall short as I attempt to explain

I am seen as being in chains, playing a religious game

No freedom to pursue and make my own name

Believing in fairy tales in an attempt to make sense

In a world of sorrow and meaninglessness

Called simple minded, I feel much more inclined

To seek for truth instead of wandering blind

Filled with questions that will not be denied

Seeing the beauty in a universe designed

Knowing full well that chance cannot be the answer

To a tapestry carefully knitted by a master

I stare off at the stars and wonder fills my mind

Who wound the arms of the clock of time

Who set each planet in it’s perfect position

And keeps them moving in circular rhythm

Who raises the sun in each mornings glory

And tucks it to sleep at each bedtime story

Such beauty exists and I am drawn to inquire

Of boundless meaning meant to inspire

Although at times the answers seem to evade

and doubts are quick to invade

Even though everything cannot be explained,

the pursuit is not in vain

For greater depths are not yet uncovered,

until one begins on a grand endeavor

And through believing under pressure

One discovers a most prescious treasure

That can’t be bought with this worlds pleasures

or human wisdom dealt in good measure

Though disappointments are not to be avoided

and frustrations often compounded

Countless questions are no stranger

and at times in perilous danger

When the end is not in sight and hope takes flight

No one is immune to an unwelcome plight

So where does one turn who has no faith to stand

and what counselor is on hand?

Oh wise man whose courage is built on sand

what remains of your well laid out plan?

When the floods rise and prove your foundation

will you cling to your faithless reputation?

Oh faithful one, who knows where to run

when the darkness of life blocks out the sun

A secret place of salvation and grace

resting in the arms of of unending embrace

Restoration comes to one who is broken,

and does not resist His word spoken

And from the ashes, the faithful one will arise

and continue pursuit of the highest prize

While the faithless one will continue to deny

and look to the faithful one full of demise

Shouting loud whilst hiding his sobs…..

“he is just a religious nutjob”.

Dead End

How many have come to that place. Where the road ends and the cliff begins. Where a dense fog clouds your path forward. A place where forward progress comes to a screeching halt and the moment is pregnant with uncertainty. It is a dead end. It is a desparate place. There is no turning back, no turning to the left or right, no retreat. There is no escape except for divine intervention…..
Moses faced a dead end. Before him was the Red Sea, behind him was the Egyptian army. No escape. No options. The Egyptians were closing in and the Israelites cried out to God. There was a pressing on one side from a deadly force and on the other side was an obstacle. Moses told the people to “Do not fear! Stand by and see the salvation of the Lord”. When facing a dead end, fear will surely come and be an unwelcome companion. The longer we entertain fear, we will sink into hopelessness. But Moses knew there was an option. That the Lord was going to deliver. There was no other way. As Moses raised his staff, the dead end became a new beginning and victory was accomplished that day.
Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego faced a dead end. The execution furnace in front of them, no way around, no way out. Nebuchadnezzar called for the heat to be raised by seven times hotter than usual. Fear would raise its head and whisper through the flames of impending doom, yet the three Hebrews held in bondage were unwavering in their devotion to God. As they were thrown into the furnace, their dead end became a testimony of God’s power and His ability to deliver out of impossible situations.
Jesus faced a dead end. Hanging from a cross, beaten, bloodied, dismembered, His final words “It is finished”. For those faithful who were observing, death had claimed their King and the path forward seemed unclear. As Jesus lay hidden in the tomb, wrapped in grave cloths, it would seem as though hope had been lost. But when the tomb stone was rolled away and Jesus emerged victorious, His dead end is the reason that our dead ends are opportunities to move forward. He faced a dead end once so that He could provide the way for us out of our dead end. Our greatest obstacle was sin and it’s penalty on our lives. That prison had no hope, no release, no life. Now that we are free, there is no dead end that we come to that is impossible. Jesus made all of the dead ends we will face in life as open doors. Know for certain that you will travel roads which come to an abrupt end. When you come to that place where there is no path forward, do not fear! Remember Jesus has already passed through and made a way where there was no way.