Sunday, March 13, 2011
O believer, learn to reject pride, seeing that you have no ground for it. Whatever you are, you have nothing to make you proud. The more you have, the more you are in debt to God; and you should not be proud of that which renders you a debtor. Consider your origin; look back to what you were. Consider what you will have been but for divine grace. Look upon yourself as you are now. Doesn’t your conscience reproach you? Don’t your thousand wanderings stand before you, and tell you that you are unworthy to be called His son or daughter? And if He has made you anything, aren’t you taught thereby that it is grace which has made you to differ? Great believer, you would have been a great sinner if God had not made you to differ. O you who are valiant for truth, you would have been as valiant for error if grace had not laid hold upon you. Therefore, don’t be proud, though you have a large estate - a wide domain of grace, once you did not have a single thing to call your own except your sin and misery. Oh!
Strange infatuation that you, who have borrowed everything, should think of exalting yourself... (Charles Spurgeon)
If you're looking for a practical and truly wonderful message on this topic, check out this one by Francis Chan, which made it worth my youngest getting up at six one morning so I could listen to it...
Sunday, March 6, 2011
The other day found me gritting my teeth in anxiety, hauling a minivan of four kids six and under—one carsick—over the hills of the backwoods of Bryant. When I'd left in a hurry to get my oldest (aka Mr. Carsick) to soccer practice on time, I'd taken a shortcut with what I thought were clear directions. Ah, but here I was, careening around potholed roads with nary a clue as to where I should go next.
My husband was out of town and not accessible on the ol' cell phone. So thinking quickly, I dialed my dad. He's one of those guys born with a map in his head: Strap a blindfold on, spin him around eighty times, and he can still point west. Not only that, but he's quick on the draw with his iphone GPS.
To my relief, he picked up immediately. As soon as I explained my dilemma/ignorance, he was on the computer, and seconds later, he was telling me what buildings I'd expect next and exactly where to turn. In his voice, I could hear his actual enthusiasm to help me. This was right up his alley. Within minutes—and finally on some straight roads—I was headed back toward the known world. The difference between the anxiety of being lost and late was replaced by the peace of a map and landmarks I could trust, not to mention the voice that had been giving me directions for life since before I could talk. He didn't let go of the phone until I was secure and doubtless of my destination. His voice sounded satisfied, happy to help.
Lately I've found myself continually seeking God for His direction on some big issues that are important to me. Sometimes the waiting and uncertainty morph into stealthy, gripping fear. But as I was reminded by my sweet Dad and a well-timed sermon, God's immediate and eager, not reticent, to offer me direction. I may not have the clarity of a cell phone in my ear, but I do have His Spirit. The question's not whether He'll be faithful to lead me into His will—what He wants!—but rather whether I'll allow myself to be filled with faith, patience, and joy as His perfect timing evolves:
If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without reproach, and it will be given him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for the one who doubts is like a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. (James 1:5-6)
He's my shepherd who guides me with rod and staff, who leads me in paths of righteousness for His own Name's sake—in a sense, the ultimate GPS. Bonus: Even I don't even have to worry about being late.