Sunday, December 25, 2011

Too Proud For the Low Gate

If it is our habit to demand of God answers, solutions, explanations, we may find ourselves traveling a broad intellectual highway that leads to destruction.  If it is really life we want, we must accept the narrow way and the very low gate.  The questions, the problems not solved, the mystery not explained will be for the one who would press on to know the Lord.  He is called by a still, small voice to humility and poverty of spirit --- only by that road will he be allowed to see God.  He must believe Him even when carrying in his heart the unanswered question.  The problem he desperately wants solved is God’s means of getting his attention –not necessarily that He may reveal its solutions but most certainly that He may reveal Himself to him.  But let him not forget – it is the pure in heart who see God (see Matt. 5:8).

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Too Busy to Be Quiet

If we are bent on a mad tear through life, God will allow us that liberty, but He was not tear madly about with us.  He will wait for us until we quiet down and wait on Him.  Sometimes we are not interested in quietness until things have suddenly fallen apart or come to a screeching halt, and then, in the ensuing silence we know that we cannot cure our evils and neither is God going to cure them.  What He has been waiting for is our attention, our eyes turned to Him who is the very Life of All the Ages, the Light that our darkness can never overcome, Christ Himself, with us, in us, suffering, loving, and transforming us into the same image.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, December 11, 2011

The Way Appointed

It was at the supper with Jesus’ disciples, on the night before He was crucified, that He told them He was going “the way appointed.”  That meant betrayal, by one of the very men sharing the same meal with Him, and crucifixion, at the hands of others who had arranged to pay this man.  Yet in and through those terrible things that were to happen to Him, Jesus never for a moment thought of Himself as solely in their hands, at their mercy.  He was held in the will of the Father.  There was sovereign purpose in it all; the way He must travel was no accident of fate.  It was appointed, assigned, a date with destiny.  He accepted it as such.
What agonies we would spare ourselves if we would remember that ours, too, is a way appointed.  We need not ever imagine that our circumstances are in any other hands than those that held the beloved Son obedient unto death.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, December 4, 2011

The Same Old Routine

It is sometimes supposed that the Holy Spirit is stifled by order, planning, or routine, and can work only in the context of spontaneity, and the “unstructured.”

The story of the birth of John the Baptist is an important one in the New Testament.  It is worth noting that God’s preparations for this event embraced a strictly ordered set of religious routines.  The priest Zechariah, to whom this unusual child was to be given, was doing what the rules prescribed.  It was the turn of his division to take part (a clearly defined part) in divine service.  There was nothing “unstructured” here.  “It fell to his lot by priestly custom to enter the sanctuary of the Lord and offer the incense” (Luke 1:9).

It is not unlikely that Zechariah, like the rest of us, sometimes felt wearied by the sameness of his duties and wondered if the ritual was not perhaps empty and meaningless.  Was it really worthwhile to go through the routine in the same way, day after day?  But this time an angel was waiting for him at the altar!  Suppose he had not shown up for his part?

So the Lord meets us ---not by our going out of our way and neglecting the usual responsibilities laid upon us, but in the middle of our most repetitive task.  There He is, expecting us to come as faithfully as ever, waiting to give us something. 
Make me faithful, Lord. Make me humble enough to keep on doing what I know I’m supposed to be doing, and joyfully expectant of finding You close by while I work. 

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot