Sunday, March 25, 2012

Devotional Time = Spirit Repair

"That He would grant you, according to the riches of His glory, to be strengthened with power through His Spirit in the inner man, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith; and that you, being rooted and grounded in love."  Ephesians 3:16-17 (NAS)

What a fitting way to describe our devotional time:  repairing the soul by reading God's Word and communing with Him.  Like that dilapidated washing machine, my spirit needs the ultimate Repairman.  Although I complained abut the washer, it was stronger than my own inner man.  It needed weekly repair, while I need it daily.

At one point, the repairman explained that the washer was used too often.  I laughed inwardly at his solution -- if I could just stop dirty laundry from accumulating, all would be well!  What a parallel to how the stresses of life wear away our spiritual vitality just like the never-ending laundry wears our the washer's parts.

We can't stop the stresses of life any more than my family can stop producing dirty clothes.  So I keep calling the Repairman to patch up my soul.  Our daily "spirit repair" time is what keeps me sharing the gospel.

Sunday, March 18, 2012

Worry Is Meddling

Some of us seem to be “by nature” worriers. I know---I am one of them. But this does not in the least excuse me. Worry is forbidden by our Lord as useless. We can’t increase our height by worrying, Jesus said. The future is God’s business. We are not to meddle with it. We may quietly talk to the Manager if we think trouble is brewing. He knows what to do, while we would only create confusion. It is quite impossible simultaneously to believe God and to worry. Lord, you are the Blessed Controller of all things. Help me to give up meddling and to leave the matter to You who not only perfectly understand the need but are perfectly able to handle it.

The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Where Is Your Mind?

While I was trying to pray this morning my mind was turning over a disturbing conversation I had with a friend yesterday.  Why couldn’t she see the fallacy of her argument?  Why couldn’t I make myself clearer?  If only I had pointed out such-and-such….
Then came the words of Colossians 3:1-2, about the place where Christ lives, “seated at the right hand of God.”  That is where our minds ought to live ---just where He lives.   “Let your thoughts dwell on that higher realm, not on this earthly life.”  What an order.
Does it mean I’m to become “so heavenly-minded I’m of no earthly use”?   Quite the opposite.   The more truly fixed my mind is on the level where nothing changes or deteriorates or disturbs, the more strength and serenity I will have to serve God and ordinary folks in “this earthly life.”
Appropriating this fact by faith, I can commit all that was said and left unsaid yesterday, and the person  who disturbed me, and lean my mind on the stillness of Christ in God.
The Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot

Sunday, March 4, 2012

Where Faith Falls Short

The man whose son was demon-possessed (see Mark 9) believed there was some possibility that Jesus could help him, or he would not have bothered to come.  Possible? Said Jesus.  Of course it’s possible!  “Everything is possible to one who has faith” (Mark 9:23).  How much faith would it take to heal this young man?  “Probably more than I’ve got,” the father thought.  When a man begins to try to measure his faith (what “quantity”? Will this do?) he will always find that he comes up short.  What to do next?  “Help me where faith falls short,” (v.24) is his request.  Such a prayer sees oneself as deficient and in need of help.  It sees Jesus as able to make up for deficiencies of any kind, even of that which seems most necessary for healing.  Will He refuse on the ground that this man ought to manage a more robust belief?  Will the father’s self-acknowledged failure deprive the son of healing?
 Jesus took over.  “I command you to come out of him and never go back!” (v.25).  What the father could not do (nor could the disciples) Jesus did.  He always responds to faith in Him.  We may come without fear, even though we know our faith leaves much to be desired.  We may always come.  He will not turn us away.  He will meet us where we are and He will help us where faith falls short.  

Music of His Promises by Elisabeth Elliot