To Know God More

Because of that experience, we have even greater confidence in the message proclaimed by the prophets.  You must pay close attention to what they wrote, for their words are like a lamp shining in a dark place—until the Day dawns, and Christ the Morning Star shines in your hearts.—2 Peter 1:19

If we will take the initiative to move forward in our faith, keep off the path of compromise, and avoid the misleading shortcuts that deny the Bible’s words—the LORDhimself will confirm, prevent, or redirect our actions.

Information helps so little when the soul hurts so much.  The answers you seek can only go so far.  Therefore, the light of God’s word comforts us when the “why” questions of life tear at the very fabric of our faith.  But seldom does the Bible offer answers to the “why” questions. Why?  Because answers are never enough.  Even after we arrive at the answers to our questions, we discover our destination has its own new dark places.  Answers beget new questions.

Instead of mere answers, the Scriptures offer us a change of perspective.  The peace of mind we seek comes from knowing God more than knowing answers.  While facts often give birth to more questions, faith puts our fears to rest.

The light that makes God known answers your deepest need.  Reading God’s word shines a surprising light on our lives as well. The Scriptures never give us answers that make us stop trusting God.  Instead, the Scriptures lead us to places that require us to trust in God more.

The light we seek is a greater understanding of God himself.  Reading the Bible, gives us much needed light in our dark world.  It gives us the answers about God we never knew existed.

Saturday, November 10, 2018

Mountain Mentality Dwarfs Doubt

As the mountains surround Jerusalem, so the LORD surrounds his people, from this time on and forevermore.—Psalm 125:2

In spite of all the Bible passages we’ve studied and all the past victories the Lord has granted us, occasionally something will happen in our lives that will cause serious doubt and raise our level of fear.

Maybe it’s a financial situation that undercuts our future security.  Or it might be a miserable marriage.  Perhaps it’s a pastor or a church leader or member or even a best friend who has failed you.  Maybe it’s our own failure.

Whatever the reason, seasons of doubt and fear can come even to the most committed followers of Jesus:  John the Baptist struggled with doubts regarding his own beliefs about the God-given mission and purpose of Jesus. The apostle Thomas found the resurrection of Christ something he had to see for himself before he would believe.  And some of the disciples had doubts about Jesus’ appearing to them, even in Galilee at the Great Commission.

I must confess, that I’ve had my share of doubts and fears as well.  Sometimes questionable or dangerous circumstances literally demanded that I doubt God and fear for my life.

But a simple walk in the city of Jerusalem one evening gave me an essential reminder.  Walking back to my hotel at sunset, my eyes caught a final glimpse of the sun as it sank over the ridge west of the city.  As I stopped to watch, Psalm 125:2 suddenly brought me to unexpected heights.  The mountains surrounding Jerusalem are forever immovable.

Those mountains surrounding Jerusalemhave stood through countless wars and ruthless armies who marched upon them.  Guess what? The mountains haven’t moved then, and they haven’t moved today.  This mountain mentality dwarfs doubt.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Open Our Eyes Lord

 Then Elisha prayed, “O Lord, open his eyes and let him see!”—2 Kings 6:17

In 850 BC, God spoke to Elisha and told him the Aramean king’s secret plans to attack Israel. God told Elisha exactly where the army would be hiding.  The king of Israel listened to Elisha’s warning and was on guard.  He didn’t fall into the enemies’ hands to be destroyed.

When the king of Aram learned that it was Elisha who was spoiling his secret plans of attack, he sent a large army made up of horses and chariots to surround the city of Dothan.

The next morning, Elisha’s servant saw the massive Aramean army surround the city. In the eyes of the enemy, Dothan was a city of sitting ducks.  The sheer number of Aramean horses and chariots sent shivers up his spine.  A sense of doubt and fear filled the air.

After Elisha prayed, the LORD opened the eyes of his servant.  So, when the servant looked to the mountain that surrounded the city, he saw that it was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha.  God not only surrounded Elisha and his servant along with the entire city with his horses and chariots of fire, but he also blinded the enemy who tried to move in and capture the prophet.

Regardless of how you feel or what you see, in spite of the impossible odds against you, God has not abandoned you.  It may seem that your situation is such that you are surrounded on all sides with doubt clouding your hope and fear filling your heart. In a time of great crisis, we need to pray that God open our eyes to see beyond what we are able and perceive things in his perspective.