There are seasons when Christ seems to be lost. Just like Jesus was absent for his disciples in death before his resurrection, there are times when there is no peace, no rest, no beauty because the Lord seems lost.
There are times when Christ seems absent from the world and evil triumphs without hindrance. In those times Christ seems absent from the Church and absent from the soul. Faith seems dead and comfort has departed and we’re ready to cry like Mary, “They have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him” (John 20:13). Then we pray and it mocks us. The Bible seems dry. Such seasons are hard to bear.
I beg you not to misjudge Christ. When He seems lost, He is not far away. We may be adrift but He is on the shore. Only it takes a little love to see Him and to cry in the dawn, “It is the Lord!” (John 21:7).
Our spiritual opposition is ordinarily our spiritual opportunity.
The New Testament is clear that the Christian makes their way only by overcoming a strong host of foes. The Christian has strong assurances from God, but not that of immunity from attack and hidden pitfalls. The genius of the Christian life is not that it believes in spite of evidence but that it proceeds in scorn of consequence.
1 Samuel 17:38-39 says,
Then Saul dressed David in his own tunic. He put a coat of armor on him and a bronze helmet on his head. David fastened on his sword over the tunic and tried walking around, because he was not used to them.
“I cannot go in these,” he said to Saul, “because I am not used to them.” So he took them off.
Saul stands for the desire for uniformity. David stands for the assertion of individuality. We must resist the tendency to uniformity and insist on individuality if we want to serve Christ.
Saul thought there was only one method of fighting, one equipment for war. he sought to dress David up in his own armor. He wanted to make David into a second Saul.
The whole tendency of society is to destroy individuality and to produce a level and monstrous uniformity. Every child who comes into this world from the hand of God is unique, an original. But society has its forms and conventions and standards, and these it seeks to impose upon every living person. It distrusts the innovator. The person it loves is the correct, respectable, orthodox person who respects traditions, worships convention, and falls in with established customs and ways.
David declined to be an imitation Saul. If he had not, there would have been no victory over Goliath.
So be yourself!
Work in your own way.
Listen to mentors and elders in your life but think your own thoughts and believe your own beliefs.
What blessings followed David’s assertion of his own individuality!
How would the Church have grown if we had two Peters and no Paul or vice versa?
It is as we are that God wants us. With our poor sling and five stones, let us offer ourselves to Him. He will use the weak things of the world to put to shame the things that are strong.
LAME! That’s how I would describe many worship services that I attend or am a part of. All that was alive (the Word of God) gets smothered by a rules-oriented religion. How many people have only experienced worship in that way?
Most of the people love God with their minds but they miss the part about their hearts. This ritual religion may think and act biblically but it doesn’t prompt the followers of Jesus to FEEL what they should be feeling. There’s no passion, just listlessness and watch-watching. You might label it apathetic, formulaic, even perfunctory. I just call it lame.
Some will argue that the dramatic encounters of the Bible are not essential today because we have the Bible in our hands and the Holy Spirit in our hearts. But don’t let that allow you to settle for a faith from the shoulders up. God needs to penetrate our hearts through the Word’s truth and drive the indifference and complacency from our souls.
Lord, disallow that indifference in my heart.
In a recent survey of 90 year-olds they were asked, “If you could do it all over again, what would you do differently?”
Their top answers?
- Reflect more: slow down, savor sunsets, laugh more, enjoy life.
- Risk more: Take more chances. You can’t pick the fruit unless you’re out on a limb.
- Do something with your life that would live on after you’re dead and gone.
What about you so far?
We are ambassadors of Christ in this world. We represent the Kingdom of God here and now. We are His personal representatives to this alien land. Our official residency belongs not to this world but to our homeland–Heaven. Within these walls of our homes the rules and customs belongs to Heaven.
Our allegiance is to our homeland and King, not of this world.
Are we living up to our ambassadorial title? And is our home an embassy of Heaven?
An ambassador also has direct access to the King he represents. How can we represent if we don’t know the King’s mind? Many people fail as Christian ambassadors because they don’t maintain communication with their King.
If an ambassador stays too long in a foreign country and doesn’t make frequent visits to his own land he gets “denaturalized.” This can happen without being aware of it.
How easily, without realizing it, do we become “conformed to this world.” How easily we accept a lower standard; lose the sharp distinction between right and wrong.
How do we avoid this? By repeated contact and communication with God and His people. Daily prayer, weekly corporate worship, fellowship and service are ways to do that.
Sooner or later every ambassador is called home and relieved of his or her post.
Some day we will be called home. God doesn’t intend for us to dwell forever in an alien land. When it comes, may it only find us fulfilling our ambassadorial duties.
Sometimes I get discouraged because I see little results from my ministry. It’s then I have to re-read the story of Noah. He worked for 100 years and didn’t get discouraged. If he did, the Holy Spirit didn’t ensure it was recorded. So if the Lord wants me to work I will work on. I’ve seen transformation of people from death to life spiritually and Noah preached for years without a convert. So I’ve made my mind up: I will do the best I can and leave the results with God.
So Christian! Expect good results and never get discouraged; but if we don’t get good results, let us not look on the dark side, but keep on praying, and in the fullness of time the blessing of God will come.