Recently a terrible motorcycle accident took place in our city. People at the scene thought they saw an additional rider on the back of the bike. The local sheriff brought in a helicopter to search the surrounding area for this “missing” person. The pilots would definitely be able to see something from the air that the those on the ground couldn’t. Praise God, this “missing” person was not real. It was simply bad info by those who “saw” the accident.
It’s interesting how many believers try to live each day in the presence of their God all by themselves. How arrogant! Can they really see everything? Know everything? No, they can’t. They are on like the first responders on the ground who couldn’t find this “missing” person, who was never even there. You can only make your decisions to follow Jesus or yourself based on the information you currently have. Yet, what if your information is inaccurate?
We can’t walk alone or need accountability partners. We need fellow believers who are processing each day through the Word of God for themselves and are willing to tell us the truth in love by pointing out the lies in our thinking. They are like the helicopter. They will be able to hear and repeat back to us what we’re so used to saying to ourselves that we don’t even realize is wrong. Who’s your helicopter? I encourage you to ask the Spirit to bring you a Bible Impact partner, one who will practice walking in the presence of God with you.
Set Free Noww“W”
Every year during the summer my family and I take a two-week vacation to Mammoth Lakes, California. This city is located in the Eastern Sierra Mountain range about 5 hours from my house. In this area, we stay at a 1910 Ranch house that was used by cowboys taking care of cattle in the surrounding fields. Continue reading
The “house” we lived in during our vacation is quite rustic. It has no running water, no electricity and no indoor plumbing. It has none of the creature comforts we’ve come to expect in the West. But it’s a great house! It provides shelter, a place to put our stuff, and is base camp, home, for the activities we do while on vacation, like hiking, fishing, exploring, and simply hanging out with each other and Jesus.
This year, on our last night, my wife and I sat on the porch all bundled up with a hot drink in our hands looking up at the light show above our heads. It was so beautiful to see so many of the stars that make up the Milky Way galaxy. It was quite relaxing. As we gazed upwards, we began talking about wouldn’t it be nice to stay up here longer. Then reality hit. It snows at this elevation! And it snows a lot. What’s the big deal? We both greatly dislike the cold. Wearing extra layers of clothing to keep warm is not something we look forward to at home where it doesn’t snow, let alone up here where it does.
This cabin is nice. But it’s not home. This world might be nice, but it’s not home. This is an important lesson we can take from the Feast of Tabernacles (aka Sukkot). Our bodies? Temporary. Our homes? Temporary. Our stuff? Very temporary. Our challenges? Temporary. Our defeats and failures? Temporary. Our pain and sorrow? Again, temporary.
We must praise Jesus for the victories, but don’t get too high on them. Complete victory is coming. Don’t beat yourself up over the defeats, which can lead to taking your drug of choice, you’re heading to a place where you’ll never lose again. One day this temporary sin-stained world will be replaced with permanent perfection. Stay focused on Jesus as this world is not our home, we’re just passing through.
S“E”t Free Nowww
“What are you guys looking at?” This was what the angel asked the 11 Apostles. They were standing on the Mt. of Olives looking up at the sky where Jesus had just disappeared beyond a cloud after being taken home. The angel followed up with an interesting statement, “This same Jesus will come back to earth the same exact way He left … from the sky.”
Jesus is coming back via the sky, both for His bride and then again to reign as King on this planet from Jerusalem. I find it interesting that during this Sukkot season (i.e. Tabernacles) Israeli’s are living in tents with holes in their roofs. Tradition gives us a few reasons for this skylight. It’s to enable them to see the stars and remember they wandered in the desert under those stars before they came home. It’s also to remember that they live each day under God’s provision.
I’d like to add another reason. Our Messiah (i.e. Christ) is coming from the direction of those stars. The first time Jesus came to earth humbly and vulnerably through the virgin birth. The next time He’ll come from the sky regally and with great power.
We must never forget that no matter how our daily battles go, we’re on the victorious side. Look up. As we face daily choices to keep listening to and following Jesus, look up. The Spirit will enable you to make the truthful choices. As life gets discouraging, look up. You’ve got someone smiling down on you. This world, which is full of disappointments, is not the final destination. Look up. Home is around the corner. Ultimate victory is already gained. Look up.
We become what we focus on and what we focus on only gets bigger. Focus on what’s above, not on what’s going on here (Col. 3:2). Look up. You’re not only looking at where your help comes from, but you’re also looking in the direction of home.
S“E”t Free Nowww
Yesterday began the biblical feast of Sukkot. The people of Israel then and now build and live in temporary shelters/tents for seven days. One thing it does is to remind them and us that this world is not our permanent home, our final destination, it’s only temporary; so don’t get too comfortable in the here and now.
One reason we take our drugs of choice is because we focus way to much on what we see here on this planet, especially when life doesn’t turn out like we think it should. Governments, businesses, and culture are influenced by people who don’t always have our best interests in mind. And when they fail us, we can end up turning to our sinful repeated behaviors to feel better about ourselves, rather than to Jesus.
Think about what you’re stressing over right now. Is it coming with you when you die? Is it temporary or permanent? Only Christ-like character and people will last beyond the boundary between earth and heaven. Thus, each choice you make reveals where your focus is – only on the now, the temporary, or the eternal, the permanent. When we take our drug of choice we’re seeking temporary relief today, not permanent satisfaction tomorrow.
Shift your focus from the here and now to the eternal, from the temporary to the permanent and your choices will begin to change; choices that will replace your temporary unfulfilled to Jesus’ permanently satisfying character.
It’s like the old hymnal said, “This world is not our home. We’re only passing through.” So why focus your attention on what only you can see?
S“E”t Free Nowww