Monday, January 13, 2014

Tripped Up Again

Eek! It's Monday the 13th! Sometimes it is the seemingly simple task that trips up the well-meaning Christ-one. For a season we walk in the way of confidence. Stepping lightly along the way of our Lord, and then, we feel the feet fly upward and the legs go out from under us as the buttocks make their way toward a tough landing on hard ground. 'What happened?' we ask of the Lord. All seemed to be heading for a safe harbor in life. New projects begun looked perfectly suited to the Lord's will and new tasks undertaken appeared to be biblical and blessed. Yet, we fell hard and often right on our Christian backside.

At first, there seems to be no explanation for these small and large disasters in life. Yet, we must remember a couple of things this morning. One, God is not always willing that our way should be easy and direct to the place He would have us to go. Two, the place I think that God would have me to go may not be the actual place that God wants me to arrive. Also, we have this enemy who seems to enjoy tripping up the Christian at all times and in every way possible. I have three scriptures for evidence of this today. John 16:33, Isaiah 55:8-11, and 1 Peter 5:8-9.

First, "These things I have spoken to you, that in me you will have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world" (John 16:33) The bad news promise there is bracketed by the peace of Christ and the overcoming of our Lord. Unfortunately, we cannot overlook the promise that tribulation will be ours for the seasons of this life. Second, "For My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are My ways your ways", says the Lord. "For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts." (Isaiah 55:8-9) Obviously, I will not always understand what the Lord intends in a season of tribulation or in a moment of failure. What I thought was the goal of the exercise may in fact be something totally different from the Lord's goal and plan for me. Finally, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour." (1 Peter 5:8) Like Job, we are at times allowed to be partly devoured. That failure may not be your fault; that falling may not be my fault. We live in perilous times with the forces of this world arrayed against us. We have to contend with our own mistakes and weakness, and the powers of this world trying to throw us down. However, Jesus walks with us and gives His peace to us. The Holy Spirit lives in me and you; we are not alone in this fight. My brothers and sisters face the same temptations and resist the same adversary. We walk in the same light of Jesus the Christ, and we enjoy the same perfect love of God our Father. Whatever our calling on this day, together we go forward fully-armed in Christ Jesus.

God's grace and peace go with you on this day,

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