Sunday, July 22, 2018

July 23, 2018

“When the LORD restored the fortunes of Zion, we were like those who dreamed.” Psalm 126:1

Sometimes we fall captive to what my John Maxwell calls, “destination disease”. That may have been the case here in the 126th Psalm. Sure, they had suffered 70 years of being held captive by the Babylonians but I think the greater captivity was in their spirit where they longed for the days when they could worship God in a certain way at a certain place.

It seems they had forgotten that though they were restricted to a foreign land, their God wasn’t. He was longing to meet them right where they were. It seems they failed to remember that Abraham had worshiped God in his travels and Moses had worshiped God in the desert. They failed to miss His presence because their experience with Him was mired in the past.

Because of this “destination disease” they almost missed the wonderful new thing that God was doing! As they longed for God to restore them back to the sacred soil of Jerusalem to rebuild their Temple, God sent a captor to take their captor captive! Cyrus the Great and his Persian army overwhelmed the Babylonians and God put it on his heart to “restore the fortunes of Zion”!

Are you suffering from “destination disease”? Are you held captive to notions that worship has to happen in a certain way at a certain place? Are you holding God captive to your traditions and your comfort zone? Are you missing a new thing God is doing because you are locked into the old? Are you waiting for Him to show up or are you seeking to find Him where He is?

God has called us to freedom! God has sent Jesus to take our captor captive! Even when the circumstances of life take us places we don’t want to be , we should live in spiritual freedom! We should meet Him where we are! We should not look for God in old places and retreat to comfort zones, we should expect God to do knew and wonderful things for us!

Tradition can be a wonderful thing but it can also inflict us with “destination disease”. Be thankful as you remember what God has done in past places and in past ways, but also realize that He is doing something new! Remember the past and respect the past but don’t retreat there! Live in His freedom! Live in His freshness! Right now! Right where you are!

July 22, 2018

“I cry to you, LORD; I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.” Psalms 142:5

It amazes me how many Christians are looking for the fast, flashy, quick-fix, five-step formula to spiritual maturity. If there is something that looks like a sure short-cut, they are on it.

Before I get off this topic of commitment I want to assure you that there is no short-cut or superhighway to becoming a spiritual giant.

Don’t get caught up in these shallow stupid fantasies of the flesh. The only way to spiritual maturity is the way David did it – commitment. Commitment was the one constant of his life. It didn’t matter if he was caring for sheep, confronting a giant, cowering in a cave, conquering enemies, or wearing a crown he was fully committed to His God.

You will have to be committed in the mundane tedious tasks that meet the needs of others when God calls you to that. There will be some giant risks you will be called to confront and some giant-sized spiritual enemies you will have to defeat. There will be lonely difficult times when you will feel like you are trapped in a cave and no one cares – even God. Every one of those challenges will require a commitment to keep chasing and embracing God. David had his cave and Jesus had His cross and so will you!

But, the fact is you will be committed to something. Everyone is! And whatever you commit to will cost you – ultimately it could cost you your soul.

Do you need to renew your commitment to obey and follow God? 

Have you been thinking about bailing on your commitment? 

Where is your commitment being tested? 

Usually when it feels like you want to get out it is time to get back in.

Jesus proved God’s commitment to you. David showed us what it looks like. 

It’s your move!