In my last post, The Risky Mission, I talked a lot about what obstacles successful people had to overcome in their lives to become successful, by anyone’s standards and how it didn’t matter what background they came from.
Whether they came from wealth, poverty, whether they had to overcome racial, national or gender barriers they all had a few things in common that separated their lives from the commonplace life. You might recall, if you read that post, that I said that in God’s economy all lives matter and God uses all life for His glory, which is why we were created.
It’s my opinion alone that God uses some folks as shining examples of what His power can accomplish and other He uses as object examples and not always of glowing behavior. There are many examples where these lives have been turned around from object examples to great victories wherein God gets all the credit and glory. I’m certain He earned it each time!
Back to the matter at hand. You might recall one of the points I made had to do with one of the most common characteristics of people who fail to thrive in life or repeatedly fail to reach goals or even formulate any that would give their lives joy, peace, or some sense of God’s blessing upon them or the people they care for.
I always go back to the prophet Jeremiah and his wonderfully hopeful prophecy that so many of my brethren have come to love today:
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11
Unfortunately, too many of us fail to see that our relationship with God, under the guidance of the Holy Spirit requires more than the wistful desire to see something wonderful happen in our lives. If this is all that’s needed, there would be no need for the day to day relationship we must have with the Lord, would there? Of course not. In this way, we reduce God to a rabbit’s foot, a vending machine, or Santa Claus.
The trouble with this is is that the rabbit’s foot gets lost, and the vending machine gets stuck after it steals our coins. Santa only comes once a year.
And then what? As often happens with those who have not developed the relationship the way Scripture has laid out for us, the immature fall away, they put the relationship on hold or worse, they even curse God Himself. It is sad to see, but as an elder in my church many come up for prayer with a misunderstanding of the nature of the relationship and what really is needed.
People in crisis tend to stay in a state of crisis with little relief, if any, until the next one. In my profession, we are seeing multiple generations of families in crisis. They know no other way and this is a screaming tragedy begging for God’s intervention! This is why Jesus had to die as He did. This is what He told His disciples 2,000 years ago and He meant it for all of us:
If you love me, keep my commands. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. John 14:15-19
Crisis living is not living. It is slow, hopeless, lingering death. Death of the spirit, death of the body , and often death of the soul. This is not God’s plan for anyone.
It starts with the Holy Spirit. If He dwells in you, you must draw close to Him. He promises that if we do this, He will draw close to us. You must be born again to have Him in you. Jesus was talking about this when he told the disciples that He would not leave them as orphans.
The Holy Spirit will help us develop Godly wisdom to plan and seek God with all our heats, mind, soul, and strength. He will help us to put the carelessness, pain, and suffering of crisis living behind and lead us into that which is truly important and eternally valuable. The pastors in my church lead hundreds by their daily example.
This example is S.O.A.P., meaning Scripture, Application, Observation, and Prayer. We have cards with chapter a day readings. Each reading follows this four step process and helps us do so many things God’s way, in His strength and not ours, always leading to fulfillment. Because The Word is everything in our lives. If it is not and you;re a Christian I want to encourage you right now to refocus and renew your mind putting His kingdom first.
Don’t waste a minute! The great preacher Charles Spurgeon said it best:
If you are idle in Christ’s work, you are active in the devil’s work.
There’s time for rest, but we are here for God’s glory and not for any other reason. If you are living in crisis and feel your life is not yours or is not the life filled with God’s wonderful plan for you get into the habit of lathering up.
S.O.A.P.! It’s not just reading. It’s reading with a purpose. To draw closer to God, to glorify Him, pray to Him for true revelation, peace, and grace.
You can do it. Surrender your life to Him and get lathered up!