Wednesday, September 18, 2013

You Gotta Keep Your Head Up!

When I was younger, I really enjoyed early Saturday morning television shows. One of my favorites was The Adventures of Superman. The show opened with the announcer saying, “Look! It’s a bird. It’s a plane. No, it’s Superman!”

No one  looked for superman to come in on foot, in a car, or on his or her ground level. When people wanted the help of Superman, they had to look up!

The other day, I was working out with a great friend of mine. It was a very difficult workout that physically took our breath away. My workout partner finished strong but felt weak. He was bent over attempting to take deep breaths. Before long, he stood up and said, “When I played football in High School, after a difficult workout my coach would tell us to pick our heads up and lift our hands in order to breathe.” He continued to say, “You can’t breathe while bent over and looking down, there’s no air down there.

Many of us are seeking some sort of provision from God. However, in our efforts to receive provision, we have become exhausted and are hanging our heads. Keep reading - your provisional relief is coming. Understand that provision is not limited to finances. God provides peace, comfort, love, attention, relief, and more.

Genesis 24:63-67
63 And Isaac went out to meditate and bow down [in prayer] in the open country in the evening; and he looked up and saw that, behold, the camels were coming.
64 And Rebekah looked up, and when she saw Isaac, she dismounted from the camel.
65 For she [had] said to the servant, Who is that man walking across the field to meet us? And the servant [had] said, He is my master. So she took a veil and concealed herself with it.
66 And the servant told Isaac everything that he had done.
67 And Isaac brought her into his mother Sarah’s tent, and he took Rebekah and she became his wife, and he loved her; thus Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.

Isaac, the son of Abraham was by himself in an open place praying fervently. It wasn’t that Isaac was without resources (his family was rich) however his life was about to experience an area of lack. I can imagine Isaac kneeling down and praying to God, closing his prayer, then looking up. In the distance he saw the camels.

Camels carried provision. Camels carried resources. Camels carried what was needed to survive in a dry and deserted area.

Rebekah is on one of the camels. Isaac doesn’t know that he will need Rebekah, but his earthly father (Abraham) knew what God promised him and Isaac’s heavenly father (God) knew what the future held for Isaac.

Rebekah, away from her family and probably worn by the journey, is looking down as well. But, at the right and divine time, she looks up and at her provision.

Isaac needs Rebekah and Rebekah needs Isaac – God’s provision was presented to  both of them in this Camel moment.

After they meet, Isaac introduces Rebekah to his mother, Sarah and he marries Rebkah. When Sarah dies, Rebekah is the comfort he needs!

Here is the point. In our moments of desperation we tend to look down. Some look down and take a moment to pray. Others look down as if they are too worn to continue. I am challenging you to readjust your focus. LOOK UP! Your provision is on the horizon. Don’t give in – the further you push a spring down – the higher it jumps! If you continue to stay down, you are obstructing your ability to live. You can’t breath if you constrict the breathing process. You have to open up to fully receive what you need. The provision you need is not just for today it is for your future as well. Get to your place, away from the madness, and pray. God is ready to provide what you knowingly and unknowingly need.

Your CAMELS are coming! Look Up! 

Thursday, September 12, 2013

If God is counting Hairs - what about the one's I've lost??!!

(Matthew 10:28-30)

And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell. 29 Are not two sparrows sold for a copper coin? And not one of them falls to the ground apart from your Father’s will. 30 But the very hairs of your head are all numbered. 31 Do not fear therefore; you are of more value than many sparrows.

Fear is a prevailing emotion. With earthquakes, escalating gas prices, wars, and lackluster job security, people are just as afraid to live, as they are to die. When I was in junior high, number 72 for the Chicago Bears, William “Refrigerator” Perry was the greatest player alive. He was a big guy and I was a big guy - sort of. He was 6’2” and weighed 382 pounds, I was 4’9” and weighed around 110 pounds. Determined to use my weight to gain popularity and somehow discover my purpose, I joined the football team and made sure the coach gave me the number 72 jersey. My first day on the field, I was shocked to see how hard the other guys were running into each other. 

I thought, how is that fun? I don’t like being hit and I for sure don’t want to hit anybody! Given all of my prior football experience, I was placed on the “B” team as a second string lineman. The day I was told to get in the game, I was elated. I ran to my position, stood with my legs shoulder length apart, bent my knees a little, then put my right hand down balanced on my thumb and fingers. The ball was hiked and this giant man-child ran over me like truck. I walked off the field, removed my pads and exclaimed “this is not for me - use someone better!” My coach came over to me and explained that pain and persistence are apart of the game. He also said that in the game each player is important. 

The other team is going to attack at every opportunity and their goal is to get you to quit but players on and off the field are vital to victory. The coach made me put my pads back on and put me back in again. But, isn’t that what God does for us.

At our moment of desperation, He says just the right thing to remind us that even in our weak points he will provide the words that will give us the strength we need (2 Corinthians 12:9). I completed the game and the season more confident than ever. Although at first I thought my role was seemingly insignificant – I knew that if I didn’t do my part there would be no one to give the first string a break or to step in when needed. 

As Christians, we must grasp the undeniable truth that God passionately cares about us – so much so that he counts every hair on our head – even the ones that won’t grow back. You are important, invaluable, and priceless. Even though people may act like bullies and attack your character to make you feel inferior, your value is not determined by their words. God labeled you with a price that could never be paid by man and your persistence through the pain will give you victory! Remove fear and replace it with the God given confidence that you can do ALL things through Him that gives you strength.