Tuesday, August 29, 2017

Those Who Wait Upon the Lord

Those Who Wait Upon the Lord

But those who wait on the Lord
Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles,
They shall run and not be weary,
They shall walk and not faint. (Isaiah 40:31 NKJV).

As young Christians, we often make the mistake of believing that through own will and human strength that we can preserve in our spiritual journey. It may take a while, but we always learn that in our strength we always grow weary and fall (v.30). Only those who wait upon the Lord and put their trust in Him, will run and not be weary.

Recently, I was visited by the shingles virus. It was not a lot of fun. For several days, I was virtually immobile. The virus attacked a nerve in my left leg, and I could not put weight on it without experiencing excruciating pain. The pain continued for a few days and then gradually started to disparate. But the malady left me sapped of my energy. After a couple of weeks, I felt well enough to go back to work. But the first and second day of work I was pressing to make it to the end of the day. My third day back to work I got up feeling like all I wanted to do was go back to bed. I proceeded downstairs to spend some time with the Lord.  As I finished my daily Bible reading, in my mind, I heard the Lord say, “Those who wait who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength.” I was very familiar with this verse, but we sometimes forget. Being off work for two weeks, I had numerous pressing things on my mind about my job. I felt like I could not take an extended time of just waiting in the Lord’s presence. The truth was that I could not afford not to take this time with God.  A wise person once told me, “spiritually speaking, if your output exceeds your impute, your upkeep will be your downfall.”

So, I just waited on the Lord, only quietly worshiping Him. After a few minutes, I started to feel his presence envelope me. I began to experience a sense of restfulness and started to feel like the Lord was renewing my spirit. As I was in His presence, the Lord brought back to my mind an experience I had many years ago. On a prayer walk in rural Virginia, a large bird flew over my head. It was not an eagle but about the same size. I noticed that this bird only flapped his wings about every ten seconds. It twisted and turned its body to keep facing the air currents, allowing the wind to give it lift. It was able with minimal effort to soar higher and higher.  I believe God was saying to me, quit trying to do it in your strength. Learn from the bird.  Keep your eyes on me and catch the mighty wind of my Spirit. I will enable you to soar like an eagle, and I will renew your strength.

After this experience, I started to meditate on “Those who wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength.”  When we meditate on God’s word, hope begins to rise in our hearts and faith is not far behind. Why?  The Bible says that “faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God” (Romans 10:17 NKJV).  Wait on the Lord and ponder on His word and watch the Lord fulfill His promises.

Image used with permission by Microsoft.

Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com
                http://gleaningspodcast.blogspot.com






Wednesday, June 7, 2017

The Religion of Environmentalism

The environment was made for man, not man for the environment.

Often we take good things and make them into absolutes.  When we take a legitimate issue and make into an ultimate one, we are practicing idolatry.  In this country and around the world we are dangerously close to bowing down to the idol of environmentalism.

Of course, taking care of our environment is a good thing.  God’s creation should be taken care of well and preserved as best we can.  We should be working to reduce our carbon footprint by all reasonable means.  What becomes reasonable in this discussion is defined by whether environmentalism is a means to an end or an end in itself.  If our environment is the ultimate thing, then all extreme measures are necessary.  Anyone who questions in any way our reaction to the earth warming is considered a bad person.  We should remember that history teaches us that until recently truth has always been determined through both scientific and theological/philosophical means.  St. Augustine said, “the book of nature and the book of Scripture were both written by the same author, and will not be in conflict when properly read and understood.”  Pope John Paul II, said in 1987: “Science can purify religion from error and superstition; Religion can purify science from idolatry and false absolutes.”  Only time will tell which one of these correctives are needed most today concerning the global warming debate.

The disparaging of a sacred cow can only explain the reaction to President Trump pulling out of the Paris Climate Accord.  The dishonoring of Jesus and Muhammad brought the same response.  A disagreement over a policy does invoke this kind of invective.  Everyone has a God.  It is what we value the most or the thing to which we give our greatest allegiance.  Unfortunately, mankind started to worship the creation rather than the God who created it.  In effect, we exchanged good for the best.  The argument today about global warming should not be about good and evil but about reasonable and unreasonable. God has given man dominion over the earth to enjoy and to care for lovingly, but never to worship.  When we move away from sound reason and follow a false God, it always leads us away from the truth.

Image source--https://lad.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dosya:Ecologia.jpg


Ken Barnes the author of “The Chicken Farm and Other Sacred Places”  YWAM Publishing
Email: 
kenbarnes737@gmail.com
website:
https://sites.google.com/site/kenbarnesbooksite/
            http://gleanings757.blogspot.com