Easy Does It!

For many very good reasons those are definitely the wisest words spoken around me in the last couple of weeks.  Recently, after a very long hiatus I’ve returned to the world of physical work. I’m slowly becoming adjusted to my new routine, getting lots of healthy exercise, working with people I enjoy, and spending all day outside usually in the woods! It’s every bit as much fun as it sounds, but the combination of having turned fifty last month and my being so very out of shape (round is a shape isn’t it?) has made it a real challenge. Let me tell you, after you’ve pushed yourself pretty hard it’s an incredible feeling just to lay back on the grass and stare up at the crystal clear blue sky. Feeling your blood coursing through your veins and the blessed peace that even momentary relief brings. Marking time by the thunderous rhythm of your own heart beats against the easy swaying of the tree tops.

Overheated~ pulsating… ecstatic!

At this point in my life, it’s out of necessity I must be smarter about how I go about things. I’m no longer able to simply go to the well of my physical strength as before. This emerging strategy consists mostly of practicing patience, persistence, and planning, but more importantly it’s about using the power that’s available to me most effectively. That involves developing the skill and judgment nessesary to use a machine to it’s full potential without pushing it to the point that it’s going to break or in a way it wasn’t designed to be used. Understanding that it, the machine, will take a great deal of hard use but very little if any ab-use.  So while it’s true that my strength isn’t what it once was and my energy is now much more precious, none of those realities change the fact that the job is about moving heavy objects from one place to another, and so the relationship I have with my “power” equipment is extremely vital to me!

The power of a machine like this makes the impossible possible. It pulls whole trees out of the thickest brush you can imagine using a wench and a cable and “skids” them to a landing.

This is called a “picker truck” it’s the helping hand that lifts the extremely heavy loads onto the log truck like they were toothpicks!

And of course the real workhorse of our operation, the log truck! We do a humanly impossible task by using the awesome power that’s available to us through these tools.

Life can also be a “mission impossible”

How common it seems to be nowadays for people to feel overwhelmed by all of the heavy burdens they’re dragging around or trying to carry on their shoulders. All of us can relate personally or have known those who were crushed by the weight of their problems, by the pile of logs that are on top of them! Many people mistakenly believe that they’re stuck in their situations, pinned down by the tangled mess their living in and are frustrated by it’s complex nature. Sadly, their lives have become a hopeless, joyless, depressing drudgery with seemingly no meaning to all of the hardship and struggles that they endure daily.

And that’s no way to live!

This description also fits many Christian people who would eagerly to tell you about Jesus and his great love for us all!  Who have trusted Christ for their eternal salvation and yet somehow they’re challenged to trust Him with their present circumstances! I wonder if they believe that He’s a far away God who is perhaps indifferent to their troubles or that what goes on here in this life is theirs to deal with alone. I don’t think that’s right, this sounds much easier to me!

1 Peter 5:7

Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.

Matthew 11:30

For my yoke is easy, and my burden is light.

Years ago my high school biology teacher told us that he had previously taught chemistry for many years all the while believing that he understood it until one day as he was drawing a formula on the board in a sudden realization he actually “got it” himself. He thought he understood it but his understanding was only on a superficial level. I’m sure he had  passed many tests over it to graduate and no doubt felt comfortable teaching it to others. In his head it seemed to be a settled issue, but in his heart it was a different matter. He didn’t really understand it, not on that level, there was a vital connection missing, an “app” as they call it today that turned it from being just a bunch of abstract theories into a simple life changing reality!

As Christians I think we all need to have a similar “light bulb” moment! One way to do that is to walk by faith in our own lives until we come to a much clearer understanding of what is the true reality of the spiritual world and the false illusion of the physical one.

1 Corinthians 2:6

However, we speak wisdom among those who are mature, yet not the wisdom of this age, nor of the rulers of this age, who are coming to nothing.

If only we could comprehend much more of  God’s love for us, think of the difference it would make in our lives, that we could make in this world! we could live our lives in victory and love would flow out of us like living waters!

Philippians 4:13

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.

John 7:38

He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water.

Christs supreme act of love and redemption that was done for all men on the cross defeated sin’s power over us and ultimately death on our behalf. It made the impossible possible, and through the power of His blood Jesus still empowers believers to rise above all of the weapons that are formed against them in life.

Isaiah 54:17

No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me, saith the LORD.

Easy does it!

We have a tremendous tool that we don’t use nearly enough! It has the power to pull us out of the miry clay we’re stuck in and out of the worst thorns and thickets we could ever hope to find ourselves. It can lift all of those heavy burdens we’re carrying around ourselves, put them on a truck, and deliver you from the need to ever fear them again! What is it?

PRAYER!

Romans 12:12

Rejoicing in hope; patient in tribulation; continuing instant in prayer;

1 John 5:14

And this is the confidence that we have in him, that, if we ask any thing according to his will, he heareth us:

It’s as easy as just loving God,

Loving our brothers and sisters by sharing Christ’s love which was given to us freely

And finally, it’s as easy as loving yourself and KNOWING that God loves YOU!

There’s nothing confusing or complicated about it. All we have to do is LOVE.

That’s always been Gods intention towards us, I don’t understand why we all don’t get it !

Or why if we say we do, we don’t act with the authority it conveys to us over all areas of our lives

Someday, a simple little man is going to read Gods word and just believe it…

And the rest of us are going to be really embarrassed when he looks at us and says,

It’s easy when you just let God do it!

Matthew 6:13

For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen

In Jesus’ Name

Who hasn’t called out Jesus’ name in the midst of some threatening circumstance? I’ve heard people who by their own admission weren’t believers let it slip when they were frightened or startled. I’ve also noticed it’s His name that people most commonly use to announce their frustrations over someone or something they feel disgusted towards…as if to say “Lord, please deliver me from the vexation of this”

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People trade on His name and spend it like a currency to convey the justness and importance of their petitions to others or to make a dramatic point.  I’ve seen it used manipulatively at times to engage the emotions or conscience like a “hotline” to peoples’ hearts. In that moment, nobody denies it’s effect or challenges it’s power even if they openly doubt His existence.  why is that?

I think that it’s because on some deep  level of our consciousness there’s an acute awareness of  exactly who Jesus is and just how powerful His name is!

James 2:19

Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble.

I’m pretty sure I’ve felt that trembling inside of me before!

I’m not advocating taking the Lords name in vain, quite the contrary.  What I am saying is that we should use the authority it holds for exactly what it was intended because of all that Jesus did to give us that power and authority over sin, sickness and death!

“In His Name”…

John 15:16

Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you, and ordained you, that ye should go and bring forth fruit, and that your fruit should remain: that whatsoever ye shall ask of the Father in my name, he may give it you.

Luke 9

1Then he called his twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases.

2And he sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.

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What might happen if more Christians were to approach their own circumstances and those of others wielding His name with the same boldness and authority as the apostles did. Not vainly, but with the same familiar sincerity some unbelievers seem to have. If we could, after hearing of some needful or hopelessly unfortunate situation pause for a moment of reflection, and then feeling no hesitation or doubt,  place the matter in Gods hands by praying over it in Jesus’ name!

I’d love to find out!

Of course many of us do some or all of those things already. We’ll claim the blood and the authority given us through Christ Jesus faster than some can say,

“No thank you, I really don’t believe in all of that hoo-doo mumbo-jumbo”!

I think too many Christians are scared to step out and claim the authority we have as heirs of Christ. It’s not something that’s taught in a lot of church’s, maybe because most Christians are too spiritually immature and they’re afraid that if they do they’ll end up with a “wildfire” on their hands of people doing all sorts of off the wall stuff  “In Jesus’ Name’…

Better a wildfire than no fire.

2 Timothy 3:5

Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

There’s great power in Jesus’ name! As Christians we all have a responsibility to understand that and to respect the power of His name and definitely not take it in vain! I also feel as though it’s a  privilege to share Christ with people and to act as His ambassador to “whosoever” will listen to me. As it was with the disciples, I don’t feel as though our primary mandate is to perform miracles of healing but instead to preach the kingdom of God. Neither do I feel that the time of miracles is past or that we shouldn’t always pray for peoples’ healings and deliverance’s.  It was clear to Jesus that He couldn’t perform any miracles in Nazareth because of the doubt of the people there which supports the idea of our primary function being to “free the captives” of sin first.  When we pray in Jesus’ name, we’re asking for His will to be done in the people or circumstances we’re praying for. But The Lord isn’t going to violate anybodies freewill either! That’s The commission, to show people the grace and love that’s not only being offered to them by God for eternity, but that’s all around us everyday. To tell people of Gods great desire for them to come to know Him! While we’re doing this, we’re called to lay hands on the sick and see them healed, and to not hesitate to take authority over demons wherever we find them, all of these things we’re called to do…

In Jesus’ Name!