Morning by Morning

"The Lord GOD has given me the tongue of those who are taught, that I may know how to sustain with a word him who is weary. Morning by morning he awakens; he awakens my ear to hear as those who are taught. The Lord GOD has opened my ear, and I was not rebellious; I turned not backward." Isaiah 50:4-5

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Everyone experiences moments of crisis.  A crisis is just a crisis.  For the Christian each crisis is an opportunity to deepen our trust in the God Who loves us.  Crises are like hot potatoes.  When you find you are holding one, put it down on your plate.  Relax into God’s hands.  When trust is re-established He will help you to deal with the crisis. “Peace, be still.”

When life batters us we resist with an inner clenching motion seeking to control the very thing that we should be surrendering.  “No man can ransom himself” (Psalm 49:7 RSV), says the Psalmist.  I am not my own kinsman redeemer, nor can I be yours.  That doesn’t stop us from trying to be our own Saviours.  In the midst of the battering of life reverse the inner motion, relax into God’s hands.  As you do so you will discover not the battering you have been trying to control, but the gentleness and power of your loving Father.  “He does not willingly afflict or grieve the children of men” (Lamentations 3:33).

            When we are at sea on a storm tossed boat our every instinct of self-preservation is sharpened.  We look wildly about; we bail like crazy.  He says, “I am.  Fear not, peace be still.”  Relaxing into Him takes courage.  Courage is a matter of the heart; a conscious decision and action undertaken in the face of fear.  Deliberately we fix our eyes on Christ Jesus, and by an act of will, we slow down our breathing and relax.  “All is well, all is well.  All manner of things shall be well,” when we trust in Christ Jesus.

By grace you will learn to deal with crises, no matter what the source.  God is pleased with our first steps, but first steps are after all, only first steps.  He does not want you to remain passive in the face of tumult.  He would rather that you learn Holy Warfare with your eyes on Christ Jesus, “Blessed be the LORD, my rock, who trains my hands for war, and my fingers for battle;  he is my steadfast love and my fortress, my stronghold and my deliverer, my shield and he in whom I take refuge, who subdues peoples under me.” (Ps. 144:1-2 ESV).

What is intended is conformity our hearts to the heart of the God Who is both loving and holy.  This active and joyfully willing conformity of the heart to the heart of the Living God follows an incarnational principle, that of God working in and through human flesh.  “Work out your own salvation in fear and trembling, knowing that it is God who works in you both to will and to work for His good pleasure” (Philippians 2:13).  The one who has relaxed into the hands of God is the one ready to take the positive responsive actions necessary hand in hand with the Master of the Storms.

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