Thursday, December 11, 2008

God is in the Darkness

In Exodus 20:1-17 God had just given Moses The Ten Commandments. Afterward the people were afraid of God's presence and that's where we'll pick up.

18 When the people saw the thunder and lightning and heard the trumpet and saw the mountain in smoke, they trembled with fear.  They stayed at a distance 19 and said to Moses, "Speak to us yourself and we will listen. But do not have God speak to us or we will die." 20 Moses said to the people, "Do not be afraid. God has come to test you, so that the fear of God will be with you to keep you from sinning." 21 The people remained at a distance, while Moses approached the thick darkness where God was.

Interesting to note, Moses approached the darkness where God was. Now if we're honest most of us would admit we don't believe God is in the darkness, in fact we go to great lengths to avoid the darkness.  

When you were little did you ever fear the dark? You might have even ran to your parents to find comfort in their arms.  As adults or Christians we may or may not be afraid of the physical dark but we often dread dark seasons in life, we even avoid them if at all possible.  Has it ever occurred to you that maybe God is in the dark times and He is just calling us to draw near. Jesus said, "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the Kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the Kingdom of heaven." Maybe we need to take a lesson from children and humble ourselves and run to our Father's arms. Instead of running away or avoiding the situation when we are afraid, may we embrace the darkness where God is.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Strengths Can Turn to Weaknesses

Has it ever occurred to you that one of your strengths could become a weakness?  I hadn't until recently.  Think about this:  good looks or wealth can lead to pride.  Excessive privilege can invite hardheartedness and injustice. Leadership can turn into control or manipulation. Generosity can lead to overspending on others.  Physical strength can turn into abuse. Friendliness can turn into inappropriate flirtation.  Obsessive planning can destroy spontaneity and cause rigidity.  

Maybe yours isn't listed here but I dare you to ask yourself, "What strength could potentially turn into a weakness?" I realized amongst those listed was one glaring me straight in the face and I never would have thought it could become a weakness.  My need for structure, calendars and obsessive planning can definitely create a barrier to spontaneity.  I need to learn to be open to the unplanned, unscheduled events of life.  Just because they didn't make my calendar doesn't mean it wasn't on God's calendar.

So how do we avoid this? Only by becoming aware of your strengths and asking for God's protection of those strengths to be used for his glory and his plan for your life.