Monday, May 23, 2005

Wrestling With God

Have you ever wrestled with God? I mean really struggled with where you are in relationship with Him? Wondering, “What is He doing?” “Has He left me?” “Why am I going through this?”

Does the LORD want you to change? Does He want you to mature? Does He love us too much to let us stay where we are? Our loving Father desires for us to shed our old nature. He wants us to “put on the new man!” He wants us to be “transformed by the renewing of our mind.” It is His desire for us to be like Him.

We are given a wonderful example of this in Jacob. Jacob was a controller and manipulator. God wanted to mature him. In wrestling with God, God touched him in the hip. This was very painful for Jacob, but this was the only way God could overcome the strong will of this man Jacob. In breaking him, God was removing the remnants of Jacob’s old nature. For the rest of his life, Jacob lived with the constant reminder of his dependence on God.

Striving with God is good if it is out of our strong desire to seek Him. In seeking Him, we know that “without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him” (Heb. 11:6). But are we willing to let Him change us?

Perhaps in bringing you to the place He wants you to be, you may go through a time of immobilizing, a time of trial or trouble. Your mind must be renewed. You must stop striving with God through your own self-efforts. You must learn to be totally dependent on Him. This process is not pleasant, but be encouraged. He is preparing you for the inheritance He has for you.

Sunday, May 22, 2005

Building a Solid Foundation

by Os Hillman

But everyone who hears these words of Mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. ~ Matthew 7:26

There were two kinds of people in the days of Jesus. Some heard the words that Jesus spoke and were awed by His wisdom and understanding, but did nothing about what they heard. Others heard those words and acted on them. Jesus said that those who heard the words but failed to put them into practice were foolish and likened them to building a house on sand. How foolish, indeed, it would be to build a house on sand.
The person who followed what Jesus taught was a person who would be sure to weather life's storms.Therefore everyone who hears these words of Mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock (Matthew 7:24-25).
You never know how well your house is built until it is tested by the elements. Torrential rains reveal the quality of your roof. Wind and cold reveal how well your home is insulated. Heat and sun reveal the quality of your paint and siding. All these elements reveal whether a solid foundation has been laid to make your home a secure and lasting place to live.
Many of us find that we have given only lip service to God's commands. We are faced with the reality that our foundations are not strong enough to weather life's storms. How do we react when the trials come? Do we fret and worry? Do we take life into our hands? Do we respond inappropriately when we don't get what we want? The Lord uses these times to help us recognize whether our foundations are sand or rock. Ask the Lord today if you have built on His rock. If so, you can be comforted to know that you can weather any storm that may come your way.