Thursday, June 18, 2009

Lighthouses! Are you ready?

Someone once asked me, when it comes to me and my friends, what happens when we are all pulled away from the dock (meaning God) and are all just floating around in the storms of life? Without thinking twice I answered, "I feel like it would be my responsibility to pick my head up out of the water, find the lighthouse (meaning Jesus), and point the others to it." The reply was, "And that is why you becoming are a spiritual guide!" Now, I don't know if I'm a spiritual guide or not, I think that comes with time, true testing, and wisdom born of God. But this I know:

Philippians 3:12-14 "Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already been made perfect, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. Brothers, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do, forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead, I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus" (NIV).

When I came to the place where I was willing to give Him everything, a wonderful process began. He trained my immature desires to line up with His perfect ones. When I began to seek His will by laying my desires and plans at His feet - yielding to Him - He shaped, and is continuing to shape, my will until it becomes His will.

The Holy Spirit has been given to us as a Spiritual Trainer of sorts. He will lead us in the right spiritual exercises of life that will make us stronger and more mature. Many of those exercises involve the submission of our will and the yielding of our desires to God. As we allow the pain and stress of daily living to "stretch" us spiritually, we will grow and mature until one day we will realize that His desires and our desires are the same. Mature desires - Godly desires - desires that are in line with His will are the desires of a believer who is growing in Christ.

Psalm 37:4 "Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart" (NIV).

"Delight" literally means to enjoy. We can come to God with an attitude of joy, knowing that He is a Father of love who wants what is best for His child. His plan is absolutely the best one we could possibly imagine or accept. We can delight in His love, trust in His goodness and enjoy a growing love relationship with Him. A heart fully and joyfully submitted to God will produce mature desires.

High in the Alps is a monument raised in honor of a faithful guide who died while ascending a peak to rescue a stranded tourist. Inscribed on that memorial stone are the words, "He died climbing!" A maturing, growing Christian should evoke the same attitude and desire. The apostle Paul tells us that it is time to "put away" childish things. As children grow older, we train them to pick up their toys, to put away things that are not needed, to obey house rules and to leave behind what is childish, straining toward what is ahead. Right now, we have the same choice to make. To "put away" indicates an understanding of what needs to be left behind but also a willingness and commitment to do so.

The question is, are you ready to grow up in Christ?Are you tired of being a "baby Christian"? Are you ready to experience all that God has for you once you give everything up for Him? Are you ready to dive into Him and let Him teach you how to swim? Are you ready???

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