What We Choose
"Mommy, look! It's
snowing again! Will the birds be OK?"
As I looked out the window,
I marveled at the weather. Snow was blowing everywhere.
Ice was most certainly on its way again and already there
were gorgeous fields of white for as far as I could see.
This winter wonderland
has spread through much of our nation this season! It's
gorgeous! But with the beauty has also come treachery. Many,
many people have gone without power. No electric light,
no warmth, no connection with loved ones...it's been frightening
for many! Car accidents, broken limbs, and flying ice have
It's also been aggravating.
One poor friend of ours, just a few days ago, dressed for
the cold and determinedly walked out into the freezing temperatures.
He trudged out to his mailbox to retrieve a movie he had
received in the mail…but by the time he got back into the
house, his TV no longer worked! His electrical power was
gone! And it sporadically would continue to do so throughout
Life without power. The
unpredictability of disappointment and even defeat.
Ironically all week long,
Emalee has been walking around the house singing, "There
is power…in the Name of Jesus." This is where our power
comes from! We have felt that warmth and power this week
-- even in the frigid temperatures of the season. On Tuesday
we learned that a little friend of ours was miraculously
healed of cancer! Oh, the blood of Jesus! After months of
crying and praying for that little one, I was stunned at
the warm blast of power God had shown. Overcome and overwhelmed
by the news, I went into the bathroom and fell to the floor
with tears of joy…prostrate before Him…praising the Father
for His grace and mercy! Even now as I think of it, tears
spring to my eyes! What a mighty God we serve!!
Oh, my friend! How often
do we deny His power? Do we try to do the Christian life
without it? Are you often disappointed? Defeated?
First of all, where does
this power come from? The presence of God. The Holy
Spirit at work in our lives brings the power needed to live
the Christian life. If we are children of God -- ones who
have truly accepted Christ's gift of salvation -- then the
Holy Spirit of God dwells within us. That's
what the Bible says.
But do we live like
the Holy Spirit is there? Do we live like there is POWER
in the Name of Jesus?
Almost a year ago, Brooklyn's
ankle began bothering her. At first we thought it was only
a sprain, but as time went by, she began having more and
more trouble walking. The outcome? Surgery. Apparently she
was born with a problem in both feet. She is due
to have surgery on the other foot this coming week.
So how's your walk?
I have definitely struggled with mine over the years…from
sprains to painful limping to even debilitating lameness
at times. I'm talking about the spiritual walk now, you
know. For such a long time I didn't understand the struggle.
I read about the power of God in His Word. I read about
Stephen and his power to proclaim Christ, even at death's
door…I read about Paul and Silas and Peter and the power
of God in their lives, even behind prison doors!
But when circumstances
locked me in the prison of trials and tribulations, there
were times when I could barely hold my head up, too depleted
-- too weak to sing and praise God in the midst of
uncertain outcomes. Why? Doesn't God give us that power
so that we can know we are victorious in Him, no
Well, doesn't He??
His power is there. Why
can't I remember that and draw on it throughout my day?
Am I truly plugged in? Or have I allowed instead the treachery
of icy trials to cut off my source of life and warmth and
all things good? It's my choice.
Though I am hard-headed,
something I have learned is that the choice begins BEFORE
the forecast predicts the coldness. It begins with our preparation
for the dark clouds to come…
How? By complete surrender
-- dying daily, as Paul describes it. By complete
devotion to His Word, by finding out what He wants us to
do (from His Word) and then doing it, every time. By
confessing our sins and keeping our minds and hearts set
on things above…not on earthly things (Colossians 3). Then
our icy, slippery trials won't seem so shockingly cold.
Why? Because as we surrender, as we grow…then we learn…about
Who the Father is. We realize Who is on our side! If we
really understood what a holy and powerful God we
have, we would know how sinful it is to worry and
how ridiculous it is to neglect the power He has placed
inside of us…
When we lived in Texas,
our car was repeatedly broken into! We would hear nothing
in the middle of the night only to wake up to a smashed
car window and a ransacked car the next morning! Woe to
the criminals who looked for valuables in our car…only
coins lingered in the ash tray. Our car is full of child's
toys, worn out car seats, and preaching tapes that Ken loves
to listen to when he drives. One time the perpetrator took
a few dollars from our front seat, but accidentally left
his foot-long fancy screw driver. We actually made money
on that robbery!
But still, repeatedly,
our car window would be smashed. It was frustrating! Finally,
we had sense enough NOT to lock our car door.
"Just come right
on in!" Ken jokingly yelled down the street one night
as we left the car unlocked.
They did. We would often
find things missing, and we even left snacks, Bibles, and
tracts in the car for those who seemed fascinated with robbing
How do you handle your
trials? Are you resistant to them? Or do you approach them
with the power of Jesus?
If you have given your
life to Him, then you need not fear the dangerous "ice
storms" and possible sprains and surgeries and robberies
that come your way. Unlock the fear and resistance of your
heart! Yell to your problems, "Just come right on in!"
After all, your problems are God's opportunities!
But for what? For His
power to be evident in your life.
I have not mastered this.
But I am learning. It is a journey for a lifetime.
Several years ago, Ken
was talking with a fellow pastor from Texas. We were jobless
at the time, totally depending upon God for our every need
-- meal by meal, payment by payment. Over and over, we witnessed
the power of God through His provision. As he was giving
testimony to this brother regarding the goodness of our
Jehovah-Jireh, Ken quoted a verse:
I was young and
now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken
or their children begging bread.
That other pastor looked
Ken straight in the eye and said, "Well…I HAVE. I don't
believe that verse…"
Even in God's withholding
of provision for a time, we know there is power: a lesson
to be learned, a greater glory to be experienced…because
God's Word is always true.
It's what you choose,
my friend. Faith or faltering? Courage or fear? Growth or
bitterness? Victory or defeat?
There is power in
the Name of Jesus!
For you did not
receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but
you received the Spirit of Sonship.
And by Him we cry, "Abba, Father!"
For God did not
give us a spirit of timidity, but a Spirit of POWER, of
love, and of self-discipline.
II Timothy 1:7
© 2011. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights