“What is the source of quarrels and conflict?” (James 4:1)
We have plenty of conflict in our world today. Conflict over ideals. Conflict over the handling of those ideas. Conflict of who said what and who should have said something else.
When it all boils down, we just want our own way, huh?
Then how do we live?
This is the very time that we can be a great contrast to the world. Through Him, we can love one another. It’s obviously, not happening on the media or in our politics, but we’ve been given a greater grace. In other words, no matter what, we’ve been given the aid of divine favor.
In such a climate, encouragers will serve as magnets to the discouraged. While others are skeptical and distrusting, the Spirit-thriving individual will stand out like an anomaly. Pure Christianity is perfect suited for such a time as this.
We’ve talked about peace, joy and love. Now, let’s live it out. Let’s be more intent upon prayer than protest.
Find your strength deep within His Presence.
Brother Yun, a Chinese Christian evangelist who’s served several prison terms for the cause of Christ states this well:
“Once I spoke in the West and a Christian told me, “I’ve been praying for years that the Communist government in China will collapse, so Christians can live in freedom.” This is not what we pray! We never pray against our government or call down curses on them. Instead, we have learned that God is in control of both our own lives and the government we live under. Isaiah prophesied about Jesus, “The government will be on his shoulders” (Isaiah 9:6.)
God has used China’s government for his own purposes, moulding and shaping his children as he sees fit. Instead of focusing our prayers against any political system, we pray that regardless of what happens to us, we will be pleasing to God.
Don’t pray for the persecution to stop! We shouldn’t pray for a lighter load to carry, but a stronger back to endure! Then the world will see that God is with us, empowering us to live in a way that reflects his love and power.
This is true freedom!”
No matter how we voted, we must live united as Kingdom citizens. Jesus lived in the midst of a volatile political climate and yet there are very few places in which He even mentions a current event (see Luke 13:1-5; 31-32).
So here is my blessing upon you today:
“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit” (Romans 15:13).
Until about two years ago, I’d never seen inside a helicopter in my life. I’d never thought about it really. Never had any true interest. But priorities change and now, I go to the AeroCare helipad about four times a year. Thankfully, my visits have nothing to do with the medical emergencies that’s made these bright red helicopters famous. No medical air transports or bouts with the Jaws of Life. Instead, my visits always seem to coincide with the Lubbock visits of our four-year-old grandson.
An avid aviator aficionado, Judah can recognize the landmark World War II fighter plane as we approach from the interstate. He has been repairing this permanent static display (with rocks!) ever since his first visit at two-years-old.
Judah knows the best place in town to watch private planes start up and take off. The louder the engine, the louder his ad-lib commentary. Judah has even gone in the Silent Wings Museum several times — usually for free bathroom breaks — but a couple of times we’ve explored the World War II gliders together, on both display and film.
All of these events are mere precursors — high-fliers maybe, but definitely not the highlight. We make the drive for the choppers. On occasion, we’ve seen one land. Sometimes, we are fortunate enough to see one hover and take off. A handful of times, we have actually been invited into the helicopter hanger.
On Judah’s last visit, a pilot named Mr. Patrick welcomed us into the hanger to view the double-rotor helicopter stocked and ready for flight. As Patrick talked about the purpose of this particular aircraft, he opened the rear section to reveal the stretcher, cardiac monitor, and IV pumps. I asked Patrick to tell Judah how he became a pilot and he kindly detailed his four years at the Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs as well as an additional nine months of copter-specific training.
As we rounded the side of the machine, Patrick invited Judah to step up onto the large dolly accommodating the helicopter. Our pilot explained a bit more about the equipment inside and even offered for me to get a picture of the two of them together.
“Any questions,” Patrick asked Judah as we prepared to go.
Judah thought and then inquired, “Now, before I can fly a helicopter I first have to go to that school, right?”
“Yes,” Patrick replied. “You do.” To clarify he added, “You mean the Air Force Academy, correct?”
“Um….No,” said Judah slowly with a pensive look on his face, as if searching for the right word. Finally he replied, “I think that it’s called kindergarten.”
Even as adults, we continue to get bogged down in the details rather than seeing God’s big plan for us. He says, “I declare the end from the beginning, and from long ago what is not yet done, saying: My plan will take place, and I will do all My will” (Isaiah 46:10). He is the same yesterday, today and forever, so details are never a hindrance to Him (Hebrews 13:8).
We still have our own kindergartens before us, in different forms and shapes, all blocking our view of the future. Take a moment to refocus your heart and mind past what’s looming and onto the promises below. You can bank on them as they were made by the One Who’s gone before us:
“I will cry to God Most High, to God Who accomplishes all things for me” (Psalm 57:2).
“The Lord will accomplish what concerns me” (Psalm 138:8).
“Lord, You will establish peace for us, since You have also performed for us all our works” (Isaiah 26:12).
“All things are possible to him who believes” (Mark 9:23).