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Is Your Hut on Fire?

A friend sent me an email with the following story by an anonymous author. It’s too good to keep to myself.

      The only survivor of a shipwreck washed up on a small, uninhabited island. He prayed feverishly for God to rescue him. Every day he scanned the horizon for help,

but none seemed forthcoming. Exhausted, he eventually managed to build a little hut out of driftwood to protect him from the elements and to store his few possessions.

One day, after scavenging for food, he arrived home to find his little hut in flames with smoke rolling up to the sky. He felt the worst had happened and everything was lost.

Stunned with disbelief, he cried out, ‘God! How could you do this to me?’

Early the next day, he was awakened by the sound of a ship approaching the island. It had come to rescue him!

‘How did you know I was here?’ asked the weary man of his rescuers.

‘We saw your smoke signal,’ they replied.

It’s easy to get discouraged when things are going bad, but don’t lose heart.  God is at work in your life even in the midst of trouble.

Don’t give up the next time your little hut seems to be burning to the ground.  It just may be a smoke signal that summons the Grace of God.

 

The Lord is a refuge for the oppressed, a stronghold in times of trouble.  Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, Lord, have never forsaken those who seek you.  Psalm 9:9-10 NIV

 

Are you Feeling Brokenhearted?

The Lord is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

Psalm 34:18 NIV

 Maybe you’re feeling crushed and dismayed.  Take heart.  This promise is for you.  Whatever your circumstance, know that God stands with open arms, ready to provide comfort and consolation. He is always close but when you really need it, He promises to come even closer.  He comes without judgment and without anger. He comes without condemnation or chastisement.  He is the Prince of Peace and brings peace to you.  He is the Comforter and brings comfort to you.  He alone has what is needed to begin the mending of your broken heart.

 

Twelve Spies: Ten Bad and Two Good

 

Numbers 13

The twelve spies were sent into Canaan to scope out the situation.  God had promised the Children of Israel a land of great bounty.  After journeying through the desert they finally arrived at the edge of the Promised Land.  They stood on the cusp of destiny.  Moses sent twelve reliable men to spy out the land in order to plan their next step to claim their reward.

The men came back with wondrous reports of giants, grapes, and walled cities.  They reported a land flowing with milk and honey.   However, the Bible says that ten of the twelve brought back an evil report.  What made their report evil?  Did they lie about the giants? Did they exaggerate or falsify their observations?

No, ten men spoke the truth as they saw it.  But they didn’t speak the whole truth.  They focused on the problems and didn’t see the opportunities through the eyes of faith. They were beaten before they began.  Their lack of faith hindered them and God named it evil.

“We can’t attack those people; they are stronger than we are.”  Numbers 13:31b NIV  This in spite of God’s clear promise that they would be victorious.

Joshua and Caleb brought back a different report as stated in Numbers 13:31b NIV, “We should go up and take possession of the land, for we can certainly do it.”

Were Joshua and Caleb living in denial?  Were they delusional?  No, the Bible says they brought a good report because they saw it through the eyes of faith.  They acknowledged the problems but declared with faith that the obstacles were not too hard for God.  Joshua and Caleb saw the possibilities, that extra dimension of knowing God was able to do whatever was needed to bring them into their promised land.

Our world swirls with negative reports.  Some focus on the political upheaval, future calamities and gloomy predictions of end times.  Are these good folks telling lies?  Like the ten spies with a bad report they are not speaking the whole truth.  Yes, there are troubles in our land, but God is able to deliver us.  Yes, there are financial problems but God is well able to provide for his children even in times of lack.  God is bigger than any problem we can experience.

Like Joshua and Caleb, let’s look to the future with the eyes of faith and destiny.  Let’s link an expression of faith in God and his promises to every observation of trouble.  Our God is well able to deliver us.  Let’s bring the good report.

 

 

 

What is God Asking Today?

Now what I am commanding you today is not too difficult for you or beyond your reach.  It is not up in heaven, so that you have to ask,  “Who will ascend into heaven to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”  Nor is it beyond the sea, so that you have to ask, “Who will cross the sea to get it and proclaim it to us so we may obey it?”  No, the word is very near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart so you may obey it. Deuteronomy 30:11-14 NIV

Mostly the Lord speaks to me about small things:  reminding me to send a card to a friend, make a phone call, finish a task on my to-do list, or write another page.

I’m glad He asks only baby steps because I’m not sure how I would react to a huge command.   Would I have the strength to be a martyr?  Sacrifice my life?  Obey in the hard things?  Usually I know what I should do.  Follow-through is another matter. The verses above remind me that His words are very near to me. They are in my mouth and in my heart that I might obey.  They are never too hard for me.  They are not out of reach.

Today as you begin your busy week, take a moment to consider this passage.  You don’t have to go on a pilgrimage to hear from God.  His words are already in your heart—you need only listen and obey. It’s not impossible.  It’s not too hard for you.  Take that baby step and see where it leads you.   I’d love to hear what He says to you and your response.  Send me an email!

Have a great day hearing and obeying.

 

 

LET IT RAIN by Marian Starrs

Lyrics to a Jesus Culture song include, “My soul longs for you, nothing else will do. .. I believe you will come like the rain. . . so let it rain, let it rain.”

While singing this song at LifeCare, I was thinking about rain.  Have you noticed how the leaves on a tree sometimes turn over when they are thirsty – and when the rain comes they turn face up again to receive its life giving sweetness.  That particular evening, I was feeling like that tree.  The winds of adversity had blown through my life and all that was left was the dust of disappointment.  I held my heart up to the Lord and asked for a refreshing shower to moisten my dryness.  As we sang, I felt the gentle rain of encouragement.

I began praying for others who need rain; my sister, who needs a healing rain; others who need a cleansing rain that washes away the debris from lies believed; and yet others who need a deep soaking rain that reaches the roots and stimulates growth and fruit.

Sometimes a heavy downpour is what is needed to wash the sidewalks clean; as the water rushes to the storm drain, it carries away the rubble of life.  I prayed for those I know, and those I don’t, who need a downpour from the Holy Spirit to wash away misplaced trust and turn their hearts to Jesus.

In Psalm 32 David talks about the weight of his un-confessed sin and that his “strength was dried up as by the heat of summer.” (v. 4).  After acknowledging his sin, he was forgiven.  I prayed for those who need a rain to bring repentance.

As I was considering all the different kinds of rain, and the value of each, I thought about our natural tendency to want to stay dry.  We do this by making a mad dash from the car to the door, or by waiting for the rain to let up, or by using an umbrella.

At different times in my life, I have needed all of these kinds of rain, but I held up an umbrella against the rain of the spirit.  Wet can be uncomfortable, especially if it is the means of conviction.  Even when we are surrounded by others drinking in the rain like a dry sponge, we choose  to put up an umbrella.  It is a means of shutting down, of controlling the moment.  And it is a rebellious act of a disconnected person.

What does your soul need?  Whatever it is, the Holy Spirit can meet those needs.  So, I would encourage you if you hear the sound of rain, to put your umbrella away, open your heart and let it rain!