Recharge

Wings Like Eagles

I am thankful for two days in a row off from work for Thanksgiving. It has given me a chance to catch up on cleaning and working on some projects for Christmas, but it also has given me a chance to recharge. I got to sleep past daylight and to just sit on the couch with my cats without thinking about what needed to be done next. Since I work part-time in retail, we have been working every afternoon to get ready for the busy season, so I have come home later than usual each day for the last few weeks and my batteries were getting low.

BatteriesBatteries have a limited amount of energy and will eventually run out of power if they are not recharged. We have a multitude of electronic devices that run on batteries these days, and they all come with a cord to plug into a power source in order to recharge them, sometimes on a daily basis. The other day I was working at my computer and the screen got dim. After several minutes, a warning came up about low battery. I had to stop and plug the computer into the outlet to recharge the battery. The screen was immediately brighter. The same is true for humans. When we recharge our batteries, we work better, both physically and spiritually.

When we feel like we are lagging spiritually like the screen on my computer, it helps to stop and recharge our batteries. The Holy Spirit is our link to the ultimate power source. We just have to plug in to the source through prayer, reading the Bible, or just taking a moment to worship the Lord. Ephesians 3:16 says, “That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man.”All we have to do is take the time to plug into the power source.outlet

Some days may require plugging in multiple times, but thankfully there are no blackouts with this power source. While everything in the earthly sphere is subject to break down and decay, God’s power is infinite. When we are weak, He is strong. 2 Corinthians 12:9 says, “And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.” We will never need an alternate power source.

In order to recharge, we need only rely on the Lord. Isaiah 40:31 says, “But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint.” When we give Him all our cares and burdens, He lightens our load so that we can rest in His strength.  So, take a moment and wait on the Lord, and He will recharge your batteries so that you can soar with the eagles.

 

Thankful for God’s Provision

Thanksgiving Psalm

As Thanksgiving approaches, I am reminded of Philippians 4:19: “But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” It is a verse that we often quote, but sometimes I think we don’t really rest on this promise. We are prone to worry and try to figure out a plan on our own, but God is JEHOVAH-JIREH, which means the Lord will provide. I saw Philippians 4:19 in action this week.

Early in 2019 a company I had worked for part-time closed abruptly still owing me one paycheck. I had given up hope of ever receiving the funds given that the company had gone bankrupt. In the meantime I was also putting off a dental procedure until my insurance covered it and I had the money to cover my part of the cost.

This past weekend it became obvious that I needed to go back to the dentist and take careToothache of the problem. On my way home from work, I prayed, reminding God that I still did not have sufficient funds to cover the procedure. I ran through all the possible scenarios in my head as I drove but I still couldn’t see how I was going to make it all work.

MailWhen I got home, I went out to check the mail. There was an envelope from my old employer containing the last paycheck, more than enough to cover the first part of the dental procedure. I could not have planned that or made that happen, but God could. He wanted me to know that I could rely on the truth of Philippians 4:19 and trust Him to provide. It let me know I could trust Him to provide enough to pay for the rest of the procedure as well.

I went the dentist’s office on Monday without an appointment, and he was able to work me in and give me a temporary fix until we could schedule the first of three appointments after the holidays. The delay, along with another short-term job in the meantime, made it possible to stretch out the payments for the rest of the visits. God knew what I would need and worked it out ahead of time so that my need was supplied.

He truly is Jehovah-Jireh, my provider.

The Shepherd’s Voice

Sheep

In a recent Bible study on Psalms 23, Jennifer Rothschild pointed out some interesting facts she learned about sheep. She shared a video showing different people trying to call a herd of sheep but the sheep ignore them. However, when their shepherd calls them, they follow his commands. John 10:4 says, “And when he putteth forth his own sheep, he goeth before them, and the sheep follow him: for they know his voice.” Whose voice do you listen to?

There are a lot of voices fighting for our attention. Social media and the nightly news are filled with loud, angry people battling for attention. They each have their own take on a situation and their own agenda. It can feel like we are being tugged in a million different directions. Each side begins to think they are in the right; therefore, everyone else must be in the wrong.

TrainHowever, the truth usually resides somewhere in the middle. Perspective has a lot to do with how we view situations. There is an illustration of this that I heard at a conference: There are three people standing together at the end of a tunnel. The pessimist only sees darkness. The optimist sees a light at the end of the tunnel. The realist sees an oncoming train. At the other end of the tunnel the train engineer sees three idiots standing on the tracks. While the three people may stand and argue forever about the situation, in the end they may miss the point entirely.

God, like the train engineer has a totally different perspective. He sees all of eternity, not just one brief moment. His purpose is to make us more like Christ. He sent Jesus, Our Shepherd, and The Holy Spirit to lead us through life. Sometimes this means leading us beside still waters and to green pastures, and sometimes it is walking with us through the valleys (Psalm 23). The key is sticking to the path and following the shepherd’s voice. The enemy will try to distract us with all manner of arguments and try to lead us down different paths that seem easier or more prestigious, but they are dead ends. The voice of the Shepherd is the only one that can be trusted, the still small voice in the midst of the storm.

We can know His voice because it is always in alignment with God’s Word. As believers, we have the Holy Spirit inside us to help us recognize His voice. John 14:26 says, “But the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost, whom the Father will send in my name, he shall teach you all things, and bring all things to your remembrance, whatsoever I have said unto you.” The Holy Spirit will remind us of the scripture so that we can discern what is truth and what is not.

So, when the voices of the world get too loud, spend time in the Word of God and prayer, and the voice of the Shepherd will show you the way to go. Like the songs say, “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in his wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of his glory and grace.”

Soul Food

setting table

Our church is famous for its socials. We always have an impressive spread with delicious dishes and enough of a variety to surely please anyone. But, it’s not just about the food. It is a time for everyone to slow down for a moment and sit down together with people that don’t normally see every day and catch up. The same is true of the Father’s Table.

Psalm 23:5 says, “Thou preparest a table before me in the presence of mine enemies: thou anointest my head with oil; my cup runneth over.” The Shepherd provides for His sheep. My church fellowships have nothing in comparison to what God provides at His table. He gives a lavish banquet that is masterfully arranged so that it feeds our soul with His goodness.

What exactly does God provide? Sure, He provides physical food and water, but He also provides “soul” food. Where do you get this food? One of the ways Satan tempted Jesus, Matthew 4:4 gives Jesus’ response: “But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.” The BreadWord of God is food for our soul, and it is a bountiful buffet. When we dig into the Word, we find comfort, peace, and guidance. We find the answers to our questions. This soul food satisfies in a way that physical food never will. When we eat of this food and drink of this drink, we will never hunger or thirst again (John 6:35).

Not only does His Word feed our soul, but so does His Presence. When we sit down at the table, we don’t eat alone. God joins us. He set the table so that we could spend time with Him and gain comfort from His Presence. In Psalm 23:6, David ends the psalm with a desire to “dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” The house of the Lord is anywhere that God is present, so we can dwell in His presence and eat at His table every day. Charles Spurgeon described it this way:

“While I am here I will be a child at home with my God; the whole world shall be his house to me; and when I ascend into the upper chamber, I shall not change my company, nor even change the house; I shall only go to dwell in the upper storey of the house of the Lord for ever.”

So, let’s dwell in God’s house and pull up a chair to God’s Table every day. There we will find comfort in His presence and food for our souls.