Saturday, 26 April 2014

Shipwreck

Shipwreck, Beach Near Lake Sijung, North KoreaImage by yeowatzup via Flickr

Thou shalt guide me
Psalm 73:24

If you want to avoid shipwreck, study Acts 27 carefully. First, they were dissatisfied with where they were. Listen; "Since the harbour was unsuitable...the majority decided that we should sail on" (Acts 27:12). God doesn't guide us by "dissatisfaction" or by "opinion polls," He guides us by His Spirit. (Romans 8:14). When things get difficult, you're called to overcome them, not try to escaped them. Next, they were impatient to get where they were going. Sound familiar? I don't know of a single Scripture that tells us to hurry up or we'll miss God. Israel learned that when the cloud moves, you move. But when the cloud stops, stay where you are and wait on God.

Then they failed to heed the Word; listen: "The centurion was more persuaded by the pilot...than...by Paul" (Acts 27:11). Be careful, if you look long enough, you'll find someone whose opinion confirms what you want to do. that's a dangerous place to be. Finally, they looked to the circumstances, instead of God, to guide them. (Acts 27:13) The idea that circumstances will always line up favourably with God's guidance is not scriptural. God often leads through the wilderness and He'll never lead you anywhere that doesn't require His provision and protection. If you can get there without God - He didn't send you.

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

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Thursday, 2 January 2014

Prepare For Attack

‘…A brother is born for adversity.’

Bricks - Flickr
Nehemiah discovered that not everybody will be happy about your success. ‘Sanballat …sent to me, saying, “Come, let us meet together”…But they thought to do me harm. So I sent messengers to them, saying, “I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down. Why should the work cease while I leave it and go down to you”? But they sent me this message four times, and I answered them in the same manner’ (Nehemiah 6:2-4 NKJV). Note the words, ‘I am doing a great work, so that I cannot come down.’ That could be classified as an Academy Award-winning response to attack! 

Any time you stop the work God has given you to do and step down to the level of your critics, you’ve sent the devil a signal that his strategy is working. So you can expect more of the same. Think: if God can deliver you in times of trouble, surely He can defend you in times of misunderstanding! So get back up on the wall He has called you to build and keep working. Don’t get distracted. There are three kinds of people you will meet in life: 1) The critic. They’re the first to point an accusing finger and the last to extend a helping hand. 2) The cautious. When you’re in trouble they’ll distance you lest they become tainted by your perceived liabilities. These people are not bad, they’re just self-serving. Don’t put your trust in them. 3) The committed. ‘A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.’ Recognise such people and build your life around them because they are a gift from God.

Used with permission from UCB Word for Today. Free issues are available here for the UK and Republic of Ireland.

Monday, 11 November 2013