Monthly Archives: June 2013

Straddling the Fence

Standard

imageWalking a Thin Line!

Matthew 6:24 “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other…”

Sometimes I feel as if life is one big balancing act and I am wobbling on a teeter totter just trying to make it through the day in one piece. Do you ever feel like that? Some days it’s a losing battle and I find myself tilting to one side and completely throwing off the portions of my carefully balanced life. I truly try so hard to make everyone that I come into contact with happy. I don’t like feeling as if I have let someone down or caused additional work for anyone. So, I add more to my plate and keep walking down the middle of that fence so as to appease everyone.

Have you ever tried walking on the top of a fence? My guess is that not many from today’s generation will be able to respond affirmatively but the kids I hung out with while growing up would spend hot, lazy summer days making up games to play while hanging outside. We would play endless games of hide and seek or ride bikes through the neighborhood. Sometimes, we would try our luck at balancing as we walked the length of fencing behind each other’s back yards. Somedays we would make it farther than others but invariable, we would lose focus and in turn, fall to one side of the fence or the other. I’m sure that the talented tight rope walkers of the world could walk for miles wile balancing on the peak of a fence, perhaps even while blindfolded. There comes a point though, for everyone, whether from change in height, hunger, exhaustion or various other conditions or factors, that the laws of gravity will prevail and pull to one side or the other. It is impossible to spend your entire life walking a fence and no doubt it is exhausting.

Similarly, as the opening verse says, you can’t serve two masters. I can speak to this from a work related experience. For a short time, I reported to two different supervisors. I have to reiterate that it was just for a short time. What a nightmare! It is impossible to please both, stay in sync with both, organize for both or just try and keep up with both. One or the other is going to demand more time and take precedence. This is exactly how God described our inability to serve Him alone. If we lose our focus and take our eyes off of Him, it is a certainty that we will fall to one side and be consumed by other priorities. A priority doesn’t have to be something horrible or evil, it can easily be something that would normally be good, but if it pulls your focus off of Christ then you may be feeling that pull to the side.

Sometimes, we walk the fence because we don’t want to offend anyone. PC anyone? Heaven forbid we define right from wrong in a public forum or the work place! Rather than speaking out, it’s just safer to remain invisible and keep quiet. It’s less offensive to point out the obvious wrongs being done in our country because we may hurt someone’s feelings. There are two poison apple topics in the work place: politics and religion. Guess what the enemy is using to morally corrupt America and our freedom? You got it. Politics and religion. So, we keep trying to balance the fence. A little progressivism here and a little God loves all faiths there and we are able to maintain our balance on top of the fence.

“I know all the things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other.” Rev. 3:15

Picture one side of the fence to be extreme cold and the other side is polar opposite being boiling hot. God says he does not want us to be lukewarm or balancing on the fence. Pick one or the other. Either you are for Him or by virtue of silence, you are against Him. That doesn’t sound good, does it? How many times are we silent when we should speak out? I know that I have been silent in my lukewarmness more times than I could ever count. So, basically I have been cold. It’s one side or the other, my friends. You absolutely cannot walk the fence and you cannot be lukewarm. By standing in the middle, you have chosen the cold side. By keeping silent about your faith, you have sided with another master. We have the ability to make our own choices. We can choose our actions, our words and our thoughts.

Joshua 7 tells how the Israelites went to battle and they lost. This was not the norm for them. If you wanted to secure a sure and safe bet then you were guaranteed a positive return by placing your money on Israel kicking their opponent’s butt. That they lost was shocking and disturbing to all, especially to Joshua who had led them into battle. When they got back to camp, Joshua fell to the ground in prayer and God revealed to him the root of the Israelite loss. One of the men, Achan, had hidden some of the spoils from the battle of Jericho in his tent after God had commanded it all destroyed. Achan saw something he wanted and he hid it while pretending to obey. Because of one man’s disobedience all suffered defeat. The Israelites constantly walked the fence between serving God and serving the gods of other nations. You’d think at some point they would have learned. Sometimes they banded together in their disobedience and other times, as in the example of Achan, they acted alone. Joshua tells the Israelites in chapter 24 that God is jealous. He will not let you serve two masters. Joshua said choose Whom you will serve, “but as for me and my house, we will serve The Lord.”

That is one powerful statement! What choice will you make? I choose the Lord’s side!

To Speak or Not to Speak?

Standard

image
I have been asked, on more than one occasion, why I don’t just keep my mouth shut?  Sometimes I probably should because I would save myself embarrassment.  Being blonde, I tend to frequently speak without thinking which is not always a good thing!

There is one topic for which I will never be embarrassed or ashamed to speak loudly and clearly. I will not apologize for my passion for Jesus Christ! How many people do you know who love you unconditionally? Hopefully, you can include your parents, grandparents, siblings, spouse and children in this category. So that’s good, but let’s move to the next question. How many people would forgive you for the same offense 70×7, or better known as infinity? I’m guessing your list just narrowed but there are still several left. Next question, how many people, having never done anything wrong,would stand before a crowd of angry accusers, crying “crucify him”, so that you would not have to face eternity away from God? I think almost everyone’s list reduced to one or two, and I’m betting that this is wishful thinking because the normal human reaction to threat is an adrenaline push for survival. The action of personal sacrifice is foreign to our fight or flight tendencies. Let’s assume though that there is at least one left on your list and move to the next question. How many people would willingly endure floggings, beatings, mocking, and abandonment by all those close to them and then be forced to carry a heavy wooden cross through town and up a hill after a night of torture in the heat with no water to quench thirst? After reaching the top of the hill, would they lay on that cross on their back that had been beaten and left open with torn and bleeding flesh to be nailed through their wrists and feet so that they could hang on that cross as it was posted in the ground? Keep in mind, that they had done nothing wrong – EVER- and the only reason that they were allowing (all power in heaven and earth were available to take them away if asked) this to happen was so that you would never have to endure any punishment. I can’t think of even one person who would do that for me and if you are being honest with yourself, you will admit the same. This sacrifice is exactly what Jesus did for men, women and children of all generations! There is no one, past or present, who has or could do anything to earn His love and sacrifice. Instead, we use His name as a curse. We don’t read His love letter to us. We avoid talking about Him because it might offend others. We spend inordinate amounts of time watching television instead of talking to Him. We, like Peter – one of Jesus’ disciples, who knew Him unlike any other – repeatedly hide and pretend we don’t know Him. Being God, who had no beginning or end, He knew us and He knew what we would do, and He still left heaven to die for us. He died for me. This is exactly why I will not shut up – ever! When you are able to put your life in perspective with eternity and truly realize the depth of the love that He has for you, it is impossible (or it should be) to be silent and not share Him with others.

Hand in hand with my passion for Jesus is my love for America. We live in the last safe haven for freedom and the ability to worship without fear of persecution. If you are paying attention to your surroundings and news from non-traditional outlets, then you know that this freedom is rapidly being replaced with the antithesis of peace. The office of the American presidency has been staffed with Muslims who are hell-bent on erasing Christianity from our children’s textbooks, from television, from public places and from society. The amount of damage they have done to this country in such a short time is astounding. If we do not speak up then pretty soon we will not be allowed to speak. We can’t stop a speeding bullet but perhaps we can slow it down long enough to spread the Good News of Jesus Christ to more people. I am going to borrow this next sentence from Frankiln Graham “Complete obedience is what the Lord desires. We must never back down from fully following Christ because we fear public opinion or the ridicule of others. 1

Jesus Christ has commanded us to “go … and make disciples of all nations” (Matthew 28:19)—that commandment applies to each one of us, all of His followers. We can’t fix all the social injustices and problems of our day, but we have been called to take this Gospel to the ends of the earth.”

To speak or not to speak? I HAVE to speak of His love and mercy because He is so worthy!

1 http://www.billygraham.org/articlepage.asp?articleid=9434&SOURCE=BL136YEBL&utm_source=PrayerLetter6.4.13&utm_medium=Email&utm_campaign=PLE