An old belief is like an old shoe. We so value its comfort that we fail to notice the hole in it.
The unspiritual self, just as it is by nature, can’t receive the gifts of God’s Spirit. There’s no capacity for them. They seem like so much silliness. Spirit can be known only by spirit—God’s Spirit and our spirits in open communion. Spiritually alive, we have access to everything God’s Spirit is doing, and can’t be judged by unspiritual critics. Isaiah’s question, “Is there anyone around who knows God’s Spirit, anyone who knows what he is doing?” has been answered: Christ knows, and we have Christ’s Spirit.
~1 Corinthians 2:14-16
My mom had a spot in the bathroom where she left a pair of (once) white loafers. They were always there. They were her go to shoes when she got home from work. The seams were splitting, the color was more of a dusty grey, the soles were worn. She loved them till the day she died.
I have a pair of boat shoes that I bought for my first sailing date with my husband. They were brand new Sperry Topsiders and known for their functionality. (They have since become a trendy shoe in some circles.) I wore those shoes on every sailing adventure through our first years of marriage. We are married over 30 years and those shoes are among the very few things I have from that time. I loved them for what they stood for, the love that launched those journeys.
Sometimes, we have beliefs like that; long held since our childhood, or picked up in the infancy of our faith. Instead of getting a new pair of shoes, or discarding the old ones, sometimes we try to squeeze into that old pair, like the step sisters in a well known fairy tale, just to make sure we have a chance at getting the prince, or staying in our comfort zone.
Letting go of these things can be so difficult. Seeing something all over again in a new way is nearly impossible but for the eyes of Christ and the Holy Spirit.
I pray for you and for myself that this becomes an easier task, that you and I may see what the Lord has in store for us.
Lord, be Thou my vision.
Because of Him,
The rung of a ladder was never meant to rest upon, but only to hold a man’s foot long enough to enable him to put the other somewhat higher.
~Thomas Henry Huxley, An Address to the Students of the Faculty
of Medicine in University College, London, May 18, 1870, On the
Occasion of the Distribution of Prizes for the Session
“If God gives such attention to the appearance of wildflowers—most of which are never even seen—don’t you think he’ll attend to you, take pride in you, do his best for you? What I’m trying to do here is to get you to relax, to not be so preoccupied with getting, so you can respond to God’s giving. People who don’t know God and the way he works fuss over these things, but you know both God and how he works. Steep your life in God-reality, God-initiative, God-provisions. Don’t worry about missing out. You’ll find all your everyday human concerns will be met.
~ Matthew 6:31-33
I love this painting.
It is called Ladder for Booker T. Washington. by Martin Puryear. When I first viewed it, it made me sad. But when I read the scripture this morning, this picture popped into my head immediately.
There is only one way out of this impossible situation. Only one who can stand in the gap that makes this goal possible. God. While searching for this image, I found another that brought this thought home for me. This is Chickasaw’s Ladder by K.Hoover.
God knows where we are. God knows the plans that God has for us. Perhaps you feel as if you have been resting interminably and your body aches from the standing on that last rung. God’s got this.
Hang on. He will see you through.
Because of Him,
Each one of us should lead a life stirring enough to start a movement.
If we give up and turn our backs on all we’ve learned, all we’ve been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ’s sacrifice and are left on our own to face the Judgment—and a mighty fierce judgment it will be! If the penalty for breaking the law of Moses is physical death, what do you think will happen if you turn on God’s Son, spit on the sacrifice that made you whole, and insult this most gracious Spirit? This is no light matter. God has warned us that he’ll hold us to account and make us pay. He was quite explicit: “Vengeance is mine, and I won’t overlook a thing” and “God will judge his people.” Nobody’s getting by with anything, believe me.
~ Hebrews 10:26-31
Keith Green – He’ll Take Care of the Rest
This song is from one of the Contemporary Christian music, gone home way too soon for some of us, but what a life he lived, and what a legacy. He did it with humor, conviction and truth. When we are tempted to take vengeance into our own hands, start singing this one!
Oh wait…when I want to take vengeance into my hands, Lord, remind me of this song.
You will take care of the rest. Meanwhile, Lord, help me to live a life stirring enough to start a movement. A movement that gives you glory.
Because of Him,
The bright summer had passed away, and gorgeous autumn was flinging its rainbow-tints of beauty on hill and dale.
~Cornelia L. Tuthill, “Virginia Dare: Or, the Colony of Roanoke,” 1840
So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it! Jesus, staying true to God’s purposes, reached out in a special way to the Jewish insiders so that the old ancestral promises would come true for them. As a result, the non-Jewish outsiders have been able to experience mercy and to show appreciation to God. Just think of all the Scriptures that will come true in what we do! For instance:
Then I’ll join outsiders in a hymn-sing;
I’ll sing to your name!
And this one:
Outsiders and insiders, rejoice together!
People of all nations, celebrate God!
All colors and races, give hearty praise!
And Isaiah’s word:
There’s the root of our ancestor Jesse,
breaking through the earth and growing tree tall,
Tall enough for everyone everywhere to see and take hope!
Oh! May the God of green hope fill you up with joy, fill you up with peace, so that your believing lives, filled with the life-giving energy of the Holy Spirit, will brim over with hope!
~ Romans 15:7-13
It is a new season. One I welcome with open arms. Summer has passed, along with so many unrealized hopes and tasks that were left like the withered spring flowers I never got to plant, ghost plants. Plants that will probably never bloom again. I will place them in the “plant graveyard” that we have, and wait. Maybe they will be revived.
There is something about the fall that makes my soul sing. It is a new season, it is full of amazing bursts of color before the greys of winter. And this fall I want to sing a new song for the glory of God. One that says, “Yay! You’re outside your comfort zone!”
Sometimes if feels as if I am stuck in this birth canal of change, but I know that there is light even when I cannot see it. Just read through the scripture. If ever there was cause for hope, there it is.
There’s Hope in Front of Me – Danny Gokey
Because of Him,