Down on the Tasman Peninsular a few short weeks ago, Lynda and I watched a large rain event start to build. The changing cloud formation was truly startling–go Tassie weather!–and this photo is a feeble attempt to display the enormous turmoil of what was happening in a very short time span.

It made me think of the spiritual turmoil that is going on in the world 24/7. The spirit realm never sleeps and sometimes I think we get caught off guard when something happens and “I didn’t see that coming” ... or is it only me that’s experienced that.

That big white cloud in the middle pretty much churned and turned black whilst we watched. It made me think of our churning human personalities–our flesh–that often churns and turns to ‘react’ to things instead of ‘responding’ to things.

Paul was very clear in 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (ESV)

“3 For though we walk in the flesh, we are not waging war according to the flesh. 4 For the weapons of our warfare are not of the flesh but have divine power to destroy strongholds. 5 We destroy arguments and every lofty opinion raised against the knowledge of God, and take every thought captive to obey Christ,...”. Obeying Christ is a real key here. How do we do that? We all know that obedience is better than sacrifice.

1 Samuel 15:22 (Amp)

“Has the LORD as great a delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices,as in obedience to the voice of the LORD? Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed [is better] than the fat of rams.

My dear mother used to say to me: “just listen and do as you are told”. How powerful is that simple instruction – when we act on that from Scripture,that simple approach can save a lifetime of turmoil.

The clouds might look like they are the problem, but actually it’s the torrential rain that does the damage.People are not our problem–it’s the unseen strongholds where the real war is and how the damage is done.People are never our problem–they are just the cloud the rain uses.

However, if we are smart, we use the fact that there is ‘rain’ (problems and obstacles) to our advantage–we set up water tanks and we build dams (prayer and study of God’s Word)creating capacity to be able to handle the downpour or outburst. We ‘landscape’ (= change–deliberately changing us and our immediate responsibilities around us!) so the downpour or outburst doesn’t affect us as it’s carefully either managed or better still, deflected away because of the changes we made to ourselves. Downpours (people’s outbursts and their problems, or the problems they cause us through selfishness, thoughtlessness, unscriptural attitudes etc) are able to be handled with enough preparation and planning–build some personal dams and do some personal landscaping through ‘listen (read) and obey’, as a lifestyle. As we do this daily the power of seed/plant/harvest, otherwise known as incremental progress kicks in. Build a life of this,and success is guaranteed–Joshua 1:8.

Let’s not be guilty of James 3:9 when it comes to how we use our tongue / words: “9 With it (our tongue) we bless our Lord and Father, and with it we curse people who are made in the likeness of God.”

A much wiser choice is “32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you”–Ephesians 4:32.

How much greater would our impact be, as representatives of Jesus, if we deliberately, on purpose,consciously focused on daily incremental progress, learned from scripture and living Eph. 4:32 each day?

Radio Update

Program 1000 airs on Sunday 11thJune, praise the Lord. Thank you to you all for assisting us with this milestone–a tremendous achievement for such a tiny ministry as ours. I’ve been thinking on this a bit lately–well over19 years ago, we simply “had a go”. What if we hadn’t ‘had a go’ way back then?A really strong point–one of them anyway–is that to“have a go” at something you don’t have to be expert at it–in fact you may not have much of a clue about what you are attempting at all.

That’s not a reason to pull back and not to try. It never is nor ever will be. Quite the opposite, it’s partly how the learning process is developed in us, by having a go.

Please, be encouraged to dust off that dream, re-visit that idea, explore those relationships in the shadows and peripherals of your life and ‘have a go’. Write some goals and do some planning. Give the Lord something else to bless in your life. Even if He hasn’t called you to it at least you’ll get the experience of working it through on paper and in study and prayer until you arrive at some peace about it–or not! Colossians 3:15, Amplified Bible.

Interesting that peace is linked to gratitude and thankfulness.