Monday, January 31, 2011

An Answer to Bordeom

In a society of instant gratification, instant access, and instant mashed potatoes, it's easy to get bored. I mean--what else is there to life if we have just about "everything we need" in an instant and at our fingertips? For example: Let's be honest with ourselves: So much of life is motivated by sex--and the sad truth is, there is so much sexual content available with little effort and is being consumed by millions.


Perhaps the right question is...


...or even...


Re: Boredom

As cliche as this might sound, the answer is Jesus. Yes, to some, boring old Jesus. And the truth is, He just might be boring--but not because He's changed, but because perhaps you decided to consume of the world and the world, resultantly, has consumed you.
With our heads at a worldly level--be it consumed by work, vocational pursuits, education, hobbies, preoccupation with friends or a particular relationship, pornography, sports, or whatever--it's not hard to see Jesus as boring when we view Him through that worldly lens.

Now, some of the things I listed above that can consume us are obviously bad (i.e. pornography). Hoever, not all of them are (i.e. work, education, sports). Not even the pursuit of a relationship or marriage is wrong. Those are examples of good things caused by the way God wired us and the desires He chose to build in us. They are beautiful things when done honorably, even if situations do not turn out the way we planned in long past.

Where's My Easy Button?

Only would such a tense battle such as battling sexual immorality be easy had God decided not to put sexual desire in us. But there are all kinds of reasons he did put sexual desire in us that we wouldn't want to do without--and there's a right way to use that desire.

A Place for Everything

Well, there's a right way to use every God-given desire and the right use of them (meaning the effort and heartfelt action to use them rightly) can result in far better (NONT-boring!) effects in our lives than we might think!

Is That Easy?

How can we use each desire to seek the Lord? In a culture that seems to become more and more bored with life by the day, will we simply join them or will be instead use our very desire NOT to be bored to seek Him?

No, being a Christian is not easy. There is no "just-do-this" answer to anything. Simply reading your Bible for five minutes is not going to transform your life in an instant, but know this: God will transform you. He said He will not let His Word return void. And you know what that means? His Word will not return to Him having gone out into the earth without having affected someone--whether that be you or someone else or both.

  • Can we replace just one--JUST ONE Facebook login to log in to God's Word and spend just 5 minutes with Him?
  • Can we skip just one Twitter post to jot down a thought God impressed on us so we don't forget?

And look--it's so easy to read 1, 2, maybe 3 verses in God's Word instead of reading that your friend Nicole just made an omelet or your classmate, Ryan, from your college Algebra class just got a job. Nothing wrong with that--I'm into Facebook and those things--but let's give God 5 minutes--just 5 minutes--out of the hours of our days and we'll want more eventually. But today may not be that day. Just start with 5. It is so worth it to us!
Remember, there is no--zero, zip--of any kind of formula to praying or impressive approach we have to take to God. In fact, He'll have none of your trying to impress Him. He knows us because He's our Father and He just wants us to come to Him like children do--happy, crying, guilty, excited, injured, discouraged, hurt, messed up.

"The young lions suffer want and hunger, but those who seek the Lord lack NO good thing."
~Psalm 34:10 (ESV)

Friday, January 28, 2011

Give the Book a Chance

Parent Fright

We often see it portrayed in movies and in real life: Parent fright. It's a difficult adjustment to change that says, "I'm not ready for my child to grow up and do mature things." There's a stage where most children begin to take an almost rapid interest in the things around them such as driving, working for income, relationships with the opposite sex, exploring their gifts and abilities, etc. Parents can sometimes resist the idea of their children becoming, "less dependent on the nest."

But at other times, parents may have to have a conversation that ends in something like this: "Let's just give the kid a chance."

That Chance Matters

Sometimes we don't know or see what someone is capable of until we give them a shot at it. The Bible can be the same way to us. Much of our lives, I would venture to say, are spent in a need for the awareness of what the Word can do. Our lives are often full of dark places of struggle that we wish to see changed--yet it seems it's the same battle day after day after day. And just as the battle becomes monotonous, the lack of change is even more in our face.

For others, we are a dry and weary land lacking water. A once flourishing rainforest in out souls has been reduced to a pile of dry brush in baking sun. All hope of ever seeing water in the thirsty territory of our soul has seemingly been removed or given to someone else.

We've strayed.

We've become disinterested.

We've overestimated the world.

And now we're paying for it.

Infinite Grace

There is hope. No, listen! There is hope! Remember that intimidatingly-thick book full of stories that make us yawn? Yes, there is your hope--the things communicated within it are your hope. Best termed, the Author of that Book is your hope, and He wants to talk to you.

Pick it up again.

You've not found a refuge in this world. But even if you're bored at the start, He will lead you UNTIL you have found a refuge to dwell in and UNTIL you realize it's Him and UNTIL you find delight again.

Taste and see that He is good--and you won't be able to resist Him!

They Cried; He Delivered

Listen to these parts pulled from across Psalm 107:

  • Verses 4-6: "Some wandered. Hungry and thirsty. Their soul fainted. They cried. He delivered them. He led TILL they reached a city."
  • Verses 10-14: "Some sat in darkness. They rebelled. They fell down. None to help. They cried. He delivered. He burst their bonds apart.
  • Verses 17-20: "Some were fools. They suffered affliction. They drew near to death. They cried. He delivered. He healed.
  • Verses 23-30: "Some went to the sea. He commanded the stormy wind. Their courage melted. They were at their wit's end. They cried. He delivered. He made the storm still.

"For He satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul He fills with good things." (Verse 9)

"He turns a desert into pools of water, a parched land into springs of water." (Verses 33, 35)

Trust that no matter how dry, bitter, tired, sinful, or weary your soul is, God is our only resort. So give the book a refreshing and ongoing chance--and be blessed!

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Working in a War Zone

The Battle that Never Seems to End

In our war with sin, we're often looking for a breaking point--a point of rest and refuge where the battle thins and some of the dust settles to reveal the sunrise. But the reality is, all of us have likely noticed that it just doesn't "happen" that way.

Disaster at Every Turn

The true way to describe our daily battles, especially if there is an obvious area of struggle again sin we are facing, would probably be something like this:

  • "At every turn I face yet another temptation.
  • At every sign of hope I am reminded of my failures.
  • At every inch of growth I am crushed by a mile of backsliding.
  • At every Word of Christ's, the enemy is ready to smash me over the head yet again."
  • It really is hard to procede when we're working in a spiritual warzone.

    Then Where is the Rest?

    Does that sound like you? Do you ever feel that not even the Words of Christ can stay true in your mind long enough to have effect?

    Know this, fellow Christian:

  • He Who does not let you stray hopelessly will neither let you fight battles hopelessly.


  • He Who provides words of hope IS the hope.


  • He Who designed growth will give it to you.


  • And "He Who did not spare his own Son but freely gave Him up for us all,

    -Romans 8:32 (ESV)

    The rest you seek is in His Word. Fill your mind with truth of God and weakness will dwindle. Rest your body with prayer in mind and trust that He will keep you from harm.

    The battle rages on for life, but God blesses on for eternity.

    Recommended Resources
    The Word of God