Sometimes when reading Oswald Chambers I am reminded of Proverbs 24:7 “Wisdom is too high for a fool….” I’m not too sure I really understand. Early this week his devotional said to me that when God commands what I think I cannot do, He commands Christ in me to do it—and Christ can do anything. This brings new meaning to Galatians 2:20—“I no longer live and Christ lives in me.” All I have to do is delight in moving with Christ in obedience and Christ in me will make the difficult thing become divinely easy.
I need to digest Oswald Chamber’s thoughts that vision has moral inspiration. A vision, he says, is more than just some ideal situation I hope to enjoy someday. There’s not a lot of inspiration in that. A vision is inspired (it comes from God) and moral (failing to take action on it is wrong). A vision is a situation God wants to create through my cooperation even though at the present I do not have or see the resources to create it. We cannot do what God does; God will not do what we can do. Pray. Listen. Take Initiative.
Priscilla occasionally cans (usually tomatoes or undersized potatoes). She makes sure that each jar seals so that the contents are preserved good. When she does chokecherry jelly like she did this last week, she uses a wax seal. Psalm 119 (the chapter with the most verses in the Bible) is all about how the Word of God preserves us. If we take it in and do what it says, it will preserve and protect us. The Word of God keeps us from becoming rotten! It holds us steady in uncertain times. “Preserve my life according to your word.”
No one that I know of likes picking rocks—not even people who have equipment for it. I certainly didn’t like picking rocks out of fields when I was younger—although now I think I should have enjoyed any experience without pain. Several people have been working on getting rocks out of the church grass in preparation for summer mowing and a beautiful yard. Picking rocks out of our lives is not fun either, but we need to pick rocks out of the soil of our lives to be effective and so the beauty of Jesus can shine through us.
Having come through the worst snow storm in at least 22 years, I was surprised at how many references there are to snow in the Bible. I don’t think of Israel as a place for snow, but Jerusalem gets some snow and the beautiful Golan Heights receives plenty of snow. Snow reminds us of the color pure white—our sins can be made pure as white snow (Psalm 51:7, Isaiah 1:18). Snow reminds us of the clothing of God (Daniel 7:9, Matthew 28:3, Revelation 1:14). The only pure whiteness we will ever have is putting on the Lord Jesus Christ.
When we think of the temptation of Jesus, we think of the three-fold temptation at the beginning of his ministry. We secretly think it must have been easy for Jesus—only being tempted once. Reality is that Jesus continued to be tempted—sometimes by his own human desires and other times by direct assault of Satan. Jesus, in the Garden of Gethsemane, is tried, tempted and tortured in his own spirit by Satan. Temptation seems as strong today as at any other time in my life. I am glad my Savior was tempted in every way as I (Hebrew 4:15).
While the Israelites hid in caves quaking in fear of the Philistines (I Samuel 13:6-7), Jonathan acted with strength and faith (14:1-23). Jonathan left camp to spy on the Philistines. Jonathan believed nothing could hinder God from giving them victory over the Philistines. Jonathan stepped out to see if this would be the opportunity God would choose to give the victory. As God delivered the Philistines into the hands of Israel those who had been quaking in fear even came to join the fight. Nothing is too hard for the Lord but for our inaction and lack of faith.