Choices

Everything that we experience in our life is dependent on the choices that we make everyday. The consequences that follow after we make a choice decides whether it’s a good choice or a bad one. But, is it possible to make the right choice every time? Or can we make the right choice when we are aware of the consequences for each of the choice? Eve also faced a similar situation when she was about to eat of the tree of the knowledge of both good and evil.

God took a huge risk by creating man with a free will. And man made a choice to move away from God. That’s why the first step(and the hardest step) to become a good christian is to surrender one’s will. God has placed before us both good and evil and it’s our responsiblity to use our will to choose the right path.

Isaiah 5.1-4 speaks of a situation where all the necessary things for a vineyard to yield good grapes is provided. But the vineyard yielded wild grapes. Choosing to disobey God can make us unfit for God’s purposes. Jesus, when He was in the garden of Gethsemane, prayed three times pleading with the Father:”My Father, if it is possible, may this cup be taken from me”. I think Jesus very well knew the consequences of being crucified and not being crucified. But He choose to obey the Father and said:”Yet not as I will, but as you will.”

It’s the nature of man to make a choice that is against the will of God. But we still have the ability to use our will to choose what we want to do.

My prayer is that the Lord may enlighten our minds to understand the will of God and give us the guts to choose to do it.

Let me keep Walking

There are some unanswered prayers in my life. These requests are very easy for the Lord to grant it to me. But He doesn’t do it. At times it’s really hard to understand the things He does and why He allows certain things to happen. Not everything goes according to the way that you plan. All your dreams are shattered. In situation like that it’s hard to understand where you are going. It’s frustrating. It’s a difficult to accept sudden change of events that you had never expected to happen. Doubt suddenly creeps in all that you do. There’s always a fear of failure. Pessimism raises it’s head. Faith loses its meaning. Questions like: ‘Is it worth trusting God?’ keep hitting hard at you.

If life is a race…..it’s hard to keep running. So what do I do? There’s one thing I don’t want to do….that is, to stagnate in one place. If I’m not able to run, I just want to walk slowly. Praying a little and crying a little. Getting some comfort from His words.

One special verse that keeps me going is Jer 29:11: “For I know the plans that I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

But accepting to tread an unknown path is not easy. Trusting becomes a difficult task. I’m reminded of what Philip Yancey states in his book ‘Reaching for the Invisible God‘: ‘to fear God or to fear everything else, to trust God or to trust nothing’

I feel it’s better to trust a little in God than to trust nothing and living in fear and depression. So let me keep trusting and walking even if the it’s the darkest night. Maybe, the dawn is just in sight.

Jus’ Plug-in!

I’m always fascinated by the word ‘plug-ins’…..whether it’s in software or other electronic equipments. Whenever an electrical or electronic equipment doesn’t work the first thing that I look into is the plugs, to check whether it’s properly connected to the power supply. The equipment might be made of latest sophisticated technology but unless it is plugged-in to the power supply it’s of no use.

Jesus says: “I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from me you can do nothing”(John15:5).

Here Jesus is the power supply and we all need to plug-in and make a connection. Establishing a connection may be easy but sustaining or abiding or remaining in that connection is sometimes difficult. Bearing much fruit completely depends on remaining in the connection.

Sometimes I find it difficult to be plugged-in. When the road gets rough I pull the plug off from the power supply thinking that I can manage on my own. But it doesn’t work. So I run back again to get plugged-in. I can’t do anything apart from Him.

Being plugged-in always keeps us renewed and burning brightly for His glory as His grace and power flows within us. All our gifts and talents can be used for His glory only when we are plugged-in.

So, just plug-in and remain there.

Is this the time to Sing?

The other day I was reading the book of Habakkuk. The last chapter is a prayer song sung by the prophet. The ‘Shiginoth'(v.1) refers to a song with turbulent lyrics. Surely the lyrics are turbulent especially the last few verses of the 3rd chapter:

“Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will be joyful in God my Savior.”

These verses really trouble me. Was that a good time to sing, rejoice and be joyful? How can one sing and rejoice when there’s nothing favourable and good? I also found similar situations in the Bible. The only time we read that Jesus sang was few hours before his arrest (Matt26:30). And there’s also Paul and Silas singing in a Roman jail (Acts16:25). How could these people react to a grave situation by singing?

If I were to be in such a situation, I will probably react with anger, self-pity and will be murmuring against God. Sometimes, maybe I will accept it with a sigh but the relationship with God will remain unsteady for sometime. But to sing and rejoice seems to be impractical.

But Habakkuk seems to have a completely different perspective about it. Even when the ‘Physical reality’ around him was breaking down, he was finely tuned to the ‘Spiritual reality’. He was able to look beyond the shattered reality to a God who is still in control. Hence, he is able to sing, rejoice and be joyful.

To find meaning in such a situation is to see it from a higher perspective. But such a perspective seems elusive in the midst of a storm. It’s a choice, but it’s still difficult to sing and rejoice.
I’m just praying for the grace to have more faith in God and to sing and rejoice in the midst of a storm.

 

Simply Trusting

Diana, Sharla and many other bloggers are meditating on the book of Proverbs for the month of February. Althought I couldn’t get myself involved fully, I thought I could get into the Proverbs ‘train’ occasionally and travel with them. So here I am.

I was blessed by the 5th & 6th verse of the 3rd chapter of Proverbs. It says:

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

When I read these verses, I was reminded of a story from my sunday school days.(many of you might have heard this before)

A mountain climber was climbing a very steep snowy monuntain. It was getting darker and the climbing got tougher. He was very tired and at one point he lost his balance and his feet slipped. He was now rolling down the mountain like a ball and was getting badly hurt because of the rocks that were on the way. Since it was dark he could not see anything and couldn’t hold on to anything strong that could stop him from falling. Suddenly, in that dim light, he saw a rope beside him and took hold of it. Inspite of holding the rope he couldn’t stop himself from falling down further but still he held on to it tightly. At last, to much of his relief, he came to a stop. But he found that he was now hanging in the mid-air supported only by the rope. By now he was badly hurt and was bleeding. He didn’t know what to do. Finally, realising that he had no other option, he cried unto God to somehow get him out of this. And God told him to take his hands off the rope that he was holding. He was shocked to hear it. It was like adding more fuel to the fire. He felt that it was the most foolish advice and he regreted asking God for help. He tried many ways to save himself but couldn’t and was finally dead.

The next morning, when another set of climbers came to that mountain, they were astonished to find a dead man hanging on to a rope that was only five feet above the ground. If only he had trusted God and took his hands off the rope, he would have had a very safe landing.

Trusting in God isn’t easy at all times. It’s a matter of choice. Sometimes trusting in God and obeying what He bids us to do may defy pure reason and seem illogical. We, finite beings with our limited perception, react to pressing circumstances around us and fail to see the big picture and with our finite minds we cannot comprehend the mind of an Infinite Being. So trusting and obeying God makes sense. Though we may not be able to see immediate results, but in the longer run it really pays off.

The most comforting truth is that He has already gone through this path and has carried this cross, so I would rather trust and follow Him who knows the way than lean on my own understanding. And in all my ways I will acknowledge Him and He will make my paths straight, however crooked they may be. Because of His unfailing love He will not forsake us and His amazing grace will take us to through any rough path. All we need to do is simply trust.

-Martin.

I do not ask thy way to understand,

My way to see;

Better in darkness just to grasp thy hand

And follow Thee.

– Minnie Lousie Haskins

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