Look At Him

There I was on the ground, looking up at the beautiful blue sky, concentrating all my efforts on the voice in my head that was screaming, “just hold on!” This wasn’t some Zen metaphysical chant – this was a literal command from my brain to hold onto the leash of my 65 pound dog. The dog had knocked me backwards and  was dragging me, my  arms fully extended over my head,  across the grass. I’m sure I looked like a land-locked water skier holding desperately onto the tow-rope of a runaway boat. The owner of the golden retriever who had gotten a bit too close for my dog’s comfort had a LOT to talk about at dinner that night. He shouted, “good luck” as he hurried away with his dog. I may or may not have heard a chuckle as he departed.

I pulled myself up on my quaking legs, adjusted my grass stained clothes, brushed some of the leaves from my hair and limped my way home. I can laugh now at the sight I must have been, but I sure wasn’t laughing the day it happened. Instead I started my quest to better understand the crazy dog we had adopted. I spoke to trainers, the vet and watched countless dog training videos. From one of the videos, I have learned the absolute most important command I can give to my “reactive” dog. It is three simple words that have changed my dog walking experience. The words are “look at me.”

I say this when we are walking and a loud motorcycle zooms by,”look at me.” I say it when a child on a bicycle passes, “look at me.” I say it repeatedly when we encounter another dog on a leash, “look at me.” The thinking behind the command is that if I get the dog’s attention off the thing that is scaring her and onto me, the master she has learned she can trust, she will settle and we can enjoy our walk together.

I imagine God quietly speaks the same command to us. Look at Me.

When our spirits are anxious and our hearts are clamoring for peace, I imagine He is calling, “Look at Me”. When the election cycle makes our minds spin and the culture makes us wonder where this whole mixed-up mess is headed I am sure He is pleading, “Look at Me”. When we wonder if we are fully understood and loved, I know he is assuring us, “Look at Me”. Oh that we would listen to His call. The choice is always ours: look at our circumstances or look at our Master.

Our God is trustworthy and true.  He has proven that over and over again. He know us intimately and understands our every fear. Whatever you are going through, He is walking right beside you. Will you Look at Him?

O, Soul are you wearied and troubled?                                                      No light in the darkness you see?                                                  There’s light for a look at the Savior.                                                 And life more abundant and free!

Turn your eyes upon Jesus                                                                         Look full in his wonderful face                                                              And the things of earth will grow strangely dim                                   In the light of his glory and grace

Cyndi Word

 

 

 

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Jesus Meets Us Where We Are

In our study this week, we were reminded that we were born for such a time as this and to lament for the “good ‘ol days” was in fact, complaining to God that we aren’t happy with our assignment.

I never really considered that perspective. I was more focused on the “signs of the times” and the soon second coming of our Lord Jesus Christ with a “Maranatha” longing in my heart. We think of mission fields as a place, not so much a time. So here we are folks. Most of us ill equipped for some of the challenges of our day and many of us still recovering from our own dysfunctional experiences growing up.

There is a popular political saying “never let a crisis go to waste”, and this attitude has pushed through many ungodly agendas. Every crisis is exploited to dismantle the façade of liberty that we have in this country. The Lord woke me up one morning with the thought “Call the missionaries home, the world is at the back door”.  I felt it was His intention to change what the enemy means for evil, to turn for the good and felt prompted to pray for multilingual laborers to be sent to the border.  This tsunami of immigrants into the Western world is a strategy intended to collapse the structure of society, but what if this is their first opportunity to hear about Jesus? What if while the enemy intends for the floor of these countries to collapse under the weight of the burden of unchecked migration, the Lord used to fortify the walls of defense?

The societal undoing of the already battered family structure to build another idea of family has us hunkering down and hiding in the trenches. We’re wondering how our children and grandchildren will fare if the culture continues down this path.  We are living in perilous times, and lawlessness abounds. Good is evil, and evil is good and humanity is caught in the crossfire.  We are dealing with censorship of Jesus and Biblical worldviews in favor of a very methodical antichrist agenda.  The Lord said “When the enemy comes in like a flood, the Spirit of the Lord will raise up a standard against him. …My Spirit Who is upon you, and My words which I have put in your mouth, shall not depart from your mouth, nor from the mouth of your descendants, nor from the mouth of your descendants’ descendants from this time and forevermore”. (Is. 59:19-21) In other words “I got this!”

With this assurance, we must pray that His Holy Spirit guide us and teach us how and where to stand. We need to spend more time in our prayer closets than planning the church’s strategy to increase numbers. As sinners, we all have history and but for the grace of God, we’d still be wandering aimlessly trying to fill our love tank with carnal trinkets, the lust of the eyes, the lust of the flesh and the pride of life. We all can agree that this world is full of hurting people and what we are seeing is desperation to stop hurting. It is incumbent upon us to recognize and ask the Lord to deal with our prejudices and judgmental attitudes. Some sins go before a person, others follow after, but over the years I have been convinced that one of the greatest sins that we can commit is hypocrisy. Jesus showed very little patience for self-righteousness.  Some of these attitudes are rooted in our own insecurities, but the Lord is able to sever us from this root if we ask Him.

We must learn how to love in truth. We cannot build a house on sand by the stormy seas.  We have to have a firm foundation, and the Word of God is that foundation and light to guide us through the storm.  We are not a friend, if we do not tell the truth. “Humanity, Jesus will meet you right where you are, but He will not leave you there. Are you willing to let Him change you from the inside out?”  Let’s trust Jesus with the results.

Deborah J Claypool