I used to have a poster on the wall of my office that was captioned, “Dead Sea Fishing Club.” If you are familiar with the Dead Sea, you know this is a crazy statement. The Dead Sea has no fish in it. If is the saltiest lake in the world, saturated with minerals and full of all kinds of chloride and bromide. My poster, however, was a kind of faith statement based upon a vision that the prophet Ezekiel had. (Ezekiel 47:1-12)
In Ezekiel’s visionary encounter with an angel, he saw and experienced a river that flows from the temple in Jerusalem for 21 miles and into the Dead Sea, bringing life and healing with wherever it goes. The river even brings life to the Dead Sea. All kinds of fish appear and are sustained, in the Dead Sea, by the river coming from the temple.
This river of life is symbolic of the life and power of the Holy Spirit moving in and through believers in Jesus Christ. Ezekiel 47:9 reads, “… where the river flows everything will...
One thing we can learn from political campaigns is that whatever skeletons a candidate may have in his/her closet will be brought into the public sphere. Things that person has done and things that have been done to the person will be exposed. Mistakes and bad decisions made will become fair game for media and water cooler discussion. It can be a very scary thing to be promoted in the public sphere.
Thankfully the Kingdom of God is different. It is redemptive at its core. The very things that have brought us shame and/or bondage, when meaningfully touched by God, become places of freedom, testimony and God’s glory. When God redeems an area of our lives, we are given fresh authority to stand and to impart to others, hope, courage and overcoming power in that very area . If you have been set free from an addiction, if you have received forgiveness and grace to change a sinful practice, if you have been healed in your soul or body – you have a new...
“How are you? … I hope all is well.” This is the kind of greeting many of us write to those we have not been in touch with for a while. It’s a very general and surface approach. When in person, however, we may want to go deeper. Unfortunately, oftentimes people are not very aware of how they are doing and aren’t inclined to answer very deeply. When you ask most people how they are doing, they may describe what’s going on around them – their circumstances. If you press in a little further, they might describe how they feel about their circumstances and what they are trying to do about them. Few people seem to take stock of how they are doing below/beyond their circumstances. Yet, our lives are deeper than what is happening around us.
Our circumstances will change. Sometimes great things will happen and sometimes horrendous things will happen. Sometimes life seems very routine. ...
One of the great challenges of our day is that hardly any of us are very good at stilling ourselves before the Lord. The good news is that we can all learn to do so.
There is, however, an additional problem that might surface as we learn to be still. As we behold God’s goodness, experience measures of healing in our souls, and get in touch with our true selves, we have the potential to get stuck.
Sometimes, we can so enjoy our time with the Lord that we become passive in our faith.
When we learn to receive, rather than strive, we might (unintentionally) forget the value of purposefully pursuing the Lord, and the importance of obeying His direction.
No one means to become too passive or disobedient, but it can happen if we over-prize our experience of Him, rather than our growing relationship with Him.
Psalm 46:10 says, “Be still, and know that I am God.”
The verse goes on to say, “I wil be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in...