Archive for July, 2010

 “Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us,to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen (Ephesians 3:20,21).”

Historian Anthony Beevor describes him as possessing “patriotic egocentricity”.  Charles de Gaulle, leader of the Free French Forces in World War II, was a bullhead.

 However, he was more than just stubborn. He took pleasure in biting the hands that fed him, according to Beevor.  He opposed the ideas of British Prime Minister Winston Churchill and American President Franklin Roosevelt at every turn.

Beevor notes that he had a “supreme disdain for inconvenient facts”.  Beevor writes,”Only de Gaulle could have written a history of the French army and manage to make no mention of the Battle of Waterloo.”

De Gaulle once said,”When I am right, I get angry. Churchill gets angry when he is wrong. We are angry at each other much of the time.”

The French leader obviously had a high opinion of himself. “I was France”, he said.

The TV medical drama “House” recently aired an episode with a character who also thought he was indispensable.  Mickey is seemingly a drug dealer in the hospital because  he collapses regularly.

House’s medical team can’t get to the root of Mickey’s problem.  They think it is environmental in nature, but Mickey refuses to release information to them because it might incriminate him.

As the story develops, the doctors  learn that he is actually an undercover cop. Mickey still refuses to give them information because their poking around might jeopardize a major bust ready to go down the next day. “Just keep me alive another 24 hours,” he says.

“Thirteen”, one of the doctors, tells him it isn’t worth dying over, but Mickey doesn’t relent.  Then, Dr. House discovers that the man has an autoimmune disease that is untreatable. Thirteen tells Mickey,”It wouldn’t have mattered if you told us what you knew. You did the right thing.”

After the man dies, House doesn’t seem to appreciate the man’s stance, however. “He died a hero in his own mind”, he says.

Not only are we humans not absolutely essential for making the world go ’round, we are a weak race. Even the greates of believers fail.

G.K. Chesterton was one of the great Christian minds of the early 20th century. He influenced many others, including revolutionaries Mahatma Ghandi and Michael Collins, according to Phillip Yancey, who credits him  with turning his spiritual life around. Yancey indicates that C.S. Lewis claimed Chesterton as his spiritual father.

What appeals to me about Chesterton is that he was primarily a writer. He had a portfolio I could only dream of: 5 novels, 100 books, 200 short stories, numerous poems and essays,  biographies and even a history of England.

Yancey says that one of his bigger contributions was in dealing with the concept of pleasure. Many men had dealt with the problem of evil, but had never answered why there was pleasure.

Chesterton saw this world as a shipwreck in which the remnants of pleasure were still around. It was God who created pleasure. The leftovers of God’s pleasures were to be used with joy, and restraint.

Yet, Chesterton had trouble practicing what he preached. Yancey quotes Chesterton and adds a comment:”‘There are an infinity of angles at which one falls, only one at which one stands,’ said Chesterton, and he ultimately fell from excess, never achieving the balance he preached so convincingly.”

Chesterton’s problem was that he loved to eat. He weighed between 300 to 400 pounds.

As one who writes about matters of faith, I admire Chesterton. I can also empathize with his difficulty acting on his own thoughts.

Chesterton understood the gospel, which is why he could still continue to write with a clear conscience.  

 Yancey says of him,”In fact, he said, one of the strongest arguments in favor of Christianity is the failure of Christians, who thereby prove what the Bible teaches about the Fall and original sin. As the world goes wrong, it proves that the church is right in this basic doctrine.”

The lives of De Gaulle, the fictional Mickey, and the great (in more ways than one) G.K. Chesterton all tell me one thing: only God is essential to life, real life.

This truth was brought home to me in my own circumstances recently. The issue had to do with finding housing for my family.

For months we have known we had to move at the end of this month. We finally found a homey house to rent. However, there is a two week gap between our move out  and move in dates.

We needed a place to stay during those two weeks, so we prayed. We asked God to do more than we could ask or think.

As I sit here in the coffee shop on the last day of the month, my family is residing in a beautiful house which sits on a hillside out in the country. It has a deck which has a nice view of the surrounding forests and allows a peek at the mountains in the distance.

When I got there last night, I sat on the deck for a while and listened to the cacaphony of sound from the insects. This morning I sat on the same deck, listening to the birds and the peace and quiet.

This housesitting opportunity is a good reminder of the biblical thought “ye have not because ye ask not (James 4:2b). God answered our prayers. Only He could have given such a place to people like us, who don’t normally have the resources to live in such surroundings.

I think de Gaulle understood at the end of the day how miniscule his contributions really were. He said, ‎”The graveyards are full of indispensable men.”

The unreal Mickey found this out after he died.  Chesterton already knew.

The only contributions that matter are those wrought by God. That’s why I continue to write, hoping that despite my own infirmities, He will use them.


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“O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is your name in all the earth! You have set your glory above the heavens…  When I consider your heavens,  the work of your fingers, the moon and the stars, which you have set in place, what is man that you are mindful of him, the son of man that you care for him (Psalm 8:1,3-4)?”

Last night I was waiting for our family movie to be inserted in the machine, so I just killed some time by watching the Science channel.  I am not a scientist, and I am all thumbs when it comes to technology. Still, those fields fascinate me.

I have been teaching engineering and science students for  years. I’ve read some interesting papers and heard some presentations in which I marveled at the information .

The program I watched last night had to do with the space race in the 50s and 60s between America and the Soviet Union. At one point, the Russians were winning the race big time. They sent up the first satellite around the earth, sent the first probe to the moon, and put the first man in space.

Then, here came the Americans.  We sent several manned missions to the moon with the Apollo program.  The TV show I was watching focused a lot on the geology study we did of the moon. 

The scientists and astronauts they portrayed looked like kids in a candy store opening a jar.  Each new discovery sent them into a tizzy. They were excited, for example. when the geologist on the last mission found orange volcanic dust.

I can understand their excitement. I love looking at pictures from space telescopes such as the Hubble. Just this week some other telescope’s photos, focusing on giant stars, were published. They were beautiful.

I can imagine that the Israelites marveled every day and night when they saw the atmospheric body God was guiding them with in the desert after they left Egypt.   In the daytime it was a cloud. At night, it was fire.

I bet it was gorgeous. After all, it represented God, who is beautiful.

I admire scientists, and I think God does, too.  He said it is too man’s glory to search out His secrets (Proverbs 25:2).

If good news from a far away land is like cold water to a thirsty man, then the discoveries  of these men and women from the deep earth and the high skies of the universe must be really refreshing. They reveal the greatness and the love of God.

The lyrics of a well-known hymn describe the height and depth, and the love, of God these scientists get the privilege of investigating.

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Vast unmeasured, boundless, free!
Rolling as a mighty ocean in its fullness over me!
Underneath me, all around me, is the current
Of Thy love
Leading onward, leading homeward to
Thy glorious rest above!

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus,
Spread His praise from shore to shore!
How He loveth, ever loveth, changeth
never, nevermore!
How He watches o’er His loved ones,
died to call them all His own
how for them He intercedeth, watcheth
o’er them from the throne!

Oh the deep, deep love of Jesus,
‘Tis a heav’n of heav’ns to me
And it lifts me up to glory, for it lifts me up to Thee!

It’s getting dark. I think I’ll go outside.

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“Yet, O LORD, you are our Father.  We are the clay, you are the potter;  we are all the work of your hand (Isaiah 64:8).”

It looks like a beautiful Saturday afternoon out there. However, I wouldn’t know. I have been here all day at the office at the university where I teach.

I am not a glutton for punishment, and I don’t think I am a workaholic anymore. It’s just that I have no choice.

I am working beaucoup overtime right now, and the expectations are high.  My family needs the income, and my bosses need happy students.

I don’t mind work, really, especially if I like it.  I like certain aspects of teaching, and others I don’t care for. I suppose that’s true of any job.

It’s just that of late it has been too much of a somewhat good thing. I would rather be with my family, or hiking in the mountains. Alas, it has been a long, busy year, out of necessity.

It doesn’t appear like its going to get any better either, at least in the short term. I foresee me working extremely long hard hours for at least the next month.

A litte review of Exodus chapters 25 to 31 shows that the people of Israel were rather busy themselves. God had begun to give them a bunch of work to do.  God had plans -big plans. 

He wanted the people to build a whole system of worship of Him. This system included a tabernacle and the assorted things needed in it, priests, and music.

God put the people to work. I surmise they were rather busy.

I am sure the people of Israel were tired. They had to be. 

They had been slaves in Egypt. Not only were they owned by someone else and subject to their whims, but the Egyptians were cruel taskmasters. It was “make bricks without straw” for the Israelites.

Then they made their big escape. They watched as God made miracles in front of them, and they got away from the job  from hell, only to land in the desert and be given more work to do by the Lord.

The Israelites finally had had enough, and rebelled. Their boss man Moses had gone up the mountain to meet with the Big Boss, and hadn’t returned. They didn’t know if he ever would, so it was time to party (Exodus 32:1-6).

God didn’t take kindly to their rebellion. In fact, he was ready to wipe the Israelites from the face of the earth and start over with Moses. If it wasn’t for the intervention of the latter, the Israelites might have been toast (Exodus 32:7-14).

In contrast to the Israelites, Adelaide A. Pollard took a different approach. She had been involved in Christian ministry, and decided she wanted to be a missionary to Africa.

However, Ms. Pollard had the trouble of many a missionary: she couldn’t raise the financial support she needed to go. Greatly discouraged, she at least went to the right place: she went to church.

There, she overheard an elderly lady pray,””It really doesn’t matter what you do with us, Lord, just have your own way with our lives.” This moved Ms. Pollard to meditate on Jeremiah 18:3.

In this story, God instructed Jeremiah to go down and observe a potter. The potter made some bowl from his clay, but didn’t like it, so he tossed it.

God said to Jeremiah, “O house of Israel, can I not do with you as this potter does?” declares the LORD. “Like clay in the hand of the potter, so are you in my hand, O house of Israel (Jeremiah 18:5).

Now, Israel didn’t get that message in the days of Moses, but Adelaide A. Pollard surely received it in 19th century America. The episode which led her to church to hear the elderly lady pray inspired the following word, now a hymn:

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
      Thou art the Potter, I am the clay.
Mold me and make me after Thy will,
     While I am waiting, yielded and still.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
     Search me and try me, Master, today!
Whiter than snow, Lord, wash me just now,
     As in Thy presence humbly I bow.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
     Wounded and weary, help me, I pray!
Power, all power, surely is Thine!
     Touch me and heal me, Savior divine.

Have Thine own way, Lord! Have Thine own way!
     Hold o’er my being absolute sway!
Fill with Thy Spirit ’till all shall see
     Christ only, always, living in me.

I get the message. The wise man of Proverbs  tells me that I should fear the Lord and those He has put in authority over me. Not to do so could be disastrous, as illustrated by the fate of the Israelites who rebelled against God (Proverbs 24:21,22; Exodus 34:19-35).

At least He gave the Israelites a day to rest (Exodus 35:1-3). It’s my hope that I will avail myself of that principle in the next month, in addition to common-sense things like eating right, sleeping and exercising.

The thing I shouldn’t do is to take the opportunities that might come along to deal with the stress which the Lord may not be happy with. After all, I don’t want Him to say,”Don’t make Me come down there.”

I don’t exactly know what He’s about with all this work, but I do know one thing.  I need to stand up and salute the Lord and tell Him in the words of Adelaide A. Pollard, “Have thine own way, Lord.”

If I do and follow up on my words through a positive attitude toward God and obedience to Him, I am absolutely certain that the end result of this period in my life will be good. If I don’t…well, go back and read Exodus. You’ll see.

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“But you, O God, do see trouble and grief; you consider it to take it in hand. The victim commits himself to you; you are the helper of the fatherless (Psalm 10:14).”

Americans are an ingenious people.  We are a nation of entrepreneurs and inventors.

Our people have invented technical devices such as the telephone and the electric light bulb, and our scientists have harnessed nuclear energy. Only one country has landed a man on the moon: the United States of America.

Antony Beever, a British historian, notes that in World War II, Americans learned much more quickly in military matters than their British counterparts.  Furthermore, be writes that Americans are not afraid to experiment. In addition, the historian comments that the British had a much greater fear that the D-Day invasion which was to free Europe from its Nazi masters would be a huge disaster.

This risk-taking courage and can-do spirit has produced great results.  As mentioned above, it led to the widespread use of electricity. 

When asked how it felt to have failed so often in his attempts to invent the light bulb, Thomas Edison said,”I have not failed. I have just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.”

While American risk-taking and experimentation is admired, it does have its detractors. Beevor says that Winston Churchill once remarked that Americans always came to the right decision, having tried everything else first.

Churchill could have inserted “Christians” for Americans when he said that. We tend to do everything but turn our problems over to God and trust Him.

For example, when we have money problems we wear ourselves to the bone to deal with it, or we connect with the wrong people. In addition, we start to develop envy over our neigbhor’s prosperity (Proverbs 23:1-7).

Furthermore, when we’re in pain we aren’t necessarily different from the rest of the world. Why else would the wise man of Proverbs warn us against abusing substances, or getting involved in sexual sin as means to deal with the suffering(Proverbs 23:20-21,26-30).

Edison was the epitome of an American entrepreneur, having said,”Anything that won’t sell, I don’t want to invent. Its sale is proof of utility, and utility is success.”

God would agree with that statement.  For example, He invented truth and He advises us to buy it (Proverbs 23:23)

However, the reality is, except for what is costs to buy a Bible, God’s truth is free. It’s worth whatever we need to pay for it though. Isaiah wrote,

 “Come, all you who are thirsty, 
come to the waters; 
and you who have no money, 
come, buy and eat! 
Come, buy wine and milk 
without money and without cost.

 Why spend money on what is not bread, 
and your labor on what does not satisfy? 
Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, 
and your soul will delight in the richest of fare.

Give ear and come to me; 
hear me, that your soul may live (Isaiah 55:1-3a).”

That’s the ticket! That’s one truth we can live with.

When we have insurmountable difficulties, why not take them to God instead of trying numerous other ways to handle them. There’s no since reinventing a perfectly good wheel.

It’s taken me a lifetime to learn this lesson. I need to let God take over my issues and let Him have His way.

Edison also said,”Many of life’s failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”

At least I haven’t given up yet, and I feel I am close to success, having learned that God sees my problems and is mulling over ways to resolve them.

What a great gift. I have someone better than Edison thinking over my problems and coming up with solutions.

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“The eyes of the LORD keep watch over knowledge, but he frustrates the words of the unfaithful (Proverbs 22:12).”

Group Captain James Stagg was in a no-win situation.  Stagg was in charge of giving weather reports to the Allied generals in charge of the D-Day invasion scheduled for June, 1944.

His circumstances were “damned in you do and damned if you don’t” in nature because the Allies needed good weather to avoid having their landing craft swamped and their air support cancelled. Thus, if he was going to make the generals happy, he had to give a positive report.

On the other hand, if he made a mistake, gave a good weather forecast and the skies turned bad, he would go down in history, in a bad way!  Historian Anthony Beevor records a black joke told to Stagg by the chief planning officer for the invasion: “Good luck, Stagg. May all your depressions be nice little ones, but remember we’ll string you up from the nearest lamp post if you don’t read the omens right.”

The signs on the weekend before the invasion did in fact point to bad weather.  However, the professional metereologists under Stagg’s command couldn’t agree what they meant. Stagg decided to err on the side of caution. Asked by General Dwight D. Eisenhower to give an extended forecast, Stagg replied,”If I answered that, Sir, I would be guessing, not behaving as your metereological adviser.”

Only when it was clear that the forecast was indeed poor did Stagg give a confident picture of gloom. Even then, it was not a popular report.  The generals and advisers in the room sat stunned.

On top of the pressure from the commanding officers, Stagg could look outside and see beautiful sunsets and clear skies as he gave his reports. One nice morning, he was ashamed to meet his fellow officers.

Stagg was indeed a marked man.  I am sure he felt as if he had been set up for a fall.

As we all know now, the succesful D-Day invasion on June 6, 1944 was one of  the key events of the 20th century. There are no books on the effects of the incompetent reports of Group Captain James Stagg. He weathered the storm (pun intended).

It is hard to explain to people outside of my field how hard people work at my job.  I teach in a very intensive university program for international students. They are in class 20 plus hours each week to learn how to read, write, speak and listen to academic English so they can attend American schools

My colleagues and I have our own black humor about the long hours we spend teaching and preparing.  We joke at my office about the need for cots there so people can spend the night. Teachers are coming and going all hours of the day and night and on weekends where I work. The coffee pot is on a lot.

In some ways, we too are in a similar no-win situation as the one James Stagg faced.  The boss expects happy students who are satisfied with their training.  That, of course, is not always within a teacher’s control.  Human beings are as uncontrollable as the wind and the weather. 

Even if they are happy, the teacher gets no real plaudits for it. After all, it’s expected. It’s only when they’re not happy does the teacher get a reaction: “Hang him from the highest yardarm!”.

Thus, we teachers walk a fine line, and we expend a lot of time and energy to get it right. I am sometimes amazed at the efforts, competence and professionalism of most of my colleagues. I try hard to emulate them because we all have a severe responsibility.

This is why the Bible makes it clear that only a select few should be teaching the Word of God.  James writes, “Not many of you should presume to be teachers, my brothers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly. We all stumble in many ways. If anyone is never at fault in what he says, he is a perfect man, able to keep his whole body in check (James 3:1,2).”

Yep, people should not be teaching others unless they have a handle on what they are talking about.  None of us is perfect, and some of us tend to run off at the mouth, extemporaneously saying whatever comes to mind.

I tend to be like that in the classroom myself. This is why I have to keep a tight rein on my tongue and watch what I say.

Not everything written  ended up as part of the biblical canon. God was pretty strict about orchestrating what was included and what wasn’t. One set of writings that did make the cut was some proverbs written mostly by Solomon. Here’s what he says about his own writings: 

“Pay attention and listen to the sayings of the wise; apply your heart to what I teach, for it is pleasing when you keep them in your heart and have all of them ready on your lips. So that your trust may be in the LORD,  I teach you today, even you. Have I not written thirty sayings for you, sayings of counsel and knowledge, teaching you true and reliable words, so that you can give sound answers to him who sent you (Proverbs 22:17-21).”

God watched what He said when He inspired men to write His words in the Scriptures. You can take His words to the bank. You can trust the Source.

This doesn’t mean God and His Word don’t get crticized.  In addition, being a good Bible teacher doesn’t preclude attacks from others either. In fact, it is almost guaranteed that those who faithfully teach the Bible will get criticized.

James Callahan didn’t run for the hills when asked for weather reports,  even though he probably wanted to. Neither should we, if we know the Bible well enough .  We can trust it, and its Author (Psalm 11:1).

Being a student and teacher of  the Scriptures is time consuming and takes a lot of energy. However, all the hard work is worth it.

Those who teach anything have a high responsibility, and those who teach the Bible especially so. We owe it to our Boss who took such care to put it together, and to our students who want to learn it well.

If we teach the Bible, we also owe it to ourselves to get it right. Then we can stand with confidence in front of our Boss and hearers, just as James Stagg did with his.

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“There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the LORD (Proverbs 21:30).”

My wife told me of an incident she had on the phone the other day which really raised my ire.  She had taken a call from what apparently was a telephone solicitor.  My wife told the man she wasn’t interested and hung up.

The phone rang again and my wife picked up.  The same man was on the line, and called her a “foreign @#$%&@”.

When she told me this story, it really created anger in me, for many reasons. This man had invaded my home electronically.

I have worked in customer service and I knew that his behavior was beyond the pale. I could only hope that he was being monitored by his bosses at the time.

The incident reaffirmed to me that Satan and his cohorts are alive and well on Planet Earth, as if I needed proof anyway.  Sometimes it seems that evil reigns. In addition to the normal trials of life, experiences such as the one my wife experienced make life severely difficult.

The Psalmist must have felt like I did the other day. He went to God and said:

” Help, LORD, for the godly are no more; 
the faithful have vanished from among men.

Everyone lies to his neighbor; 
their flattering lips speak with deception.

May the LORD cut off all flattering lips 
and every boastful tongue that says, ‘We will triumph with our tongues; 
we own our lips  —who is our master?'(Psalm 12:1-3).”

God answered the Psalmist forthwith.  He replied,

” ‘Because of the oppression of the weak 
and the groaning of the needy, 
I will now arise,’ says the LORD. 
I will protect them from those who malign them’ (Psalm 12:5).”

This is a comforting truth.  God has His people’s back.  The realization of this reality caused the Psalmist to say,

 ” O LORD, you will keep us safe 
   and protect us from such people forever (Psalm 12:7).”

God watches out for His own. This is what we are if we are believers: we are His.

When Aaron the priest went into the tabernacle, he was to wear a turban with a seal on it. It read,”Holy to the Lord.” He also wore a breastplate with the names of the sons of Israel on it. God has separated us out as belonging to Him, and He knows our names (Exodus 28:29,36).

We’re members of the God gang.  This is far better than being a Crip or a Blood.  No gang has a Leader like ours.

The wise man of Proverbs writes, “The Righteous One  takes note of the house of the wicked and brings the wicked to ruin (Proverbs 21:12).” As a member of the God gang, I can only say,”Watch out telephone guy. My God knows where you live.”

He is indeed the Righteous One. I can expect from Him words keeping with His name. Unlike the spoutings of our telephone ‘friend’, God’s  words are flawless (Psalm 12:6).  

It’s nice to know my gang leader is “all that”.  God is the O.G. -“original gangster”.  He’s got a track record of success and He is true.

The world is a tough place. As Cat Stevens sang,” Oh baby baby it’s a wild world,it’s hard to get by just upon a smile.”

How’ bout it ‘cuz.  Time to quit worrying about the devils out there. His word is bond.

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“The path of life leads upward for the wise to keep him from going down to the grave (Proverbs 15:24).”

Noted historian Anthony Beevor records in his new book on D-Day that men waiting to embark for the beaches of France were pretty tense.  They wanted to get the show on the road, and were nervous in the waiting.

Men did various things to deal with the situation.  Some married their girlfriends before leaving.  Others got drunk.  

A number of the soldiers had premonitions of their impending death. One minister recorded that a soldier he knew with these feelings was resigned to his fate.

Beevor writes that “a few men cracked under the strain”. One of them armed himself and ran away.  He was hunted down by his fellow troops. When he refused to surrender, he was killed.

A soldier who recorded the incident wrote,”We never did know whether he just didn’t want to die on the beach, or he was a spy. Whatever he did, it was dumb.  He was a sure dead man versus a ‘maybe’.”

According to Beevor, a lot of men “took a runner” before the invasion, but most returned to be with their friends.  Practical commanding officers didn’t want to lose these men to jail, so they showed mercy, giving them a chance to redeem themselves on the battlefield.

The circumstances of we Christians often seem like the experiences of these World War II soldiers.  We are under a lot of pressure to perform.  Christians have to work hard at being godly spouses and parents, faithful employees, and honest citizens. 

Christians have a Commanding Officer who has His boot camp and operational plans in place.  We Soldiers of the Cross undergo a lot of experiences that unbelievers don’t because we are at war. The civilians, those who don’t follow Jesus Christ, dance merrily along behind the lines enjoying the comforts of life while those who have enlisted for the Savior are involved in spiritual warfare.

The suffering we believers endure is necessary for long-term success.  As individual members of God’s army, we need the training God is giving us in order to engage in battle.  Furthermore, our particular performance in concert with other believers is essential for the final victory in the war against the enemy, Satan and his bandits.

Unfortunately, like some of the soldiers awaiting the landings on Normandy, we sometimes give way under the pressure and stress.  Also like them, we deal with the strain in many ways.

At times the stress is so great we try to relieve the pain of it all by leaving God’s path.  We don’t want any part of this war anymore and we want the comforts our unbelieving friends and acquaintances are experiencing. Therefore, we take our own runner.

We can do this is many ways.  We might get involved in activities that God says are displeasing to Him in an effort to feel better. In addition, we may just stop participating in His plan altogether and go into hiding.

While temporarily relieving, making choices like these in order to relieve the tension isn’t a good idea. In fact, it’s just plain stupid.

God’s program may be difficult, but it’s the only way to eternal success. As individuals, we didn’t start this war, but we surely can’t avoid it. It’s going on around us whether we like it or not.   We’re in dangerous waters one way or the other.

The wise man of Proverbs warns against doing a runner in the Christian life. He says,” Stern discipline awaits him who leaves the path; he who hates correction will die (Proverbs 15:10).”

God is on our side, and we’re winning. Others may have deserted, but we shouldn’t.  The primary reason we shouldn’t run is that in the conflict is where God is (Psalm 14:1-5). If we want to know and experience His presence, we have to be in the battle with Him.

I’ve been on Omaha Beach in Normandy. It’s an incline, leading to some small hills that our troops had to take before crossing the causeways to more level land.

The way to victory for these men was to fight to get off that beach, and tackle those hills. Staying on the beach, they’d die.  Furthermore, there was no place for them to turn tail and run. Behind them was the English Channel. Therefore, it was imperative for them to follow the orders of their officers and move forward if they wanted to live and gain victory.

Likewise, if we want life, we shouldn’t do a runner. It’s just plain dumb to do so. Instead, we should follow our Commander Jesus and storm the powers of Hell, obeying Him all the way up.

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