Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Power

I woke up this morning with my heart in my throat, so I know it's time to write. I am not quite sure why I feel this way today. Maybe it stems from this morning's news broadcast...the division in our country...the questions and unrest over recent "sweeping legislation". Or possibly it is the burden I feel for Mrs. Barbara whose husband passed away this past week, and for Julie whose Dad has apparently suffered a stroke. Quite possibly it is simply the Holy Spirit ministering to my heart. As soon as I typed this last statement, I realized what an oxymoron it is. There is nothing simple about the way the Holy Spirit ministers. The ministering may come about in a gentle, quiet manner...but even then there is such a power, such an humbling sense of awe when encountering His presence that the term "simple" does not seem to fit.

I was asked the other day how I know God truly exists, and if He does exist, how do I know that He cares about the seemingly insignificant details of my life. My answer - I know because I have experienced His divine presence. Not only have I experienced it on my own, I have encountered His presence in a mighty way as believers gathered together with purpose and of one heart and mind earnestly seeking and welcoming God's holy presence. In such a setting He has given me a glimpse of His holy, mighty power, and it is like nothing this earth has to offer. It reaches beyond sheer human emotion to a place deep inside of your soul that is nothing but undisputable, inexplainable pure fact. The fact that He is God. The fact that He is all powerful. The fact that He created me, and He loves me. The fact that He has great wonders for me that I cannot even begin to understand. The fact that He loves me with an everlasting love.

It is because of these encounters that I am assured beyond a shadow of a doubt that I need not fret whenever the powers of this world pass legislation that I may or may not agree with. I need not worry when criminals and the unthinkable acts they commit seem to monopolize the press promoting fear and the false notion that evil is in control. I need not worry when the news media appears to be biased in its views and attempts to set the tone and agenda for our country's values. I need not fret when Christianity is presented as being based on outdated, prejudicial bias. I need not worry when our culture appears to have lost all sense of values and direction. I must be concerned, and I must act when called to action, but I need not fear. I can rest assured that God cares for those who are hurting. I understand that He feels our pain. I know He offers and is capable of providing a comfort and peace this world cannot provide.

I have seen a glimpse of God's power. No president, congressman, CEO, king or government posseses a power like this. I have experienced His peace and His comfort during periods of deep loss. I have experienced His protection and divine intervention during times when by the world's statistics I was destined to fail, or worse, to die. I have witnessed the fulfillment of His promises through my children...the very children who by the world's odds stood very little chance of success. I have seen God use them to reinforce His promises to me...the very promises I shared with them as children but somehow in my humanity lost sight of. Most precious of all I have seen the depth of His forgivness and His grace.

Yes, perhaps the Holy Spirit is simply at work in my heart. As a result of His presence, I am assured that my heart is safe...even when it rises to my throat and the tears threaten to fall. I know I can rest in the fact that "God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. Therefore we will not fear, though the earth give way and the mountains fall into the heart of the sea, though its waters roar and foam and the mountains quake with their surging. There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy place where the Most High dwells. God is within her, she will not fall; God will help her at break of day. Nations are in uproar, kingdoms fall; he lifts his voice, the earth melts. The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress.Come and see the works of the LORD, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease to the ends of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear, he burns the shields with fire. "Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." The LORD Almighty is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Psalms 46

"Thank You, Lord, for the power and the gift of Your Holy Spirit. Thank You that because of Your power, I can rest assured that my future, my children's future, and their children's future is in Your hands. I know that nothing happens in my life that is not first filtered through Your loving touch. Although I may not always understand, I realize that we live in an imperfect, sinful world. I choose to trust You because you created me. You know me better than anyone in this world, and You know Your plans for my life. I ask that You help me whenever it is hard for me to trust. Forgive my unbelief at times, but thank You for giving us the capability to question and to reason. I love You, I need Your forgiveness, and I need Your help in living this life the way I should. I realize I cannot do this in my own power, so Lord, please help me to live in such a way that people can look past me and the senseless mistakes I make to see You and the love You have for them. In Jesus name I entrust my life into Your hands. Amen"

True Freedom

by Cindy Hester A couple of weekends ago while relaxing in Galveston with family, I happened to walk into the living room of the condomin...