The Spark For My Party

I was in the middle of a big party.  Actually, it was a party gone too far – from pity-party to temper tantrum – all because of some physical issues in my body.  Right in the midst of all the tears and rants toward my Daddy, I was shown an old, yet vivid, snapshot of a precious dog named Sparky.  Why was the Lord reminding me of him now?  If I share the specifics, maybe it will make sense to both of us.

Sparky was a full-grown cock-a-poo (more cock than poo) when I rescued him from the side of a busy thoroughfare.  With a long, barrel-shaped chest and short legs, he was never a swimmer (too much body and too little legs).  As a healthy younger dog, that was not an issue, since he avoided the pool unless he sat on the float with me – one of our favorite pastimes.  With aging, however, came blindness from cataracts and strokes that left him unbalanced in his walk.  Because he usually confined himself to a small area in the fenced backyard, though, we continued to let him out on his own for short periods of time.

One morning, we got busy with other things and forgot about Sparky after we let him out.  When we remembered, we panicked when he wasn’t waiting at the door.  Though fearing the worst, we were greatly relieved to find him sitting on the top step of the pool.  Thankful, though filled with thoughts of what could have happened, we rushed to retrieve, dry, and reassure Sparky, but we were really the ones who needed the reassuring.

Sparky wasn’t frantically trying to get out of the pool by that step, a useless endeavor with his short legs.  He wasn’t trying everything else he could think of to save himself.  Nor was he even barking to attract our attention.  No, with complete peace, he simply sat on that step enjoying the morning sun, waiting patiently, fully assured that we would be there for him.

Ephesians 3:19 AMP  [That you may really come] to know [practically, through experience for yourselves] the love of Christ, which far surpasses mere knowledge [without experience];

Right now, I needed to think about why Sparky had such peace in what should have been a frightening situation.  It was the love we had shown in his previous trials.  How much greater is my heavenly Father’s love for me in the trial I face right now!  How much greater can my peace be!  I will only wear myself out trying to fix my situation.  But God!  From previous experience with His love and His Word, I am assured that He is always with me and is my rest!

2 Timothy 1:12 KJV . . . for I know whom I have believed, and am persuaded that he is able to keep that which I have committed unto him against that day.

I’d love to say the struggle is over, but it’s not.  It’s an ongoing process as He gently leads me from a head understanding to a heart revelation, without being troubled by my slowness.  I even asked why I’m not yet in that rest, even though I see what He’s revealed.  Lovingly, He pointed out that Sparky wasn’t staring at the step he couldn’t climb, nor the water in which he could have drowned.  His gaze was above the circumstances.  How simple.  My focus needs to be on Jesus, regardless of symptoms.  When I look for His face, I find His all-sufficient grace for my time of need.

Thank You, Lord, for Your all-sufficient grace and unconditional love for me!  Thank You, also, for sending Sparky to my party!

Election Hangover

What I’m going to share in this post is something the Lord stirred in me this morning, and which I have already put into practice.  Truly, it works.  Please take it to heart today and find yourself strengthened, even in times of uncertainty.

 I can only describe a strong uneasiness in my spirit as I considered the outcome of the majority of elections for our national officials.  The seemingly never-ending election process was enough to wear down even the hardiest among us.  Maybe that was the very thing it was designed to do – without the participants even knowing it – wear down those who pray effectively and fervently according to the Word of God.  After all, the battle we wage is not against flesh and blood, but against rulers, authorities, powers of this dark world, and spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.  (Ephesians 6:12)   Just as a disclaimer, I am not calling anyone who was running or elected the devil or the antichrist.  I am talking about the world around us that is so much bigger and more real than the one we see with our natural eyes – the spiritual realm. 

As I struggled initially this morning, I kept coming back to the overriding Truth that God is still on the throne, and always will be.  As such, my attitude and countenance needs to reflect that to the lost and dying world, regardless of the circumstances or who is or isn’t elected.  It wasn’t until this phrase welled up in me, though, that I was able to get over the hump I had been battling.  “Why are you downcast, o my soul? . . . Put your hope in God.”  (Ps. 42:11 NIV)  I also heard, “Encourage yourself in the Lord – not in what just happened politically in America.”  In 1 Samuel 30:6, David encouraged himself in the Lord when everyone around him wanted to stone him because their circumstances looked hopeless.  He knew he didn’t have it in himself, but he encouraged himself in the One Who was his Source and Strength – no matter what.  

While the world and worldly Christians think only about the natural changes that have just been given the go-ahead, my spirit man is aware of something so much greater taking place.  When I tried to pray concerning the upcoming elections, no wonder I kept being directed to pray for the body of Christ!  Now, as we’ve never known before, is the time the church must rise up in the spirit, by His Spirit, for the people who are running with utter abandon toward the abyss, some of whom are part of our own families or congregations.  If it wasn’t the time before, now is definitely the time we must set our faces to seek His face at all times and in all situations.  We must rely 100% on His grace, where His wisdom resides, in order to walk in His wisdom and take His kingdom by force!  (Matthew 11:12)

 God is still on His throne, and always will be.  Regardless of what has just been ushered in for a brief time, we have eternal life now, and now is when we must go forward to proclaim and share eternal life in Christ as never before!  Jesus Christ is (present tense) Lord!  Heaven is God’s throne and the earth is His footstool.  (Isaiah 66:1)  The devil may have bruised Christ’s heel (and might even think he’s in charge now), but Christ has crushed his head for all time, glory to God!  (Genesis 3:15)

One final word of help in personal encouragement is something that rose up in me as I considered what I’ve just written.  It’s from a current song, whose title and author I don’t remember at this time.  (If any of you will let me know those things, I’ll include the information here.)  The song ends abruptly after declaring, “It’s not the end.  This is the beginning!”  It is, indeed, the end of something, but it is really the beginning of something so much greater than we, as believers, have ever seen or imagined!  We’re in the final countdown, folks.  Don’t let your souls stay cast down.  Put your hope in God alone!