Friday, October 31, 2008

Pollution in our Lives

"Therefore, give the people of Israel this message from the Sovereign Lord: Do you plan to pollute yourselves just as your ancestors did? Do you intend to keep prostituting yourselves by worshiping vile images?" Ezekiel 20:30
In my devotions this morning in Ezekiel 20, the words "pollute yourselves" was magnified to me by the Spirit. The word "pollute", sparked my interest and the more research I did on the internet, I saw images that were vile and disgusting. I saw God's beautiful creation of land, water and sky, all being polluted by things that man put into the environment. It amazed me that we are doing it to ourselves! Without even thinking, man is throwing toxins out there and in turn it comes back to harm us! I think that is how I can get off tract too if I am not in God's Word daily or in prayer. There are many earthly vices that are all around me and I need to be grounded and solid in my faith, to be able to make good choices, or I too will be polluting my life. Pollution can enter my life  through my thoughts, what I view, what I hear and what I experience. I need to guard and protect what enters my mind by filtering it through God's Word. God's Word is the way of stopping pollution before it enters our lives, for it sifts through all the stuff that is out there in this world and compares it with God's Truth. I think of the television shows that people turn on nightly and the messages that they contain. Often, they give subtle messages of what is "acceptable", according to the world's standards and yet, it is not acceptable according to God's standard, as found in His Word. When I read Ezekiel 20 today and the verses of worshiping vile images, I think of worldly magazines, books and television where we read or view and then absorb the content into our minds. As a Christian, I need to always be filtering what I see, hear, do and experience for it does not take long to pollute. A stream was not polluted in a day, but it took small amounts of toxins released day after day and in time, the stream became completely polluted. That is where reading God's Word daily and also praying daily, is essential. Praying is the way i can release any toxins/poisons that I have allowed to enter into my life. All I need to do is get on my knees and ask God to cleanse me and restore me. Like in Psalm 51:10 says, "Create in me a clean heart and renew a right Spirit within me."  May I be more aware of those pollutants around me before I allow them to enter into my life.
Question: How has this journal spoken to you today? When was the last time you read God's Word? Prayed? What pollutants have you allowed to enter into your life?

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hole in the Wall

"Dig a hole through the wall while they are watching and go out through it. As they watch, lift your pack to your shoulders and walk away into the night. Cover your face so you cannot see the land you are leaving. For I have made you a sign for the people of Israel." Ezekiel 12:3
During my devotions in Ezekiel 12 this morning, I had this scripture illuminate in my soul. God told Ezekiel to dig a hole through the city wall and as he would walk away, he was to cover his face so he could not see where he came from. I thought about how God will often use the wall to get us to a "Hole nother level" in our spiritual walk. A "Hole in the Wall Experience" are those times when we may feel trapped in the circumstances of our lives and we are pushed to desperate measures. Ever been at that point in your life when you are faced with a wall? Ever been at that place that there seems to be no way out? You cannot climb over the wall for it is too high, you cannot go around it because it surrounds you, so you have to use what you can and dig through it. God will provide just what you need to dig through that experience. It will be a means of escape and it is God inspired. I sense that when we come against the wall, we could think of so many options but that is the problem. The problem is that WE try to find the solution on our own. We may try to climb the wall and then we fall. Then we may search for an opening in the wall and there is none to be found. That is when we come face to face against the wall, fall to our knees and the only place to look is up. When you look up in surrender to your "wall", that is when you will find your answer. You will find your answers in God. God will provide a way out and it may be in a way that we would least expect. He may ask us to dig a hole through the wall! God promises in His Word that He will never give us anything that is too hard for us to bear and that He will always show us a way out. (1 Cor. 10:13).  I remember hearing a speaker give a great illustration of this. He said that we are like a piece of cloth on the ironing board of life. We are all made from different textures. Some are cotton, linen, silk, rayon and polyester. God is the iron and only He knows when He is straightening out our wrinkles in life, exactly how much heat to put on us. He will never put a linen setting on the iron and press it on silk, for it would burn. God knows just the limit we can endure in order to get us to the place where he wants us to be - perfectly wrinkle free!
Question: Are you facing a wall today? Will you get to your knees today and look up? God promises to you a way out but it starts by seeking Him with all your heart. God then will take you to the next Hole Nother Level.

Saturday, October 4, 2008

The Rosebud

"All I want is for you to be able to develop a way of life in which you can spend plenty of time together with the Master without a lot of distractions: 1 Cor. 7:35 (MSG)

It is only a tiny rosebud
A flower of God's design
But I cannot unfold the petals
With these clumsy hands of mine

The secret of unfolding flowers
Is not known to such as I
GOD opens this flower so easily
But in my hands they die

If I cannot unfold a rosebud
This flower of God's design
Then how can I have the wisdom
To unfold this life of mine

So I'll trust in God for leading
Each moment of my day
I will look to God for guidance
In each step along the way

The path that lies before me
Only my Lord and Savoir knows
I'll trust God to unfold the moments
Just as He unfolds the rose.

What a great lesson for you and me. If I were to give you a rosebud and ask you to open it without tearing off any petals, could you do it? It is an impossible task. But the importance in knowing that we cannot possibly open a rosebud by our own human effort, helps us to understand the will of God for us. What I learned was to WAIT on God and watch HIS power develop in our lives.
Question: Are you trying to open the rosebud of life by your own efforts? What have you learned from this illustration?