Monday, March 3, 2008

Yellow lights and Squirrels

This is the day that the Lord has made, I will rejoice and be glad in it! I hope that you are doing that on this Monday morning.


We had a GREAT start to our revival services yesterday. The Evangelist, Jacob Jester, preached all day on AWAKENING those who have gone asleep. We had great altar times as the Lord spoke into our hearts. The beginning of our Revival meeting coincided with the beginning of our 21-Day Daniel Fast. God orchestrated this entire weekend. We must make sure that we are not ASLEEP IN THE LIGHT. Keith Green had a powerful song by this same title that he recorded several years ago. This is one of the most powerful songs that I have heard. If you haven't heard it, or would like to hear it again with in a video, please CLICK HERE. God, help us to awaken out of our slumber. There are several powerful statements in that song. One is, "Jesus rose from the dead, and you, you can't even get out of bed." What a challenge to us. God wants us all to awaken out of our slumber. I believe our Daniel Fast is going to do just that for many of us.

I want to share something with you that happened to me this past week. My 14 year old son, Jordan, got his drivers permit a couple of weeks ago. He has been doing all of our family driving since then. He even drove me over to Memphis to visit the hospitals, and did a great job. Once we got back to West Memphis, we were driving down Ingram when we came to a traffic light. I began to explain to him (like only Father's can) that when the light turns yellow that means it is DECISION time. It actually means CAUTION. So, when the light turns yellow, it is a time for a CAUTIOUS DECISION. You decide, will I go on through this light, or will I slow down and stop?As I explained that to him, he was like, "I know dad, I know…I passed my drivers permit, remember?" In an instant , all of that WISDOM that I thought I was pouring into my son seemed kind of useless…because HE ALREADY KNEW IT. However, the yellow light STILL GAVE HIM PROBLEMS because of INDECISION.

The remainder of the drive home, I knew that what had happened with the yellow light was more than just for Jordan. It was for me. The Holy Spirit began to speak to me about the NEED for YELLOW lights in my life. In other words, the need to walk, live, talk, and make decisions with CAUTION. We live in a time where there is so much carelessness. God has called us to live BLAMELESS before Him and man. Listen to these verses:

Matthew 24:42 Watch therefore [give strict attention, be cautious and active], for you do not know in what kind of a day [whether a near or remote one] your Lord is coming.

Matthew 25:13 Watch therefore [give strict attention and be cautious and active], for you know neither the day nor the hour when the Son of Man will come.


Matthew 26:41 All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.


Mark 13:37 And what I say to you I say to everybody: Watch (give strict attention, be cautious, active, and alert)!


1 Peter 5:8 Be well balanced (temperate, sober of mind), be vigilant and cautious at all times; for that enemy of yours, the devil, roams around like a lion roaring [in fierce hunger], seeking someone to seize upon and devour.


God is warning us to live cautious lives in the area of HOLINESS and PURITY. I am not talking about the times that we throw caution to the wind and step out by faith with God. I am talking about the decisions in our life's that effects our relationship with God. For you see, God has given us CAUTION LIGHTS to help us in this endeavor. Let me share seven of these with you. I put them in an acrostic using the word CAUTION:


Conscience.

John 8:9 And they which heard it, being convicted by their
own conscience, went out one by one, beginning at the eldest, even unto the last: and Jesus was left alone, and the woman standing in the midst.

Acts 24:16 "Believe me, I do my level best to keep a clear conscience before God and my neighbors in everything I do.


Our conscience is that facility that God put within every person to know the difference between RIGHT and WRONG. We have to guard our conscience because it can become SEARED and thus ineffective.


1 Timothy 4:1-2 Now the Spirit speaketh expressly, that in the latter times some shall depart from the faith, giving heed to seducing spirits, and doctrines of devils; (2) Speaking lies in hypocrisy; having their conscience seared with a hot iron;


We need to heed the CAUTION LIGHT of our conscience. When we hear that WHISPER of warning, it is decision time. Will I go ahead with this plan? Or do I slow down and stop?


Awareness of the Holy Spirit.


Galatians 5:16 (AMP) But I say, walk and live [habitually] in the [Holy] Spirit [responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit]; then you will certainly not gratify the cravings and desires of the flesh (of human nature without God).


The Holy Spirit will caution us in the way we should live. I love the above verse that reminds us to be responsive to and controlled and guided by the Spirit. If we live like this, then will no longer live CARELESS lives. So that gentle nudge, or feeling, or whisper of warning that you feel and hear is the Holy Spirit serving as a CAUTION LIGHT for you… that means it is decision time. Do I push on through the light, or do I slow down and stop? We have a warning in the Word of God about pushing on through ignoring the prompting of the Holy Spirit…


Ephesians 4:30 And grieve not the Holy Spirit of God, whereby ye are sealed unto the day of redemption.


That word GRIEVE actually means to make sorrowful or to OFFEND. I never want to OFFEND the Holy Spirit of God. He is my COMFORTER and He has brought peace and comfort to my life on numerous occasions.


Understanding and learning from my past mistakes


Have you noticed that some people seem to NEVER learn? They make the same mistakes over and over again. It is time for us to realize that our past mistakes can serve as a CAUTION LIGHT. I am not talking about CONDEMNATION that comes from satan…I am talking about using common sense. You see, common sense that God gave us, says to learn from your mistakes. Stop doing the same thing over and over. I have shared many times this year that the definition of INSANITY is doing the same things over and over again and expecting different results. We MUST move beyond insanity this year. If you keep slipping in your walk with Christ because of the FRIENDS that you are hanging around…STOP DOING IT.


2 Timothy 3:16 Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another--showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God's way.


This verse leads us to the next CAUTIOUS LIGHT…


The Word of God


I am so thankful for God's Word. It is powerful, quick to action, and sharper than any two-edged sword. I had a blog a few days ago on the effectiveness of the two-edged sword. If you haven't read it yet, you can CLICK HERE to check it out. When we read God's Word, meditate on it, then SPEAK IT FORTH, the enemy knows he is powerless against this mighty weapon. When God warns us through His Word, it is DECISION TIME. Do I barrel on through the caution light? Or do I slow down and STOP?


Influence of family and friends


2 Timothy 1:5 That precious memory triggers another: your honest faith--and what a rich faith it is, handed down from your grandmother Lois to your mother Eunice, and now to you!


Paul is talking with Timothy about the godly influence of his mother and grandmother. Many times our family members are used of God as a CAUTION LIGHT to warn us about bad decisions that we are about to make. The Bible talks about the influence of friends as well:


Proverbs 27:6 (CEV) You can trust a friend who corrects you, but kisses from an enemy are nothing but lies.


Yes, friends can serve as CAUTION LIGHTS to warn you. It isn't always pleasant when they warn you, but at the end of the day, we should thank God for them. However, sometimes friends can be a PART OF THE PROBLEM:


I Corinthians 15:33-34 33Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character." 34Come back to your senses as you ought, and stop sinning; for there are some who are ignorant of God--I say this to your shame.


When we come to the CAUTION LIGHT of friends and family, it is DECISION TIME. Will be go on through the light, or do we slow down and stop?

Observing the price that others have paid for their mistakes

Genesis 27:38 (MSG) "But don't you have just one blessing for me, Father? Oh, bless me my father! Bless me!" Esau sobbed inconsolably.


Hebrews 12:16 (MSG) Watch out for the Esau syndrome: trading away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite.


Wow! We MUST heed this CAUTION LIGHT when we think of the Esau syndrome. People that trade away God's lifelong gift in order to satisfy a short-term appetite. That is a great price to pay for disobedience to God. So when we think of those who have paid a great price for their actions, that is a CAUTION LIGHT and it is DECISION TIME. Will we fly on through the light, or will we slow down and stop?

Necessity of going to Church faithfully

Hebrews 10:24-27 Let's see how inventive we can be in encouraging love and helping out, (25) not avoiding worshiping together as some do but spurring each other on, especially as we see the big Day approaching. (26) If we give up and turn our backs on all we've learned, all we've been given, all the truth we now know, we repudiate Christ's sacrifice (27) and are left on our own to face the Judgment--and a mighty fierce judgment it will be!


The closer that we get to Jesus' return, the MORE we need to gather together with other believers. It is encouraging! When you begin to miss church, remember that the enemy is isolating you for a reason. His strategy is to DIVIDE AND CONQUER. So whenever you think about your church attendance, it is a CAUTION LIGHT. What will you do? It is decision time…will you push on through the light, or will you slow down and stop? It really is YOUR DECISION.

As I was working on this blog I sat and watched three squirrels that I have enjoyed observing since January 2 of this year. The above picture I took in January as I studied one of the little fellows. It is interesting the way they cross the road. One starts to cross, looks every way to make sure it is clear, and then he RUNS across. After he got across, he began to wiggle his bushy tail as a signal to the next squirrell that it was clear. He would start across…very cautious. However, a car started towards him, so he RAN BACK to the safety of his tree, and tried again later. It took those three squirrels thirty minutes to cross the road. Why? Because they were being cautious in their decisions. The reason that I have enjoyed them for two months and they haven't been run over is because of their caution. They serve as each other's CAUTION LIGHT. When one gives the signal of caution it is decision time…will cross the road and ignore the caution, or stay put. As I watched them, again, the Holy Spirit reminded me that I need to learn a lesson from the cautions of the squirrel.

Yellow lights and squirrels…God really gets creative to get our attention doesn't He?


I love you guys, and pray that you have a wonderful day in the Lord! Blessings!


1 Thessalonians 5:5-8 You're sons of Light, daughters of Day. We live under wide open skies and know where we stand. (6) So let's not sleepwalk through life like those others. Let's keep our eyes open and be smart. (7) People sleep at night and get drunk at night. (8) But not us! Since we're creatures of Day, let's act like it. Walk out into the daylight sober, dressed up in faith, love, and the hope of salvation.


Pastor Rusty


Today's "THROUGH THE BIBLE IN A YEAR" reading: March 3, 2008 (Monday) I Samuel 27:1 – I Samuel 31:13


This week's Memory verse to "hide in our heart": Psalm 115:14-16


Psalm 115:14-16 May the Lord give you increase more and more, you and your children. (15) May you be blessed of the Lord, Who made heaven and earth! (16) The heavens are the Lord's heavens, but the earth has He given to the children of men.










2 comments:

Beth said...

Pastor Rusty,
I have to share this with you. I don't know if you remember but about one or two months ago I lost my wedding rings. A couple of days later I found my engagement ring and guard, but the third ring Jeremy gave me for our 1st Christmas. I have been really upset about and assumed that I lost it at store and figured I'd never see it again. Well, today started off ruff. I couldn't make a deposit at the bank b/c the ATM was broken, then I was a few minutes late to work. Later in the morning, I had to go to the post office and when I parked my purse slid off the seat and everything fell out. Of course I was frustrated but then thought it's no big deal, I'll pick everything up. My phone fell between the seat and door. When I looked down I noticed something gold. It was my ring! At that moment I asked God to forgive me of my frustrations. and then I said "Thank you God" b/c if my purse wouldn't have fallen, my ring would still be lost.
God is so awesome even in the things that are small!
Awesome blog today!

Pastor Rusty said...

Thanks for sharing your experience with us Beth. Isn't it neat how God can take the very things that are frustrating us, and use them to His glory and to our benefit. He is an AWESOME God!