Monday, September 27, 2010

Don't be like a Wildebeest


Hebrews 10:25 Let us not give up meeting together, as some are in the habit of doing, but let us encourage one another—and all the more as you see the Day approaching.


We have significant privileges associated with our new life in Christ: (1) We have personal access to God through Christ and can draw near to him without an elaborate system (v. 22); (2) we may grow in faith, overcome doubts and questions, and deepen our relationship with God (v. 23); (3) we may enjoy motivation from one another (v. 24) (4) we may worship together (v. 25) To neglect worshipping together through Christian meetings is to give up the encouragement and help of other Christians. We gather together to share our faith and to strengthen one another in the Lord. As we get closer to the day when Christ will return, we will face many spiritual struggles, and even times of persecution. Anti-Christian forces will grow in strength. Difficulties should never be excuses for missing church services. Rather, as difficulties arise, we should make an even greater effort to be faithful in attendance.


Addressing the student body at Virginia Tech after a shooting rampage that left 33 people dead and dozens more wounded, Philip Yancey said: "Peter once said to Jesus… 'Lord, to whom can we go?'… You've heard, 'Things will get better. You'll get past this.'… Those who offer such comfort mean well, and it's true what you feel now you won't always feel. Yet… you're a different person because of that day… When three of my friends died I came across these lines: 'Grief melts away like snow in May, as if there were no such thing as cold.' I clung to that hope, even as grief smothered me like an avalanche. It did melt away, but like snow it came back in fierce, unexpected ways, triggered by a sound, a smell, a fragment of memory."

Yancey continued, "Pain is a sign of life and love. I'm wearing a neck brace because I broke my neck in an accident. Initially medical workers refused to give me medication because they needed my response. The doctor kept asking, 'Does this hurt? Can you feel that?' The answer he desperately wanted was, 'Yes, it hurts, I can feel it,' proof that my spinal cord hadn't been severed. Pain offers proof of life, of connection. In deep wounds two kinds of tissue must heal: connective tissue, plus the outer protective tissue. If the outer protective tissue heals too quickly the inner connective tissue won't heal properly, leading to complications later."

There are some reading today’s blog that desperately need healing. You need restoration. You need peace in your emotions and mind. You need hope that things are going to get better, that this thing "came to pass." You are looking for answers, for any sign of relief, but so far you haven’t found any.

My friend, Don't attempt healing alone. Real healing takes time. It takes place where God's presence, God's peace, and God's people are. The enemy of your soul always tries to remove you from godly influences. He has no problem with you being around folks that will tell you to "just curse God and die" like Job’s wife told him. Job lost everything in his life except for the one person that would tell him to curse God. Again, satan tries very hard to separate you from the things that will encourage you. That is why so many people in America just quit going to church. They are so easily offended anyway because they are hurting, and the enemy exacerbates the offense even more. His purpose…to divide and conquer.

Just like the Wildebeest that you see on the Discovery channel. The lion goes after the animal that separates himself from the pack. He doesn’t often go into the pack, because there is strength in numbers. But he will prowl, and wait for separation to take place. That is exactly how satan goes around… "as a roaring lion" seeking whom he may devour. He is seeking the one who separates himself from his friends, church and family because of a misunderstanding.
Are you hurting today? Turn to God. His promise to you is "I will… heal your wounds" (Jeremiah 30:17 NIV).


"Dear Lord, you know the pain of my life. You know the thing(s) that I am struggling with. I am very much aware that the enemy goes around like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour. I believe that he has his sights on me. I have been so tempted to separate myself from the ones that I love and that I know love me, as well as to remove from my life the positive, godly influences. I make a decision right now Lord to ask you to heal my wounds. I also make a choice to allow you to heal my wounds. I thank you for my church family, for my godly friends, and my godly family members. With Your help, and theirs, I will be healed. I REFUSE to be like the Wildabeest. In Jesus’ name, amen!"