He Calls Me Out Upon the Waters – Finding Him in the Mystery
Purity 504 08/23/2021 Purity 504 Podcast
Today’s epic shot of a solitary figure walking into the surf on one of the beaches of the Hamptons of Long Island under a blazing sun comes to us from a friend who spent the weekend there with friends and who has a history of bravely walking into the thick of things to help others. My friend’s bravery has been evidenced in their life history as they have not only served our country with military service but have also met the pain of loss to suicide by volunteering for , and leading, the cause of suicide prevention in their local community. So to see my friend enjoy the summer season and the company of friends fills my heart with joy.
This scene reminds me of the Hillsong United song, “When Oceans Rise”, that begins:
You call me out upon the waters
The great unknown
Where feet may fail
And there I find You in the mystery
In oceans deep
My faith will stand
And I will call upon Your name
And keep my eyes above the waves
When oceans rise
My soul will rest in Your embrace
For I am Yours
You are mine
As we are called into another work week and may have to clean up some damage done over the weekend, we really don’t know what challenges we will face in the “great unknown, where feet may fail”.
Last week, I visited with friends who were hosting some unexpected house guests, a couple who were old friends that were drawn to the capital district because one of their parent’s health deteriorated quickly and whose life was expiring. While my friends and their guests are Christians and were meeting the inevitability of loss with their faith, the stress of the situation and the uncertainty were paying a toll on all the parties involved so our small group prayed for our friends to have strength, compassion, and guidance in the days ahead last week.
Little did we know at the time, but the night we prayed for the situation, the house guests’ beloved parent would be called into eternity. The house guests returned home, and my friends attended the funeral this past Friday.
They stated that whole situation was hard, but they were glad that they had made their home available to their friends and were there to support them in their time of need. They also testified to the fact that everyone’s faith in Christ was a tremendous comfort and that our prayers for strength, compassion, and guidance were answered.
Even though we may walk through tough times in life, when the oceans are deep, and waters of trials and tribulations rise, when we have a relationship with God through faith in Jesus Christ, we will “find Him in the mystery” by calling on His name and keeping our eyes above the waves. When our worlds are turned upside down by changing circumstances and loss, if we keep our eyes on the Lord, our faith will stand because He will never leave us or forsake us. He makes a way for us in this life and prepares a place for us beyond it.
So keep your eyes above the waves and keep walking and talking with God. He calls us to walk towards Him through the waves of change in our lives, even on Mondays, and if we call upon His name. we will find Him in the mystery and feel the warmth and peace of His embrace, as we can confidently say to the Lord that: I am Yours, and You are mine.”
This morning’s meditation verse is:
30 And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.' This is the first commandment.
Today’s verse are the words of Jesus who informs us that we are to have an all-consuming love for the Lord.
Forgive my silliness but as I wrote this I began to think about how we are to love the Lord and what that should like and as I contemplated it the word “devoted” came to mind as a description of the depth of feeling that we should have for the God who made us, gave us everything we have, and who loved us enough to show us the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ to forgive us our sins and to provide us with mercy, grace, and a new and eternal life. The word devoted triggered a memory of the song “Hopelessly Devoted to You” by Olivia Newton John.
That ballad from Grease, just spoke of the depth of feeling that a young woman had for her less than perfect beau who had temporarily “pushed her love aside” but was alas hopelessly devoted to him all the same.
Unlike our human relationships, God is perfect and the depths of His goodness, wisdom, and love are limitless. If we seek the Lord’s presence in our lives and seek to know Him more, all of our heart, soul, mind, and strength will become “hopelessly devoted” to Him. Our realization of His continual presence and His rule over the course of our lives will give us an idea of the great love He has for us even though we can be quite unlovable at times.
While God is not pinning away for us like Olivia Newton John, He has been patient in waiting for us to accept His love and the new life He has for us.
Some Christians come to God with great joy upon hearing the gospel, but as they still must walk through the troubles of this life and their prayers aren’t answered in the way that they wish, their hearts can grow cold toward God. When that happens we lead a defeated life.
That’s why Christ reminds us that our first commandment is to love the Lord with such an intensity that we never forget what He has done for us, who He is, and the fact that He is actively working all things together for our good.
That promise from Romans 8:28 is conditional. He works all things together for good only for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. As it turns out, today’s verse tells us that our purpose is to love Him.
So remind yourself of the wonders of God’s love for you and endeavor to make a practice of reaching out to God with your heart. You don’t have to worry about Him “pushing your love aside”. Our devotion for God is not hopeless. Your love is never wasted on God. He can receive it and He loves to pour out His love for you in return. So obey Christ’s first commandment and love God with all you heart, soul, mind, and strength.
As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk.
Today we continue with Dr. Neil Anderson’s Victory Over the Darkness, continuing in Chapter 12.
As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase Dr. Anderson’s books for your own private study and to support his work. If you need this title you can find it online at several sites for less than $15.00:
When You Are Tempted to Criticize or Reject Others
Focus on Responsibilities
Satan will also tempt us to focus on our rights instead of our responsibilities. For example, a husband may chip at his wife because he thinks he has a right to expect her to be submissive. A wife may nag her husband because she expects him to be the spiritual leader. Parents harass their children because they think it is their right to demand obedience. Members raise a stink in the local church when they think their rights have been violated by pastors, boards, or other church members.
Anytime a nation, a group of people, or even individuals focus on their rights at the exclusion of their responsibilities, they are going down. No culture can withstand that kind of self-centered orientation. Husbands, having a submissive wife is not your right; but being a loving, caring husband is your responsibility. Headship is not a right to be demanded but an awesome responsibility to be fulfilled.
Similarly, wives, having a spiritual husband is not your right; but being a submissive, supportive wife is your responsibility. Parents, expecting your children to obey you is not your right; but disciplining your children in the nurture and instruction of the Lord is your responsibility. Being a member of the Body of Christ and of a local church is an incredible privilege, not a right. This privilege comes with the awesome responsibility to behave as God's children and become a lover of God and people. When we stand before Christ, He will not ask us if we received everything we had coming to us. He will reward us for how well we fulfilled our responsibilities.
Don't Play the Role of Conscience
I grew up having a good, moral background and going to church, but I wasn't a Christian. In those days I really enjoyed beer, especially on a hot day after mowing the lawn. When I received Christ as a young man, I joined a church that preached total abstinence from alcoholic beverages. I didn't drink enough to be a drunk, so I decided to scratch that rule and have my occasional beer. Two years later the Lord brought a sense of conviction about my beer drinking. Along with the conviction came the power to obey, so I gave it up.
Sometimes we are tempted to play the role of the Holy Spirit or the conscience in someone else's life in areas where the Scriptures are not crystal clear: "Christians don't drink or smoke"; "You should spend at least 30 minutes a day in prayer and Bible study"; "Buying lottery tickets is not good stewardship."
I am convinced the Holy Spirit knows exactly when to bring conviction in matters of conscience. It is part of the process of sanctification that He superintends. When we attempt to play the role of the Holy Spirit in someone else's life, we misdirect their battle with God onto ourselves; and we are unqualified for the task. In doing so, we often do little more than convey criticism and rejection.
Victory Over the Darkness: Realizing the Power of Your Identity in Christ.
God bless you all!
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Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship