Friday, June 18, 2010

I Have a Blind Spot or Two

When my husband was in elementary school, he and one of his little buddies decided it would be a ton of fun to put all of the balls they used for P.E. (physical education) on top of the covered walkway. Upon accomplishing their fete but before they could escape a teacher saw them. The teacher made them shimmy up the poles and get every last ball. Their excuse for doing this act was, "He was did it first." The teacher had the boys follow him to his classroom to write and fill a whole sheet of paper with a verse that my husband remembers to this day: "The blind will lead the blind and they both will fall in a ditch." (Matthew 15:14) Oh that our teachers today could use the Word of God for reproof and correction!
Do you know why "they both shall fall in a ditch?" It seems obvious, doesn't it? They couldn't see. When a person has been sighted and then loses it, the way they experience their world is radically changed. They have to learn a completely different way of operating in the world using their other senses, assistance, and devices.
You might be wondering where this is going, but hang in there with me.
There have been times in my spiritual walk where I've been blind. I was walking in my faith by sight. Is that really faith? It's definitely not a rich, growing faith. I remember going through the adoption process the first time. No one I had ever known had gone through fertility treatments and certainly not the adoption process. I remember telling my mom, "If God would just show me, if He would just tell me, I would obey! Just give me a sign or something as to where I'm supposed to go to get my baby!" (My fear was that I would get the wrong baby. When you give birth to your cherubs, you really don't have to worry too much about that.) I remember crying out to God not knowing what direction I was supposed to be going or what I was supposed to be doing. God knew the intent of my heart was to be obedient (Proverbs 16:2), and He wasn't going to allow me to go astray. If He had whispered in my ear, "This is the way walk in it," (Isaiah 30:21), He knew I would follow, but His ways and thoughts are higher than our ways and thoughts (Isaiah 54:8-9). He saw the whole picture whereas I only saw a corner of the picture. My Lord was choosing at this time of high anxiety and stress in my life to develop my faith, my blind trust because my obedience has already been established.
Since that time in my life over nine years ago, I've had other blinding experiences, and I've relied on and claimed Isaiah 42:16, "I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them." Are you going through a "blinding" experience right now? Maybe it's with your health, your marriage, your family, your job, your finances – you have no idea what God wants you to do. God knows exactly where your blind spot is, and He is going to use it to its maximum potential to grow you up in faith.
Think about that verse. When you're blind, you are led. Who do you want leading you during your trial? Do you want Someone who has known you since before the creation of the world (Ephesians 1:4) to guide you? Do you want Someone who loves you so much that He died for you to guide you? Do you want Someone who knows what tomorrow holds to guide you down this unfamiliar path? Here's the thing. The path is only unfamiliar to you. He is the Creator of the path.
Did you notice the word "guide?" If He were to lead you so it was blatantly obvious it wouldn't require much faith from you. Would it? And sometimes, He chooses to work like that – Thank you, Jesus! But other times, He chooses to GUIDE. A synonym for the word "guide" is "Shepherd." He will shepherd you where you need to go.
He also said He would make the "rough places" (those "rough places" have jagged ends that can do irreparable harm) smooth. Notice He didn't say, "You won't have pain." There can be and more times than not will be pain in growth. Not only does He smooth the rough places, but He is the Light. Where He is, there is no darkness. We just have to pray that He will remove the scales from our eyes, so we can see what He would have us see.
All those times I was in a "blind spot" He never once left me (Hebrews 13:5). I might not have known His plan or how He was going to work it out for my good (Romans 8:28), but I had confidence that He was going to finish what He started in me (Philippians 1:6), and you can have that same confidence. No matter how difficult a time you are in or what your struggle is, He's not going to leave you in it.

His Daughter,

Kristy Mullins

Monday, June 14, 2010

Seeking God’s Kingdom First – It’s All About Balance

We live in a fast-paced world, and as Christians we have to deal with being part of this world, but not of it. In Matthew 6:33, Jesus instructed us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness; then the things that we need would be provided.
Recently, during a time of prayer, I sensed the Lord speaking to me. This is what He said: “Press through the smoke screen of this world – the counterfeits of Me and My glory. I am the Way, the Truth and the Life. No one comes to the Father except through me. Push past the allurement of the world – the bells and whistles, the “new” innovative ideas, new marketing strategies and techniques. Go past the photographs which promise MORE.”

A few weeks ago, I went to dinner with my family. My sister ordered the “new” chicken dish, which was touted to be so spectacular. The bottom line? It was grilled chicken with fancy macaroni and cheese. Not even a new taste! Nothing new, nothing to “wow” me – much ado about nothing! Just another marketing technique used to convince me that this item was better than any other – so I should spend my money purchasing it.

We must push past the descriptions. The world will always “hawk” their wares like a carnival worker wanting us to throw away our money on a rigged game. Satan’s plan is to lure as many as possible onto the broad, easy path of destruction and to pull us off the straight and narrow that leads to eternal life.

There are many allurements for women, such as the quest to look better - a younger looking body, wrinkle serums and creams, face lifts, Botox, tucks and lifts, cosmetic surgery, hair color, more cosmetics, breast augmentations, collagen injections. These are just some of the outer allurements. Then there are the latest fashion trends, jewelry, shoes, sexuality, power and money.

Sisters, don’t get me wrong. I’m all for looking good – as much as possible. But if our hearts and minds seek these things first instead of furthering the kingdom of God, then we have our priorities all out of balance.

I heard a minister say that Satan can’t take away your salvation, but if he can cause you to not be productive in God’s kingdom, then Satan has succeeded. There are numerous ways through which he can influence us. Our number one line of defense is the same one Jesus used when Satan tempted Him in the wilderness – through the Word of God. And the greatest commandment is that we love the Lord, our God, with all our heart, soul, mind and strength: that is seeking first His kingdom. And that, dear friend, is living a balanced life.

By:  Sally Frazier