Monday, June 14, 2010

Exposed to the Elements

I just got back from vacation. We went to the beach for a few days and had a great time. There are times when I get alone with God and ask him to teach me something through the mundane things of life. This happened last week. We actually went to the beach with another family. They have a boat that we rode to a small sand bar. We anchored the boat and spent the day on the sandbar letting the kids swim and play, the adults talk and catch up and everyone eat until we were stuffed! As we sat in our beach chairs watching boats go by I saw a large shrimp boat pass by. I noticed it was quite rusty but did not pay it much attention to it at the time. When we got back to the house I noticed some of the nails in the house were rusty, the hinges on the door were rusty, there was even rust on some of the cars I saw parked at the beach. As I began to notice all of this rust the Lord planted a thought in my head. These metal items were exposed to moisture and salt which began to change them. It began to destroy the original state of the metal. I thought about our lives as Believers. Are we being changed as a result of our being exposed to God's word and the Holy Spirit? If we are no different from who we were before we became a Christian then maybe we need to do what Paul told the church at Corinth:

II Corinthians 13: 5 -  Examine yourselves to see whether you are in the faith; test yourselves. Do you not realize that Christ Jesus is in you—unless, of course, you fail the test?

What do those around us say about our lives. Are we any different from the world? Are we testing ourselves on a regular basis to make sure we are in line with what we have been called to, a life that is different from the norm? 

Are we different after our encounter with the Word of God? Are we allowing the scriptures to teach us and change us? Look at what the writer of the book of Hebrews says about God's word:

Hebrews 4: 12 - For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Is our time in the living word having an impact on our lives? Are we being challenged as we spend time in this powerful book? Are we allowing God's word to judge our thoughts and actions?

Are we allowing the Holy Spirit to convict us when we step out of bounds:

John 16: 7, 8 - 7But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send him to you. 8When he comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment: 

Have we quenched the Spirit. Have we told him no so many times that we can no longer hear his voice? 

My thoughts migrated to this as I noticed all of the rust last week: Has our life been so changed by God that there is clear evidence to those around us? Just like I saw the evidence of the salt and water on the metal, is there evidence of the power of God in our lives? As I mentioned earlier, the salt and moisture destroyed the original state of the metal. Our encounter with Christ should have destroyed the original state of our lives. 

Galatians 2: 20 - I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Some of the nails and bolts and screws I saw last week were so far gone that there was nothing I could do to restore them. I hope this is what my new life in Christ has become. I hope my old life before my encounter with Christ is so far gone that there is nothing I, or anyone else, can do to restore it. I challenge you to expose yourself to the elements of God, his word and his Holy Spirit and allow him to make you into someone who is truly different from who you were.

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