Monday, February 1, 2010
I have often sung the sweet words of Hosanna, which translates to “please save” or “save us now”. It’s what the crowds shouted as Jesus made His triumphal entry into Jerusalem three days before He would rise from the dead and gain victory over sin (Mark 11:9-10). The Pharisees standing near told Jesus to quiet His disciples. He simply replied “I tell you that if these should keep silent, the stones would immediately cry out” (Luke 19:40).
“Heal my heart and make it clean/Open up my eyes to the things unseen/Show me how to love like You have loved me/Break my heart for what breaks Yours/Everything I am for Your kingdom’s cause/As I walk from earth into eternity/Hosanna, Hosanna, Hosanna in the highest.” Last weekend as I sang these sweet words, something changed, and I was filled with such an overwhelming desire for those who don’t know God to truly know Him.
I often pray for anyone who doesn’t know the awesome wonders of the Living God. That night, however, I felt an ache in my core like never before. My heart can never break as the Lord’s does for those who refuse to surrender to Him, but that night I genuinely felt my heart breaking. By following Him, He has made my heart clean, He has opened my eyes to that which He would have me see, He has burdened my heart for those that don’t know Him, and He has taken my life for His kingdom’s work. As I sang, tears came to my eyes and I felt myself yelling the words out as the people did that day in Jerusalem. GOD SAVE US! I knew what Jesus meant; I had such fervency in me that if I quieted myself, the stones of the building around me would have cried out because they couldn’t deny Him. As believers, we know where our eternity stands, but those that don’t know the Lord have no hope of a tomorrow with God. We should be heavily burdened to seek and share a heavenly future.
I often hear people saying it is hypocritical to come to God with sin in their life. What they often don’t’ see is, come to Him or not, He still sees the sin. Nothing is hidden from Him just because they don’t talk to Him or ignore Him. He loves them the same and still seeks to save them. That night, our Pastor told a story of a property owner selling a piece of land and a building. After being destroyed by the previous tenant, the owner was promising to repair the building, the walls, and the broken windows. The potential buyer told him he didn’t care about the building, he was going to bulldoze it to the ground; he simply wanted the land. That is God’s view of us. He doesn’t care about the cracks, breaks, or chips. He plans to bulldoze the old life to the ground and build something in its place that is new, has a strong foundation and a better internal structure.
This should be the cry of our hearts, that He may come in, see the potential of a new life, and take every step to make it His. We should be on our knees praying for the lost, seeking the unsaved, and asking God to burden us with His burdens, that we may see His kingdom’s cause is done. This is my prayer, won’t it be yours?
God, thank You for saving us, for even wanting to save us and for seeing past the cracks, holes, and damage to see the potential of what could be. Thank You for burdening our hearts for the things that burden Yours. Help us to go into all the world in hopes to seek and save the lost.
Sunday, January 24, 2010
Recently, I was reading about Jacob and his wives Leah and Rachel (Gen. 29:30-30:24). The dynamic of that triad relationship (really a quintet counting Bilhah and Zilpah) was confusing, difficult, and often quarrelsome. While in the middle of a baby war that the two women thought would prove Jacob’s love, Rachel cries out to Jacob saying “Give me children, or else I die!” (Gen. 30:1). I was struck at how often times we look to other people to fulfill our deepest needs when we should be looking to God. We see Rachel’s deepest need (or so she believed) was to have a child. In anguish, she cries out to Jacob to fill this need or she feels she will die. Though Jacob’s response in anger wasn’t the most loving, it was appropriate. Was he God? No. Was he the one that had withheld children from her? No. Could he do anything more than he was already doing to help her bear a child? No. He had no control over her circumstances and yet she blamed him and begged him for an answer that he didn’t have.
So often we look to others in expectation, when we should be looking to God in hope. God has promised He will provide for our every need (Luke 12:22-32), so our faith should be seeking Him to fulfill that promise. When we look to people to fulfill these needs we put heavy demands on them without realizing what it does to that person and to the relationship. We add such an incredible amount of stress and probably don’t realize how frustrating it can be for the other person to watch us wrestle with dissatisfaction.
I know I battle with this. I look to people with the same anticipation that I look to God and usually find myself disappointed. Like the psalmist, the only solution available is for us to “lift our eyes to the hills, from whence comes our help (Ps. 121:1). God is the only one who can lift us up out of the miry clay, set our feet upon the rock of His salvation, and establish our steps (Ps. 40:2). But, the one thing we can rely on other people for, is company for the journey. We can take this trip with those around us who are like minded, those who have the same spirit, the same goals, and the same love of God in their hearts.
We can rely on our brothers and sisters to walk through this life with us, but we should rely on God to walk us through this life.
Lord, thank you that your promises never fail, Your mercies are new every morning, You never leave us, and You have the best in mind for us. Please help me to enjoy this journey with my fellow sojourners and to look to You in the midst of storms.