Tuesday, May 1, 2012

Keep Your Chin Up, Soldier!

We're doing a video series in Sunday School called "Spiritual Parenting" by Michelle Anthony. It's a fantastic series and I would recommend it to anyone.  She's got a book by the same name, if you don't want to do the DVDs.  She mentioned in this Sunday's lesson that the Christian life is just a big battle, really. And we as Christians are either "coming out of battle, preparing for battle, or going in to battle."  I can understand this. I feel like this every day. It's a battle against my own sin nature, but also helping and training my children in battling theirs.  And it's tough.  And sometimes it's scary because sometimes you get a glimpse of what you're really battling against and you wonder if you're really up to the fight.  But, over the last couple of days I've gotten a lot of encouragement from God's Word. It's kind of strange, funny, wonderful how God directs our attention to places in His Word at just the right time. I've been studying Matthew chapter 14 for the past couple of weeks and now I'm at the part where Jesus had just sent the multitudes away after miraculously feeding them, then He sent His disciples away in a ship and He Himself went away to a lonely place to pray. The disciples encountered a storm and were quite fearful.  Then, finally, Jesus appeared to them, walking on the water and they thought He was a ghost.  He identified Himself and told them to not be afraid and then Peter, impetuous Peter, jumped out of the boat and started walking to Christ. He was fine until he took his eyes of Jesus and started looking at his situation and then he started to sink.  Jesus reached out His hand, saved Peter and they got back into the boat.  Matthew Henry, in his commentary, speaks of this...." Peter, when he saw the wind boisterous, should have remembered what he had seen when the winds and the sea obeyed Christ; but therefore we fear continually every day, because we forget the Lord our Maker."  And then, if that wasn't enough, my mind went to Hebrews chapter 12, verses 1-2  "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us,  looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."  (English Standard Version) What a reminder God has given me that in the midst of this storm, this battle that is raging I need to keep my eyes on Jesus.  When I take my eyes off Him, I'll sink.  But I can fight this battle and make my way through this storm if my focus is where it should be.

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