Saturday, March 10, 2012

No Hamburgers

Do you ever feel like the whole world is out of place except you? I have. The other night I decided to drive over to McDonalds for a hamburger. I knew exactly what I wanted, so I entered the drive thru and without looking at the menu gave my order to the guy through the speaker.

"I’ll have a hamburger, small fries, and a small diet coke" I said.

Then the voice in the speaker spoke words I never expected to hear.

He said, "I'm sorry sir, we have no hamburgers."

"What," I said, "No hamburgers?"

"No Sir," He said.

Filled with frustrating disappointment, I leaned toward the speaker and asked, "How could you possibly not have any hamburgers?"

The voice in the speaker politely said, "This is Chick-Fil-A sir!"

At that moment I realized that the whole world was out of place. Humbly I said to the voice in the speaker, "Never mind." I quickly pulled out of line and drove next door to McDonalds. How could I be so out of touch with where I was? All I had to do was look up and pay attention to the signs.

Today, signs of a changing world are all around us. We go about our day to day routine, assured in our own mind of where we are and what we are doing; yet the world around us has changed. We are no longer living in the world of our youth. It no longer exists. I wanted a hamburger in a place that said, “Eat more chicken.” So no matter how badly I wanted a hamburger, there were none to be had.

We long for the old days, the simple, safe and secure days of our world, but those days and that world, are gone. Sometimes our world changes instantly with the loss of a loved one, a job, a home, or even a church. Other times we wake up to discover a gradual change has happened without our even noticing. So what do we do when our world has been pulled out from under us, and we find our self in this new world? We go to the one who never changes. We go to the rock!

“He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken” (Psalm 62:2 NLT).

Jesus is our rock, and in Him we firmly stand. His word is our guiding light in a changing world. He can reach into a lunch basket and pull out a feast for multitudes. He can calm the stormy sea. He can walk through the fiery volcano's of our life and bring us safely out without our clothes being singed or smelling of ash.

The Bible warns of a changing world with wars and rumors of wars, earthquakes in diverse places, and social upheaval. All these things must come to pass as the Bible predicted, but as Christians, we have the blessed promise that He, Lord Jesus, is coming back for His people. In this changing world, we are to comfort one another with these words.

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. Then we will be with the Lord forever” (I Thessalonians 4:16-17 NLT).

We shall suddenly be in a new and glorious world with the Lord. We believers look forward to that day. Meanwhile, as startling as it is to find our self in a different world here, if we will just look up, we will find that our steps are ordered by the One Who holds us safely in the palm of His hand, our Creator, Our God.

Tuesday, March 6, 2012

Get in the Closet!

Whatever happened to the prayer closet? If you’ve never heard of one, it’s simply a private place to spend time with the Lord. It can literally be a closet, a private room, or even a chair in the corner of your bedroom. Mine is a stuffed chair in my home office. It’s a place to get alone with the Lord in prayer.

Scripture records the Lord Jesus getting away for solitary prayer, “Before daybreak the next morning, Jesus got up and went out to an isolated place to pray” (Mark 1:35 NLT). This is so important that Jesus tells us, “But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly” (Matthew 6:6 KJV).

Then three verses later He teaches us how to pray in our prayer closet, “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen” (Matthew 6:9-13 KJV).

We call this the Lord’s Prayer, which describes a daily intimate personal relationship with our Father. As you enter your prayer closet, seek the Lord and allow Him to speak to your heart. This will become a habit that you’ll love, and your relationship with God will become personal and powerful. This will quickly become the best part of your day.

Now don’t just go into your prayer closet and ask for this and that. Many of us have made our prayer closet a supply closet. We only go in there for things. We don’t go in there for a relationship with God. Instead of seeking Him, we seek things! We have built shelves in our prayer closets, making it difficult to get inside. So we simply reach in and get what we want. It’s time that we believers take the shelving out of our supply closets and make them our prayer closets again.

We should make it a place where we go in, put our body down and fellowship in the Spirit with the Lord. In the prayer closet we should give ourselves to Him and learn to enjoy the presence of the Lord. This is what He wants. This pleases our Father. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33KJV). When we seek His presence, He sees our need and gives us His presents.

Our Father knows what we need before we even ask, even if we don’t ask. But what does He need? Us! Don’t miss out on the best part of spiritual life, which is being with the Lord. So make a little time, move those shelves, and get in the closet!