DayBreaks for 8/26/15 – The Power of Pretend

DayBreaks for 8/26/15: The Power of Pretend

From the DayBreaks archive, 8/25/2005:

Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. (Matt. 18:3)

It won’t be long now until The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe finds its way to the big screen. I don’t know if you’ve seen previews of it, but it looks great. It is, of course, based on the book of the same name which is part of C.S. Lewis’ Chronicles of Narnia. How fitting (and delightful) that it should come to the big screen. Of course, I’ve not see it so I can’t vouch for the content, but what I’ve seen by way of previews looks very exciting, indeed. Already there are Christian books springing up in anticipation of capitalizing on the movie and the books that Lewis wrote. I even bought one.

In Aslan’s Call – Finding Our Way to Narnia, by Mark Eddy Smith, the author was speaking about the power of pretend, and how that sometimes, when in moments of weak faith, pretend seems to be able to convey truth that sometimes we miss in the middle of real life. Of course, the author points out, Narnia and Aslan are pretend, while earth, heaven and Jesus are very real, indeed. Nonetheless, he wrote concerning the verse above: “The specific childhood virtue to which he alluded is humility, but it cannot have escaped his attention that the thing for which children are best known is their ability to pretend, to make believe that they are mothers or fathers, Davids or Goliaths, camels or coyotes. When someone tells them there’s a man who can walk on water, their eyes go wide and they gasp in astonishment, just as if they had seen it themselves. The next time they’re at the beach, they give it a try; and their disappointment when they sink is profound…The stories in the Bible tell us we can change the world, indeed that we must, and maybe we long to believe them, but it’s hard because of the sinking we did when we were children.”

I remember trying to walk on water as a child, and failing. Was I disappointed? Yes, I was. In many things since my childhood, I’ve tried to take a step in faith. Sometimes it was successful (although it isn’t really about me and my success as much as it is my willingness to say, “Yes, Lord!” when he asks me to take a step), many times I failed. When I failed, it was usually because whatever I was trying to do didn’t make sense to me, or rather, I concluded that it would never work and didn’t take that step of faith because I was afraid that I’d sink, just like I did when I tried walking on water as a little kid. “It didn’t work then, it won’t work now,” might as well have been my mantra. And sadly, there are still times in my life now when I don’t try to walk on the water anymore. And that is a tragedy, because life lived with Jesus calls for walking on water, for the power to imagine what could be, for the excitement and amazement of the adventure that beckons us onward. If Jesus walks on water, and I am to follow him, doesn’t it stand to reason that I must walk on water at least part of the time, too? Of course, I’ll only be able to walk on the water if I’m walking with him and through his uplifting power and Presence. 

Imagine. Imagine what God could do through you. If you need to pretend in your head first, fine…go right ahead. But don’t let it stop there. After the Spirit puts the vision in your heart and confirms it, live it!!!!

PRAYER: Lord, we long for a great adventure, but are afraid to take the first step because we’ve failed so often. Help us to take the first step when Your Spirit shows us the direction! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple. To email Galen, click here: E-mail Galen.

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DayBreaks for 12/10/13 – Why God Doesn’t Act

DayBreaks for 12/10/13 – Why God Doesn’t Act

NOTE: Galen will be traveling the week of 12/8.  New DayBreaks will resume the following week.

From the DayBreaks Archive, 2003:

How many times have you prayed for God to do something significant with your life?  If you’re at all like me, there have been plenty of times when I really, truly wanted to do something great for God.  Sadly, it is far more common that nothing happened than that God did that great thing.  When that happens, we are prone to blame God for the fact that whatever we wanted, didn’t happen.  And sometimes, that may be the right answer, because in his perfect wisdom, He knows whether it was really a good thing that would further His kingdom, or whether we wanted it for our own glory and the recognition of man.

More often than not, though, I am beginning to think that the reason that God doesn’t do great things for His kingdom through us is not because of some fault of His, but rather a fault within me.

In his book, Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire, Jim Cymbala wrote the following: “What is it really that stops us from becoming mighty warriors in the Lord?  God has not changed.  He is still superior to anything the enemy can throw at us.  No personal or church situation is too hopeless for the all-sufficient power of the Holy Spirit?  God will be no more eager to act tomorrow than he is right now.  He is waiting for us to take his promises seriously and go boldly to the throne of grace.  He wants us to meet the enemy at the very point of attack, standing against him in the name of Christ.  When we do so, God will back us up with all the resources of heaven.”

You see, the fault lies with me – not God.  The problem is that I fear that perhaps God has changed…that He may not be superior to the wiles of the evil one in the 21st century.  It is that I fear a given situation in my life of our congregation is too great for the Spirit to resolve.  It is because I think that God might be more eager to work through me when I get my life and act together – but He and I both know that I’m not there, not yet.  So I wait.  Or perhaps it is a failure on my part because I’m not eager to be at the tip of the sword, at the point of attack, where the battle is the fiercest because I fear for myself or my loved ones and what the enemy may do to them.  I may be eager to be part of the army of the Lord, but only if I can be part of the rear echelon responsible for the supplies – and not for the fighting itself.

Oh, I’d never say such things out loud – expressing my skepticism about the power of the Spirit or that perhaps God’s nature has changed a bit and He’s not quite up to dealing with the modern world.  No, I’d never say such things out loud.  But my actions, I fear, speak louder than my words – certainly to God, who sees all and knows all.

The key question for you and I today and always is this: are we willing to stand in the front line, trusting that God is ready, able and eager TODAY to carry the fight to the enemy and to defeat him right now – through me?  Am I willing to take His promises at face value – and as nothing less than the certain fact that they represent?  Don’t answer “Yes” to that question too quickly.  It’s easy to say “yes”, but what we say about it doesn’t really matter.  Our answer can’t be spoken – it can only demonstrated by whether or not I actually start living and acting based on His great and precious promises.

Numbers 14:11 (MsgB)  – “God said to Moses, ‘How long will these people treat me like dirt? How long refuse to trust me? And with all these signs I’ve done among them!’”

Copyright by 2003 Galen C. Dalrymple.  ><}}}”>

PRAYER: God of mercy, Lord of grace – we are speechless because of your goodness!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and raises his own support.  DayBreaks is free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made by going to this link: http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section then click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can make either a one-time or recurring (monthly) donation for his support.  If you have any questions, call 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  All donations are tax deductible as MAI is a 501.c.3 organization certified with the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability and Guidestar.

Thank you!

DayBreaks for 02/21/13 – Go Be a Mosquito

DayBreaks for 02/21/13 – Go Be a Mosquito                    

mosquitoFor with God nothing is impossible. – Lk. 1:37 (NLT)

I was fortunate enough to go to Haiti in April, 2010 after the devastating earthquake.  When you have been to Haiti and seen the rubble (both concrete and human) from the shaking of the earth, you start to realize what a huge problem faces that nation and that people.  And while it may seem silly to have to say it, they are people – made in the image of God, beloved by God – people as dearly precious as anyone else on the face of the earth.  Jesus doesn’t love the poorest Haitian any less than He loved Mother Theresa or Billy Graham.  He died for each of them, too.

When you’ve been to India and seen some of the 250 million Dalits who are considered by some in that country to be nothing more than sub-human refuse, fit only to clean and carry human or animal waste by hand in a slop-bucket from the street or latrine, you are first ashamed of your own wealth, then angry at those who perpetrate such injustice, then confounded about what it would take to ever change their plight.

When you hear in the news every day about some mass killing, about the rape of women and children, about people freezing to death on the sidewalk, about the peddlers of obscenity and filth, about those who hold human life to be no more important or significant that than of an ant and who can take life without any conscience at all, when the rich oppress the poor and subjugate them only to make themselves richer, one can begin to doubt that this is a good world created by a good God.  That doubt easily gives birth to numbing resignation.

We resign ourselves quickly to the trash heap of insignificance in the face of such huge mountains of problems.  It is understandable.  After I came home from Haiti, I was asked in a radio interview and by others, “What can be done to solve this?”  My answer was this: “Only the return of the Lord can solve the problem.”  That was what came to mind as my thoughts swept back through the sights I’d seen, the smells I’d smelled, the misery I’d heard.

My answer was partly right, but mostly wrong.  My response was focused on what I could do as a single human being, or what any single human being could do, not on the power at the disposal of the God of heaven and earth.  As a human I was overwhelmed, stymied, resigned that I couldn’t do anything to make a difference.  It’s an easy trap to fall into – a trap prepared by the great enemy himself – Satan.

Still – God has enrolled us to be His agents of change.  To be His hands and feet.  Are we too small to make a difference?  Of course.  Let me ask it again: are we too small to make a difference?  No, absolutely not.  What do I mean?  Consider this African proverb that I think is very insightful: If you think you are too small to make a difference, try spending the night in a closed room with a mosquito.

Can God solve the problem without us?  Sure.  But we are to be like the mosquito in the room – agitating for change, advocating the cause of widows and orphans, crying out for justice to be done and injustice to come to an end, sharing truth and love wherever we go  – even if we get swatted for it.  We are to give what we can, do what we can – and let God finish the job in His way and in His timing.

Now, go be a mosquito.

PRAYER: Lord, I pray that you keep me from believing in my insignificance so much that I throw my hands up in resignation at the misery and injustice in this world.  Give me the courage to act – and leave the outcomes in Your hands!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2013 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

To subscribe to DayBreaks, use this link: https://daybreaksdevotions.wordpress.com and click on the Subscribe button at the right of the page.  If you wish to unsubscribe, at the bottom of each email you receive about DayBreaks, you should find an “Unsubscribe” ink at the bottom of the email.

NOTE: Galen has started work as a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) (medicalambassadors.org).  He needs to raise his own support.  DayBreaks has always been free – and will remain so – but if you wish to help support Galen in his ministry work with MAI, you can make a donation to Medical Ambassadors on his behalf.  One-time donations may be made online at http://www.medicalambassadors.org/donate.html.  Go to that link and look down the left side of the page until you find the SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section and look for the link for Galen Dalrymple.  Click his name and you’ll be taken to PayPal where you can donate to his account.  If you wish to make a recurring donation, contact suzette@med-amb.org or call her at 209-543-7500 ext. 219.  You can also write a check to Medical Ambassadors International (a 501.c.3 non-profit – meaning your donations are deductible) and put S090 in the Memo field.  Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.

Medical Ambassadors International is a 501.c.3 organization that has been serving the needy, sharing the gospel and helping them become self-sufficient in many ways for 32 years.  Check them out!  They are members in good standing of ECFA (the Evangelical Council for Financial Accountability).

Your support is greatly appreciated!!!!  Thank you!