DayBreaks for 10/15/12 – Falling Like Lightning

DayBreaks for 10/15/12 – Falling Like Lightning

He replied, “I saw Satan fall like lightning from heaven. – Luke 10:18 (NIV)

Yesterday, Felix Baumgartner did something amazing.  He rode a hot air balloon (a very special one!) to an altitude of 24 miles before jumping out of the capsule that carried him that high.  He then free-fell to earth for nine minutes, reaching a top speed of 833.9 miles per hour, becoming the first person to break the sound barrier while sky-diving.  It was an amazing, incredible, courageous (some may say crazy) feat!

Here’s a lesson for us.  It’s easy to fall…and once you start falling, it’s really, really hard to stop.  It took Baumgartner only 9 minutes to get back to earth, but the ascent too much longer.  It is always harder to go up than to come down.  Falling is easy, ascending is hard.  Ascending is hard work.

The Scriptures talk of ascending to God’s holy hill, or mountain.  Ascending takes our breath away as we labor to move up the mountainside.  Ascending requires sweat, even when in the cold of Mt. Everest.  Ascending takes dedication, a strong motivation, a determination that falling never requires.  Life lived in pursuit of God’s Presence is always in an upward direction.  It takes effort.   It will not happen by accident.

Falling away from His Presence is easy.  All we have to do is let go of where we are and let go of our pursuit of the Holy and we’ll be zooming downward in a heartbeat.  And it’s all downhill from there.

It’s also true that it’s much harder to build a reputation up than to tear one down – either your own, or someone else’s.  Don’t do it.

PRAYER: Holy Spirit, I pray that your Presence will continually remind us that all shall one day be revealed!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 02/28/12 – Hand Grenades, Sky Divers and Sin

DayBreaks for 02/28/12 – Hand Grenades, Sky Divers and Sin

We are better off to leave some things alone...

An elite squad of six Chinese soldiers, performing a training ritual for a public audience in Hong Kong in January, stood in a circle and passed a satchel of live grenades from man to man, counting down to the expected moment of explosion. At the last possible second, the man caught holding the satchel discards it, and all dive into a hole for protection. At the exhibition, according to Chinese Central
Television, it worked out fine. [Daily Telegraph (London), 1-23-2012]

Why is it that people play Russian roulette, play with live grenades, tease and play with live cobras and do other such wild and dangerous things?  There seems to be something about us humans that likes to live on the edge.  We want to push the limits.  We throw ourselves out of perfectly good airplanes for a rush…daring death, but certainly hoping for life.

But it doesn’t always work that way, does it?  There will be the time when the chute doesn’t open, when the world-class free climber loses his/her grip on the vertical rock wall and plunges to their death.

I suppose a lot of it has to do with the exhilaration of knowing what could happen if things go wrong, but knowing that the odds are with us to survive.  And we bank on those odds.

When it comes to sin, we like to live on the edge, too.  We “play with fire” hoping to not get burned.  And we may get away with it for years – decades, even.  But if Scripture is clear about one thing, it is this: that our sins will “find us out” and we they will eventually be revealed.  “But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all.” – Matthew 10:26

We read stories like this about the Chinese soldiers playing with a live hand grenade and think, “That’s crazy!” but we tend to not believe that sin is far deadlier than any live hand grenade.  If we did, we wouldn’t play games with it like we do.

PRAYER: Forgive us for thinking that you don’t notice our sin, that it is innocent and doesn’t harm either us or others.  Help us see and understand the deadliness of playing around with deadly things!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Copyright 2012 by Galen C. Dalrymple.

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