DayBreaks for 2/12/15 – The Nature of Fear and Sin

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DayBreaks for 2/12/15: The Nature of Fear and Sin

 

From the DayBreaks archive, February 2005:

Did you know that, according to John Ortberg, there are 366 verses in Scripture that essentially say, “Fear not!”?  That’s one verse for every day of the year, including leap years!  God must have known something, eh?  We should note that more often than not, it is stated as a direct command, and usually at the point God is asking someone to do something that will take them so far out of their comfort zone that they’d be nuts not to be at least a little afraid.  Yet He tells His servants over and over “Fear not!”, “Don’t be afraid!”

I remember how my little kids would stand on the edge of the pool and I’d encourage them to jump into the pool while I caught them.  Their little bodies stood on the edge, their arms held tightly to their little, shivering bodies, often with their fingers near their mouth so they could chew on their fingernails while they debated the invitation.  They were shivering – but not because it was cold.  It was because they were afraid.  There was a titanic struggle going on inside their little hearts and minds, a struggle between the will and the want.  You see, they wanted to jump.  They wanted to be brave.  They figured that it must be kind of fun or people wouldn’t be jumping into pools all the time.  They wanted to believe that I’d not drop them or miss them if they left terra firma behind.  But the will, oh, the will – it surrenders hard when fear comes around the corner! 

In If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat, John Ortberg argues that fear is the #1 thing that keeps us from obedience to God.  It may be fear that we will be dropped, fear of failure, fear of success, fear that we’ll be revealed as something other than what we’ve pretended to be for so long – it could also be fear of the unknown. 

In sin, I think one of two things happens.  Either the want says, “God, I want to take the leap with You!”, but the will isn’t ready to jump, or both the want and the will are refusing to go with God.  Either way, when fear wins, we lose – but more important than that, God loses, too.  When we fail to do what He wants, we have made ourselves unavailable to Him as a servant.  And then what happens to what God wants to accomplish?  Oh, He’ll probably find a way to accomplish what He wants in the lives of others, but as long as we are blocked by fear, He is blocked in accomplishing what He wants to accomplish within us. 

Are you letting fear make you unavailable to God?  Consider the Father who is asking you to jump into His arms and see if He isn’t trustworthy!

PRAYER: God, help us to will and to want to leap out with You in faith!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

© 2015, Galen C. Dalrymple.

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DayBreaks for 9/01/14 – A Most Troubling Question

DayBreaks for 9/01/14 – A Most Troubling Question

There are questions in life that are truly vexing.  Today I just want to pose one question for you.  As a Christian, you may feel it is a very easy question to answer.  But, after I ask the first one, I’m going to ask a few follow-up questions designed to provoke you to deeper reflection that may cause you to reconsider your first response.  One more thing before you go any further: STOP RIGHT NOW in your reading and pray that the Spirit will reveal to you the truth about your answer to the question I’m about to pose to you.

Are you ready?

Are you sure?  Did you pray about it?

OK, here goes:

Here’s the first question: Am I willing to obey God’s will were it to be perfectly clear to me?

Follow up questions:

  1. Am I willing to take my entire family and move to a radical Muslim country to serve God as a missionary?
  2. Am I willing to stay in a marriage that is miserable just because God says He hates divorce?
  3. Am I willing to give my retirement fund in order to feed the hungry?
  4. Am I willing to work at a job I hate for the rest of my life if it means I can best serve God in that role?
  5. Am I willing to remain single the rest of my life if that is God’s plan for me?
  6. Am I willing to stop having an immoral relationship with the person I’m sleeping with because God says it is wrong?
  7. Am I willing to be arrested and put into jail for the rest of my life for sharing the gospel?
  8. Am I willing to be mocked, reviled and ridiculed for the sake of the gospel?
  9. Am I willing to be poor and homeless in order to better identify with such people?
  10. Am I willing to give up a career I deeply love to do something I hate if God were to ask me to do so?

I can hear you thinking, “God has never asked those things of me.”  Fair enough.  But that’s not the point.  The point, going back to the first question, is this: IF GOD WERE TO ASK YOU IN A PERFECTLY CLEAR WAY LEAVING NO DOUBT IN YOUR MIND to do any or all the above, would you do it?  This is a matter of the heart, so don’t let the thought of “God hasn’t, and won’t, ever ask me to do those things!” get in the way of some diligent soul-searching.  It’s not about what God may or may not do, what He will or will not do, it is a question about what would I do if I know without a shadow of a doubt that God asks me to do any of the above.  

Perhaps we’ll bump into one another as we wrestle with what the Spirit reveals to us about the condition of our hearts and our obedience.

PRAYER: Your Spirit, Lord, has shown me the condition of my own heart, and I am ashamed. Give me more love for You and a desire to obey in anything You may ask of me! In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!

 

DayBreaks for 8/26/14 – The Secret Location of Knowing God’s Will

DayBreaks for 8/26/14 – The Secret Location of Knowing God’s Will

Romans 12:1-2 (NLT) And so, dear brothers and sisters, I plead with you to give your bodies to God because of all he has done for you. Let them be a living and holy sacrifice—the kind he will find acceptable. This is truly the way to worship him. Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will learn to know God’s will for you, which is good and pleasing and perfect.

“God, what should I do for a career?”  “God, is this the person I am to marry?”  “Father, are we supposed to buy this house or not?”  “Lord, what should I say to my wife after the fight we had?”

Don’t you wish that you got really clear answer to questions like those above?  Sometimes we seem to, don’t we?  But sometimes we just are left with huge questions and no answers.

This past Sunday, the minister started a series about hearing God in a noisy world.  And in the message, he pointed out that the secret of knowing if we are making decisions in harmony with God’s will is found in the verses at the top.

Simply put, what the writer of Romans is saying is this: put yourself on the altar – your body (all that you are and do in life) and sacrifice yourself to God.  As we do, God will transform us into a different person by changing how we think.  It is then, the passage concludes, that we will know God’s will.

Bottom line: if we know we are on the altar and if we stay on the altar, we will know His will.  If we have made ourselves into living sacrifices, God will give us a mind that knows His will for us.

It isn’t easy.  We can deceive ourselves about whether we truly are on the altar or not.  To put ourselves on the altar is the hardest thing we will do in our lives.  But if we want to know His will for us, that is the requirement.  It is only when we have determined to sacrifice our will in favor of His, then He will show it to us.

PRAYER: Lord, we fight against crawling on the altar and it is not comfortable to stay there.  Help us remember what Jesus has done for us so that it is something we are not just willing, but eager to do!  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

NOTE: Galen is a missionary with Medical Ambassadors International (MAI) and must raise his own support.  DayBreaks is free – but if you wish to help support his mission work, you may donate (one-time or recurring) by going to this link, then scroll down until you see SUPPORT MISSIONARIES section.  Below that header, on the left, scroll and then find and click on “Galen Dalrymple” and you’ll be taken to where you can make your donation.  If you prefer to donate via check, you may do so by writing your check payable to Medical Ambassadors International and put S090 in the “memo” field. Mail the check to Medical Ambassadors International, P.O. Box 1302, Salida, CA 95368.  MAI is a 501.c.3 organizations so all donations are tax deductible and Medical Ambassadors takes NO administrative fees of any kind out of your donations!

Your support would be deeply appreciated!