Friday, July 24, 2015

Scripture for a Tilt Test

He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress. I will never be shaken. Psalm 62:2

If anyone ever mentions the words “tilt test” to you, RUN!!!

The past several months, I’ve walked on a rockin’ and a rollin’ suspension bridge. Not really, but that’s how it felt.
I’d be fine one minute and weave the next. I’d bounce off the walls when I went down the hall. Without warning, I’d veer into someone who walked beside me. I’m sure the people who saw me walk my dog thought I was drunk.
After he tried everything else, my doctor said, “Let’s try a tilt test.” Naively, I said, “OK.”
In case you’ve never heard of one, here’s the general premise: tilt the poor, unsuspecting person, head up, at a 70 angle, and wait until he or she passes out.
It was one of the most horriblest things I’ve ever experienced. After a few minutes, I started seeing weird psychedelic lights flashing in the darkness. Yes, I was a teenager in the 60’s. No, I wasn’t on LSD. I became so disoriented and weak that I couldn’t speak or move.
I freaked out. Something was seriously wrong and I couldn’t tell anyone.
Of course, the nurse who was monitoring me immediately leveled the table. It was still several minutes before I could speak and even longer before I could move.
According to the doctor, my blood pressure dropped like a rock, which is why I felt so terrible. – and why I weave and veer without notice. Two pills a day and I’m back on the straight and narrow.   

But what happens when we lose our spiritual balance?
  • When our security disappears and our faith drops like a rock.
  • How can we possibly stand when everything around us falls apart?
  • What feels solid and secure when our worlds spin out of control?

No trip to the doctor and no “magic bullet” can put us back on sure footing.
Only God’s Word can give us the sure foundation we need.

During those times, we can trust the ROCK.

Your word, O LORD, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Psalm 119:89
The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer. Samuel 22:2
Trust in the LORD forever, for the LORD, the LORD, is the Rock eternal. Isaiah 26:4
And my favorite:
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand. Psalm 40:2

Look at these words: 
HE set…HE gave.

When I have no security and no stability, He enables me to stand. He holds me on solid ground.

He and He alone is my Rock.

I don’t have to depend on a firm foundation I’ve built on my faith.
He is my Rock – not the number of verses I can quote or a count of my pew-warming presence.
When things tilt and sway, I can trust Him.
He alone is my strength, my fortress and my stability.

I trust Him - and so can you!

Is God alone your Rock or do you depend on yourself?
When has He been your fortress and foundation?

Friday, July 10, 2015

Love Him, Love Him Not

When we moved to west Texas a few years ago, it was a big hassle and expensive. I was amazed that, through it all, God protected our little emergency fund. I praised Him as Provider and Sustainer and all kinds of other wonderful words.

Then the air conditioner went out.

Boy, did my tune ever change!

I was afraid – after all, my little fund was empty. What if something happened?
I got mad. How could God let this happen? He knew it was my security blanket.

I was a bit fickle: love Him, love Him not. 

Then, when I read the chapters in Matthew about Jesus’ crucifixion, I heard God whisper, “Sound familiar?”
“Of course not,” I stammered.

Well, think again!

The crowds that went ahead of him and those that followed shouted, "Hosanna to the Son of David!" "Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!" "Hosanna in the highest!"  Matthew 22:9

Why were the people praising Jesus as though He were a hero?
He was their security blanket! 
  • He was going to throw out the terrible Roman oppressors.
  • He was going to make Israel a super-power.
  • He was going to give them all they needed.

Then He was arrested.

That wasn’t supposed to happen.
Their tone changed.
They were afraid and got angry – angry enough to want Him killed.    
"What shall I do, then, with Jesus who is called Christ?" Pilate asked. They all answered, "Crucify him!" "Why? What crime has he committed?" asked Pilate. But they shouted all the louder, "Crucify him!" Matthew 27:22-23

Why did the same people who shouted “Hosanna!” cry “Crucify him!” a few days later?

Jesus failed them. Kings don’t allow themselves to be arrested. Kings overthrow the Romans, not submit to scourging and mockery.

Hmm…I did recognize myself in the crowd.

As long as He does what I want, I sing his praises at the top of my voice.
But, when difficulty comes, I get angry
He’s not who I thought He was. He’s let me down.

Am I so different than the crowd who shouted, “Crucify him!”?

I can rationalize that my situation isn’t as extreme. I didn’t actually wanted Him dead
I just wanted Him to meet my expectations. Nothing so terrible about that, is there?

Just like that crowd, I totally missed the point.
  • Jesus didn’t come to pay all my bills and to fill my emergency fund.
  • He came to pay the price for my sin, to cleanse me, and to fill me with the Holy Spirit.
  • Jesus didn’t come to be my earthly security blanket.
  • He came to give me the security of eternal life with Him.
Image from google

Praise the Lord! He gives me above all I can ask or imagine!

My pathetic expectations fade from sight and all I can do is shout,


Friday, July 3, 2015

Reflect the Son!

God made two great lights--the greater light to govern the day
and the lesser light to govern the night. Genesis 1:16

We know the moon only reflects the sun's light. It seems to shine brightly, but that's an illusion.

What does the moon really look like? The image through a telescope during a new moon, when the sun's rays are blocked, is not a pretty picture.

It's rough and pitted. Cold and harsh.

Isn't it amazing that God chose to use the sun's rays to cloak an ugly moon in beauty?

The wonder of this miracle becomes even more amazing if we catch a glimpse of our true selves when we're not cloaked in God's light - the light of Jesus.

We're soaked in sin, through and through. We're surrounded by darkness. Isaiah 64:6  says we're uglier than filthy rags. We're smellier than our pet's poop. That may make us smile, but God is repulsed.

Yet, even though God sees our ugliness, His great love refuses to leave us there. He chooses to cloak us in the beautiful righteousness of Jesus, His Son.

Through Jesus' death on the cross, our sins are forgiven.

"Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow." Isaiah 1:18

We are cleansed, made pure in His sight.

Jesus took on our sin and covered us in His righteousness!

What an astounding transformation! From repulsed to loved. From ugly to beautiful.

God chooses to fill us with the light of His Holy Spirit and to cloak us in the brilliance of His Son. Our filthy rags are cleansed and we shine with the beauty of God's grace.

Let your mind fill with the wonder of it. Let your heart swell with the joy of it. How can we not shout and sing God's praise! Praise Him for the miracle that He chose you to bathe in His glory.

You are chosen. God's beautiful light awaits you. If you're still standing in darkness, reach out to Him and ask for the Light of His Son.

Photo, sun and moon: Shiva Velchuri