Everyone gets hungry and hunger always comes back. Hunger is uncomfortable, it hurts. In our world there are millions of ways to be filled. Sometimes we even want to be filled with God. But when our hands our full of the pursuits we’ve chosen to fill the hole inside of us, or when we’re stuffed of things other than God, how can He pour the power and presence of Heaven we desperately need?
You did it. Someone stopped you on the street. A family member was over at your house for dinner. You stopped into a church without any clue as to what awaited you inside. And suddenly it all made sense. God is real. Jesus did everything you couldn’t do. Now you believe. You’re a follower of Jesus. The old is gone, the new has come, and you’re ready to start down the journey.
Before long some well-meaning but misguided person or group is going to start imposing rules on your life. Don’t do this. Do that. Fill your days here and not there. At first it sounds simple and you desire God so much that you go along with it. As the days turn into weeks, months and years, you learn to gauge how well you and those around you are doing at knowing God. You read your Bible and pray everyday. Your car can almost always be found in the church parking lot because you never miss a service.
Some of us really like rules. We like to-do lists and have apps for that. That’s right, we don’t just have one, we have a few. Because we don’t want to miss anything, don’t want to leave anything undone. So we’re going to work at it. One of the categories for your to-do’s is simple named, “God.” Your Bible reading plan is there. A list of prayer needs is there. There’s even a calculator for your tithes, missions support, child sponsorship and food bank donations. Plus a calendar with all of those services you wouldn’t want to miss, your discipleship course, conferences, book reading deadlines, and so much more.
Is this the relationship we are called to with Jesus Christ? Is it about to-do lists and rules? We want to stay close to Him and far from evil. Growth is the name of our game; we aren’t staying still because staying still is moving backwards because it ain’t moving forwards. I wonder what Jesus would have to say about all this doing and obeying.
Conclusion. We cannot forget about the King of the Narrow Road and its purpose to lead us to Him. He knows the way, and we have to learn to follow the leading of His Spirit. It may look strange in the natural, but it will teach us the way we are meant to travel the Narrow Road.
Do you remember what it was like to be afraid of thunderstorms? As children we might’ve thought the lightning was just another kind of fireworks show, until the crash of thunder rolled in behind it. We try to tell little ones they don’t have to be afraid, but it rarely works. One story I heard when I was little was that the thunder was the sound of angels bowling. Apparently they’re a lot better at it than I am.
My family has a little dog. I call him a “scaredy-dog” because he’s afraid of everything. If the smoke alarm goes off when I’m cooking, he whines until he can get out of the house. When one of the cats gets near him, he whines and tries to get away. And when there is a thunderstorm in the forecast, he whimpers all day, dreading its coming. He used to belong to my mother-in-law. She tells us how he would try to hide under her pillow during a storm. While she was sleeping on it. He’s a crazy little dog.
What about you? Are you afraid of thunderstorms? Do the claps of thunder still catch you off guard? I still count the seconds between lightning and thunder to see how close the storm is and whether it is coming or going. I still expect to hear the sound of smaller footsteps entering the bedroom. But not every storm we face is found in the clouds and rain. Thankfully, there is a powerful key to weathering the storms of life.