When My Soul Needs Water

I apologize for not posting any devotions last week. I assure you it was not my intention, but I found myself in need of some one-on-one time with the Lord to work through some of my disappointments and frustrations. To quote George Mueller, “I saw more clearly than ever that the first great and primary business to which I ought to attend every day was to have my soul happy in the Lord. The first thing to be concerned about was not how much I might serve the Lord but how I might get my soul into a happy state and how the inner life might be nourished.” So, I sat with the Lord day after day, setting forth the business of nourishing my soul, which ironically ties in to today’s devotion.

Last week, Jason and I were taking Barnabas out to a nearby heritage preserve for an evening walk/hike. As we drove, the Xterra began acting strangely. At first, it hiccuped a few times, then the temperature sky-rocketed. Uh oh! Since we weren’t too far from the house, Jason decided it was best to turn back so we could assess the problem. Unfortunately, the vehicle had other ideas. It hopped down the road—a process known as “limp mode” according to Jason. We had no idea what the problem was, but one thing was sure—the Xterra was NOT happy. Suddenly, there was a loud pop and an explosion of liquid from under the hood. Jason pulled over into a small pull off as I did my best to calm Barnabas. . .and myself.

It turns out, somehow and somewhere, the Xterra had dumped all of its water. It was running dry. That’s why the temperature was so high, and that’s why it refused to move smoothly.  It was dehydrated. Empty. Lacking that which it needed to run properly. Fortunately, the excessive rain of late had formed puddles in the ditch nearby, and we were able to fill the radiator with enough rainwater to get us home. (Talk about showers of blessing!) As to why the vehicle is losing water, we still don’t know. It’s scheduled to go into the shop next week. (Yay! More car repairs!!!)

Oddly enough, the more I thought about the situation, the more I realized I could relate to the Xterra. It seems as if I’ve been operating in limp mode for some time now. I knew something wasn’t right, but I guess I kept hoping my sad thoughts and irritability would just go away.  Of course, that never happens. But I felt too busy to deal with the issue. I knew I needed some time to sort things out, but I rationalized there were too many other things to do. I told myself to buck up and do life. But I wasn’t doing life, and the Xterra’s breakdown helped me to see that I, too, was dehydrated. Spiritually dehydrated. Empty. Lacking that which I needed to run properly.

Sure, I did my daily Bible reading and prayer time, but honestly, I think I was just going through the motions. My heart wasn’t in it. I needed more. I needed to immerse myself in the water of the Word and keep drinking until my dry soul felt renewed and refreshed. So, I spent last week doing just that. I poured my heart (and a lot of tears) out to God. I read the Bible. I journaled. I sat still in God’s presence and savored just being with Him. And you know what? I feel like a different person. Am I all better? Probably not. Will I go into a funk again? If I’m not careful, yes. But that’s not the point. The point is, I recognized a need and did what had to be done to meet that need, and in doing so, I remembered how valuable and vital God’s Word is. I may not be running on all cylinders, but I’m out of limp mode, and for that, I praise the Lord. Limp mode is miserable, but nothing a little water from the Word can’t fix.

Is your soul dry today? Are you going along in limp mode? Do you find yourself too busy to care for your spiritual needs? If so, I urge you to take time to nourish your soul. Get away with God. Immerse yourself in His Word. Pour out your heart to Him and spend time basking in His presence. Take a day or two or however long it takes for your soul to be renewed and refreshed. I assure you, it’s worth it. You know what they say—sometimes you have to come apart and rest awhile, or you’ll just come apart. Don’t let that happen to you. Refreshing, living water is within reach.  

O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is; To see thy power and thy glory, so as I have seen thee in the sanctuary. Because thy lovingkindness is better than life, my lips shall praise thee. Thus will I bless thee while I live: I will lift up my hands in thy name. My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness; and my mouth shall praise thee with joyful lips: When I remember thee upon my bed, and meditate on thee in the night watches. Because thou hast been my help, therefore in the shadow of thy wings will I rejoice.
— Psalm 63:1-7

Are We Ashamed of Christ?

I’m going to take a short break from our study on the negatives in the Bible.  We’ve covered about a dozen instances of the word, “nothing,” and when we come back to the study, we’ll be looking at the word, “never.”  In the meantime, I have a few other thoughts to share with you.


As Christians, we have the responsibilityto speak the truth in love..png

This morning, I listened to an interview with the rising Contemporary Christian singer, Lauren Daigle. Before I go any further, let me say I enjoy some Contemporary music, and until now, I appreciated many of the songs performed by Lauren. I wanted to make that clear, so no one misunderstood my intentions with this devotion. I am not condemning the music or the person, but I am very disappointed with Lauren’s response to a particular question.

The interviewer asked, “Do you think that homosexuality is a sin?” This was the perfect time to speak out for her faith and proclaim the Word of God, but instead, Daigle answered: “You know, I can’t honestly answer on that because there are too many people that I love who are homosexuals. I don’t know. I actually had a conversation with someone last night about it. I can’t say one way or the other. I’m not God. So, when people ask questions like that, that’s what my go to is. Like, I just say, ‘Read the Bible and find out for yourself. And when you find out, let me know because I’m learning too.'”

Seriously? I appreciate she recognizes that she’s not God and doesn’t have all the answers, and in a way, I respect how she pointed people to the Bible, but I have to say my respect and appreciation end there. If she can’t honestly answer whether homosexuality is a sin, she has not studied the Bible much. It’s so obvious! It’s right there in black and white. And with that single interview, my admiration for this talented singer is gone. How can I admire someone who won’t stand up for the very thing she sings about?

This topic has flooded social media, and the comments vary. Some, like me, are disappointed by how Daigle chose her fame over her faith. (She made her stand clear in the interview when discussing her recent appearance on the Ellen DeGeneres Show. When the interviewer remarked on the possibility of saying “no” to the invitation because Ellen is an outspoken homosexual, Lauren Daigle replied, “And that would be a surefire way to end your career.” To me, she betrayed in that statement where her loyalties lie.) Anyway, others are defending her answer by justifying that if she stood up for what was right, she could ruin her career and then she wouldn’t have the opportunities she now has to reach people for Christ. Are you kidding me? How can she reach others for Christ if she’s not willing to stand for Him? And who in their right mind would honestly believe the Lord would condone such tactics?

Whosoever therefore shall be ashamed of me and of my words in this adulterous and sinful generation; of him also shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he cometh in the glory of his Father with the holy angels.
— Mark 8:38

Friends, we, as Christians, need to find some balance. On the one hand, we shouldn’t shun the lost and refuse to interact with them. How will we reach them? Jesus regularly spent time with those who needed a Savior, and we should follow His lead. On the other hand, we shouldn’t water down our faith to make it more palatable for those around us. Jesus never did that. He spoke the truth, even when it hurt, and generally, those who were offended by it were the religious crowd (not saved, just religious). The Bible urges us to speak the truth in love (Ephesians 4:15). Don’t belittle or be cruel and unkind to those who are lost but don’t hide the truth either. If it’s wrong, it’s wrong, and it’s our responsibility to say so. Not because we are God but because we know what God has to say about sin. And if the Bible clearly says something is a sin, then we need to point that out.  

I can’t say how I would have answered the question had it been posed to me unexpectedly like that, but I hope I would say something like this: “You know, it really doesn’t matter what I think. All that matters is what God says, and He has made it clear in the Bible that homosexuality is a sin. And if God says it’s a sin, then it must be because God doesn’t lie or make mistakes. I know that statement may offend some, but as a Christian, it is my responsibility to represent my Lord and Savior to the best of my ability no matter what it cost me.”

Oh, dear friends, we live in a wicked world, and it’s easy to go with the flow, but as Christians, that’s not what we’re supposed to do. We’ve been given the duty to stand up for Christ and His Word, but too many of us are falling down on the job. Let’s beware. 

I know this comes across as harsh, and I don’t mean for it to. Again, I am not condemning anyone. That’s not my place. That being said, I can be disappointed, and I am. My prayers are with Lauren Daigle. If she is saved, I hope the Lord will convict her heart and help her to see clearly what she claimed not to know. If she is not saved, I pray she will be soon. We all make mistakes, but we must guard against allowing fear of loss or rejection to make us ashamed of the One we claim to love.  Let’s allow this interview to be a reminder to us.

And be not conformed to this world: but be ye transformed by the renewing of your mind, that ye may prove what is that good, and acceptable, and perfect, will of God.
— Romans 12:2

God Hangs the Earth on Nothing

He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing..png

Let’s delve a little deeper into our study on the occurrences of the word “nothing” in the Bible. So far, we’ve seen that nothing is too hard for God, and God’s people lack nothing. Today, let’s discuss how God hung the world on nothing.

He stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing.
— Job 26:7

I’m baffled by evolutionists. I truly am. How can they look around at all God has created and say, “It just happened”? How can they deny there was a designer, a creator? What amazes me is how they have no trouble believing buildings must have an architect and computers must have a designer. In fact, even the world would view them as idiotic if they were to proclaim that man-made items simply formed themselves. Why is it they can give credit to man for his “creation” but not God?

I’ve probably told you this joke before, but I love it. Two scientists were talking with God one day and exclaimed how they understood DNA well enough that they, too, could create a man. They went on and on about how brilliant they were and how humanity no longer had need of God. After hearing their claims, God challenged them to prove they could create a man. One scientist bent down and scooped up a handful of dirt, but God immediately stopped him. “No, no,” God said, “Get your own dirt.”

We think we’re so smart, but even the greatest inventors of all time had to begin with something. None of them created out of nothing. But God did. In the beginning, there was God. . . and that’s it! Everything else was created. From the light to the water to the plants to the animals to man himself. God made it all.

That is amazing enough, but when I read today’s verse, I’m utterly astounded. God hung the earth on nothing. You’ve seen the pictures from space, right? The earth is not attached to any rope or string. It isn’t suspended by bungee cords or perched on a shelf. It, along with all the other planets and stars out there, is merely hovering in space. In perfect synchronization. Never shifting too close together or too far apart. Spinning beautifully, held up by some invisible force.

It boggles the mind that such a thing is possible, but I’m even more amazed by the lengths to which some people will go to deny creation. Somebody had to plan all of this. There is no way all of this could have happened by accident. In my opinion, it takes far more faith to believe in evolution than it does creation.

As for me, I choose to believe God created the world and everything in it. He didn’t have to, but He did. Furthermore, He holds it all in His hands. This is a comfort because it reminds me how great and mighty a God I serve. If He can make something from nothing (and He did), what could He make of my life if I surrender it to Him?

All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made.
— John 1:3