Disaster Relief

Matthew 28:16-20 (NIV), “Now the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain which Jesus had designated. And when they saw Him, they worshiped Him; but some doubted [that it was really He]. Jesus came up and said to them, “All authority (all power of absolute rule) in heaven and on earth has been given to Me. Go therefore and make disciples of all the nations [help the people to learn of Me, believe in Me, and obey My words], baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, teaching them to observe everything that I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always [remaining with you perpetually—regardless of circumstance, and on every occasion], even to the end of the age.” (Emphasis mine)

At the time of this writing disaster relief is on the mind of many people here in the U.S. Hurricane Harvey has wrecked havoc, especially in Texas. This is a time where the Church can shine. This is a time when the Love of God can flow through us and reach out to those affected by the storms.

However, we were never called to just bring relief in times of a natural disaster, trauma, or trouble. Jesus, in His great commission simple said to “Go and make disciples of all nations.” Not an option, not for a specific time, but as we “go” about our lives, wherever the Holy Spirit leads, to relate to those around us in such a way as to show the love of God in their lives. To “live” by example the way that Jesus did.

Years ago God gave me this vision: The church I attend is right on a set of railway tracks. We hear this cargo train on a daily basis. In all the years that I attended and also worked at the church, I never saw a passenger train go by. However, in this vision there was a long train on the tracks pulling many passenger cars full of people. We were in the middle of an evening service when we heard the sound of a train wreck. As a well organized group we went out and began helping. We pulled some from burning cars, brought others into our building, caring for them and praying for them. Everyone did their part. Each passenger was attended to, each one rescued and saved.

I felt good about what happened in this vision. Thinking it was a vision of teamwork, or perhaps about each joint supplying, I was shocked to hear God say, “There are people perishing out there every day. Their lives are a train wreck, go out and save them just like these were saved.”

Well, I cried. As much as I loved the Lord, other than after a few inspirational messages, I honestly did not have much of a heart for the lost. But once God showed me this vision and I repented for my apathy, I began to see the harvest. It was then I realized we aren’t called just for disaster relief. Yes, we better come through in those very visible times of need, but we are called when it seems like it is life as normal, when we go to the grocery store, our kid’s soccer games, and at work. Even when they don’t realize that their lives are a disaster, we are called to make disciples. The good news is that Jesus is right there with us, His promise to never leave us, regardless of the circumstance, still stands.

Lost?

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I am not talking about the “before you were saved” lost. I am talking about those times when you feel like you just don’t have a clue. The world is spinning around you so fast and you go through your day/days as if you were caught in a whirlwind. Then when the spinning finally stops, you walk around stumbling and feeling like the ground is moving without you, maybe even thinking “what is the point!” That kind of lost.

Don’t despair. We’ve all been there. Thankfully it’s been a long time since I have. I have made it a point to keep looking at my map (my bible) and listening to my GPS (The Holy Spirit). It’s harder to get lost when you have both of those active in your life.

God has a plan. He knew what it was before your parents ever met, before He formed you in your mother’s womb. It is a wonderful, extravagant, crazy, over the top, life changing plan. How do I know? He tells us, over and over. Here is one place:
I Corinthians 2:9-12 (NIV), “but just as it is written, “THINGS WHICH EYE HAS NOT SEEN AND EAR HAS NOT HEARD, AND which HAVE NOT ENTERED THE HEART OF MAN, ALL THAT GOD HAS PREPARED FOR THOSE WHO LOVE HIM.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the spirit of the man which is in him? Even so the thoughts of God no one knows except the Spirit of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, so that we may know the things freely given to us by God,”

The truth is that God has your life all planned out for you, and the crazy part is that He planned it all out knowing ahead of time all your mistakes and wrong turns. Your mess ups, don’t mess up His plans. Ever.

To accept the truth, you have to give up a lie. The “American Dream” is a lie. We can’t get caught up in the dreams and the drama of this world. Our life isn’t about fame and fortune. Yes, we will be blessed, but not because we live in a certain earthly country, but because we are citizens of Heaven. (Don’t get me wrong, I love my country, but I am only a foreigner here.) We have been sent here to be a blessing. Wherever you live, that’s your job. Look at Daniel, he was taken captive and brought to the enemies city by force. Yet, he served faithfully under at least 4 kings, and was just as faithful to God. He blessed those in authority over him, and those under his authority. Don’t be afraid to let God use you. It doesn’t matter if we are scared-keep dreaming. Don’t despise small beginnings.

We have to dream. We have to let our imaginations work for good, and allow the Holy Spirit to show us things that eye has not seen or ear heard, or even things that never entered out hearts or imaginations, all those wonderful, if scary, things God has in store for us. We can’t rely on our intellect, or what the world says is possible. Science is not God. Our puny thinking cannot compare to the mind of God. We need a Godly imagination. Once you have heard it, or read it, or by the Holy Spirit, been shown the vision, imagine what it will be like, how you will get there, what needs to be done to accomplish it. Imagine how it will bless others, and please your Lord.

“Logic will take you from point A to B but imagination will take you everywhere.” Albert Einstein

The surest way to keep from getting lost is to stay on the path that is clearly marked and lit up like a Christmas tree.

David said, “Your word is a light unto my path and a lamp unto my feet.”

That is the path I am sticking to, come hell or high water. That is the “high road.”

I once was lost, but now I know the way.