Saturday, November 8, 2008

Saturday Selah: Being Witnesses

"This will result in you being witnesses to them." --Luke 21:13
I visited my high school's bulletin board yesterday, catching up on some of the conversation between the decade of the 80s Dragons. I followed a lot of response to a statement made by a Christian concerning the election this week and God's hand in it. Wow, evidently that idea hit someone very badly. She lambasted the person who posted that idea. The sister and a good friend of the sister of the person who posted jumped up to her defense.

Someone else made the comment that although there was a tie amongst the participants in the forum, having lived on Okinawa and attended Kubasaki High School (KHS), most of them had nothing else in common.

Interestingly enough, as I later read Sue's blog at Praise and Coffee, she was also talking about things in common among people and who we really have unity with. Her post was a kinder, gentler, and truer explanation of unity than the conversation that went back and forth on the KHS forum.

As I lingered over my coffee and highly concentrated fiber-filled cereal (fighting cholesterol medicine with my entire pantry!!! *grin*), I read the November 8 devotion in another of my favorite books: Streams in the Desert by Mrs. L.B. Cowman. I enjoyed the devotion, but as I listened to the breeze kick up outside and felt a bit of a chill, I suddenly had a desire to read the December 25 devotion. Exciting and lovely...but felt I must read on...kind of like taking that first bite of hazelnut little square was not enough. I read at least 4 more devotions before this one, December 19, just satisfied the hunger I was feeling:
Life is a steep climb, and it is always encouraging to have those ahead of us "call back" and cheerfully summon us to higher ground. We all climb together, so we should help one another. The mountain climbing of life is serious, but glorious, business; it takes strength and steadiness to reach the summit. And as our view becomes better as we gain altitude, and as we discover things of importance, we should "call back" our encouragement to others.
I've noticed a sense of despair about our country's future in my 3 adult children. They have been kept informed (thanks to the diligence of their dad) of the political stance that our president-elect has and most of it goes against the beliefs they hold tight to. I was so proud that each of them went to vote this year. Now it is my responsibility to keep them aware that political tides change and while they are to be attentive to what's going on around them, they needn't worry.

You know, over and over through the history of God's chosen people, He assured them that He was in control and if they would just hold fast to Him and obey His word, they would have no need to live in fear. But He required the older (or more mature) to tell the younger (or less mature) about Him.

When Joshua became leader of the Israelite people, God reassured him and explained to him the requirements of walking with Him.
"Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or the left, that you may be successful wherever you go.

Do not let this Book of Law depart from your mouth;

meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it.

Then you will be prosperous and successful. Have I not commanded you?

Be strong and courageous.

Do not be terrified;

do not be discouraged,

for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go." --Joshua 1:7-9
Joshua declared his allegiance to God publicly and boldly. He challenged the Israelites to do the same.
"Now fear the LORD and serve Him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped eyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD.

But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve...

But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." --Joshua 24:14-15
The people of God went through many trials and battles, political and moral over the next few decades. But they forgot what they had been told when they crossed the Jordan in to the land God had promised them:
"In the future, when your children ask you, 'What do these stones mean?' Tell them...of the LORD. These stones are to be a memorial...forever." --Joshua 4:6b-7
As a result of not remembering to do this one thing, "Tell them of the LORD," one generation removed (just 40-some years):
"After that whole generation had been gathered to their fathers, another generation grew up,

who knew neither the LORD

nor what He had done for Israel.

Then the Israelites did evil in the eyes of the LORD..." --Judges 2:10-11
So regardless (or in light of) what is going on politically in our country, we must tell others about God. We must be witnesses of the great gift of Jesus Christ. We must lead those behind us on the trail to Him. Every other task pales in comparison with that.
If you have gone a little way ahead of me, call back--
It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track;
And if, perhaps, Faith's light is dim, because the oil is low,
Your call will guide my lagging course as wearily I go.

Call back, and tell me that He went with you into the storm;
Call back, and say He kept you when the forest's roots were torn;
That, when the heavens thunder and the earthquake shook the hill,
He bore you up and held you where the lofty air was still.

O friend, call back, and tell me for I cannot see your face;
They say it glows with triumph, and your feet sprint in the race;
But there are mists between us and my spirit eyes are dim,
And I cannot see the glory, though I long for word of Him.

But if you'll say He heard you when your prayer was but a cry,
And if you'll say He saw you through night's sin-darkened sky--
If you have gone a little ahead, O friend, call back--
It will cheer my heart and help my feet along the stony track.
--Streams in the Desert

O Lord, help us be your strong witnesses to all those around us. Without fear or hesitation. Let us be joyful in it, like John:
"We proclaim to you what we have seen and heard, so that you also may have fellowship with us. And our fellowship is with the Father and with His Son, Jesus Christ. We write this to make our joy complete." --1 John 1:3-4

1 comment:

Denise said...

I thank you for such great posts.