Lindenville Devotional Pain, and the Spirit

Pain, and the Spirit

To get through in this life, a person either needs the Holy Spirit, or something to seriously distract and/or numb the emotions. Life is just too painful and stressful without either hope, or oblivion.

When, exactly, did painful emotions become the enemy?

“And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, ‘Where are you?’ And he said, ‘I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.'” Genesis 3:8-13

Obviously, there are things we just can’t bear to face, much less deal with. This is why we need the help of God’s Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit doesn’t remove our pain, He displaces our fear and dread with His own holy virtues—love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These virtues aren’t natural in us—not when we need them, that’s for sure—and they can’t be bottled or playacted. They work, and they work in spite of pain, and comfort us powerfully, indescribably, as He promises—and delivers—His own presence in our circumstances. All this, with no harmful side effects, or damaging consequences.

“As men are not able to fight against death, misery, ignorance, they have taken it into their heads, in order to be happy, not to think of them at all.” Blaise Pascal

*Galatians 5:22,23

©Cami Tapley.

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Everyday FaithEveryday Faith

Living our destiny in the everyday is like driving a two lane highway. If we keep to our side of the road, drivers in the opposite lane will probably never know us personally, yet we’re a blessing to them in the brief moment we pass them by, simply because we’ve kept in our lane. There’s no feeling of inspiration to it, yet it’s more important than we’ll ever realize.

“…aspire to live quietly, and to mind your own affairs, and to work with your hands…” 1 Thessalonians 4:11

The first verse of this chapter says, “you ought to walk and to please God”—that’s walk; not run, dance, or leap. Yes, there’s a place for running and dancing and leaping—but walking is important in the everyday.

A feeling of inspiration can be good or bad—it depends entirely on whether we’re looking for it, or, if we simply meet up with it by doing our best in the everyday.

“Selah”

“When a man is getting worse, he understands his own badness less and less. A moderately bad man knows he is not very good: a thoroughly bad man thinks he is all right.” C.S. Lewis

©Cami Tapley.

A Very Personal CallA Very Personal Call

“And a ruler asked him, ‘Good Teacher, what must I do to inherit eternal life?’ And Jesus said to him, ‘Why do you call me good? No one is good except God alone. You know the commandments: “Do not commit adultery, Do not murder, Do not steal, Do not bear false witness, Honor your father and mother.”‘ And he said, ‘All these I have kept from my youth.’ When Jesus heard this, he said to him, ‘One thing you still lack. Sell all that you have and distribute to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven; and come, follow me.’ But when he heard these things, he became very sad, for he was extremely rich.” Luke 18:18-23

This man obeyed God’s general commands to a T, but he still had doubts, so he approached Christ. Unfortunately, to him, Jesus made it personal. When Christ gave him a literal—not general—command to sell all he had and follow Him, this man, who had initially sought Jesus out for answers, walked away. It didn’t make him one bit happy to do it, either.

Then there’s the story about the man Jesus freed from demon-possession. This time, the man asked if he could follow, but Jesus told him to go home.

While the rich guy was desperate to acquire tips to feel more in control of his own destiny, the man freed from demon-possession knew Jesus as his Savior, went home, and joyfully told everyone about Jesus; the will of God at work through an obedient heart.

God’s call on an individual life is always very personal. Misinterpreting God’s call is one problem, but defying it is another. Lightning may not strike, but a lightning strike would be a mercy compared to the emptiness of a soul who meets Jesus, but shrinks back.

“To have a master and to be mastered is not the same thing. To have a master means that there is one who knows me better than I know myself, one who is closer than a friend, one who fathoms the remotest abyss of my heart and satisfies it, one who has brought me into the secure sense that he has met and solved every perplexity and problem of my mind. To have a master is this and nothing less—’One is your Master, even Christ’.” —Oswald Chambers

*Mark 5

©Cami Tapley.

Freedom and Nothing but FreedomFreedom and Nothing but Freedom

Even though the writers of The Constitution of the United States weren’t all strictly followers of Jesus, they set up this nation “Under God.” They understood that creating a government from a lesser ideal would lead its people back to a ruling hierarchy and common-variety tyranny. No human ideology allows total freedom. Strong statement, but think about it. It’s the truth.

However, the idea that there’s a Christian nation, a Christian business, or a Christian structure of any kind is a misapplication. Jesus Christ didn’t lay His life down for an individual nation, business, structure, what have you; Jesus died for people, the people of the world.

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him.” John 3:16,17

A stretch of land, a business, a building—each of these things can be dedicated to the ideals of Christianity, and, each can just as easily be wiped from existence. A Christian is a living soul—any time, any place, any condition—whether in great company, or all alone.

Neither the idolatry and polytheism of eastern cultures, the humanism of European nations and her colonies, the superstition and despotism of third world classes, nor the tide of relativism beating on America, can stop the indwelling Spirit of Christ in the heart of a person with an active, living faith.

“Nations, cultures, arts, civilization—these are mortal, and their life is to ours as the life of a gnat. But it is immortals whom we joke with, work with, marry, snub, and exploit—immortal horrors or everlasting splendours.” C.S. Lewis

©Cami Tapley.