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Our Bag of Tricks

April 11, 2011

There come times when God allows the rug to be pulled out from under us.  In an unsuspecting instant our foundation and sense of self-worth are eroded in a flash flood of words.  Words like a flood pounding as it rises and stripping away assurance as it recedes.  What are you left with?  You’re left with nothing.

There is a quote alternately attributed among great Christians.  It says, “You can never know that Christ is all you need until Christ is all you have.”

As rough as it seems when traveling through, these times of crushing defeat and heartbreak are to strengthen our resolve to trust Christ.  We all know that at times it can be easy to believe in Christ.  Sometimes His blessings are very near and leave us with little doubt of His goodness.  Those times are easy and we feel cared for and loved.

Then the storm…

When we’ve derived our sense of self-worth from the approval of those around us and their words destroy that self-worth there are at least two places to go.  The first place we can run to, and unfortunately a place we often run to first, is within ourselves.  We draw inward and become bitter, angry and toxic.  This toxicity infects both our life and the lives of those around us.  What began as a singular incident has now become defining.  The fruit of this can be an “I’ll show them” mentality, it can be a “Forget them, I don’t need them” attitude and selfishness.  Selfishness is always toxic.  Inevitably we will end up doing to others what it was that was done to us.  By drawing inward we have guaranteed that the hurt we suffered will lash out again.

The second place we can run is Christ.  When our dream has suffered a setback do to the words of those we trust we are often left feeling like we have nothing.  In terms of people affirming us, we could be right.  Maybe no one believes in your dream.  Maybe you are left holding an empty bag of tricks.  What you held dear has vanished like a dream you can’t remember upon waking.

And that’s just it.  Anything other than Christ that we hold close is nothing but a bag of tricks.  There are no tricks to this life.  The trick wasn’t a trick at all…it is Truth.  Has God really spoken a dream to you?  Do you believe that?

I do.

Then we have to reach out to hold Him who saved us, breathed His life into us, and put this dream in our heart.  This is where it all gets too real.  He means it, do we?  He who began a good work in us will be faithful to complete it.  Do you believe it?  All things work together for good to those who love God and are called according to His purpose.  Are you called?  Do you love Him?  I have to assume that you are and do.

So, what’s next?  Pick up your left foot and step forward.  Now pick up your right foot and step forward.  We’ve got to keep moving forward.  See, we are nothing without Christ.  We are not good apart from Him.  Without God we can do nothing good, but with God all things are possible.  What if this dream of ours isn’t our dream at all, but God’s?  If God be for us, who can be against us.  This dream, this seemingly alive thing within us is not really a dream, it is a job.  We have work to do.

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From → Preachy Thoughts

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