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Shake It Up

“There is none that stirreth himself up to take hold of thee.” (Isaiah 64:7)

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I love snow globes!  A snow globe can evoke such a sense of wonder in us that the minute the snow stops falling, we shake it once more just to see it all over again.   The only problem with the snow globe is that it’s somewhat unremarkable unless it’s shaken up.   Snow globes need to be shaken if they’re going to serve the purpose they were created to serve.  So do we.  Children seem to get the most pleasure out of snow globes because they haven’t yet lost the ability to feel and express child-like wonder toward a thing.  Perhaps that’s why Jesus said, “From the lips of children and infants you have ordained praise.”  We tend to lose the child-like wonder of God over time.  The snow of God’s glory settles in us and we lose the awe of the Lord that we once had.  Time has a way of taking the luster off things.  Given that the word luster means, “brightness,” “radiance,” “splendor,” and “shining by reflected light,” that can aptly apply to Christ as well.  We are vessels that are meant to reflect the radiance and splendor of the light of Christ shining in us.  If we lose the luster of Christ in us, we lose the ability to reflect the brightness of his light to others.  Once the snow has settled in a snow globe, if you don’t shake it up, it loses its ability to evoke wonder in people.  Such is the snow globe of our lives when we cease to stir up the gift of God in us.  A snow globe in which the snow doesn’t fall serves no purpose.  Neither do we when our life doesn’t show forth the glory of God in us.

The prophet Isaiah laments, “There is none that stirreth himself up to take hold of thee.”  God has filled us with the glory of Himself in the life of his Son.  We dare not let him settle to the bottom of our lives by failing to stir ourselves up to take hold of him.  In II Timothy 1:6, Paul reminds Timothy to “stir up the gift of God” that is in him.  I think that is a good reminder to us all.   The true gift of God in us is the life of his Son.  It is an indescribable gift!  We are not meant to merely contain the gift, but to display it to the world we live in.  Jason Henderson (Not I, But Christ), writes, “Humans naturally live whatever life is most real to them.”  The question is, “What life do we know as our own?”  “What life is most real to us?”  There are only two choices; the life of Adam or the life of Christ.  To the degree that we yield determines the nature that will dominate our lives.”   If we are not careful, getting caught up in the distractions of life can cause us to become complacent in our hearts toward the glory of God in us.  We can let it settle down within our hearts like snow in the bottom of a snow globe, just waiting to be stirred up.  We can crowd our lives so full of the cares of the world that we crowd God right out of them.  Jesus warned, “If any man love the world, the love of the Father is not in him.”  Love of the world can steal our love for God right out from under us, or right out from in us, as the case may be.  Day by day, as we become caught up in the cares of life, we can crowd God out of our lives and out of our hearts before we even realize it.  We need to be mindful that whatever we place above Christ in our hearts and lives, displaces Christ in our hearts and lives.

We live in a wicked world and because of our adamic nature we can easily become desensitized to the sin that is a part of it.  We can forget that “friendship with the world is enmity with God.”  The word desensitized means “to lessen in sensitivity.”  Jesus, in Matthew 24:12 warns, “Because of the increase of wickedness the love of many will grow cold.”  Jesus was speaking of his followers’ love for God when he said this.  Cold is often used as a desensitizing agent.  The word cold means, “seasonal (comes and goes), lacking warmth; indifferent.”  All these descriptions indicate a lessening in sensitivity; a coldness of heart.  It’s a good word to measure ourselves by as we go about the busyness of life.  Another good word to measure ourselves by is “lukewarm.”  Jesus, in Revelation 3:15 warns, “I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot:  I would thou were cold or hot.  So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”  We can all relate to that.  We all know the bad taste a lukewarm cup of coffee leaves in the mouth.   Some like their coffee hot and some like their coffee cold, but no one likes their coffee lukewarm.  There is an old story told about a man who sat on a fence that divided God’s kingdom from Satan’s kingdom.  One day God asked him to make up his mind which side of the fence he wanted to be on.  The man, thinking himself to be clever, said,  “I choose to remain on the fence.  That way I don’t have to choose a side.”   To which Satan replied, “You are wrong my friend.  The fence is mine.”  The fence is the choice.  Not to choose is to choose.  We are either all in or we are all out.  Jesus said, “He who is not with me is against me, and he who does not gather with me scatters abroad.”

I Timothy 5:20 instructs, “Them that sin rebuke before all, that others also may fear.”  We tend to be more concerned today about offending others in speaking the truth, than we are with speaking the truth.  A. W. Tozer writes, “When pleasing men means displeasing God it is an unqualified evil and should have no place in the Christian’s heart.  To be right with God has often meant to be in trouble with men.”  If you’re not in a little trouble in this world we live in today, you’re probably not speaking the truth.   The great Apostle Paul himself said, “Am I now trying to win the approval of men, or of God?  Or am I trying to please men?  If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a servant of Christ.”  Jason Henderson somewhat jokingly makes the observation that sometimes we attempt to qualify things so much that we rob them of their God-given offense.   This is funny but so true!  This happens when we compromise the integrity of God’s word in order to appeal to everyone and offend no one.  This happens when we become lukewarm in our hearts toward the things of God and try to straddle the fence between the world and the kingdom of God.   This happens when we let our hearts grow cold and become desensitized to the wickedness in the world we live in.  This happens when we fail to shake ourselves up and allow the snow of God’s glory to fall within the snow globe of our lives.  Like the snow globe without the snow falling in it, our lives are somewhat unremarkable.  We need to shake up the Gift that is in us, and watch his glory fall!

ASTRIDE THE FENCE

There is a long and sturdy fence that many sit astride
Hoping to put off until tomorrow the choosing of one side
Thinking the middle of the fence the safest place to be
They straddle there upon the fence most uncomfortably
Caught between the day and night content to linger there
One foot in and one foot out attempting both to share
But soon the day will come that puts an end to their plight
And will forever separate the darkness from the light
And when that time shall come they sadly will discover
That not to choose the one was to choose the other
And they will hear the devil say, as he laughs with glee
“In choosing the fence you made your choice”
“For the fence belongs to me”

(Joshua 24:15 – But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose you this day
whom you will serve.)

 

 

 

 

 

 

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