Monday, December 22, 2008
Have you ever tried to make your way to church but just didn't feel like it or began to pray but just couldn't find the right words to say? Maybe you've been in a position where you felt as though you were at a "spiritual stand still". You know, the point where you don't see yourself growing and you don't see yourself backsliding but you're just...there? We've all been there before at that "spiritual fork in the road" where we don't know if we should go left or right and we're just standing there waiting for a sign from God.
What do you do when you feel this way? Do you alienate yourself and pretend like everything is everything? Do you call your prayer partner or church family for prayer or encouragement? Do you read your bible, pray, and wait patiently for God to speak to you?
These are all questions that I've asked myself at one point or another. I have found myself feeling spiritually stagnant a time or two. It was during these times that I learned to do three things: pray, praise and pay attention. Unfortunately, I've learned the hard way (and am still learning at times) that when things are "quiet" that I need to pray just as often and intensely as I do when things are going haywire. That way, if and when the storm does rise, I've already gotten enough vested so if I can't say anything other than "Jesus" I'm alright. I've learned to praise because the word of God tells us that God inhabits (or lives in) the praises of His people. When I find myself in a jam or immobile, I need some Holy Ghost fire to get me started again. And lastly, I've learned to pay attention because I know when I'm down to nothing that's when God is up to something. He loves to do the impossible.
Lately, I've been feeling a little "sluggish" in areas that I used to be excited about. I've been asking God if I'm somehow **missing** what He's been trying to show me. Of course God doesn't always answer when and as clearly as we would like Him to but I believe I got my answer while I was looking through my old notebook of devotions. There was a lame man in Acts 3 who was "stuck" as well. This man was physically cripple.
One day, while on their way to the temple at the hour of prayer, Peter and John saw a lame man begging outside of the entrance of the temple. Peter told the man that he didn't have any silver or gold but he gave him all that he had. All that he had was Jesus which is more than enough. God used Peter to give the man the ability to walk in the name of Jesus (Acts 3:1-6). The man rose with their assistance. Imagine how much progress others could make if we would learn to help them to stand on their own two feet. His feet and ankles were strengthened and the man leaped up and praised his way into the temple.(Acts 3:7-8)
The people saw him praising God. We must give honor where honor is due to the most high God - our Lord and Saviour, Jesus Christ. God gives us strength daily. He gives us strength to rise, strength to resist temptation, strength to live right, strength to love our enemies, etc. He also gives us strength to strengthen others in His name as Peter did. We must never think that we have it all together and forget about that person that is at a stand still like the lame man. They may be able to walk physically but they could be spiritually lame.
Once the man was strengthened, he leaped and praised God. Nobody forced him to. No one had to ask him to shout 'Hallelujah'. The people saw him praising God. People are always watching. When we're blessed (and we always are), we must be ever so careful to bless the Lord not just when things are good but at all times. We have to bless Him when we can see our way and even more when we can't see our way because we know that just as He made a way for us in the past, He will make a way for us again.
The people saw the once lame man praising God. More importantly God saw him praising God. We are receiving strength right now through His word. We should all follow Christ as the lame man did - into the presence of the Lord praising all the way.
Posted by Shanita Waters at 4:04 PM