Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Do You Want a Good View

You’re Blocking My View!
By Barbara Henderson

Eve was walking through the garden the Lord had provided for Eve and her husband Adam. It was a beautiful garden full of delightful things to see and eat. Then – suddenly – in the path just ahead – a serpent reared its head and began to speak to Eve!

Eve sternly said to the serpent, ‘MOVE – YOU ARE BLOCKING MY VIEW!’ Then Eve continued on her way, keeping her eyes firmly on the Lord and His provisions for her and Adam. The serpent turned and slithered out of the garden; he never bothered Eve or her family again. Ever. They lived happily ever after. The End

Well, that isn’t exactly what happened. OK, it isn’t anywhere close to what really happened. We all know Eve let the evil serpent block her view of God. She took her eyes off God and focused instead on the evil that had slithered into her path. (I don’t think serpents actually ‘slithered’ at that time, but I suppose evil has always ‘slithered’ figuratively.) Anyway, the consequences are history. Eve lived with the consequences of her sin the rest of her life. We live with the consequences of her sin. While we continue to live with the consequences of Eve’s sin, we also live with the same choice that Eve had.

We can either focus on distractions such as deceitful serpents singing a new song, problems, temptations, frustrations, debts, disappointments, sorrows, trials, weariness of body and spirit, and a million other obstacles in our individual paths; or, we can say to the obstacle,

‘MOVE! YOU ARE BLOCKING MY VIEW! I want a clear view of God more than I want anything else in my life. Now get out of my way, or I will run you over, or crawl right over the top of you!’

These mountains that spring up in our path can be removed and sunk in the sea if we only have the faith of a mustard seed! Now THAT is cool! I often wondered why people would want a mountain to move. I decided that I could see the point for the American pioneers who crossed the continent in covered wagons. We have driven across the continent many times. From Texas to the Pacific coast, there are two fierce mountain ranges that must be crossed,; not to mention the great plains, and the desert between the Rockies and the Cascades/Sierra Madre’s. I don’t even see how we get across in a motor vehicle, much less how they made it in covered wagons.

Of course, God can move real mountains, but he can also move obstacles in our paths that can figuratively be compared to mountains.

Mountains that may be blocking your view of God are:

• Debt

• Financial need

• Illness

• Sorrow

• Loneliness

• Real hunger

• Fatigue

• Weariness of spirit

• Delay

• Disappointment

• Fear of failure (that’s a good one)

• Past failure

• Personal shyness

• Personal inadequacies

• Anger

• Roots of bitterness

• Hard heartedness

• Pride

• Self-righteousness

And a million more things that are common to mortal man.

These mountains that rise up to block your view may start small and grow so gradually that you don’t realize what has happened.

I suppose we are sort of like Peter who briefly walked on water. We aren’t exactly walking on water; I think it is more like walking through sinking sand or miry clay. If we keep moving forward, then we are fine. If our path is blocked by a mountain, then our feet begin to sink. Pretty soon we are stuck in the sand. We begin to feel like we are being pulled down into the pit, and that we have no way of escape unless a miracle occurs.

Of course, it is obviously hard to keep walking when a mountain rises up in your path. The mountain blocks your view of God. In stead of living under the shadow of His wings, you find yourself living in the shadow of that mountain sized problem in your life. Or, you may be living in the shadow of what seems like an entire mountain range of insurmountable obstacles.

I will not make light of your problems. I will not pretend they don’t exist, or that you can just ‘wish’ them away. I will take them seriously. Plus, I have problems of my own that certainly appear to have no solution. In fact, short of divine intervention, they really don’t have a solution. I will be doomed to live with them the rest of my life. And they do block my view of God sometimes. But, by faith, I have a glimmer of hope. I don’t know what to do to solve the problems, or even provide some relief, but I do know the One who CAN help me. I know the One who is ‘Our refuge and strength, a very present help in time of trouble’. (Psalm 46:1)

Bewilderment regarding a solution to a desperate problem, or even a small problem, is not uncommon. It happens to everyone no matter what their personal social, political, and economic level. In 2 Chronicles chapter 20, mighty armies came against King Jehoshaphat. The king did not know what to so; so, he proclaimed a fast. All Judah came together to ask the Lord for help. He said to the Lord, ‘We don’t know what to do, but our eyes are on thee.’

Now, you and I don’t have the authority to proclaim a fast or call all the people together to seek the Lord and ask His help. But, we can call our own heart to put our focus on the Lord, who has power to help us with our individual problems. You can say to the Lord, ‘I don’t know what to do. My eyes are looking to you Lord for help. Help me to remember that my help comes for the Lord, the same Lord who made heaven and earth.’

This does require faith. If you feel as though you don’t have any faith, or that you don’t have enough faith, be of good cheer. Romans 12:3 tells us that God has dealt to every man the measure of faith.

Matthew 13:32-33 tells the parable of planting mustard seeds, which are tiny, but grow so large that the birds can nest in the plants that grow from them

Matthew 17:20 tells us that if we have faith like a tiny grain of mustard seed, that we can move mountains and that nothing will be impossible.

I personally interpret this to mean that we all have a speck of faith. We should plant that faith firmly in Jesus Christ. It will grow into a much greater faith as we continue to abide in Christ.

Romans 10:17 says, ‘Now faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.’ Christians should continue in ‘hearing the word of God’. This is more than physically ‘hearing’ the word of God. That means you hear it and obey it, or take it to your heart. Then you actually DO what the Bible says to do. Become a ‘Practicing Christian’. That means you practice what the Bible preaches. To properly care for YOUR grain of mustard seed – or the beginning of YOUR faith, you must hear and do what the Bible tells you to do. As your faith grows, it will become easier to at least shrink mountains.

Your level of faith is not really relevant to your chronological age. There are very old Christians and very young Christians who are still carrying their measure of faith, or grain of mustard seed, around in their shirt pocket. They have never planted it in Christ. Sometimes it takes a crisis to get that seed of faith even close to being planted. Others plant their faith in Christ, but then do not hear and do the things Christ tells belivers to do.

This is the exact moment to do a reality check.

Is something blocking your view of Christ? Is it hard to see His face? Do the mountains in your path overshadow His power to help you move those mountains? Set your mind to practice Psalm 85:8 which says, ‘I will hear what God the LORD will speak: for he will speak peace unto his people, and to his saints: but let them not turn again to folly.’

James 1:25 tells us, ‘But whoso looketh into the perfect law of liberty, and continueth therein, he being not a forgetful hearer, but a doer of the work, this man shall be blessed in his deed.’

Hearing and doing the teachings of Christ will give you a better view of the future. In fact, it will give you a better future entirely. The more you practice hearing and doing the things of Christ, the better you will understand His love and mercy. Your faith will grow as well. You may still have to time to grow your measure of faith into a mighty tree.

The best view you will ever have is the one you have of Christ when there is nothing between your soul and your Savior. Don’t let the cares of this world, or the pleasures of sin block your view. Keep your eye on the prize – a well done from Jesus Christ Himself. Remember, in keeping your eyes on Christ, you have a very present help in time of trouble. You are not running away from your problems. You are facing the One who has power to actually solve your personal problems.

Of course the song for this article is ‘Nothing Between My Soul and My Savior’.

Thank you for reading my article.

Barbara Henderson

Nothing Between My Soul and My Savior
Nothing between my soul and my Savior,
Naught of this world’s delusive dream;
I have renounced all sinful pleasure;
Jesus is mine, there’s nothing between.
Nothing between, like worldly pleasure;
Habits of life, though harmless they seem;
Must not my heart from Him ever sever;
He is my all, there’s nothing between.
Nothing between, like pride or station;
Self or friends shall not intervene;
Though it may cost me much tribulation,
I am resolved, there’s nothing between.
Nothing between, e’en many hard trials,
Though the whole world against me convene;
Watching with prayer and much self denial,
I’ll triumph at last, there’s nothing between.