Tuesday, July 24, 2007

Haphazard faith

Grand Sweep Daily Reading: Isaiah 64, 65, 66

Isaiah 64:5-9 (NIV)

5 You come to the help of those who gladly do right, who remember your ways. But when we continued to sin against them, you were angry. How then can we be saved?

6 All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind, our sins sweep us away.

7 No one calls on your name or strives to lay hold of you; for you have hidden your face from us and made us waste away because of our sins. 8 Yet, O Lord, you are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand.

9 Do not be angry beyond measure, O Lord; do not remember our sins forever. Oh, look upon us, we pray, for we are all your people.

Romans 5:6 (NIV)

6 You see, at just the right time, when we were still powerless, Christ died for the ungodly.

Good morning!

It had been a wonderful morning of worship and teaching. As I was leaving the meeting room last Saturday, the white sandal from my left foot suddenly slipped off while I was walking down the spiral staircase toward the exit. In what seemed to be just a few fleeting seconds, I was catapulted back to those old mystery movies on television. The sinister villain draped in a long black cloak suddenly pushed the frightened young woman down a never-ending flight of stairs. Without a warning, she suddenly finds herself spiraling, head over heels, toward the floor. I’m not really sure how this happened. Do you ever feel like Satan is pushing you down?

Those sandals are quite comfortable and I thought they were sturdy. I’ve never had a shoe fly off like that, and yet, I couldn’t figure out how to let go and what to grab onto to steady myself. Had it not been for the strong hand of my dear friend who saw my plight and extended a firm grip, I am certain I would have fallen down those steps, head over heels, and I can guarantee you it would not have been a pretty sight.

I’m such a klutz! I try to be careful, but just when I think I’ve got myself under control, suddenly I’m freefalling down the spiral staircase of life. I try so hard to get it right, yet my efforts alone seem to fail miserably. I think I understand what the prophet Isaiah is trying to say. Sometimes, we get sucked into the pendulum swing of the calamities of life, rocking back and forth from repentance to praise, to unworthiness, then back to grace. Isaiah asks the hard question, “How then, can we be saved?” In one brief, fleeting moment, the prophet states there is not one of us out there who doesn’t slip and fall from time to time. Surprised and caught off guard, we pray that someone will reach out and bring us back to a steady center. It is then that Isaiah reminds us we are all His children, and we stand in the grip of His grace.

I often wonder what the Lord of life sees when He looks inside my heart. His eyes pierce far beyond the surface as He looks through the words I speak and things I say and do. God sees beyond the grand motivations of what I do and exposes my true intent for what it is. He deserves so much more from me than what I give - not just a little piece of me here and there, but every bit of my heart, mind, soul and strength. So why would I hold anything back, then somehow find a way to feel good about haphazard faith? The experience of worship and sound teaching had prompted me to step outside the walls of safe sanctuary and into the not-so-safe world. Within seconds, I literally found myself falling down.

It is not by our might or power or works that we gain forgiveness and mercy from God. The Apostle Paul reminds us today that at just the right moment, while we were powerless to do anything to help ourselves, Jesus Christ died to save us. God extended His lifeline to you through the shed blood of His only Son. The pendulum of our days continues to swing. Life can be really good one second and really rotten the next. If you find yourself teetering on the edge of a spiral staircase today, look up! It is when we see that in our powerless and helpless state, Jesus reaches down in love and steadies our life. He can put things back on an even keel when we let Him. Will you let Him steady your step?

The voice of the prophet speaks! Put the brakes on haphazard faith. Stop trying to do it all by yourself; let go and give your heart completely to the Lord. Don’t hold anything back from Him. Jesus extends His loving hand to you today. He will steady your step and hold you up when you find yourself teetering on the edge of a spiraling staircase. It’s a long way down. Christ promises He will catch you, when you fall.

Grace and peace,

Deb Spaulding


Pray for: a steady hand to rescue you from haphazard faith. Faith in Jesus Christ changes everything! Won’t you trust Him to catch you today?


© Copyright 2007, Deb Spaulding

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