Archive for September, 2014

September 24, 2014

The Quality Decision

by Lester Young

From the Just the GOOD News archives; originally posted June 17, 2013

What keeps you from moving forward – not just with God, but in any situation or area of your life?

Go with me to 1 Kings 18, where the prophet Elijah is in the process of setting up a contest between the the Lord GOD and Baal, a Phoenician idol the Israelites had begun worshiping. In verse 21, he lays it out on the table for them, saying, “How long halt ye between two opinions? if the LORD be God, follow him: but if Baal, then follow him.” The Expanded Bible provides a rather insightful translation of this same passage: “Elijah approached the people and said, ‘How long will you not decide between two choices [limp/hobble/waver between two opinions]? If the LORD is the true God, follow him, but if Baal is the true God, follow him!'”

Not making a firm decision prevents you from moving anywhere – and that’s pertaining to any matter. If talking about just the things of God, it’s like trying to step out under His direction with one foot, but keeping your other foot firmly stuck in the ground beneath you. How can you get anywhere?

The phrase ‘two opinions’ in 1 Kings 18:21 can be traced back in the Hebrew dictionary to literally mean ‘divided (in mind)’ – or, as the New Testament puts it, being ‘double-minded’ (James 1:8). And, of course; limping, hobbling and wavering between two choices is the exact opposite of how we’re instructed to be where God’s concerned: “But when you ask [God], be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind. Such people should not expect to receive anything from the Lord” (James 1:6-7 New Living Translation). Why? Because they won’t ‘grab hold and take’ by faith what God’s offering; they’re too busy bouncing from one opinion to the other and back again.

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September 17, 2014

Graduation Day

by Lester Young

What’s on your mind?

You’re facing a problem – a serious one. Perhaps it’s one that’s been there for awhile, stubbornly refusing to go away or work itself out; and the only real change you can see is that it just seems to be getting bigger. There it is every day, taunting you – flying in the face of your best efforts to believe God’s promises about your victory over it. To be quite honest, at this point you’re not too sure what to do about it. As a matter of fact, there really isn’t anything else you can do about it. In cases like this, what do think about? Are you finding the problem so big you just can’t seem to take your eyes and thought-process away from it?

What’s on your mind?

You’ve just received terrible news that a loved one or close friend is sick – very sick. Or you may have just come from the doctor yourself, and the prognosis isn’t good. Fears of the worst lurk at every turn, haunting you. Pain, sorrow, grief, depression – they’re all there, lined up and waiting to take their shots at you in turn. They mock you: What’re you going to do? There’s nothing you can do, is there? Think you’re gonna pray? So what?! What difference will that make?! Don’t you understand you’ve got to do something!! But what?? There’s just no coming back from this – there’s no cure. Are you finding your circumstances so impossible you can’t seem to get a reprieve from them, even for a minute?

What’s on your mind?

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September 10, 2014

Don’t Use Your Own Faith, Use God’s!

by Lester Young

Recently, I heard the Lord say to me, “You’re standing out on the very edge of your faith; you’ve gone as far as you can go with your faith.” When I thought about it for a moment, I have to admit, I was just a little bit perplexed. Um, was that a compliment? I hope it was a compliment. I mean, nobody likes to be corrected, even though we know it’s for our good (Hebrews 12:11). And I suppose I mentally tried to nudge it over onto the positive side by reasoning, “Well, at least it means I’ve got my faith out there as far as it’ll go – I’m not holding anything back, and I’m believing and expecting as far as I can with it!” But, you know, I really didn’t get any affirmation or comfort or warm fuzzies in my spirit over that assessment. In fact, it kinda seemed to me that God’s opinion about the whole matter was pretty neutral. There was absolutely no chastisement, let me say that; but there weren’t any attaboy’s to be found, either. Just a striking neutrality… nothingness – like a silence so deep and piercing you begin to notice it; a neutrality so conspicuous that eventually I couldn’t help but start thinking, “Okay, something ain’t right here” (Revelation 3:16).

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