Blog Archive

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Intercourse of Fellowship

This post is part of a blog carnival hostessed by Bridget Chumbley. You're invited to visit her at "One Word at a Time" and see what others are saying about today's theme: Fellowship.

And the LORD God said,
"It is not good that man should be alone ..."
~ Genesis 2:18 (NKJV)

It’s said that a small child’s greatest fear is abandonment. We understand that one of the most subtle yet devastating forms of torture is to inflict solitary confinement on a person. The human spirit can rise above nearly any shared suffering—but it withers in the vacuum of loneliness.


So God created man in His own image;
in the image of God He created him;
male and female He created them.
~ Genesis 1:27 (NKJV)


The Bible speaks of fellowship with the Greek nouns metochē ("hold amid"; participation; intercourse) and koinōnia (social intercourse; communion). The latter word can include the meaning of completeness.

The Lord spoke the animals into existence. But the Creator's fellowship with people began by forming man with His hands, and then intimately breathing His life into this creature made in His own image.

Our human attributes unique to God's image include a free will which discerns morality and the ability to communicate logic. We are not simply social, as many animals are, but our souls are bound up with one another in communion. We are incomplete without one another, because we are made in the image of a God who created us for fellowship.


And they heard the sound of the LORD God
walking in the garden in the cool of the day ...
~ Genesis 3:8 (NKJV)


We share with our Creator the need for fellowship.

If God simply wanted worshipers, He needed only the angels. Yet there is something about a perfect God which seeks completeness through communion with puny humans—something which seeks to love and be loved.

We enjoy social intercourse with our Maker through His Word in the Bible, through His Holy Spirit in prayer, and through fellowship with His body of believers. Such intercourse is only a foreshadowing of the union we shall one day share with one another and with Him.


God says,
"Who draws near to Me an inch,
I will draw near to him an ell; *
and whoso walks to meet Me,
I will leap to meet him."
~ Eastern Proverb

[*ell is the length from elbow to middle finger's tip]


Lord of Heaven and Earth, who are we that You should desire our love? How great is Your love for us! May we delight to spend our days learning to love You.

I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to BuildingHisBody.com
comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com.
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image source:
larsoninstitute.com

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Four-Day Holiday

Note: there will be no "Question of the Week" tomorrow. May your Thanksgiving celebration be filled with the receiving and giving of blessing! ~ Anne

"The Pilgrims made seven times more graves than huts.
No Americans have been more impoverished than these
who, nevertheless, set aside a day of thanksgiving."
- H. U. Westermayer


"When you have gathered in the fruit of the land, you shall keep the feast of the LORD for seven days ... and you shall rejoice before the LORD your God for seven days... It shall be a statute forever in your generations."
~ Leviticus 23:39-41 (NKJV)


After the harvest, during the weeklong Feast of Ingathering (also called "Tabernacles" or "Sukkot"), the Israelites weren't compelled to give thanks. Perhaps the Lord simply set the stage with the intention that the people would spontaneously give thanks if given opportunity.

Our nation has officially declared a day for giving thanks, which has become an annual four-day holiday. Our founders haven't compelled us to give thanks, but simply provided the opportunity with the intent that we do so, and thereby procure continued blessing.

Amid the feasting and football and shopping—amid suffering and adversity and remembrance of deceased loved ones—may we remember with thanks the Giver of all our blessings. May this be an occasion to refresh the frequency and manner with which we thank our generous God.




Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
~ Psalms 107:15 / :21 / :31 (NKJV)


I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to BuildingHisBody.com
comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com.
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Artwork image, "First Thanksgiving" by Jean Leon Gerome Ferris (1863–1930)
source: commons.wikimedia.org
Image source for cornucopia unavailable

Monday, November 22, 2010

God's Need

"Be persuaded, timid soul,
that He has loved you too much to cease loving you."
~ Fran├žois de la Fenelon



Then Jesus said, "A man had two sons. The younger one said to his father, 'Father, give me my share of the estate.' So the father divided his property between them..."
~ Luke 15:11-12 (ISV)


Though this beloved parable has its application for evangelism, it also mirrors two kinds of Christians. The older son is evidently quite capable, has access to his father’s wealth, and does many righteous works. He sees himself as an asset to his father. But he calls his obedience "slavery" or "bondage" (Greek douleuō). His heart has long been distant from his father.

The younger son knows his father’s goodness. His brother’s achievement is painfully obvious. How can he measure up? The feeling of unworthiness surely started long before he first slept with prostitutes and then later with pigs. He is finally forced to confront his inability, destitution bred by squandered wealth, and many wicked deeds.

Both sons measure themselves by capability, resources, and works. Both believe their father uses the same standard. Neither lived a life of closeness to his father, though the father obviously desired it all along.

"So he got up and went to his father. While he was still far away, his father saw him and was filled with compassion. He ran to his son, threw his arms around him, and kissed him affectionately."
~ Luke 15:20 (ISV)


I’ve visited the place of both sons. There was a time when I had learned so many amazing things about God and His gifts to me that I thought I'd become an asset to God and could start coasting. When later confronted by how deeply-entrenched my sin is, I regarded myself as unfit to do or give anything worthwhile to God, and therefore unworthy to draw too closely to Him.

The Lord doesn’t regard us as assets or liabilities. He looks past what we have and sees who we are. Having been transfused with His Son’s blood, we've become our Father’s daughters and sons.

We can offer God nothing with our capability, resources, or works. He has sufficient might to create the universe, owns everything in it, and already did His greatest work at Calvary.

But we do have one thing outside the Lord's control and dominion. And He needs it.

Because God is Love, He needs relationship—He needs our freely given love.

God names Himself Father rather than Master. He asks us for relationship rather than service. Even if we encounter His occasional discipline or displeasure, mutual love prevails over all.

If ever at a loss for how to express love for God, a good place to start is giving Him thanks.

: : :

Note: This Thursday, for Thanksgiving, I’ll share with both saved and unsaved women at the local county jail a similar message about feelings of unworthiness and how to draw closer to God by giving Him thanks. I’d be most grateful if you’d take just a moment right now and ask the Lord to use my words in their lives.

I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to BuildingHisBody.com
comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com.
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image source:
southern-orthodoxy.blogspot.com

Friday, November 19, 2010

Question of the Week:
Can Marital Sex be Sinful?
Part III

Is pornography adultery?
~ Anonymous
Am I obligated to sleep with a spouse who I do not think loves me anymore and is just using me for sex?
~ Anonymous



These were submitted as two separate questions. Both might receive a simple 'yes' based on Matthew 5:28 and 1 Corinthians 7:4-5. But addressing sin in context of marital sex deserves far more depth, and three posts are planned to offer some answers:

Part I: Sexual Immorality, Unique Sin
Part II: Sex Drive, Unique Motivation
Part III: Sexual Contrasts, Unique Solution

: : :

SEXUAL CONTRASTS, UNIQUE SOLUTION

"In a relationship conflict,
crying is often a woman's response to feeling unloved,
and anger is often a man's response to feeling disrespected."
~ Dr. Emerson Eggerichs

Love and Respect Ministries, Inc.

Let each one of you in particular so love his own wife as himself, and let the wife see that she respects her husband.
~ Ephesians 5:33 (NKJV)


The same contrasts between a man and woman which cause differences also have potential to bring distinction to their relationship.

The entire fifth chapter of Ephesians weaves back and forth in discussion of union between the believer with the Spirit, between a man and wife, between Christ and His bride. Paul blurs the lines throughout the section, so that all he says may be applied to marriages both spiritual and human. He ends on the emphatic point of love and respect—Greek agapaō and phobeō.

This verb phobeō (from which we derive the noun "phobia") is translated "fear" every other time it appears in the Bible. There is only one reason to justify the deviation of most translations, which render this verb as "respect" rather than "fear" in this exceptional verse.

Here, phobeō is coupled with love.

Men must be respected by their wives, or they will not feel loved. If a man thinks his wife does not convey respect—whether in her assessment of his judgments and capabilities, or by her words spoken to him and about him—he will not feel loved, and he will have difficulty conveying love to her. She may even think she intends respect, but what will matter to him is what he perceives.

Likewise, regardless of how a man actually feels about his wife, a woman who feels unloved will not only be utterly crushed, but will also have some difficulty showing her husband respect in a way which is meaningful to him.

Few things are as vulnerable as a man’s ego and a woman's heart.

The bedroom has more potential than anywhere else as a place for love and respect to be displayed or denied. Here, where a man and woman are most vulnerable and exposed, a marriage may be bonded or broken.

The man who wants a wife to respect his judgment and capabilities anywhere else will first demonstrate them here. When he unlocks her emotions with his love and tenderness, he finds the key to her passions and responsiveness.

If a woman struggles to show respect to a husband she feels unworthy of it, even that must be communicated with respect. If she would invite him to love her unconditionally, she will respect him unconditionally.

The soul of a man's ego and a woman's heart are where they are most easily injured—or where they find most exquisite delight.

When sin and immorality and injury persist via sex, without repentance, marriage breaks down.

When love and respect flourish via marital sex, they will likely bloom throughout the marriage—with her as his most passionate champion, him as her most devoted lover.

: : :

For more on love and respect, see "For Guys Only."

This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see additional comments containing ongoing dialogue, click here.

What questions do you have about Christianity or the Bible? You're invited to leave them in the comments below (anonymous questions welcome), or email buildingHisbody [plus] @ gmail.com


© 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Tuesday, November 16, 2010

Currency of Joy

This post is part of a blog carnival hostessed by Bridget Chumbley. You're invited to visit her at "One Word at a Time" and see what others are saying about today's theme: Gratitude.


Image source: photobucket.com

"What we take for granted is never ours
until we have bought it by pain.
A thing is worth just what it costs."
~ Oswald Chambers



Desperate people come to a place where they are driven either by despair to give up, or by resolve to persevere beyond all reason and apparent ability.

When King David hit bottom, he believed in God's promise to never give up on him. From a place of abject despair, he did not give up on God. Though he had committed adultery and murder, David had the audacity to ask the Lord for joy and edification:

Restore to me the joy of Your salvation,
And uphold me with a generous spirit.
~ Psalms 51:12 (author)


In asking God to restore his joy, David asks for the spirit with which to take hold of it—a spirit of generosity, or noble liberality, toward God.

He who sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and he who sows bountifully will also reap bountifully... God loves a cheerful giver. And God is able to make all grace abound toward you ...
~ 2 Corinthians 9:6-8 (NKJV)


Generosity comes easily from abundance. But in time of scarcity, generosity comes by sacrifice and great cost.

Generous expressions of gratitude to God for His blessings are fitting in times of abundance and easily sown. When thanksgiving and praise become a sacrifice—given from poverty, in famine of joy—it is not as easy to sow with a liberal hand. Yet if there will ever be a bountiful harvest, there must be bountiful sowing, even from a place of scarcity.

Therefore by Him let us continually offer the sacrifice of praise to God, that is, the fruit of our lips, giving thanks to His name.
~ Hebrews 13:15 (NKJV)

Gratitude is the currency with which joy is purchased. Joy eludes the ungrateful heart of complaint and discontent. The heart willing to sow gratitude with a generous spirit in time of famine will again reap abundant joy. In any economy, value is determined by the price one is willing to pay to obtain what one seeks.

To be desperate for joy offers a choice. Either give up, or pay out the currency of joy. It is tendered with gratitude, however high the price.

I will offer sacrifices of joy in His tabernacle;
I will sing, yes, I will sing praises to the LORD.
Hear, O LORD, when I cry with my voice!
Have mercy also upon me, and answer me.
When You said, "Seek My face,"
My heart said to You, "Your face, LORD, I will seek."
~ Psalms 27:6-8 (NKJV)




"Discontent is a sin that is its own punishment ...
It is a sin that is its own parent.
It arises not from the condition, but from the mind.
As we find Paul contented in a prison,
so Ahab discontent in a palace."
~ Matthew Henry



My thanks to Ginny at "Make a Difference to One" for the Matthew Henry quote.
I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to BuildingHisBody.com
comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com.
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Question of the Week:
Can Marital Sex be Sinful?
Part II

Is pornography adultery?
~ Anonymous
Am I obligated to sleep with a spouse who I do not think loves me anymore and is just using me for sex?
~ Anonymous



These were submitted as two separate questions. Both might receive a simple 'yes' based on Matthew 5:28 and 1 Corinthians 7:4-5. But addressing sin in context of marital sex deserves far more depth, and three posts are planned to offer some answers:

Part I: Sexual Immorality, Unique Sin
Part II: Sex Drive, Unique Motivation
Part III: Sexual Contrasts, Unique Solution

: : :

PART II: SEX DRIVE, UNIQUE MOTIVATION

"In real love you want the other person's good.
In romantic love, you want the other person."
~ Margaret Chase Smith


Once upon a time, in a world without sin, the Creator gave woman to man as a companion. In all creation, she alone was like him, and yet she was wholly different. Their ideal lives had nothing to challenge unconditional love for each other.

Then sin came into the picture. Agonizing toil and labor would now consume both the man and woman in their respective occupations, and newfound self-centeredness would forevermore put their relationship in continual jeopardy.

Little might compel a man and woman to unite if the Creator did not also give the man a fight-to-the-death sex drive and the woman a drive for relationship ("your desire shall be for your husband"—Genesis 3:16). While there is no doubt that men were also created for relationship, and women were also created to enjoy sex, it's generally understood that most men are more driven toward physical satisfaction and most women are more driven toward emotional satisfaction. *

Ideally, each partner prompts the other to find both kinds of satisfaction in sexual intimacy—the Creator's super glue to permanently bond together two otherwise ill-fitting creatures in the institution of marriage.

Super glue is interesting stuff. It is reputed to create a bond stronger than the materials it unites. It forms that bond with incredible speed. And if not used with sufficient care, it will bond things not meant to be bonded, or otherwise cause damage.

The same is true of sexual intimacy. Blog host Russell Holloway noted in his comment last week that sex has recreational and procreational components, but is most importantly a form of communication. Sexual intimacy creates a unique vulnerability and opens channels of communication in marriage which can strengthen it as nothing else. If intimacy includes immorality, sexual intimacy can also injure a marriage as nothing else.

The wife does not have authority over her own body, but the husband does. And likewise the husband does not have authority over his own body, but the wife does. Do not deprive one another except with consent for a time, that you may give yourselves to fasting and prayer; and come together again so that Satan does not tempt you because of your lack of self-control.
~ 1 Corinthians 7:4-5 (NKJV)


It’s been said that women learn to fake pleasure and men learn to fake relationship.

Dishonesty and vulnerability are a dangerous mix.

Faking might seem preferable to facing how weak the marriage is. Indulgence of sexual immorality might look like a way to revive the sexual bond of marriage. But sin can never deliver on what it promises. What it does always deliver is consequences greater than its fleeting pleasure.

Not-faking might seem an adequate excuse to avoid sexual intimacy. But frustrated desire—whether a man's physical desire or a woman's emotional desire—makes a person vulnerable to seeking some manner of satisfaction outside of marriage, and is a recipe for marriage failure.

God’s Spirit provides another, better option, to be examined next week.


~ ~ ~

* Paul mentions that for the sake of God's kingdom, the Holy Spirit gives some people a gift to appreciate celibacy (1 Corinthians 7:7-9;32-34).

: : :

For more on the consequences of sexual immorality, see "For Beauty, If She is Listening."

This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see additional comments containing ongoing dialogue, click here.

What questions do you have about Christianity or the Bible? You're invited to leave them in the comments below (anonymous questions welcome), or email buildingHisbody [plus] @ gmail.com.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image source: homepages.ius.edu

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pity or Compassion?

To the best of my memory, I've never asked anyone for permission to repost a blog article. But this stands out as one of the best posts I've read. Ever. Today I share a worthy repeat from Connecting to Impact.

: : :

PITY OR COMPASSION?
by Jason Stasyszen

There’s a show on History (you know, used to be the History Channel) called American Pickers. Now, I honestly don’t watch it all the time, but it is very entertaining.

I mean, just listen to the premise: two guys drive around in a van combing through barns, garages, and warehouses looking for treasures in a sea of hoarded items.

Okay, it doesn’t sound that amazing, but what makes it so great are the two guys who are so passionate and excited about what they’re looking for. They never know what they’ll find or even what they’re looking for entirely, but they love the thrill of finding that special treasure and bargaining with the owner to part with it.





I’ve decided I want to be more like this–but about people. I think there’s too much pity in the world and not enough compassion. We pity people for their hard childhood, their presently hard circumstances, their poor decisions… That’s not even mentioning that we often pity ourselves for much the same reasons.

These guys are passionate about seeing things not as they are currently or even what they were used for 50-100 years ago. It’s all about how these items can be cleaned up, repurposed, and made useful again. Their risks don’t always pay off, but it never dampens their enthusiasm.

Pity can’t do that. Pity won’t do that–because pity won’t even try.

God didn’t send us Jesus because He pitied us, but because He was passionate about us. Jesus didn’t heal, forgive, restore, and deliver out of pity, but because He had compassion and it always moved Him to change their lives. The more they hung around Him, the more their lives changed.

Likewise, Jesus isn’t building a Church that will pity the poor, blinded, broken, and desperate. We need to be passionate about how God sees them and us, never settling for a lesser vision.

→ Pity says “Don’t expect too much. We know it’s been really hard.”

→ Compassion says, “Get up! Take up your mat and walk.”

→ Pity says “I’ll just try to make you comfortable down there.”

→ Compassion says “There’s no reason you can’t come up here!”

Don’t get me wrong, I can’t change anyone and I won’t try. God has to do that, but He has a way of using those with hearts after Him. We get to be conduits of grace.

I’m tired of pitying a broken world full of hurting people. I want God’s compassion alive inside me to go out and find the treasures on the street corners, the grocery stores, the office buildings–and I want to allow God to touch my eyes so that I can see them the way God does.

I hope somebody’s with me today! What do you think? Care to add others to the list of pity says/compassion says?

: : :

Jason received some great responses over at his blog. My favorite comment was this, from Sandra Heska King:

"Pity is wallowing in the shallows with someone. Compassion is pulling them with you into the deep."

To see more comments, and to share your thoughts with Jason, click
here

© 2010 by Connecting to Impact all rights reserved. Used by permission of Jason Stasyszen, pictured here with wife Andrea. Thanks again, Jason!

Friday, November 5, 2010

Question of the Week:
Can Marital Sex be Sinful?
Part I


1. Is pornography adultery?
~ Anonymous
2. Am I obligated to sleep with a spouse who I do not think loves me anymore and is just using me for sex?
~ Anonymous


These were submitted as two separate questions. Both might receive a simple 'yes' based on Matthew 5:28 and 1 Corinthians 7:4-5. But addressing sin in context of marital sex deserves far more depth, and three posts are planned to offer some answers:

Part I: Sexual Immorality, Unique Sin
Part II: Sex Drive, Unique Motivation
Part III: Sexual Contrasts, Unique Solution

: : :

PART I: SEXUAL IMMORALITY, UNIQUE SIN

"What makes pornography so addictive
is that more than anything else in a lost man's life,
it makes him feel like a man
without ever requiring a thing of him."
~ John Eldredge, from Wild at Heart

(To provide full explanations, today's post includes full biblical texts rather than the usual links.)

Jesus unequivocally defined lust as the sin of adultery. Perhaps He anticipated an argument that lust is inescapable—a person can’t help where the eye looks and what is then compelled of the hand—because He went on to address such rationale. Here is the complete text:

"You have heard that it was said to those of old, 'You shall not commit adultery.' But I say to you that whoever looks at a woman to lust for her has already committed adultery with her in his heart. If your right eye causes you to sin, pluck it out and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell. And if your right hand causes you to sin, cut it off and cast it from you; for it is more profitable for you that one of your members perish, than for your whole body to be cast into hell."
~ Matthew 5:27-30 (NKJV)


The context of sexual immorality continues into the verses which immediately follow:

"Furthermore it has been said, 'Whoever divorces his wife, let him give her a certificate of divorce.' But I say to you that whoever divorces his wife for any reason except sexual immorality causes her to commit adultery; and whoever marries a woman who is divorced commits adultery."
~ Matthew 5:31-32 (NKJV)

Thoroughly despicable to the Jews, adultery carried the death penalty. Jesus pointed out that a divorced woman was compelled to seek another man for support, and He declared a man who commits divorce as guilty of complicity to resulting adultery—unless his wife gave him sufficient grounds for divorce. Jesus didn’t specify grounds for divorce as adultery (Greek moicheia). He instead spoke of sexual immorality (Greek porneia), a broader sin which includes adultery. Jesus affirms permanency of marriage—and how intolerable sexual immorality in marriage is.

Paul describes sexual immorality as a unique sin because of the way sex unites one person, body and soul, to another. He uses this principle to point out that God's Spirit unites Himself to our bodies, and our bodies are to honor that Spirit:

Do you not know that your bodies are members of Christ? Shall I then take the members of Christ and make them members of a harlot? Certainly not! Or do you not know that he who is joined to a harlot is one body with her? For "The two," He says, "shall become one flesh." But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him. Flee sexual immorality. Every sin that a man does is outside the body, but he who commits sexual immorality sins against his own body. Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's.
~ 1 Corinthians 6:15-20 (NKJV)


We generally think of pornography as a visual temptation which indulges men to lust. But pornography can include images, audio, or text, whether explicit or evocative. It may tempt a man or a woman, married or single. It may tempt indulgence of physical lust or emotional lust. Pornography sabotages marriage, both present and future, and cannot be separated from the lust which violates the commandment, "You shall not commit adultery."

Such lust is only one aspect of sexual immorality, which violates a higher commandment. Because it degrades our bodies, which serve as dwelling place for the Holy Spirit, sexual immorality sabotages efforts to love the Lord our God with all our soul, heart, mind, body.

: : :

For more on defining sin, see "Is It Wrong?"

For more on divorce and the sanctity of marriage, see "What is Marriage?"

This post originally appeared at Bullets & Butterflies. To see additional comments containing ongoing dialogue, click here.

What questions do you have about Christianity or the Bible? You're invited to leave them in the comments below (anonymous questions welcome), or email buildingHisbody [plus] @ gmail.com.

© 2010 Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Confessions

This post is part of a blog carnival hosted by Bridget Chumbley at her site "One Word at a Time." You're invited to see what others are saying about today's theme: Reconciliation.


"Find the Lord before you need Him."
~ Randy Travis


Please don't hold it against me if I confess that I genuinely like math. It is objective, absolute, and reliable. In a fallen world, math holds true. I notice symmetry in art and architecture, in poetry and even prose, whether overt, subtle, or hidden. I had to quit Sudoku when it became addictive.

And I enjoy old-fashioned checkbook reconciliation, neatly reconciling my manual entries with the bank to the penny.

Years ago we had fewer dollars, so account balances were closely watched. But now, unless a large expense necessitates knowing our exact balance, I simply stay aware of roughly how much money is available rather than keep a running balance. So checkbook reconciliation done every month or two also determines if we have as much money as I think we do.

It is quite rare, but I also confess to occasionally receiving a Transfer Notice from the bank, when I've become distracted and had a skewed perception of our balance. I'm seriously annoyed with myself if that happens. But we've never had problems (thank You thank You THANK YOU, Lord!) because we maintain a savings cushion, however thin it gets.


"Why do you spend money for what is not bread,
And your wages for what does not satisfy?
Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good,
And let your soul delight itself in abundance..."
Seek the LORD while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near.
~ Isaiah 55:2,6 (NKJV)


I don't like making this next confession: I reached a point of trying to get away with roughing it in my spiritual life. Jesus and I connected 25 years ago, and I've stayed faithful to maintain my spiritual life, replenishing my cushion of spiritual strength so that it rarely got anywhere close to beaten down. I attached myself to my Father's leg like a toddler in a crowd or a storm.

Then I got sloppy. I'd like to think I didn't take my Father for granted. Perhaps asking for conviction and then repenting became routine, and I wasn't going as deep. I know I got distracted. I started out by holding onto my Father, then gradually started to just maintain an awareness of His whereabouts to grab onto Him if something big necessitated it.

When the big storm did hit, I realized I wasn't exactly where I thought. My Father hadn't moved, and I managed to grab onto the solid, absolute, and reliable Rock which has always supported me. But I hadn't adequately replenished the spiritual cushion I'd been drawing from. I landed on that Rock with a painful thud. I hadn't accurately perceived my spiritual condition.


You will keep in perfect peace,
The one fixed upon You,
Because he trusts in You.
Trust in the LORD forever,
For YAH, the LORD, is the Rock of Ages.
~ Isaiah 26:3-4 (author)


Jesus reconciled us to the Father with His blood. Reconciliation is also a matter of being fixed upon the Lord, daily taking account of our closeness to Him, and asking how His assessment compares. Getting distracted or sloppy results in skewed perceptions of our spiritual condition. The time to find the right place with the Lord is most definitely before you most need Him.

Lord, I love You more than I can express and less than is adequate. I shudder to think of how I've taken You for granted. Please let me not grow complacent. Please give me strength and desire to follow hard after You every day of my life, without growing weary.


I appreciate hearing from you. Questions are welcome. Reply to BuildingHisBody.com comments or e-mail me—my address is
buildingHisbody [plus] @gmail.com.
Copyright 2010, Anne Lang Bundy, all rights reserved.
Image source:
lakesfcu.com