Lightening the Load
When we get into the storms of life, it is often difficult to know what to do. It can feel like the noise of our troubles drowns out everything else.
In Acts 27 we find the apostle Paul caught in the midst of a horrible storm. The ship was being tossed all over the place, and the situation was becoming quite serious.
Embedded in this story is a spiritual truth that can guide you and me when we get caught in the storms of life. It is found in verses 18-19,
And because we were exceedingly tempest-tossed, the next day they lightened the ship. On the third day we threw the ship's tackle overboard with our own hands.
Notice that when the storm got bad and threatened to capsize the ship, they lightened the load.
Sometimes in a storm you need to throw some things overboard. In fact, it is a great time to evaluate any baggage that you are carrying in your life. There are some things that may not be a sin to you, but they are a weight to you.
One of the things you need to carefully evaluate is your relationships. There are some relationships you need to cut loose because they are hanging you up, holding you back, and they are hindering you from getting to where God wants you to go.
Or maybe it's something as simple as too much TV. Watching TV may not be a sin, but it can sure be a weight! It can sure be a hindrance to you hearing from God, especially when you are in a time of crisis.
If you really want to hear from God and get yourself unstuck, lighten your ship.
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TGIF Today God Is First Volume 2, by Os Hillman
"Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed" (Mark 1:35-36).
How do you get refueled? When our cars run low on fuel, we simply drop by the local filling station to get more fuel. When our bodies are hungry, we feed them. How do we refuel our spiritual lives? We can learn from the example Jesus modeled in His life.
In the New Testament we see that Jesus had a very demanding schedule. He traveled from town to town, often walking many miles between the towns. He spent a lot of time with people. As a speaker and teacher I can tell you that it is very draining to minister for extended periods. Your body and your spirit becomes fatigued.
The day before the above scripture was recorded, Jesus had a full day of ministry healing the sick, delivering people from demons and walking to different cities (Mark 1:29-37). The following day it says Jesus got up before the sun rose and went to pray. The disciples were wondering where He was.
When Jesus was on earth, He was fully man. Everything He did was based upon receiving specific directions and power from His father to do them. He was not operating as God, but as a human being with the same limitations you and I have. So, Jesus knew one of the key ways to refuel His mind, body and spirit was by spending time in prayer to His Heavenly Father.
This is a critical discipline for every follower of Jesus if you expect to have power and victory in your Christian walk. We each need to find a solitary place to focus upon the Lord, His Word and His input for our lives.
If this is not a part of your daily experience, why not start tomorrow with a few minutes of focused time of reading and prayer. You will be encouraged with the new spiritual focus you will have by making this a priority.
Lord, thank You for bringing peace to my heart. I pray that You would help me be a peace-maker in my family and community...and even in the world. Help me to live in harmony with my friends and loved ones...and with my Christian family as well. Please forgive me for arguing (even when it's just in my mind and I don't carry through in person!) and being so "disagreeable" at times. Help me to see things through other people eye's so that I can better understand where they are coming from. Help me to see things through Your eyes so that I can handle situations with wisdom and understanding. Remind me to think before I speak and pray before I act. May Your will be done through me today. In Jesus' name I pray. Amen
Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Leaders.
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