A Well In the Desert

By nature, I’m not what you would call a “blogger.”  When I wrote my first blog post, I think my arrogance had me think that people would quickly latch on to my irresistible wisdom -that didn’t happen.  In fact, I haven’t shared any of my thoughts through this WordPress account in quite some time.  The Holy Spirit has his ways of teaching God’s people humility and dependence.  Through his help I’ve come to realize that my best thoughts are always someone else’s which is why it is freeing for me to write this post.  God’s desire isn’t to have great pastors, songwriters,  authors,  and missionaries -God’s desire is to make his name great through His followers.  “He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake” (Psalm 23:3b Emphasis Added).

I’m beginning to see that the light suffering that comes my way isn’t God’s punishment for the sin in my life -that would be living by karma, not grace (by the way, anything better than Hell is a gift of grace).  God allows us to stagger through the desert so we can learn how to be dependent upon Him.  In the desert our proud, independent spirit becomes helpless and thirsty, we feel the weight of our needs and cry for help, the dry heat of our circumstances has us thirsting for nothing less than the presence of God, and before you know it we are praying like David.

1The LORD is my shepherd; I shall not want.
2He makes me lie down in green pastures.
He leads me beside still waters.
3He restores my soul.
He leads me in paths of righteousness
for his name’s sake.

4Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death,
I will fear no evil,
for you are with me;
your rod and your staff,
they comfort me.

5You prepare a table before me
in the presence of my enemies;
you anoint my head with oil;
my cup overflows.
6Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me
all the days of my life,
and I shall dwell in the house of the LORD
forever.

in the midst of bitter circumstance, God’s fellowship is sweet.  When you find yourself in the desert, look for the Wellspring of life: Jesus.

If God’s Grace is a Gift, Why Does Jesus Tell Me to “Sin No More?”

“For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God” (Ephesians 2:8).

If God saves us only by His grace, then why does Christ call us to “sin no more?” (John 8:11).  After all, doesn’t our sin magnify God’s grace? (Romans 5:20).

These are just a few questions that we ask in light of God’s grace.  I don’t think that our questions are invalid, only that our understanding of God’s grace is invalid.  In his book “Radical,” David Platt gives us needed insight as to what God’s grace really means for us.

[The] gift of grace involves the gift of a new heart.  New desires.  New longings.  For the first time, we want God.  We see our need for him, and we love him.  We seek after him, and we find him, and we discover that he is indeed the great reward of our salvation.  We realize that we are saved not just to be forgiven of our sins or to be assured of our eternity in heaven, but we are saved to know God.  So we yearn for him.  We want him so much that we abandon everything else to experience him.  This is the only proper response to the revelation of God in the gospel (pp. 39).

This post should have only taken a couple minutes to read.  Perhaps you should take a few more minutes to let the Holy Spirit examine your heart.  Test yourself by asking this simple question, “Do I want Jesus, or do I want His gifts?” (salvation, no hell, no guilt, etc…)

Remember, Christ came to save the world.  Flee to Him.  He is our refuge, treasure, and hope.

“Delight yourself in the LORD,and he will give you the desires of your heart” (Psalm 37:4).