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Therefore let all the faithful pray to you while you may be found; surely the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them. Psalm 32:6

As I read Psalm 32:6 a picture came into my mind. It was a home video taken during the horrific Japan Tsunami of 2011. As flood waters came into a small seaside village, sirens wailed and residents took shelter on a small hillside, running to the safety afforded them by a single set of stairs. We all watched with amazement and horror as the sea crept down the streets, then gained momentum and began to sweep cars, truck, boats and other debris ahead of it.

The water rose higher and higher, endangering the small group of people taking shelter there. They were safe, but the destruction around them was a stirring testimony to the power of nature and the frailty of life

“Surely, the rising of the mighty waters will not reach them,” is a promise those of us that are believers in Jesus Christ can hold on to. Flood waters will come. Those earthy things we hold dear may be taken from us. Those things that have provided us security may falter or even fail.

Relationships we thought would last a lifetime end in divorce or death or job changes. Careers once though secure will end abruptly. Freedoms we hold so dearly too may be in danger or taken completely from us. The winds of time and age will change the lifescape we have always known.

Those who put their faith completely in God, who trust in Jesus Christ and build their security on the word of God and prayer, need not worry when the flood waters approach. We may lose all of our earthly possessions. We may watch as the world we once knew gets swept away. But our souls remain secure in the promise of Psalm 32:6.

Here’s the true beauty of this promise. Sometimes the flood waters that threaten us are our own doing. Sometimes they are the result of evil in the world. God’s promise of protection isn’t affected by the reason for our struggle. His promises are based on his character and strength, not ours.

When you see those flood waters approaching. When everything you held as secure crumbles or is swept away, remember that the God of the universe has promised to be a refuge from which the raging waters of the sea can not reach you.

PRAYER: Father, we are surrounded by adversity and pain and trials. It seems sometimes as though our hopes and dreams are being swept away in flood of adversity. During those times may we run to you for refuge and strength. We praise you for your promise of ultimate protection. In Jesus name, Amen.


LORD, I love the house where you live, the place where your glory dwells. Psalm 26:8

Shortly after the terrorist attacks on 9/11 there was a huge spike in church attendance. People that hadn’t been to church in years walked through the doors to heal, to comfort one another, to pray for our nation.

When the earthquake hit Haiti, the hurricanes hit New Orleans, the Tsunami hit Southeast Asia people sent food, money and teams to the affected areas to heal (emotionally and medically) comfort one another and provide housing or whatever else was needed to lift the survivors of these natural disasters to their feet again.

Throughout history the ravages of war and the pain of natural disasters has awakened in us the desire to help. Our hearts melt at the sight of starving orphans. Suddenly we find an extra $10.00 to send through our cell phone bill to help people we never have met.

What is it within us that drives those feelings of compassion and assistance? It’s the realization that we are needed and that we need each other. Deep inside each of us there is a desire to feel like the action you take, no matter how small, will somehow make a difference in the lives of others. Suddenly it doesn’t matter what social class you are in or what the color of your skin is. Sexual orientation isn’t as important as making sure a cardboard shack is replaced by suitable housing and clean water. Enemies set aside their differences at least long enough to meet the needs of those affected by the disaster.

There is no doubt in anyone’s mind that success in meeting these challenges requires teamwork. One person going to Haiti would have accomplished nothing. One fireman going into the flaming towers would have been fruitless. One $10.00 gift to help the famine ravaged parts of the world would be a ridiculous attempt to help.

Why is it then that when it comes to Spiritual warfare we Christ-followers think we can wage battle alone? We divide ourselves according to denominational affiliation. We camp out on issues about how to worship or how and when to baptize. Some of us are so tired of the bickering that we give up on getting together with other Christ-followers all together. The statement, “I can be a Christian without going to church” is absolutely correct. You can also go to battle alone, but you won’t last long.

Before he went to the cross to die for you Jesus only asked his Father for one thing: UNITY. He knew that in order for us to live strong lives that withstand the forces of evil we would need each other. The body of Christ isn’t a building or a denomination or a set of rules. The body of Christ is a living organism that needs the nourishment of fellowshipping with each other to grow strong.

As Christ-followers we need to make sure that our ‘churches’ show the grace and love of our Lord Jesus to every person that enters our doors. We need to be an active part of our community by being a ‘church without walls’ and doing all we do in the name of Christ (not our church!).

We need each other. We need each other for our own physical, emotional and spiritual strength. The people around us need to see the love of Jesus by the things we do and say to draw them into relationship with the one who can comfort and heal for eternity.

PRAYER: Father, I love to come to your house to worship and learn from your word. I confess to you that often times I look more for what I can gain from the experience that what I can do for others and for you. Forgive me for selfishly looking for my own comfort at the expense of others. Empower me with your Spirit to begin today to make my church a place where all people feel welcome. I need you and they need me. In your name I pray, Amen.

 

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