Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Finding Nemo?

Just Keep Swimming….

Have you ever noticed how easy it is to get off track as a Christian? You were heading along in the right direction, when you suddenly hit a bump that sends you off on a tangent instead of your original path. Like this morning, while typing this, I discovered the internet is down and started trying to figure it out. Getting sidetracked is not a new problem, Paul was talking to the Galatians about the same thing, almost 2000 years ago.

“I am shocked that you are turning away so soon from God, who in His love and mercy called you to share the eternal life He gives through Christ. You are already following a different way that pretends to be the Good News but is not the Good News at all. You are being fooled by those who twist and change the truth concerning Christ.” Gal. 1:6,7

How can we be following Jesus and get off track? By taking our eyes off Him, fussing over the circumstances around us, and getting distracted dealing with problems instead of drawing closer to Him. Then, when we look up, it seems we are headed in the same general direction, and don’t realize we are off course. In Paul’s time, the Galatians were getting caught up in religiously trying to please God through perfectly obeying the law. Somewhere along the line they had started trying to earn their way into God’s favor.

“Have you lost your senses? After starting your Christian lives in the Spirit, why are you now trying to become perfect by your own human effort?” Gal. 3:3

It’s easy to get caught up in the works of the kingdom, the requirements of the law, and doing and saying all the right things. Yet sometimes in all of that, we get tangled up in religion, and lose sight of the relationship He wants to have with us. We get so distracted trying to please Him by keeping the law, yet He is calling us to keep Him company and sit at His feet. We are so easily distracted, feeling like we should earn our way, but He is our way! As we spend time with Him, He’ll do the work in us and through us.

One of my favorite characters in the movie “Finding Nemo” was a lovable little fish named Dory. She was always forgetting things, even from a minute ago, and freaking out when she didn’t remember how she got there or who she was with. Amazingly enough, she did remember and kept repeating one very important thing. She knew the address they needed to find Nemo, “22 Wallaby Lane, Sydney”. Her other famous line was “Just keep swimming, just keep swimming..” Dory and Nemo’s father traveled through many obstacles, sharks, jellyfish, sea turtles and fishing nets to rescue Nemo. Through it all, Dory kept reciting the address, and saying to herself, “just keep swimming”.

As Christians, we have many dangers and distractions. We know our destination, and perhaps we need the simple faith of little Dory, to keep heading to our Destiny, and just keep swimming. When the sharks attack, instead of hiding out and skipping church, devotions, small group or fellowship, we should be running to our “school” of Christian brothers and sisters to support us and pray us through. We should be banding together, encouraging each other through our journey, instead of scattering in separate directions.
We are placed in the body of Christ for a reason, to encourage one another and work as a team to rescue the lost and hurting around us. Somehow when we are getting stung right and left by the jellyfish of our circumstances, (like a no water, brown water, broken dishwasher, malfunction light, broken tooth, tv signal issues, no internet kind of month) it is easy to forget that we have a Rescuer and a Way of Escape.

In the midst of my crazy month, I cried out to the Lord, “What am I doing wrong?” He gave me something I needed to repent of, and things are slowly turning around. I don’t know if that had any connection to what was going on or not, sometimes it does, and sometimes things just happen even when we don’t have some wrong attitude lurking. But I am thankful the water is working and no longer mud puddle brown. After 2 weeks, the dishwasher is finally fixed. The malfunction light went off by itself, the dish tv problem seems to have cleared up, and somehow my tooth problem will work itself out. With no dental insurance, I need a crown, and I know the Lord has a crown for me! All these trials build His character in us, while He prepares the crown of glory we will someday wear. Until then, head in the right direction and just keep swimming….

In His school,

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