Monday, April 19, 2010

The Sword First, then the Hand

Admiral Horatio Nelson was an English navy hero who twice defeated Napoleon's army. Whenever he won in battle, he always treated the enemy prisoners with dignity. After one of his victories, the defeated commander was brought on board Nelson's flagship for a formal ceremony where he would surrender his sword.

The man quickly walked across the deck and stuck out his hand for the Admiral to shake. Nelson held his hand to his side and refused to shake his hand. Then he said, "Hand over your sword first and then I'll shake your hand."

If we want to be at peace with God, we must first surrender our swords. When the commander surrendered to Admiral Nelson, he didn't keep fighting against him. He handed over the sword and was at his mercy. When we surrender to God, we quit fighting against Him and we do what He says. If He wants us to get rid of our anger or forgive someone, and if we say "no," we haven't completely surrendered. We must come to God on His terms. We must lay down the sword that we use against others.
Do you want God's hand of blessing on you? Hand over your sword.
Keep looking up!

Monday, April 12, 2010

Getting to Know God's Voice

I always enjoyed watching Tim "The Tool Man" Taylor talk to his neighbor Wilson in the TV sitcom "Home Improvement." If you watched the show, you know that the TV producers played a gag on the viewing audience because they never showed us Wilson's face. We never saw his lips move. His face was always partially covered up by the fence between the yards, as seen in this picture. If Wilson was in Tim's house, we couldn't see his whole face because a lamp or some other object always blocked our view.

Although we couldn't see his face, we got to know Wilson through his voice. Whenever Tim didn't know what to do and needed advice, Wilson was always there to offer words of wisdom.

In some ways, that's how we hear from God. Although we can't see His face, we can get to know Him through His voice. Jesus said in John 10:17, "My sheep hear my voice and I know them and they follow me." He also said, "But when He, the Spirit of truth comes, He will guide you into all the truth; for He will not speak on His own initiative, but whatever He hears, He will speak, and He will disclose to you what is to come" (John 16:13).

How does His voice sound? He speaks to us through thoughts in our minds and impressions in our hearts, always offering words of wisdom. If you are a child of God, He wants to guide you down the right paths. The only prerequisite is you must be willing to follow wherever He leads.
Keep looking up!