Tonight I got a punch in the stomach and it felt great.
Two, no three, passages of scripture, awakened me out of my spiritual apathy.
In preparation for my Sunday school or children's church lesson :)
I read the account of Philip and the Ethiopian Eunuch found in Acts 8.
Philip is tasked by the Holy Spirit to help this man to understand what he is reading from the prophet Isaiah. Isaiah records in 53:32-33, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened not his mouth: In his humiliation his judgment was taken away: and who shall declare his generation? for his life is taken from the earth.
Digging deeper into the moment I see the joy Philip has a he shares the Word of God with someone hungering to know the truth and leading them into salvation. All by the Spirit's leading. WOW!!!
What a powerful scene to behold in my mind's eye as I continue on to the end to when the Ethiopian is baptized and Philip is taken away.
Joy in the LORD.
Joy in the Word of God.
I had lost that joy. Not so much of my own accord but through much difficulty, trials and spiritual warfare. Sure I would pray popcorn prayers (as my Pastor call's them) that would focus on my needs and the occasional verse from a devotional or my bible. During my battle a third verse came to mind. 2 Timothy 3:1-2 "This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come. For me shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,"
Thereby we have the punch in the stomach. As soon as I read it I Knew. I just knew where the Spirit of God was leading me and what He was telling me. I HAD BECOME SELFISH in my ways.
My joy for God and the things of God were given way to my personal whims. Without getting into details let me say I had to find my way back home to the fellowship of the Father.
The prophet Isaiah 53 paints a picture, though small, life of Christ and His subsequent death on the Cross. We/I whom are called to be believers should never forget the Cross. It has left an indelible mark on our souls. The soul can be either our staunchest ally or greatest enemy in our daily lives. As children of light our daily feasting on the Word of God and prayer helps our faith to grow and allows our spirits to flourish. Without the daily koinonia, our souls become dark and the cares of this world takes our attention from the cross by which all things are possible.