Archive for September, 2007

Provision

As I was reading the Lords Prayer, in Matthew 6:9-13, I was struck by verse 11.  In this verse it says “Give us this day our daily bread”.  I began to think about my greatest fears as a father.  High on the list is that, as a father, I would lack in the area of provision for my family.  I can’t think of anything that is more degrading than for it to be said “he was not a good provider”. 

The world today, is full of judgments.  We see it in our work environment, in our childrens sports events, in our church services, everywhere we turn.   We have become a society of judges.  Gary Carpenter, in his lesson “Distinguishing Provision From Stewardship” relates the following: “The Holy Spirit reminded me of my paternal grandfather’s farm and how each of the sons and daughters had work to do every day as “their assignment,” their “contribution” toward the common goal of “reaping a harvest.” All of the children knew that the harvest belonged to grandfather. None of them had the mindset that the harvest, even a portion of it, belonged to them personally.

However, they also knew that when the dinner bell rang every night, they each got to sit and dine from grandfather’s table not because they had “served him well that day,” but rather because they were grandfather’s children. Grandfather expected them to eat from his table until they were full. Their provision was not proportioned to them based on their “performance” that day on the farm.  No, they were expected to take all they wanted from his table simply because they were his children.”

Who among us would hold back, from our children, any part of what we need to survive because they didn’t work as hard or as long as we thought they should? 

Provision in this form is a military term which has to do with a supply of food or other necessary items.  These items are stored up and used as necessary to maintain the ability of the troops to do battle.  When the provisions get a little low, supplies must be brought in so the troops will not fail for lack of provision.

 This is the part where fathers begin to break into a cold sweat.  We think that if our supply lines are ever cut, we will be marked for all eternity as a poor provider.  What we fail to realize is that it isn’t about creating something to replenish the provisions, it is about knowing where to go to assure there is a steady and sure supply line to our provision.

We try to make it about us.  We make it personal.  We fear we will be labeled a failure.  In reality it is about how we assess our situation and communicate it to the person who can deliver it to our storehouse. 

Fatherhood is an art.  It takes practice and sometimes failure to be be great.  The art is in knowing that provision is always there. The application comes in trusting God for all our provision.

 En servicio como padre

Dave

 

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The Man in the Window

There is an old African spiritual many of us have heard.  In it’s lyrics it says “Shut d Door, Keep out d devil,  Shut d Door, Keep d devil in d night, Shut d Door, Keep out d devil, Light d Candle everythings alright”.

In its simplicity, this spiritual holds one of the most poinent truths in all of christianity.  The simple truth is that we hold the power and authority to simply shut the door on the enemy. 

As fathers we may not realize it, but we hold a critical position in the spiritual balance of all creation.  We have been made in the image of the God head; Genesis 1:26 tells us God said “Let us make man if our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth”.  Both male and female, God made us in His image.  We were given dominion over the whole earth and were told to be fruitful and multiply and to subdue the earth.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t see us being all that fruitful much less subdueing the earth.  What has happended to us?  God’s word is forever…..He never changes, right?  So what has happended to us?

I know, I know, we find later in Genesis, that man sinned and was kicked out of the garden and all that.  But that still doesn’t change the fact that God never changes.  He said we were made in His image and that we were to subdue the earth.

It is because of the fact that God never changes that we can rest assured that fathers still play an enourmous role in the eventual outcome of this world and in the spiritual world around us.  God spoke a word, “replenish the earth and subdue it”,  and that word can never be changed.  If it were allowed to change, it would make God a liar, and we all know God can’t lie.

The sin of man in the garden was reversed, attoned for, in the death of Jesus Christ on the Cross and by his resurection and victory over the grave.  What the devil took from Adam, (authority, which the devil did not have because all authority comes from God and the devil rebelled against God), was restored to us through the attoning blood of Jesus Christ.

The problem is, that we today have accepted a lie as truth.  We believe there is no need for the attoning blood of Jesus, because all that devil stuff is a fairy tale.  It’s like the horror movie that comes to a suspensful moment when the woman, alone in her home, is frantically searching for something to protect herself, when the camera pans to the window and a crazed man is peering in at her only a few feet from her unsuspecting activities.  We jump, maybe yell, probably recoil in fear, but we look again, because we realize it is only a movie and is not real.  The lie tells us it is not real.

No matter what you believe about spirits and angels, and all that stuff, I am here to tell you there is a man in your window, and he is there to steal, kill and destroy.  We must begin to believe the reality, that we have the authority to light the candle that is Jesus Christ.  That candle brings light into a the darkness and keeps the devil in the night.  Like the African spiritual, we have the power, and authority to simply shut the door and light the candle.

As fathers, we must accept this authority.  The devil recognizes this authority.  When he tempted Jesus in the wilderness, he said; “If thou be the Son of God, cast thyself down from hence:  For it is written, He shall gove his angels charge over thee, to keep thee: and in their hands they shall bear thee up, lest at any time thou dash thy foot against a stone” Luke 4:9-11.  The enemy recognized that Jesus was the Son of God, and that if he went to the cross, he would pay the price for the sin of all mankind and the authority satan had stolen from Adam would be returned to man through the sacrifice of Jesus.  In the end, it would mean that he would have no power over anything.

If we as christians and especially as christian fathers would recognize the authority we have over the enemy, the whole balance of the battle in the heavenlies would change.  In the end, we would realize we are victors and not victims.

Think about it, and Shut d Door!

En servicio como padre

Dave


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