Do What You Can, Captain!

Be prepared. You’re up against far more than you can handle on your own. Take all the help you can get, every weapon God has issued, so that when it’s all over but the shouting you’ll still be on your feet. Truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and salvation are more than words. Learn how to apply them. You’ll need them throughout your life. God’s Word is an indispensable weapon. In the same way, prayer is essential in this ongoing warfare. Pray hard and long. Pray for your brothers and sisters. Keep your eyes open. Keep each other’s spirits up so that no one falls behind or drops out.  Ephesians 6:13  Message Bible

Years ago, we had a family reunion at a beach house on Galveston Island.  My nephew and niece were about 6 years old and they were standing looking out over the Gulf of Mexico with a telescope.  They were pretending to be on a ship that had encountered stormy weather and pirates.  Their dialogue went back and forth about the things they could do, and when those failed, what they could do next.  This went on for a while and it became obvious that their ship was in trouble and they were running out of solutions.  Finally, my niece turned to my nephew and said, “Do what you can, Captain”.  I can’t even count the number of times since then when I felt out of options that I have remembered those words and had to grin.

Whatever you are up against – financial pressure, physical limitations, relational problems, bad doctor’s reports, Ephesians 6: 13  tells you and tells me that we aren’t without weapons.  We have the Word of God and it is an indispensable weapon, but only if we use it.  It isn’t too effective laying on our table collecting dust.  Neither are truth and righteousness and faith if we don’t appropriate them.  Then after using the weapons, we stand firm.  Like my niece said “do what you can, Captain”.  Then let God do the rest.  Won’t it be awesome on that day when it is all over but the shouting and we are still standing?

Lord, be the Captain of my ship.  Deliver me safely through the storm, I pray.  Thank You for the weapons You have given me – peace, righteousness, truth and prayer.  Help me to learn how to use them so that You get the glory when my ship sails to safety.  Amen.

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Sun of Righteousness

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But for you who fear My name

the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings;

and you will go forth and skip about like calves from the stall. 

Malachi 4:2

What a beautiful promise to those of us who fear the Lord.  The sun of righteousness will rise with healing in His wings for me, for you.  Jesus is likened to a rising sun which sends healing rays outward in all directions.

I live in the Pacific Northwest.  It rains alot here.  When the sun comes out it is so welcome.   Spring is amazing when the sun touches the earth and colors start springing up everywhere.  Gorgeous flowers and vines and trees all coming to life under the wings of the sun.  Just as the sun touches our earth and brings life, Jesus touches our lives and brings life – His Zoe life.  His life that quickens and enlightens and warms and heals and purifies and sanctifies.  The very life of Jesus Himself rising up in me, for me, on me because I fear Him.  Rising up in you, for you, on you if you fear Him.

So then the obvious question is  – what does it mean to fear the Lord?  Simply put, it means to reverence Him, to have great respect for Him.  We are to be humbled by His presence and awed by Him.

Fearing Him means recognizing His lordship in our lives.  He is our Father and we are His children.  Having grown up in the south, many years ago, and was taught to respect elders.  We were required to say “yes sir” and “no ma’am” as signs of respect to adults.  Not doing what I was told to do would land me in big trouble.  I work with kids and I can say that that respect for elders is a thing of the past all too often.  Children have grown too comfortable with grown-ups to respect them the way I was taught to years ago and I think, sometimes, the same is true with God.  We can grow too comfy with Him and lose some of our fear of Him.  The fear of the Lord is a reverence that should produce a strong desire to be obedient to His word and to please Him – a big “Yes, Sir”.

This verse tells us that as we fear Him, the sun of righteousness, Jesus Himself will rise with healing in His wings!

Sun of Righteousness, rise with healing over me, I pray.  Be Lord of my life, touch my life with the healing that only You can bring.  Make me whole, purify me, and use me, I ask.  Help me to be obedient to Your word, both spoken and whispered.  Let Your will be done in my life, I pray. Amen.