Monday, February 4, 2019

Stop Crawling on the Ice

By Rev. Jack Hulsey

A man was traveling from one city to another on a freezing winter night knowing that he would have to traverse a rather wide river in the dark, to reach his destination. When he reached the rivers edge, he was concerned because he didn’t know if the ice was thick enough to support his weight. He had come too far to turn back and knew if he tried to stay the night on the river’s edge he would not survive because of the freezing temperatures.  The only choice that he had was to proceed forward. Fearful that he might fall through the ice he cautiously began to crawl across the frozen river on his belly.  It was cold and seemed that his journey across the ice was taking forever. Then all the sudden there was a noise behind him that progressively got louder.  As it came closer he heard a voice, “What are you doing?”  The traveler looked up and saw a large wagon loaded with a family’s possessions, drawn by 2 large horses.  The traveler responded, “I wasn’t sure the ice could support my weight, so I was crawling because I feared falling through. How did you know that the ice would hold you?” The wagon driver replied, “Because in the last town I asked, and the mine workers said they pull their wagons full of iron ore to the mill every day across this river.”  The traveler was then offered a ride on the wagon and he was carried the rest of the way with all his fear allayed.   

I think we often, like the traveler, find ourselves alone out in the wilderness. (Note: That means we had to abandon what the Lord has promised.)  We know that difficulties lie ahead and we must do something. That is when we begin to scheme and devise our own plan without seeking counsel or all of the information. Our plan is set!  So, just like the traveler, we begin to crawl on our bellies, gripped with fear and doubt hoping that our plan works, forgetting that the foundation beneath us is solid because of what Jesus did at Calvary.  Why do we doubt?  Why do we follow our own plans built from fear and pride?
The wagon driver sought out the information and listened to those who traveled across the river daily.  He placed his confidence in the experiences of other who knew the river. 

Many of the passages in the Bible are the voices of experience giving warning, encouragement, and instruction.  When we heed these words, fear will no longer drive our plans and our foundation will never come into question. 
So the next time fear or doubt come and try to compel you to belly crawl on the ice, take heart and read verses like Proverbs 3:5-7 (NASB)  Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight. Do not be wise in your own eyes; Fear the LORD… THEN GET UP AND GET ON HIS WAGON.

Tuesday, January 22, 2019

Keeping Our Hearts On the Right Path

By Pastor Jack Hulsey

“Listen, my son,” is a familiar phase found in several of the Proverbs. It has always fascinated me and compelled me to study at a deeper level because of the familial connotation. In Proverbs 23:19 you will find this phrase attached to some very good advice.  “Listen, my son, and be wise, and keep your heart on the right path”.
Satan attacks us every day, and he does it so quickly and without warning. 1 Peter 5:8-9 (NASB)
Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.
But resist him, firm in your faith, knowing that the same experiences of suffering are being accomplished by your brethren who are in the world.”
He attacks our hearts and our souls – the places where hopes are born, decisions are made, and truth is stored. His attacks strike deep in the places where wisdom is formed. It's little wonder that the writer in Proverbs cautions us to keep our heart on the right path. How do we do this? The best way is to exercise the utmost caution about the things we keep in our hearts, as well as what we keep from our heart.
As Christians we know what we should try to keep out of our hearts: doubt, fear, anger, hate, lust, depression, guilt, and worry. this is just a short list.  Satan throws adversity at us in every imaginable form.  He wants us to believe that every person on earth has a unique problem to cope with. King Solomon said, “There is nothing new under the sun.” Ecclesiastes 1:9-10.  Our faith is tested continually and as hard as it sometimes is, we must choose to keep negative feelings from dominating our lives. 
We must think about the things we need to keep securely locked in our hearts. Things like a love for God, a love for people, a humble spirit, a willing heart, a determined devotion and a loyalty to truth. We can't hold these feelings and attitudes in our hearts without help. Each day we must depend upon the spirit of God and choose wisely our path.
Imagine what our world would be like if all of us could keep our hearts on this path.  You can be sure that Satan imagines what it could be like – and because he does, he is waiting for us at every turn. So, take the wise approach offered by God's word:  listen, be wise, and keep your heart on the right path.