(Fair as in true and good)
Yesterday, our church worship service ended with three baptisms. (Seven more took place at two other services.) What a heart-warming delight to celebrate the symbolism of new life with each participant!
One of those baptized was the pastor’s son. As he rose up from the water, he smiled broadly and hugged his dad. Tears filled my eyes to witness a young boy committing himself to life with Jesus.
Just as physical life requires shelter, food, water, and clothing for survival, our new life in Jesus requires those same needs be met in our spirits:
(“The one who lives in the shelter of the Most High,
who rests in the shadow of the Almighty,
will say to the LORD, “You are my refuge, my fortress,
and my God in whom I trust!”–Psalm 91:1-2 ISV)
But how do we access a shelter that is invisible? By centering our thoughts on God.
Even amidst the business of each day, we can pause now and then and imagine a personal refuge with him (on a quiet beach, under a sturdy tree in the forest, by a lake in view of mountains–those are a few possibilities).
First, we breathe in the peace of his presence. Yes, just the simple act of taking a deep breath while whispering such words as, “Prince of Peace, I welcome you,” can create a shift from tension to tranquility.
Then, like the psalmist, we reaffirm our trust in the Most High God, the Almighty–the One whose kingdom rules over all (Psalm 103:19b), yet he knows the number of hairs on each of our heads.
(“Man does not live on bread alone
but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.”
A pantry full of groceries is useless unless the food is consumed. Similarly, the great storehouse of inspiration and counsel in the Bible is of no use unless we read it, believe it, and live it out. The abundant, God-enhanced life of contentment and joy comes to those who taste of God’s character, promises, and wisdom—all found within the pages of scripture, ready to put into practice.
“Whoever believes in me, as the Scripture has said,
streams of living water will flow from within him.”
By this he meant the Spirit.”
With the refreshing of the Holy Spirit we become like trees planted by a stream (Psalm 1:3):
- Strong—though not all at once, any more than a tree reaches maturity overnight. Growth occurs day by day, bit by bit, as we cooperate with the Spirit.
- Green-leafed—radiant with health, reflecting the Lord’s glory, his goodness and character (2 Corinthians 3:18).
- Full of fruit—a natural by-product of the Spirit’s presence. “Every good tree bears good fruit,” Jesus said (Matthew 7:17). Examples include humility, purity, and selflessness.
Familiar to many of us is the spiritual “armor” that Paul described (Ephesians 6:11-17). A worthy addition would be a garment of praise (Isaiah 61:3). Like a favorite sweater worn at every opportunity, praise of our Father should accompany us everywhere.
This is certain: God is more than able to provide for our every need—physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual.
All possibilities for our lives exist within this one truth:
The almighty God rules from his throne in heaven, a throne he established before the beginning of time (Psalm 103:19a).
He’s got this–and everything else.