Tuesday, June 16, 2009


Tonight, I asked Him: "Lord, are You really always with me?"

He answered: "I AM with you even until the end of the age, until eternity beckons, and then, I AM there with you, too." (Matt. 28:20)

Tonight, I asked Him: "Lord, where do You go, then, in the times when it is so hard for me to find You?"

He answered: "I AM not gone, though I may hide Myself from you for a time so that, like the precious child you are, you may experience the joy of seeking and finding Me." (Matt. 7:7)

Tonight, I asked Him: "Lord, when I feel overwhelmed, when I am exhausted by the weight of the world, when I feel like I can't even summon the strength to move, how will I find You then?"

He answered: "I AM the One who comes beside you at your weakest moment and does not leave. (Prov. 18:24) I AM your traveling companion when you question life. (Luke 24:15) I AM the faithful watchman Who will meet you in Gethsemane and kneel beside you to pray. (Mark 14:38) And I AM the Good Shepherd Who will sooth your wounds (Ps. 23:3), set your feet on solid ground (Ps. 40:2), and, when you can find no solid ground to stand on, will summon My angels to lift you up as on eagle's wings (Is. 40:31)."

Tonight, I asked Him, and He answered me. Tonight, He reminded me of the beauty of Himself, that all my questions had but one answer, and that the answer He gave is perfectly complete and sufficient for all my problems:


Saturday, June 13, 2009

Happiness and Holiness

June 13 - Evening

Why is it that we place such a limited scope of possibility on our personal happiness? Why do we so often say, as if we truly know, "Oh, to have such-and-such! Then, I would be truly happy!" The truth of the matter is that we Christians are just as guilty of it as our unredeemed neighbors, and possibly we are even guilty of a worse manifestation. We look on pharisaically when we see the neighbors spending all their time working to afford the bigger house, the better car, the nicer vacation and yet we sit comfortably in our pews week in and week out and express our discontent with the state of our "holiness"! Yes, we all know, as good Christians, that it is wrong to be discontented, but we do it all the time, and about areas that we have no business being discontented in!

How many times have you heard, during conversation with a brother or sister in Christ, a phrase similar to this: "Oh, if I just had more time to spend in the Word, then my faith would be so much stronger!" Or perhaps this one: "I would love to be able to find a way to devote myself more fully to serving the Lord, but I just haven't found the right outlet for ministry."

This is folly, and for two reasons. As Spurgeon reminds us tonight, the happiest Christian is also the holiest. The pursuit of holiness, for a child of God, is the pursuit of happiness! And yet, as I said before, we narrow our vision so much when we attempt to "analyze" our hearts and know our own souls. This is the first reason why the malcontent that we must fight against is so misleading. It is, first and foremost, an artificial set of conditions that we place on ourselves and our ability to let the Lord work in us. When we pray, asking God for more time to spend in the Word, thus making our faith stronger, we intentionally try to limit God's power. Why not ask, instead, simply that God would make our faith stronger? Let Him choose the ways, and the means. Granted, there is no way I would argue that a deeper study of God's Word would not bless any soul that attempts it, but rather my point is this: Why do we, who are warring constantly with ourselves and our indwelling sin, attempt to direct the work of the One who knows the very thoughts and desires of our hearts?

The second reason why this narrowing of our focus is so counterproductive is this: Discontent, and dissatisfaction, are two different entities. Dissatisfaction is a healthy state of mind that dispassionately views a problem, determines a solution, and then works with zeal to do what it may to change the situation and erase the problem. Dissatisfaction is being able to objectively view the world and say "this is not as God would have wanted it, therefore I make it my mission today to impact this world to bring it, so far as my feeble efforts will allow, to more closely resemble the original Design."

Discontent, by contrast, is nothing more than the weak and ineffectual whining of a heart not properly captivated. And, you may rest assured, Reader, that the devil dearly loves his discontented minions! Discontent is a fantastic weapon in the arsenal of the enemy, because it allows us to deceive ourselves into thinking that we are properly offended and frustrated with the world as it presently is, without giving us the heart, will and strength to go out and do something about changing it. As Spurgeon said, "no Christian is safe when his soul is lazy, and his God is far from him." Therefore, let us fight the inner discontentment that says to our souls "This is enough." And, furthermore, let us stop limiting the ways in which we allow God to work through our dissatisfaction to effect change both in us and in the world. It breeds discontent, because when we only allow God to come so far, and no farther, and then He chooses to ignore our prideful request, in favor of doing His own perfect will in our lives, regardless of what we want, we get offended and begin to question God: "I asked Him to help me spend more time in the Word, and instead He has put me in an office full of non-Christians who just bug me to death all day?" How would this scenario play out if the Christian realized that here, in another way, was indeed the answer to his prayer? Let us never forget that God works in mysterious ways, HIS wonders (not the wonders that we hope He'll allow us to be a part of) to perform.

Monday, June 8, 2009


Welcome to God Between The Lines. This blog will be used to share with the readers some of the messages and thoughts that I glean from reading "Morning and Evening" by Charles H. Spurgeon. I've been reading this particular devotional for about a month or so now, and I have many times paused and wished that I had the means to share with those who might be interested a particularly meaningful passage.

For those of you who are unfamiliar with this book, I highly recommend it as a devotional. God is truly to be found between the printed lines of this book!

For those of you who are familiar with Spurgeon and his devotional, I am reading through an updated and revised edition, so if I quote a passage and it doesn't match your own copy of M&E, that's why.


June 8th - Evening

I have been wrestling personally lately with the desire for the praise of men (John 12:42-43). This is one of the constant battles in the Christian life, as the "old man" within us becomes gradually conformed to the image of Jesus Christ. I find myself almost instinctively looking to friends and family to comfort and encourage me when I am feeling down. Rather than turning my eyes to the only Person who can truly heal my hurts, and restore my peace, I reach out to those around me and get disappointed when they can't or won't help me the way I think I need to be helped. In fact, just today, I was discussing this very tendency with a close friend and wondering what I could do about it.

So I turn in my M&E to the entry for this evening and what should I discover but that Spurgeon has chosen to address this very topic! Here's what Spurgeon has to say:

"...does the Creator expect the creature to fulfill His promise for Him? No; He who makes the promise always fulfills it by His own unaided omnipotence. If He speaks, it is done...God has promised to supply our needs and we look to the creature to do what God has promised to do; and then, because we perceive the creature to be weak and feeble, we engage in unbelief."

Why, then, in the light of this promise, do we constantly (do I constantly) focus on others to provide solace when I'm done, or to give me confirmation when I do something good? Is it not, as Spurgeon said, basic unbelief?

I pray, tonight that the Lord will help my unbelief, and I pray that I would see, and come to know, the true meaning of finding my all in God. As God said to His people in the Book of Numbers: "Now you shall see whether My word will come true for you or not." And the resounding answer, based on God's goodness and neverending faithfulness, is that His word will ALWAYS come true for us!