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Tag Archives: confused

A Different Kind of Outrage

Barbarism, desecration enormity, inhumanity and violence are all associated with outrage.  Death is one of the most common events which triggers this raw emotion.  While seventy percent of the protesters in North Carolina were bused in from out of state, this doesn’t mean that the parents and family who lost their son have released all of their frustrations.  Tragic events take time to cope with, heal and recovered from, yet there is another kind of outrage which often gets overlooked.

The people went to Bethel, where they sat before God until evening, raising their voices and weeping bitterly, Judges 21:2.

The grieving process affects individuals in varies ways.  Some mourn in silence while others heal quicker the more they can share the burden upon their hearts.  Yet, there are millions who have perish without the shedding of a tear.  According to the CDC, over 50 million babies have been aborted in America since 1973.  Although some woman who have shared their regrets during television interviews, there are no tombstones to remember those whose life never began, cut short by due to medical reasons or inconvenience.

“LORD, God of Israel,” they cried, “why has this happened to Israel? Why should one tribe be missing from Israel today?” – Judges 21:3

Whenever people are confused, God is either the first to blame or place to find refuge from their pain.  After the murder by an enemy of Israel, people of faith displayed a different kind of outrage.  Those who endured injustice in the Old Testament didn’t waver in seeking answers to their problems in life.  Rather, people of faith raised their voice in prayer, demanding and expecting answers.  This is a different kind of outrage which still has a place in understanding God’s plan and purpose for your life.

by Jay Mankus

 

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Where God’s Calling is Clearest

Skeptics will tend to agree with the words of 1 Samuel 3:1, “in those days the word of the Lord was rare.”  If these conditions exist today, how can someone discern or know if it is actually God’s voice calling out?  History provides 5 examples where God’s calling  is clearest.

1. In the Temple of the Lord, 1 Samuel 3:1-18.

Although just a boy, Samuel was raised in the temple.  Since his mentor was a priest, Samuel learned how to approach God, yet had never heard his voice.  On one ordinary night, Eli the priest introduced Samuel to the voice of the Lord.

2. Reading the Word of the Lord, 2 Kings 22:11-13.

Often, God is the first thing people cut from a busy schedule, allowing their Bible to collect dust on a shelf.  Time away from this book slowly reveals a shift in one’s actions, behavior and words.  After hidden for several years, Josiah finds a copy of the Old Testament hidden in a closet.  Astonished by the words he is reading, the king of Judea is moved by God to repent for the sins of his nation.

3. Retreating to a Remote Location, Mark 1:35-39 & 1 Kings 19:9-13.

To flee distractions and interruptions, Jesus regularly began his day in solitude, talking to God the Father.  This enabled the son of God to go where the Lord wanted Him daily.  Meanwhile, most retreat destinations are located in mountains or valleys, isolated from the hectic pace of life.  This atmosphere opens the door to listen for God’s still small voice.

4. Fasting and Worship, Nehemiah 1:4-11 & Acts 13:1-4.

Fasting is the practice of going without food for a set period to seek God’s will in a specific matter.  When you add worship to this equation, the Holy Spirit often opens up doors that were previous locked.  During a worship service, Paul and Barnabas each sensed a clear calling to become missionaries, sharing the good news of Jesus to a lost and dying world.

5. Keeping in Step with the Holy Spirit, Acts 8:26-31 & Galatians 5:25.

Whether you are in God’s house, fasting, praying, reading the Bible, retreating to recharge your spiritual batteries or in a state of worship, these environments provide unfiltered access to the Holy Spirit.  Essentially, this takes faith to the next level, becoming a doer of the word, Matthew 7:24.  Believers should test every voice, 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22, before accepting God’s calling, Isaiah 6:8.  If you think I’ve left any place out, please let me know under the comment section.

by Jay Mankus

 

 

Thy Way; not My Ways

Lately, I feel like a white rat being used for a psychology experiment.  Lab Technicians are observing my progress as I work my way through a labyrinth.  As I attempt to get from point A, unemployment, to point B, a full time position which utilizes my God given talents, I keep running into dead ends.  The moment I think I have arrived, God puts up another road block similar to Acts 16:6-7, whispering, “this is not the path I have chosen for you.”

Befuddled, clueless and dumbfounded, I am running out of options.  Though I am becoming an expert in writing cover letters, my percentages of interest these emails have generated makes me feel like an amateur fisherman who is being toyed with by smarter fish.  Since my ways are failing daily, Proverbs 19:21, I hope the growing pains I am encountering end soon as I move aside toward Yahweh’s way.

As my trial nears a full calendar year tomorrow, the words of the apostle Paul in Philippians 2:12-13 have a deeper meaning for me.  Trying to work out your salvation is a grueling process, a clear indication that sanctification is a long way from completion.  Despite my best efforts, I am still a sinner in desperate need of a Savoir, Romans 6:23.  Therefore, while I currently attend the school of hard knocks, I long to graduate soon, seeking to become a Rhode scholar on Thy Way!

by Jay Mankus

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