discipline (3)

Is God Stirring Your Nest?

Don’t get too comfortable. That seems to be what God is saying to many of us these days. He’s reminding us that our comfort zones can easily become our coffins if things aren’t shaken up from time to time.

A beautiful Scripture passage describes this very uncomfortable process. After providing an assurance of God’s great love for us as “the apple of His eye,” it goes on to depict Him as a mother eagle teaching her babies to fly: Like an eagle that stirs up its nest and hovers over its young, that spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft” (Deuteronomy 32:10-11).

Picture the scene, which you may be able to relate to: Some baby eagles were enjoying life in their comfortable, well-protected nest, on a mountaintop high above the mundane life of lesser birds. Kept warm and well fed by the mother eagle, they remarked to each other, “It doesn’t get any better than this!”

Just about that time, something drastically changed. The mother eagle, once so nurturing and protective, suddenly went on a rampage. She horrified her chicks by stirring up—and even destroying—their comfy nest.

When it seemed like things couldn’t get any worse, the mother took an even more drastic step, casting each of the baby eagles high into the thin air above the canyon below. One by one, the terrified chicks plunged downward to what seemed like a certain death.

However, at the very last moment, their mother intervened. As the verse depicts, it “spreads its wings to catch them and carries them aloft.” This process happened over and over, until the young eagles finally understood their mother’s objective: “teaching them to fly” (Deuteronomy 32:11 MSG).

Take a moment to assess where you are in this process. Have you been resting comfortably in your nest? That’s not necessarily a bad thing, because the Bible says our Good Shepherd knows we need to “lie down” at times (Psalm 23:2).

But maybe you sense that God is stirring your nest, making you uncomfortable with the surroundings that once seemed so carefree and secure. If so, you must remember this: He loves you! You are the apple of His eye, and He wants what is best for you. That’s what this process is all about.

Yes, sometimes you might feel like you are plunging to your destruction, but the Lord has other things in mind. He’s teaching you to fly! It’s time to grow up and learn to soar like all eagles are meant to do.

If you don’t understand everything that’s happening to you right now, that’s okay. You’re not alone. Some things don’t seem to make sense at the time, but God will explain them later, whether in this life or in the next.

So wait upon the Lord, and He will renew your strength (Isaiah 40:31). Then get ready to SOAR!


Read more…

Reflecting for Spiritual Growth

If you're like me your day is most often a whirlwind. Alarm goes off.  Shower.  Quiet time.  Dress.  Work.  Lunch.  Work some more.  Go home.  Chores/homework.  Dinner.  More chores/homework.  Bed.  Repeat process. 

In the transition times between the various stages of the day my thoughts are mostly consumed with the next thing that has to be done.  Most days the topic of my quiet time is swept up by the various tasks of the day within a couple of hours.  This often led to frustration in my spiritual life.  I just couldn't get why I wasn't making any discernible progress in growing to be more like Christ; for instance, why I was still struggling with my attitude when I identified it as a problem to work on 6 months earlier.

Several months ago I made the decision to intentionally slow down my day at points and reflect on a passage of Scripture, or a truth of some sort, or simply an adjustment in thinking or behavior that I felt the Lord wanted me to make.  Even though these were short moments of reflection, only 2-5 minutes apiece, the effect on my spiritual growth was immense.  The Lord began to connect the dots between the truths of Scripture and my attitude, my behavior, and my actions in a way that I had not experienced in a long time. 

Taking a few moments to reflect provides a unification point for your day.  It provides an opportunity for the Holy Spirit to bring the truth of Scripture to bear on your life in increasingly applicable ways.  Reflection makes you more sensitive to spiritual realities and the struggles of those around you because you are intentionally reflecting on spiritual things.

Reflection can take several forms:

1)Praying through Scripture-- this is the method I use most of the time.  Weekly, I identify a chunk of verses to memorize that use as the focus of my reflection times.

2)General prayer-- taking the time to bring "mundane" elements of your day to the Lord.  This allows you to begin to discern spiritual realities behind events you don't normally think of as having spiritual components.

3)Journaling-- provides an opportunity to reflect on the day as a whole and what the Lord is teaching you in a manner which is easy to reflect on even months down the road. 

What other forms of reflection have you found to be helpful in your walk with Christ?

Read more…


I was talking with a friend the other day who is the same age as I am, 42.  We were discussing how blessed we were to be doing exactly what God had called us to do.  There was no pride in ourselves but there was great joy that God had led us to our own particular callings and we were actually enjoying them.  A lot of guys get to our age, which is mid-life, and still have no idea what they want to do or what they are supposed to do.  Then comes the “mid-life crisis”.  Some get depressed, some get a new car, some get a new wife.  I am blessed that I did not have to “get” these things to help me figure out my mid-course direction.  I think one key reason involves the subject of my last blog, “The Single Most Important Discipline.”  I would have no idea what to do with my life were it not for God and the leading of His Spirit.  I can take no credit for His voice or even for the strength to obey, all the credit goes to Christ, whose Spirit lives in me.  But the constant, daily voice of God that comes through prayer and studying His Word has an incalculable cumulative effect on your life.

So what if you are at mid-life and struggling to know what to do with your life?  I would say begin to meditate on these startling words from Romans 13:11-12,


Besides this you know the time, that the hour has come for you to wake from sleep. For salvation is nearer to us now than when we first believed. 12 The night is far gone; the day is at hand. So then let us cast off the works of darkness and put on the armor of light.”


It’s time to wake up and listen to the voice of God.  The truth is that we ARE getting older and therefore closer to death, and therefore closer to our salvation.  Don’t waste any more time.  Cast off the works of darkness you have been struggling with.  Go hard after God.  Spend the rest of your life living out His will.  Dive into serving Christ and furthering His Kingdom.  It’s not too late.  Go ahead, put on the armor of light, join Christ and His forces and fight the good fight.  You may get tired and battle weary. It will cost you sacrifice and discipline.  But the rewards last for eternity.  There is nothing greater to give your life to than the call and service of Christ.


All for Jesus,


Read more…