Kill The Chaos!

Chaos is disorder, confusion, and turmoil. Sometimes we cause our own chaos. Sometimes we are thrust—reluctantly and unexpectedly—into chaotic storms created by others.

Chaos blocks everyday spiritual growth! On our spiritual pathway towards peace, we must consciously resist chaos, refusing to allow it to invade our space. And, when we are protective of those we care about, we refuse to allow chaos to engulf their lives.

Today, I lift you up in finding and sharing this solitude of the soul! Come, step into the rhythm and quietness of that peculiar peace which only God offers. As we seek to kill chaos, I invite you to look at the world through what Dr. Gardner Taylor called “God-colored glasses.” Chaos evaporates when it encounters “God’s climate.”

I was privileged to hear Dr. Taylor deliver many sermons in person. Newsweek and Time named him one of the greatest preachers in the world. The New York Times called him the “lion of the pulpit.” He was unparalleled in delivering the Gospel, the Good News, the evangelion.

One day, several years ago, I got the idea of calling Concord Baptist Church in Brooklyn to ask about a particular sermon. I assumed the church had archived audiotapes of his messages. Dialing the number, I expected to reach a receptionist or answering device. Suddenly, on the other end of the phone, I heard that deep, booming, recognizable voice: “Concord, Taylor speaking!”

What?! Dr. Taylor? Answering the telephone? Too stunned to speak, confusion and utter shock set in. I hang up. Yes, I hung up on Gardner Calvin Taylor!

Despite the lingering embarrassment, I still find encouragement in Dr. Taylor’s works. He wrote: “Knowing God means, at least in part, seeing things as God sees them. Our lives must be grounded in an eternal purpose that even the fitful moods of earth otherwise cannot alter.”

That light of God’s love kills the chaos that brings ”a midnight” to our hearts. Dr. Taylor wrote: when “life is dark, murky, and foggy…This is not to say that God does not allow us our hot, fretful moods, when we pound the table before His presence, angry, feeling wronged… Our Calvary may be painful and lonely, our course rough and cruel, but God can and will heal our hurts and soothe our sorrows and turn our grief into glad hosannas.”

I have pounded the table some recently. When chaos comes sailing into your life out of some dark whirlwind, the response that kills chaos is Hope. Hope is a weapon of the soul. If chaos is a fire, Hope is the water hose. Slay it!

Kill The Chaos Post-Note

The above post is a column I wrote for the September, 2017, edition of “Nashville Christian Family.” (See www.christianfamilynashville.com) Because of the word length limit I was working on, I cut it short. For my blog readers, here is little more of how I want to encourage you.

Hope, for believers, is not merely wishful thinking. It means knowing that God is faithful, even in chaos. Hope is expecting God to fulfill all of His great promises. It is having confidence that His love will dispel every negative circumstance that paralyzes us.

Yes, bad things still happen to good people. Hope knows that God promises to right every wrong. Those with evil motives can accuse you falsely. Hope gives us strength to focus, even in chaotic times—not on how the situation looks at this moment, but upon the truth that God fights our every battle. He will have the last say.

When our faith is weak and the reason for our confidence seems gone, Hope is the solution we find in the Word. Hope guides when we don’t know what to do. Hope is the prize when it looks as if Satan, up to this moment, has won every victory.

Although David is not mentioned as the author of Psalm 42, it is distinctively his writing style. This psalm is addressed to the chief musician. I can think of nothing better to sing about than Hope for the hurt, troubled believer. When we find ourselves struggling with a crisis of courage, or with fear and doubt, this is indeed a song of deliverance. Hope in God!

Psalm 42:11 New Revised Standard Version
Why are you cast down, O my soul,
and why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God; for I shall again praise him,
my help and my God.

This scripture is repeated in Psalm 42:5 and 43:5.

Quotes from Dr. Gardner C. Taylor are taken from: “Faith In The Fire: Wisdom for Life,” Taylor, Gardner C., Hay House, Inc. 2011

Abraham was Fierce!

The patriarch, Abraham, leads the way in creating a lasting relationship with God. In my mind, Abraham was a rock star! I say that, not simply because he is chronicled among the icons of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. I declare it because I am in awe of the audacity of his friendship with God. His lifetime of greatness was wrapped up in God’s promises.

God promised to make Abraham a blessing and to grant him boundless gifts in many areas. God promised to bless him personally, bless his name, bless his descendants, and to bless all the earth through him. God did all that…and more.

The portrait painted in Genesis of Abraham is strikingly candid. No airbrushing, no puffing him up. He was, by no means, a flawless man. He had fears. Failures. Missteps. Nevertheless, when God said, “Leave your kingdom, your kindred, and your dwelling and journey to a land I have not even told you about yet”—Abraham’s response was: “Okay.” Abraham believed God and that unflinching trust was credited to his spiritual account.

Some of the most wonderfully written and deeply moving stories in the Word are told about Abraham—the birth of his son, Isaac, and then complete surrender in the test to sacrifice Isaac.

When God called Abraham to go, he went. In my personal life, my husband and I left our very own Ur of the Chaldees (in our case, it was Marion, Ohio) and set out on a journey of faith. God has, indeed, proved faithful.

In sharing the story of Abraham, students, seekers, scholars and teachers will all find value in the pamphlet available from Rose Publishing entitled, Abraham: A Journey of Faith. There are maps and a timeline of his life, a description of God’s covenant, and examples of Abraham’s strengths and weaknesses. I can see myself in Sarah. When God’s plan tarries, I have said to God—“That’s okay, Lord. You’re really going to like my plan better anyway.”

This foldout pamphlet is perfect for any teaching moment or for any Bible student to grow in knowledge and understanding. The pamphlet’s price is small enough to share multiple copies with classes or friends. You can check it out and order copies on Amazon here: http://bit.ly/amazon-abraham. Or on the Rose Publishing website here: http://bit.ly/Rose-Abraham.
Free weekly e-charts are available at http://www.rose-publishing.com/eCharts.