Instrument Rated – Part 9
He said, “If you listen carefully to the voice of the LORD your God and do what is right in his eyes, if you pay attention to his commands and keep all his decrees, I will not bring on you any of the diseases I brought on the Egyptians, for I am the LORD, who heals you.” Exodus 15:26
Instrument rated for sickness. Many a healthy person has been cut down in the prime of life by cancer, heart attack, stroke, or some other debilitating disease. But there’s a way to be ready for this storm, a way not paved with fear, a way that has so prepared you that you can hear the diagnosis of your doctor and still have a sense of God’s peace in your heart. You know what your instrument panel, the Bible, says about it. You know what to do, how to act, and what to say. You’ve been prepared for this moment. Now, if a pilot hasn’t faithfully maintained his aircraft, then it will go down in the storm no matter what his instrument panel tells him. So if you have taken good care of your body, which is the temple of the Holy Spirit, then you can go to God with confidence, standing on His Word and asking Him to heal you. Eventually we will all die of something, but you don’t have to die before your time – which is in God’s hands not yours! God has promised us ‘long life’ (Psalm 91:16) here but more so in eternity. The Bible says, ‘He… healed all who were sick, that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by Isaiah the prophet, saying: “…He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses”’ (Matthew 8:16-17). You say, ‘I know some good Christians who prayed for healing, and didn’t get it.’ That’s true. And the most spiritually mature among us can’t explain why. God stamps some things: ‘Will explain later!’ But as long as you’re living, you must stand on the Word of God, which says, ‘I am the Lord that healeth thee’.
Heavenly Father, help me prepare and be able to face any illness or sickness knowing You are there to heal and have an eternity planned out for me. Thank You in Jesus’ Name, Amen
Instrument Rated – Part 8
Fathers, do not exasperate your children; instead, bring them up in the training and instruction of the Lord. Ephesians 6:4
Instrument rated for parenthood. Parents today face unique problems that no other generation has. But God’s Word is timeless, so: 1) Enforce discipline. ‘Whom the Lord loves He corrects…’ (Proverbs 3:12). A famous evangelist says when he was growing up his mother had a belt that hung on the wall of their home with a text written above it: ‘I need thee every hour’. Teach your child that every decision has consequences. And don’t rescue them from their consequences, for life won’t let them off the hook when they do wrong. 2) Teach them God’s ways. ‘Train up a child in the way that he should go: and…he will not depart from it’ (Proverbs 22:6). Give your child a taste of the things of God when they are young, and when they’re older the world won’t be able to satisfy their taste. 3) Commit them to the Lord. This isn’t easy; it’s like allowing them to take the family car out for the first time. But there comes a point where God, not you, must speak to them and guide them. They’ll either learn the easy way or the hard way. And even if they do go astray, God promises that they’ll come back again (Jeremiah 31:16-17). So pray, ‘Lord, they’re Yours now. I’ve taught them and set an example, now I give them to You. Deal with them according to Your perfect will’. Does that mean everything will be okay from that point on? Maybe, and maybe not. But like a pilot who flies according to his instruments, you must stand on the Word of God for your children.
Heavenly Father, my children, they’re Yours now. I’ve taught them and set an example, now I give them to You. Deal with them according to Your perfect will. Amen
Instrument Rated – Part 7
Enjoy life with your wife, whom you love, all the days of this meaningless life that God has given you under the sun — all your meaningless days. For this is your lot in life and in your toilsome labor under the sun. Ecclesiastes 9:9
Instrument rated for marriage. Today Christian marriages are falling apart at the same rate as non-Christian marriages. And those who go through it need our love, not our condemnation. But clearly, something’s wrong that needs to be put right! Two of the leading causes of divorce are financial stress and pornography. When you become overextended by purchasing things you can’t afford and don’t need, you’re heading into trouble. And when you open your mind to sexual fantasy, you entertain images your mate can’t live up to, and your relationship begins to deteriorate. Solomon writes, ‘Catch us the foxes, the little foxes that spoil the vines, for our vines have tender grapes’ (Song of Solomon 2:15). Notice the word ‘tender’. When we fail to treat one another tenderly, graciously, lovingly, considerately, and with respect, the plane we’re flying in together takes a nosedive. A neglected partner is vulnerable to anyone who comes along. Resentment wells up and takes over. If God’s Word doesn’t work in your home and in your marriage, then it won’t work anywhere else! An instrument-rated Christian understands that the secret of having a good marriage is not just in finding the right person, but in becoming the right person. And that can only happen when you make a daily commitment to living by the principles of God’s Word and demonstrating the fruits of the Spirit (Galatians 5:22). The story is told of one spouse who said to the other, ‘I never knew what real happiness was until I married you – now it’s too late.’ Unless you want that to be your story, start tending the home fires.
Heavenly Father, help me to stay focused on You in the development of my closest relationships and treat others tenderly. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Instrument Rated – Part 6
Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. John 4:23
Instrument rated for discouragement. God has promised to give you ‘…beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness…’ (Isaiah 61:3). Satan can’t stand it when someone other than himself is receiving praise and honor, so the spirit of heaviness will lift when you begin to praise your God. It will fall off you like a garment. The weight will be gone. Your pity party will turn to a scene of gladness. Here’s something remarkable: Jesus said, ‘…The Father seeketh such to worship Him…in spirit and in truth’ (John 4:23-24). When you begin to worship God – instead of you seeking Him, He starts seeking you! And since He knows where to find you at all times, He blesses you, strengthens you and causes you to rise above your discouragement. You can literally praise your way through the storm! When an instructor is teaching a new student to fly, he constantly reminds the student to keep the nose of the plane up. New students are likely to keep the nose of the plane down so they can better see where they are going. Also, the plane has a natural tendency to fall – if you let it. When you keep your head up and your eyes on Jesus, your heart begins to rejoice even in the toughest test. It takes effort, but it’s worth it. Remember, you don’t always win every fight in the first round. But if you hang in there and keep answering the bell with praise, you will be victorious. Why? Because the fight was fixed by Jesus a long time ago.
Heavenly Father, help me keep my head up and focused on You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen
Instrument Rated – Part 5
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. Isaiah 41:10
Instrument rated for depression. Depression, if left unchecked, can cause you to do some crazy things, like walk away from a good job or a healthy marriage, or turn to alcohol and drugs. The dictionary defines depression as ‘to be flattened vertically or dispirited’. Now you know why sometimes you don’t want to get out of bed in the morning. The word ‘depression’ is not mentioned in Scripture. The closest definition to it is ‘heaviness’. ‘Heaviness in the heart of man maketh it stoop…’ (Proverbs 12:25). The toughest battles you will ever fight will be those with your own mind. What’s the answer? Start speaking God’s Word – out loud! ‘For He Himself has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you”. So we may boldly say: “…The Lord is my helper; I will not fear. What can man do to me?”’ (Hebrews 13:5-6). Often people say the Lord has promised never to leave me nor forsake me, then they go right back to discussing their problem. In so doing they invalidate the power of what God said. The Holy Spirit is authorized to act on God’s Word when you begin to say what God has said.’ When you dwell on your problem, it’s like a pilot flying by sight and senses. But when you agree with God’s Word and begin to stand on it, you’re flying by your instrument panel. So get into God’s Word, get God’s Word into you, and start speaking it over your situation. ‘My word…will not return to me empty…but will…achieve the purpose for which I sent it’ (Isaiah 55:11).
Heavenly Father, help me to know Your Word and to use Your Word. In Jesus’ Name, Amen