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Surfing the Waves

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My friend from Mozambique said to me in the summer that if someone needs help he just `surfs over` and reaches down to pull them up. Just recently we were discussing what he means by this? Sometimes we are in trouble and we expect God to rescue us, yet somehow we are not in line with His will. Even so, he often rescues us anyway. Or maybe we are having a moan, a bit like spoilt children. You know the kind of thing, something or someone has disturbed our comfy den. A bit like Jonah, a brilliant evangelist, comfy where he was, probably with a good reputation. He got very grumpy with God! There is a kind of faith combined with a kind of submission that allows us to ride the wave. So, it`s possible that when the storms are raging, rather than being tossed around all over the place, we ride those waves, we `surf.`!
So how do we surf the wave?

Be Content, Yet Full of Faith
Paul said he had learnt to be content whether full or hungry, not that it might be Gods will he be hungry . . So there is a kind of submission to God whatever our circumstances. Not a submission to the circumstance, in a kind of defeatist way. In Philippians it says `every knee must bow`. We tend to think of this in the context of people and heaven. Of course it applies to heaven and Christ`s return, where in the presence of God every person and evil force will have no choice but to bow the knee. How many of us realise, however, that in the presence of God, during worship for example, that `every knee must bow`! Bring your impossible situation to God and declare to it, `you are in the presence of God and by the authority given me through Christ Jesus I command you to bow the knee!` This impossible situation could be an illness, a loved one/friend/colleague you dearly wish would come to Christ, perhaps it`s financial, or your job . . I would encourage you to hope again, bring it to the Lord once more, pray yourself and/or share again with someone and pray together.

We are in a Battle!
Next there is defiance. We can say that whatever the devil throws at us, we will praise God and consecrate whatever it is to God`s purposes. This way the devil is defeated every time. Even if we were to die, it would be to fulfil some glorious purpose. 1 Thessalonians 5:18

Keep a Careful Eye On Walking in His Will
Also we must always speak the truth in love and make sure we are being very careful to walk in God`s will. Proverbs 16:9 , Ephesians 4:15 Sometimes because we are so convinced we are `right`, we get out of line. I have done this through sheer enthusiasm, yabbering away to someone about some experience/idea I have had. Even when there is little or no pride in my heart when I do this, I need to stop and think. The answer usually, is to go away and spend time praying for the person/situation . . Or maybe I could say, `I feel I need to challenge and encourage you over this, is there a way we could do that together? or it could be that I have got this wrong, can we seek together?`

Dealing with Disappointment
Surfing is actually quite a difficult skill. After getting `up there` for the fist time what happens next? That`s right, we fall off! So the trick here is not to give up or assume we must have been on the wrong track. It`s easy to get diverted. Others around us might distract us. The devil is very subtle with his lies, often mixing in a bit of truth with what he whispers in our ear. For example, the conclusion that, `you`ll be amazed what God is teaching you through this, when you look back in a few years` mm. What`s really in this statement? Well there is some truth, God can use any circumstance and bring good out of it. What might be also suggested here is that God has directly allowed or brought this bad circumstance – an untruth! Part of our getting back on that surf board and rising up the wave is realising that God`s intentions toward us are always good! That might leave us with some questions, but, its the right place from which to have questions . .

Moving Forward with `Impossible Situations`
We are all close to/know of someone in an impossible situation, or we have faced/seen such things in the past. I don`t want to be insensitive, yet I feel we must talk about these things. There are two main mistakes we have made in this area that I can think of. Firstly, for fear of hurting a vulnerable person we do not pray in very much faith, we`d rather offer what we know we can give, which is fine, as far as it goes. Some times in these situations we offer platitudes that don`t help to build faith and sometimes these platitudes suggest untruths about God`s character. The other mistake we can make is diving in there with a `name it and claim it` attitude (don`t get me wrong there is some truth in that). We have, most of us, heard stories like this: from a good few years ago, where someone told a family that their terminally ill toddler was `healed` and just to `believe`, as well as some other unuseful statements. They clearly were not healed and later died. So, what do we do in the face of impossible situations? Firstly, some common sense, we should never suggest to someone that they do not have enough faith. We don`t have to have an answer for everything, if we did have an answer for everything we would be God! For example, we could say that we believe that God’s healing hand is at work and more prayer and seeking is needed. We can ask God for discernment and revelation, however. Once we have abandoned our lives to Christ we can keep on humbly believing for and working toward the best, whilst surrounding people with our upmost love and care. However, we are also in a battle and we need to be determined to move forward. We can be humble enough to learn from our brothers and sisters in other churches in this matter, especially those that, while suffering some defeats, are seeing some amazing victories, I would encourage you to read The Essential Guide to Healing Equipping all Christians to Pray for the Sick by Bill Johnson and Randy Clark

I guess this blog is getting a bit long now! So I will stop. I just pray you are blessed and are able to ride your board a little higher for a little longer!

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