Aaron Summers

No Tag Backs

In Chrisian Life on January 25, 2016 at 8:48 am

VolkswagenBeetle-001

Do you remember playing “punch bug”?  Every time you see one of these you call out the color, ie “white bug”.  The first to do so punches the other player in the shoulder.  Ahhhh…good times.  Then, someone decided it was cool to add “no backsies” or “no tag backs”.  Basically, the way we played it meant that the car was unusable for a period of time.  For us, it was the rest of the day.  The point was this:

Once something has been called it is not to be called back.

As I am reading through scripture, I came across the moment Pharaoh was getting tired of the plagues on him and his country.  He called in Moses and made a grand declaration,

27 Then Pharaoh quickly summoned Moses and Aaron. “This time I have sinned,” he confessed. “Thelord is the righteous one, and my people and I are wrong. 28 Please beg the lord to end this terrifying thunder and hail. We’ve had enough. I will let you go; you don’t need to stay any longer.”

If you don’t know the whole story, I suggest reading it.  Let me say this, he was caught and he knew it.  In that moment he wanted to say whatever was necessary to get out of his problem.

Punch bug, no backsies!

Often, our prayers are just 911 or “Get me out of this” statements.  We know what got us in that mess.  Now, we want to be out of it.  So we pray.  We beg God to help us.  Like Moses, God knows we don’t really mean it.  We are only saying it to remove the pain and pressure.  Once that is gone, we go right back to where we were before.  What we must realize is that God doesn’t honor backsies.  Pharaoh had to endure more costly moments because he did not truly believe.  We like Pharaoh let things get in the way:

  • His pride got in the way!
  • His politics got in the way!
  • His prejudice got in the way!

We do the same.  Start today my stopping “backsies” with God.  Make your confession.  Mark your repentance.  Mean it.

Achieving Your Dream

In Commitment on January 18, 2016 at 10:20 am

achieve-dreams

Being Martin Luther King, Jr Day we are all going to hear excerpts from the “I have a dream” speech.  Did you know that God has a dream for you?  Have you ever considered achieving His dream as a priority for you?  I didn’t for a long time.  I was chasing the money.  I was chasing the prestige.  I was chasing the honors.  All I wanted was a job that paid a lot of money.  I was on track for medical school.  I had taken all the classes necessary to get in a good university.  The school I then attended boasted a 100% entrance to medical school rate!  I was set.  The final choice was going to be whether I would follow anesthesiology or neurology.  Then came God…

Abraham was given a wonderful prophecy for his life.  God wanted to reach the world through this man’s life.  He called him out and led him down a path.  However, Abraham had a responsibility in this process.  Would he follow through with the plan?  God had chosen him.  God stated that through his child the world would be blessed.

Awareness

Now Isaac is of age and ready to be married.  Abraham readies a servant to go and find a wife for his son.  Our first step in achieving the dream is awareness.  We have to be aware of the dream God has set for us, for our children, for our family.  Have you come to grips with the reality that God’s dream for you is the superlative of whatever you could dream up?  Abraham knew the prophecy.  He had spent time considering the prophecy.  It wasn’t going to be Ishmael (that was Abraham’s attempt).  It was going to be Isaac and he knew that his son needed a wife who would understand the plan and be willing to go forward with the plan of God rather than distract Isaac from the plan.  Are you aware of God’s dream for you?  He is not hiding it.  Just ask.

Obedience

Abraham has to do, maybe not the heavy lifting, but some lifting anyway.  He needed to obey the plan.  He tells the servant to go and find a wife.  What if none can be found?  He would be released from the terms of the agreement.  Could Isaac just go live with the wife’s family if she didn’t want to return to a foreign land?  NO.  Absolutely NO!  This point of obedience was vital.  God had promised the land in the dream.  How could it be managed from a distance?  How often are we interested in the dream but not the work to achieve that dream?  The complications are often too much for us and we short-circuit the blessing.

Stick With It

It would have been easy to take a shortcut.  It IS easy to take one today.  However, you cannot achieve the dreams of God for your life without a little sacrifice.  We must stick with the plan.  Abraham, I am certain, had faith in God’s plan but his human anxiety was present.  He is sending off this servant to find the next part of the process, but what happens if…?  We all play that scenario in our heads right? STOP!  Trust the process of God.  Stick with it.

Finding Real Friends During Grief

In Grief, Life and Culture on January 4, 2016 at 12:56 pm

grief1

Grief, it has been said, is the price we pay for love.  All of us will face it.  Some of you are facing it right now.  Our western culture does not handle grief well.  We push it away, press it down, or ignore it.  While Kubler-Ross has her stages of grief, I want to share with you 3 arenas of grief.

Job was a proud man with much to be thankful for in his life.  He had a good wife, many kids, and wealth beyond our knowledge.  On one fateful day it all was lost.  Even his wife turned sour and encouraged him to curse God and die.  Shortly after, he lost his health.  We read in God’s Word that “Job stood up and tore his robe in grief. Then he shaved his head and fell to the ground to worship.”

When we face loss and grief it plays out in 3 arenas all at the same time.  To ignore one of those arenas is dangerous and possibly harmful to your survival.

He tore his robe.

The emotional arena of grief is quite complex and I will not try to delineate it here.  I will say that it is extremely common.  The eastern peoples have great expressions of emotion and this is one of them.  Job stood up and tore his robes.  He was grieving.  For those who wish to think that grief can be handled coolly and logically are not living in reality.  There are tears.  There is weeping.  There is pain.

He shaved his head.

The physical arena of grief is necessary to understand.  Here, Job shaves his head.  A sign of submission.  Job is submitting to the sovereignty of God.  He is not happy but he is honorable.  Often, people today will make serious changes to the physical during grief.  From new workouts, to weight loss, to hair styles, to tattoos, there is a physical side to the grief process.  The problem today is that it fancies itself more akin to ancestral worship than it does to submission to a holy God.  Job’s next action proves this point.

He fell down and worshipped.

The spiritual arena of grief is often overlooked in the West.  Our Judeo-Christian system we have established provides answers for the deceased.  In these answers we have often made the incorrect judgment about God.  Because we believe in the sovereignty of God we easily move to the attempt to hold God accountable.  “If He is all good and all-powerful then” kind of thinking settles in.  Job just worshipped.  He fell down before a holy God spent emotionally, affected physically, and in need spiritually.  His near instant reaction was to open his hands before God and cry for help.  Instead, we tend to ball up our fists and shake them before God!

Conclusion

When the 3 friends arrive, they too tore their robes.  They also spread ashes on their heads as a sign with his shaven head.  However, they did not assist him spiritually, they accused.  You may have friends.  They may sit with you.  They might cry with you.  They might get a tattoo with you.  However, if these people do not ascend the hill to the throne of God with you they are not what you need.  May we ever be sensitive to all 3 arenas of need during times of grief.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 1,156 other followers

%d bloggers like this: