Saturday, April 27, 2013

Who is Your Enabler?

A woman from church recently encouraged me that God had equipped me to accomplish certain tasks that lie ahead.

Her words were “apples of gold in settings of silver” – exactly what I needed to hear.

I munched on that golden apple, relishing the taste of knowing God had prepared me. I thanked Him for enabling me.

Social norms immediately swept through my mind, denouncing my use of the term enabling, but I resisted the taint now associated with the word.

Merriam-Webster lists the following definition for Enable: 1 a: to provide with the means or opportunity … b: to make possible, practical, or easy … c: to cause to operate … 2: to give legal power, capacity, or sanction to

The next entry in the MW dictionary adds an r to the end of enable and the word becomes enabler, the less-than-flattering term that today bears a load of negative connotations.

Again, I resisted. God enables us but not in a passively harmful way. He empowers us, strengthens us, gives us what we need to serve Him and grow in faith.

One morning soon after, my devotional reading took me to John 6 and the account of people deserting Jesus because of something He said. He explained to His disciples that He knew even some of them didn’t really believe.

“This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him” John 6:65 NIV).

Though surprised to see the word enable, I was thrilled to find it. Vindicated somehow.

Of course God enables us. How else would we have strength for anything?

The choice is ours, the power is His.

Saturday, April 13, 2013

What Are You Watching?

“Pursue Me,” the Lord whispered in my heart.

Considering this call, I remembered that we humans tend to follow our eyes. We are drawn toward the object of our viewing, hence the great care and money advertisers put into visual imagery.

I wondered, has the Lord not been the object of my viewing?

“Eyes on the prize,” says the world. Nowhere else is this worn but worthy cliché more vividly displayed than in the rodeo arena. Young bull riders are cautioned not to look at the ground when they’re strapped to the shifting hide of a snot-slinging bovine.


Because that’s where they’ll end up—on the ground. Their bodies will follow their focus, so they tuck their chins and lock eyes on that hairy hump just above their fistful of bull rope.

The principle applies to our spirit. We lean toward that upon which we are focused. And so the Lord says, “Pursue Me.”

The prophet Isaiah heard similar words from God:

“Look to me and be saved.”    Isaiah 45:22

“But Lord,” I cry. “I’m so busy running after my personal goals.”

No wonder I’m confused, dismayed, frightened. Where did I get off track? Where did I turn aside and lose sight of Him? When did gold, gusto and glory blind me to His leading?

Helen H. Lemmel got it right:

Turn your eyes upon Jesus,
Look full in His wonderful face,
And the things of earth will grow strangely dim,
In the light of His glory and grace.

Thank you, Lord, for not giving up on me.