This month, the Christianwriters.com blog chain chose swirling as a theme. Several topics come to mind as I consider spiritual principles related to this theme.
First is our modern lifestyle. We are a nation and world always on the go, always with something to keep us busy. We have cooking and cleaning to do, work, going out to be entertained. If we have kids we have to take them to their activities, help them with homework, and all the other things associated with raising children. Then there are church activities and meetings, especially if we take an active role in the church.
We swirl about our busy lives, and what time we do have free we then devote to our television screens. We perhaps cry out to God for His help in our circumstances, but often His voice is drowned out in our daily lives, and it seems like life is trying to spiritually kill us.
1Kings 19:10-12 So Elijah said, “I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take my life.”
God replied, “Go out, and stand on the mountain before the Lord.” And behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind tore into the mountains and broke the rocks in pieces before the Lord – but the Lord was not in the wind; and after the wind and earthquake, but the Lord was not in the earthquake; And after the earthquake a fire, but the Lord was not in the fire. Then after the fire, a still small voice.
Psalm 46:10 Be still, and know that I am God….
We need to take time out every day to sit quietly with the Lord. When we constantly go, go, go and do, do, do, we cannot hear the still, small voice of God speaking to us. This incorporates not only praying to Him, but also sitting silently listening for Him to speak to us, either through His written Word or through a proceeding Word directly from Him.
The second topic which comes to mind ties to the first, temptation. There is an old adage, “Idle hands are the devil’s playground.” But it is just as true that constant busy-ness often leaves little room for thinking about God and His Kingdom, His ways. First comes the initial temptation, the first thought. If we do not follow the advice of 2Cor 10:5 by taking our thoughts captive in obedience to Christ, they may quickly become a swirling whirlwind bent on destruction of not only ourselves, but others, too.
By taking time out each day to acknowledge God, we open the door to continued communication with Him throughout the rest of the day. It is much easier to go to God for wisdom at the moment it is needed when we care enough about Him to want to just spend time with Him. Crucifying temptation when it comes, going to Him for strength and power to put it to death, is so much easier while mainaining a constant awareness of His presence.
World events can also cause our minds to swirl about. Much of the world is on the verge of total economic collapse, while some places have totally collapsed. Violence and sin run rampant all around us. We struggle to pay our bills, fight to feed our families, and worry that the violence will spread even to us. Others are stuck in the midst of the violence, perhaps even yielding to the temptation to join in.
Scripture says in the last days, when God arises to shake the earth mightily, that everything which can be shaken will be shaken, so only that which cannot be shaken remains. Luke 21 says men’s hears will melt with fear of the things which are coming on the earth. Other Scriptures warn similarly.
Scripure calls widespread tribulation such as we see times of testing, of proving and demonstrating where our faith lies. As we see troubles swirling all about us and even catching us up, do we firmly keep trusting in God our Rock and refuge? Can we be like Job, who – in the midst of the loss of all his children, his money, and his health – declared, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away: Blessed be the name of the Lord;” will we stand firm and say, “Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him?” Will we be like the three young Hebrew men who, about to be thrown into the fiery furnace, declared, “The Lord will deliver… but if not, still we will not bow down to idols.”
Do not be caught up by every swirling wind in the world, but keep anchored to the solid rock foundation of Christ.