From The Desk of Dave McLean
We by nature are Reaction based in the way we live, and we develop this from childhood. We react to our circumstances and surroundings and develop our own system of carrying on in this world. Some rise higher, some remain lower, some have little struggle while others struggle much. You see this in our families, in our relationships, in the world’s religions, in our workplaces, in the church, in our communities and in our government. Humanism is the name for this. Man’s thoughts, man’s ideas and man’s ways. We bounce from idea to idea as each fails. Humanism is a Reaction based faith!
On the other hand, Christianity is the answer to our failure. Christianity is Action based. It does not React! We may react but God doesn’t. We are called to Act and stand upon God’s Truth. Jesus is our example, in His Gospels, the book of Acts and the Lord’s teachings. Everyone around Jesus Reacted; Jesus Acted! He acted upon His Fathers will and wishes- upon Truth. Period! Joh 5:30 “I can of mine own self do nothing: as I hear, I judge: and my judgment is just; because I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which hath sent me.” No room for Reacting here, just Acting upon the Father’s Will!
The guests at A Ray of Hope have typically come from a hard background. Every person that has stayed with us, upon opening up I find hurt in their childhood. Invariably they develop a coping mechanism to “survive” their circumstances and hurt. It is a reaction based system and it can manifest itself in so many ways. Drugs, alcohol, rebellion, running from problems, self-hurt, opening the door to satan and the list goes on. Sadly, we develop our system of survival and it becomes our “go to” out of habit. When that trigger gets pulled, we often don’t even think, we react, because it’s what we’ve trained ourselves to do.
We ALL do it to varying degrees in various ways. Peter did it when he was walking on the water. Mat 14:30 But seeing the wind, he became afraid, and beginning to sink, he cried out, saying, "Lord, save me!" He rose above his initial fear in faith and started walking on water, yet seeing the wind he reacted in fear and began to sink. He took his eyes off Jesus. It is so easy to sink ourselves in so many ways. I do it daily! Can you imagine what our walk would be like if we could REALLY put away our Fear and Reaction and were strong in Faith and Action!
I’ve worked with hundreds of people over the years who were desperate for change, and yet upon realizing that it takes change to bring change, they like Peter, sink. It’s heartbreaking to watch. But we must continue to throw out the lifeline of the Lord in hope that they will be desperate enough to embrace the change. Old habits die hard, but in Christ, they will die, provided we continue to press in to Him.
This is a journey of faith each of us must personally walk. We can see the faith of others and we can encourage others in the faith, but it really comes down to the personal fortitude to make good decisions ourselves and walk in faith with Christ. We can chuckle when we think of Peter sinking in that rough sea. But he was the one who had the faith to get out of the boat and actually WALK on that rough sea- as awkward as that might have been. The others in the boat didn’t and I must add I have never walked on water myself.
So there’s the battle of faith and the difference between Reacting in fear and Acting in Faith. Keeping our eyes off of our circumstances and on the Lord. The evil one wants us to fail and the Lord is providing everything we need for success. While the choice should be easy, the battle is real.
Pray for A Ray of Hope and our guests. Pray for the faith for those of us serving and the faith of our guests who are trying to walk on the water toward Jesus. It can be too easy to see the wind and become afraid and begin to sink into the old ways that brought them here in the first place. Faith can be hard because it’s unfamiliar and unseen, but Faith is the difference between Reacting and Acting, between sinking or walking on water. In Christ, all things are possible! Amen? Amen!
What Christmas means to me. The main thing is we are celebrating Jesus’ birthday, but that does not mean that it is actually his birthday. That is just the day we celebrate it. Most people only think about all the presents they get instead of thinking about what they are going to give. I do that most of the time too and completely forget about giving. But we still need to think about all the people who don’t get any presents at all. Christmas is about giving (like Jesus did) and celebrating his birthday.