COMFORT ZONE, DAILY ROUTINE, ALWAYS CONVENIENT, EASY DECISIONS, REGULAR SCHEDULE, ON TIME, NO DELAYS, EXPECTATIONS FULFILLED, NORMAL CHALLENGES, NO CRISES, NO PROBLEMS, NEVER INTERRUPTED, DIFFICULTIES AVOIDED, CATASTROPHES AVERTED, EVER PEACEFUL, COMPLETELY SERENE, NO TUMULT, ONLY TRANQUILITY, PERFECTLY PRACTICAL, HEAVEN ON EARTH!!!
Does that sound like a life to be desired and lived? Is that the life that The Lord promised we would have and experience? Does it describe your life you’re living, here on this earth? If it does, we need to meet and talk and I’ll buy the coffee and scones! Because, it’s never been the life that I’ve experienced, nor anyone that I know or have known! That, is not real life, not in this world anyway, but a complete fantasy, therefore, it’s not reality! Jesus said to His disciples in the gospel of John, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
He gives calm in the midst of storms, comfort during great suffering, peace in terrible trials, courage, and boldness when challenged, as well as, His strength to endure, not to mention also, His wisdom, knowledge, discernment and insight, but He never promised us a life without turbulence or trouble!
Recently I’ve been flying back and forth, across the country, coast to coast, to minister. I’ve had some interesting experiences, to say the least, that The Lord has used to speak to me. I experienced terrible turbulence, on one flight, a medical emergency on another and then, out of the blue, unexpected news of trial and trouble came, necessitating a quick turn around flight, just after being home for just a few hours!
the quality or state of being turbulent; violent disorder or commotion.
Hydraulics. the haphazard secondary motion caused by eddies within a moving fluid.
Meteorology. irregular motion of the atmosphere, as that indicated by gusts and lulls in the wind.
: sudden, violent movements of air or water
: a state of confusion, violence, or disorder
: the quality or state of being turbulent: as
a : great commotion or agitation <emotional turbulence>
b : irregular atmospheric motion especially when characterized by up-and-down currents
c : departure in a fluid from a smooth flow
With regards to the terrible turbulence, in life there will be times we will not be able to avoid it. On the recent flight of experiencing the terrible turbulence, the pilot tried to fly above it, below it and even attempted to fly around it, all for naught, because we eventually had to fly right through it. During the flight though, the pilot never left the cockpit. He did not abandon us. He skillfully flew the plane safely through the turbulent storm, albeit, it was quite bumpy and required that everyone stay buckled up in their seats. There was no food or beverage service or bathroom breaks during that time, as the flight attendants had to stay seated, as well, to prevent any mishaps or injury. I also believe there was a whole lot of praying going on, as well. The Lord reminded me of the turbulent storm that the disciples experienced, while out upon the sea of Galilee. During that storm, Jesus was sleeping in the bow of the boat. We all would be well served if we could remember to hold on to this truth. As the pilot never leaves the cockpit, nor takes his hands off the controls, neither does The Lord Jesus ever leave us or is not in control of the situation, for He is with us, right by our side, in the midst of the terrible turbulent storm, even if we think He is not aware or paying attention to our plight, see Mt. 8:23-27,He is in the boat with us and will not forsake His own and it is He who can and will calm us during the terrible turbulent storm and then get us through it! Oh, and if He happens to not be in the boat, at the time, we can be assured that He is still in control and is heading quickly towards us, arriving on time, His time, to rescue us, see Mt. 14:22-33.
Pertaining to a sudden, urgent, unexpected medical occurrence or occasion of someone requiring immediate attention with the administering of the proper treatment for the condition of the person.
Here’s what happened on the flight with the medical emergency. The flight was to be from Charlotte, NC to Phoenix, AR, but it quickly turned into a flight from Charlotte, NC to Memphis, TN, due to the inflight medical emergency, which was a pregnant woman traveling alone, with two very young toddlers, going into labor. There was great commotion that ensued, with flight attendants scurrying back and forth, doctors and nurses being drafted and enlisted to help evaluate the woman’s condition and passengers abuzz with great curiosity and chatter. Again, though, the pilot had to act very swiftly, he had to dump as much fuel as possible, but also had to land as quickly as possible, because the baby was not going to be very accommodating and wait for the most appropriate time for delivery, he was coming and coming soon. When we did land, the pilot was not able to dump as much fuel as is desired before landing, so we landed heavier than usual and what is normal, resulting in a very hard landing; this, because of the extra weight of the fuel he was unable to dump. Once on the ground, the EMT’S came aboard the plane, asked a few questions, of the woman in labor, then quickly removed her and her toddlers, from the plane. It was reported that her water broke as soon as she was taken off the plane. Everyone on the plane cheered and didn’t seem to be to upset at the prospect of missing their connecting flights, which by the way, the majority of passengers did, due to the refueling and required intensive safety inspection of the plane before we could resume our journey and take off again, because of the hard landing. This incident got me to thinking and a question soon began to form in my mind. Here’s the question…Are we willing to have our scheduled, comfortable, easy, knowing what to expect routine life interrupted, inconvenienced, literally turned upside down or perhaps inside out, for something totally new, fresh, exhilarating, a new spiritual birth of something, in our lives? The correct response, with the greatest joyful benefit to us and to others, is a wholehearted YES!
UNEXPECTED NEWS OF TRIAL AND TROUBLE-definition:
News you don’t want to hear, are not expecting to hear, can’t believe you are hearing and is accompanied with big trouble to boot!
Many have become aware of the challenge that my son Rob Cox is presently facing. Here are some links you can check out for the back story. http://video.fox40.com/Manteca-Pastor-Accused-of-Homicide-in-Las-Vegas-26227725#.U5H3cNS9KSN http://placeofrefuge.com/supportpastorrob/
So, after being back home in Wilmington, NC, for just a day, I was back on a plane headed to CA, after I was called by my son’s sweet wife Julie, with the news, to be with my son’s family.
My wife, Regi and I were at a home bible study/prayer group, the night of the day I had arrived home from ministry in CA and just after receiving the news about Rob. We were looking at the topic of spiritual warfare, as well as praying for Rob and Julie, when I looked at Regi and said that I believed The Lord wanted me to return to CA, to begin praying, supporting, with ministry, the battle that was raging. It was at that very moment that Regi, who was holding her phone in her hand, responded, that she knew and was already checking on plane tickets and travel arrangements. Let me just pause and say, it’s a wonderful thing to have a completely supportive wife and partner, in life. I’m so very grateful to The Lord for leading and directing our lives to intersect with each other’s, to be united together for all times, but especially at this time. You are a great woman of faith and my hero. I love you, Regi Sweet.
Chris Tomlin, a Christian artist/Worship leader, has written a great song “Whom Shall I Fear (God Of Angel Armies)” that is so apropos for what Rob is experiencing right now. In short, well, not real short…it declares:
Devise your strategy, but it will be thwarted; propose your plan, but it will not stand, for God is with us. (Isaiah 8:10 NIV) What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? (Romans 8:31 NIV) May the favor of the Lord our God rest on us; establish the work of our hands for us— yes, establish the work of our hands. (Psalm 90:17 NIV) But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Corinthians 15:57 NIV) ‘Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.’ (Jeremiah 33:3 NIV) The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus be with you. (Romans 16:20 NIV) God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him. We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom, courageous in seastorm and earthquake, Before the rush and roar of oceans, the tremors that shift mountains. Jacob-wrestling God fights for us, GOD -of-Angel-Armies protects us. (Psalm 46:1-3 MSG) God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble. (Psalm 46:1 NIV) But you, Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness. (Psalm 86:15 NIV) When hard pressed, I cried to the Lord; he brought me into a spacious place. The Lord is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me? The Lord is with me; he is my helper. I look in triumph on my enemies. (Psalm 118:5-7 NIV)
I believe The Lord has shown, that He is going to use what is happening to Rob, as a catalyst, to decimate the kingdom of darkness and dramatically increase The Kingdom of Light! The battle that rages is manifesting in the physical realm, but our battle is not against flesh and blood, in this realm, but is a battle in the spiritual realm and therefore, must be waged and fought in a spiritual way, through intercession prayer, fasting and ministry outreach into the kingdom of darkness, with much love and compassion for those who are held captive by the darkness. We need to show God’s love for us by sharing His love, through us, towards the world.
Real life and real ministry will never be easy, convenient, nor without difficultly, trials or trouble, but God is faithful and has overcome all of it, as will we, when we place our faith and trust in Him…
Struggle and strive vigorously, as you carry on, enduring the morally excellent, most righteous, contentious battle of your faith. Capture, by seizing firmly and then clutching securely onto eternal life, which is, by the way, your divinely commanded summons to answer a divine appointment, when you personally made your morally excellent, most righteous confession of faith, by confidently placing your full belief and trust in Jesus Christ, as your Lord and Savior, in the company of numerous individuals who were personally present to see with their own eyes, and hear with their own ears, your personal testimony of salvation! (1Timothy 6:12 PDCP)
Be determined, while running the race of your life, proceeding with a sense of urgency, persistently steady, regardless of the obstacles or challenges you encounter along the course that’s clearly marked out for you to follow; refusing to acknowledge anyone or anything else, always staying focused, with your eyes gazing intently only upon The Savior of mankind, Jesus, who is the first, the pathfinder, the one to forge a new path, by entering and clearing the way for us to enter into a faith that is without any flaws, entirely faultless and beyond improvement, being entirely perfect. Because of the exhilarating extreme joyful delight that was presented to Him, by His Father, namely, the deliverance and salvation of the whole of humanity, He willingly yielded to the abject contemptible disdain and the disgracefully painful ignominy of the cruel cross, following this, He sat down and was seated right next to The Sovereign Almighty God, upon His eternal throne. (Hebrews 12:1b, 2 PDCP)
When you choose to look to The Lord for help, He’s always going to be there for you, with His provision of strength and awesome power! It will enable you to fly as high as an eagle; run without ever getting winded and your walk will never be weakened! (Isaiah 40:31 PDCP)
We will, and do win, in the end…