May the Force be with you

In honour of the fourth of May—what many have come to know as Star Wars Day, let’s talk about the Force.

The act of living generates a force field, an energy. That energy surrounds us; when we die, that energy joins with all the other energy. There is a giant mass of energy in the universe that has a good side and a bad side. We are part of the Force because we generate the power that makes the Force live. When we die, we become part of that Force, so we never really die, we continue as part of the Force.

George Lucas describing the Force.

In the Star Wars films, the general farewell between Jedi knights is, “May the Force be with you.” In Christian terms, “Go with God.” While George Lucas’ epic story between good and evil, light and dark isn’t a Christian story, it doesn’t mean that we can’t look at them through the filter of Word of God. We can liken the Force to the Holy Spirit. But rather than we become a part of it, the Spirit becomes a part of us.

When the construction of the temple was complete, Solomon dedicated the building to the glory of God. He goes on to bless the people of Israel.

Praise be to the Lord, who has given rest to his people Israel just as he promised. Not one word has failed of all the good promises he gave through his servant Moses. May the Lord our God be with us as he was with our fathers; may he never leave us nor forsake us. May he turn our hearts to him, to walk in all his ways and to keep the commands, decrees and regulations he gave our fathers. And may these words of mine, which I have prayed before the Lord, be near to the Lord our God day and night, that he may uphold the cause of his servant and the cause of his people Israel according to each day’s need, so that all the peoples of the earth may know that the Lord is God and that there is no other. But your hearts must be fully committed to the Lord our God, to live by his decrees and obey his commands, as at this time.

1 Kings 8:56-61 (NIV)

In short, “May the force be with you.” Solomon’s prayer was like Yoda reminding Luke to trust the Force, to feel and see the Force in everything around him. Solomon encouraged Israel to remember who brought them to the place where they now stood and to fully commit themselves to the One who caused it all to happen.

Solomon’s prayer is one that we can pray for ourselves, our families, and our churches every day. Turn to God. Walk in His ways. Keep His commands. Fully commit to the Lord. All of this is made possible through the aid of the Holy Spirit which was sent to us for that purpose. The Spirit, like the Force, is there for our benefit. He makes great power available to us and helps us to do that which we are called to do.

So go out, walk in God’s ways. Get yourself in tune with the Holy Spirit.

May the Force be with you.

Read: 1 Kings 8-9, Luke 23:39-56

Trust issues

TRUST: Confidence; a reliance, or resting of the mind on the integrity, veracity, justice, friendship, or other sound principle of another person.

In today’s world, who doesn’t have trust issues? Some of us trust too much and some of us trust too little.

For some of us our lack of trust has more to do with control than anything else. To trust someone means to give up control in a particular area. This becomes a big issue when we project our own insecurities regarding other people on God. We humanize Him to the point that we have a difficult time even trusting in the One who keeps the entire universe together.

Commit everything you do to the Lord.
Trust him, and he will help you.

Psalm 37:5 (NLT)

Everything. Yikes. I like to be in control. I like to know what’s happening and how it’s going to happen. The more I can control in a situation, the better. I don’t like unknowns. And then I put all of that insecurity on God. But here’s the thing, God isn’t an unknown. He gave us His Word to make Himself known to us.

Perhaps our greatest struggle in trusting God stems less from trust issues and more from relationship issues. When you really know someone, trusting them becomes easier. You know how they will react and respond and can predict a likely outcome for many situations. That is how it should be with God. The more we know Him, the more likely we will be able to anticipate the outcome. We have a giant book full of promises. How is it that all of that escapes our memory as soon as we’re asked to put our trust in the Lord?

Can we predict the future down to the tiniest detail? No, of course not. Only God knows all of that—and that is exactly why we should trust Him!

The steps of the godly are directed by the Lord.
He delights in every detail of their lives.

Psalm 37:23 (NLT)

How many friends do you have that delight in every detail of your life? None, right? Thought so.

For the wicked will be destroyed,
but those who trust in the Lord will possess the land.

Psalm 37:9 (NLT)

Life isn’t without its struggles, but if we can put our issues aside, get to know God better and learn to put our trust in Him, He’ll fight our battles for us.

Don’t be impatient for the Lord to act!
Travel steadily along his path.

Psalm 37:34a (NLT)

Daily Bible reading: Psalm 36-37, Acts 23:1-11

Renew

I’ve been to several wedding vow renewal ceremonies. I’ve also heard people scoff at the idea. After all, the couple made a promise for a lifetime. Why should they have to go through it again?

How many times did God renew His covenant with Israel? Over and over again! In 1 Samuel, I’ve counted no less than three times when David and Jonathan renewed their covenant of friendship with each other.

So to the two of them renewed their covenant of friendship before the Lord. Then Jonathan returned home, while David stayed at Horesh.

1 Samuel 23:18 (NLT)

If a covenant is supposed to last for life, why should it have to be renewed?

You may have heard the story of a husband who never tells his wife he loves her. His reason, “I told you I loved you on the day I married you, if anything changes, I’ll let you know.” Imagine how that wife would feel? How secure would she feel in the love of her husband if he never told her so?

The purpose of renewing a covenant isn’t necessarily to fix what was broken, but it serves as a reminder for all parties involved of the original promise. Often in church, a pastor will invite the entire congregation to repeat the prayer of salvation. While this serves to make a new believer more comfortable, it can also be a sacred time of renewal for a long-time believer.

I think that there are times in our walk with God where a reminder of our promise can be helpful. Perhaps you are going through a tough time. Maybe you’ve pulled away from your relationship with God. Or maybe you just need the affirmation that God is still on His throne and He still accepts you no matter what.

When you are offered the opportunity to recommit yourself to the Lord—no matter what your circumstance—don’t scoff at it, rather jump at it. Just like we may need a reminder of who we are committed to, I’m sure God enjoys and appreciates our words of a renewed covenant with Him.

Daily Bible reading: 1 Samuel 22-24, Luke 16:1-18

All came to pass

Thus the Lord gave to Israel all the land that he swore to give to their fathers. And they took possession of is, and they settled there. And the Lord gave them rest on  every side just as he had sworn to their fathers. Not one of all their enemies had withstood them, for the Lord had given all their enemies into their hands. Not one word of all the good promises that the Lord had made to the house of Israel had failed; all came to pass.

Joshua 21:43-45 (ESV)

Have you ever failed to come through on a commitment? I have. Lately, I’ve been working on making fewer commitments. Not because I don’t want to do things that require commitment, but because I don’t want to make a commitment I am not able to keep.

I want to be known as a person of my word. I know that I have a tendency to want to do everything. I like being in control. I’d rather do things myself so that I know it’s been done to my own personal standards rather than have someone else do it. But in all of that, I get overloaded. I need to learn to let go of the things that don’t matter as much. I need to learn not be the one to always say, “I’ll do it.”

Does this mean I never commit to anything? Of course not! I still have plenty of commitments. The benefit of not over-committing myself is that, when I’m able to do even more than I thought, it’s a bigger blessing to those I’m helping.

I’d rather be a blessing to be able to go over and above than to be the one no one can depend on because I’ve made too many commitments.

I want it to be said of me that, of my good promises, all came to pass.

 

Daily Bible reading: Joshua 21-22; Luke 6:1-26