CHN is a network of volunteers from churches throughout the United States of America and throughout the nations. Our mission and passion is to carry on the Great Commission given by our Lord Jesus Christ.

May 2006

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.” (Proverbs 3:5,6)

               

Dear Friend,

Trusting that all is well with you and your loved ones. We are fine, and enjoying all that God is doing in this season. This is such an exciting time to be alive! God is moving in a powerful way, and we are privileged to be a witness to it! He is telling us to step back, to stop worrying about our own problems, because He is taking care of our concerns, and if we truly trust Him, He will direct us in the way that we should go. There is a larger picture here, one that incorporates our cities, our nation, and our world. It is time to be fearless in putting our foot forward and our hands to the plow!

I believe the Lord is telling His church to rise up and become the warriors that He created us to be! People who will face the enemy with strength and conviction, and fortitude! People who are not afraid of his silly attempts in trying to hurt us, or stop us from serving our Lord and King! God is saying that in all our ways, we should not go out in haste, for He will go before us, and He will direct us in the paths He would have us to go. There is a time and a season for everything, and when we try to rush things ahead, or move on our own, that is when we get into trouble! Are you facing some trial now, or do you have an important decision to make? Wait on the Lord! Pray, watch, listen, and then when your gut feeling says, “this is the way,” then go for it! Never rush into anything!

In war, soldiers never move unless they are given the order to “advance!” Their hearts may be pounding, their adrenalin racing, their guns pointed and ready, their feet ready to run, but until they hear the word “advance!” they do not move! The captain, or person in charge is trained to know exactly when to make that move so that the enemy will be defeated without harming his troop. All ears wait for his command, and when they hear it they move quickly with assurance knowing that now is the time! Each one does his job as part of a team, and because of that, victory is won!

It is the same with our lives. We have a situation, and we want to move in, but without first praying, and waiting for that command, we get into trouble. And if you notice, anytime we get into trouble, it always affects others too. A man wonders if he should quit his job. His boss does not appreciate him, he works hard every day, and even overtime. So, without praying, he quits his job on the assumption that he will find another one right away! What happens to his family then? Bills are not paid, there is no food on the table.

Perhaps he did pray, but foolishly he presumes that this is the answer, when he really had no clear direction, or any other options regarding a new job. This is not faith, it is presumption! This is the way it is in our walk with God. We want to trust, but we don’t want to wait to hear the answer, or the gut feeling that comes with an answer that is telling us “okay, it is time to advance!”

A crisis is a sudden, upsetting event, something that may be foreseen or not, and it usually comes at a time when people least expect it. It is life changing because  decisions must be made that may alter the course of life. The Chinese term for crisis is made of two symbols that denote both danger and opportunity. Crises are dangerous opportunities for new living! The discomfort that comes from it can cause high anxiety, confusion, depression, hopelessness and apathy. People may make rash decisions, do reckless things, or become either argumentative or too passive or helpless. But there are three possible outcomes that can come from every crisis. 1. Life eventually gets better. 2. Life gets worse 3. Life returns to the same level. Which outcome people experience usually depends on whether they become closer to God or push Him away.

How we respond can make the entire difference in the outcome. If a crisis draws us nearer to God, then the Holy Spirit can do a work in us, to help us to grow. The psalmist says “It is good for me that I have been afflicted, that I may learn of Your statutes.” (Psalm 119:71)

We cannot avoid crisis so it would do us well to allow God to teach us as we go through it. When Katrina hit, and recently the tornadoes in Missouri, among many other natural disasters, people went into the crisis mode. They did not know which way to turn. They became bewildered, felt helpless, and struggled with despair over losing their loved ones, or property. Only God can bring comfort in these situations. Yet we are, as the body of Christ, to comfort one another, and help one another. We are to band together as the army battalion does, each one, looking out for the other, and waiting for the marching orders of the commander. Our Commander in Chief, our Lord Jesus Christ, stands guard ready to fight on our behalf against the enemy who would try to rob and steal us of our hope and our faith. His eyes are watching in all directions to give marching orders, to let us know when to advance, when to make changes, when to make that move that is necessary for our well being! It is up to us whether we listen, or whether we simply go ahead on our own.

Since crises come and go in life, it is especially important for us to develop an ability to cope and learn from them, and to also help others in the crises of their lives. We should have a plan for the major transitions in life that we know we will face such as marriage, having children, changing jobs or careers, old age, and retirement. Jesus tells us to acknowledge Him and He will direct our paths. Taking time to pray and think things through before these occasions arise can make the transitions smoother. God gives us His Word which shows us how we should live, and gives answers to the deepest mysteries of life. He gives us His Holy Spirit Who teaches us and guides us in that still small voice. He gives us weapons of warfare to use against the enemy of our soul! He makes us to be more than conquerors!

In His Service,

Pastor Barbara

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