This past year we all have learned that there are many ways to work without being at work. I have been working from home for almost a year now. Pretty much if you have an internet connection you can work.
My daughter had a doctor’s appointment and rather than taking off from work I decided I would take my laptop and continue working. Due to social distancing, only the patient can go back so I decided to use that time to continue what I had been working on that morning. The nurse called her back and I flipped up the top to get back to my spreadsheet. Except there was a problem, my system was not working. Ah, I needed to get the password from the receptionist. I went to the desk and asked. Unfortunately, they do not provide internet access. Without the internet my laptop was now useless and my plans for being productive thwarted.
The Holy Spirit is our connection, through prayer and daily Bible study,
we can strengthen our connection.
It is the same in our spiritual lives, without a connection to the Father and Son, we too are lost. The Holy Spirit is our connection. With the Spirit we have discernment, wisdom, comfort, and guidance. The Holy Spirit is a gift from Jesus. In the book of John chapter 16, Jesus is preparing his followers for his death, resurrection, and ascension to heaven. He knew how his followers may feel lost and unable to continue the work that he started with them. He also knew that 2,000 years later you and I would need the Spirit to guide us in continuing the work that he has started in each one of us. In Jesus’ physical absence he sent the Holy Spirit as guide and comforter those that believe in him. We have that Spirit available to us, filling us and guiding us in the way that the Lord would have us to go. Unlike the internet, the Spirit can reach you without a password. Once you accept Christ Jesus as your savior the connection is made, and you no longer navigate this world alone.
Use the gift that Jesus has left for you, to draw you nearer to him. Allow the Spirit to teach and guide you. Through prayer and daily Bible study, strengthen the connection.
Do not believe every spirit but test the spirits to see whether they are from God many false prophets have gone into the world. I John 4:1
It is now mid-January and most of us have reluctantly packed up the lights and tree. I decided to leave one item of decoration out because it really was not centrally Christmas but mostly just winter-themed. Another reason I left it out was that I was pleased with it. I thought I was very clever in making it. A simple crate with a scrap of material, greenery, lights, and three birch sticks. Why was this so “clever” on my part? Because my birch wood sticks were nothing more than painted paper towel rolls. By themselves painted and tied with a bit of twine they are not very impressive and it painfully obvious what they are, but once you place all the lights and greenery around them it gives a good illusion.
At a glance, you see what I want you to see.
Recently, no doubt you have been seeing a bit of razzle dazzle going on in the media. In the coming days, you will see even more. There will be times you are confused, outraged, and simply do not know what to believe. It is during these times we need to look to the One who knows all. He is not shocked or surprised by current events. James 1:5 reads, “If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.” Do not rely on your own understanding but ask the Lord to give you wisdom and discernment. Prepare yourselves to see beyond illusions and lies.
See to it that no one takes you captive by philosophy and empty deceit, according to human tradition, according to the elemental spirits of the world, and not according to Christ. Colossians 2:8 ESV
Read: 1 John 4
I dropped by my office the other day, it sounds strange to type that. I have been on work from home status for the past 19 weeks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. In some ways it is hard to imagine that much time has passed yet in other ways it seems like forever since I pulled into the parking lot. I was there to pick up some plants. With no definitive date for our return the plants were suffering. There was no one to enjoy them and they spent their days in darkened hallways and boardrooms. Many of the plants were struggling and in need of care.
As I walked the hallway gathering them in my cart, a coworker apologized for the plant’s condition. I assured them it was fine, not to worry. They then boasted that at least one of the plants had done well. Pointing into the adjacent office, they smiled.
“The ivy?” I questioned.
“Yeah, that one.”
“Ah”, I stammered. “It’s not real. That one is silk. You’ve been watering that one?”
I felt bad as I saw their shoulders droop. “Yeah.”
If you are like me, that made you giggle. But, in their defence, they do not know much about plants and they were doing what they could to help. The same thing could easily happen to us in our spiritual lives. We are easily taken in by fakes and lies. The only way to protect ourselves is to rely on our discernment and most importantly do what the Bible instructs.
You are hearing many different things from your friends, co-workers, neighbors and the media. Much of it will not be true but someone suppositions. Many of us are trying to make sense of the events that we have experienced over the past seven months. It can be a difficult time trying to figure out what is or isn’t true.
One thing you can be sure of is that God’s Word has not changed and neither has His love for you. He provided His Word so that we have a handbook to help us navigate this world. In addition, Jesus left with us the Holy Spirit to comfort and council us during difficult times. Whatever you hear, take it to the Lord in prayer. Look to His Word for answers. By studying His Word and making time for quiet prayer you will be able to discern the fake from the truth. If you are familiar with God’s character through His Word, you will recognize truth.