"THE LAND OF IN-BETWEEN"
Most of us don't like being in between certain things feuding relatives or neighbors, big trucks on the highway, jobs, a hammer and a nail, or a rock and a hard place! We like things to be on a pretty even keel most of the time with no friction or opposition from any side but, for the Christian, the land of In-Between is where we will spend most of our time. I was "surfin' the Net" one evening when I ran across an article dealing with this very issue. The author made some good points that I want to share with you.
As Christians, we can certainly relate to the "highs" or the peaks in our walk with the Lord. Remember your baptism? The day that we begin our union with Jesus is one that most don't forget. It's a day of triumph, of newfound confidence, and, of course, salvation. We begin a new life of promise and like the Ethiopian eunuch in Acts 8, we "go on our way rejoicing". Then, we begin to learn more and more from God's word and how it applies to our lives. There are some days when we finally apprehend a nugget of truth that it's like a beautiful flower that's opened up just for us. We enjoy fellowship with God our Father and Jesus our brother along with the Holy Spirit and if that weren't enough, we have fellowship with each other, children of God trying to live for Him! No doubt about it, some days we just exult in our relationship with Jesus that we are sure that nothing can break us up and so we echo the words of Paul in Romans 8:35, "Who shall separate us from the love of Christ?"
But, what about the "lows" or the valleys? Not a single person who has tried to live life in The Way hasn't walked through a valley. We all know them, those dark times when circumstances have positioned themselves in such a way that we feel everything is against us. Sometimes they last a few hours, sometimes for days or even longer. David, no stranger to troubled times himself, wrote "Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; for You are with me." (Psa. 23:4) We feel close to God when we are on spiritual "highs" but we can also feel confident in Him when we are in depths so low that they feel like the "valley of the shadow of death".
But back to the Land of In-Between! It's a place in between the high and low places, somewhere in the middle. This is where we spend most of our lives; in the ordinary, mundane, hum-drum places we call "everyday life". It's a place that we feel comfortable in because it is familiar. It is also a place where we can feel too comfortable, to the point of complacency, then when the lows come, we are unprepared and they seem even worse than they are.
There are ways that the Christian can deal with this and become stronger in our walk with Christ. These, I want to share with you.
1) Read the Bible and be obedient to the word of God. Read it everyday if possible even if it's only for ten minutes. Then, put those principles into action. The Lord's brother James wrote, "Prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves."
2) Live a Spirit-filled life. In Eph 5:18-21 we are told that if we are filled with the Spirit, then we will sing and be thankful to God for all things. It's important to sing, not just when we assemble but when we are at work, at home, in the yard, in the car, anywhere! Sometimes singing a song of praise to God will help lift our own spirits and bring us closer to Him.
3) Pray. Pray, pray, pray. And then, pray some more! We are privileged to have a direct mode of communication to the God of the universe, let's use it! Talk to Him about everything: your triumphs, your failures, your worries and fears. Ask Him to help you and your brothers and sisters to do His will in every way. Eph. 6:18 says "With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints..."
4) Get together with other Christians for worship and fellowship. Heb. 10:25 tells us that we ought to get together but in verses 24 & 25 we are also told why: to stimulate and encourage one another. To stimulate means to stir up or to incite. We need to get each other excited about the things of God, especially during everyday life, between the peaks and valleys. We can do this also by getting together, not only at the appointed times of meeting, but at other times too. Visit each other and enjoy one another's company while encouraging one another. "Iron sharpens iron, so one man sharpens another.", says Proverbs 27:17. We can help each other be sharp (alert) and stay sharp.
Remember, there is no such thing as a "Lone Ranger" Christian, that is, one who walks this walk alone; God is there to help and so are your bothers and sisters. Let's keep these few things in mind as we dwell in this Land of In-Between. They will make the valleys easier to handle and the peaks seem so much higher.
By Zeke Flores
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