The other day, although he despises getting his clothes wet, my husband graciously acquiesced to taking a walk with me at the ending of a gentle rainfall. We chose to traverse a path that we had not yet walked upon, and as we rounded the corner, there was the most amazing rainbow spread across the sky. The colors were more vivid than in most rainbows I have seen, and there was also a faint shadow, signifying the presence of a second bow as well. We continued walking and reached a point in the path where, I hoped, we would be able to see even more of that beautiful sign from God. However, I was very disappointed to see a very large cloud covering the largest part of the rainbow.
This morning during prayer, God reminded me of that rainbow and its cloud cover. He showed me a perfect parallel between it and the life of a Christian.
There are many things in life that can cloud the very essence of God in our lives. This can be said of every one of us, no matter who we are or what station we occupy in life. One who is determined to serve the Lord above all else seeks to be different from the world. The Bible charges us to focus on Christian growth.
Colossians 2:7-8 says, “Let your roots grow down into Him, and let your lives be built on Him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ.” (NLT) Christians are supposed to trust God for the basics, down to our clothing and our food. “But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.” (Matthew 6:33, KJV)
We are to put God first, seek His mind and His purpose, and trust Him for everything. And, for the most part, we might do okay, if it weren’t for those crazy clouds.
Job. Education. Romantic entanglements. Friendships. Consumption of time by the internet, television, movies, electronic devices, gaming systems, etc. Doctrinal confusion because we don’t know what we believe. Habits that contradict a life lived for Christ. “Vices,” whatever they may be.
Clouds can be beautiful when viewed in the right setting. But, when they cloud a Christian’s purpose, their calling, and remove one’s ability to clearly hear God’s direction, they become a harmful obstruction. Purpose and vision become blurry as we strive to see through the haze.
When writing the Ten Commandments, God was very specific in His direction to the Israelites. (Exodus 20:3) “Thou shalt have no other gods before me.” (KJV) He had to constantly chide, remind, and punish them for their continual straying from His commands. Today, His Word – the Bible – is our guidebook, and it offers us direction for every area of our life. The question is, do we read it? And, if we do, are we paying attention to what it says? There are still religions that carve idols and pay homage to them. As Apostolic Christians, it is not our practice – or is it? Is God truly first, or has something – or someone – taken His place?
(James 1:5-8) “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him. But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed. For let not that man think that he shall receive any thing of the Lord. A double minded man is unstable in all his ways.” (KJV) It is my opinion that life’s clouds can make us double-minded. And, as James said, double-mindedness creates instability.
Abraham had one purpose in life. Hebrews 11:10 tells us, “For he looked for a city which hath foundations, whose builder and maker is God.” (KJV)
As Christians, we also have a singular purpose. (Revelvation 22:14) “Blessed are they that do his commandments, that they may have right to the tree of life, and may enter in through the gates into the city.” (KJV)
What cloud is obstructing the view of your purpose here on earth? Of your eternal home? Is it really worth it?