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Facing The Elements Part 13

Facing the Elements

Part 13

GRAY DAYS

By Rayola Kelley

      We are in the time of what I consider to be the “in-between” of seasons. It’s still winter, but we’re just a little over a month away from stepping into spring. This is a period of gray days. Recently, the fog hangs around nearly every day because of the presence of rivers, causing warm and cold air to mix. This mixture produces a day that lacks a lot of inspiration and excitement. Once in a while, the sun actually breaks through and highlights our beautiful countryside.

      The problem with gray days is that they indeed have an effect on a person’s soul. A mixture usually causes a “blah” attitude due to emotions being stuck in some non-inspired vacuum that appears to keep one in a spiritual limbo that is as gray as the environment. You feel like hunkering down in some cozy chair and bundling up while wishing you had a blazing fire to watch, or at least something worthwhile on TV until the gray of drudgery lifts to bring inspiration to once again experience life. Let’s face it, without the inspiration of light there isn’t much that can keep one going except responsibilities, but as long as a person keeps breathing daily obligations that are part of the flow of life must be fulfilled.

      When we think of gray days, we can sometimes relate it to drudgery and boredom. My mother never allowed me to use the word, “bored” when I was growing up. If I was bored, she found something for me to do. Inaction, when action was required, was unacceptable and was considered laziness which would be met with grave disapproval. In her mind, her busyness signaled the fact that the chores were not yet done; therefore, no one should be sitting around until she was finally assured all was done that needed to be done before she would allow herself to sit down.

      As I was meditating on this fact, I was reminded that the priests of the Old Testament could never sit down when executing their duties from sacrificing to ministering in the Holy Place of the tabernacle, but when Jesus came, He fulfilled not only all of their duties, but His mission when He died on the cross. As a result, our High Priest now sits on the right hand of God. We know He is coming back but until He does, we who are part of the New Testament Priesthood, must occupy as we continue to offer spiritual offerings such as praise and good works back to Him (Hebrews 9:22-10:12; 13:15-16; 1 Peter 2:5, 9).  

      My mother’s attitude instilled in me an intolerance towards the idea of boredom. I don’t tolerate it in myself and years ago, I used to firmly remind the young people in my Sunday School class (if they started to complain about being bored when it came to learning about Christ and His word) of my definition of boredom, which was an attitude of ingratitude. As the Bible makes clear, thankfulness is the will of God and ingratitude is a sin that will not be tolerated because God’s gifts to us are perfect and numerous to meet our needs.

      When it comes to some projects, people may volunteer to help you in some way, but if they fail to see it through, I will have to pick up the slack if possible or find someone who will; but whatever it is, it must be finished because a half-baked anything is not acceptable to look at, let alone taste. In fact, as a believer I see all that I do as doing it unto the Lord and I will not offer left-overs and crumbs to God who offered me His best. I will not deceptively con myself that my “half-done” or “just get it done” attempts are good enough when Jesus went beyond the extra mile to secure my salvation. This means I will not leave any project undone. Even if it takes days to do, I must redeem the time with that which is constructive and hopefully eternal. If it takes months, I must press forward until it is done, and if it takes years, which some of my book projects have, I must endure until it is completed. The truth is that redeeming the time has caused me to be aware that time is a door of opportunity that allots me a certain period in a day to do what I must. Such doors have taught me discernment and discretion.

      Pressing through the months and years has taught me that anything that is worth pursuing will take time to obtain. It will not happen overnight, and it will require integrity on my part to pursue it to completion. The pressing forward by faith has taught me inward discipline, the months and years, patience, and the accomplishments have made me aware that all is a matter of God’s grace. It requires Him to give the vision, the strength, and the open doors for any important matter to be brought to fruition.

      Years have taught me that no matter what I do, if I am doing the business of the Father, it will be according to His timing and not mine. I can try to jump wide canyons, swim rushing waters, go against the riptides of the times, and push against the powers to be in order to accomplish a task, but God must provide a bridge over the canyons, calm the waters, part the waves, and speak to the opposing powers before a matter will be allowed to come to fruition. Granted, I can work myself up into a lather, but it will not speed up the process, provide the means, or bring a situation or promise to completion. Matters of His kingdom are, and always have been, according to His timing because He alone is faithful to bring about a matter for His glory.

      The reason I am talking about boredom is because I read in the Prophetic Observer, February 2022 how many churches are dropping in numbers due to people being bored, especially the younger generation. In fact, it is predicted that 8,000 churches in America will fold up and close their doors this year and that 1,700 pastors leave the ministry each month to never return. However, when you talk about boredom, you are also talking about a lukewarm environment where there is nothing to awaken the spirit and stir the soul from its state of apathy.

      The question is how can this be when it comes to our Christian life? Malachi 1:13 states, “Ye said also, Behold, what a weariness is it and ye have snuffed (sneered) at it saith the LORD of hosts…” (Parathesis added.) Granted, we have been conditioned by fantasy, fed mindless sensationism, and entertained into a state of utter weariness by the silliness and hypocrisy we are being constantly exposed to by the great hypocrites of our age, but we still know what is true or should know–that is, if we are Bible-believing Christians.  As believers we have the Spirit to awaken us, the Word to stir us, and the necessary power and vision to press forward and yet how many of us act as if our pews are temporary coffins to lay in on Sunday to leave some religious impression behind until the next Sunday, while our churches are tombs to rest in.

      Sadly, many people have been drugged with an altered reality that consists of vain, seductive useless activities through games, computers and entertainment. In each situation the senses are heightened, the lusts stirred up, the imagination engaged, and the emotions put on notice to walk in expectation of realizing some possibility of euphoria, happiness, and satisfaction in this world. However, as the great preacher, Solomon so eloquently laid out in Ecclesiastes that all that is of the flesh and the world will prove vain in the end. Vanity will cause stagnation to the soul and perplexity to the spirit.

      In his book, In Days Like These, Vance Havner points out the environment of today. Instead of Christians being founded on the truth and being only moved by the Spirit, we live in days where it is all about what he calls, “Trendism.” In such an environment people tend to go with the trends of what is popular, acceptable, and highlighted. These people prove to be drifters. They drift along with the latest wave or movement until something catches their attention and they are off to the “races” to bet on or ride a new horse.

      These are the people who will sacrifice truth in order to be accepted, eat a bit of arsenic here and there to have a peaceful coexistence with others who are “in the know,” and when challenged about their fickleness, they can become offended, angry, and hateful. After all, how dare you bother them with such insignificant details such as the truth when they are striving hard to fit in and be a “somebody.” It matters little if they are riding on the shirttails of others, just as long as they are associated with the “right” people to leave just the right impression of their self-importance. They do not want to stand distinct according to righteousness; rather, they want to be part of the group, which are like those of Jesus’ day, one day singing “Hosanna,” to Jesus and the next time they gather with the crowd who is yelling, “Crucify Him, crucify Him.”

      The Apostle Paul described those who fit into the trends of the day in this way in Ephesians 4:14, “That we henceforth be no more children, tossed to and fro, and carried about with every wind of doctrine, by the sleight of men, and cunning craftiness, whereby they lie in wait to deceive.” First, these individuals are easily tossed to and fro by every whim of doctrine. Whim has to do with reacting on an emotional impulse, a driving urge or according to a self-serving notion and has nothing to do with truth.

      As believers we have a foundation that also serves as the great immovable Rock. We must be anchored to the Rock if we are to withstand the storms of this age. This means our anchors must go deep into the solid ground of His truth that will hold us when our faith is being threatened by hell itself. We can’t be moved because our Rock can’t be moved

      The other thing we must note is that this whim is based on the sleight of men who deceive and with cunning craftiness or shrewdness seduce people into buying or accepting their lie. In other words, these people’s unstable whims are being taken captive by nothing more than a good “con game.”

      How is it that we believers, who claim we know the truth, can be so easily conned by a lie? It is simple, such individuals have never developed and nurtured a love for the truth. Love and faith walk hand in hand (Galatians 5:6). Faith is grounded in what is true because it loves the TRUTH. It wants to please the One it loves and it will never settle for accepting what may look enticing on the outside but is rotten within. Love is after the quality that ends in honor and submission to what is so and not after quantity that may have an appearance but lacks lasting substance.

      The final thing we must note in Ephesians 4:14 is that is that the deceivers are lying in wait. They are predators, waiting for the right opportunity to take a vulnerable soul captive. How can one be vulnerable? It is simple, they are unaware (asleep or complacent), undiscerning (wishful thinking), and waiting for something to happen to them instead of occupying and pressing forward in preparation to be part of what is happening in the kingdom of God.

      I can tell you from experience, nothing just happens in God’s kingdom; rather, the walk of faith leads you to where things are happening. You become part of the current of the incredible, the majestic, and the miraculous.

      If you are in the gray season of your spiritual life, it will pass soon enough, but what you need to remember is the faith walk is a matter of steps, the penetration and coming of the LIGHT imminent, the ROCK immovable, the TRUTH unchangeable, the Word everlasting, and the promises are sure.