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The Secret to a Pollution-Free Life

 By James Loftin

 

 

 

 

Air pollution is often bad where I live. Sometimes it is visually obvious; other times it is more invisible but just as caustic. Never take for granted the blue sky and pure air of Denver, Orlando or most Anywhere USA.


There is another way to think about "pollution". As far as personal safety and security, most residents in China have far fewer risks than residents in most of the USA. But there is a pervasive, often invisible, threat to the health and productivity of all of us. Self-reliance (sometimes called idolatry) is the tendency to rely on ourselves, something or someone other than the LORD for peace, self-esteem, direction and our sense of salvation. This is a pollution of our souls. In this sense, the USA is at least as polluted as China.

 

In Numbers 23:21-22, we read Balaam's messages to Balak, king of Moab, about the nature of the people of faith known as Israel. The Lord their God is with them; the shout of the King is among them. God brought them out of Egypt; they have the strength of a wild ox.


The armies of Moab had no chance of stopping the advance of Israel as they moved toward the Promised Land. The people of Israel, however, put their souls and mission at risk as they forsook the LORD by worshipping the pagan gods of Moab.

 

Israel forgot who they were. They forgot where God was. They stopped celebrating God's actual presence, and they ceased encouraging each other with this reality. Israel allowed themselves to be distracted from the mission given by the one living, LORD.

 

The chief threat to my/our faithfulness and life success is not external (other people, powers or things). We can be our own worst enemy if we too forget the nearness of God and lapse into self-reliance.

 

I burst out in tears this morning as I tried to picture this in my life. I am not alone today. I have more work to do than I can possible achieve. Many people are counting on me. I am not smart enough, deep enough, strong enough for the task, the mission. But suddenly, I received a message.

 

"The KING will be with you today. He has already arrived. He is already at your office. He will be with you in every meeting. He will help you write and edit. He will interpret every word that is spoken or written to you. He will have lunch with you. He will laugh and cry with you. And if you stumble from fatigue or sin, the KING will catch you and carry you forward. No matter what happens today, it will be a great day."

 

Do you remember that wonderful scene in my favorite Christmas movie, Elf? When overgrown human/elf (Will Farrell) is told that Santa was coming to the department store that day, he goes berserk in joy. He can't contain himself. Over and over he shouts, "Santa is here!"


This morning, at my little breakfast table, I shouted and wept in joy. I am not alone!


Let's keep shouting, "The KING is with us!" As we help each other cultivate an awareness of the Spirit actually living in us, we can walk in confidence, in hope, in joy regardless of the circumstances of our lives.

 

What is the mystery of life? How can we walk this journey in faithfulness and victory? The secret is simply this: Christ in you. Yes, Christ in you bringing with him the hope of all the glorious things to come (Col. 1:27 J.B. Philips version).

 

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