I am amazed at how prolific seagulls can be. One morning as I was walking along the beach, I was stopped in my tracks by at least one hundred baby seagulls.
Like generals with watchful eyes, at least twenty-five adults flanked the babies as if to guard and protect them from any unwanted predators, including humans. Both the male and female seagulls alternated protecting and caring for their babies. I walked around them, careful not to invade their space or frighten them away.
For a moment, I reflected on these adult birds protecting those which belonged to them. I remembered that throughout Biblical history, God provided leaders to protect and guard those He loved. He endowed them with wisdom, strength, and skill.
More important, He taught them how to rely on Him. These leaders daily sought advice from Him, cautiously and wisely avoiding their own understanding of every situation. (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Because they trusted in His advice, they won battles against overwhelming odds—for example, Moses, Gideon, Joshua, and David. Joseph became CFO of an entire kingdom. Many enjoyed long and productive lives. Abraham-175 years, Joseph-110 years, Moses-120 years, Joshua-110 years. They had children in old age, (Abraham-100 became a father), and they were made incredibly prosperous and successful. Any leader who mistreated the people He loved, faced grave consequences from God.
In our current era, and for several years, there seems to be a missing piece in our story. We seem to have lost our way and allowed predators to rule our lives. Many of us have made our love for life and each other center around one day a year with flowers, candy, or imaginative, fantasy clothing. Imagine if God only designated one day a year to love and protect us?
Like the seagull parents, we have an opportunity to continuously protect and love others. Perhaps it’s time to approach this idea with a little more commitment to step outside our comfort zone and embrace others.
Character – Accept general responsibility for family leadership, protection, and provision. Reflect spiritual values in your home, at school, or work.
Avoid temptation to be dishonest – There are no secrets. Light will always expose darkness. Every action has consequences.
Self-Control – Your temper, your tongue, your body, and your pride can be loose cannons. Check your attitude! This may require major surgery.
Our leaders have been given the responsibility to watch over, guard, and protect these United States. Part of this commentary belongs to “we the people.” Biblically, we have been commanded to pray. (I Timothy 2:1)
As members of a community, we have the power to safeguard the areas where we live, and protect those we value. To say we are unable to contribute anything to protect others, including those who may be outside our sphere of loved ones, is weakening our purpose for existing.
Just as God has equipped seagulls to help their own, He has given us strength, faith in Him, and the power of love to enrich the lives of others.
Throughout history, controversy has raged about communicating with a spiritual being.
There are those who say they believe only in themselves and completely deny the existence of any god. God of the Bible is viewed as a spiritually dead entity created in the imagination of mankind. This is the world of the “atheist.”
Others dispute that the reality of God, existent or non-existent, is “unknowable.” Therefore, they neither commit to support nor deny disbelief in God. This view is labeled “agnostic.”
Finally, there are those who believe in a god, but there are no limits on what or who it can be. Men or women, idols or statues, animals, stars, sun or moon, mythical entities (twelve Greek Olympians), trees, etc. Any one of these, given specific circumstances, are believed to be worthy of prayer.
Within this country, and all over the world, there are persons who identify and have a relationship with a “living” God. They believe they are made in the image of God after His “likeness” with the spiritual qualities that connect them to their creator. Prayer is the spiritual cord that binds them to Him.
Prayer not only invites them to talk to God but also to listen for His responses. He has given all of us who are in that group a spiritual document filled with His promises that He will always answer prayer.
I have often wondered why so many people are reluctant to pray. Guilt and shame can act like thieves in unrenewed minds. They steal our hope and plant the belief that our prayers will not be answered. Prayer is connecting with the Spirit of God. It will make our minds take a back seat. There is no condemnation. (Romans 8:1)
You might also believe you have to go to church to pray. This is misguided information. If you drive the freeways in California, prayer should occupy the passenger seat of your car. You decide when and where you will pray.
When you pray, visualize entering a room filled with eternal love, grace, and mercy. There is no competition, no need to pretend or lie, no need to keep saying the same words repetitiously. It is the real you and God. It is very personal.
There are a few tips to help you feel more confident when you pray:
It is within man’s spiritual nature to exercise his gift of prayer and to be in unity with the Spirit of God. Not merely a god conjured from human minds, but the Omnipotent Holy God. He truly is the God of answered prayer and our eternal mediator for all our needs.
Frequently, I have found myself becoming anxious over things that have the value of a pinhead. For example, wondering whether I am going to find a spot in the busy grocery store parking area, pondering over whether I can outwalk the person who has an armful of packages so I can get in line before they reach the front door of the post office, or trying to make sure I am standing in the space marked for social distancing while waiting my turn.
These things are mind-wasters and fear-triggers. They can act like prison locks and create unnecessary anxiety. The gifts of joy and peace seem unobtainable in the presence of fear.
In its basic meaning, fear is natural and contains the essence to warn of approaching danger. Fear can also be reverent, as expressed toward the worship of an omnipotent God (El Shaddai). Fear that grips you with a feeling of hopelessness is a killer.
Currently, we live in an environment that brings us a daily boatload of negative fear. It seems to have taken on a life of its own as if it were seeking to take all of us out. Sadly, there is no shortage of fear-mongers. Print media, social media, television, movies, and radio all peddle their brand of fear.
At this point, many of us are screaming, “Where is the joy”? Yet, joy lies in knowing we have an Anchor who will strengthen our faith and bring us peace.
An anchor is a device made primarily of steel and designed to secure a water vessel while firmly planted into a bed underneath. There are two main types of anchors, permanent and temporary. Temporary anchors can be easily moved and are often carried on a boat. On the other hand, a mooring block anchor, or permanent anchor, is not easily moved and can withstand the harshest weather conditions.
As humans, we often try to carry our own brand of anchors and drop them into the mix when we are faced with fear. Alcohol, sex, drugs, entertainment, another person (husband/wife, girlfriends/boyfriends). These flimsy anchors resemble a boat tied to a tree or tree branch. They are, at best, a temporary pillar that will not hold up in a fierce storm that stirs up overwhelming fear. Constant fear demands more than a tree branch anchor.
Dependence upon God is a solid Anchor when you are bombarded by fear.
He is greater than solid steel and will never be set adrift in the most violent storm. God is our permanent Anchor against fear:
Joy is the natural outcome when we overcome fear. Our spirit feels a sense of security that faith in our Godly Anchor will always triumph over fear and adverse circumstances.
Place a permanent Anchor in your heart so it will remain embedded deep into your soul.