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« Can I Get an Amen, Somebody? | Main | Don’t Be Unequally Yoked »

Discovery Among the Familiar

“Tell me, what do you have in the house?” 2 Kings 4:2 

DO YOU READ INSTRUCTIONS?  A well-traveled test in college classes begins with a lengthy paragraph of instructions.  Buried in the instructions is this phrase, “Before you begin to answer the first question, write your name on the top of the paper, turn it into the teacher and leave.”  Most students assume they already know what to do.  Consequently, they labor for an hour or two over problems they never had to work out, had they only read the instructions! Many of life’s problems come from oversight. Have you ever looked into the cupboards and said, “We have nothing to eat?” Have you ever stood at your closet and said, “I don’t have anything to wear?” The problem is that we grow so accustomed to our surroundings that we become blinded to the things that are within our reach. 

Many people suffer from a false sense of spiritual impairment.  Inadequate equipment: “If only I had…”  Impossible adversity: “If it were not for…”Implied unfairness: “If God would just…”  If we feel that God has undersupplied, under-equipped, under-blessed us, and at the same time he has overloaded, overextended and over-commissioned us, we need to take a second look at what we already have!  But, God has fully supplied us with everything we need for the day. The Shunamite woman’s pot of oil was renewed.  II Kings 4:1-7.  Shamgar delivered Israel with an ox goad.  Judges 3:31. These were ordinary items that God used for extraordinary outcomes.  Look at the insignificant, common things God uses: Hagar and a well of water; Moses and a bush and a rod; Israel and a piece of brass, a tree in the water; Balaam and a donkey; Elijah and a raven; Elisha and a wispy cloud, an axe head, a word; Daniel and a prayer meeting; Jesus and a boy’s lunch, a ball of mud, a word, a look, a touch, a fish, a fig tree.  We often search for the amazing, but overlook the ordinary things under our noses. 

What familiar things have you overlooked? The Word of God.  “I have written to you, young men, because you are strong, and the word of God abides in you, and you have overcome the wicked one.” 1 John 2:14.  The Name of Jesus.  “That at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those in heaven, and of those on earth, and of those under the earth.” Philippians 2:10. The Spirit of God.  “For the Spirit searches all things, yes, the deep things of God. Now we have received, not the spirit of the world, but the Spirit who is from God, that we might know the things that have been freely given to us by God.” 1 Corinthians 2:9-12.

The Galileans stumbled over the familiar. “’Where did this Man get this wisdom and these mighty works? Is this not the carpenter’s son? Is not His mother called Mary? And His brothers James, Joses, Simon, and Judas? And His sisters, are they not all with us? Where then did this Man get all these things?’ So, they were offended at Him. But Jesus said to them, ‘A prophet is not without honor except in his own country and in his own house.’ Now He did not do many mighty works there because of their unbelief.” Matthew 13:54-58. 

Are you enamored with novelty?  Do you yearn for the grass on the other side of the fence?  Are you convinced that something yet unknown, something mysterious, some enigmatic process or some astounding fact will appear out of nowhere and sweep you off your feet?  Forget it.  Your treasure is in what you already have. 

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