Lights On During Fog

I’m sitting here watching a preacher on television, looking dapper in his nice pin-striped suit and colorful tie, offering well-traveled principles on how to get the most out of life.  One of the points he has just made is “Learn How To Travel In The Fog” meaning, of course, when life is uncertain, there is One who is always certain and can be trusted, so follow His lead with the eyes of faith. 

Good reminder to be sure.

The trouble is, when he made his point, the corresponding words that flashed on the television screen were slightly different.  One little word was altered which changed the meaning completely.  The person in the multimedia department who was responsible, and for whatever reason, flashed the words: “Learn To Travel In A Fog”.  I’ll bet they wished they had caught it before it went to broadcast!

That seems to be the general atmosphere among the church scene of the 21st century.  We yawn our way through Sunday and sleep-walk our faith throughout the week.  Cobwebs grow along the cavernous chambers of our hearts.  There is no bite, no vim and vigor and little passion in our love affair with Christ.  What love affair?  We’d rather keep it on the down-low, not wanting to turn it into something that will raise eyebrows or elicit exclaims of “what’s happened to you?”  We prefer, many of us, to keep the thermostat on 75; not too hot, not too cool.  Just right.  Cozy, even.

I’m not posing that we look to emotionalism as being the savior of the church.  Lord knows we have churches that pump up the jam, jump and shout amid lasers and stage lights and still have no more effect on cultural transformation than how a frog’s hopping in the woods would cause someone in town to turn his head worried over tremors and earthquakes.  Whether the fog is on the stage or in the pews, no matter.

I am positing, however, a return to a high view of God.  His being transcends all and if we lift our eyes above the fog, we will see Him.  Tony Evans, pastor of the Oak Cliff Bible Fellowship in Dallas, said he went to his neighborhood Wal-mart recently to shop for a few items.  He didn’t want the hassle of long lines so he left his house early to avoid the hubbub but when he arrived, the parking lot was full.  Groaning and not a little puzzled over why so many would be out shopping so early, he went inside to discover the reason: there was a store-wide clearance sale.

While waiting in one of those cursed long lines, it dawned on him that this is how most people approach their commitment level with Christ.  If you can get God at a reduced price, they’re all for it.  Keep God cheap and they’re in.  But offer me a God at retail, or worse, an inflated price, uh, no thanks, I’ll just sleep in.

Say what you want about the Puritans, I have a strong appreciation for my forebears concerning the esteem to which they raised and praised God.  It sounds out-dated I know, but they feared Him something fierce!  Sure, at times they went a little overboard with the language of we humans as low-down dirty worms and worthless, but they really knew how to exalt the Almighty to the highest place and give Him His due honor. 

Over the weekend, I heard some Christian girl group from the UK sing about Jesus as being their “sunshine”, all the while dancing and looking worldly and seductive; and though the sound was catchy, the lyrics were so nebulous one could easily think they were singing about a boyfriend.  We want to package Christianity so close to the world’s comfort level (“keep Him cheap”) thinking that will hook them when all it does is muddy the waters a good deal more.  Christianity then gets so assimilated into all other religions and worldviews it has lost its potency.

Ah, but go to the airwaves or workplace and herald Christ as the Almighty, omnipotent, transcendent Lord, the only way and only hope for mankind, then heads will turn and the fog will clear.  Our culture is saddled with many gods, none of which can save the human race.  We, the people of the only true God, must get God out of the bargain basement and elevate Him in our lives, our homes, and our weekly places of worship. 

Who wants to fall in love with “Sunshine”?  No, beloved, but I certainly can swoon and blush at the thought of creation’s Creator fighting and conquering all enemies just to win me for His Bride!  And to think He’s coming for me—any day now!—makes me want to be ready and clear-headed. 

Though I’m dark You say I am lovely
Though I’m poor You say I am beautiful 

Somehow my weakness has overwhelmed You
Somehow my weak glance has stolen away Your heart
 

That’s reason and motivation enough, wouldn’t you say?  Oh, and if you catch me napping, remind me of these things.  And if I look like I’m in a fog, do me a favor and slap some sense into me. 

24 thoughts on “Lights On During Fog

  1. Tom Mitchell says:

    You’re right on target Scott. Wwe need to be slapped once in awhile to wake us up to the need to lift Him up, and not our own emotional uplifting. It’s all about Him. I love you my son, and
    my brother in Christ: Dad

    Like

  2. J.Thomas says:

    SUUUUUUUUWEEEEET!!!!!

    Like

  3. KaKa says:

    I’ll be ready to slap sense into you if you will do the same for me.
    It was nice to see your dad reading here.

    Like

  4. Caleb says:

    Remember what Dr. Roberson used to say back in the day? He said “Young people, don’t be common!”

    Dallas Willard said in “The Divine Conspiracy,” that we aren’t to blend with the culture or accomodate it in our lives. Our way of living ought to SUBVERT our culture. Call me Caleb, cultural subversive.

    Like

  5. Hm.
    Can of worms anyone?

    Like

  6. pasturescott says:

    Go ahead, JT…open one up…

    Like

  7. brotherjohnny says:

    Heh..
    Well…

    It’s really just more of a question.
    First, I amen your post, Scott, totally, and so this question is sparking off of something Caleb said.

    So here it is.
    What, exactly, are the defining characteristics of a culture?
    Or even better…,
    What, precisely is OUR culture?

    I understand that there is a certain amount of relativity involved with the answer, but I’d like to hear some feedback about on this.

    Worthy question, eh?
    No TOO wormy!!

    Caleb?
    Anyone?

    Like

  8. Evelyn says:

    The lyrics to the song “Wake Me Up” by the Merchant Band speak to this.

    I feel a shaking though it’s faint
    Something is coming am I too late
    I need to be ready
    The earth is groaning as it waits
    Longing for the coming day
    I need to be ready

    Grant to me the grace I need
    To live a life found worthy in the end
    Violently-I will seek
    Cause wisdom is just a fight in the end.

    WAKE ME UP, WAKE ME UP I don’t want to be sleeping when You’re coming.
    WAKE ME UP, WAKE ME UP I don’t want to be lying down through this final hour.
    WAKE ME UP
    The Nations gather as they say
    Let’s break their bones and caste their chains
    I need to be ready
    Deep darkness is coming soon
    Do I have oil to make it through
    I need to be ready

    Grant to me the grace I need
    To live a life found worthy in the end
    Violently-I will seek
    Cause wisdom is just a fight in the end.
    WAKE ME UP
    I cry for mercy-Lord have mercy WAKE US UP!!!!!
    One in need of His mercy-Evelyn

    Like

  9. brotherjohnny says:

    They are new every morning, dear one.

    Like

  10. timbob says:

    Greetings. “Learn to travel in A fog.” That’s funny. I wonder if the Lord temporarily blinded the eyes of the editors so that this “apparent” error would come across the screen. It seems that many are in a fog these days. Going about their lives and not grasping the urgency of the hour.

    To exhalt the Lord Jesus at all times and in all things. In spirit and in truth, may we all hold our Savior in the highest regard and love him with all of our heart. Thanks for a much-needed post.

    have a blerssed day in Christ.

    timbob

    Like

  11. sooooooooooooo excellent…as always…can almost hear it: even so, come, Lord Jesus…be bless… -g-

    Like

  12. Alan Powell says:

    Scott,
    When I read this I thought about what Jesus told the church of the Laodiceans:
    “These things says the Amen, the Faithful and True Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, I know your works, that you are neither cold nor hot. I could wish you were cold or hot. So then, because you are lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will vomit you out of My mouth.”
    Thanks for reminding me.
    Alan

    Like

  13. pasturescott says:

    I love you too, Dad! I hope everyone reads my Father’s Day tribute to one of the greatest influences of my life.

    You da MAN, Dad!

    Like

  14. pasturescott says:

    Caleb, I thought I’d heard all of his famous quotes…how did I ever miss that one! It’s great! God, deliver us from being common…

    Thanks, brother!

    Like

  15. pasturescott says:

    Ev, we are all blessed to read these amazing lyrics…thank you, precious sis, for taking the time to post them here. His mantle in on you, girl.

    Let’s melt that ice!

    Like

  16. pasturescott says:

    Timbob, my friend, may the Lord continue to hold you up and light your way through these foggy days. His Light shines on in you, your spirit and your faithful writing. I am blessed to have you drop in on me.

    Like

  17. pasturescott says:

    God bless you, Alan!

    Ancient words with real-time application, indeed.

    Thank YOU for this reminder.

    What a joy to know you all these years, my friend…

    Like

  18. Mandy Houk says:

    Scott, you are so on the money. I have been thinking along these lines quite a bit lately, largely because our pastor has been doing a sermons series on the early church in Acts. It seems that we in the church are just doing our thing for our own sakes, not giving much thought to what the purpose for the church really is/was in the first place: to glorify God and spread the amazing news of His limitless love and mercy and grace, available to all.

    And, like you, I am frequently puzzled by the “Christian” songs that I hear–partly because of their ambiguity (as you said, they could be love songs to God OR to a boy, which is so bizarre); and also because of the manner in which they are sung. One of the most popular female Christian artists always sounds to me like she’s just a smidge away from a heavy-breathing phone call.

    Where is our reverence?

    Like

  19. […] Okay, I’m a little slow on keeping up with my favorite blogs lately. Pasture Scott put this one up several days ago, but it’s so worth reading, I had to link to it. Even though most of you […]

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  20. pasturescott says:

    Would everyone please take the time to read Mandy’s comment above? She is a wonderful communicator and her passion on this subject clearly resounds. Not to mention, she linked this post to her website!

    (Thanks, Mandy.)

    Like

  21. brotherjohnny says:

    Yes!
    The early church!
    How incredibly inspiring.

    The church was about the Lord and Lord was about the church!

    On that note, you know what many believe to be the very first piece of Christian literature to be?
    First let me clarify…
    By using the term ‘Christian’ here, I mean NEW TESTAMENT.

    Paul’s letter to the church in Galatia.

    This may or may not be so, but it really makes sense to me in the context of “the story”.

    Just imagine if you did not know how to read, had just recently been transformed by the preaching of the gospel, and had received the Spirit of God.
    You never heard of the bible, but had some knowledge or had heard some teaching from the old testament…

    And then your community receives this letter from the man who gave you Christ in the first place.

    Now, forget everything else, just for a few moments, forget everything that you know about ‘Christianity’ and pick up just that one ‘simple’ letter, and hand it to the closest brother who knows how to read, and let him read it to the community.

    Let the whole letter be read in one sitting and see what happens…

    God bless you all…

    Like

  22. pasturescott says:

    Man, JT, you really painted a mood! Color me blessed, brother! How transformational this would be in the church…to read it in this light, to HEAR it in this light! Glory be to the One who sets us FREE!

    ‘Preciate the vibe, my man! You rock the place!

    Like

  23. Joe B says:

    This is a cry for help: My Lord said “Come to me you that are weary & heavy laden and I will grant you rest…the problem is that that there are so many different groups all claiming to represent Him and they are not speaking the same thing –thus adding to my Fog! How am I going to see my way through this Fog? Philip Helped the Eunuch.who will help me? Whom shall I trust?

    Like

  24. pasturescott says:

    Oh, my friend Joe, I hear you…the one thing that ever need be said to settle all of this for all eternity is: Jesus is “the Way, the Truth, the Life” Come to Him, weary one (Matt 11:33) and He will take you to the Father. He will show you the Father! You will discover on the road (Jesus) that the fog will begin to lift. I challenge you to spend some time shutting your mind to other preachers, writings, etc. for a while and see only Him in the Gospel of John. Pray this: “Lord, show me Yourself in these verses. I want to see You in ways I’ve never seen before. I want to KNOW YOU.”

    Then, please, for God’s sake, leave a comment for me here again.

    Like

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