In this world, we have grown so accustomed to the inherited way of life that it becomes natural for us to cover up our true feelings. So often, the question, "How are you?" is answered with "Fine good, or O.K." This brief interchange between family, friends, and acquaintances is the essence of our communication, thus our relationships is stalled on a superficial plateau. We often venture a little deeper with facts and opinions but the true person lies hidden beneath them. In reality, no one knows who we really are for only when honest feelings and emotions are shared can real people be known, loved and helped. If one dares act out of the box and be honest -- be themselves -- it triggers negative reactions. So often, these patterns of superficial communication spill over in our talks with God. It is so easy to slide through well rehearsed recitals that stem back to decades, or quickly toss a cliche' or two at God and call it prayer. Does God hear and understand these feeble attempts? I dare say yes. But by limiting the depth of our communication, we become shallow in our relationship with Him. Don't be surprised. God knows us and desires to have genuine communication with us.
David demonstrates an example of such genuine communication that God is looking for from His children. In a great collection of songs and prayers, David expresses the heart and soul of humanity. In them we find no cliches, no overworked phrases. Instead, David honestly pours out his true feelings, reflecting a dynamic, powerful and life-changing friendship with God. He confesses his sins, expresses his doubts and fears, asks God for help in times of trouble, and praise and worships Him. As I read the the book of Psalms I hear David crying out to God from the depths of despair, or singing and rejoicing, sharing honest feelings with his God. He did not allow the customs of the world in his day to influence him. He patterned his life from the things that please God. For him, it was about being constantly in the presence of God. That's the very reason why he said he delights in doing the will of God (Psalm 40:8), for doing the will of God places us in His Hand.
Isaiah contrasts humble persons, who have reverence for God's messages and their application to life, with those who choose their own ways (Isaiah 66:2). God shows mercy to the humble, but He curses the proud and self-sufficient (Luke 1:51-53). Our society urges us to be assertive and to affirm ourselves, but we should not allow our freedom and right to choose lead us away from God's pathway to eternal life. God seeks total humility on our path. His way says, "Come now, let us reason" (Isaiah 1:18). The world way says, "It is your prerogative to decide how much you want to disclose." Why not be open and honest with Him for He will have it no other way.
It is so natural for us to pattern ourselves from the things that take place in the world. We copy its behaviour and customs (Romans 12:2), and are conformed to them. Paul warns against this. He says they are selfish and often corrupting. Wise Christians, however, decides that much worldly behaviour is off-limits for them, but our refusal to conform to this world's values however, must go deeper than just behaviour and customs; it must be firmly planted in our mind. It is possible to avoid worldly customs and still be proud, covetous, selfish, stubborn, and arrogant. But when we are in the hand of God, and the Holy Spirit renews, re-educates, and redirects our mind are we truly transformed. God has good, pleasing and perfect plans for His children. He wants us to be transformed people with renewed minds, living to honour and obey Him, and because He gave His Son to make our new life possible, we should joyfully give ourselves as living sacrifices to His service.
Author of "The Healing Hand of God"
In "The Healing Hand of God" (listed in the Christian Book Basket April 2nd) Shirley Kirwan aptly compresses her six-month critical illness into a few pages of faith-affirming reading. The book synthesizes the certainty of bible promises with her practical extra-biblical deliverance from the cold arms of death, by God's mighty hand. The authenticity of this personal testimony is corroborated by eyewitness accounts and medical interventions, showing cumulatively, that while her physical heart was at its weakest, her spiritual heart was at its strongest.
"I'm not out to bash skeptics or prove too bold a point, but I'm passionate about sharing my own personal story of being saved at a time when many had already written my life off," says Kirwan. "I can't speak on behalf of others, but my own personal experience is that God will save anyone if they take the time to get close to him. My book will assist people with the goal -- it could just be life-saving."
'The Healing Hand of God' is available for around $16 at
Though He Slay Me Yet Will I Trust Him!
by Shirley Kirwan
Magic City Apr 16, 2014
They were judging him without knowing what God was doing. We must be careful to avoid making judgements about a person because God may be working in ways we know nothing about. Throughout his affliction, Job continued to hope in God, and it paid off. I challenge you to make God your foundation; your hope. You can never be separated from Him. Only in trusting God can you like Job, say, "Though He slay me, yet will I trust Him" (Job 13:15), and watch God bring you out as pure gold.
Only By Faith!
by Shirley Kirwan
Magic City April 9, 2014
The term, 'seeing is believing' is a well-known saying that most people are accustomed to hear. But I dare pause to say, that this saying does not stand when it relates to things of God; for, because we cannot see something doesn't mean it doesn't exist. We've been told that we are surrounded by air and breathe in oxygen without which we cannot survive. We have never seen oxygen, yet, we believe. How much more then should we believe in a God who created us and continues to sustain us?