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Daily Boost

  • July 11, 2014 - Reflections

    By Jean S. Horner
    The other day while walking down a corridor in a public building, I saw what appeared to be someone walking toward me. On coming closer, I found it was my own reflection in a huge mirror. For a moment it frightened me. Somehow a full-length reflection of one’s self is a startling thing. ...


 

Daily Boost

February 24, 2012 - Reconstituted Christians?

By Bill Cole

“From inside the fish Jonah prayed to the Lord his God. He said: ‘In my distress I called to the Lord, and he answered me. ?From the depths of the grave I called for help, and you listened to my cry’” (Jonah 2:1,2, NIV).

I often think about the prophet Jonah’s prayer from inside the great fish that swallowed him. Perhaps that’s not a passage of Scripture you visit often. Here’s why it comes to mind for me.

I like to call myself a “reconstituted Christian from a frozen Christian concentrate.” I grew up in church, and I sometimes took for granted all the demonstrations of God’s favor and the workings of the Holy Spirit. It is really hard not to know the Spirit when your Spirit-filled mother is singing praises and playing a hymn on the piano periodically as she is cleaning. It is almost impossible to not know God and His power while growing up in a Spirit-filled church where you regularly see divine healing and transformed lives.

But even though I came to Christ at 7 and was baptized, there were seasons of struggle. There have been seasons when, like Jonah, my life felt like a grave. Jonah was a righteous man and a prophet, but when he became “frozen concentrated righteousness,” the fish had to swallow him up. It wasn’t until Jonah realized his plight that he could be reconstituted again.

Consider that an orange is squeezed into drinkable orange juice, then frozen into concentrate. The concentrated orange juice has almost all the properties of orange juice but is worthless (try licking just the lid of concentrated OJ sometime) until reconstituted with three cans of water.

When I am under a certain amount of distress, Jonah’s prayer allows me to reflect on why I’m stressed or distressed and contemplate whether or not it was my fault in the first place. Regardless of the source of our stress or distress, it is good to know that when we call to the Lord He will listen to our cry and answer us.

We are all at different levels of maturity, and any person who is in Christ can easily become a “frozen Christian concentrate” in need of reconstitution. Things in this world affect us no matter how mature we are in Christ.

Like Jonah, we need to cry out to God. We need the continual influence of the Holy Spirit to keep us moving in God’s will and living effectively for Him. God promises to always answer “Jonah prayers.” I like to quote a promise from another prophet to back that up.

“I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit within you; and I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh” (Ezekiel 36:26, NASB).

— Bill Cole is senior pastor of Restored Hope Church in Colorado Springs, Colo.

 

 

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