My Inside Friend

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Prodigal: Hey!

Me:  Hey, how is your day at the beach?

Prodigal:  I wish I knew someone who could take me to that private island over there….

Me:  Well, let me tell you about my inside friend Prodigal.

What could we do if we were a friend of Bill Gates?   It doesn’t matter at this point if you like Bill or not(because I am sure that is what has formed in your mind as you read his name).  You have to agree that he has enough power, money and connections to allow us to go anywhere in the world safely and meet with a lot of the most interesting people in the world.

Imagine just one weekend.  I can see me now!  A private island for the weekend?  This is no problem for Bill. He will put you on his fastest most secure jet and have you there in a couple of hours.  On the way you will have all the electronics you need with the finest food.  Who is with you?  Well anyone you choose from your family to your closest friends.  What will you do on the island?  Boating, jet ski, fishing, pool, volley ball, lounge chair with a good book?  Not a problem at all for Bill Gates.

Guess what?  My friend can do better because, my friend is God!  Do you think of God like he is Bill Gates?  My guess would be yes.  You think of God as, a distance someone who is out there, someone who is doing his own thing or someone who was big in the past but not now.  Someone who can never be close to you, who would never help you, who does not ever notice you.  Or maybe like Bill Gates you know he is out there, but you are just mad at him and just don’t plain like him.

The truth is if you get closer to God, he can protect you better then any alarm or soldier.  He can provide any vacation and give you the peace to enjoy it.  He has connections with all sorts of people including NFL football players and movie stars.  He can also give you an ear to vent your frustrations 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year and never say he is too busy for you.  If only you could really see some of what God does around the world present day.  In fact hear is a quick story to give you a glimpse of Gods power.

The Reverend John G. Paton, pioneer missionary in the New Hebrides Islands, tells a story of his life on an island.  Hostile natives surrounded his mission headquarters one night, intent on burning the Patons out and killing them.  John Paton and his wife prayed all during the terror-filled night that God would deliver them.  When daylight came they were amazed to see that , unaccountably, the attackers had left.  They thanked God for delivering them.

A year later, the chief of the tribe was converted to Jesus Christ, and Mr. Paton, remembering what had happened, asked the Chief what had kept him and his men from burning down the house and killing them.  The Chief replied in surprise, “Who were all those men you had with you there?”  The missionary answered, “There were no men there; just my wife and I.” The Chief argued that they had seen many men standing guard-hundreds of big men in shining garments with drawn swords in their hands. They seemed to circle the mission station so that the natives were afraid to attack.  Only then did Mr. Patron realize that God had sent His angels to protect them.  The Chief agreed that there was no other explanation.  Could it be that God had sent hundreds of angles to protect his servants whose lives were endangered?

How is God working in your life?  How is your prayers with him?  Do you believe he can do this in your life?

Me:  Prodigal I believe 100% that God can do this for me so in my life everyday I have an” inside friend” with more power then you could every image!

Is God an Aspirin?

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Me:  Wow, you look like you are having a nice walk Prodigal!

Prodigal Pig:  Yes I am just looking at the flowers and enjoying the weather

Me:  Well I am on my way to church Prodigal hope you have a nice walk!

Prodigal Pig:  You are going to church now, on this day, at this time?

Me:  Yes well let me explain my thoughts Prodigal….

Harold Kushner once said, Some people use religion to strengthen their immune systems and help them resist temptation.  Some use it as an antibiotic to cleanse their systems of infection and make them feel healthy again.  And some use it as an aspirin, to take away the pain of wrongdoing without affecting the cause of that pain.  You know I have been at all three points in my life.  I feel that there are three different levels of maturity with your walk with God.  Some people only experience one.  Others go through the levels and drop to different ones depending on different trails.  Our goal is to love God and love others, our love depends on that relationship we have with God and how we view it.

When we go to church and use God as an aspirin then to the outside it may look like the hypocrite.  These are the people who cheat on their spouse, are abusive, are addicts and they live all week trying to get more and more of that “thing” that is usually a disobedient act against God.  It never helps nor heals.  It just cause us to be further from God and to feel “pain”.  We go on Sunday to somehow make up for the behavior, to somehow feel right for just one hour.  Then the whole process goes on and on for one month, two years or three decades.  We look at people and say how can you go to church every week with what you do during the week.  Well people God is an aspirin.  They just take the aspirin to stop the pain for a short while and never look at what is really causing the pain.

How about using God as an antibiotic to cleanse you system from an infections?  Well this is when your spouse wants to leave you, you loss your job, you may have cancer or it is 9-11-01 and you have to make since of the world.  You pray and go to church and find comfort in scripture that says “Trust the Lord with all your heart”  You lean on him and start to draw close to him but then your spouse is fine and will not leave you, you get a new job, you made it through cancer and it now has been 12 years since 9-11-01.  You don’t forget but life goes on and you seem to be fine.  Life gets in the way and you don’t have time for God right now, after all does it really matter if I go to church this Sunday or pray tonight or read scripture?  So the problem with the antibiotic is that you take it faithfully until there is no sign of infection but then it is not needed anymore and life goes back to normal.  You go back to normal and your life really has not changed.

Then God can be strength to our immune system and helps us resist temptation.  It is like a vitamin or mineral or herb.  We take a vitamin B for energy everyday.  When we don’t take it we notice less energy.  It becomes part of our life.  We feel off if we don’t have it.  We noticed that in some way it has improved our lives.  God is then part of our everyday lives no matter where we all.  We worship him not for others but because we love him and it is part of us more then anything else!  People see God through us and we shine with his love.  God is no longer separate in our lives anymore but now part of us, just like taking that vitamin with our morning coffee.


Me: So Prodigal I am going to church and will take my vitamin after….



So Prodigal Pig what has been on your mind lately?  “Well I am so frustrated people are just bothering me left and write.  I go to work and they just are always bothering me about this and that and take no notice of all I have to offer.  I talk to friends and they go on and on about themselves but fail to understand that I have all the answers for them.” ” Why can’t people just listen and follow me”  “Also I pray to God to help these people all the time but he just doesn’t do anything about them.”  “Come on God I could use some help here with all these people! ” They would be the best Christians in the world if they just did what I do on a daily basis.” ” God make them listen, can’t you see how they need me.”

Oh Prodigal Pig how these thoughts are mine so often and how my actions have been based on these thoughts.  I found a little poem.  Prodigal I would love to say I wrote it but I do not know the author.  Lets just say it is a little message from God to you.  Read the lines, could the first sentence, the fifth sentence ring true to who you are or maybe that last sentence is really you Prodigal.

My name is Pride.

I am a cheater. I cheat you of your God-given destiny…because you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment…because you “deserve better than this.”

I cheat you of knowledge…because you already know it all.

I cheat you of healing…because you’re too full of me to forgive.

I cheat you of holiness…because you refuse to admit when you’re wrong.

I cheat you of vision…because you would rather look in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship…because nobody is going to know the real you.

I cheat you of love…because real romance demands sacrifice.

I cheat you of greatness in heaven…because you refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.

I cheat you of God’s glory…because I convince you to seek your own.

My name is Pride.  I am a cheater. You like me because you think I’m always looking out for you. Untrue. I’m looking to make a fool of you. God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry… If you stick with me You’ll never know.