Recently I heard about a church sign with one letter misplaced. The sign should have read “United” but because one letter was moved it read, “Untied.”
In relationships, it’s important to keep “I” in the right place. Otherwise, things can become untied instead of united. This is true in a church, a family, or a marriage. When “I” in a relationship takes precedence over everything else, things can unravel or become skewed the wrong way.
In chapter seven of his letter to the Romans, Paul mentioned “I” many times (34). The chapter is full of questions, challenges, and dilemmas. His nature caused him to do the evil he didn’t want and he was unable to do the good he wanted to do. He wondered who could deliver him from this wretched state. He found the answer, “I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Paul’s writing in chapter eight takes a strong turn. Instead of “I” being repeated, “Spirit” is prominent (18 times). Paul wrote about the Spirit of God. That chapter has a decided theme for the better. There is a better beginning and a better ending when we emphasize the “Spirit” over “I”. It’s a basic truth; when we turn “I” over to the “Spirit”, we make a good choice for now and forever.
This is better done than said. We make choices that result in living and walking in the Spirit. Prayer is offered in the Spirit. We receive help for our weaknesses in the Spirit. God has a way of making things turn out for good for those who love him and serve his purpose. Paul was persuaded that nothing can separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus.
A little boy saw a sign that read, “God is nowhere”. He moved a few letters to create a space between the words. The sign then read, “God is now here.”
Sometimes in our stressful situations we feel that God is nowhere near. We wonder how we are going to get through the problem. Prayer is offered but no answer seems to appear. Suddenly, God provides a way and brings us through to the solution and to safety.
The Bible says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you.” That doesn’t necessarily mean when you take a step towards God he takes two steps toward you. The ratio is much greater than that. Actually, God is able to demonstrate his power “long distance” as in the case of healing the nobleman’s son.
The distraught father told Jesus that his son was at the point of death. He asked Jesus to come from Cana to Capernaum (a considerable distance on foot) and heal him. Jesus told him he was already healed and to return home. In faith, the man did so. On the way, he met his servants who reported the good news. He inquired as to the hour his son began to mend. It was the same hour that Jesus said the boy was healed.
Jesus did many signs like this in his ministry. He still can. Pray and obey his word. Let his Spirit calm the “I” in the storm.