There is a spiritual maxim, here. God will present us with the same kind of trouble again and again.
There is something of a dream quality to John’s narration, as though he were himself enrapt in the incense.
When you and I believe in and look for the supernatural goodness in ourselves and in other believers that God has personally put there, as well as gently help each other back into the way when we notice that someone is off the path, we are living into sanctification.
what we do (or do not do) about righteously tending and caring for the physical earth itself matters to God; what we do (or do not do) about hungry people and homeless people, marginalized people and people in need matters to God.
Not all the guilt we feel is ours. Often enough, we feel guilt because it gives us some sense of control over something that seems terrible to us. Then, if can only atone in some way....
But she couldn’t sleep. The bed spun. She felt woozy and nauseous. Too tired. Too wired. And all she could think about was the line of pain going up her neck and driving its spike into her head.
She would just lie here today, she thought. Who cares? Not the one who counted. He was lying brain-dead in the hospital across town.
To experience the exhilaration of true freedom, you and I will first need to learn and master restraint, self-control. True freedom is found—quixotically, counterintuitively—in full surrender to the sovereignty of God.
You and I always have the option of asking God for wisdom. Will fulfilling the desire in these circumstances be for good, and God’s glory?
As surprising as it might be for you and I to hear a donkey speak, Balaam seems to have taken it in his stride, for he answered his donkey, as though this were a perfectly ordinary part of his day. It is actually more astonishing that Balaam should have answered in the way he did!