Jun 11 2011


Posted by Anthony Crumley

Life is not at all what I thought it would be in my youth. It is surely not what I think it is in my middle age. I suspect it will not actually be what I think in my old age either. The reality that I know little and understand less is looming larger and larger.

Yet, there is still a question we must grapple with while there is time and life left to be lived. What is our life supposed to be? The simple answer is that our life is supposed to be what God created it to be. Of course, this only begs another question. How do we experience the life we were created for?

The path to this life is not what the world teaches, of that we can be sure. The worldly path is to listen to and follow our own heart. Unfortunately, our hearts are exceedingly corrupt and cannot be trusted.

On the other hand, the spiritual path is to listen to and obey our God. Amazingly, it is just that simple. In fact, there are just two things that can hinder us as we pursue the life we were created to live. Deaf ears that cannot hear His voice and a hard heart that will not obey His words.

Mostly, we don’t realize our own deafness. This is not really as strange as it may seem since so few actually have spiritual ears to hear. If a deaf person had never met someone who could hear, but had contact only with other deaf people, they would think themselves normal and whole. It is when they come into contact with someone who can hear that they realize their own deafness.

Do we unknowingly suffer from spiritual deafness? Have we been so surrounded by it that we think it normal? If so, there is no need to dispair. We begin to hear when we begin to listen. We are all capable of hearing and God is faithful to give us ears to hear when we are willing to use them.

Besides our deafness, we also may not realize we have a hard and unrepentant heart. We think our ways are the right ways but we are only doing what is right in our own eyes. We are unaware of the rock that is our heart.

Have we ever truly experienced anyone with a soft heart, someone who wholeheartedly obeys the words of our God? Would we recognize them if we saw them? Surely, they would stand out as an oddity. Living wholly by faith and obedience, they would seem unstable and foolish to those who operate from mere intellect and worldly wisdom.

If our heart was soft and completely under God’s sway, what would we be like? Are we like that now? Do we even want to be like that or are we satisfied with our hard heart? Is it possible that we are afraid of a soft heart? Could that even be our greatest fear?

Horrifically, our hard hearted state seems to be what we are naturally most comfortable and satisfied with. We are scared to death of becoming all that God would have us to be. Would to God, that our normal state, with which we are most comfortable, would become the very state He desires us to be in and that our greatest fear would become returning to the state we find ourselves in at this very moment.

In order to live the life God desires for us, caution must be laid aside as a hinderance rather than a virtue. We must hear God’s voice and obey.

Lord give us ears to hear and a heart of flesh with which to obey. Replace our hard heart and deaf ears with an obedient heart and ears attuned to your voice.

Dec 5 2010

Expectant Faith

Posted by Anthony Crumley

Faith in the promises of God should produce a confident expectation in the believer. In fact, a lack of expectation is sinful. If we don’t expect God to follow through on His promises, we are implying that He is not faithful, not true and is, in fact, capable of lying.

God has promised He will not let us be tempted beyond our ability and with each temptation He will provide a way of escape. If we truly believe this promise, we will expect Him to provide escape for every temptation that comes our way. Any temptation we experienced without a clear means of escape would shock us to the core of our being.

This expectation should be so confident that we would be sorely disappointed if God didn’t follow through on any promise He has made. Sadly, it seems the opposite is often true. Many of us would be surprised or even shocked if God did something undeniably real in our lives as a result of faith in His promises.

Oct 17 2010

Spirit Empowered Preaching

Posted by Anthony Crumley

As effective as water is in propelling a car, even so is the effect of a fair speech in compelling a person. In the place of watered down speeches in the pulpit we need high-octane sermons preached by Spirit empowered men.

Oct 11 2010

When Fear and Love are Mixed

Posted by Anthony Crumley

The fearsomeness of God is often shunned to focus on His love. Many say we are not to fear Him, that His grace and mercy should overcome our fear. Yet fear of God is the beginning of knowledge, understanding and wisdom (Proverbs 1:7; 9:10). We cannot rightly know or understand the love, mercy or grace of God except when we fear Him properly. Only when we realize how fearsome He is are we prepared to understand the incredible riches of His love toward us.

Wisdom, while preparing a feast of understanding, mixed wine for the simple to drink and learn the way of God (Proverbs 9:1-6). At that time, wine would be mixed with spices in order to improve its flavor and strengthen its affects. Many spices eaten alone are unpleasant, yet when mixed they improve the flavor of the mixture.

The fear of God is a spice that when mixed with the wine of His love improves its flavor and strengthens its affects. Like many spices, the fear of God alone is a most unpleasant experience. Although, when mixed with God’s love, the sweetness of that love is greatly enhanced. Without a proper fear of God, we can’t even begin to understand the outrageous wonder of His love.

The fear of God is a versatile spice that complements our knowledge of God in every way. For instance, when mixed with His mercy we begin to comprehend the wrath we have been spared. When mixed with His grace, the greatness of that grace is perceived, for it is grace far greater than our sin and our shame.

Dec 5 2009

Time With God

Posted by Anthony Crumley

There is a fine line between spending time with God and spending time on God.  When we are spending time with God our focus is on Him.  When we are spending time on God our focus is on what we are doing for Him.

We need to spend all of our time with God, aware of His constant presence and relating everything we do to Him.