The God of the Mountains and Valleys

By Francis Frangipane

The battles we face are often intense times of weakness, distress, and confusion. If the events of our lives were charted, these would be the lowest points. Yet God is no less with us during difficulties than at other times. In fact, these valleys are often as much the plan of God as our mountaintop experiences.

There is a story in the Bible that speaks plainly to this truth. Israel had recently defeated the Arameans in a mountain battle. In 1 Kings 20, we read:

Then the prophet came near to the king of Israel and said to him, "Go, strengthen yourself and observe and see what you have to do; for at the turn of the year the king of Aram will come up against you." Now the servants of the king of Aram said to him, "Their gods are gods of the mountains, therefore they were stronger than we; but rather let us fight against them in the plain, and surely we will be stronger than they." --1 Kings 20:22-23

The Divine Pursuit:Stages of Seeking God

By Francis Frangipane

The divine pursuit begins with the humbling of self. Until we embrace humility, our natural mind displays itself as a god sitting in the temple of our thought-life. We are ruled by the tyranny of fleshly desires, soulish fears and human ambitions. To advance in God we must retreat from self.

Thus, when true meekness emerges in our hearts, it comes to silence the clamor of our fleshly minds. The volume on our self-righteousness mutes; the voice of our fears and inadequacies becomes a whisper. To humble our earthly perspectives and opinions, we must relegate them to a lower priority; they become mere background noise as our focus turns increasingly toward God. No pretense prevails; we come humbling ourselves. We bow on our face before the holy gaze of God. And in His light finally we perceive the darkness of our soul.

Two Sets of Books

By Francis Frangipane

It was not a dream. It was simply a thought in the middle of the night, but it came into my mind with such clarity that it roused me from my sleep. It said, "He keeps two sets of books: one is exact and the other forgiving."

I barely had time to wonder who it was that kept these mysterious two accounts when the parable of the wise, but wasteful, steward surfaced in my mind. The story, which comes from Luke, chapter 16, tells of a manager who was about to be dismissed for squandering his employer's wealth.

"What shall I do," the steward pondered, "since my master is taking the stewardship away from me?" (vs 3).