Jim Shrimplin

Are you hungry?

If there is one thing that I love to do it is eat! I love cheesecake, pizza, steak, ribs, pasta, chili, brisket, corn, carrots, tacos, and much more. This spring I purchased my first smoker. I should have done it 30 years ago. The only problem is that smoking meat takes a long time, hours upon hours. It smells sooooooo gooood. I get to the point where I don’t want to wait any longer.

As people of God, we love to have the presence of the Holy Spirit in our midst. We hunger for spiritual gifts like Paul talks about in I Corinthians 12. The problem with receiving one of the Gifts of the Spirit is its like smoking meat. It seems to take a long time to receive, if we ever do.

How do we stay hungry and wait for the Holy Spirit? Let’s face it when I smoke meat I don’t want to wait. The other night while smoking some meat I couldn’t wait. I was too hungry. I had to have something else. While I was waiting for a brisket to get done, I went in patted out some hamburgers and grilled them on our gas grill.

The problem is the Holy Spirit does not work like that or He hasn’t for me anyway. I believe the problem is that the Spirit wants us to wait until He is ready to bless us and we don’t want to wait. I don’t anyway. I go off and do other things. I let other pursuits get in my way of pursing God. I get hungry and I go eat somewhere else cause I get tired of waiting, but wait we must.

How do we wait? How do we keep from “going somewhere else?” Here are a couple of things I am going to try. I hope they work for you and for me.

The first thing I need to remember is that there is no other place to go to receive the best gifts and blessings. As Christians, we have only received part of the best gift we will ever receive and that gift is salvation. You say, “Wait! What do you mean we have only received part of salvation?” The best part about salvation, I believe, is yet to come. The best part will be when we actually see Jesus. I can’t wait to see Him for the first time! If you want the best, you have to wait.

The second secret to waiting is to keep asking. Don’t give up. Keep on seeking the Lord. I know it gets difficult; keep seeking. I know it seems like He will never answer; keep seeking. I know you want it now. We all do but keep seeking. There is nothing more the enemy of your soul would like you to do more than give up. Don’t do it! If you give up, Satan wins. Don’t give him the satisfaction. Keep knocking on heaven’s door! Jesus will answer!

The third and final (for this article anyway) thing you can do is be thankful. Be thankful for that you have the Holy Spirit in you. Be thankful that one day your home will be the New Heaven and the New Earth. Be thankful that you will get to see Jesus!

Let me go back to my smoker example. I should have been thankful that I had brisket cooking. I could have been thankful that I got to enjoy the process of smoking that wonderful piece of meat. There are plenty of people in the world that would love to be able to wait for a piece of brisket. Why? They don’t know where their next meal is coming from. I should enjoy the process of waiting for my brisket to get done. Enjoyed the great smell a smoker makes. Enjoyed the anticipation of eating a great meal which would have made the meat taste even better.

The same thing is true with our walk with the Lord. The reason we walk with the Lord and not run so we can enjoy the walk! Can you image what would have happened if the two disciple on their way to Emmaus would have ran? They would have missed the opportunity to walk and talk with Jesus. We must learn to enjoy and be thankful for what we do have as we wait for what we don’t.

Well that’s way I see it today. I hope these few scattered thoughts have helped you to wait on the Lord today! Stay HUNGRY!

Jim Shrimplin

Is There More?

A little golden bear and a white rabbit are having a wonderful lunch. The rabbit speedily makes plate after plate of honey for his bear friend. Finally after eating for hours, the bear says, “I must go now. Goodbye Rabbit” Rabbit responds, “Well Goodbye. If you are sure you won’t have any more?” The golden bear pulls is head out of the rabbit hole and says, “Is there any more?” To which the skinning rabbit says, “No. There isn’t.” The little Pooh bear says, “I thought not” and then tries to squeeze himself through Rabbit’s hole only to find he is stuck.

As Christians, we can sometimes be like the little Pooh bear, we feast on the blessing of the Lord for years and years. We go to church. We participate in small groups. We pray intermittently and dust of our Bibles when we need a word from the Lord. One reason our Christianity grows cold is our experience tells us there is no more. You can only go so far in Christianity before our experience reads likes the shampoo bottle. Rinse and Repeat. Rinse and Repeat. Rinse and Repeat for 10, 20, 30 or more years. We ask ourselves is there more to Christianity. Experience tells us, “No. There isn’t.” Or maybe our theological tradition says, “No. There isn’t” Unfortunately our experience agrees by saying, “I thought not.”

I have been sucking in air on this beautiful planet 6 months short of 50 years and have been a person of The Way for a little over half of those years. I write this post with a spirit of lament. I want more from the Lord. The question I have been wrestling with is “How? How do I get more from the Lord?” In the next series of articles, I am going to be write about how to receive more from the Lord. I hope it helps you as much as I hope that it helps me.