God’s Conviction vs. Satan’s Condemnation

15 Jul

“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. . .”  Rom 8:1  NIV

As Christians we strive to please God.  Scripture reminds us, according to John 10:10,   “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  (NIV)  Those are the words of Jesus.

Following are a few of the ways we can discern whether God is convicting us by way of His Holy Spirit or the thief (Satan) is doing his best to condemn us by his accusations and lies.

 

When God Convicts He:

  • Nudges us gently and with love
  • Speaks a Scripture to our hearts for encouragement
  • Speaks clearly in our hearts when we sin which allows us to repent immediately
  • Reminds us of previous victories to enhance our faith and give us encouragement
  • Cannot lie
  • Sends friends to encourage and support us
  • Gives us joy and peace

When Satan Condemns He:

  • Accuses us of awful things, calls us names, tells us how unloved we are and that we are no good
  • Is the father of lies and tells us God’s Word won’t work for us
  • Reminds us of our failures and mistakes and tells us we will never get beyond them
  • Tries at all times to discourages us
  • Tells us God isn’t listening to us and that He won’t keep His promises to us
  • Hates us and will try to destroy us
  • Sends people to discourage us
  • Tries to convince us that to sin is not that big a deal and that it won’t hurt us
  • Constantly tells us we will fail and never amount to anything
  • Works at tormenting us and plants seeds of doubt and unbelief to make us worry

These are just a few ways we can know if what we are hearing is from God or the thief that comes to kill, steal, and destroy us. God does not condemn us. He sent His Son to die for us so that we might have an abundant life. We cannot fathom how much He loves us, and wants to encourage us.

When we become discouraged and all kinds of negative, hurtful,  and discouraging things come at us we need to recognize immediately that God is  not the author of those things. God’s way is to convict us in love. He will convict us in a manner that is clear and direct when He wants to get our attention. He won’t torment us and cause us to wonder what he is saying to us. God will correct us, His children, but He will do it in a loving manner. He will also do it in a way that we can accept and understand without condemning us in any way.

Any time we begin to have constant negative thoughts – or become depressed and guilty about our past or our failures and shortcomings – we are not hearing that from God. We are hearing it from the accuser – the one who condemns us – the thief, satan.

This is literally good (God) against evil (Satan). We need to be very careful about allowing the thief to rob us of one more moment of peace. God loves us and forgives our sin immediately when we ask Him. He then casts our sin as far as the east is from the west and remembers it no more. Therefore, God isn’t the one reminding us of our past mistakes or speaking condemning words to us.

Ps 103:11-12  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his love for those who fear him; as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us.  (NIV)

When the enemy starts bringing those negative, abusive, hurtful thoughts to our hearts we have to stop him immediately. The way to do that is to refuse to yield to those things that will allow doubt and unbelief to haunt us. Instead, we need to denounce the enemy, tell him to get away from us, and remind him that he is a liar, and that he has no authority over us.

The next step is to begin to thank God for His love, His protection, His encouragement and refuse to let our minds meditate on anything but the goodness of God. Actually, the Scripture tells us in Philippians 4:8, “Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable — if anything is excellent or praiseworthy — think about such things.” (NIV)

We are not slaves to our minds. We aren’t helpless when it comes to keeping out negative thoughts, but we do have to make an effort to put a stop to it and to re-focus our thinking on the things of God. He did not leave us helpless, He gave us spiritual weapons. Giving place to His Word, the Bible, will give us all the answers we need.

Hearing Voices

14 Jul

Recently, Pastor said “How much do you trust the voice who is giving you your marching orders”?  That statement brought so many things to mind. Scripture tells us that Jesus said, “My sheep know my voice, and I know them, and they follow me.” John 10:27 NKJV

I’ve heard many people say that they don’t hear God’s voice or that God doesn’t speak to them. John 10:27 tells a different story. If we are born again Christians we are His children, His sheep, and His Word says that we hear His voice.

I like the way Pastor said it – “How much do you trust the voice who is giving you your marching orders”? We hear voices constantly – so much so at times that we can’t rest. Where do they all come from? They are not all God’s voice. We can’t claim that everything we do is directed by God because it isn’t. God’s Word, the Bible, is His Word. To know God’s Word is to know God. Without reading the Bible, we can’t know which voices we are hearing.

We hear voices on the radio, the television, people all around us, our inner thoughts, the devil and the still small voice of God. Even Jesus was tempted by satan as he fasted. Jesus, in turn, spoke the Word of God to Him and told him to flee.

Today the world around us moves so fast. We do our best to keep up, and in doing so we sometimes don’t take the time to consult with the One who was given to us as a counselor – the Holy Spirit of God. We don’t always have to stop everything we’re doing and get on our knees to talk to God although there is a time and place for that.

God is with us all the time, everywhere we go. We can talk to Him on and off all day. We can thank Him as we are blessed, call out to Him when we have a question and need guidance, or seek His knowledge and direction, as needed. He can, and will, give us instant direction if we need it. One of the shortest prayers in the Bible is “Lord, save me.” He hears us, and He knows us.

Sometimes we blame things on God that He didn’t do. We may not have trained ourselves to  focus on what God is saying to us. Listening to God and taking our marching orders from Him will assure that we remain in His perfect will. Ignoring that “red flag” we sometimes sense in our hearts is dangerous and can get us off track which gets us out of the will of God. Following God’s voice sometimes takes courage – especially if it takes us out of our comfort zone, but our comfort zone is not always part of God’s plan for us.

The “red flag” is that little bit of uneasiness we feel when we’re about to do something we shouldn’t do. A feeling that something isn’t just as it should be,  is reason enough to stop and reconsider our actions. The problem can be that we are facing a deadline and time is of the essence, but God isn’t limited by clocks and deadlines. Our trust in Him should be so great that we trust Him to work beyond a deadline. Ignoring His warning can lead to bigger problems.

God always has our best interest at heart. He knows the path we take and can lead us around the pitfalls. Our part is to listen to Him and obey His direction. The fear we feel inside can be transformed by prayer into faith. God looks on our hearts and knows we are doing our best to follow His lead. He is well able to turn things around for us and will do just that as we dedicate ourselves to following Him as He leads us.

God has a divine plan for each one of us. Getting to the finish line will be much faster and less complicated as we let Him lead us rather than take unwanted detours and distractions by following voices other than His.

 

 

We Are Becoming. . .

16 Jun

Yesterday at Church, God spoke to me through several statements made by the Pastor. One that gave me great comfort was that I am “becoming” – what God wants me to be. I was especially moved by that statement because for so much of my life I have felt as though I am not all God wants me to be. Sunday’s message jolted me out of a life-long belief that I am not doing enough to be all that God wants me to be! Of course not – I am becoming that person. It takes a lifetime. Wow! That is good news!

Sadly, some of us feel that we have arrived – meaning we have reached our destination. We feel we have earned the right to shut out everything that we don’t want to be bothered with. The truth is we never truly “arrive,” as the saying goes.

I’ve lived a good, long life, but I have not arrived. When I finish my work on this earth and depart for my life in eternity, I will have arrived in heaven. I will then still have eternity before me. I am becoming (growing, advancing, maturing). . .  I will never arrive! Awesome! I love that. What pressure it takes off me.

The majority of my life has been spent wanting to hurry up and get from point “A” to point “Z,” meaning – I didn’t enjoy a lot of the journey. I see more clearly now – it is about the journey – about becoming. I don’t have to get everything right all at one time. I get so frustrated with myself for not being all I should be (what I think I should be). God isn’t the one putting the pressure on me – I am the one putting the pressure on me! Jesus said:

  •  “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.  For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matt 11:28-30 NIV

I don’t want to use the fact that I am becoming as an excuse for being lax in the things I do. What I do want is to be a little kinder to myself and to remember Jesus told me clearly to come to Him to find the rest I need. He reminds me in Matthew 11 that He is gentle and humble in heart. He isn’t the one driving me and pusing me to the point of frustration and exhaustion. I am the one doing that. All He is asking of me is that I become the person He has destined me to be. I can do that with His help.

 

 

We Are Limited – God Is Not!

12 Jun

There isn’t one day in our lives that God doesn’t already know about. We may encounter surprises or unexpected circumstances, but God is never surprised. He knows everything we do before we do it. We may not always be prepared, but God is.  He has every answer we need, and He will accomplish all that He has purposed for us. Our part is to walk with Him, and follow in obedience.

You have searched me, Lord,
    and you know me.
You know when I sit and when I rise;
    you perceive my thoughts from afar.
You discern my going out and my lying down;
    you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
    you, Lord, know it completely.

Psalm 139:1-4 (NIV)

God wants to use each one of us for His purposes, which sometimes requires us to step out of our comfort zones. Our confidence should be in Him, not in our own abilities. As we take the first step, God is at our side, guiding us. He will equip us for any task He  brings our way. Past mistakes or  fear will attempt to hold us back, but God doesn’t require perfection; He wants our love, trust, and obedience.  As we follow His lead and do our part, He will do those things we can’t do; He will make a way.  Our challenge is to take the first step.

It is in our nature to want to know things in advance, but according to Scripture, “Faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” Hebrews 11:1 KJV

Our eyes should be on Him and what He can do – not on ourselves and what we can do. We are limited, God is not.

Don’t Fight Pointless Battles

29 May

I get really frustrated with myself for fretting.  Actually, the Bible tells us not to.

  • Matt 6:25-27  25 “Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more important than food, and the body more important than clothes? 26 Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? 27 Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?   NIV

I know better. I also know God is not ever going to forsake me. He is and will always be with me every step I take. Scriptures also tell us that we should not worry about tomorrow because each day has enough trouble of its own.

  • Matt 6:33-34     33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.
    NIV

These Scriptures make it very clear that we are to take one day at a time. Obviously, we can’t completely ignore the future, but we can avoid wasting precious time letting our imaginations run wild as we create scenarios that we might be challenged with  - possibly – maybe – in a few days or weeks  or some day. Come on now, does that really make a bit of sense? Absolutely not. More than likely most of the things we worry about will never happen. So, why, why, why do we worry?

Sometimes I focus so much on what “might be” that I am not able to do what is right in front of me. That is when I get so frustrated with myself. I know better. When future possibilities worry me, I begin to thank God for all of the blessings He has poured out on my life. There are so many – too many to count. He has never let me down. I stand in awe of His love and His mighty works. So, I still don’t know why I worry.

I heard someone say that to worry is to suffer in advance. There is so much truth in that. I know that God is going to protect me, no matter what the situation, and I want the battle in my mind to cooperate with the Word of God, not give in to the thoughts that the enemy throws my way.

I try to walk in the Spirit and give everything to God, but there are times I take it back from Him and continue to fret over it. I can’t do both. I either give it to God and put my trust in Him or I hold on to the imaginations and continue to fret. My actions are saying, “God, I don’t really trust you and you might not take care of my problem this time. So, I’ve got this.”

That is the exact thing that frustrates me. God knows me intimately. He made me the person I am today. He knows what is in my heart more so than I do. I can’t thank Him enough for that. There is really no question in my heart and spirit that God will fail me. The question is in my soul – my flesh, if you will. There is a constant battle going on between the two.

The great news is that God never fails me. He is always faithful, even though I may not be. He is right there beside me all the time. I have not completed my race. I’m not a runner, but I know a person doesn’t just decide to run a marathon and sign up. There is a time of preparation. There are challenges to overcome – one being that we don’t give in to the doubt and fear that tries to overtake our minds.

That is exactly what satan tries to do to us. He constantly throws doubts and fears at us, hoping we will give up and turn away from God’s will for our lives. So, that tells me that as long as I am fighting the battle, I am winning the war with God at my side. I am not immune to satan or his evil ways. Scripture tells me that he comes as a thief to steal, kill and destroy but that Jesus wants us to have life to the full.

  • John 10:10  The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy ; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.  NIV

It is important to stand firm, doing our best not to waver and, when the enemy comes to steal our peace, destroy our emotions, and kill or destroy whatever we are attempting to accomplish, we stand still and see the great thing the Lord is about to do before our eyes!

  • 1 Sam 12:16   “Now then, stand still and see this great thing the LORD is about to do before your eyes! NIV

We win! Winning means we are triumphant. Even when life isn’t always easy. Actually, life is seldom easy. Being a child of God, a Christian, doesn’t mean we don’t face the trials and tribulations of life, but it does mean we are overcomers through Jesus Christ.

 

 

Don’t Panic

22 May

Life is full of surprises. Ask me how I know!! But, keep in mind that nothing surprises God. He knows us – our past, present and future.

Naturally, staying calm in a crisis is much easier said than done. But, there are some ways we can prepare ourselves in the event we have to face those surprises in life. Most important is that we do our best to stay in a close relationship with God. His Holy Spirit lives within us and is there to be our comforter, our guide and our teacher.

As we mature in the ways of the Lord, we learn that He has all the answers. He IS the answer. That isn’t just a “churchy” statement. Our first reactions is usually to take matters into our own hands or call everyone we know.  We need to make it a habit to turn to God first, at all times in every situation. Then, it is important that we allow Him to lead us. I realize how difficult this may sound, but if we can discipline ourselves to do this in all things, we’ll be better equipped to handle life’s harder, unexpected events.

God knows not only what is behind us, but what is ahead of us. He can take us on a straight path to the solution of any problem. Look at it this way – if you were lost without a map and had no idea which way to go, and a good Samaritan came along and said he knew the way, he could help you. He could draw you a map and tell you about all the turns and signs along the way, or he could just say, “Follow me”. Following him would be the easiest, quickest way.

That’s what God does for us. He just says, “Follow me”. There is no need for us to waste any  time trying to work out what we are going to on our own, making wrong turns along the way. The quickest, easiest way is just to follow God. The stumbling block is for us to do is get control of our emotions and to keep our minds from imagining all sorts of scenarios.

I heard a story once that is a great illustration. It was told by a police captain who was called to an automobile accident, a really bad one. There were people everywhere – medics – policemen – firemen – and bystanders. The captain was criticized later because he seemed cold, unemotional and too far removed from the events going on around him.

He was later interviewed by a local reporter about his seemingly uncaring attitude. The captain’s reply  to the reporter brought a hush to the crowd and turned their outcry  to one of a quiet hush and tearful eyes. He explained that in order for him to do his job, he had to remain calm and keep his mind alert. There was so much chaos all around him and so much anger and confusion that there had to be someone who could make the hard decisions and direct the others in a manner to keep order. He said that his heart was breaking inside and his mind was racing, but it was mandatory that he keep his mind focused so that he could do his job.

If we all fall apart in a crisis there is confusion and chaos.  There must be order. God is a God of order. We can see all throughout the Scriptures that God had a plan from the very beginning of time. We cannot presume that we know better than He does. We can’t know better. God is our strength and our refuge. He knows the way out. He has the answers.

Some would say that they can’t control their emotions, which is a lie they have believed from satan. Their emotions take over and they can then cause other problems that have to be addressed, adding to the already bad situation and taking up valuable, possibly life-threatening time. Controlling our emotions is a matter of self-control. It’s not that we can’t, it’s that we don’t want to.

It’s not easy to control our emotions when everything within us is screaming and our hearts are racing. We think we don’t have time to talk to God about it. If we proceed without Him, it’s kind of like jumping off the top of a building and calling out to God to save you. We can’t unscramble eggs. We can avoid making our situation worse by taking just a few minutes to ask God for His help. We can ask Him for the peace we need and to direct us as we make decisions. It just takes a moment to call out to Him. And, that moment can change the entire outcome of the situation. The Bible tells us  to acknowledge God in all our ways.

  • Proverbs 3:5-6    5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart  and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. NIV

We all want our path to be as straight as possible. The key is to acknowledge God. Put Him first, not last. Don’t be guilty of making Him an afterthought. Don’t take detours, follow God’s path. His yoke is easy and His burden is light.

  • Matt 11:28-30    28 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  NIV

Seeds of Love – By Carolyn Hunt Watson

20 May

“Come and see the roses,” mother invited.  “They are beautiful and smell so good!”
My parents loved to share their beautiful landscaped yard with everyone.  They spent their retirement years working–too hard, I thought–on landscaping their two-acre yard. The rose bed contained over 100 rose bushes in varying colors.  They had planted numerous color-filled flower beds, created a landscaped goldfish pond, built a small bridge, and stocked the fishing pond which was ringed with alternating azaleas and Bridal Wreath shrubs.
Their yard became the showplace of our small town.  Strangers came to see it and to ask questions about how to plant or care for particular shrubs. Every year, high school students dressed in their prom finery and had their pictures taken there.  It was amazing.
My parents are in heaven now, and their home was sold several years ago.  Recently, I drove by it and grieved to see that all the beautiful flower beds and shrubs had been removed.  The goldfish pond was filled in, the bridge was gone, and an ugly fence  discouraged any visitors to the premises. All my parents’ hard work had been invested for nothing.  Tears blurred my vision.
But then, God spoke to my grief, tenderly reminding me that my parents had also planted eternal seeds:  love, faith, joy, prayer, and trust.  We children learned to love God, to serve others, and to be kind.  These are seeds that cannot be plowed under, pulled up, or destroyed.  They are seeds which will sprout, spread, and live forever.
My parents’ landscaping is gone, but the seeds they planted in our hearts sill remain.
Visit Carolyn’s website at carolynhuntwatson.com.

How Are We Perceived By Others?

5 May

How many lives we have touched for Jesus? Everywhere we go and everything we do should glorify our Heavenly Father. We may not be able to spend much time sharing about God or our praises about Him, but we can live as He tells us to and others will recognize Him in us.

I heard something a while back that I think of often, “You may not always remember what someone said to you, but you will remember how they made you feel.” Wow! I think that is a powerful statement. We have the power within us to build someone up, make them smile, or encourage them. On the other hand, we can ruin their good mood, or cause them to feel really bad about themselves. We can make them feel angry or unimportant and unacceptable. Our words and actions are that powerful!

I’m sure we’ve all heard the saying, “If you can’t say anything good . . . don’t say anything at all.” That is really true. Everyone in today’s world moves at such a fast pace. We get in such a hurry that we fail to be available to those who may really need a word of kindness or encouragement. Whether we mean to or not, we leave an impression on others. By our words, our actions or even our facial expressions we can “speak” to others.

Not long ago I stopped in a Walgreens about 30 miles away from my home. It was late in the evening and I was a little anxious about going into a strange store that late. I ran in and picked up what I needed and ran back out. The following Sunday, a friend came over to me and said, “Mrs. Linda, I saw you last night and you had an awful expression on your face, you scared me!” I laughed because I thought he was kidding me.

I am the leader of the prayer ministry at our church. My friend said he had always seen such a different expression on my face when I was at the altar to pray for others.  I goofed around with him, making excuses and trying to explain away why I had such an expression on my face. Then, I apologized to him and realized how I must have appeared to him. He walked right by me and I didn’t see him or speak to him. I had a scowl on my face. I truly did not see him and was a little nervous about being in a strange area. But, without knowing it, I left an impression on him. Since then, he sometimes looks at me and gives me a big smile, to remind me to smile.

What if he had been a friend I wouldn’t see the next day? What if he had been someone from my  church that didn’t know me well enough to tell me? I would have stood up front at the alter the next morning to pray for others.  Would that person have come to me for prayer? Probably not. I would have “spoken” loud and clear by the way I breezed past him with a scornful look on my face, not speaking a word to him.

Our words and our thoughts are powerful. What I was feeling inside that evening came through loud and clear to others. But, they didn’t know what I was thinking. It may sound insignificant, but it isn’t. We have many opportunities to speak to others even if we don’t say a word. Our actions speak to others. We need to let Jesus shine through in all we do.

Being a Christian is more than attending church on Sunday morning. Following Jesus means we develop a relationship with Him. We spend time with Him, talking to Him and reading His Word in the Bible. Each day we grow more and more in His likeness and others can see it. We plant seeds everywhere we go and in all we do. The Holy Spirit watches over that seed that has been planted in the heart of another.

We need to speak life into others.  We need to encourage them in every way we can. We need to accept people as they are. We need to let them know they are valuable; go the extra mile.  We should choose to uplift others and not be critical. We need to let God use us so that His Holy Spirit can draw others to Himself.

Seeds aren’t very big – many of them are tiny. But from those seeds grow mighty things.

Plant seeds. God will do the rest.

 

Contentment

2 May

Contentment is a feeling of calm satisfaction, according to Encarta Dictionary. How many of us can say we are content? Is there something in particular that gives you that feeling of calm satisfaction?

In today’s world there is so much stimulation around us at all times. Rarely do we enjoy the quiet. All of our senses are somehow ignited almost everywhere we go. Many of us can’t get away without taking along our phones, our tablets, or our gaming devices. I get frustrated with all those around me looking at their phones and engaging in something else at all times. To me, it’s kind of like talking to someone who isn’t really giving me their undivided attention. We call it “social media.” Call me old-fashioned, but, when I’m with my friends and family, I want their undivided attention.

The social media is a great way to stay in touch. It also keeps us from being so alone. On the other hand, it becomes more difficult to be content when we are not engaging in some sort of social interaction or being entertained by our electronic devices. Don’t get me wrong, I love having the ability to “reach out and touch someone” with an immediate response on Face Book, or get an instant reply from an email or text. Who wants to wait anymore for snail mail? Who wants to wait anymore for anything?

We can interpret “calm satisfaction” in many ways. To some, it may be difficult to be calm and/or satisfied if they aren’t constantly interacting, socially, in one way or another. To others, like me, calm satisfaction means not having a constant internal yearning for my cell phone, my tablet, my computer, or the television. Satisfaction is described in the Encarta Dictionary as “the feeling of pleasure when a need or desire is fulfilled; the fulfillment of a need, claim, or desire.”

Humans are definitely complex. As I am now a senior citizen (a new position in my long resume), I find myself looking back to the way things used to be. I suppose that is normal at my age. Actually, it is one of the ways I recognize I am, in fact, getting old. Anyway, interaction with others is still so important. It fills an empty spot inside that can’t be filled while trying to communicate in some other way.

Talking to God is the best wireless connection we have today! He isn’t outdated because of all the little devices that keep us occupied. Scripture tells us that there is nothing new under the sun. (Ecc. 1:9) Recognize that God created each one of us. He is the one who gave us the knowledge necessary to create all of the wonderful toys we have today. Psalms 139 tells us that no matter how high we go, or how low – we can’t get away from God.

Ps 139:7-12

7 Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
8 If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.
9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
your right hand will hold me fast.

NIV

 

Contentment, in my opinion, is more than satisfying ourselves with anything that will keep us occupied, just so we don’t have to deal with our emotions or be bothered with direct communication.  We need to examine what contentment means to us. Go deep. Determine whether or not there is something missing – a true inner peace that we can only find in one another and with God.

We were created to have fellowship – not just on social media. We all need one another. We need our friends who  have skin on! We need real fellowship with our Heavenly Father. We can’t send him a text message or an email. We can’t tweet Him. We have to take time out to spend true, uninterrupted time with our Lord. True contentment, peace, and joy come from our one on one relationship with Him. True contentment comes from Him. He’s still there when all the other devices, or even friends, aren’t. He is the only source of true contentment. He gives the calm satisfaction that we are all in search of. He is the only source of that true, calm satisfaction.

 

 

Deadlines – God Hasn’t Forgotten Your Address

25 Apr

God isn’t frustrated and moved that we have deadlines to face or threats against us for one thing or another. He does love us – even more than we can imagine. He wants what is best for us at all times. He knows we are not perfect and that we get ahead of Him sometimes – many times. Not only do we get ahead of Him, we go off in a totally different area than He wants.

We are the ones who think part of God’s duty to us is to make us happy. We are the ones that believe that if we miss a deadline, that is, if God doesn’t come through for us on or before that deadline – we’re done. It’s too late.  We have to understand that God is for us, so who can be against us?

  • Rom 8:31-32   31 What, then, shall we say in response to this? If God is for us , who can be against us? 32 He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all — how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? NIV

The Bible, God’s Word, His “Instruction Manual”,  holds the answers for us. It is simple, yet we are responsible for taking the necessary time to read and pray in order that we might stay on target. Our relationship with God is a lifetime commitment. Actually, it’s beyond a lifetime. It is throughout eternity. God doesn’t get in a hurry. We’ve all kind of figured that out.

Our part is to seek God, continually,to acknowledge Him in all things. Clearly, we are told from Scripture that if we acknowledge Him in all things, He will make our paths straight. He tells us not to give in to our own understanding. God is never, ever, late. He is always just in time. If a deadline is approaching and God hasn’t given clear direction, I do nothing. I wait. God is well able to work beyond the limits of deadlines. He wants our trust.  Meeting a deadline just for the sake of meeting the deadline sometimes really gets us in a mess.  If God has given direction and we are afraid – that’s different. Either way, it still means we don’t trust God.

  • Prov 3:5-6   5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;  6 in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.  NIV

God knows what is beyond the deadline, we don’t. We must develop our relationship with Him to the point that we are certain we know Him and we recognize His voice. The only way to do it is to spend time with Him, praying and reading His Word. How else can we identify the many different “voices” we hear coming from within?

God can be trusted. He knows our address. He hasn’t forgotten us. He wants us to trust Him. He wants us to acknowledge Him in all things. If we can do that, we can eliminate so much of the stress we face each day. Taking matters into our own hands may satisfy us for the moment. It may even last a little while. But, eventually, if God was not in the task or the decision, time has been wasted and we can find ourselves in an even more difficult situation.

It’s hard for us to tell ourselves, “no,” because we want what we want when we want it. We go so far as to think that we have the option of letting God know when we need Him and when we don’t. It doesn’t work that way. God is with us every moment if we belong to Him. Nothing is too insignificant that we can’t take it to Him. He will make it plain if He wants us to wait, or if the answer is just plain, “No”. He does it by putting a big “red flag” inside, an uncomfortable feeling that won’t go away. If that happens, there is a reason that God wants us to be still and call upon Him. He wants only the best for us and He wants to keep us from danger.

  • Jer 29:11-14   11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 14 I will be found by you,” NIV

Do we really believe His way is best? Or, are we guilty of just calling on Him when it’s convenient for us? He hasn’t forgotten where we live. He sees every struggle. He has a plan. Our part is just to trust Him and wait for His timing.

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