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TRANSITION (Part 2) – Is God Happy With You?

14 Sep

We’ve been talking about change – It appears to me that many of us are heading for change in our lives. One way we can tell is that our Spirit within begins to get a little uncomfortable. We’re not sure why and we begin to question ourselves about certain issues in our lives. I have always likened it to climbing a ladder – the feeling you have when you are in between steps – you’re not fully on the bottom step nor are you fully on the next step – you’re pushing with one side and pulling with the other. It’s like you are still where you are, but shifting to another level – you’re not firmly on either step.

Many of us don’t like change – some fight against it with everything they have, and dig their heels in refusing to budge. Others look forward to it with anticipation and eagerness because they have learned to trust God, and have let Him lead them. They are confident because He has never failed them, and He knows what’s best.Blog Pix

As I mentioned in Part 1 of this subject, Pastor Brett Jones, a senior pastor at Grace Church, Humble, Texas, spoke with us about growing to our full capacity – maximizing our opportunities. God gave each of us talents and abilities that He gave to no one else. That is so exciting to me! It doesn’t mean any of us are any better than the other. It just means our God is a personal God and He isn’t making “cookie cutter” disciples out of us. He cares enough about each and every one of us to give us something special from Himself so that we will be equipped to do the work He planned for us while we were yet in our mothers’ wombs.

When we tell God we can’t do something, He will send someone else. I don’t know about you, but I would not like it at all if God had to send someone else to do what He originally intended for me to do.

IS GOD HAPPY WITH YOU?

Listening to the message Pastor Jones was giving us I had one of those “Seriously?” moments – an eye opener, if you will. Pastor said, “Just because God provides for us doesn’t mean He’s happy with what we are doing”. That was a “Selah” (Pause, and calmly think of that) moment for me. God has provided for me in so many ways – ways that seem like miracles to me many times. The thought that while doing so He may not be happy with what I was doing astonished me! Then, Pastor said, “Provision does not mean favor”. – Another startling revelation to me. He explained that God blesses us and continues to give us favor because of His amazing love for us – not because of what we do or not do.

I always feel blessed by God. He is good to me all the time – (in case anyone is wondering, I DO make mistakes, and have problems just like everyone does). I just thought that since I do see God’s favor all the time and I am so blessed by Him, He must surely be pleased with me. I want Him to be pleased with me. Now – what if He isn’t?

10604440_270154343182016_9023185512106127701_oThis is kind of what I mean about that awkwardness we feel when it’s transition time! We find ourselves in a place of feeling safe – comfortable – things are fine just like they are (in our way of thinking). Then, we learn we can never get too comfortable. God won’t allow us to just sit comfortably by while life moves  on by. If we’ve finished here on this earth we might as well go on to heaven, don’t you think?

Sometimes I remind the Lord that I am 68 years old, in case He has forgotten (but he hasn’t – remember, according to Psalms 139 God formed me in my mother’s womb and he planned every day of my life before I was born. So, that’s how I know He knows how old I am, and what I am still capable of doing. Sometimes I just have to speak to my old body to keep up.

So, the next jolt for me in the sermon was that we should not just be saved – we should do what God put us here to do! I really never thought of that. I do try to stay in tune with what God requires from me. But what He has in mind and what I have in mind sometimes differ. We have different ideas about who I am and what I can do.

Pastor Jones again, “The goal of God is not just for us to go to heaven – it is to fulfill our assignment.” Did you know we all have assignments? Do you know what yours is?

Think about this – pray about it – meditate on God’s Word, and ask Him to give you the answers.

We’re going to go a little deeper in my next post.

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More Month Than Money

31 Jan

Following is my latest writing challenge entry for the FaithWriters group I belong to at http://www.FaithWriters.com.

I was really scared. So many thoughts were racing through my mind, “How in the world am I going to make it? I don’t have gas for my car. I can’t buy groceries. My lights are about to be turned off. I haven’t been able to pay my rent. What if I am evicted?”

Without fail there are daily concerns that we cannot ignore. We can turn away from some things, making them go away for the moment, but not financial necessities.

“Oh Ye of little faith” – I was tormenting myself with these words. I never paid much attention to them before. Anyway, it was just a lighthearted remark used when someone was worried about something and didn’t want to make an issue of it.

I spent so much time looking back at my failures or looking forward to problems that “might” occur that I wasn’t even living in the present. Then, I remembered reading the Bible in Matthew 6:31-34 (NIV), “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and these things will be given to you as well. Do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Money is a very sensitive subject. Most of us have more month than we do money. We can pray, of course. (Usually we get pretty serious with God when we can’t make ends meet.) But before we start whining and telling God how awful things are, we need to take a good look at how we got there.

We may be facing circumstances too serious to ignore. That’s when we begin to question our behavior and our actions. We look deep inside and, if we are honest with ourselves, it becomes clear – somewhere along the way we made some unwise decisions, resulting in our current circumstances.

Money issues never go away. Our faith is tested over and over because decisions must be made concerning how we manage every dollar we spend. We can’t ignore the consequences when our electricity is about to be cut off and freezing rain is in the forecast. Or, we may be too embarrassed to admit to our friends we can’t attend their wedding because we don’t have gas money.

God knew, long ago, the challenges we would face today and inspired His chosen men to record, in the Bible, the answers we need. But we treat God’s Word like we do the instructions that are included when we purchase something needing assembly. We don’t take time to read the instructions and when we run into trouble, we blame it on the “piece of junk” we purchased instead of our avoidance of reading the directions.

We can’t get angry or blame God when we choose to ignore His written instructions. When we get to the end of our money before we get to the end of the month, it isn’t God’s fault.

The answer is easy – the solution is another choice. God leaves the decision with us. We get to use the free will He has given us.

Malachi 3:8-10 New Living Translation (NLT) “Should people cheat God? Yet you have cheated me! “But you ask, ‘What do you mean? When did we ever cheat you?’ “You have cheated me of the tithes and offerings due to me. 9 You are under a curse, for your whole nation has been cheating me. 10 Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies, “I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won’t have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! 11 Your crops will be abundant, for I will guard them from insects and disease.[a] Your grapes will not fall from the vine before they are ripe,” says the Lord of Heaven’s Armies.

“It is finished” (John 19:30 NIV) Jesus took care of it all when He bowed His head and freely gave up His Spirit on the Old Rugged Cross – “It” being everything – past, present and future.

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