Tag Archives: Patience

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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Use HIS Power, Not Yours

5 Jul

Discovering Our Spiritual Gifts (2) – Continued

WE are the church. The building we meet in on Sundays is a meeting place. God lives in our hearts and His Holy Spirit will motivate us at times to go out of our way to meet a need or to help someone.

We should be sensitive to what motivates us the most. For instance, if a friend was transferred to another city and had to move to a new location – and really didn’t want to go, in what way would you prefer to help? Would you (1) Have an immediate idea of people who could help and start making plans to line them up for the task; (2) Physically offer your assistance to pack and move them; (3) Help them financially; (4) Encourage them in the areas that are troubling them; (5) Do some research to help them gather information that may be needed; (6) Show compassion and understanding about all the things that are concerning them with the situation; (7) Make sure they are aware of all the facts of their decision and do your best to make them aware of any possible problems?

You may find that there are many areas listed above where you could help. More than likely, there will be one in particular that your are the most concerned with. That will be a hint of the gift God has placed in your heart to reach out to others. Eventually, as we mature in Christ, we will be more effective in many of these areas. Knowing the one thing that motivates us the most does not mean we are exempt from becoming more sensitive in the other areas of need.

God will be honored when we use our gifts. The Holy Spirit is always at work around us, and when we use our gift in His power, God receives the praise.

(1 Peter 4:10-11)
“Each one should use whatever gift he has received to serve others, faithfully administering God’s grace in its various forms. If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.”

God determines what gifts we are given. Discovery of what motivates us may take some time. As we mature in our walk with God we will gradually become more like Jesus and participate in all gifts, as needed. But there will always be one that motivates us – this is by God’s design.

1 Cor 12:11 But all these worketh that one and the selfsame Spirit, dividing to every man severally as he will.

1 Cor 12:18 But now hath God set the members every one of them in the body, as it hath pleased him.

Gifts of the Spirit and Fruits of the Spirit are different. The fruit of the Spirit is evident in our character – how we behave. The gifts of the Spirit reflect God’s work – what we do for Him. Following are the Fruits of the Spirit. Our goal is to allow the Holy Spirit to teach us how to walk with the evidence of these fruits in our lives. (Galatians 5:22)

Fruits of the Spirit

• Love
• Joy
• Peace
• Longsuffering/Patience
• Gentleness
• Goodness
• Faith
• Self Control

Note: We learn these fruits by facing issues in our lives. For example, in order to learn “longsuffering (patience)” we will be faced with issues that require us to put it to work! Read the list again with that in mind!

Motivational Gifts
Of the Spirit

• Serving/Helping
• Giving
• Administration
• Prophecy
• Exhortation/Encouraging
• Showing Mercy
• Teaching

There are other gifts God gives us that will be discussed later, but first we are going to go a little deeper into the characteristics of these 7 gifts and how to recognize them in our lives.

Do You Know Where You Are Going!

13 Jun

THE BIG TRIP

Whether you know it or not, God is taking you on a journey. Meditate on the following questions. Open your heart to receive new insights into what God is asking of you.

1. Think about one or two things you are facing that are new to you or that you are not sure about.

2. When you plan a trip there are things you know and things you do not know. Think about the things that are new to you and what challenges they present. Ask yourself if these things are keeping you from doing what God is asking of you.

3. The Destination – Do you know the destination? Did you choose it or did God?

4. Do you enjoy the journey, or do you just want to get to the destination? Most of us just want to hurry up and get where we are going. God doesn’t get in a hurry. There are milestones along the way for you to manage. Don’t let them frustrate you or cause you to turn back. This is the most important part of the journey.

5. If you chose the destination are you willing to let God change it? Or, are you determined to go your own way? Make sure it is a God thing and not just a good thing — because all good things aren’t necessarily God things. His hand is upon those things that He has called you to do. Don’t waste your time with something that does not have His blessing on it.

6. If God did choose the destination, are you charting the course (telling God how to do things)? God doesn’t need you – you need God.

7. How much of your plan is based on past experiences and things you know? This can be a major problem when you are walking in faith. Let God do the leading – He will probably take you down a path you have never been before – Check with Him continually – Make sure you are not just doing what you always do. God may have a much better way — IF you will allow it!

8. What part does fear, anxiety, not knowing the outcome — driving you and to what extent? Oooo – hard one! Remember, God said “Fear not, for I am with you”.

9. When something unexpected happens, do you automatically assume you’ve made a mistake or that you must be headed in the wrong way? Don’t let obstacles stand in your way. Think about the Israelites when they left the only home they new and followed Moses to the promised land. They wanted to turn back at every obstacle. They would rather have lived in the slavery they knew so well than to fight for what God promised them. They just wanted to sit back and let Him do it all for them.

10. When you get where you think you’re headed and it is different from what you had planned, do you try again to go back? Or, do you seek God for you inner peace to determine what your next step is? – DON’T GO BACK! God is able to take you out the front door!

11. Would you just as soon stay where you are or do you really want to take the trip God has planned for you?

12. Do you want to see (learn) new things along the way?

13. Are you willing to let go of what you believe the outcome is to be and let God give you something better? It may not always look better to you. That’s where faith comes in. Trust God. He knows what you want more than you do! Really.

14. Do you understand that “better” to God has a different meaning than “better” to you? Can you, and will you, trust Him to see you through to the end?

15. How many times along the way are you tempted to turn back?

16. How many times have you actually turned back? What were the results? Do you think that means God can’t get you back on track? Charles Stanley says “God always knows how long it will take you to get where you are going and He knows when to start preparing you”. Your timing is not God’s timing.

17. Do you think God could/would change your course or destination along the way? Would you let Him? Or, would you determine that the enemy had come to steal from you? God will definitely change your course many times. He wants you to let him do the driving. I once heard a teacher say that following God is like going through one of those car washes where you stay in the car. God wants you to “Put it in neutral, take your foot off the brake and your hands off the steering wheel”!

Some Hints:

Don’t limit God with the way you are praying.

Don’t do things the way you have always done them before.

Do what you need to do and leave the rest to God.

Experience the lessons in the journey – don’t miss it while anticipating the destination.

When you get where you are going – don’t turn around and go back!

Let God surprise you – trust Him with the parts you don’t know.

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