Wednesday, August 20, 2014

My Life (with a portion of Jesus on the side)

Recently, I heard a minister say that we want to live our lives with a portion of Jesus on the side. Wow!

We choose, decide, live our life our way. We say our prayers at night, attend church when it fits in our schedule, make choices we know are wrong, while asking God to bless them, read the Bible on occasion & if we stumble across scriptures that don't coincide with our lifestyle we conveniently look for something a little more uplifting, or we try to change Jesus to a more modern version for our comfort. Cherry picking the scriptures is the term my wife often uses.

If I were to ask you what is the most important word in the scripture Matthew 6:33.  But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. What would be your answer?

The key word for me is first. I did not want to do that for most of my life & I surely fail to do it each day now.What I have learned & know to be true is God has no interest in being second place or less. It does not mean He does not love us, listen to us, but this behavior is as old as the most ancient scriptures. Idols in our life do not work. And I believe anything we place in front of Him is an idol. It does not have to be something evil. It could be a good thing that you care more about than God. Take your pick.

I am certainly no teacher of the scriptures. But you know what I believe is at the root of our living our life, asking God to bless us & grant us good things, while chasing what we desire? Cause deep down we don't think our Father desires good things for us. I was that way. But, God, I want this woman, this dream, this job, & you probably don't want me to have it. And you know that is probably right. He probably does not want us to have all our dreams and desires. Maybe, just maybe, He wants to give you different but better.

Last week I was interviewed on Dove Radio by Dale Miller. I shared that the two great desires of my heart were the right woman & a publishing contract. Last year both were granted within five months of each other but only after I let go of the wheel  the previous year & said, "Whatever the path You want me to walk I will do it." Dale followed this up with such powerful words. He said how we think if we do it God's way it will mean less when in all actuality it means more.

During a very depressed time in my life a doctor shared these scriptures. Matthew 7:9-11. Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? 10“Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? 11“If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to 
those who ask Him! 

I  heard the words but I did not allow them to take root in my heart. There is still that part in most of us that struggle to believe our Father wants to lavish upon us. In all truthfulness, I am struggling right now with that. So many closed doors recently, while I try to find the patience to wait on God to open the right door.

Easy all the time this life is not. But regardless of our circumstances I am going to seek first the kingdom of God, & His righteousness, & when I fail, I will go back to this & start over.

"The Christian life is so difficult because we seek God's blessings while we live in our own will! We would be glad to live the Christian life according to our own liking."

Absolute Surrender  by Andrew Murrey.

  Jesus Christ the same yesterday, and today, and forever

Sunday, August 3, 2014

God Smiling

I had one of those moments last night when you know God knows what it is in store for you & is probably smiling.

During a frustrating time for me this past week, my wife, Julie, shared what she thought I should be doing, & even shared the scriptures of Gideon & his story in the OT, (Judges). I was frustrated for doors that I thought surely would be open & have proven not to be. She told me I should rest and allow God to open the doors He chooses and that until I got out of the way & rested these doors would not open.

We went to Lifepoint Church yesterday evening & guess what the message was based on? The exact same thing my wife had been telling me all week. Guess what scriptures the message was based on? Gideon, Judges, I shook my head as my wife smiled beautifully at me, with the confidence that she was in tune with the Holy Spirit, even if her husband was not at that moment.

And then I heard my Father whisper something to me. I have told Julie I have not heard his voice this year that I know of. I mean that supernatural whisper where you know it is Him. I share this carefully & I am never one to say God said this. God told me to do this.

Let's be real. It is far to easy for us to want something so bad that we convince ourselves that God has spoken to us. I love reading Mark Batterson. He often alludes to the inverted gospel. The gospel where we chase and do what we want & then ask God to come in behind us & bless it.

I have surely done it. My life drastically changed when I began praying earnestly in any pursuit. God, open the doors you would have open & close the ones you would have closed. Regardless, of how much I desire them to be open.

God really does have our best interests at heart & it took me over five decades of life to trust that & even then as in last week I mess up. I want to force things to happen. Do it under my own steam.

So here I am God. I will rest & wait on you.

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