Posts Tagged ‘God’s will’

Author Erin Taylor Young smiled and said, “It was against it’s nature to go deep. But that was the only way out.”

At the American Fiction Christian Writers Conference, September 17-19,  Erin told us an analogy to not being afraid to go deeper in your faith. She noticed a moth mothcaught between the window pane and the screen in her home. It’s predicament wretched her gut. But she also saw a lesson, one that helped to form her website theme.

It kept trying to fly up to get out. That is it’s nature.  However, it forgot it got in through the dent in the bottom of the screen’s frame as it flew towards her bedroom light.

Now, to get out, the moth had to go against everything it had learned.  It had to go deep into the dark corner of the window and walk at an angle through some cobwebs to reach that dent again.  Against it’s instinctual tendency and through a bit of danger. It could get caught up in the sticky web remnants. It could crash.

For several minutes the moth kept flying towards the top of the window, only to whack into the top sash each time. Over and over it tried. It’s little wings flapped as hard as they could. Same path, same result. Over and over and over.

Erin asked us if God is calling us to go deep. Are we flitting around trying to reach His  light by still following our own instincts, or will we hear His call to fly down and discover the one way out into His will? It may be dangerous, and a test of faith. It may get a bit tough, and the devil may put up obstacles. But, if we stay true to God”s course and follow His will, we will experience freedom, peace and the reward when we trust and obey.

Is God calling you deeper? Are you willing to say, “yes” and follow His path, even though it seems convoluted and not the normal way of doing things? It maybe keeping your cool when you want to yell back. Perhaps it is turning the other cheek. Maybe forgiving someone who has deeply hurt you. Or taking on a ministry in which you feel totally inadequate. Facing a tough circumstance like a death of a family member, a divorce or the big C diagnosis. Your instinct may be to escape the easy way. Let your human nature guide you. Rely on your own know-how, experience and strengthen.

Or, you can give in and follow God’s promptings, even if they seem contrary to everything else.

By the way, the moth finally caught on. It slipped through the dent in the screen frame and went on its way. No longer trapped.

Will you follow the moth?

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I love word games, you probably realized that by now. While playing Scrabble, I noticed I had several choices when it came to playing my tiles M-E-N-A

Two jumped out at me – NAME and AMEN. Why? Because one puts the “N” at the beginning while the other word has it at the end.

God showed me a lesson.  It is up to us how we choose to arrange the letters. It all depends on where we place our values.

name-clipart-name-sign-md       If we put ourselves first, our name is important.

Shove our needs to the back behind those of others and God’s will for our lives and we have the word Amen.Amen

What is your “N”? Is it notoriety, making a name for yourself, or do you think of yourself as nothing?  Perhaps the “n” is a negative attitude, or the feeling you will never amount to anything.  Maybe it is neverneverland– a pipe dream. It could even be being noblenice, or natural.  Whatever it is, the emphasis is still on you, not God.

Think what would happen if you flipped that “N” and thought less about it and more about your blessings, your purpose, and your Savior?

But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. MaAtthew 6:33

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ID-100169178How do you see someone who is being a thorn in your flesh?

I am struck by David’s words in 2 Samuel, Chapter 16 when Shimei, a relative of Saul, curses him and pelts him with pebbles  David, God’s anointed king, could have ordered the man to be imprisoned or killed. But instead, he tells his soldiers to leave him alone because, “It may be the Lord will see my distress and repay me with good for the cursing I am receiving today.” (vs.12)  David also indicates that God may have told the man to curse him. Why? My guess would be as a test of humility. The interesting thing is this happened while David was in a low period in his life. His own son was trying to dethrone him and kill him.

Is there someone in your life who just rubs you the wrong way? Maybe it is a neighbor who always complains, a coworker who is a backstabber and gossip, an in-law you just can’t please, or even a ID-100156152member in your church who likes to find fault with every little thing. How will you react? When our tolerance levels are like a rain gauge in a drought, it seems people just get on our nerves more than when our lives are overflowing with happiness. Is it because it is the straw that breaks the camel’s back, or might it be because God is sending us a message to lean on Him a bit more instead of on our own understanding and strength?

Christ came to love the unlovable, which if I am totally honest about it, includes me. Who am I to judge others?

Perhaps the best thing we can do when someone needles us is to take it to God. Maybe He is allowing this person to be like a sticker burr between our toes for a reason.

  • Is He using them like a mirror to reflect a sin we have yet to deal with in our own lives? (Remove the log in your eye before you comment about the speck in theirs idea.)
  • Is He testing our humbleness, or our faith-strength?
  • Is He preparing us to deal with someone ten times worse who is just around the bend that He can see coming into our lives even though we cannot?

True–Christians, in turning the other cheek,  are not called to be like wimpy spaghetti noodles and people should be held accountable for their actions. But, Scripture tells us to give thanks to God in all circumstances — that goes for those we just cannot seem to get along with at the moment.

Maybe if we all had the attitude of King David, it would then open the pathways a bit wider to spreading Christ’s message of forgiveness and love.


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“I know he meant to help.” Jane shook the packet of sweetener like a red flag in front of a bull. “But he folded all the towels wrong. I had to redo them all so they’d hang right on the racks in the bathroom before our guests arrived. I barely had time to get my shoes on before the doorbell rang.” She clinked her spoon in her coffee cup a bit a faster. “If he’d only just do it my way. There’s a reason I do things the way I do,  you know?”

Her friend patted Jane’s hand. “I know what you mean. Bob tries, but I have to constantly go behind him. He just doesn’t clean the way I like. You’d think after umpteen years of marriage he’d have learned. But, noooo…” She nudged the salt and pepper shakers on their table to line up with the flip folder of desert and drink offerings. “Yesterday, I caught him rinsing the dishes with the sponge I use to scrub the bathrooms. Ugh!”

Good intentions.  Sometimes they don’t amount for much. Ah, but I hear you say, “They tried. Doesn’t that count for something? Do their wives have to be so picky? Isn’t it the thought that counts?”ID-100156152

And the poor husbands who tried to help. Bet their heads hung a bit lower. Maybe they sighed and thought, Why bother? I can never please her. Perhaps.  Or maybe they just chuckled inside because, after all, they know their wives.  Human relations are a sticky thing. We each have agendas, and none of us are perfect.

But, what about when we try to do something for God? Do we really know how He wants it done?  We pray in the Lord’s Prayer, “thy will be done.”  Do we mean it,  or do we think more often than not, “Please bless my efforts as I do this my way. After all, it’s the thought that counts.  I am trying to do this for You the best I can.” And when our efforts turn out less than perfect, we sigh and think, Why bother. I am not the right person for this ministry. God, why did you choose me?

The problem is, like the good-intention husbands, we are doing it the best we can, not not the best way He wants. Our Lord is perfect in all things. He knows the most excellent way things should be accomplished. There is a reason for each thing He allows to happen, each turn He wants us to take on the road, each lesson we are to learn along the way. Yet how often do we try to “do it for Him” and help out without asking Him how He wants it done?  If we can learn that His ways are not our ways, and take the time to discover how He wants things done, then the outcome just might be better, don’t you think?

I struggle with perfection, which is silly because, as a human being, that is not a possible goal.  But, I am learning if I do my perfect God’s will, and go in prayer to Him often to discover His instructions for the task He has given me, then its outcome is one more worry I can dismiss from my brain. Good intentions are great, but following directions is better.

What if that husband had asked beforehand, “Now tell me how you like the towels folded?”  I hope that wife would not have rolled her eyes and huffed, “Never mind. I’ll do it.” I hope she’d have the grace to patiently show him. Their relationship would be a great deal more loving if she did. But then, well, we are all human.

However, we can always go to God and not worry about receiving a heavy sigh or an eye-roll. Even if we have to go to Him more than once and ask for instructions again and again. In fact, I think at least in my case, He wants me to do that. He wants to give me the directions step by step so I don’t try to veer off onto my own tangent and think my way is okay. That just leads to the road for disappointment.

Our patient Lord sees our good intentions, but wishes to perfect them in His grace. So He is always there to correct us, guide us and teach us, no matter how many tries it takes to line up our deeds with His will. So, if the things you are doing for God are not turning out the way you planned, go back to Him and reconnect with His plan. Then your good intentions will be God’s intentions.

That’s the message I found today from God. It is in this prayer –

“Give us the help of your grace, that in keeping your commandments we may please you both in will and deed..”  from the Collect for the Sixth Sunday in Epiphany

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this is a partial reblog from Guy Saffold, a Canadian pastor:

“That’s it!” I said, “I can’t do this anymore!”

God spoke to me clearly through 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18. Words that struck like a hammer blow confronted my sour attitude:

  • “Rejoice always!“ Yes – at all times.
  • “Pray continually!” Yes – without stopping.
  • “Give thanks in all circumstances!” Yes – even through these excruciating circumstances.

These verses made no room for my bitterness.

What was an even bigger breakthrough for me was the realization that this change in attitude is “God’s will for me in Christ Jesus.” For all the times I wondered about God’s will, here it was: rejoice, pray, and give thanks. Always. Continually. In all circumstances. I was faced with an inescapable choice between my negative outlook and God’s will for my life.”

Please read it in entirety at  http://powertochange.com/blogposts/2013/09/08/always/

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The gavel tapped repeatedly on the wooden top of the judge’s bench. The spokesperson for the jury slowly rose.  “What say you?”, the judge queried as he peered over his reading glasses…

This is the part that every TV court drama aficionado waits for, isn’t it? Did the person get off or not? Was the stealth lawyer savvy enough to find the real “whodunit?” Will justice be served, the way we want it?

Ah, that is the key- the way we want it.

judgeAnytime now, from today though the next two weeks, the Texas Supreme Court will hand down their “opinion” as to whether around 50 congregations  here in North Texas get to keep their church buildings, many over fifty years old, or be forced to leave. It has been a long, arduous and expensive legal  battle.

Someone will win, someone will lose. But will God be praised by both sides no matter the outcome? Both sides will lose if they continue to  harbor ill feelings for each other and do not trust that God’s will is greater than any decision man can make.

It is so easy to get caught up in the drama.  But like a tornadic vortex, those being sucked up into it rarely come out unscathed. No one really wins when they are battered by the experience.

In the first chapter of the book of James, he tells his listeners to be slow to anger because human anger does not bring about the righteousness of God. When we let emotions get in the way, we will always be hurt. Whips of sharp tongues can have a boom-a-rang effect. Hurt and anger can skew the Truth just like looking through the wrong prescription glasses.  Not getting the justice we feel we deserve can sour our faith if we do not yield our emotions to God’s plan and fall to our knees, begging for clarity and strength.

Drama on TV is one thing- in life it is something else.

As far as the court decision, I pray the judges will heed these words:

He [Jehosophat who appointed judges in ancient Israel after he had turned the people back to God’s ways] told them, “Consider carefully what you do, because you are not judging for mere mortals but for the LORD, who is with you whenever you give a verdict.”  II Chronicles 19:4

But no matter what, God is still on His Throne, and He is the ultimate judge.  Thy will be done, even though it may not be mine.

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© Scott Collis | Dreamstime.com

© Scott Collis | Dreamstime.com

The world’s tiniest bee landed on my windshield when I as waiting for the light to turn green. I could barely see its iridescent wings and miniscule antennae waving at me. Well, I  imagine they were really just feeling the direction of the breeze on a pleasant, sunny autumn afternoon.

The light changed and I eased ahead, slowly getting up to the 35  mph speed limit. My new little friend held on for dear life.  Around the curve, down the hill, and into the store parking lot, the tenacious little guy (or gal?) still clung tight.  Then, I pulled into the parking lot, found an empty spot,  and stopped the car.

I expected him to immediately fly off, glad that this harrowing experience was over. But he didn’t.  He stayed glued to the windshield and bent his antennae this way and that for a few seconds. Perhaps he was testing his surroundings. Was it safe? Then, in a blink, he was gone.

Like my bee friend, I want to land on the windshield of the Almighty. I want that tenacity, and the wisdom,  to stay put and ride with God wherever it is He wishes to take me.  I want to trust in His protection and be delivered from any danger my own thoughts and actions, or the world’s, would carry me.

Joshua schooled the Hebrews  to be wary in the new Promised Land where idol worshippers and the ungodly dwelled. He told them, “but you shall cling to the LORD your God just as you have done to this day.” (23:8)

I’m not saying the bee had faith in me, he was probably just reacting instinctually. He knew by the wind pressure on his antennae when it was safe to leave.  But that makes my point. I want a faith which is so solid that it is instinctual. Often I do have that, when things are calm. But if things begin to change,  the whispers of doubt try to tickle the corners of my mind. I wonder if I am in His will. Is this windshield that I have latched onto the right one? Should I bail off and try to find God’s will another way?

The answer is “cling” until He tells me I don’t have to do so anymore. May my spiritual antennae always vibrate enough to sense when I should hold on and when it is safe to let go. May I trust in the Lord fully and have the smarts to know it is not a good idea to let go and try to fly against the wind ( i.e His Will.)

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