"When You're Down to Nothing, God's up to Something"
"Worry looks around, sorry looks back, Faith looks up."
I was sent the above from a friend via email and liked it, I had planned to use it in a future posting -- although it was not my intent to use it today -- but something strange happened.
When I got up this morning and turned on my computer & web browser, my homepage didn't come up. It was acting as if the Internet were down or I wasn't connected to broadband. One thing I've learned is that if your homepage doesn't come up, try a different site as it may be nothing more than the homepages server, so I checked my blog site and sure enough the system was working. Now the really strange or weird part of all of this is that the above caption is what came up as if I were to have posted it. Wow, odd, weird or maybe a sign from God. I had been searching and seeking the Lord for something to share, I guess that this must be what God had in mind for me to share today.
"When your down to nothing"
How does God get your attention? Does He have it when your down to nothing? Often times, we do, or react, to things in a way that we believe is "right" or the "right thing" at the moment only to learn in the end that the result was not what we had intended. I'm quite sure that everyone has experienced this many times in their life; and could offer an interesting story or two. In church, and at home, we've been studying the book of Ephesians; this is an excellent book as noted in my last posting. In chapter 2, verse 10 says:
"For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them."
This isn't talking about attaining salvation by works, it's the good works you will do after you have received the free gift of salvation. The good works God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them. It seems to me that you can do this the easy way or the hard way. Why is it that a lot of us choose do God's works the hard way? On a previous post http://refractedlite.blogspot.com/2008/06/to-see-beyond-fog-part-2.html I wrote: "We lack the patience needed to allow God do what He does best. And, in reality, we delay moving forward." Meaning we step out on our own to do what we believe we should be doing. Thus, making it much harder on ourselves in the long run. Sometimes reaching that place where, "when you are down to nothing." A friend commented on my use of the word "allow," I believe he may of misunderstood where I was going with it. He wrote: "We do not have the capacity to allow or disallow the Lord to do anything He desires." Yes, this statement is true; however, we still have free will to choose to do things our way or God's way. Our way means making stupid decisions or choices, running in circles, hurting ourselves, family and friends, ending in failure or at best a less than desired outcome. By not seeking God for His divine direction we make it that much harder to get where God wanted us to be to begin with. As stated we really can't allow or disallow what God desires -- we just make it harder on ourselves.
1 Thessalonians 5:24
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
Faithful is He who calls you, and He also will bring it to pass.
"God is up to something"
God has already made provisions for us, that we will be able to walk according to His will and purpose. It's like planning a trip to the beach, there's a number of ways to get there, each with its own pros and cons. Whether you drive, take a plan or train the destination is still the beach -- the question is which means of travel is the safest, easiest and fastest? In the same way we're able to choose the direction or means of getting to God's appointed, predestined, destination with or without His help. Our prayer should be:
"Dear Lord, let us not step out on our own, help us to trust you for our every step, with your Holy Spirit as our guide, in Jesus' name, amen and amen"
Why is it that when taking a trip on an airplane we're able to trust the pilot, a man or woman we've never met to safely fly us to our destination? If you felt the pilot needed help, are you qualified to sit next to him and control the aircraft? Then why don't we afford our God, a person in whom we are to be close friends with, the same respect? Yet, we feel we ought to jump in and help God with the controls. God will get us to His destination regardless of the choices we make -- like taking the controls and flying the plane into the ground.
"Worry looks around"
We shouldn't worry, we can go to Him for help anytime. There are times when I allow myself to look at the overwhelming number of tasks in front of me. Without going into details, the size and number of things I have to do can be so overwhelming, literally to the point of tears. I know I can't do it all myself but I know I can through Him. I also know I have to trust Him to get me through. I can't look at what's around me, or let the mire that I'm in, keep me from seeing God and His many blessings. I believe God is continually answering prayer, and is working through His Holy Spirit on my behalf. He's answered our prayers often before we utter the words. It's not all that uncommon for us to not see the answer(s) even when its right in front of us. He is - for He has already predestined where we will be. And, if we don't see the answer right now should we stop believing? Unbelief and its thought come from Satan, why should we listen to Satan? Worry is the opposite of faith. For it is written that "Without faith it is impossible to please God," and:
"By faith Enoch was taken from this life, so that he did not experience death; he could not be found, because God had taken him away. For before he was taken, he was commended as one who pleased God. And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. By faith Noah, when warned about things not yet seen, in holy fear built an ark to save his family. By his faith he condemned the world and became heir of the righteousness that comes by faith." Hebrews 11:5-7
During one of my recent web searches I came across this article -- Is Worry a Sin? by Dr. Larry Ollison, Ph.D.. You'll find it at the following hyperlink: http://larryollison.com/cutting/0026.html. It's worth a moment of your time reading, especially if this post hits a spiritual nerve or two.
"Sorry looks back"
We are not to live in the past. When a person is unhappy she or he might look back for what was once a happier time; a time when she or he was as happy as a child, forever wishing things remain the same. Sorry looking back means holding on to the negative events of our past. An example might be: not getting that job you thought should have been yours, being angry or bitter that it went to someone else instead. Another example is the inability or unwillingness to let go of the loss of some material/worldly object of sentimental value or desire. Missing departed loved ones is a normal human response, but holding on and not letting go of the pain and grief of the loss is not normal or health for ones mind, body and sole. Past hurts or regrets over the poor choices we've made along the way creat bitterness and unforgiveness of ones self. Being sorry for what could have been, or for missed opportunities to share the Gospel or to say a kind word can cause one to lose focus on the opportunity in front ones face. How about being sorry for not forgiving a person that hurt you? Any of these examples, and there's many more, represent sorrow for the past and are bad places to be. Paul tells us in Philipians 3:13
Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, 14 I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Jesus said in Luke 9:62 "No one, after putting his hand to the plow and looking back, is fit for the kingdom of God."
"Faith looks up"
Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Hebrews 11:1 KJV It's the belief that does not rest on logical proof or material evidence. http://dictionary.reference.com/browse/faith Praise God that "Everyone is given a measure of faith." Romans 12:3 How we grow more in the Lord and strengthen our faith is simply stated in Romans 10:17 "So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God." The time you spend reading and meditating on God's word the better you'll know Him. The closer we are to Him, the better we'll know His voice and the easier it becomes to have full faith and trust. Our faces and eyes should be focused upward toward the heavens; looking to the Lord. He's able to work best when our focus is on Him and not on our circumstances. Remember our victory is in the Lord. I strongly suggest reading all Romans chapter 8.
Things that I write about are from my experiences or from what I've observed. Sometimes bad things happen to God's faithful and we don't always know the reasons why. It may not even have anything to do with ones walk (what you maybe doing or not) like Job. I've experienced bad things that after careful, and prayerful review, didn't have anything to do with my walk, but were just one of the many bumps along lifes journey. In this, as in previous posts, I've discussed how God allows us free will to make our own choices. Let's move forward in the Lord and not hinder our walk by stepping out of His covering. God gave us a mind to use; we can start by using it wisely.
Above all God loves us; He showed us this love through His mercy and grace by sending His son Jesus to die for us that we might be forgiven. It is because of His love that we're able to go directly to Him any time with our prayers.
Now for a real funny.
This was also sent from a friend via email. . .
A new pastor was visiting the homes of his parishioners. At one house it seemed obvious that someone was at home, but no answer came to his repeated knocks at the door. Therefore, he took out a business card and wrote "Revelation 3:20" on the back of it and stuck it in the door. When the offering was processed the following Sunday, he found that his card had been returned. Added to it was this cryptic message, "Genesis 3:10". Reaching for his Bible to check out the citation, he broke up in gales of laughter. Revelation 3:20 begins "Behold, I stand at the door and knock." Genesis 3:10 reads, "I heard your voice in the garden and I was afraid for I was naked."
Remember when the funniest jokes were the clean ones? They still are!
"A cheerful heart is good medicine"
Now, pass it on!God Bless!!