Oct 02 2008

How did I get here?

Subject: Faith,Guidance,ObedienceRLW3 @ 8:26 am

I want to pick up the theme of trusting God for guidance since that is where I am personally.

This is a difficult subject for me. I am in the midst of a completely new venture. I have left the state that I have lived in for the past 31 years, the only church that I have attended since becoming a Christian 27 years ago, the house that I have built and lived in for the past 19 years and the job that I have done for the past 11 to move to a completely new state and attend a new church. I did this because I thought it to be the will of God.

For the first four months in my new state, I had to travel quite a bit for various reasons. I used the time to reconnect with my wife and children whom I had barely seen for the previous seven months. (if you want to read about it, click on the link “Lord of the Castle”)

For the past two months, I have been looking for employment. After several weeks with no success, I started to trade stocks in an attempt to bring in some money only to be naively blindsided by the current banking crisis.

Each step of the way, I thought that I was doing what the Lord wanted me to do with both my time and my talents. However, here I sit, unemployed, hoping the stock market revives so I won’t have lost our small savings and wondering how I got here.

As it was in the garden, the enemy’s first attack is “Has God said… Did God really tell you to take the actions that you have taken thus far?”

I know that I was not cavalier (put your mouse over the word, right click and look it up) in my attitude when I made each decision. To the best of my ability, I sought to “acknowledge Him in all my ways”. And when I review my choices in hindsight once again, I come to the same conclusion: I did what He wanted me to do.

The voice of doubt and self-accusation, whether my own or the enemy’s, taunts me: “Doesn’t God promise to bless those who obey Him? Then why are you STILL unemployed? Why has your investing FAILED?”

In times like these, my emotions are not trustworthy. Accusations of folly, irresponsibility, being hyper-spiritual, etc. flood my mind and emotions. Having arrived at this place by seeking to do His will, shall I now let my emotions lord it over me?

Thank God, I am not alone.

For whatever things were written before were written for our learning, that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.  Romans 15:4 (NKJV)

Read that again…

“…that we through the patience and comfort of the Scriptures might have hope.”

In times like this, the Scriptures truly do become my comfort. I have plenty of examples to show that I am not the first to go through this challenge. They truly do “strengthen…(me) with all might, according to His glorious power, for all patience and longsuffering with joy.” (Col. 1:11 NKJV)

Help for my soul is just an arm’s length away.

Jul 07 2008

Can we get a little more light here?

Subject: Guidance,ObedienceRLW3 @ 9:51 pm

Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path.  Psalm 119:105 (NKJV)

The Holy Spirit compares the word of God to a small portable hand held lamp that was carried while traveling in the dark. It shed enough light to illuminate the next step to make sure that it was safe. This was especially important while crossing mountainous or treacherous terrain. However, it also provided general light on the overall path.

Too often, we are uncomfortable with the dim light that we receive from God. We want the strength of full sunlight making our way unmistakably clear so that we can take whatever steps we want to get there.

However, that is not God’s way. He is always seeking to draw us into situations where we will have to depend on Him. Why does He do that?

Because He loves us. I don’t mean that in a strictly religious or theoretical sense. He wants to be involved with us every step of the way as we go through life. He wants to live life with us. So, He shines on our path so we can get a general idea of where we are headed and see where to put our foot down for the next step.

As we act on the light that he has given us, He will show us the next step.

Jan 27 2008

“Big doors often swing on small hinges.” -A.W. Pink

Subject: Faith,Obedience,ProvidenceRLW3 @ 5:34 pm

This morning, the importance of obeying God in the smallest of things was reemphasized in my heart.

:1 And a man of the house of Levi went and took as wife a daughter of Levi. :2 So the woman conceived and bore a son. And when she saw that he was a beautiful child, she hid him three months. :3 But when she could no longer hide him, she took an ark of bulrushes for him, daubed it with asphalt and pitch, put the child in it, and laid it in the reeds by the river’s bank. :4 And his sister stood afar off, to know what would be done to him. :5 Then the daughter of Pharaoh came down to wash herself at the river. And her maidens walked along the river’s side; and when she saw the ark among the reeds, she sent her maid to get it. :6 And when she had opened it, she saw the child, and behold, the baby wept. So she had compassion on him, and said, “This is one of the Hebrews’ children.” :7 Then his sister said to Pharaoh’s daughter, “Shall I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?” :8 And Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Go.” So the maiden went and called the child’s mother. :9 Then Pharaoh’s daughter said to her, “Take this child away and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages.” So the woman took the child and nursed him.  Exo. 2:1-5 (NKJV)

Here are some of A.W. Pink’s comments from Gleanings in Exodus:  

“Scripture informs us that it was neither affection nor infatuation but faith which was the mainspring of action. (Heb. 11:23) Faith “cometh by hearing” (Rom. 10:17): the parents of Moses must, therefore, have received a direct communication from God, informing them of what should happen and instructing them what to do. And they believed what God had told them and acted accordingly.”

“Should it be asked, Wherein is the faith of Moses’ parents to be seen? The answer is: In overcoming the fear of the king and in trusting God’s protection for the preservation of the child. And is not the strength of their faith evidenced by the selection of the place where the young child was put, after he could be no longer hid in the home? Surely the parents of Moses took him to the very last spot which carnal reasoning would have suggested. The mother laid him “in the flags by the river’s brink”! But that was the very place where the babies were drowned! Ah, is not that the last location we had chosen? Would not we have carried him as far away from the river as possible?”

“It was neither by chance nor accident that Pharaoh’s daughter went down to the river that day, for there are no accidents nor chance happenings in a world presided over by the living God. Whatsoever happens in time is but the outworking of His eternal decrees—’for Whom are all things, and by Whom are all things’ (Heb. 2:10). God is behind the scenes, ordering everything for His own glory; hence our smallest actions are controlled by Him. It is because that whatsoever happens in time is the outworking of God’s eternal decrees, that ‘all things are working together (the verb is in the present tense) for good to them that love God, who are the called according to His purpose.’ ” (Rom. 8:28)

“Big doors often swing on small hinges. God not only directs the rise and fall of empires, but also rules the fall of a sparrow. It was God who put it into the heart of this Egyptian princess to go to the river to bathe, and to that particular spot where the ark lay amid the flags; as it was He who caused her to be moved with compassion (rather than with indignation at the defiance of her father’s authority) when she beheld the weeping child. And it was God who caused this daughter of the haughty monarch to yield submissively to the suggestion of Miriam, and made the princess willing for its own mother to care for the little child.”  

Frequently, it it the little things that are most important.

He who is faithful in what is least is faithful also in much; and he who is unjust in what is least is unjust also in much.”  Luke 16:10

It is the “the little foxes that spoil the vines.” (Song 2:15)

I would recommend that you print the title of this post, frame it and hang in a place that you will regularly see it to encourage your heart that God is intimately involved with your life and that your choices and actions matter.