Saturday, November 15, 2014

Bring it On!

Isaiah 40:31 - But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

Thinking and meditating on how we are to handle the situations in our lives.

Even as Christians we can go through seasons of frustration, doubt, temptation, listlessness, confusion, pain, illness. I could take each one of those things and pick a time, maybe even in the last few months, where I have experienced one of these to some degree. And when I mention temptation, don't go thinking the worst...

I heard something this morning that I know that I know. But as with other things, we forget for some reason (I will rely on the "old age" thing) and we need to be guided back into what God says. What I heard was:
   Our natural tendency is to want to be delivered from the battle. "I’m not ready for this! God knows that." I believe He sometimes puts us right in the battle so we can experience the supernatural power to defeat our enemies.
   How do we learn to deal with temptation, with our sinful flesh, with tough relationships? You know how we learn? By having to do it, by getting thrown into it. God wants to use your trial, your battle, to train you. So don’t run from it. Don’t resent it. Don’t resist it. - Nancy Leigh DeMoss

Remember Jesus' words in the Garden of Gethsemane: Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done. (Luke 22:24)  In Matthew it is shown He asked this three times. Still He underwent the worst thing anyone would have to do in a lifetime...give up His life for someone else. In Jesus' case, His life for all mankind. He did it for you and me and everyone else whether they accept Him or not.

If Jesus underwent trials why shouldn't we expect them? We have been told that we will not be given into any trial or temptation that Jesus has not already gone through. He is our perfect example. If we are rooted and grounded in Him we CAN get through anything life has placed...or even we have placed...before us...He will be by our side.

I seemed to have lost my memory on this! Thankfully, the Word of God, the words of others and Jesus' example has jogged my memory. For that I am thankful. We learn in times of adversity. We learn in the valleys of life. We learn in the frustrating, painful, seemingly hopeless times of life. But the greatest lessons we learn are when we seek God. If we seek in our own strength it will not be anywhere near the strength God will give us to go through the situation.

For me it seems to be a myriad of things. I could list a mess of them. But when I boil it all down, it ultimately is one thing I struggle with. That is my ability to speak what is in my heart at the right time in the right circumstance. Sometimes we are not to. And maybe, probably, God is doing something in the inside of me first to change a way of thinking, a pattern of speech, whatever it is, before He allows me to say something that might come across flat. But even this I'm not sure of. Maybe I'm resistant to Him. Maybe not.

At the same time there are situations in my life where there seems to be an urgency. I want to do or say and cannot. It has to be in God's time. It has to be in God's time. His perfect time. We can't second guess what God's plans are; we can surmise, surmise, surmise...but He knows and some day we will too. And it will be to His glory. He is an amazing God. If we are called His children He will do great things. Maybe not as great as I think, or as great as the next person...but great in what He has called me to do or be. That's all He requires.

I can say this: I have prayed that God give me a heart for others like He has. While I know my heart will never be just like His, even a speck of His heart for others would be good. Maybe this is part of the struggle I am going through. God's heart mourns for those who do not know Him.

Hebrews 11 is considered the faith chapter in the Bible. By faith all these people, not knowing what lay ahead, acted on behalf of God. That's what we are called to do. We wait before acting out, in God's timing. We don't know for how long and we might think we've lost the opportunity. For me, I struggle with wondering if I should have said something. Or I struggle with thinking I'm not doing for the Lord like others are. But I'm not this person or that.

In Hebrews 12 we find we are told to run our race (in Christ) with endurance. We hold to the idea that we cannot do it on our own. Look at what He had to endure for us so He could be with us as we endure. For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls. (vs. 3)  He struggled with people despising Him. That may not be our struggle. But we do struggle with those who do not know Him, who turn Him away. Like I did more than once. I know...

Maybe we need to go through a time of chastening. Maybe it's just not time...other circumstances in others' lives need to be in place. We don't know. Do not run, resent or resist! But neither should we become weary but ask for Him to strengthen us in this time and be open to receive whatever He has for us whether it be a rebuke or a sudden burst of wisdom or strength for a situation, or word to speak.

Bring it on, Lord.

Hebrews 12:1 - Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run the race that is set before us.

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