Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Preparations of the Heart

Proverbs 16:1 - The preparations of the heart belong to man, but the answer of the tongue is from the LORD.
Oh my! I'm amazed at how thoughts have come together quite unexpectedly this week.

A couple blogs ago I wrote about preaching the Gospel and how we as believers are to share the good news that Jesus brings. The truth of His Word. That some will receive these words while others will not. It is not up to me to cause the finished work. Only God can do that. One sows, one waters, but God...

Then yesterday I wrote about the accursed thing, which is either sin or something God wants us to rid ourselves of in our sanctification process. If He's wanting to remove something from our lives, we should allow it, that He will continue to stand beside us.

So, I'm reading for the second time a book called, When I Lay My Isaac Down by Carol Kent. I've had it a number of years and a friend just told me she read it recently. This goes right along with letting things in our lives go. This time, however, it's letting go of our preconceived ideas how some circumstance in our life should happen. Only God has complete control of things and sometimes we like to get our fingers into it and prolong or block God's work...because we won't let go.

Kent listed two examples of laying down our Isaac. (Isaac, FYI, was Abraham's son. God told Abraham to go to a certain mountain and sacrifice is only son. He proceeded to begin to do what God had told Him, proving to Him his trust in God. And the sacrifice did not take place.) 

So, what is it we have to trust God in complicitly? Two types of Isaacs were mentioned. One type was like receiving word of a terminal illness, financial hardship or death of a loved one. They're unexpected. The other type was like relinquishing our control over personal expectations, someone else or being in charge of our own life. Both include totally trusting God and giving up our control over a situation. We are such determined-to-make-it-right-ourselves people.

I'm glad I'm not the only one who goes through these things. It's a part of our human nature...yet it can be conquered. God's ways are not like ours. God has a plan for each of us, if we know Him. It won't always be what we think it should be, or what we hope it will be. But if done His way it will be better than we could imagine. He takes us out of comfort zones. He uses the foolish things to confound the wise...and we can be considered foolish at times when we say or things contrary to the world view. He uses us when we are weak to show His strength. And all along, He gets the glory so we cannot boast in the accomplishments ourselves. So why do we balk?

I love this God because His ways are higher than ours. He knows the beginning from the end and knows what needs to be accomplished. He is instrumental in His way of preparing our hearts. His way. Another part of this trusting in God is realizing that if we, or another, have to go through some difficult trial to accomplish His will, we need to continue to praise Him. 

This went through my mind yesterday: At the rising of the sun till the setting of the sun, the name of the LORD is to be praised. (Psalm 113:3) And also, in the good times or bad, we are to praise the Lord. In health or in sickness, praise the Lord. We should never give up on God. Another thought to ponder: if things don't go at all as we expect, will we still praise the Lord? Will our love for Him quit? Better not....

Might I praise His name right now!?

So, since Your ways, Lord, are higher than mine and You do know the beginning from the end, I pray that You keep encouraging me to lay down another Isaac...or to keep laying down any I choose to pick back up that You might do what You gotta do. 

Proverbs 19:21 - There are many plans in a man’s heart, nevertheless the LORD’s counsel—that will stand.

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