Monday, September 2, 2019

Care must be Taken

In our zeal to please God and advance His kingdom, we Christians often take on responsibilities God never intended us to have. One of the great challenges of the Christian life is determining what God does not want us to do! Sometimes our good intentions cause more harm than good.
When you become aware of a need, do not automatically assume God wants you to meet it. The only reason to perform ministry is that God clearly tells you it is His will. If you are feeling overwhelmed by all that you are doing, you are probably doing more than God has asked. Pray carefully about the assignments you take on, so that you don’t rob yourself and others of God's best. - Blackaby

Also: Psalms 139:23-24 "Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way."

The Scripture passage became the heart of the hymn, "Search Me, O God" 

"Search me, O God, and know my heart today;
try me, O Savior, know my thoughts, I pray.
See if there be some wicked way in me;
cleanse me from every sin and set me free.

2 I praise thee, Lord, for cleansing me from sin;
fulfill thy word and make me pure within.
Fill me with fire where once I burned with shame;
grant my desire to magnify thy name.

3 Lord, take my life, and make it wholly thine;
fill my poor heart with thy great love divine.
Take all my will, my passion, self, and pride;
I now surrender, Lord-- in me abide."

It amazed me to see how God connected these two things together this morning.

We can be presumptuous at any age. I certainly was in my 20's and likely still do at the age I am now. 

There are times when the will of God is very evident.  There are other times, like I have mistakenly done, where all God is showing us is what is to come.  Then we make the mistake of thinking we are ready and jump in where we weren't meant to be yet.   I did it in my 20's and 30's.  I had graduated high school, went to another school to further my knowledge on fixing things.  Then came a time when I wanted more.  I thought God was showing me what to do at that moment in my life.  I hadn't realized it until too late that I had let go of His hand and took off running towards doing something that I wasn't ready for.  Jesus was with me but not.
He saw what I was doing, and was waiting patiently for me to come back.  Sooner or later I would find myself in over my head.  Which is what happened.

I was so far in over my head that I was drowning.  I sat in my living room, alone, as I had realized that I had been.  All alone.  I had pushed everyone away.  At least that was my perception.  I was so depressed that I was ready to just end it all.  Jesus felt so far away that I couldn't tell He was even concerned about me.

I had a pistol out and was getting ready to end my life.  But, as you can see, God never stops working. I may have run from Him, but as His Word says, He never gives up on us who are His.

I wrote yesterday about a visualization of Christ coming into the hording of sinful life to save me and when His light shone in me all of me was laid bare before Him.

In that moment after I realized that God hadn't given up on me, I saw the futility of my efforts.  He had a Plan for me.  I was the one who jumped the gun.  I got ahead of Him.  I would be yet another 20 plus years before I would see this day. The days when I was doing what He had really called me to do.  Not what I thought it was.

As I have had to learn in the physical world, I had to learn in the Spiritual world.  We need training in specific areas before we are ready for bigger things.

It wasn't for me to take on trying to use the internet to reach others for Christ at the time that He showed me in my 20's.  It would be some decades later when it would happen.  I needed extensive training.  I have prayed for forgiveness for the lives that I probably messed up or misdirected.  In my own strength and wisdom there would be no victory.

But, God doesn't give up on us. As that Hymn says, as Blackaby writes too. It's about waiting on Jesus.  When we assume  when we get ahead of ourselves, we will mess it up.

On the other hand, when God is saying, let's go, and we begin with a list of excuses not to leave where we are, we begin trying His patience.

Have you done that?  Has God provided people to bring clarity to your questions to Him, yet, you keep telling Him, "Oh, no, that can't be true!"

Has He brought people, Godly people, into your life and told you what was to come and you ignored them? Be careful.
As Scripture pointed out concerning Israel, there's only so many times that God provides warnings before we get caught in the backwash of His judgements.  When our loyalties are misplaced, He WILL correct them.
He will provide clarity in situations but it's up to us to accept that on faith and move.

Lot and his family were told to go. Repeatedly.  Judgement couldn't begin while they were there.  They were eventually taken by the hands and forcibly removed.  Do you really want that on your mind? 

What I have been doing on here since May of this year is nothing short of miraculous to me.  I have dreamed of being a writer.  I have began so many books it stuns me. God had not blessed those endeavors.  Yet when His timing was right this year, with this blog, there was nothing that was going to stand in His way. 15 countries have been reading it. I have never set foot outside of my own country yet God had taken His messages to 15 and counting.

God had plans for each of the parts of His body, the Church.  If you persist in staying where you are not supposed to be, in a physical body, things like that face surgery to be corrected.  Do you really want to hold onto what God has said to let go of?

As I have had to learn the hard way, God's ways are indeed higher than ours. His thoughts are not our thoughts.

Be careful to listen and act on what God is telling you to do.  Lot almost learned the hard way.  It cost his wife her life.  As Jesus told us, He desires obedience over sacrifice.  We cannot put ourselves on an alter to save anyone.  He won't allow or accept that. He wants our obedience.

But God! His response is Where's your faith?  Trust me. 

As I have repeatedly stated, I do not write anything to address things that I have been made aware of.  God brings His message to me and has instructed me to write.  He speaks I write, that's how it works.  If what you read feels like it's directed at you, then don't shoot the messenger.  God is talking to you.

I don't read ahead in my devotionals nor my Bible reading plan.  I love how God organizes what it is that I do write.  Again this is miraculous to me. 

Consider your life, don't get ahead of God.
Walk with Jesus. Don't pull Him down the road of life in a direction He will not go.
In all that He tells you, obey.
Deny yourself, take up your cross, and follow Him.

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