Wednesday, January 8, 2020

God's Plan, My Plan and Our Relationship

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us. Ephesians 3:20 

At times we feel as if we could impress God with all we are trying to do for Him and His church. Yet God has yet to be impressed with even the most grandiose human aspirations (Ps. 8:3–4). You will never set a goal so big or attempt a task so significant that God does not have something far greater that He could do in and through your life. Saul of Tarsus worked harder than anyone else to impress God with his efforts, only to discover that his greatest achievements were but rubbish compared to God's will for his life (Phil. 3:7–8). Our problem is that we become too easily enamored with our own plans. If we are attempting to do noble or difficult things, we assume that we must be experiencing the maximum potential for our lives and that God must, therefore, be pleased with us. Until we have heard from God, we cannot even imagine all that our lives could become or all that God could accomplish through us. We need to remind ourselves that the Father sees the “big picture,” that His power far exceeds our limited imagination. We must set aside our own agenda, however lofty. We must never become satisfied with our own dreams, for they are finite at best. When we follow God's direction, we will witness things happening in our lives that can only be explained by His powerful presence. How could we be satisfied with anything less? - Blackaby Experiencing God Day by Day 

Oh I can sooo relate to Blackaby's first sentence.  It's honestly taken most of my lifetime and I am still learning the nature of my relationship with Jesus.  Abraham was called the friend of God.  That was from a relationship built over time.  Take a good look at Abraham's life.  If his descendant was called a deceiver, that apple sure didn't fall far from the tree. He lied several times to kings of the nation's where he and Sarah were traveling. God had called him out on every occasion.  

Look at the story of his son.  Of their trip together to where the Lord had commanded him to sacrifice his only son.  The faith shown came from a life spent being nurtured in a relationship with Jesus. 

We have a plethora of distractions in this world.  80 years ago it was incredibly easy to be alone with God.  Ten years later and so on the difficulty increasing exponentially.  Today if you don't return a text in an unreasonable amount of time you're supposedly upset with someone. If you aren't returning a call immediately you are thought to be angry or worse injured somewhere.  Impatience has taken the place of serenity and peace.  People don't wish to wait for the news.  Television networks are struggling to stay relevant enough to garner the attention of their viewers.  People are glued to statuses and updates on a phone or tablet. 

So where is God?  Why do the nations rage? Why do people commit the atrocities they do?  They have left no room for Jesus in their lives. 

As I began saying, I had grand ideas of how to work out God's Plan in this world.  I had great ideas on how to do all kinds of things to reach people for Christ.  One problem.  I never asked Him first.  Guess what didn't happen and what didn't work. 

We don't build a relationship with Jesus like we accumulate friends on Facebook, Instagram or Twitter.  We don't.  We build a relationship through time and opportunity. 

Our only investment in those social media platforms is tapping or clicking an accept icon.  

Our investment in our relationship with Jesus takes a lifetime.   It requires time. He is infinite, we are finite.  The testings we seem to go through that are rough or are joyous are because our finite minds can't connect the dots without experience. 

We tend to let Jesus into our lives when it seems we have a flat tire.  When the hot water tank has problems. When we run out of gas. When we look at our bills.  

We add to the complications of our lives because of social anxiety and pressure.  We get goaded into a new home or new car because of an insane idea to keep up with someone else.  We get convinced we have to have right now.  I speak of myself quite often and there's good reason.  As Paul has said he speaks of his failures and weaknesses.  His strength is in God. I long for the day when my focus remotely comes close to that in my life. 

Before YOU make plans for today, seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness.  Ask Him what's on His mind today for you.

Monday this week certainly wasn't what was on my mind for me but it was for Him for me.  Quite often the Disciples didn't know what was coming next.  That's what Trust and Obey the Master is all about. 

I laugh right now because I really look at the Disciples.  Think about what you read.  So many are also worried about not getting their walk with God 100 percent right all the time.  But look at them!  They were WITH Jesus all the time and didn't get it right all the time and Jesus was ok with it.  They were learning, which was more important.  Even after the Holy Spirit came, the Apostles STILL were learning.  Paul opposed Peter to his face.  Barnabas and Paul argued about Mark. Really shows they were in the same boat as us.  Learning what a right relationship with Jesus is all about.  

I have said before that I thoroughly enjoy quiet times.  I have discovered another reason why.  It's partly because I have a problem with ultrasonic hearing.  I literally hear too much in the audio spectrum.  But I also enjoy times with Jesus just talking to Him.  He never intended a life with Him to be complicated.  We don't need to make it that way. 

Many denominations set rules that He never intended.  They create situations that make the Christian life unnecessarily difficult.  Realistically if we let the Holy Spirit do HIS job then more people would understand what THEIR job is.  It's the Holy Spirit's job to protect the Word of God.  So saying we have to use only one version of the Bible is ridiculous.  Many millions have been saved using quite a few versions of the Bible.  I have had conversations with God.  Not one time has He ever used a a thee, thou or shalt or shouldst.  

Leave room for Jesus to be Jesus in your life.  Trust the Holy Spirit to do His job.  Decades of senseless bickering about what version of the Bible is just that, senseless.  Build your relationship with Jesus today.  Today might even be your last day on Earth.  What I look for and hope to hear from Him is "Well done". 
People put God in a box then wonder why their lives are a mess.  People want God to work but on their terms.  People want a Genie to give them everything from health, wealth and prosperity.  Read your Bible. Jesus said if they hated Me, then they will hate you too. He said that He didn't come to bring peace (the world's version) but division. A man's enemies will be members of his own house.  He said that we would have tribulations.  Trials.  But in all of this we are to be of great courage, He has overcome the world.  He promised to never leave us nor forsake us.  That we are aliens in this world.  It is not our home. 

Yet we keep trying to make it our home. 

Ask God what His plans are for you today. 
Share your heart with Him today. 
Let go of the social pressures.  They aren't necessary to your life.  
Live today like you mean it.  With Jesus. 
Don't complicate your life with useless man made rules on a relationship with Jesus, have your own relationship with Jesus and let Him work in your life.  

Nobody is going to have a successful defense in front of Christ that they lived how they lived because of what so-and-so told them. So-and-so won't be with you to defend you.

I still struggle, stumble and fall. Jesus is right there to pick me up, clean me up and help me to get moving again.  I don't know what today will bring but I know who has today in His hands. 

Look at your today.  Is it God honoring?
Have you talked with Jesus today?  Or are you going to go do your own thing and treat Him like a spare tire.  Only get Him out when there's a problem.  Slow your life down and don't talk AT Jesus, talk TO Him. 

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