Thursday, November 12, 2020
What we want and What God Wants of Us
. . . the trial of your faith . . . 1 Peter 1:7 KJV
Untested faith may be a true faith, but it is sure to be a small faith—and it is likely to remain stunted as long as it is without trials. Faith never prospers as much as when all things are against it: storms are its trainer, lightning its illuminator. When calm reigns on the sea, you can spread your sails as much as you’d like, but the ship will not move toward harbor; on a sleeping ocean, the vessel sleeps too. But let the howling winds rush forth and the waters rise and crash—then the vessel rocks, her deck washed with waves, her mast creaking under the pressure of the swelling sail—that is when she makes headway toward her haven. No flowers wear such a lovely blue as those which grow at the foot of a frozen glacier; no stars gleam so brightly as those which glimmer in the polar sky; no water tastes so sweet as that which springs up below the desert sand; and no faith is so precious as that which lives and triumphs in adversity. Tested faith brings experience. You would not have believed your own weakness had you not been compelled to pass through the rivers; and you would never have known God’s strength had you not been supported through the floods. Faith increases in solidity, assurance, and intensity the more it is exercised by trials. Faith is precious, and its trial is precious too. May this not discourage those who are young in faith. You will have trials soon enough, without ever seeking them; your full portion will be measured out in due time. Meanwhile, if you cannot yet claim the results of long experience, thank God for the grace you do have; praise Him for the degree of holy confidence you have attained. Walk according to that rule, and you will have more and more of the blessing of God, until your faith can remove mountains and conquer impossibilities. - C.H. Spurgeon Morning and Evening
It's always interesting when God shows me in real life what He meant in something that I have read in the Bible.
I wrote a small post on LinkedIn about the promise and perils of cross-training. Whereas it does keep people busy by teaching, it does little in the area of growth with any significance.
The basis of was which was an example of a plant. Plants grow best when tended to in their intended spot. When the roots have space and depth to grow, are nurtured and fed, they grow in ways we didn't imagine. You take a similar plant and up root it and move it every time you need a different view, it will never grow the way the one left in place did.
Scripture says in the New Testament of us being Christ's workmanship. We are that plant or as Scripture words it, we are that pottery piece. We are moulded and shaped as He sees fit once we come to Him for Salvation. We are placed where one, we will do the most good for the Kingdom and two where the people are that He meant for US to impact by His work in us.
Regardless of what you see in an unkempt back yard with supposed overgrowth, God still has a Plan. Regardless of what your world looks like, God still has a Plan.
I don't know of anyone who has never seen a child having a tantrum in public. If you are so inclined, just watch the scene unfold. After its done, ask yourself a few questions. One, what did you just observe? Was what really happened? Oh you will probably answer those with the obvious choice but you actually would be wrong. First, you observed time being wasted. Time, energy and effort going in circles, consuming both the parents and the child. Secondly you observed more than a bit of dischord in a relationship. You witnessed the will of the parents being questioned and disrupted. You yourself were disrupted in what you were doing. The others around this were disrupted as well. The disrespect between child to parents was another problem.
We do this with God when we fight what He is trying to do in our lives. We are in what's termed a microwave society. We want results in real time. We pray and get impatient with God. As Moses found out, as I read in Blackaby's devotional today, he was being added to the ranks of the work of those who preceded him. We live in a 'the world revolves around us' society. We try this with God. Not realizing that our tantrums are disruptive to His Plan for us. Yes, some things do really impact us. However we need the mentality of Paul to remember that how we fit into and how we relate to God's Plan is what matters. We are told not to worry about food or drink. That God will take care of it. We are told not to worry about tomorrow. God is already there. Getting back to the plant. Plants that God nurtures don't worry about food or drink. They are provided for by the same God that provides for us.
The term thinking outside the box is also used a lot when it comes to success. It also applies to how we live. In our box, our world, we always want things 'just so'. A just so life sees no challenges or ever grows beyond that expectation. Jesus expects growth and expects what changes He brings to change us to be more like Him. Without what He brings both we and those around us will never know the God of the Bible. Our tantrums only waste His time and ours. It stops the momentum in the work He is doing in us and others. It limits an already limited future. We only have so much time on this planet.
Ask yourself today if you are really thinking of yourself in your interactions with God or are you looking at the bigger picture of how God intended you to interact with Him and those around you. Are your wants and wishes all you ask Him about and for? Or are you including others in your prayers and time? Are you showing yourself to be His workmanship or are you a vessel that is fighting His work in you? Are you willing to bloom where He planted you or are you fighting that as well?