by David Brenneman
As each morning it happens...I wait for what it is that I'm to write. This morning it seems to be on the heels of finding photos that meant something at the time when we were walking around Hobby Lobby. These are stamps (for those reading...no I don't want to collect stamps nor have I ever lol).
But in hinde sight I look at what all I took photos of and there's a theme to them. It's somewhat of a secret that I have things going on in my life concerning work. Yes, I know, not every job is going to be 'perfect' just like there's really no 'perfect' Churches to go to...but going is still necessary...just like work.
Many give me advice on what I ought to do and on occasion some have been rather adamant about how they would have liked me to have dealt with things differently than I did. Some of that is the radical change of culture between how things were dealt with in my life in the wilderness concerning where I am now.
I guess the larger theme of things in these verses is "God's got this". People are going to come down on us because they know not the entire story.
People are going to come down on us or on those we love in order to distract us from the greater call of God in our lives. There's things in motion in this world that if you go up a few thousand feet you see a vastly different picture than what we see on a street view.
Quite often we get hurt by others and want to run. Sure at first we keep taking it and taking it. We think we understand that that's God saying the door is closed and to move on. But what if it isn't? What if it's God saying something else? Would we listen?
We are often spoken to by God through the Holy Spirit and we often don't pay much attention to it because of being used to people yelling or forcing their strong voice onto our lives. We allow hurts to change the direction of our lives from where we were indeed doing what God called us to be doing.
The worst for me was when I thought I understood God's vision for me and took off for it only to find out I was very ill prepared for it. Abraham, from the time he was Abram onward until that day he was to sacrifice his only son...was getting an education. That's how Dr. Charles Stanley worded it. The Lord Jesus was teaching him what faith was. What trusting in Lord was. We see the fruits of it in all the nations that have come from Abraham since God kept His promise to Abraham. More than a few nations were created because Abraham and Sarah literally didn't believe God enough and took matters into their own hands. Which is the source of most of the conflicts in the Middle East right now.
I am facing some things that I probably won't write too much about but they are significant to me at least. As I shared with the Men's Group that I go to...right now those guys are the closest friends that I really have right now. We do life together on Saturday's. They are among the greatest blessings that I've received from God since moving.
God loves us too much to leave us where He found us. He loves us too much to leave what we arrived at our own doorstep with that He walked over to get to us.
Consider that. He was at the door of our hearts wanting to come in. We had to be the one to open that door. He had to step over what we'd been putting in the way to get to us. He then cleansed us from all unrighteousness and gave us a new heart, a new start, a new life in Christ. Then comes the house cleaning. Extreme Heart MakeOver, God Edition. Making the choices to let go of self and things and to live for Jesus the way His Spirit placed us in the body of Christ.
Honestly I've no appreciation for those with degrees. Seems the more sensible, down to earth people are those without them. Common sense wasn't driven out of them by man's teaching. But that's me. God has a purpose and use for those with degrees in the lives of others such as Doctor's etc. There is a point to this...that being not to let the accolades of man become more important than the path that God has for you.
While facing the things that I am this month...and as fast as January started I really see it slowing down until February 1st...I will probably find myself praying more than before. Which is part of my education with Jesus. You have your education with Jesus too. We all do. The problem is the lesson learning. We often repeat lessons in various flavors and ways because we went the wrong way with our answers because they weren't the right answers.
Social skills aren't one of my greatest things in life. I spent a lot of my childhood by myself learning what things I could learn. I still spend time learning things. I want to be able to help those who need it when it's pressed upon me to help them by God.
This theme has a direction: God saying "Trust Me". I often feel like Harrison Ford from Indiana Jones...that step of faith part of the movie. To me it's a sort of parallel to Peter stepping out of the boat to be with Jesus. Abraham is right there with the step of faith that somehow the very same God who brought his son into the world would have the ability to bring him back to life again if only he would obey and do.
Prior to Abraham's leap of faith he had to learn to not try to 'help' God in what God was doing. He didn't have to create a backup plan because God needs no backup plans. God's plans work right the first time every time. As the Scriptures say...who is there to give Him counsel? Who's going to ask of Him, "Why did you do that?" as if He knew not what He was doing?
God sees every possible outcome in every situtation of every single person, every single animal, every single bird, every single breeze that blows, rain that falls or snow that piles up. He knows and has planned for everything. It's us who don't have the whole story because we're to trust Him. Many people have hurt me in my life. My running the other way never was the right response in most of those cases. Truth is I hadn't grown enough, been educated enough as Abraham's life shows, to make a wise decision rather than a rash decision. We have no right to tell God what our calling is going to be. We have no right to put self before His plan and purpose for our lives when we come to Christ Jesus for salvation.
Look at the choices that have brought you to where you are in your life. Should Jesus appear before you and ask you what is it you are doing, what are you hoping to accomplish with the direction you think you're taking your life...how would you answer Him?
Would you even be able to answer Him? If I had a dream job I would certainly need God's help in creating it. I had this idea of a dream job of something similar to a Habitat for Humanity ReStore but it being different. Different in that I would take in donations and give away what people needed. Using donations alone to keep the place going. I've had a dozen jobs or so in my life. To be brutally honest I have not been really happy at any of them. It's an easy thing to be jealous of those who love what they do for a job. I've tried so many and have yet to find such a thing in my life. I've seen the question asked about what do I look forward to in 2023...what adventures await...I have no idea. My only hope is for those without Jesus to find Him and be saved...and for Jesus to return. That's the only exciting thing that I look forward to...is to see my Jesus face-to-face. To be held by Jesus again. To be told by Him "Welcome Home".
Life is going to throw all kinds of things at us who are in Christ in order to get us to not follow through with our commitment to Christ.
We spend more waking hours with a job than we do with our families. It's draining. At work we mostly do not have a voice in most cases to deal with situations because of how the employer wants things done. Our choice is to either go along or look somewhere else. When I've left any employer it's because God made it impossible for me to stay....and every single time He's had another job waiting for me. This is but one example of this theme. Many people in 20 plus years that I've known to be Christian's don't understand that. Many many people have only seen it as me complaining and me being stubborn about change. I've even been labeled by Pastor's as being difficult or 'trouble' when I share my burdens. Imagine that. Being obedient to "bear one another's burdens and thus fulfill the law of Christ" and being labeled trouble for doing that in obedience. As said this is but one example from my 20 plus years in what I call 'the wilderness'.
Trust in the Lord with all your heart...Don't worry about anything, pray about everything...come to me all you who are weary and heavy burdened...walk by faith and not by sight.
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