Wednesday, August 30, 2023

Oh the Storms

Oh the Storms 
by David Brenneman 

There's days that I awake from dreams so real that it takes a while to get back to reality.  When the fog clears I remember the day that lies ahead and what it entails. 

Storms are a part of life.  I speak not about the weather outside.   

We choose either to listen to the Spirit's direction for us or we listen to the parts we want to, causing us to stray from the peaceful center of God's will.   

When songs seem to be what all you can memorize, songs tend to speak.  

"In the eye of the storm
You remain in control
And in the middle of the war
You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor
When my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
When the solid ground is falling out from underneath my feet
Between the black skies and my red eyes, I can barely see
When I realize I've been sold out by my friends and my family
I can feel the rain reminding me
In the eye of the storm, You remain in control
In the middle of the war, You guard my soul
You alone are the anchor, when my sails are torn
Your love surrounds me
In the eye of the storm
Mmm, when my hopes and dreams are far from me
And I'm runnin' out of faith
I see the future I pictured slowly fade away
And when the tears of pain and heartache
Are pouring down my face
I find my peace in Jesus' name"
- From 'Eye of the Storm' by Ryan Stevenson. 

We also are to indeed make plans for the day.  However, to remain in that center, praying must go before the first move into that day.  

"Prayer is a mighty force when guidance is needed for the next step. Asking the Lord to direct one's paths is better than having to ask Him to correct one's mistakes. (Proverbs 3:6, Ps 37:5). No one, however, should expect God's approval of plans on which He has not been consulted." -Dr. David Jeremiah's Study Bible on Proverbs 16:3.

We shouldn't assume that just because we are so close to what we have wanted all along that God was indeed giving us what we prayed for.   So close isn't spot on.

Temptation is as real as breathing.  Being tempted to jump ahead of God is one of Satan's favorite things to do in the lives of Believers. 

We can easily see the simple examples in the Old Testament where the Lord Jesus outright says He is testing them to see if they will obey Him.  

God will never have an answer to a prayer include a violation of His Word.  He will not give you something that you have probably wanted a very long time if it destroys relationships that He brought together. He will not cause someone to stumble or to be left behind in the faith.  

The storm often comes to remove whatever is unnecessary to leave behind what is.  What's necessary is our willing obedience to God's Word.  Even if it means letting go of dreams and desires until He says it's the RIGHT time.  

I have seen Believers abandoned because of people running after something they're convinced was of God, yet if this were so, why would another Brother or Sister in Christ be left behind due to this?  Do they not realize that God hears their pleas? That God hears their hurts?  Doesn't the Spirit of God say that the Lord is near to the broken-hearted?  

Sometimes the storm is meant to change others, sometimes to change us.  But in all of it, we're to remain true to our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  

Some of those same said people who've ran off to do what they claim is what God wanted for them forget that the lives of everyone are in the hands of God.  Some have gone to great lengths to justify what they've done.  If you have to justify it to salve your conscience, it's not of God. 

If, in trying to keep your fingers around whatever it is, you have to hurt someone else, it is not of God. 

It is extremely short-sighted to forget Him with whom we have to do.  It's extremely short-sighted to forget that this infinitesimal time we spend on this Earth, whereby we have done what we have, and yet forget that we will spend eternity with those same people. 

Who cares if we get what we really wanted out of life if it harms someone growing in Christ Jesus!  THAT is a storm of our own creation when we are the instrument of harm to another in Christ. 

"Does any one of you, when he has a case against his neighbor, dare to go to law before the unrighteous and not before the saints? Or do you not know that the saints will judge the world? If the world is judged by you, are you not competent to constitute the smallest law courts? Do you not know that we will judge angels? How much more matters of this life? So if you have law courts dealing with matters of this life, do you appoint them as judges who are of no account in the church? I say this to your shame. Is it so, that there is not among you one wise man who will be able to decide between his brethren, but brother goes to law with brother, and that before unbelievers? Actually, then, it is already a defeat for you, that you have lawsuits with one another. Why not rather be wronged? Why not rather be defrauded? On the contrary, you yourselves wrong and defraud. You do this even to your brethren." 1 Corinthians 6:1-7 NASB95 

The peace of God.  That center of the Will of God. 

"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." Philippians 4:6‭-‬7.

What God calls peace isn't what the world calls peace.  You aren't going to experience it until you're obedient to the Word of God in Christ Jesus. 

When Jesus was in the boat, the Disciples were in the eye of the storm.  They panicked and were asked, why?  Why are you afraid, don't you realize that I am the calm center you seek?

So many try to cover up disobedience with gobs and gobs of obedience.  They indeed ran ahead of God, and try to point to all the good that they see, even saying it came from God.  Yet Jesus stands there, pointing to that one thing and will keep pointing until we relent. That man-made storm will continue until we obey. 

God will never call any Believer to engage in anything that violates the Word of God.

No matter how big or small.  He will not do that.  Yet millions justify their life choices by saying God told them to.  Another man-made storm. 

Return to where you ought to be in Christ Jesus if you're wanting to find that peace that passes all understanding.  Even if it means apologizing, asking forgiveness, whatever it takes.  Be patient in your life to truly wait on the Lord.  Don't destroy what God has graciously given you in life because of selfishness.  As it was warned of in the Bible, a little leaven affects the whole loaf, so does one act of intentional selfishness to harm a Godly relationship. 

You're going to have storms in your life, don't be the creator of them. 

"He has told you, O man, what is good; And what does the Lord require of you But to do justice, to love kindness, And to walk humbly with your God?" Micah 6:8.

All NASB 1995 and NASB Scripture Excerpts used by permission. Lockman Foundation.

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