I was thinking about a few things today. Modesty was one of those things. I went shopping for a suit. I prefer a long skirt. However, finding a suit with a long skirt is becoming an increasing challenge. I cannot understand why – but then again, yes, I most certainly can. It would seem that modesty is still out and flesh is still in.
I was on my way to the weekend – finishing up my last project for work this week, transitioning into mental relaxation mode – when I was struck with a revelation regarding convenience and comfort. Now, don’t get your feathers all in a ruffle – I like convenience and comfort too. I am a big user of convenience items. But, even then, I am struck with the effect that my use of these quick serve items has on the environment. I love to be comfortable, particularly in my pajamas on a rainy afternoon. Yet, this visual combination on convenience and comfort is hanging in front of my eyes like a carrot leading a horse – but where am I being led?
In Bible Study a few weeks back, we reviewed the simple fact that there is no escaping God’s judgment and therefore we ought to live our lives in ways that honor Him. But, what happens when we don’t honor Him? What happens when honoring God is not at the forefront of our minds? What happens when all we can think about is that bit of convenience and comfort that we have so longed for? Now, an occasional retreat is not what I’m talking about. I’m talking about the desire that lingers and lingers and results in activities that produce lackadaisical attitudes toward God and His instructions for our lives.
When this lackadaisical attitude toward God goes unchecked, we see the desire for convenience creeping up in places where it should not. We see it in our worship service… Some people only want to be comfortable. They want to go in, get a Word from Heaven and leave, as quickly as possible. They do not want the preacher to tarry and neither do they want to hear a Word that may leave them uncomfortable in their current spiritual state. They sometimes do not want to talk about sin and neither do they want to talk about loving others like Jesus loves the church. Sometimes, they just want to do what they want to do – and sometimes they just want to say what they want to say. However, God has not called us to be this way. A real religion will not always be convenient nor leave you comfortable. Instead, it will challenge you to grow more and learn more. When we are learning and being taught, we are being stretched and molded into new creatures. So, with that, of course, some discomfort is going to occur – some inconvenience will be had.
I think to myself, was the Apostle Paul comfortable? What about Abraham? What about the disciples? Where things for them convenient? I submit a “NO!” in reply. When I think of them, I don’t think of comfort or convenience. I think of their efforts to honor God.
So, what shall we say to these things? Everyday we have a choice and everyday is an effort. Enjoy your weekend!
It’s time to do some meditation. Christian meditation is different from eastern meditation. I’ve read that eastern meditation is an attempt to empty yourself yet Christian meditation is a way to fill yourself – fill yourself with God and His presence.
So, make your way to your secret place – a place tucked away where you and God met. And, while you are there, get still and quiet before the Lord and see just what He has to say to you.
There are different types of Christian meditation, but the truth of the matter is, no web post or even a book can tell you how to meditate.
You learn to meditate by meditating.
I will say that if at first your mind races around and you can’t hear from the Lord on your first try, don’t give up. Persist! Eventually, your mind will calm and your body will settle into meditation – not to be confused with falling asleep!
I encourage Christian meditation because it personally brings me closer to God. And, once I know His plan or desire, then I am more successful at accomplishing His will in my life.
So, take a moment and HAVE a moment with the Lord. It will be worth the time spent!!
If I walk another step, I may just fall down!
I have been walking and walking and walking today. I wish I had a pedometer on me today. I think I may have walked 20,000 steps! I have walked and walked and walked but, I guess I’ve already mentioned that.
Today, I attended a trade show – the biggest in my industry. So, everyone was there. All kinds of suppliers. And, I walked by multiple booths, watching and walking…walking and walking. I kept expecting something to wow me, but alas not so much. I walked more and more.
And, well quite frankly, it brought me to the point of thinking about perseverance in the Christian faith. Sometimes, even when we cannot see what we are expecting, we are still to press on. We are to keep walking and keeping the faith.
So, if you are in a place where you cannot see what you’d hope for, please keep my exhibit hall experience in mind. Walk, walk, walk. Keep the faith. You may not get to see what you’d want to see, but God has something else for you in the experience. Even with all of my walking, I now have enough information for a report. So, walk on – press on. There’s something in it for you – even if you cannot see it right away.
Trusting in the Lord requires submission of our heart, mind, body and soul. We have to submit these areas to the Lord. This is what I preached about on Saturday. I wanted to share with you a little of what the Lord shared with me.
Our heart condition matters deeply to the Lord. For it is out of the heart that our mouth speaks. Whatever is in our heart comes out of our mouth. Can I share with you some examples?
What happens when you get cut off in traffic? What comes out of your mouth? It’s an indication of what is in your heart.
What happens when your cashier or waiter is rude to you? Or what about whenever it takes someone some extra time to bring something that you ordered to you? What comes out of your mouth? It’s an indication of what is in your heart.
What happens when you are left doing all of the work or working more than your fare share on a team project? What comes out of your mouth – even if you say nothing at work, what happens when you tell the experience to a friend or a spouse? It’s an indication of what is in your heart.
What happens when you are blatantly overlooked for a promotion that is rightfully yours? What comes out of your mouth? It’s an indication of what is in your heart.
Our heart condition is most evident in the little things that we do – the small responses. And it is when we find ourselves and our reactions in these small moments that we are able to see what condition our heart is really in.
Once we take notice of what is really in our heart, then we have to trust God to change us. Will you examine your heart today – and when you do, please go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to change you so that you become more and more like Him.
Can I tell you about how good God is? This past week, in preparation for a preaching event, I was really into my Word. I was really making the effort to be sure that I could hear from Him and deliver the right message to the right people. I’ve got sense enough to know that I cannot do this apart from His equipping. I thought it was strange that during this last week of preparation before the event, I would be out of town. Yet, my out of town trip to San Diego was scheduled long before the preaching opportunity came along. But, God knew exactly what He was doing. He was pulling me out of my comfy environment so that I could really focus on Him.
As a part of my obedience, He blessed me beyond measure. I went to the beautiful hotel to check in – and to my great surprise received a complimentary upgrade to a luxury suite – and it was really luxurious – and stocked with choice foods! (most of which I couldn’t eat because at that time I was fasting – so I resisted the King’s table). But, it was NICE!!! But, the blessings did not stop there.
He surrounded me with the beauty of His creation. I could see out over the water for miles, it seemed. I saw beautiful flowers and sailboats and all things that reminded me of Him and His ultimate sovereignty.
I then looked around and was blessed with kind women who were, like me, traveling for business. We fellowshipped with each other and have been in contact with each other – even now – and one was a pastor’s wife with a very sweet spirit.
God took great care of me on my trip and therefore, when I came back to North Carolina, I couldn’t help but to have a Word from the Lord. He used me to deliver His Word on Saturday, April 19, 2008. I know that I had a great time in Him. And, according to the women that approached me when it was all said and done, they had a good time in Him as well and were set free and liberated too. Knowing this made my heart smile. It was at that point that I felt like I had not failed God in delivering the right message to the right people.
I thank God for everything. He truly is AWESOME. And, as I gear up for another opportunity in May, I pray that the same power that moved within hearts on Saturday, will do it again at that meeting. I love the Lord, and I am so blessed that He loves me!
Isn’t that something – get 100 posts and then decide to take a mini-break! Some folks! I hear you talking about me!!! I’d talk about me too! Truthfully, I’m on the road and haven’t had a moment to gather myself, so my posts this week will be sporadic at best – but I know you’re still going to hang in there with me right? right???
I’m in a beautiful location – can you guess where? I’m surrounded by dense population and lots of water, palm trees, seasonal weather, strong breeze, lots of boats – okay yachts. I have even seen a Dole cargo ship and a navy aircraft carrier with lots of planes just sitting there looking fierce.
Where am I? Take a guess!
And, where can we start? OPRAH. Take a look at this video and you’ll soon now what I mean. It’s time to get busy for the cause of Christ. It’s time to open our mouths and spread the good news of the gospel. If we remain silent, we have only to expect more garbage like Oprah’s Megachurch. Copy and paste this link into your browser.
I’m directed back to trusting God this morning. God desires that we fully trust Him 100% of the time. We acknowledge this as truth but something seems to get in the way – at least some of the time. What is it?
Would you share (anonymously if you prefer) what keeps you from trusting God? Your responses will help shape a message that I am working on. Therefore, I will leave this post up for the remainder of this week, in anticipation of your reply. And, if you feel more comfortable emailing me, you may do that as well.
Part of trusting the Lord is waiting on Him to remedy the ills in your life. He is the only One that can fix the things that trouble us. When we come to that point of realization – once we are ready to take our hands off of the situation and once we are ready to stop calling everybody to get them to weigh in on what we should do, we are left with our own resolve. What can we do while we wait?
The best thing to do while we wait is to wait. Seems simple enough. Our society always has us doing something or going somewhere. We like to be busy. But, God does not need us getting into His business. If He has told us that He will do something on our behalf, then we just need to wait and it will come to pass.
Sometimes we like to look at our watches and calendars while we are waiting. This will only serve to aggravate you. Don’t spend your time doing this.
Other times we like to analyze the situation in our mind and inevitably find fault with something that we did. We like to blame ourselves. Well, if you did something that you haven’t repented for – quickly repent of the thing and then leave it alone. Don’t spend your time dwelling on what you cannot change. Give it to God and move on. Scripture tells us to cast all of our anxiety on Him because He cares for us. (1Peter 5:6-7)
So, what can we do? There must be something. Yes, we can occupy ourselves with learning about Him. We can study our Bibles. The only way to be like Him is to know Who He is.
While we wait, we can pray about everything that concerns us. Phil. 4:6-7
While we wait, we can seek the Lord – Isaiah 55:6
While we wait, we can praise the Lord – Psalm 66:17-20
Do you see my point here? While we wait, we can occupy ourselves with the things that please Him. We need to entertain and educate ourselves with the things of God, leaving our hope and trust completely with Him – not in ourselves.