Archive for January, 2012
What is success?
I suppose the answer would vary depending on who you ask.
I looked up the definition and found:
1. The favorable or prosperous termination of attempts or endeavours.
2. The attainment of wealth, position, honors, or the like.
Still, even with these definitions success still varies widely depending on each person’s perception of favourable or wealth.
Have you been dissatisfied with His provision for you? Have the outcomes of your endeavours been less than favourable in your mind?
Is there in your heart any unwillingness to obey God fully? Do you have any reservations as to what you would or would not do concerning anything that might be His will? What if God asked you to do something that wasn’t logical? He is known to do that. The world’s ways are logical but they aren’t God’s ways. Have you disobeyed some direct leading from Him?
Success has everything to do with accomplishing God’s will. For only by seeking and doing His will can we discover and fulfill our life’s purpose. And only by doing His will can we bring glory to His Name and blessing to our lives.
For instance, put your self in Joshua’s shoes for a few moments…..
“And the LORD said to Joshua, “See, I have given Jericho into your hand, with its king and the valiant warriors. “And you shall march around the city, all the men of war circling the city once. You shall do so for six days. “Also seven priests shall carry seven trumpets of rams’ horns before the ark; then on the seventh day you shall march around the city seven times, and the priests shall blow the trumpets. “And it shall be that when they make a long blast with the ram’s horn, and when you hear the sound of the trumpet, all the people shall shout with a great shout; and the wall of the city will fall down flat, and the people will go up every man straight ahead.” Joshua 6:2-5 NIV
God’s solutions are almost always different from the ones we think of. Would a man would come up with such a solution as this? Can you imagine the looks and the comments Joshua must have encountered when he told the people what God had said? First, God said that He had given them Jericho. But then He gave specific and very strange instructions on how to take it. There most likely was grumbling even as they were marching around the city. One man to another “Why are we doing this? What good is this? We are strong, let’s just crash in and take them.” But had they not followed God’s instructions; been completely surrendered to His way of doing things the outcome would not have been successful.
Just because it is not the answer that we would come up with doesn’t mean it’s not the best. He is infinite–we are finite.
He knows the end from the beginning while we see just the present. He knows the whys while we are wondering.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD.
“As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” Isaiah 55:8-9 NIV
A tree has what is known as a “taproot.” I looked up the definition of taproot. I found “a main root descending downward and giving off small lateral roots”. This gave me plenty to think about
When there is a lengthy drought and water in the ground dissipates, that root tirelessly tunnels through the ground deeper and deeper until it locates water.
We (my husband and I) are in a season right now of what some would say is a drought. There has been what I called in a previous blog “one thing after another” The hot winds of adversity and opposition are blowing fiercely. The way we have been able to survive this season is by extending our roots deeper to the source. Jesus said, “But those who drink the water I give will never be thirsty again. It becomes a fresh, bubbling spring within them, giving them eternal life.” John 4:14 NAS
I can tell the days when I’m not “tapped in”. I feel like I am withering from the hot winds.
It is not enough to merely resist the devil and what he throws our way. We must be submitted/tapped into God. (See James 4:7). Regardless of how long I have been a Christian, how close I think I am I know I must go deeper. As I do I always experience a wonderful sense of refreshment.
“But blessed is the one who trusts in the LORD, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” Jeremiah 17: 7-8 NAS
Never fails to bear fruit; that brings me back to the taproot definition. You see the definition says that as it descends it gives off other roots. Have you ever noticed that new trees pop up from the roots of older ones? If we are tapped into to the Lord we should be bearing fruit; new growth should be springing up from our root system.
So, as I am feeling the hot winds of adversity on my face I am thankful for the Source that I’m tapped into. I pray I will bear fruit even in this season.
For the eyes of the LORD move to and fro throughout the earth that He may strongly support those whose heart is completely His.” 2 Chronicles 16:9 NAS
When I was a child I enjoyed watching the cartoon Mighty Mouse. I don’t know how popular it was or if any of you reading this will remember it. But in every episode someone or a group of characters would find themselves in a predicament. Then Mighty Mouse would fly in and save the day. Follow the link to hear Mighty Mouse’s theme song http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BdIev12fCPs
Have you ever wished someone would fly in to save you? Have you ever wondered why we have troubles and found yourself complaining of your circumstances? Have you ever thought that God didn’t care or perhaps couldn’t see your predicament?
Well even though God doesn’t fly in and rescue be sure He sees our situation, our every distress, our every challenge. He is no disinterested observer. And unlike Mighty Mouse He doesn’t have to hunt for clues to find out what has happened or how to rescue us. Our God is always looking, searching, and scouring the earth for the opportunity to show us just how strong He is, to prove to us that He loves us, that He is in our corner, backing us up, clearing paths, showing us the way, and sometimes removing obstacles. Yes, only sometimes does He remove obstacles. Other times we must work through those obstacles, being obedient to what He is asking and grow from the experience.
However, in order to discern what the path is and the correct choice is you must love Him completely and you must trust Him entirely. How hard can that be? After all He is far more powerful than my childhood hero Mighty Mouse
Our task at hand is to listen; really listen. This is more than reading and hearing God. This is obedience! Immediate obedience! When I was a child and I heard my father’s voice commanding me to do something I did it immediately. Sadly this wasn’t out of love for him. He was a harsh father and I feared what would happen if I didn’t. My father had a temper you didn’t want to rouse so you had best obey. My heavenly father is much more trustworthy than my earthly father. I know He loves me desires only the best for me. But, it would behoove me to obey him immediately as well. It is in my best interest; His timing is perfect. If we are going to have the honour of being used for His purpose we had better get at it now. Rebellion kills our potential to be used of God to make an impact. Walk boldly in obedience. Do not fear the ‘what if’s” The thing that you can always be sure of is that He loves you more than you can ever imagine. His plans are always best even if they don’t seem logical.
For I know the plans that I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope. ~ Jeremiah 29:11 NAS
Recently I have had a few people say to me “It’s just been one thing after another”. And my reply to them more often than not was “Tell me about it!” Each time as those words were leaving my mouth heard that still small voice say “Why are you complaining?” The first couple of times I tried to justify my attitude with “I’ve been trying to do the right things and not so good things keep happening”. But I knew that attitude didn’t belong in my life. After all as a Child of God I should trust him enough to know the plans he has for my husband and me are perfect. There is a reason he is allowing everything; good and not so good in our estimates to come our way.
And as I said in a previous blog; I do not want to be wandering in the wilderness for 40 years as the Israelites did all because of my bad attitude.
As I was praying about and pondering these things this morning this is was God reminded me of and I tasted a bit of humble pie.
•Not sure how bills are going to be paid? There are many who have no heat or don’t have a hot shower to stand and think in like you are right now.
•Getting tired of very simple meals and want a nice cut of meat for supper? There are many who are lucky to have one meal a day.
•Concerned about health issues? My husband and I are blessed by having access to good medical care that doesn’t bury us with debt. There are many who cannot even see a doctor.
•Want new vehicles because our older ones are wearing out? We live in a town where we can walk most places and we have the means to repair the vehicles we have. Some people would think we are well to do with what we have.
•Repairs “need” to be made on our house? We have a solid warm home that is filled with love. Some have no place to call home; they lay their head down at night cold and alone.
I could go on and on but there is no need. I’m sure you get the jest of what I heard from the Lord as I was enjoying my hot shower this morning. Yes, God and I talk a lot while I’m in the shower. That is one time I am sure to slow down enough for him to get my attention.
Over the past couple of years I have been more intentional about slowing down and listening but I still have to be reminded. Especially when there is one thing after another in my life!