Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Strength, Faith, Obedience & Gods "enoughness"

Today's post is going to be somewhat different from "the norm"

There are a half a dozens worth of people in my life going though the same thing. Weirdly enough they are not really or not at all involved with each other. They are experiencing the same issues for different reasons. (well same reason but different situations)

Issue #1 ~ Burn out, they are tired of being tired of waiting for God to fix it for them.
Issue #2 ~ God is not doing what is expected despite there "efforts"
Issue #3 ~ Obedience is stalling(not happening) due to their need to see God do "His part" before they are willing to "put out" more.

Which sums up issue #4 That they are looking at the wrong thing to give them joy. Instead of Gods words and direction and there obedience being enough, they feel as though they need more.

So here are some bible verses that God has used in my life lately to minister to my own desire to give in to the same issues.

James 4:2-3 Yet you do not have because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask amiss, that you may spend it on your pleasures.

So are we really asking/praying specifically for what it is that we would like God to do. If so are we asking for the correct reasons. Correct reasons being God's glory and the changing of heart (yours, someones) to be better equip to glorify God in life.

1 Cor. 3:7 So then neither he who plants is anything, nor he who waters, but God who gives the increase.

Nothing we can do in our own strength or wisdom is going to "fix" anything. Its only in Gods power to change things.

Ok at this point just read the book of James.. at least chapter one. But here are some highlights.

James 1:2-7 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

See what God is saying here. By doubting or thinking that God is doing it wrong(or slowly) you are SINNING. Ouch huh.. I know that one. But look at the promise. He will give us the wisdom if we ask for it.

James 1:12-18 Blessed is the man who endures temptation; for when he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him. Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, nor does He Himself tempt anyone. But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brethren. Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. Of His own will He brought us forth by the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of His creatures.

In these verses there is so much.. but the few things that stand out the most...
1. God DOES NOT tempt anyone to sin. So Gods lack of action (or what you perceive it to be) is not an excuse for you to not obey. One step further on that same thought. Others lack of action, is not excuse for YOU to not obey.

Matthew 5:44 But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.

2. It talks about desire turning into sin. Alot of time the "issues" that are in our life are desires that have become sin. Our desires, no matter how good it may start off being becomes our main focus. (theres a great book on this called "the peacemaker - by ken sande" the progression of an idol starts on page 100) We know that its become our main focus(idol) when we start to question (or get mad at) God, for not doing it our way or at our speed. It should never be about what we want.

Psalm 115:1 ~ Not unto us, O LORD, not unto us, But to Your name give glory, Because of Your mercy, Because of Your truth.

So practically how do we receive joy and strength from God? We OBEY the things that he tells us to do in life. We turn away from our desires and do what we are told. We apply that wisdom that he gives us, wisdom=biblical instruction. We have a perfect instruction manual, and there is joy from knowing that you are "doing it" right. With that, joy in knowing that you are obedient becomes that strength.

Nehemiah 8:10 ~Then he said to them, “Go your way, eat the fat, drink the sweet, and send portions to those for whom nothing is prepared; for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the LORD is your strength.”

Philippians 4:13 I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

So what are the things that we can do in daily life that will help? What do you do when it doesn't feel like obeying God is enough?

2 Corinthians 13:11 ~ Finally, brethren, farewell. Become complete. Be of good comfort, be of one mind, live in peace; and the God of love and peace will be with you.
Colossians 4:12 Epaphras, who is one of you, a bond servant of Christ, greets you, always laboring fervently for you in prayers, that you may stand perfect and complete in all the will of God.

God is enough and doing what he says will give you peace and wholeness. He is a faithful God and WILL ALWAYS do what Hes says He will.

So obey God and you will have peace, strength and your faith will increase.

But to get there to that point. You must make an effort (deny self)

Pray to God to change you heart. Ask for forgiveness for the hard hearted attitude that is causing you to "doubt" God.
When you are tempted to dwell on your "issue" instead,
Pray for those that you are having issues with. Pray for their heart.. don't just pray that God will do what you want. Pray that He will work it out in His perfect way. (or yourself if its not about others)

Now be aware that you may feel like you don't mean it. But do it anyway and see that God will give you a change of heart and you will start desiring His will instead of your own.

~Read His word, the Bible. God will bless the efforts that you make to communicate with Him in this way. He will give you peace and guidance and wisdom from His words

Then put the words into practice and go from there. You will find that obeying God becomes enough and it stops being about the issues!

Praise you Lord for your faithful loving kindness! God please keep me accountable to you only and please speak to the hearts of those that I love as well as those that read this.


Lori @ Katies Rose Cottage said...

Lyndsay ~
than you so much for this wonderful post ! it is a reminder that I really needed today ~

The Zag Life said...

Good words to read to start off my day. thanks for the post. My prayers will hopefully benefit as a result. A lot of the time by prayers are simply selfish, instead I really do need to be praying for God's work to be done in my heart and the hearts of those whom I want to see change in. And all for the glory of HIM and not me.

Anonymous said...

Thank you so much. My husband is alcoholic. I pray for God to show him how much it is hurting the whole family, and then expect that he will stop. But your post reminds me that I should pray that He works this out His way. Doris