When you don’t know what to do about something, do the next something you know.
I never knew one could open the back of a watch with a big old crescent wrench until, out of necessity, I tried it. It made me wonder how many other discoveries I miss because I avoid the point of need. The saying is true that necessity is the mother of invention. The point of need, combined with an ear and heart attentive to the voice of imagination, ingenuity, and inspiration, is the place where unimagined possibilities appear.
There have been times in my life when I felt God called me to do something so I stepped out and tried it and failed. I used to think that meant I must have missed it. Perhaps I did not hear his voice. Maybe He did not direct me as I thought. Maybe I didn’t understand. Or maybe I just didn’t execute the plan as well as I should have. These might be the most likely explanations. But they are not the only ones.
Lately I have been thinking that connecting the events that way may involve some errors. Mainly, it assumes I know what the outcome ought to be for every endeavor to which God calls me. I don’t. What looks like an earthly failure may be a Heavenly victory. Maybe there can be a difference in what God calls me to do, and what He calls me to accomplish.
So often, I think I know what God has called me to accomplish because I infer it from what He has called me to do. I make assumptions. We all do. God calls us to do something and we suddenly think we know what He is up to and how He wants it to turn out. If I feel Him leading me to talk with someone about something, I assume they will be receptive. If He calls me to teach a class, I assume He wants the class to succeed and grow. What about those who feel called to start a church? If attendance doesnt continue to grow, does that mean they missed God’s direction? Maybe God wants PEOPLE to grow, and not church attendance. What if a struggling group is exactly what it takes to make that happen? What if God wants to teach me something through a rejected conversation or a failed campaign? Might He direct me to still talk to the person or start the campaign?
I think the key is to do my best to follow God’s direction and leave the outcome to Him. That also means that I can not assume I missed the direction just because I don’t arrive where I thought I would.
So then, if I can’t judge the genuiness of the directive by the outcome of the obedience, how then do I learn to assess the authenticity of my communication with God? Well, I don’t know, but it’s what got me thinking about all this in the first place. I guess that’s a subject for another time.
Every atom, of every molecule, of every drop of rain that falls was created by God Almighty, the Lord Jesus, the Holy Spirit who dwells in me.
It’s another snow day in Atlanta. This one caught some people by surprise. The roads are an icy mess. It all started yesterday about mid-day when, as the snow began to fall, people watched from their office windows, waiting anxiously for the word to abandon the office and head for home. For many, the word came too late. A big city full of people all headed home at the same time. With accidents collecting on the roads just about as fast as the snow and ice, the situation soon turned to complete gridlock. Millions of people were trying to get home or to their kids at school, but nobody was going anywhere.
Interstates became icy parking lots, packed so tightly with cars that salt trucks could not even get through to do their job. People abandoned their cars and took shelter in nearby grocery stores, sleeping in aisles. Some children had to spend the night at school, others spent the night in a school bus. People are stuck at work. People are stuck at school. People are stuck on the road. And some people, are stuck at home.
As is the case with most things in life, it’s all about where you’re coming from, where you are, and where you are going. I am one of the fortunate ones who made it home from work yesterday afternoon. The office is closed today and I am stuck at home. At home, the snow is beautiful. At home it is warm. At home, it is quiet and peaceful. This winter snow, like other things in life, is either a trial or a blessing, depending on where you are. And if God is with you, no matter where you are, you are always home.
Jesus answered and said to him, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.
Lord please grant that more of my life be driven by an overwhelming sense of joyful “want to” and not by a weighty sense of forced “ought to”.
The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands. -Psalm 19:1.
Want to hear a word from God? Turn off your own porch light and look up.
December is here. The stress level is high. It seems odd that for this one month out of the year, people feel obligated to be givers. Perhaps that’s why it’s so stressful. Most of us are not used to it.
Each one of you should give just as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, because God loves a cheerful giver. – 2 Corinthians 9:7 NET
Most of my life, I have had pet fish. They are not typically affectionate pets. You can’t get them to fetch a ball or come when you whistle. You can’t teach them to roll over and play dead. (Although the really expensive ones are pretty good at doing it for real.) I did have one big fish named “Jack” who learned to beg for food. But you really can’t get them to do much of anything they don’t want to do. Come to think of it, fish are really about the same thing as a wet cat.
So, given all their shortcomings, why would anyone want to keep a fish as a pet? I am not sure why anyone would, but I think I know one reason why I like to, and it doesn’t sound good. For me, keeping fish for pets is a little like playing god. Or maybe it’s a little like playing what we think of as god. We buy the aquarium, rocks, plants, filters . . . add a flourecent hood and say “let there be light.” We create a nice, self contained world, then drop in the fish, sit back, and watch what happens. I think some people’s impression of God might be very similar.
Honestly, I suppose there may be a few similarities between my fish world and the real world. There is more involved than just sitting back and watching the fish. I do care for them. But what interest I have in my fish could never really compare to what God feels for us. God is so infinitely more involved in our lives than I am with my fish. No matter how much I like my fish, I would never love them enough to even consider making myself a guppy and jumping in the tank.
Should we aspire to pass every test? What if we are not ready for the work? What if we are not up to the work’s challenge, lacking skills measured by the test, which are needed to conquer it? Would I prefer to fail the test, or the challenge for which it measures my readiness? Are there some challenges we can not afford to fail, so the prior tests must be passed before we face them?
What about God’s tests? Are they preparation for a future challenge? God knows the state of our preparedness, but do we? Must we pass the test to provide ourselves with more knowledge of the Heavenly way? Must we pass the test to prepare us for some challenge yet ahead? Given the opportunity and foresight, would any wise person choose to face the challenge without first gaining the preparation and approval of a test successfully completed?
Is it possible that whatever tests the Lord brings my way, perhaps I would do well to view them as preparation for the challenges and victories yet ahead?