Part 2 – Where Were You God?……Giving God Avenues He Can Work Through

I am continuing on the post “Where were You God – when things didn’t go so well”?…..  because a lot of Christians get hung up on what they should believe about the sovereignty of God….. And as I told you in that 6-30-15 post -” what you believe about the sovereignty of God is very important because it very much affects your faith”……. For instance, if you believe that God being sovereign over all means that He controls every single thing that happens – then why make any decisions at all? – why not just let it happen?! (Seeing that you have no say in the matter)….. . But is that really so? I mean, what is the sovereignty of God?

God’s sovereignty lies in the fact that He alone……  not you, not me, not anyone else – but He alone – determined the way that things on the earth would operate..…  (Psalm 93:1 & Psalm 119:89-91  paraphrased)  “With the words of His mouth He established the world that it cannot be moved”…. it cannot be moved because….. “His word is forever settled in Heaven – He is – and it is – faithful to all generations!…. He established the earth and it abideth ….. It continues this day according to His ordinances” ( a law or formal decree – which – in this case refers to ALL functions.)…. and Hebrews 1:3 says that God is “upholding all things He created by the power of His word” – ie. by the commands that He spoke – all things were set to operate – and thus they continue to operate)…… That is one facet of the sovereignty of God – in that He alone made those decisions and set those things in place – without consulting you or me about how it should be done!

THEN ….. in His sovereignty, God assigned dominion and stewardship over the earth to man!…… AND …. some time later – after man chose to live apart from God – God set before man “life and death, blessing and cursing” (Deuteronomy 30:15-19). God did this – BECAUSE – man had chosen this! Before Adam chose to live apart from God, man’s life was filled only with good – all of the”very good things” that God had provided for us (Genesis 1:31)…..  But when Adam chose  (and when we choose) to live apart from God and His laws, God will honor that choice – because He gave us the freedom to choose!.….. thus He said “I have set before you life and death, blessing and cursing – but choose life, that you and your seed may live.”

God’s heart for each of us to know life and blessing is clearly seen in that He urges us to choose “LIFE.”….  He can’t do it for us – because He gave each of us the freedom to choose….. BUT – He gave us His word – and in it clear directives how to choose life.  He gave us what I like to call “avenues” for Him to work  in our lives.  I’ll take that a step farther and tell you that He gave us “avenues” (pathways) not only to let Him work in our lives – but to work in the lives of others for good.  One such powerful avenue is called “prayer.”

When we are born again, you and I can pray a simple prayer in the name of Jesus – asking God to help someone…… and except it be asking for help to do some evil thing – God will hear that prayer – and indeed help that someone for whom you pray.  (A couple of notes here:  1. God does not help anyone do evil…. and  2. In His wisdom and sovereignty, God set ONE mediator  – (go between/ reconciler) – between  Himself and man….. I Timothy 2:5 tells us THAT ONE MEDIATOR is Jesus Christ.)……Thus we pray to the Father in the name of the one that He, in His sovereignty, appointed as the “go between” for God and man……. And praying to the Father in that name – as some of you may have already discovered – is a very effective avenue for giving God a way to work in your life.

There are other avenues (pathways) God uses to work through to touch people’s lives – which I will bring to you in some detail in the next post on this subject.

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I write and share about the things that have helped me – as one that well remembers longing for  more insight than what I had – and God being good enough to send me the help I needed to keep moving forward with Him……which He is still doing! ….. So, I write and share hoping to help and encourage you the way that I have been helped and encouraged.  God is faithful.  He is true…. and I thank Him for every one of these avenues He uses to touch me and you…..

Where Were You God?….. When Things Didn’t Go So Well….

Many things happen – and seem to go wrong in this world.  That’s a fact….. And in our sometimes rather bewildered state – we ask “Why”?  and “Where were You God – when all “these things” happened”?….. ..

I can confess to having many such thoughts in those first years after being born again – and certainly I did not understand before (being born again)…… but as I have stated in a number of previous posts that “I have learned”- and then I would go on to share about some thing that had been a source of real frustration in my life – even after receiving Jesus as Savior (aka being born again)…..  but the good part always was  – that God did not give up on me (even while I was still blaming Him) – but He continued to help me to more and more understand….. until the frustrations began to melt away as I did begin to see the truth of the matter.

Even thus it has been concerning “this question of things going wrong – and where were You, God”?…… I do not have all the answers, but there are some things that I have learned and am very sure of – from which I will try to share with you today.  I will start by telling you that this “question” we are looking at today – will fit into the category of “the sovereignty of God.”…… but probably not in the way many of you may think – so please “read on.”.

God the Father gave us “a voice”…… It is when we make choices – and when we look to Him and pray.   You see – from the beginning, God gave man the freedom to choose…… And if God were going to violate that freedom He put into the hands of man – don’t you think that it would likely have been to stop man/Adam from eating of the “tree” that He had forbidden him to partake of??

But God had placed man on the earth and given him both authority and stewardship over it……..Genesis 1:28; Psalm 115:16.   (And note that it was “stewardship” – not “ownership” of the earth that God put into the hands of man).  But before God even did this, He set some things in place  –  some things that would insure that order not chaos – would keep these things operating according to the “laws” that He had set in place.  The movement of – and the interaction between the heavenly bodies (the sun, moon and stars) and the earth – is one of those things (Genesis 3:14-18)……. Another would be the law of seed time and harvest/sowing and reaping – which is both a natural law and a spiritual law – (Genesis 8:22 ; Galatians 6:7-9).   In other scripture – Hebrews 1:1-3 & John 1:1-18,  we see that God not only made the world by the “Living Word of God” – but He also upholds it  by the same.   These things – and others – that even man’s best technology cannot match – God set in place and did for us because He loves us……. THEN – God gave man authority and stewardship over the earth……..and a little later, after man had chosen to move out ahead without God in his life – God gave us a way to connect back with Him (through Jesus Christ His Son).

My intent in giving this very basic explanation is not to bog you down in reading this post, but to set forth a foundation from the Word of God to help in the job of sorting out what part God now plays in our lives……. sharing some things that He does and does not do apart from our asking Him…… Because He set man in charge of the earth – there are things that God cannot do without violating His own charge.   That we understand a little more about these things is very important……. It is important because it very much affects our faith….. Why??

Why? …. because if you see God as the “author” of – or even that He “allows” the hurtful and some times devastating things we see happen – then it will indeed be difficult for you to trust Him.  Indeed many Christians endure a lot of painful destructive things thinking that it came to them because God is sovereign and He wants to teach them something……. when many times these things are the result of someone’s carelessness or ignorance/unawareness, or bad choices (ours or someone else’s) – and are things that God is NOT responsible for at all.  Also…….

We have an adversary – which God warns us about – who comes to steal, kill and destroy…. those 3 things being “categories” of things for which he –“your adversary the devil (I Peter 5:8 and John 10:10) continually seeks to find an opening and a way to bring hurtful or destructive things into our lives”…… All the while God is looking for us to give Him an avenue to work in our lives to help and bless us –  (Recall that He gave us authority over things on the earth – and also the choice – to invite Him into our daily lives – or not…… and James 4 tells us that “you have not, because you ask not”).  God does not “invade” our lives unasked and unwelcome…… Unwelcome? are you kidding? No, I kid you not – there are people who have had devastating things happen in their lives and because they do not understand that other factors (besides God and His sovereignty) are at work – they blame Him and stay hurt and angry at Him – not realizing that the One they blame is not at all responsible for their loss and pain…… And that is the place where our potential to have faith that God is good and will answer our prayers is damaged!…… Our misunderstanding of His sovereignty is thus behind many failures to live a victorious Christian life….. because in our belief that God caused “the fire” or “allowed” the accident, we find ourselves feeling that we are helpless victims and powerless to do anything to prevent such things.  We need to “think again” if that is what we believe.

Another example (and rather a silly one, but I give it to make a point) would be to jump off the top of a barn, then attribute that “accident” to God – when the fact is that there is a law of gravity that God did set in motion – but since it is rather inherent in us to “know” for our safety – not to jump off a cliff or the barn – then how can we lay the blame for doing so on someone else??

God gave us His Word in scripture…… to invite us to come to Him…… and to give us knowledge about things that are good – and things that will hurt us or bring eventual harm to us……. And that is where our individual (and corporate) choices make us accountable for things that happen on the earth and in our lives.

Indeed, God the Father gave us “a voice” in these matters…….. It lies in the choices that we make – and when we look to Him and pray – to secure from Him the help that we all need.  True, I can’t always have much say over the choices you make, but God did give me a voice to have a say in the overall outcome of things that affect my life.

So…… where were You God when all these bad things happened??….  There’s a good chance that He was just one believing prayer away………

 

 

 

 

 

I Believe God that it shall be as He has said… Receiving the things God has Promised

The post that I share with you today is about another one of those “I have learned” things….. All of these “I have learned things” fit into a category of things that I have longed to see “work” in my life – as they are laid out in the Word of God – one of those things being about receiving things God has promised….. which is the thing that I will share about with you today.

I still have plenty of room to grow in this,  but I have gained a lot of ground… The credit for that  would have to go to the Spirit of God (aka the Holy Spirit )  because He has never given up on me, but faithfully led me to the next step – even when that next step meant going back to pick up some things I should have already worked into my life.

Sometimes He has talked to me “in plain English” – as another person would – but what He would say has never been contrary to the principles in His Word.  I shared that because – there is no where in the bible that God tells any one to “move to Minnesota” (for example) – but He might tell you to do just that – and you would need to know that you have indeed heard His voice and not something that is out of your own thinking – (or “off the wall” from someone else’s thinking).  Hearing and recognizing His voice comes as you spend alone time with Him….. time in the Word, in prayer, in worship.  Those are some  things that bring you into His presence – and into a confidence of knowing Him…. which things are paramount for you and me in learning to “walk by faith” and receive the things that God has promised.

You see, when the Apostle Paul – on that ship being exceedingly tossed for days in a storm they referred to as “no small tempest”- told his shipmates   “Be of good cheer – for I believe God that it shall be even as He has told me”….. Paul could say that to them because he had come to know…… and learned to have full confidence in God – from whom he had just received word that very night – “not to be afraid because there would be no loss of any man’s life among them.  (Acts 27:13-44 ) So regardless of how that storm (or your storm) rages, he had learned – as we can learn – to take what God has said about it and “fight the good fight of faith”….. by holding fast to acknowledge what God has said – and so receive the promise.

In holding fast to what God has said – regardless of “how things look” – we will “through faith and patience” obtain the promise…….whether it be a certain scripture that He has quickened to us – or a word we hear from Him – as Paul heard the word from God about the storm and the lives of the men on the ship.  We can count on it because “all the promises of God in His son Jesus Christ are yes, and amen (aka “so be it”) – That means they are sure and trustworthy.  (II Corinthians 1:19,20).

His words are trustworthy because  He has said “I will not alter the words that have gone out of my lips.” Our part is to hold fast to the words He has spoken to us ….. And we can learn to do that – with patience – because He is faithful that promised.

I’m in there with you – having received a lot of promises….  And I’m still fighting the good fight of faith – ie. endeavoring to “hold fast to what He has said” – in order to receive other promises.  That’s how it works!…..Through faith and patience you and I WILL receive the things that God has promised!

Encouraged to Believe…. “Everything’s Going to be Okay”

Several years ago, something happened in my relationship with the Lord that has continued to be a great encouragement to my faith “to believe God that it will be just as He has told me”…And  I believe that sharing my story will encourage your faith too…

It began as one of those unexpected things – a thing which could have easily became a major problem for me – if just one of the three people who needed to hear and obey God had failed to do so.

In those days – when stock markets were dropping and houses not selling – it took my best efforts just to keep the bills paid!  On this particular occasion, I had everything budgeted and was waiting on the pay check due in about a week for the rest of the money needed to pay my bills….. But this day, I was in for an unpleasant surprise… For when I arrived at work my employer asked me for the keys to the store… She was in the process of closing the business!  I gave her the keys.. We said our goodbyes.. and we both got in our cars to leave……

Was I feeling fearful??   I likely would have been – my circumstances being what they were (and too detailed to mention here) –  BUT GOD KNEW what was coming.. and He had already set the wheels in motion to supply what I was going to need!….

For just the day before – I had gotten a call from a pastor in another state who had often prayed for me and my family….. The conversation was brief and to the point… “I don’t know what this is about,” he said ” but the Lord told me to call you and tell you “that everything is going to be okay.” I responded that I didn’t know what it was about either, but thanked him for calling.  Thinking  about it, I knew him too well to doubt that he’d heard God – but knowing nothing of what was in the works at that time concerning my job, I laid those words aside.

Now back to the store where I had just lost my job….. As I got into my car to leave there,  I remembered the words of the old pastor from yesterday… And I said to God – “I don’t know “HOW” You’re going to do it – but I believe that “everything is going to be okay.. just as You said!”  And with that, I proceeded to make the short drive to my apartment – where – as I was still in the parking lot gathering my things to get out of the car, my cell phone rang….

Seeing that the call was coming from a friend in another state, I quickly answered it…… and heard an excited voice telling me that she had just been given quite a bit of money from a relative who “felt” that he should give her a small part of her inheritance NOW.”  She didn’t tell me the amount she had been given, but began excitedly to tell me that.. as she was being handed the money, she heard the Lord tell her to give me a certain amount of it!  I then proceeded to tell her about what had just happened to me – losing my job and with it, the pay check I needed to pay the bills… And then, hundreds of miles away, this friend rejoiced with me as we realized how God had been at work to meet my needs – and bring good things into both our lives!

The money that the Lord had instructed this friend to give to me was enough to take care of my bills for the two months ahead until I again had a steady income.  I am ever grateful for the three dear people who heard from God – and acted  on what He asked them to do!

Several years have passed now, but I still feel a joy whenever I think of this “adventure” that I had in my relationship with the Lord and how it makes me ever mindful that.. you and I can believe God!  We can believe God that it shall be even as He has told us… and be encouraged “that everything is going to be okay!”  

About Time and Choices

Ever noticed a quiet “tug of war” going on when part of you wants to take some time to spend with God?

He gives the invitation – and we “hear” it…..  we feel the pull in our spirit             Then it is up to us – ie. the “ball” is in our court we know                                                And we can “say yes” or we can in effect “say no”!                                                          “No” …. there are other things to do and places to go.

Over the years – if we haven’t gotten to know Him very well by then – we can remember a time – (and it was some time ago!) when our heart was captured at the first thought of spending time with Him  …. We’d run eagerly to be with Him – to taste those moments of delight in that fellowship with Him.  But time passes and other things slip in – “lesser things” that we struggle to fit in….                   And in our heart we did not intend – to let all those other things –         lesser things of course – fill our time that we had once purposed to be for Him.

But we have an enemy in the spirit realm (I Peter 5:8 & Ephesians 6:10-12) …… who subtley plots how he can get in- to convince us that all those lesser things must be taken care of  NOW – certainly before we have any time left to spend ….  in those delightful times with Jesus – our best Friend!

For us who are born again, it is a CHOICE – one that we each have set before us……  a choice that we will indeed make……..                                                                       While for us to choose Him first – Jesus does wait!                                                          He waits …….  and the wonderful Holy Spirit will draw us –                                     But it is still our choice to make! …….  and the struggle is there –                         And the admonition of scripture “to seek God’s Kingdom first”!                            And if we choose that blessed way – the thing that our heart wants most –      To set at Jesus’ feet and be taught by Him … letting His wonderful presence permeate within ……

We all have certain responsibilities – and to “lay on the couch” instead of fulfilling them – is NOT  what this is about !  But when He calls to us – and       we feel that “pull” in our spirit – that is time that should belong to Him –         and when we embrace that time as His – we will find ourselves  – our time,   our hearts – blessed and refreshed – and ready to go forward…..                           into those things that belong to us as “our job” – our “responsibility”…… and     we take His peace with us – all because we chose to yield to that “call,” that “pull” in our spirit.  I’ve done it both ways – ie. I’ve “said Yes” and I’ve said “No” but  I KNOW  which way is better – and ……

It is the choice I never regret – and the incredible thing is – that then He walks with me – even goes out ahead of me – to help me and set up the day!!   Then everything that truly  needs doing seems to get done faster – even to just fall into place!  And I take His peace with me – all because I chose to yield   to that “pull” in my spirit.  That’s my definition of a glorious day!

It’s about  “TIME and CHOICES”! …..  and we each get to choose…

An Invitation to Worship and Believe

For those who know Who I am,  I am asking you to learn  to look to Me for the things that you need – you can always turn to Me – for comfort, for help, for security ….. for whatever it is that you need.

Lift up your head – give thanks and worship Me – for in My presence it becomes easy to believe!

Worship Me for who I am to you …. For I am your Provider and your Keeper –        The One that will never leave you ….  I will always be there.                                        And please realize that wherever  you are – you  can touch Me!                                  You can learn to draw whatever it is that you need from Me –                                         Even all things that I have promised you in My word – just remember that nothing is too hard for Me …….  And that all things are possible to the one that believes!

I am the living bread – the bread of life….  and if you learn to look to Me,                     I will sustain you through the hardest of days…..                                                                  And if need be, I could even cause the ravens to feed you!  (I did that for Elijah – Am I not the same God today ? …. And would I not do the same for you?! )            So trust My word that it is true – and worship Me!   For indeed I do ….             inhabit your worship and praise! …. And in My presence you’ll find it easy to believe.

“And all things – whatsoever you shall ask in prayer believing – you shall receive!”  (Matthew 21:22 )   This is My personal invitation to you – so worship Me and learn to believe!!

THE HEART OF OUR CREATOR

This is a special writing to me because I so see God the Father’s heart in this …. and I ask you to remember as you finish reading it – that even as Jesus gave the invitation to any who would hear “Come (to Me)whosoever will”  – the invitation still stands.

THE HEART OF OUR CREATOR

As I gave my Heavenly Father an hour just to “be with Him” and worship -almost immediately – I began to sense and to understand that He wants  to touch and to fellowship  with every single person in the world!  And that no one – NOT ANYONE – can stand in another person’s place with God!

I felt His love for,  and desire to fellowship with the multitudes of people around the world who do not know Him …. so many who do not know He is their Creator and Savior.  Yet there is a place with Him  for each one of them – a place that no other person can ever fill!

God our Creator so desires that fellowship with each one of us that He is “jealous” over just one hour …. so much so that He would say to those who do know Him as Savior – “Could you not take just one hour of your day and spend that time with Me?”  (Because) there will never again be an opportunity  like we have now in this time to CHOOSE  to fellowship with Him.

…… And to each one of the multitude of people that give their lives to so many other things – and live their lives with so many “unanswered ” needs – would He not say  (out of a heart of love) to each of them –  “How oft would I have gathered you “as a hen gathers her chicks and holds them close under her wings …. but you would not turn to Me so that I could take you there.”

I also understood this – that even as no one can ever stand in our place with God – even so,  neither can you or I ever give that fellowship that belongs to Him to someone or something else. But it is, and will remain an “unanswered” and “unsatisfied”  empty place in our life –  that we both live and die with – without Him.

ABOUT ME – and MY BLOG

Because I think it’s important that you know a few things about the person  who is writing and sharing with you on this blog – and the purpose for doing the blog – I’m going to share about that here with you…… So the following is a little bit of “my story.”

As the Apostle Paul once said, “I haven’t arrived yet – but I have come a long way from where I started.”  That’s the reason I am doing this blog.  I want to help others who are walking in some of the places I have walked – and could use a little help to keep moving forward in their relationship with God.

My heart is full to share things that have helped me and blessed me along the way.  I remember and feel very keenly the longing …. just to hear Him!  I’m hearing much better now – and I’m still hungry to go further – but at least now I know more about “how to get there!”

Jesus is my Savior – and I have had such an incredible journey getting to know Him that I have a lot  of things to share!  Mistakes – yes, I’ve made them – but I have come such a long way since I received Jesus in 1978.  I was a young single mother then, and boy did I need Him!  I needed the change that knowing Him began to bring – and in the years that followed, I received a lot of His wonderful healing.  I began also to receive some of the “gifts” that God’s word says belong to us – and on this blog I will share out of the particular gifts that He has given me.

To be a little more descriptive about the things you will find on this blog site, I can tell you that it will include: Inspirational and devotional writings, Psalms and poems – which I write as I hear; writings that lend to personal worship; and short teachings on subjects where the Spirit of God has instructed me.  The substance of what He gives me as I have fellowship with Him is what I will share with you on this blog.

I value your input – through comments or questions.  And now I would like to welcome any and all who visit this blog – I’m so glad you are here!

WHILE I WAS “AWAY”….. and THINGS THAT TRULY MATTER

I’ve wanted to post on my blog for over a week,  but important things were happening that needed my attention.  Sunday, I lost my mother – she had been very sick – with things rapidly deteriorating over the last couple of weeks.  Mom was 90. Yesterday we had her funeral – returning her body to the ground from which the word of God says that God formed and created man – finishing the master piece of His creation by blowing “the breath of life” into man.

My two sisters were with Mom when she took her last short breaths – for her, they told me,  there was no struggle – it was very peaceful.  There was some sadness of course as I heard that she had passed (from this life into the next)- but I am okay.  Actually  I am “more than okay”-  because I know and am very confident about where she is.

The last 3 days before Sunday, she was becoming unresponsive to the point of  being almost in a coma-like state.  A day or two before that, we had tried to engage her in humorous or otherwise memorable things that we had all experienced together as we were growing up – and got only small interest roused in her about those things – but accolades should go to my  two sisters for trying.  Just knowing some of her children were there with her must have meant something to her.  All of us very much wanted to do something that would make things easier for her – we knew she couldn’t be here with us very much longer and we did not want her to suffer …..

Then on Saturday afternoon while I was at home in the kitchen,  I began singing “How Beautiful Heaven Must Be” – an old song that I hadn’t heard in years (note here that I am NOT a singer) – but it was coming out of my spirit; and when I stopped singing for a minute or two, I caught myself humming the song.  All of this was happening while my mind was still pretty distraught – wondering what we could do to help Mama turn her mind away from all the pain we knew was filling her body – and look Heavenward.

The song just kept coming – until the realization came that although it was beginning to help my mind a little – “this song is for Mama!”  The Lord had spoken a scripture to me for her a day or so before – and with the added song, that realization stirred me to action.  I called my mother’s room – a sister answered the phone …. I told her that I knew Mama couldn’t answer me, but I wanted to give her a scripture verse and sing a song to her. Then as the phone was held up to Mama’s ear, I began singing the song, and talking to her about  Heaven and Jesus.  When my sister took the phone away from Mom’s ear, she said to me … “She heard you …. Her lips began to move as though she wanted to speak and her eyebrows moved as you were talking …. and her face, which had carried the look of death – my sister said – looked “happy.”  My sister was almost weeping as she told me those things and later my other sister who was at the end of Mama’s bed told me she saw the same thing.  That was all I needed to hear.  I had done what the Lord had shown me to do – and I was filled with peace!   A peace that has not left me since it filled my heart and mind that evening.

I got “the call” just about 24 hours later – my sweet mother had just passed – “about ten minutes ago” – my sister told me.  I had dreaded to face this day we all knew was coming…. but it hasn’t been that way for me.  If you think really knowing Jesus – and knowing how to “hear Him,”  doesn’t make a difference -think again!!