Wednesday, July 27, 2011

God is Amazing (Part 2)

I find I don't want to write part 2 of this devotional.  God is still amazing, but I am just so human!  Most of us do not like to see ourselves in that light, but alas, it is so true where I am concerned.

After experiencing a week of victory given to me by the Lord, I went into a valley.  It all started with an almost sleepless night followed by a second and a third restless night.  Why wasn't I sleeping well?  My mind would not turn off.  Along with a lot of changes and adjustments in my life, I let a very small, insignificant thing throw me.  Someone did not do what they had agreed to do and I finally realized why it caused me so much angst.  It was a reflection on my leadership, or should I say, my lack of leadership.

This valley came for several reasons, I am sure.  One, I focused on the situation and on the bad light cast on me rather than on God and His ability to make something good out of a less than good situation.  Add to that the lack of rest and a "full plate" (almost everybody has a "full plate" these days) and you have a scenario for depression and discouragement.

Satan attacks us at our point of vulnerability.  I do not function well when I do not get my rest, thus the devil's attack.  Keep in mind that during the mountaintop and the valley I was spending time with the Lord every morning.  It wasn't like I had neglected the Lord, but Satan's attack came in spite of this fact.

When Elijah was depressed and wanted to die, he had just experienced the most wonderful victory on Mount Carmel against Baal.  The first thing he did after praying and asking God to take his life was to lie down and sleep.  An angel awakened him to eat and he fell asleep again.  This same scenario was repeated again.  Once Elijah was rested, the Scriptures say, "And the word of the LORD came to him. . . ." (1 Kings 19:9b)

I, like Elijah needed rest.  Once the Lord gave me rest, I began to feel like a new person.  1 Peter 4:11b says, "If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ."  For this time in my life, God has called me to a lot of areas of service.  He continues to provide what I need and assures me He will continue to provide.  I just have to rely on Him and His strength and not get sidetracked in trying to do things in my own small strength.  "I can do everything through Him who gives me strength." (Philippians 4:13)

Ah, rest, it changes my perspective!  After much prayer, I am convinced that God will provide everything I need to go through this busy time in my life.  He is All-Sufficient and He always equips us for what He calls us to do.  God truly is amazing!!

Monday, July 25, 2011

God is Amazing (Part 1)

July 9, 2011

God is sufficient even in the wilderness times of our lives.  Is your life in a turmoil right now?  God is sufficient!  To me, He is proving Himself to be the All-Sufficient God and yes He is amazing.  There have been a lot of changes in our family lately - from a child going through a divorce and moving home for a time to two teenage grandsons living with us every other week.  Big changes!  But, again God is sufficient. 

Add to all this, the places of service to which God has called me and it makes for a rather full plate.  Some weeks I ask God how am I going to accomplish all that is before me and He assures me it is going to be okay.  He truly amazes me!

This week was especially busy as I was completing the next study for Sunday School.  How could I get it finished with everything else going on?  On Friday, those booklets/worksheets were compiled and ready to distribute on Sunday.  I looked back at the week and thought - "Thank you God!"  He had amazed me at the accomplishments of the week.  It is His strength, not mine.  He truly is my Provider.  I pray He is yours as you experience difficult or wilderness times.

Psalm 57:1  "Have mercy on me O God, have mercy on me, for in You my soul takes refuge.  I will take refuge in the shadow of your wings until the disaster (calamity, difficulty) has passed."

Note:  There will be a part 2 to this story - as I went from mountaintop to valley.  Through it all, God still amazes me.

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

A "Still" Person - I'm Not

Once again I find myself focusing on Psalm 46:10 - "Be still and know that I am God."  This verse has been on my mind and my heart lately and there it was again, in one of my devotional readings.  More and more I am realizing the importance of being still in God's Presence.  How will I ever hear Him and truly know Him if I am not still?

Confession:  I am not a "still" person.  But, through discipline and the power of the Holy Spirit (mostly the power of the Holy Spirit), I have learned to be fairly still early in the morning.  Let's face it, there aren't many distractions while it is still dark, so I can more easily focus on Him.  Trust me, there is room for improvement even though I have been having an early Quiet Time for many years.

Why do most of us have trouble being still?  Well, we have soooooo much to do!  (We say!)  I was thinking about Jesus and His tasks when He was here on earth.  There has never been a bigger to-do list, nor a more important one.  Yet, I am reminded that He was never in a hurry.  He always took time to listen to others and meet their needs.

Let's just say that I am convicted about my busyness, my hurriedness versus Jesus' calmness and patience, while getting THE JOB done.

My Prayer:  Lord, help me be still in Your Presence.  Help me let you direct my day.  Guide me to accomplish what is truly important.  Teach me Your Way.