Let me tell you one reason I know that God is real. I was having a down day. I mean, I was in a funk that I couldn’t seem to get myself out of. I knew that it was an attack of my faith but for some reason I couldn’t shake it. Now, let me be clear… I have so much to be thankful for right now. I mean doors are opening left and right and with little effort on my part. The only explanation for what is going on is that because of my obedience, I’m experiencing the unstoppable, undeniable, unmerited favor of God! No complaints here, but as we all know the moment you enjoy the fulfillment that only God can provide, the enemy is positioned to attack and that he did! He had a hold on my thoughts. I couldn’t relish in all that was going good in my life because I was focused on the areas that weren’t going as planned. I had such a defeated day that I was getting on my own nerves. But I knew it would only last a moment if I continued to seek after His voice. So I shed my tears of sorrow one day and the very next day I’m shedding tears of gratitude… Why? Because God has a way of knowing just want you need and positioning people to make whatever it is come to pass.
I sat in service this past Sunday and listened to a woman say, “Living for God is the best decision you could ever make in your life. God is with you and all that you surrender to Him will not return unto you void. For what He has for you far outweighs all that you have surrendered.” How many of you have had times when living for God seems like more of a punishment than a privilege? You see what you want, you see others with what you want, and you just aren’t sure why it’s not happening for you. It is a frustrating feeling but we must remind ourselves that as true believers we chose His Will over our own. Deep inside we know that it’s right, but for many it’s a battle to stay a float. As believers, we have a lot of expectations of God. We want Him to hear our prayers, make ways out of no ways, comfort us in our times of trouble, and the list goes on and on. And of course we expect Him to make it happen NOW. Why is it that we expect so much from God but we don’t consider the expectations He has for us and our lives? Yes, this relationship like any other functional relationship you have takes two. However, we think that accepting Him as Lord is where our responsibility ends and He will take care of the rest.
My pastor said something Sunday that holds true for a lot of us. He said, “We come to God when what we want to do doesn’t work.” I don’t know if that’s your testimony but that surely is mine. I like to be in control… that is no secret to those who truly know me. So yeah, I was going to love God and make an effort to live right until it interfered with what I had planned. Then I would just rely on God knowing my heart so I can feel better about my choices. Can you say dumb days? Now, I still have some dumb days but I’m growing each day and it feels good to look back and see how far I’ve come in my faith. As my pastor would say, I don’t have to jump in the ditch to find out how someone got there. I can stand at the edge and ask them from above so that I know how to avoid falling into it myself. (side note: It DOES matter what church you go to).
What I realize is that anything worth having takes work! Whatever you are believing God for, know that it will require you to do something! It won’t always take a whole lot of effort. It may just require you to activate your faith. That still takes effort on your part. I don’t know about you but if someone gave me a keepsake that was already assembled, I would be appreciative but I wouldn’t take pride in it like I would if I had to assemble it myself. However, if that same keepsake was packaged in a box full of individual parts and I took the time to put it together myself, it would be of greater value to me.
What I’m trying to show is that you must invest in yourself. You get out of life what you put into it. Anyone that knows anything about investments, knows that it costs you something up front but you do it with the hope of a greater return. God’s reward for your investment is a 100% guarantee of a greater return! You don’t have to hope, you can expect it. What other investment options do you know with 100% guarantee?!
We must be encouraged to take time to put the pieces of our lives together and stop looking for hand outs or the easy route. Sure it may satisfy you for the moment but that feeling won’t last for the long haul. It was too easy. Think it’s too daunting of a task? Remember that everything that requires assembly comes with instructions. God didn’t expect us to figure it out alone. He gave us His Word and planted people in our lives to help guide us… all we have to do is follow His instructions.
Tuesday with Bianca