Friday, April 29, 2011

Is Creation Experiencing Birth Pangs?

Romans 8:22-25 (The Message)
 All around us we observe a pregnant creation. The difficult times of pain throughout the world are simply birth pangs. But it's not only around us; it's within us. The Spirit of God is arousing us within. We're also feeling the birth pangs. These sterile and barren bodies of ours are yearning for full deliverance. That is why waiting does not diminish us any more than waiting diminishes a pregnant mother. We are enlarged in the waiting. We, of course, don't see what is enlarging us. But the longer we wait, the larger we become, and the more joyful our expectancy. 

Since the Japanese earthquake in March, I have become more aware of what is going on with nature.  The description of birth pains in Romans 8 certainly seems feasible.    Even this week, hearing of record-setting tornadoes across the country has been disturbing.  Many are suffering loss.

Romans 8 suggests the Spirit of God is arousing us within.  That is certainly true with me.  I have asked a lot of questions.  I wish I could say I have all the answers.  I don’t. However, God has challenged me to daily seek Him to discover what to do.

I don't believe it's a time of fear.  It's time to be joyful and expectant as this passage of scripture suggests.  I have discovered in the difficult times, God's voice is the clearest and His miracles the closest.  I have already heard some awesome stories of God's protection with people who have been through the tornadoes.  

Maybe your storm is not a natural one but is financial or physical.  Whatever you are facing today, God wants to walk with you and guide you through. 

Thursday, April 21, 2011

Interruption or Divine Appointment?

1 Samuel 9:15-16
Now the day before Saul came, the Lord had revealed this to Samuel:  “About this time tomorrow I will send you a man from the land of Benjamin. Anoint him leader over my people Israel; he will deliver my people from the hand of the Philistines. I have looked upon my people, for their cry has reached me.” 

2 Samuel 9 is the first place Saul is introduced in the Bible.  He is said to be an impressive young man who was a head taller than any of the others.  His journey to kingship is fascinating to me, and I feel there are lots of things we can learn from his story.

In the opening scene, Saul’s father’s donkeys were lost.  Kish, Saul’s father, told him to take one of the servants and look for the donkeys.  They searched for three days and were unable to locate them.  When they reached the district of Zuph, Saul said to his servant, “Come, let’s go back, or my father will stop thinking about the donkeys and start worrying about us.”  ( vs. 5)  His servant replied, “Look in this town there is a man of God:  he is highly respected, and everything he says comes true.  Let’s go there now.  Perhaps he will tell us what way to take.”  (vs. 6)

God used lost donkeys to get Saul an audience with Samuel, the prophet.  It makes me realize when I get frustrated in life due to things that happen in the natural, I must consider God may be putting me on a path to a divine appointment. 

My father went to be with the Lord many years ago, but I can still hear his voice in my head when frustrating things happen.  As a child, when things occurred like a car breakdown, my dad always said, “Well, I guess God wants to bless a mechanic.”   Because of his attitude, God opened many doors for him to minister to people one-on-one everywhere he went.

Today we are living in a time when many frustrating things happen.  Trials are just a part of life.  No one is exempt.  Let’s make a pact together to view them as opportunities instead of interruptions. 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Me Like Jonah?

Jonah 3:1
Then the word of the Lord came to Jonah a second time, “Go to the great city of Nineveh and proclaim to it the message I give you.” 
In our women’s Bible study at church, we have been studying the book of Jonah. In my self-righteousness, I felt I couldn’t completely relate to Jonah. My heart was to do the will of God always. Today, the Lord, gave me His word a second time.

You see, it was God who inspired me to begin this blog. He never told me to quit. I did that all on my own. You know the drill – life just gets busy, and sometimes things get left along the way.

I looked back at the date of my last post (May 19, 2010), and then thought about the rest of last year. I was busy doing good things and necessary things, but I should have also been doing what God called me to do. It’s all a matter of priorities. 

Thoughts used to run through my mind like written words on a page. It’s funny how that all stopped once I quit writing. 

I have been agonizing with God about our future. I have felt so unsettled and have not had complete peace. Now I know the reason the peace has not been there is because I chose to ignore his last instruction. 

Jonah chose to go an entirely different direction. No, I didn’t do that. Disobeying God was much more subtle for me. I have told people many times, one of Satan’s biggest tools is distraction and busyness. If he can’t get you to blatantly disobey God, he will cause you to be so busy you forget his instruction. Now, it’s time to live what I preach!

Maybe God hasn’t called you to be a writer, but is there something He has called you to do that you have been ignoring?