Archives for (April, 2012)
I love to hear a baby cry. I think its one of the greatest sounds on planet earth. Then Brook and I had Ashton.
At first we loved to hear him cry. We even thought it was cute. However, as time went on we began to see it as a curse. Have you ever been there? Have you ever thought something was cute one moment only to discover it was curse the next?
I remember waking up in the middle of the night when Ashton was just a baby. I remember one night in particular when I started to complain a little to myself. Then God interrupted me with a question:
You prayed for Ashton. He is a miracle baby. He should have never made it, and now you’re complaining about a blessing that you prayed for me to bring into your life?
You know what I learned from that experience. Sometimes God’s blessings can become curses. What you prayed for or thanked God for, becomes something you complain about. From my experience, this normally happens as soon as the blessing becomes an inconvenience. In my case, it was sleep.
Could it be that the same has happened to you. When did your greatest blessing become a curse?
Was it when you asked God to grow your church? Then you started complaining about the lack of space.
Was it when you got married? Then you realized that the person you married wasn’t all you hoped they would be.
Was it when you got a significant raise? Then you realized there were significant taxes that would come out as well.
If you have struggled with this maybe it would be a good idea to take a step back and gain a fresh perspective. Because lets be honest, God isn’t interested in continuing to bless people who convert His blessings into curses.
Many times your curses are just simple problems other people would consider themselves blessed to have.
People would die to have church growing pains.
People would die to get married.
People would die to have a job, much less get a raise.
Learn to live with your blessings, inconveniences and all.
God uploaded a verse in my spirit Just now in the coffee shop at Barnes and Noble (Springfield MO). It was like a refreshing glass of water on a warm summer day. I’ll try to share this verse to you in a way that will adequately depict how it impacted me. Actually, the verse can stand on it’s own two legs.
1 Corinthians 15:58 “Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. Stand firm.”
To accomplish all that God has for us to accomplish we must have resolve.
When you have to make a big decision, stand firm.
When you’re tempted to fall into that old sin, stand firm.
When critics spread lies about you, stand firm.
When friends walk away, stand firm.
When you’ve run out of money, but the Spirit of God says don’t back down, stand firm.
When doors slam in your face, stand firm.
When what you preach from the pulpit isn’t popular, but is necessary, STAND FIRM.
Do not be easily moved.
The salvation of the Lord is about to service in your situation.
“Abba, Father,” he said, “everything is possible for you. Take this cup from me. Yet not what I will, but what you will.” Mark 14:35-36
Isn’t it interesting that Jesus refers to God with endearing words like, “Abba, Father.” Considering all that he is about to face. How much love would you have for someone that allows you to suffer. Think about it with me for a moment. Jesus was about to:
Get beat within an inch of His life.
Have thorns jammed into His skull.
Have the flesh ripped off His back.
Nails driven through His body.
And bear the wrath of His Father.
Can you imagine a father who’s child falls into a pool, yet just stands and watches his son die instead of tossing him a life preserver. This doesn’t sound like love. This doesn’t sound like a protective person you want to call, ‘Father.’ So why does He?
Could it be that Jesus knows God better than us? Jesus grasps something we could benefit from if we want to make it through difficult times filled with heart ache and pain. It might even be something I can benefit from as a parent as well.
It’s simply this. God wants to be a source of protection for you but He will never overprotect. Fathers or parents who are overprotective may succeed at keeping there children from harm. However, as a result, their children run the risk of being unprepared for the difficulties that life so often bring. Ultimately stunting the growth of their character.
Every parent knows that pain is inevitable. It’s the fertile soil that the seed of anything good and lasting develops and grows.
God may not cause the pain in your life but He can defiantly use it to serve a purpose. That’s why:
-He allowed Joseph to spend over 13 years in slavery and prison so He could save a nation and His people.
-He allowed the early church to be persecuted so the gospel would spread outside Jerusalem.
-He allowed Jesus to go to the cross and SUFFER for OUR salvation.
God is most interested in preserving HIS PURPOSES than He is in protecting you from pain.
That’s what made Jesus be able to say, “Not my will, but yours be done” in His darkest moment. And it’s what makes you able to say it in yours as well.
There are two things that generally happen when we look at miracles in the Bible.
1) Most miracles happened because a person took initiative, not because it was God’s idea. A few examples of what I’m referring to can be found seen in these encounters:
The lady who touched the hem of Jesus’ garment.
Or Namaan, who went to Elisha to receive healing from leprosy.
Or the centurion who went to Jesus to receive healing for his servant.
2) Many of the miracles in the Bible happened after the persons took action. A few examples of what this looked like can be seen in these following encounters.
The Israelites had to walk through the Red Sea after God parted it.
Or when the blind man washing himself at the pool of Siloam.
Or when Joshua and his warriors marched around the wall of Jericho before it fell.
When it comes to miracles. God wants you to be involved. But christians don’t want miracles, they want magic. We are wanting God to wave his magic stick and remove our problem and give us what we want.
“Please send money out of the sky.”
When we should cut up our credit cards.
“Heal my physical ailments.”
When we should change our eating habits or start exercising.
“Use me to do miraculous things.”
When we should get out of the bed and give God a platform off which He can work.
I know the line I walk in sharing my thoughts on this subject. I’m aware that it’s not all about us. Of course miracles involve His unmistakable power and provision. Otherwise they wouldn’t be miracles. But they also involve our own initiative and participation. If they didn’t it wouldn’t be a miracle at all, it would just be magic.
Maybe I could say it this way:
Without God, you can’t.
Without you, God won’t.
Have I completely blown your mind today. God has blown mine. Sit back and re-examine His Word this morning. Take a look at His miracle working power. Exchange magic for miracles and get involved.