Posts tagged ‘God’s Will’

I’m Down and Out

I must admit it . . . my faith is weak right now.

I’m tired of trying to figure out why. There are plenty of reasons “why,” but they don’t really matter anymore. The fact is, I’m here in a valley and I want to find the road outta here fast!

I’ve prayed like the man who came to Jesus asking the Master to heal his demon-possessed son, “I do believe, help me overcome my unbelief.”(Mark 9:24) It sounds contradictory, doesn’t it? If I say I believe, then why is there still unbelief? After all, I do believe God can do all things.

The thought that is on the surface for me, is that I doubt myself. I’ve believed God has called me to do a certain task, and now I’m looking at myself (not a pretty sight!) and I’m looking at my seemingly lousy circumstances and figuring that I’ve been wrong.

I didn’t really hear God’s voice.

But then again, I think that’s sort of a cop out. God doesn’t really need me to be special in order to do His will. So when I look deeper, I see that I actually have a lack of faith in God because my circumstances aren’t panning out like I think they should.

But who am I to know what God’s will or activities look like? How do I know whether He is busy in the unseen spiritual realm making huge changes or not?

When I look back on my life and study the silent or quiet times of my walk with God (and there are plenty of those to choose from), I see that very often those were the times God was the busiest. Sure, He might not have been busy with my circumstances on those occasions, but He was busy in a bigger and more profound way in my heart. Oh, how I pray that is true this time around!

Are you facing a challenge in your life right now that has you questioning God?

Have you prayed about a certain matter over and over and still there’s no visible change in your circumstances?

Would you be willing to share what you’re struggling with in my comment section?

And if you’re not struggling, would you mind praying for me that Christ would help me to overcome my unbelief?

Thanks so much, Friends!

This post is linked toNo Ordinary Blog Hop and

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Is God’s Will Always a Success Story?

I’ve often struggled to understand God’s will. And once I’ve felt like I’ve understood it, very often I’ve had to go through some really hard and scary places. Those times are hard enough, but even harder are the times when I go through what feels like a place of failure. It’s at those times that I question if I’ve remained within God’s will.

From a practical point of view, I know that it has been in the tough times that I’ve learned the most. Perhaps that was all God was trying to accomplish in that situation.

I guess we all want that “happy ending” or that “miraculous event,” so that we can proclaim confidently that we were a part of a “God thing!” Today, I’m questioning that line of logic. It sounds all nice and poetic, but is it theologically sound?

Before I move on to pose the question to you, allow me to clarify. First of all, I’m not saying that God’s will has to go smoothly. Second of all, I’m not saying God’s will has to have trouble.

I’m just wondering, if we remain in God’s will, unhindered by our sin or other’s sin, should God’s will look like a success story–at least on some level?

After all, when I look look at the people in the Bible, I see many examples when they encountered difficulties, while being smack dab in the middle of God’s will. But were those difficulties they encountered a result of their sins or the sins of others, rather than God throwing them a curve ball?

What do you think?

If it’s God’s will, do you think it should always turn out “successfully” in our lives?

If so, what does being “successful” involve?

Three Level’s of New Year’s Resolutions

Many of us are making New Year’s resolutions. Basically, all we’re doing is making a choice to do something different in 2011 than what we’ve been doing 2010. Many times we find ourselves reverting back to our 2010 ways before the end of the first week of 2011! Sometimes that’s not a big deal. But other times, it makes all the difference in the world—this one and the next!

I believe, there are three levels of choices or resolutions that we make. The first level is made up of simple and, for the most part, neutral preferences or options. It’s called:

Insignificant Choices

  1. To quit drinking coffee and only drink green tea
  2. To finally schedule time to paint that spare bedroom
  3. To join a book club

The second level of choices/resolutions that we make goes a bit deeper. These involve more important choices and tasks, but they only reap physical rewards. This level is called:

Significant Choices

  1. To work-out regularly instead of using that time to catch some extra zzz’s
  2. To commit to moderating or improving our diets instead of indulging
  3. To improve the organization of our houses instead of burying our heads in a massive pile of laundry

The third and final level is the most important and has lasting, even eternal, implications. It is called:

Eternal or Missional Choices

  1. To make ourselves accountable to trusted friends instead of keeping things only between us and God
  2. To control our negative thoughts instead of being controlled by our greed, lust, jealousy, anger, and/or fear
  3. To practice patience in the mundane challenges of each day instead of feeling entitled to let our anger boil
  4. To make time to listen actively to our spouses/kids instead of listening like a couch potato to the television
  5. To face our fear by sharing our faith instead of wasting our days stuck in our “comfort zone”

Although this list is not all inclusive, I believe that these “Eternal or Missional Choices” either draw us closer to God’s mission for our lives or further away. There is no middle ground—no happy medium. We must be either choosing to do them or we will be missing our calling as Christ-followers.

Not convinced? Here’s some of what Jesus has to say on the subject:

“No procrastination. No backward looks. You can’t put God’s kingdom off till tomorrow. Seize the day.” Luke 9:62 (MSG)

“I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth.” Rev. 3:15-16 (NIV)

Okay, okay, I don’t know about you, but I’m guilty as charged!

I want to accept Jesus’ challenge to pursue a higher calling every single day of the year–not just in January! Are you with me?

For those who are interested in learning more about the eternal impact of our choices, check out this past weekend’s message at Metro Community Church.

Goofy Things People Believe – “Follow Your Heart”

I have a Facebook account and find that my “Wall” (where my friends write their thoughts and messages), gives me a wealth of funny, absurd, even thought-provoking material for my blog. Just the other day I saw someone comment to another FBF, “Just follow your heart.” And it was as if I could hear the angels above singing a chorus as those words floated out into cyberspace.

Our society seems to love that phrase. It’s rather romantic, is Oprahesque (yes, there really is such a term in the Urban Dictionary), and most of all, sounds affirming. But is it really true?

In this post and in random future posts, I will be addressing certain goofy cultural or Christian beliefs that we tend to swallow, like a doomed fish—hook, line and sinker.

Here’s what I think:

Even if I don’t consider what the Bible has to say (which I will consider in a minute), the idea that we should follow our heart doesn’t make much sense. If I followed my heart there would be many things I would just be giving myself permission to do that would be irresponsible and self-indulgent.

Don’t get me wrong, I often wish that I could just rely on my heart. There are things in my life right now that I am struggling terribly with and if I followed my heart, I know I would be making some big mistakes. Here’s some examples of what listening to my heart might cause me to do:

  • Yell at the cashier who was just rude to me in the check-out lane.
  • Throw in the towel when my marriage hits a rough patch.
  • Buy that expensive pair of shoes I love, even though I really can’t afford them.
  • Only do what I want without consideration for other people’s hearts.

Do you see where I’m going?

Here’s what the Bible has to say about the heart:

“The heart is deceitful above all things and beyond cure. Who can understand it?” Jeremiah 17:9-10 (NIV)

If that’s true (and I believe it is), then following my heart can be one of the most ridiculous things I would ever want to do!

Here’s what I believe the Bible does not say . . . that our hearts are worthless. If that were true, Christ would not have died to rescue our hearts. The bottom line is that we don’t have the ability, in and of ourselves, to know if what we feel is true or a lie. Thankfully, God can help us if we will let him.

So if there was ever a statement I would like to strike, it is follow your heart, and instead I would like to say, follow God who knows your heart.

“Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139:23-24 (NIV)

Today’s post is linked to Tuesdays Unwrapped at Chattingatthesky blog

tuesdays unwrapped at cats

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