The time is now. We must learn to trust the Lord, and He will supply our needs. By meeting our needs, He will increase our faith. What does that all mean? How do I apply it to daily living? Does it really mean that He will literally do what He said He would do? The more I really get into it, the more I realize that what He said wasn’t just figurative but is deep, down home, realistic. God will never separate Himself from His children, and when we live as if we are alone, we are only denying ourselves the blessings and comforts of His promise. The more I begin to feel His presence and guidance in my daily life, the more I begin to grow, and the wonderful spirit of thankfulness is allowed to bloom. There is so much trash and baggage that we carry through life as our security blanket that, if God is to use us, must first be removed. For us to be productive servants, we must turn loose of the material things that we consider necessary for our survival and allow God to meet our needs. While our minds are centered upon material things, we will not be doing those spiritual things that He has commissioned us to do. “For as he thinketh in his heart, so is he: Eat and drink, saith he to thee; but his heart is not with thee” (Proverbs 23:7). Our hope and security come from
Him. We are to live by faith in His marvelous goodness if we are to please Him. As we allow Him to control our lives, our focus will not be upon the things of this world but upon Him where they are suppose to be. Hope and trust in the things of this world are mis-guided and foolish. If our trust is to take us to a better place it must be given to the God of Heaven, not the gods of this world. To the problems and the difficulties of this world there is only one complete answer, there is only one complete solution, and that is Jesus. The harsh reality is that He will do what He must to remove all the distractions and evil from our lives so that
He can use us for His eternal purpose.
The evidence of God’s true persistence and purpose was those times I had to experience the fires of God’s cleansing, those fires that consumed all those things God wanted removed as well as many of those precious things that did not need to be taken away. I have learned that fire has no discretion. As I watched what I thought was everything I owned burning to the ground, it didn’t take me long to realize that so much of the “stuff ” that we carry through life is needless and cumbersome. The true necessities of life are few, and it is not only possible to be grateful for little, but it can also be a relief, no more frustration wondering where I had placed this or that or the wasting of time in protecting things that really did not have any
true value. God wants us to know what is important in life, and He wants us to know that He will provide those things that we really need. It is not an idle promise that He will take care of His children. The values of life, family, friends, and trust in Him are really all that is important. I have experienced the emotions of anger, resentment, greed, desire, lust, hate, and many more, but none of them ever left me feeling good about myself. To live a life that is free from all those things that are meant to destroy is alluring, but placing yourself within the confines of moral living can be somewhat allusive. Abundant living is a choice, but it is a choice that must be administered by God. You cannot live a holy life unless God is in the center of it all. Without His strength and guidance, you are doomed to fail. In most instances, it is not what I choose but what He wills. I can only want to be holy; it is He that can truly make me holy. I can only choose not to sin; it is He that gives me that ability and strength to succeed. This Bible quote comes to mind: “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me” (Philippians 4:13). I have never seen God’s hand dip from heaven to give me something that I needed, but I have many times felt His presence in my circumstances as He moves to provide those things I must have for my survival. I have never seen God do many things that would be known as supernatural, but I do not doubt that if that were the only way for Him to accomplish His purpose, it would happen. There is nothing fruitful that can happen when we choose to limit God, and we will only place ourselves within His disfavor when we refuse to exercise our faith. Without faith, it is impossible to please God. That must mean that if we, with a grateful heart, seek His deliverance, He will provide. The light in a darkened room will not shine to give us sight until we click the switch of faith to reveal its brightness.
Those things on earth that we call miracles, things that happen without distraction and we think of as commonplace, God is in control of it all. Through His mercy, we are afforded
His goodness, and whether great or small, it would not happen without His approval. Somehow, I feel that many of the hardships that we must endure are just God trying to get our attention. We have taken Him so much for granted, and we do not thank Him and worship Him as we should. Once we become His children, He will not be hindered or impeded in His will for our lives. The only hindrance comes when we are disobedient,
and God will take appropriate actions to correct the problem. The punishment of God can be quite severe, but it will never be administered without love and purpose. My life has always been difficult, but lately, I have begun wondering whether it has been that way because of my lack of faith and obedience. I know there is no such thing as instant wisdom or success, but as I now have been taught to understand and believe, you do not have to live a lifetime to obtain it. I now know that wisdom and success are not measured by monetary or intellectual gains. One or the other, or both, have to do with personal integrity or creditability. All the wisdom in the world is somehow useless unless you acquire the knowledge to use it.
Solomon was the wisest person this world has ever known, but as he grew older, he did not use his wisdom in the way that God had intended for him to use it. In many instances, too much knowledge without the wisdom to use it is very detrimental and destructive. Everyone in life has the same opportunity to become spiritually great in the sight of God and all humanity. It all becomes a matter of your personal desire and persistence. Solomon was given wisdom by his request unto God; he did not obtain it by his own excellence or merit. The so-called great men and women of the past could not do anything that we cannot do
today. Miracles and revelations do not come from the power and abilities of man but are performed by a loving and all-powerful God. If we are willing to totally submit ourselves unto the will of God, He can use us as He has done so many times in the past. It is our lack of faith and our unwillingness to submit that takes us out of the realm of useable servants. There has never been a great man or woman who did not first have a great and all-powerful God. We, as individuals, can give no more than is humanly possible; that is where we are all equal. When we unconditionally allow Him to use us, the blessings He pours out upon our lives can be made to spill out upon all those that are willing to accept His goodness. The true greatness of God cannot be concealed or secluded; it is only our refusal of giving Him praise and honor that denies the true excellence of God. God is who He is, and man cannot change this marvelous fact. When we acknowledge God for who He is and allow Him to dominate and rule our lives, the impossible will be accomplished. Knowing the true excellence and total goodness of God and not allowing these qualities to replenish and motivate us must, in all cases, be seen as a lack of faith and total foolishness. How can we ever go wrong by doing what God has intended? How can it ever be considered foolish when we obey Him?
Man can do nothing in his own power. It is only God who can cause His love to permeate our lives so that we can be used of Him to bless others. In this sense, the ability and desire to
submit totally to the leadership of God is what defines the term greatness. Everyone has the opportunity to submit; our willingness and desire to do what God has required of us will determine the measure of our greatness. If God loves all of us equally, then what is there to stop us from being blessed equally? Equally in the sense that we are all His children and we all have the same promise of eternal life and a home with Him in heaven. If it is not God who is in question, then it must be our unwillingness to submit to His divine purpose for our lives. Why is it we find it so difficult to tell God that we will do anything and everything that
He asks us to do? Is it because of our lack of trust in Him? If you cannot trust your Heavenly Father, then whom on earth do you trust? Do you think that God would ask you to do something that is wrong or impossible? Is it your desire that God be your friend and deliverer? Is there someone else who can give you more than He? When we are directly confronted by these questions, we are made to feel ashamed and unworthy. Somehow, I feel we should all stop and take the time to dwell upon what He really means to us. We must be willing to give to Him as much as we demand from Him. Without yielding to Him completely, we will not be as effective as He wants us to be and as effective as we should
want to be. Recently, I have been asking God to use my life to bless others. I have been praying that He would give me a job while all the time, I had the perfect job and all the particulars already planned. Many times, I found myself frustrated and questioning God’s
promise, and I began to pray even harder. I wanted to know what I was doing wrong or what it was that I wasn’t doing that had me in His indignation. Finally, in a fit of frustration, I took a step backward, and it was then when I began to understand that God didn’t need me to tell Him what to do; He didn’t need my input as to what was needed or required. God’s plan was exactly that: God’s plan. I began to think what would be the most important thing I could ever do? Without His blessing, I could only indulge myself, and my influence for Him would be nil. It has never been about me, and I have always been aware that most of my life
was dependent upon Him. That was where I was wrong. It was not that I should depend upon Him for most of my life; I need to depend upon Him for all of my life. The important elements that were missing in my life were brought about by my doubting God’s complete sincerity. The many struggles in my life were insured by my saying yes to this world and no to His perfect will. My unwillingness to obey would put me in that place of disobedience and disbelief. For Him to be all that He could be, all that He truly wanted to be, I had to step aside and allow Him to rule. Allowing Him to lead would only cause me to gain the true significance of His marvelous presence and love. Somewhere, it has been said that God only helps those who help themselves, and I agree that there is some validity to this statement. God does request and even demand our allegiance and our toil, but our labor is to be centered in Him and in accomplishing those things that are of eternal value. Many have chosen to use this phrase in an attempt to excuse the improper and the profane. Attempting to justify evil conduct by distorting holy truths will only lead to sinful ruin. God does expect our willingness to serve Him, but He is forever aware of our abilities and our short-comings. That does not mean that we are to exclude Him from our lives until we are plagued by some unworkable difficulty or circumstance. He is to be our constant strength and hope; the light that directs us as we live each day. Pleasing Him need not be our main priority; it should be our only priority because in pleasing Him all our other needs will be met. No matter how deeply we want to be used, it will never happen if we are not first zealous and productive; God can only use those who are humble and obedient. Laziness is not a quality that God is willing to bless (2 Thessalonians 3:10-11). Our deepest desire should be that of being His friend. The idea of friend expresses a working relationship, sharing love as well as disappointment and hardship.
The Bible tells us that God is our friend and He wants to share with us in everything we do. That means we are not to be doing those things He has promised to do. He is responsible, as our redeemer, for cleaning us up and making us worthy. When we leave Him out by doing things that are sinful, He must spend much of His time cleaning us up from the evil and sin of this world. God’s idea for His children is one of happiness and reward; He wants to give us those things that are good, but He will not hesitate to punish us when we need it. To be happy and productive, we must be traveling in only one way. God says that He is the way, the truth, and the life. If He is who He says He is, then He, by His declaration, has already established the way that we should be traveling. Given the fact that God is all wisdom and knowledge and that He has already willingly sacrificed to provide us the proper way, where is there any room for dissention or disobedience? If God is serious about our happiness and eternal condition, don’t you think it is time that we become more in tune with His purpose or will for our lives? Showing obedience to His will and purpose will not cause us to become sorrowful but joyful. Learning to lean upon His promises will bring us unto that place of true dependence, knowing the sincerity of His being is meant to forever uphold and enrich us.