In a world that’s full of turbulence there are a few things that I have found to be rewarding and forever true. There are things that I have learned not to doubt or question but to depend upon as I go through the day. Some of them may sound unimportant at first, but when you stop and think about it, the world today has been commissioned or driven to produce people who do not ask or question but simply follow. You are not taught today to think for yourself but to just give in, give up and give all. Deep thinking today is no longer an art or a challenge, and, with many that do arrive at this point, the things that they have been compelled or taught to dwell upon would have been better left unimagined. We of today have been conditioned to dwell upon the base things of life and to find importance or total relevance and reliance on such things for our satisfaction and even our existence. To suggest that imaginations today have become more sordid and crude is an understatement. The fact that such things are considered to be sacred or needed is a social indictment.
Power and glory are the songs of the day, but so many that sing their acquisition want nothing to do with the price of there implementing. We have gone from a hand up to a hand out generation, caring no more to sacrifice for those things we seek to consume. Our minds are full of discontent while our hearts are full of greed. We care little for the future but live only in and for the present. Easy come easy go, get it while you can, if it feels good do it, all modern cries of an adulterated world. We have fallen asleep while our enemies seek to destroy us, we are without a cause, and we have fallen and care not to rise again. Abundant living is not about abundant possessions and the good life isn’t about not having to do without. There are so many of life’s greatest lessons that are learned when we are in want. So many times our eyes are closed when we have acquired much; they are only opened when we are forced to live in need. True compassion can only be felt when we understand the total pain and despair of those that are forced to live it.
When Jesus died upon the cross He was made to feel our pain and total hopelessness. One purpose for His leaving the magnificence of Heaven was to identify with the suffering that was present upon this earth.
For verily he took not on him the nature of angels; but he took on him the seed of Abraham. Wherefore in all things it behoved him to be made like unto his brethren, that he might be a merciful and faithful high priest in things pertaining to God, to make reconciliation for the sins of the people. For in that he himself hath suffered being tempted, he is able to succour them that are tempted.
God wants to identify with our pain and to heal our infirmities. He is not a God that does not understand; He is not a God that does not care. When we do not consider our own state of being but rely upon the goodness of God for our deliverance, we are placed in a position where our faith can grow and our trust in Him will be allowed to flourish. True faith in Him does not stand still and complete dependence upon Him does not go unrewarded. God’s revelations are not new and His mercy is still our only hope.
Here is an appropriate example of God’s goodness that I feel led to share with you. It was the thanksgiving holiday and I was feeling that I should be showing my thankfulness for all that we had been given. So many of the things that we do and feel today, aren’t really from the heart but are done simply out of habit and necessity, we’ve been taught or required to do it. I wasn’t really feeling the holiday spirit like I should; I was feeling disgruntled and empty. The weather was turning much colder and it seemed that everything in life was doing the same. As with every holiday, the family would be coming and we would once again be afforded that opportunity of sharing some good-fellowship. We had turned the heater on to warm up the house so that the guests that were coming for the holiday would be comfortable. There were so many things that needed to be prepared before the guest arrived that their accomplishment seemed unrealistic. There wasn’t time to dawdle, then, without warning the pump on the boiler decided to erupt.
What am I to do now, was the question that daunted my mind. It was too cold for everyone to be comfortable, and as I viewed my options, I was made to become even more annoyed. “Why now”, I asked God in my usual doubting way, “Why now?” It was the holiday season and all the part stores would be closed. I really wasn’t upset about the boiler breaking, those things have come to be what I knew as life, but why did it have to happen in what I would consider the most difficult and inappropriate time? I didn’t know it at that time, but I would soon realize that God wanted it then to show me his wonderful and marvelous goodness. He would for sure give me a reason to be thankful.
To say that I was frustrated and annoyed would be an understatement, and as I began to question God, I disputed and doubted His wisdom. I know that He can do anything He wants to do, anytime He wants to do it; but was this the proper time? First, the weather was getting colder and without the boiler working properly the pipes would freeze and what was a small problem would become a very large one. Next, it was the holiday season and without heat in the house its celebration would be unobtainable. All the supply stores would be closed at least until after the holidays, and without a solution to our problem, life would become difficult if not unbearable. The more I thought about it the more disturbed I became and I took upon myself the solution to the dilemma. I was devastated but I knew that I could not wait I had to do something. I asked God to give me a solution and then began to do what I could to solve the problem.
Mom had forgotten a few items at the store, and in an effort to be of assistance, I made my way to town to acquire them. On my way, I drove past the plumbing supply store and as I expected, no one was there. I wasn’t pleased but what was I to do, so I went on with my errand. At the store I met my lovely daughter-in-law and as I greeted her I asked her what her husband was doing. I didn’t know it at that time but what was happening was the beginning of God’s solution to my problem. She told me that he was at home resting, and that he would probably be there most of the day. My son is very mechanically minded and his mom and I depend upon him for many of our daily needs. He is very gracious and is always willing to be of assistance.
Not really knowing what I should do, I called him on the phone and told him of my dilemma. He, as normal, said that he would come over and see what he could do. I wasn’t really feeling too relieved but at least I would have someone to share my problem. Somehow things feel more obtainable and not as difficult when there is someone to share things with. My son, being knowledgeable in so many areas, has acquired many friends and acquaintances. As it were, this would become the solution to my problem and before I knew it everything would be up and running even better than before the problem arose. After looking at what had happened, he called a few friends and arrangements were made to meet and acquire the parts needed. Once the parts were purchased, he spent the time needed in replacing them and with little effort everything was back to where it was the day before, but even better.
As I think about it now, I was presented with a problem, but God was always the solution. Blaming Him would not give me any satisfaction and as I witnessed His hand at work, I was made to glory. He allowed everything to work in His time and in His order to show me His miraculous power and presence. To many, I know that they would say that all things just happen and there is really no importance or relativity to its time and order. I do not believe this to be, and in this example, I know without God’s divine intervention a desirable solution would not have occurred. He chose a difficult time to make His solution even more necessary and unforgettable. He knew that this was a teachable moment and that as one of His children I was in need of His presence and instruction. Being drawn close to God can never leave me uninspired or doubting; and while in His holy presence, I am made to worship and reverence.
God has promised to meet the needs of His children and without the difficulties and problems given us, we would never see Him at work. Discounting God’s continual presence or desire to meet our needs will not sway Him from His purpose but deny us of His peace and joy. Even though we walk through the valley, He is with us and being there He shares our pain and discomfort. As we pray for His deliverance, we can see His loving hand take us from the pit of despair unto a land of hope and promise. When we do not see Him at work, then we do not learn to trust and depend upon Him. He knows that in our darkest hour we will fight to reach His outstretched hand, while in those times of peace and plenty we seek to go it on our own. He is the only source for everything that is good, productive and beneficial. If we are not allowed to gain the knowledge of that goodness, then we will never truly know Him or be thankful for all that He is and does. I did not enjoy the dilemma that was presented me but I now embrace it knowing that I am made to better understand His goodness and to feel His promise. Knowing that a solution was never in doubt causes my faith to grow and I am put at ease. As I thanked Him for His blessings, the gratitude that I felt became more heart-felt and real.
God will always make is presence know in the life of His child. You cannot hide from God’s judgment or His blessings. God’s presence will be felt in our highest high or in our deepest sorrow. Sad to say we do not always perform as we should but God’s actions are not as inconsistent. He will be there in the storm as well as in the triumph. There is no one that can take His place and without Him we will never accomplish those things that are needed and desirable. To celebrate His goodness He must be with us but to deny our need of Him is sure to cause our downfall. As I depend upon Him He will meet my needs but when I am unwilling to listen and heed, He will do what He must to draw me back into His perfect will. The dependability of God is without question and if I am unwilling to seek His will; His chastisement will be just as forth coming. To say that God is relentless is sound but without His consistent protection we could not survive (1 Peter 5:8).
There are so many things that I could relate to you that express the true benevolence of a righteous God, of a loving Savior. God’s ways are without question and His demands are without reproach. The only sorrow of God is the sorrow He shows for our lack of understanding and for our disobedience. He does not error or do those things that are worthy of repentance. As the Bible states, God cannot sin (Hebrews 4:15). The shortest verse in the Bible, John 11:35, “Jesus wept”, reveals His ardent passion and His undying love and devotion for all His children. Jesus took our sins upon the cross but in taking our sins He was not a partaker in those sins, He was only the holy sacrifice. The righteous became the cost; the unspotted became the sacrifice, what better example of love or what deeper expression of devotion? The total perfection of God was not spoiled by His surrender; it was only made available for our deliverance. If God were to give up His total perfection, He would be no better than His creation and we would be without a way of escape. The lost cannot save the lost and the sinner cannot justify his own sin (Psalm 1:6). God will never be drawn down to our level; we must be lifted up to His. In evil there is no triumph, only defeat; while in victory there is no sorrow, only celebration.
Thinking that everything in life is circumstantial or without an intended order is preposterous; it will only cause us to be haphazard and unorganized. A life without order is a life of confusion, lived without a purpose or unity. Order is what gives life its harmony; harmony is what gives life its coherence. I have often heard it said “you don’t know it until you try it; you can’t understand until it is made real”. This is a statement that is seemingly telling us the only way to gain knowledge is by reckless, irresponsible actions. Disarray will cause us to delve into those things that should be considered as unprofitable. Experimentation for the purpose of gaining worldly knowledge can in no way be considered prudent or prove its captive wise. There are many things that we can learn from experiencing them but some actions are unadvisable and should not be considered let alone acted upon. Have you ever heard, “I’ll just take your word for it”?
The mind wondering what would happen if; is a mind that should first consider whether that action has any real profit or merit. Just feeling good holds no true reason and while feeling good, it can sometimes draw you into its sin and remorse. God has given man the ability to reason and what God has provided, He has provided for an explicit reason or purpose. Life to God, being important, was not intended for experimentation or squander. If we are being tempted to do those things that are foolish and unadvised, we must consider who is causing us to consider their implementation. Looking at lives that bare the scars and pain of worldly intrigue or fascination should warn us of willingly accepting or possessing those wounds by our own deliberate participation.
As I put my complete trust in God, He will not allow the corruption of this world to destroy me. This is something that is really deep and I have only recently learned just how substantial it really is. When I allow God to direct my thoughts, He will cause me to dwell upon those things that are good for my spiritual as well as my physical growth and well-being. Face it; God’s wishes for my life are complete and uninterrupted. It is only my inconsistencies that cause His blessings to dwindle. Every action that I perform is not preceded by conscience thought. Many actions are only voluntary or learned. If I am depending upon my own selfish desires to direct my behavior my actions will become detrimental and sometimes life threatening. As I allow God to control my desires and I place my trust in Him, He will cause me to do only those things that are virtuous and life sustaining. By allowing God to direct my path, He will give me the benefit of His unequaled wisdom. God’s good judgment is for my healing as well as my supervision. As the Bible states, everything will work together for the good of those that honor Him (Romans 8:28).
As I place myself into His loving hands He will fill my heart and mind with those things that are needed to sustain and nurture me. God’s plan is complete and life sustaining. If He has a use for me, and He does; why would He allow me to do those things that cause mayhem and death? The Bible says, “He restoreth my soul”; how could His restoring have anything to do with what this world has intended? Circumstance is only God’s way of accomplishing His undeniable will; they can be either pleasant or distressing depending upon what He is attempting to accomplish. Elimination of problems is accomplished by trust and faith in the only One that is in command or control of those problems. I cannot do away with any difficulty or problem no matter its magnitude. Without God’s deliverance I will remain in the very same situation and under the very same dilemma. If I obey Him my circumstances will be rewarding while in disobedience I will be may to suffer those difficulties that are intended for my correction. While God’s actions can be predetermined we must realize that He is only responding to our desire to be loyal or rebellious. Why should this be such a difficult lesson to learn and even more difficult to apply? Allowing God to direct my every thought will in turn insure my every intent or action, you cannot separate the two.
If I am depending upon Him, He will take away my necessity and desire to do those things that are detrimental and life threatening. In essence taking those things that are really a substitute for what He has promised to provide. Everyone has a craving that must be filled; no one is complete in and of themselves. God is that one entity that can fulfill all that man can ever want. He is the only peace that can calm every wish or impassioned desire. You can ridicule or mock all that God has promised to provide but in doing so you have only place yourself in a place of complete and bitter hopelessness. Giving my life to God has only made me more content and knowing that God is desirous of my affection only makes me a more loving individual. When I allow God to improve my attitude then I am made to abound and I will have a positive affect upon the attitudes of all those that I am privileged to befriend.
Abundant living is not a mixture of self-reliance and Christian conduct. Unless we are completely willing to allow His total dominion in our lives, we will never truly possess what God has intended for us to experience. Until all suspicion and doubt have been removed from our lives, we will not be in total acceptance of His unmatchable benefits. God is not unreliable; He does not take back what He has promised to deliver. God does not make Himself available only when He is needed, He is with us all of the time. Could that be that He knows that we need Him all of the time? I know that without Him I would not only feel alone but that I would also feel helpless and lost.
To feel secure as a child I would go to my mother and I knew that she would see that nothing would happen to me. I did not think about the fears or problems of life when I was in her care, the protection that she offered would transcend all that I was being made to feel. True comfort can only be felt when the one providing that comfort is close at hand. Faith to believe and the knowledge to know that He will do all He has promised is what will get me through the day. His dependability and reassurance is what I have learned to rely upon. As I learn of His reliance I am only made to feel reassured. That is not something that should make me unconcerned or lazy because when I become complacent, I am not being respectful or showing my appreciation. I know that God is there to help me but I also know that without Him I would fail. He is truly that most important part of the equation and without Him I would be fearful. The friendship of God is the true necessity of all deliverance. I need Him if I am to excel. I need Him if I am to survive.
Even though there are many things that he expects us to do for ourselves, He is well aware of His unquestionable importance to humanity and He will not shirk from His duty. The utmost needs of unregenerate man are those things that are spiritual and to forget that God has promised to meet all of our needs is to be totally deficient. When we have willingly accepted Him into our lives, He becomes our Heavenly Father and will give us those things that we are in need of, spiritual and material. It goes without saying that God is a God of mercy and forbearance; He will not allow His child to be dismayed. In poverty we can learn the true uprightness of a righteous God, while in plenty we are made aware of his true generosity. When I am not in His loving hands I can feel the draw of the world trying to overthrow me. As He wraps His loving arms about me I am made confident that there is nothing that can alarm or destroy. My only confidence is found in Him and to consider my abilities as sufficient is pure folly. I know that He is needed and that only makes me more appreciative of His desire to be there for me. He is my all in all; He is my everything.
My respect or appreciation of life is manifest in the knowledge that it is He that makes it all possible. Without Him we could not exist and without Him the life that we have been given cannot and will not be worth living. Wouldn’t you think that makes Him really important and necessary? Have you allowed Him to become the most important part of your life? If not, why? He will really make a difference. GLH