Tag Archives: understanding

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

The difference between a good idea and a God idea

I have lots of good ideas. At least in my mind. And for the most part, I believe that they’re ideas that would make a good work for the Lord. Every day since salvation I’ve thought about my ministry and its direction; until the day I went into the hospital and then suddenly it was about that moment in time. Who was I with, who was speaking, was it about my health or was it an opportunity to witness for Christ? That was my mindset.

I missed my youth group, I missed singing, I missed speaking, but those things weren’t on my mind. I didn’t pick up the Word because I couldn’t focus, all I could do was listen to the words that I had “Hidden in my heart.” (Psalm 119:11) But now, I’m back, I’m reading, I’m writing, I’m drawing, I’m singing (from my kitchen table) I’m seeking God’s direction for me now, in this place.

But I recognize even more that there’s a difference between a good idea and a God idea. One “O”.

Psalm 86:1-8

Bow down thine ear, O Lord, hear me: for I am poor and needy. Preserve my soul; for I am holy: O thou my God, save thy servant that trusteth in thee. Be merciful unto me, O Lord: for I cry unto thee daily. Rejoice the soul of thy servant: for unto thee, O Lord, do I lift up my soul. For thou, Lord, art good, and ready to forgive; and plenteous in mercy unto all them that call upon thee. Give ear, O Lord, unto my prayer; and attend to the voice of my supplications. In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me. Among the gods there is none like unto thee, O Lord; neither are there any works like unto thy works.

David desires God’s will for his life, he knows there is purpose (he is holy, set aside). And in the first 8 verses of his prayer I see his petition to God, “O Lord,” again and again. I can clearly see that the reasoning for my unfocused ministry over the years has been that I’ve not cried “O Lord,” enough. I would ask and halfheartedly wait for God to answer, knowing there might be a chance He wouldn’t necessarily agree with my “good” idea. Zap! That one stung. I know truth when I hear it. I’m driven for service, sometimes too driven.

David prayed

  • O’ Lord Hear me
  • O’ Lord I Trust Thee
  • O’ Lord I cry to Thee
  • O’ Lord I give myself to Thee
  • O’ Lord be with me
  • O’ Lord, let it be Your works

Mine would have been, “O’ Lord! Thanks for that idea!” But not David. He prayed first asking God to please listen. God loves a conversation with His children. A real conversation. Not a repetitious religious act, but a Daddy/Daughter/Son conversation. He want to hear the desires of our heart. He wants to know just how passionate we are about the conversation. Good ideas are not always God ideas. The human mind is fickle and can change at any point. A good conversation with God allows us to work through whether or not it’s passion or just possibility.

David Trusted God. I too often trust me more. Trust is letting go of anything but God for which I learned from the hospital bed. I had to trust that God had put me in the right place with the right people to handle it all. Is life any different? Maybe not as life threatening, but every bit as serious.

When it came to getting to WVU medicine, I discovered that a few life threatening decisions that had been placed in my hand, God had removed. One was changing hospitals mid-stream after I had built a trust with a physician. After my heart cath, the medical staff at the second of three hospitals I was in, decided I had a blood disorder that placed me at considerable risk, and they refused to do the surgery there. It turned out that that hospital had had an outbreak of staff infection and mersa on the heart wing for the past 18 months. Coincidence that I was removed from there? Not in my mind. The blood disease diagnosis was incorrect. Shocker. God removed that decision from me. That’s not how it always works. More often than not, He leaves us to free will. It’s why it’s so very important to cry out to Him more than once.

David pleaded (cried) to the Lord, He laid himself down before the Lord and ask the Lord to be with him through it all, and in finality he asked God to let it be His works, not David’s.

Another zap for me. My good ideas, have too often been, mine. They weren’t bad, they just weren’t God’s. So much work, so much effort put into things that I don’t know if God ever intended me to do because I wouldn’t slow down and use that extra “O” as a cry for wisdom. For the most part I still don’t have any regrets because God knew my heart was to do His work. But He has certainly sidelined me for now and is allowing me to reconsider my direction…

Life lesson: Make sure the ‘O’ is in the right spot.

What to do when they don’t understand

meet shari

At the onset of salvation God had me in a place where the word of God took preeminence in the decisions of the church, our conversations, basically life in general. We talked about the Word of God over breakfast, lunch or dinner and when sermons were preached the message was very, very personal to me. Sometimes too personal. It was as if someone had whispered in that preacher’s ear the very words I needed to hear. Over time I learned that it was spiritual discernment and that God had not actually told the preacher my sins in detail but that God would lay a message upon his heart that was needful in my life for that place in time. There were occasions that I also allowed the flesh to read more into it than necessary. God’s pretty basic with His conversations. Now, He could be far more intellectual than the brightest of men, after all He created conversation. But usually God speaks to the souls of men in a manner befitting a kindergartner. You cannot say that you do not understand what He meant. He broke it down. You can ignore it, but you can’t un-hear it.

God still works like that with me. The word of God takes preeminence in my life be it in the spoken, written or sung word. There’s a message for my soul specifically. I look for it and I long for it because I need to feel the presence of God in my life.  When I miss it, it frustrates me. So this morning I set out to determine a circumstance in my life that has me more than a little frustrated. And as always, God is faithful.

At this time in my life, I’m feeling very misunderstood. And for a person who wears her heart on her sleeve and communicates through the spoken and written word, being misunderstood hurts my heart. Because I feel that I am an oracle of God. (1 Peter 4:11)

If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ, to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen.

So I determined in myself this morning to get to the bottom of this with God, and so I awoke and began to search scripture for what God’s message to me would be concerning the matter at hand. By that search I ended up in the book of Ecclesiastes, written by Solomon, the wisest of all men, and who certainly had his share of life illustrations.

Because I’m of a passionate nature when it comes to personal and spiritual matters, frustration can run a close second to anger. I can get in the flesh and allow Satan to fill my mind full of notions that have no bearing in truth, but they sound good. Notions in respect to opinions. So I want to get anger out of the way first and foremost and so I landed on Ecclesiastes 7:9

Be Not Hasty

Be not hasty in thy spirit to be angry: for anger resteth in the bosom of fools.

And so I stopped there. Obviously that was it. I just need to stop jumping to conclusions. Perhaps I was reading more into the situation than was there. And as I was about to shut the book on it, I heard God say… “I’m not through, keep reading.” I think God likes a three point sermon too. And so I continued on.

Be not High-minded

I don’t know what would ever give me the idea that I’ve arrived when it comes to understanding God’s ways, but for some reason I always think that I should. I’m just silly enough to think that God and I are so tight that He’ll let me in on what He’s doing in life, mine and everyone else’s. I know… that’s ridiculous. But in reality I’m clueless. And its why I turn to His word, looking for the “in” that lets me be in the “know” with God. So I continued to read.

10 Say not thou, What is the cause that the former days were better than these? for thou dost not enquire wisely concerning this.

11 Wisdom is good with an inheritance: and by it there is profit to them that see the sun.

God’s so funny. I had been focusing a lot recently on what I considered to be better days. And God reminded me it’s not good to rest on my laurels. Yes, those were amazing times, but wouldn’t it be sad if that was it. God still has so much more to do, and though wisdom from the past is a great inheritance to have, there’s profit in looking to the future. That’s a good word for anyone!

And so I thought I’d better continue to see what else God had to say to me this morning concerning the hurt in my heart.

Be Not Heavy Hearted

21 Also take no heed unto all words that are spoken; lest thou hear thy servant curse thee:

22 For oftentimes also thine own heart knoweth that thou thyself likewise hast cursed others.

23 All this have I proved by wisdom: I said, I will be wise; but it was far from me.

And there it was. My conclusion to God’s three point sermon to me this morning. It only matters what God thinks. All the words that are spoken about me or to me are of naught, if God’s blessing isn’t on them. People hurt people. That’s life. Mine and everyone else’s.

So Praise God! I will continue being the “me” God created me to be. If King Solomon the wisest of all couldn’t figure out men, I’d be pretty foolish to think that I could. And though I’m no one in the eyes of the world, in God’s world I was appreciated enough to die for. That’s a reason to shout, and to praise and think outside the box that the world loves to put God in. Amen? I think so. Amen!

The Function of the Unction

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1 John 2:20 – But ye have an unction from the Holy One, and ye know all things.

I don’t know about you, but I don’t always feel like I know all things. Sometimes even the most basic of scriptures will seem foreign to my mind. I’ll sit in frustration trying to cypher out the meaning of the Word of God and it just will not come. And other times a seemingly hard verse to understand will just open itself to my understanding and I’ll be like, “Woah baby, you’re good!” And then I’ll get that knock on my head from the Holy Spirit that says, “Are you Serious Shari? You couldn’t even understand the meaning of the most simplistic verses a few minutes ago,why are you taking credit for the work of the Holy Spirit?

That’s the function of the unction. It is the anointing of the Holy Spirit that reveals the Word of God with a deeper understanding; and its provided to the children of God who diligently seek Him.

Because Bible Study tools are so readily available I often resort to them to help me better understand a verse; and its not that there is anything wrong with that, but I as I discovered through reading the Word this morning, in so doing that I just may be missing out on a huge blessing by denying the Holy Spirit the opportunity to do His job.

1 John 2:27 – But the anointing which ye have received of him abideth in you, and ye need not that any man teach you: but as the same anointing teacheth you of all things, and is truth, and is no lie, and even as it hath taught you, ye shall abide in him.

A commentary is the the word of man, and he may or may not have been anointed when he wrote it. But if the Holy Spirit speaks to you it’s absolute truth, so which is better? My lesson from God this morning was that I need to be more desperate for God. It’s the theme of a youth conference that I’m attending this weekend and I believe it is what’s lacking in many of our lives. We want to hear from God, but we want it quick, little effort and no cost. And God, Who wants to bless us in abundance, desires to do it through our abiding in Him (staying close, as in a deep intimate relationship with Him… maybe even desperate. Believing our very existence depends on staying close to Him… and it does.

God’s generally not a shouter, if we hope to hear His still, small voice, we need to stay close.
An example of God’s love would be likened to taking teens on this weekend adventure of our Youth Evangelism Conference. Even though its a Christian event, I still want my brood near me. If one of them gets up to go somewhere I want to know where they’re going and who they’ll be with. God wants that constant relationship with us too. It is great that we have Christian teachers, preachers and study tools to learn about God… but we need to be within whispering distance of the Holy Spirit… Protected by the absolute truth.

The Private Times of a very Public Gospel

2 Peter 1:20

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.

I praise God for a simple mind. Even when God gives me something that I think is spiritually “deep”, I’m pretty sure it’s from the shallow end of the pool. When I read the scripture I seldom find any grand and glorious revelation, it’s more of an “Oh, so that’s how it is Lord, thanks!” The scriptures (at least the recommended King James Version) are written on an eighth to tenth grade level. God loves simple people, what can I say. Theologians who can delve into the scripture and write page upon page of deep theological studies  have nothing on me, so can I, it’s just when I explain it it’s in much simpler terms. Where Dr. Mryon Guiler, one of my heroes of biblical knowledge, can expound great truths for an hour on two words from one text, I can for all intents and purposes read the text and “get it.” I’m okay with that. The Bible was meant for understanding.

The Big Lie

“I don’t read the Bible because I just don’t get it.”

I said the same thing… and then I got saved. Ahhhhhhh. Yes I said it. I’m not saying you’re not saved, but you’re either not saved or you’re rebellious. I know from experience because I’ve been both. As a baby Christian in 1996 I discovered what 2 Peter 1:20 meant. This morning I discovered it anew! That’s how the Bible works. I recommend you not take my word for anything written here, but read 2 Peter, Chapter 1 for yourself. It’s but 21 verses, it won’t kill you. As a matter of act it will give you life! But here it is, Shari quoted in the simples of forms.

Verse 1-8

The Bible is all that and a bag of chips. No, it’s much, much more! It’s everything you need to get by in this world unscathed by the wickedness you’re surrounded in. It is the precious promises of God. Perhaps we’ve heard that phrase so much we’ve dulled our ears to it. Or perhaps promises have become so “un-meaningful” in life that we’ve stopped believing the word actually exists in its purest form. Well it exists, and through eternity we’ll experience that every Word in the Holy Text was real. And you need it to survive. I warned you I was simple, read it yourself, you’ll probably get much more!

Verses 9-10

Remember when I said if you don’t get the Bible, you’re either not saved or not right. Insert grin here. It’s the truth, God said it first. Verse 10 reads “Wherefore the rather, brethren, give diligence to make your calling and election sure…” If you’re not understanding the Bible, make sure you’re saved.

Verses 11-15

Peter reminds them and now I remind you that you need to stay in the Word of God. It’s your ticket to Heaven. Peter wrote (the Lord said) in verse 11 “For so an entrance shall be ministered unto you abundantly into the everlasting kingdom of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.” It’s not just be reading, but by understanding that the Word of God is how the Lord speaks to His children. So you may ask “What about the people who can’t read and understand.” If you’re reading this, you can understand. All others, God will take care of, He’s a very nice God that way.

Verse 16

Peter writes as an eye witness of the Savior.

For we have not followed cunningly devised fables, when we made known unto you the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but were eyewitnesses of his majesty.

We’ll read the Sunday Gazzette and take it for the gospel (foolish mortals that we are) and yet question if the Bible is literal or figurative. Call me simple, but if a guy was there, and speaks as an oracle (truth and revelation) of the Creator of the Universe, I’m gonna believe him over some yahoo that received a “new revelation.”

Verses 17-19

In Peter’s day he walked with the LORD, he heard GOD Himself from Heaven speak to His Son, Jesus Christ. He was there at the mount of transfiguration (Luke 9:27-36) when Christ spoke with Moses and Elias. But now Christ dwells within the heart of the saved, which is how you interpret the Bible.

Verses 20-21

Which is what started this blog today.

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation. For the prophecy came not in old time by the will of man: but holy men of God spake as they were moved by the Holy Ghost.

Don’t worry that you don’t understand the entire Bible, what you need to understand the Holy Ghost will reveal to you. I’m not a Bible Scholar. I don’t know all there is to know about the Bible, but little by little, (just what my pea brain can get) God reveals to me His Word through the Holy Spirit. It’s not just for Preachers. Peter was fisherman, Matthew was an IRS agent, and so on and so forth God used ordinary people. He’ll use you too. In these perilous times you need to understand current events, and if you want the truth go to the Bible, not the evening news.