Tag Archives: waiting

Re-wrapped and Ready

chick gift

Wait… I said wait.

At first I wrote the second wait with an exclamation point, but then I reconsidered, because when God spoke those words to my heart, He didn’t yell. He wasn’t excited, He was in the same manner He always is…Rock steady. Unwavering. Unlike me. Lately there’s a scripture rolling inside my head from James 1:8 ~ A double minded man is unstable in all his ways. It’s like a pinball machine pinging from one corner of my mind to another failing to settle into a slot. Reminding me of the indecisions of my life, the ones that I thought I’d settled and yet I have not. They cause fear and anxiety to creep into my thoughts and unrest in my soul. That unstableness leads to feelings of unworthiness and it’s a downhill slope from there. But because my God is ever faithful and knows my every need He provided a place for my soul  to find rest in Psalm 27:1-3

The Lord is my light and my salvation; whom shall I fear? the Lord is the strength of my life; of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked, even mine enemies and my foes, came upon me to eat up my flesh, they stumbled and fell. Though an host should encamp against me, my heart shall not fear: though war should rise against me, in this will I be confident.

I am confident I have no confidence.

It was a conversation I had with my teens on Sunday morning. They have no clue that I use them as mini psychiatrists; I pour my soul out to them in the guise of “opening myself up to them.” I’m kidding… kind of. It’s somewhat therapeutic to teach teens. They are nonjudgmental of my mayhem life. So when I tell them that my confidence level is nil when I take the platform to sing or speak, some are shocked, but most get it because they too struggle with confidence. Obviously I’m not alone in the adult category either. Even David, favored of God, and warrior extraordinaire had moments of doubt.

Doubt creeps into my life and then hovers over my shoulder like the evil it is. Sometimes the enemy is within and sometimes the enemy is without… It usually starts with someone or something, and then I take over adding fuel to the fire until it burns out of control. Possibly too metaphoric a statement but if you struggle with self-doubt you get it. It doesn’t take much to get you on a long journey down the road to the pity party waiting at the end and a box of Krispy Kreme Donuts, my reward of choice for having a bad day. Until God enters the scene and uses His man David to smack me back to reality.

God’s strength

But in “this” will I be confident. Then why do I not feel confident and strong? Because I have forgotten that within me is the strength of Jesus Christ.    

Hebrews 10:35Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward.

I had thrown away (cast away) my confidence. God is not an Indian giver; He has a no return policy.  If I lack confidence it is because I chose to throw it away not because God took it back. Again and again God has shown me favor in the gifts that He has given me, if I lack confidence it is because I am not trusting in His ability.

God’s Sanctuary

David said in verse 4- One thing have I desired of the Lord, that will I seek after; that I may dwell in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, to behold the beauty of the Lord, and to enquire in his temple. For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock.

That one thing. The one thing worth desiring is to be in the presence of the Lord all the days of our lives. This morning it was not enough for me to hang out with God for a few minutes of pep talk. I wanted to really hang out and dwell with God in the Sanctuary of the Lord and hear what He desired my soul to hear. I am enquiring in His temple. Because He said when I’m in trouble He would hide me from the enemy, even if I’m the enemy.

While I’m here He has promised that He will

  • Lift me up above my enemies so that I can sing. (vs. 6)  That fear on the platform is not here.
  • He will hear what I have to say and answer me with mercy. (vs. 7) His answers bring stability.
  • I have an invitation for a face to face with God. (vs. 8) How can I not accept!
  • When the world walks out, God has never left my side. (vss. 9-10)
  • If I seek Him and listen to His teaching, the path will be plain. (vs. 11) I need plain…
  • I have enemies who seek to destroy the works that God has put into play, I’m aware of them. So is God. They should worry. (vss. 12-13)
  • I believe there is goodness waiting. (vs. 13)
  • So I am waiting. (vs. 14)

God’s Steering

14 Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

Twice He says wait.  “But I’ve waited so long,” I complain. And then I can almost hear Him sigh… “You’ve made Me wait. You have done everything humanly possible to ignore me.” Strong’s concordance says that this “wait” is defined as “to bind together perhaps by twisting, collect gather together, look patiently tarry and wait.”

That definition made me think about the bow that is tied about the gift. The gift is bound and sits waiting until the Receiver opens it. I’ve made God wait.  Now it’s my turn.  So the gifts that God has given me will sit wrapped up until He’s ready to open them and present them for use. For a “doer” that’s hard…

To be continued while I wait…

 

 

But I want That!

I-want-that-cookie

How many times have we said it? We know it may not be the will of God for our lives, but we want it. We’re not sure we can even afford the maintenance, but we want it. We have two similar, but not exact… we want it.  Color me guilty. We’re a spoiled nation. I’m never any more aware of it than I am when I speak to my friends in other countries whose idea of luxury is more than one meal a day; those whose meager belongings would likely fit in a grocery cart and I’m complaining because I don’t have the latest and greatest of some new trend that I’ll tire of tomorrow.

That wasn’t necessarily the case in Sarai’s day. What she wanted was a child, not an unreasonable request, especially for the culture of the day. But she grew tired of waiting and tried to fix God’s problem for Him.

Genesis 16:2

And Sarai said unto Abram, Behold now, the Lord hath restrained me from bearing: I pray thee, go in unto my maid; it may be that I may obtain children by her. And Abram hearkened to the voice of Sarai.

I posted a quote yesterday that I heard on Sirius XM radio on my way to work in the morning.~ “Worry is not believing God knows what’s best, bitterness is believing He was wrong.” I don’t know who’s thought it was, but I thought it was profound! And then when I added the story of Sarah to the equation later on in the day, I thought God may have just been trying to tell me something. Possibly He’s trying to tell you too!

It wasn’t that God didn’t want Sarah to have a child, but her timing was off. So in her attempt to fix God’s problem she created a problem for the entire nation of Israel. (Ishmael, the son of her handmade) is the root of the Arab nations which continue today to be a thorn in Israel’s side, and ours! Ahhh, but surely your decision won’t have a lasting effect? After all, yours is not a child, it’s a car, or a stereo, or cute shoes. As with most issues in life, it was Sarah’s heart issue that was the problem.

She had told Abraham, “the Lord hath restrained me from bearing.” To restrain is to “keep something under control.” It wasn’t that Sarah couldn’t have children, it was that the Lord was preventing it and Sarah knew that. She was in a sense saying “God says it’s not my time, but I believe it is.” Timing is everything, whether it be a child, a job, or something materialistic.

Sarah’s decision didn’t please God and it didn’t please Sarah. We find her later complaining to Abraham in verse 5 “And Sarai said unto Abram, My wrong be upon thee: I have given my maid into thy bosom; and when she saw that she had conceived, I was despised in her eyes: the Lord judge between me and thee.” If I’m reading that right Sarah still had quite the attitude and her relationship with the Lord may have been a little skewed. In my mind the phrase “the Lord judge between me and thee,” is the equivalency of saying “If you don’t believe me, just ask God.” Had either of them done that, we’d not be in the fix we’re in today in the Middle East. Sarah now expected Abraham to fix the issue.

Times haven’t changed much. We still play the blame game and wait for someone else to clean up our aisle. We need more prayer prior to our decisions for less problems afterwards.

Are you trying to rush God? Stop. Are you angry because it didn’t go as planned? Stop. If a wrong decision’s been made, repent and allow God to walk you through. If you haven’t crossed the line yet, now would be a good time to reflect back on Sarah’s story and consider the far reaching consequences of your decision.

If someone else’s bad decision is the issue, forgive and allow God to work through both of you.

If this message encouraged you, I’d love to hear about!

What to do when God says “no”

For one thing, He may not have said no, He may have said wait. But let’s just suppose He, for real, said ‘no’ to something you were desperately desiring. What’s your reaction? I know what mine’s been often times. Panic! I thought that was for sure the answer. I knew that would make it better, why would God think it wouldn’t? And then there have been the rare occasions that I’ve actually gotten the spiritual tee shirt that says “I did it His way.”

So He said ‘no…” Let’s see what scripture says about it, pray, and follow God’s lead. And remember, you’re in good company.

Paul said in II Corinthians 12:8-9

For this thing I besought the Lord thrice, that it might depart from me. And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Paul was persistent, God was providing

Three times Paul asked God to remove the thorn from his side. There have been many theories as to what exactly this thorn was—so many theories in fact, that it is impossible to diagnose Paul’s situation with complete assurance, but none the less it was troublesome enough for him that he wrote about it. I always believe that if a bible event doesn’t have a name or description it’s intended for me to be able to insert my name and circumstance there. I have my own issues that I’ve sought God for and have been told no, way more times than three. You’d think I’d get the picture, but I know regardless that His grace is sufficient.

It sounds so cliché, does it not? And so easy to roll off your tongue to a friend when they’re going through hard times; but not nearly as easy to say to yourself. God’s grace is sufficient, but it’s okay to ask God to talk you through as your waiting on provision to come. As a matter of fact, I highly recommend it. In talking to God your relationship grows closer and that problem may have been the provision of restoring a right relationship with our Heavenly Father. It was a time to re-focus.

The problem continued, the praising did too

We miss the mark, or at least I do, on praising through the bad times. What a testimony of the Lord’s provision when an unsaved soul can see you going though it with a smile on your face. Sometimes you’re the provision for someone else. If they can see you holding on to hope in the hard times, it just might be the deciding factor that keeps them from going to Hell.

Paul said he would glory in his infirmities. They were a part of the plan! Again, not what we want to hear but truth none the less. In this fallen world we’re going to have troubles and struggles; and be it health, finance or people problems they’ve all been covered by the cross if you’re a child of God. They’ve received His stamp of approval for having a purpose for your gain. It may not be clear, but keep on the path and praise Him all along your way.

Because there’s power in God’s promises

The issues with promises is we can’t see them from the other side as we’re going through. A point brought up in church this past Sunday. It’s easy to look back on a problem and see how God’s woven the provision into the circumstance, but not so clear as you’re gasping for air and feeling as if you’re going down for the third time. This is where faith, even if it’s no more than a mustard seed, has to take place. Nothing happens in life that doesn’t have purpose for God’s glory and for your good. Romans 8:28 – And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.

The power doesn’t come from anything you can do. It comes from faith in what Christ has already done. He died for you that you may have hope in eternity and serve a God that will work everything out for your good, even when there seems to be no good in it.

Hold on!

Determination for the Day!

A Psalm of Determination

Psalm 27:13-14 ~  I had fainted, unless I had believed to see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord.

I highly recommend you read the whole Psalm 27, only 14 verses, but it help you gain an understanding of where David’s coming from. He’s determined in his heart that, come what may, “God’s got this.” The whole world can walk out on him, family can leave him, the enemy can set their mind on destruction but he will continue on doing what he’s called to do and he’ll do it in confidence. Not because he’s a mighty warrior, but because he serves a mighty God. Not because he’s got great wisdom, but because He serves the God of all wisdom. David said he’d have passed out if he didn’t believe that he would see the goodness of God, the victory!

Been there? Where you just want to “wake up when it’s over.” Frustration has mounted to the point that you think it’s going to topple over and crush you. It’s blocked your vision of all else, especially hope of a good end and then you hear…“Wait.” A four letter word in the vocabulary of someone like me who doesn’t understand why anyone would want to wait, when you could leap. So God says it again, because He knows I likely won’t listen to the first one. “wait, I say, on the Lord.”

This is a very short blog post this morning, I have to be on the road at 5:30 a.m. But I didn’t want to start my day without an encouraging thought. I’ve had a couple of hard knocks this week. Nothing major in the scope of life, but none the less a thorn in my side that I really would like God to remove. But I hear “wait, I say, on the Lord.” I’d still rather jump. But if I put my confidence in Him (that’s courage) He’ll give me strength to wait. Waiting takes restraint. Again… something I’m not very good at. But I’ll wait. Because God said, “it’s good, not I’m good.” He knows me, and praise His Holy Name, I know Him.

Confidence in the Wait

Hebrews 10:35-36 ~ Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward. For ye have need of patience, that, after ye have done the will of God, ye might receive the promise.

Waiting for the will of God… never my strong suit. I pray for it continually and then there are those times that I strive for it about 30 seconds. I’m just keeping it real. I’ve told you before, I am the poster child on what not to do. God must tell me again and again sometimes before I get it. Why He is so patient I don’t understand. I fully believe I was set apart for such a time as this and I don’t say those words lightly because I know from reading the scripture that those who do the will of God generally don’t have an easy time of it. Trouble befell them, their families were often caught up in it, they lost their lives and yet they rejoiced.

We know that scripture says our trouble here is just for a little while, and yet trouble can feel like an eternity when you’re in the midst of it. That’s why verses like Hebrews 10:35-36 are in the scripture.

On my way home from the office a few days ago I stopped at a convenience store and this cute little old lady, cute as can be was checking out in front of me. As always I was in a hurry; so when she pulled out her lottery tickets my stomach rolled over. True to form my eyes probably did too. I detest the lottery just so you know. It’s a waste of money and another way that the wicked get wealthy at the poor’s expense. So I waited as she cashed in her $3.00 win for two bottles of water and thought to myself, “Well at least praise God she didn’t buy beer with it.” And when she finished that transaction I gleefully thought my suffering was over. But no. She then had to determine what new flavors of destruction she was going to purchase by way of lottery tickets. I wanted to tell her that God had so much more for her, but she went on her way and I paid for my soda pop and walked out feeling discouraged.

Lottery tickets are a hoped for quick fix with your chances of winning 1 in 175,223,510. Of course that’s your chances of winning the Powerball, you may win a mesely dollar or ten. But in truth how much did you spend to win it? And the wicked laugh all the way to bank as you do without something good that God would have liked for you to have. God’s ways are not generally a quick fix but hallelujah they’re guaranteed!

C.S. Lewis once said “ There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’”

I’m not sure who this was written for today, other than me. But God’s word says to be confident in the reward, and patient, and that after His will is done you’ll receive the promise. The will of God? If you run that through a concordance what you’ll discover is that His will is around His service. He may use many other means to get there, but the end result should come back to His glory.

Want to know what’s not His will?

Matthew 18:14

Even so it is not the will of your Father which is in heaven, that one of these little ones should perish.

How are you serving today?