If I Fully Understood My Father ... He wouldn’t be a very BIG God.
Isn’t it strange, how, sometimes we are proud of things we should be ashamed of ..... and/but, yet, ashamed of things we should be proud of? Something to think about ... I love y’all.
Our Faith in Him is Not Alive Unless It Moves Us to Action ... faith without works is dead.
What if .... what if we lived our Lives KNOWING with certainty that all the people, and situations, we encounter that truly "bother" us are merely there as tools in our process of growth and transformation?
What if ... what if we KNEW that everything we currently consider a "problem" is, in reality, an opportunity God has sent us to identify something within ourselves that we need to change (or a belief/conditioned habit/reaction we need to let go of) in order to truly feel/hear Him? And in order to be more like Him; as commanded?
If we KNEW these things, would we continue to assign blame, and attack, as much as we do now?
The answer is probably ... hopefully .... no.
And, in Truth, if we had this perspective on Life ... maybe it would help us shift the way we relate to the people we say we love .... and maybe we'd become less inclined to quickly criticize and/or judge them and, maybe, we would learn to become more tolerant and understanding .... and maybe we would realize that the difficulties and obstacles that plague US are actually opportunities for our spiritual growth.
I ask, today, at least, let us try to live with this humble (not arrogant) attitude and mindset.
Please let us focus on understanding that God sends us certain difficulties and people and situations to help us transform our human nature into something a little more like Him.
I think if we try to Live with these awarenesses, then maybe our so-called "irritations and problems" might somehow start to become a little less irritating and problematic.
And, I also think, if action IS required... like when "irritating and problematic" issues NEED to be addressed and discussed ... I think God will feel more welcome to act/speak through us, and our responses to the person (or situation) will create healing and growth and understanding and unity.
Instead of creating more confusion, doubt, frustration and pain.
Just some things to think about.
I'm feeling the soothing breeze, and listening to crickets .... and, no matter how sore/tired my body is, I'm not forcing my eyes to shut when they're not ready ... instead I'm re-creating special memories, and reflecting upon how much this world is in need of Real change, and trying to remember comforting conversations while waiting for choo-choo trains to go by, and meditating/praying, and thinking upon all of His written promises ...
So, you see, I'm actually doing lots and lots of things ... and sometimes staying up way too late sure beats the hell out of tossing and turning all night .... and, so, I might as well do all of these many things with my eyes wide open until they beg and scream for me to please let them close ... so I can finally have a little bit of the peaceful sleep I long for.
I've been thinking ... uh-oh, I know ... but if you truly believe God has a Plan for your Life and, then, if you realize we are given opportunities of choices within our Life (of circumstances, health, occupation, location, relationships, etc) you have to also believe His Word that says He will re-direct our steps to eventually manifest our total potential that He wants for us despite our own misguided intentions.
And I'm thinking, maybe, this powerful information/realizatio...n/understanding can spur us to embrace our spiritual process for what it is: a perfectly tailored plan for our Life's ultimate correction and direction.
Every difficulty we encounter, every obstacle we need to overcome, every relationship we develop with another person ... on our own - through our personal choices .... is re-designed and re-directed specifically to help us learn the lessons we need to learn so that we can eventually fulfill our mission in this world: His mission.
All things Work for Good .... all things ... He guides us back to where He wants us and uses all things to Work for His Good whether we like it or not; understand it or not.
It follows, then, if this is indeed True, and if we truly desire to do what He brought us here to do, and if we truly desire to try to accept His will in our Lives, then we must no longer dwell upon envying (or even snubbing) the journey process of others, nor should we wish to escape (or praise) our own journey's process.
I'm starting to maybe think that everything we need to succeed in this Life is within us already ... the Holy Spirit ... if we accept it, embrace it, recognize it, and respect it.
We just need to use the spiritual tools that we have been graciously GIVEN to draw it all out, and stop doubting and/or fighting His gentle pushes toward the direction He wants us to go.
I think too much .... and now you know how/why I can sometimes stay up way way too late doing "nothing" ... it is one of my favorite things to do.
Each night before I close my eyes for the day, I thank God for all of the blessings, gifts, and miracles in my Life ... the ones
I am fully aware of, and the ones I am not aware of.
He knows my needs before I even ask for them.
Every day I thank God for all of the many plans He has for me ... the plans He set in motion in the past, the plans He is executing right now in the present, and all the plans I know He must have for me in the future ... I thank Him for being in control, and I acknowledge that I believe everything happens for a Reason.
He knows my needs way, way better than I do.
I thank Him for the knowledge, and love, I have of/for His Word ... I ask Him to please let me help and serve others, for Him ... I ask Him to please use me however He sees fit ... I ask Him to please show me how best to do His Work.
I thank Him for His Holy Spirit, and I thank Him for my profession as a Christian ... I thank Him for helping me to resist temptation, and I thank Him for all of the many times He has protected me ... I thank Him for all the doors He opens for
me, and for all the doors He closes.
I believe in Him, and I have enormous Faith in Him.
To a fault.
How is that possible? To believe, and to have Faith, to a fault?
I will answer that, and other profound things I have learned, in a moment.
You see, I have learned painful and valuable lessons recently ... I have been learning to learn the lessons I should have learned years ago, and the teacher God used to bring these powerful lessons to Light has proven over and over what a loving, strong pillar he is in my Life.
The pillar, this teacher, is the Man that I Love.
Until recently, and I hate to admit this, I have had somewhat of a self-righteous attitude towards him ... always making the claim that we needed each other to balance each other out because he was more carnally-minded whereas I was more spiritually-minded ... I needed him to be more street-smart, and he needed me to be closer to God.
He doesn't need me.
He is closer to God, and way more knowledgeable of God's ways, than he realizes ... way, way more than I realized.
The Man surpasses me in dedication, logic, patience, work ethic ... he is a problem-solver, and a tireless worker ... he surpasses me as a friend, and as a leader ... he sees things I will never see, and understands things I will never understand ... he deserves, and has earned, the title Head of Household ... he surpasses me as a "doer" and a "thinker" ... and by "reason of use" he is able to discern the difference between bad/good, and danger/peace.
When it comes to the Word of God, he may not be able to quote scripture as well as I can, but the Man is chewing big chunks of meat whereas I am still sucking on milk ... yes, he has shown me just how spiritually immature I am.
We have a beautiful relationship ... he is my Best Friend ... he knows me, now, better than anyone else alive on this earth ... he knows the good, the bad, the beautiful, and the downright ugly ... and, bless his heart, he still loves me.
He is a very strong Man ... a faithful Man ... I am a handful, and I put him through the wringer.
The main problem we have is me.
From the very beginning, I told him that I needed protection from my own Self ... little did I know then just how true that really was.
Our problems stem from me being too loving, and too trusting ... not being able to discern people and situations ... being
foolish, and naïve ... making bad choices and decisions ... not thinking clearly ... placing myself right-smack-dab in the middle of danger ... and, to be blunt, putting my Life continually at risk.
Yes, I have a track record.
I can name three crucial incidences that God allowed ... identical in nature, yet each progressing more serious in nature ... and while He didn't stop me from experiencing pain, and shame, He did save me from literal death ... yes, He allowed these things to happen to show me what could happen if/when I find myself in situations that I failed to control/discern from the outset.
After all these years, I still found myself in compromising/dangerous positions ... never having learned the lesson ... and this has created fear, tension, and turmoil in our relationship.
What was going to get my attention? Was there going to have to be a fourth incident? What would the outcome of THAT be? Was God eventually going to have to just use me as an ultimate example for others ... what NOT to do?
One day God would have every right to say, "Look kiddo, I protected you and saved you too many times to count. You just don't get it. Let me put us both out of misery. Next time you get yourself in that bind, I'm going to have to look the other way."
This Man has held up a mirror to me, and has shown me, just how much I take his Love, and God's Love, for granted ... he has shown me that I take his guidance and protection, and God's guidance and protection, for granted ... he has shown
me that I take my beliefs, and my Faith, for granted ... he has shown me that I take my blessings and gifts for granted ... he has shown me that I deny, and hide, and shift, and withhold ... he has shown me that I take my knowledge of the Word for granted.
Here are a few specific things I have learned ... THE HARD WAY:
I believe in Him, and I have enormous Faith in Him. To a fault. It is not enough to believe! It's not enough to have Faith! You have to do something; you have to prove it. Belief and Faith that produces nothing is worth nothing.
FAITH WITHOUT WORKS IS DEAD. (James 2:14-26) "What Good is it, my friend, if someone says he has faith but does not have works? Can faith save him? If someone is naked and destitute of daily food, and one of you says to
them, “Depart in peace, just believe, and be warmed and filled,” but you do not give them the things which are needed for the body, what Good does it do? Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead. You believe. Yes, you believe that there is one God. You do well to believe. But even the demons believe—and tremble! Do you want to know, O foolish man, or not, that faith without works is useless? Do you see that faith works together with your works, and by work your faith is made perfect? You see then that a man is justified by his works, and not by his faith only? For as the body without the Holy Spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also."
I should be teaching others by now, but I am not ... and I am still in need of being taught the very first basic principles of God's Word ... I am not ready for big chunks of meat ... I am child-like, and vulnerable ... must be able to walk away from
any situation ... I have to possess the firm ability to say “no” when it is appropriate. I need to be more discerning about Good and Evil, and what is happening in my Life ... I must develop the ability, and wisdom, to follow a safer and steadier path. I need to learn "by reason of use" ... to learn how to become adept at practicing basic biblical principles ... to actually learn how to use my "mind" over my "heart" and learn how to recognize reasons for putting it into better use. Maybe ... just maybe ... these cautionary steps will prevent future disaster in my Life, and set the Man I Love a little more at ease.
I AM STILL A BABE; SPIRITUALLY IMMATURE. (Hebrews 5:12-14) “For when the time you ought to be teachers,
you need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have
need of milk and not strong meat. For everyone that uses milk is unskillful in the word of righteousness: for he is
a babe. But strong meat belongs to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses
exercised to discern both good and evil.”
I have learned that although I thank God every day for helping me resist temptation, I have the audacity to turn right around and tempt Him. I have learned that I have carelessly exposed myself, and I have unnecessarily placed myself in potentially
dangerous situations ... expecting the grace of God to keep me safe. And this is wrong! I need to be aware of, and remember, in order for God to protect me I must cooperate with Him and do my part. I have ignorantly “tested” Him by
making Him prove His faithfulness to me over and over again ...when God has shown me countless times that He is faithful, and that He is with me. He has nothing to prove to me at this point. He has already proven. It is I who must now prove to Him that I am faithful, and with Him.
I SHOULD NOT TEMPT GOD ANYMORE! (Luke 4:12) And Jesus answered, and said to him, "It has been said, You shall not tempt the Lord your God."
I have learned that I have to gain true experience from life’s many choices ... there has to be genuine reflection in
learning. Learning does not take place while we are performing an activity. Learning happens afterwards ... real learning takes place later ... when serious appreciation and contemplation can take place. I have learned to ask myself "What did I
learn about/from this experience? How could I have done it differently? Will I do the same thing in the future?" I have learned there has to be reflection in order to prepare myself for future experiences. I have also learned that I need to reflect more on the Bible in relation to my experiences. I need to develop a much greater frame of reference. Growing in grace and
knowledge requires constant comparison to the Bible in order to validate my learning. I have learned that God understands my current “frame of reference” and He is there to help me during this painful learning process. I have learned it doesn't need to be shameful to make mistakes, while growing, at our own paces, but I have also learned that only a fool would continue to ignore all the blessings and warnings associated with those lessons. I have learned that maturity doesn't come
with age ... it comes with acceptance of responsibility. And I am learning that spiritual maturity is marked by spiritual
knowledge being put into action. I think I am ready to try chewing on some meat.
MAY I HEED THE CALL FOR MY OWN SAFETY AND SPIRITUAL GROWTH. (2 Timothy 3:14-15) "But continue in
the things which you have learned, and continue in the things which you have been assured of ... knowing of
whom you have learned them."
Thank you God, my Father, and thank you to the Man I Love ... I know Who has a Real Hand in guiding and protecting me ... and I know Who is patiently teaching me all these things that have taken way too long to learn.
“.......one of the evidences that God is conforming [transforming] you to His image is that
"It's all about living your Life like a full-time job...writing about it is easy once you get into the groove." John Wells
(Best Advice I've Ever Been Given)
"Don't position your "brand" as anything other than who you really are ... who cares what the market wants."
- Donald Miller