This taken from “Think Orange” written by Reggie Joiner. He reminds us that God is God and that we need to trust Him with our kids.
“I am not trying to make them happy;
I want them to really live.
In the middle of their pain,
I can be a better friend than anyone,
I am the only one who can really
love them unconditionally,
forgive them forever,
and be a perfect Father.
So maybe you just need to trust Me
enough so they can see Me.
with all your issues,
I think it’s probably better
for them to trust Me more
than they trust you.
Isn’t it more important for them
to love Me more
than they love you?
I can heal their hearts;
I can give them eternal life;
I am God;
Pg 56 “Think Orange”
May each of us realize the truth of this as we seek to raise our kids to love and know God! Parenting can be scary, in those times we need to trust God more!
Over the last few months God has allowed us to be on a crazy journey as we have sought His will for our lives. I always use to think that God’s will was supposed to be revealed in some magnificent way so that we could be sure that we were in the center of it. Then I came to realize that it was not the case but practically I still lived that way. As we would come to new junctures in life I kept waiting for God to speak but always in the end He never spoke that clearly.
The pattern that I have seen in my life has been a continuous battle to remain patient as I wait for God’s will to unfold. When I am in those waiting stages I find that anything sounds like it would be a lot of fun and as long as God is included I begin to think that it might be His will for me. Therefore I begin to pursue different things with passion that overwhelms me and possesses me until I find the answer. In those times when things don’t work out I am reminded that those pursuits became my idol. Once they began to possess me I should have realized that it probably wasn’t what God wanted, but rather what I wanted as I sought for significance and meaning. After those times of waiting where I allowed myself to be possessed, God then steps in and moves us to what he had originally planed. Then when I look back with 20/20 vision I see how God’s sovereign hand has been involved and that because I could not be patient I missed out on enjoying Him and His peace.
Recently we hit a new intersection in life and had some major decisions to make but by God’s grace I handled it much differently. God calls us to be faithful and because of that I knew that I needed to proceed with caution. I also knew that I longed to be used by God and didn’t want to wait any longer to pour my heart and life into people. Instead of pursuing a position I simply realized that the best thing to do was to be faithful where God had placed us because I knew there was much to be done.
As a result we have been led to a place where we have been desperate for God to provide. We have been in a place that does not give us luxury or opportunity for advancement but rather it has been a place where I am continually humbled. The place my family and I found is one that is seeking first the kingdom of God in our most imperfect ways. I find myself daily looking at the promises of God and asking do I really believe this. At least a few times a week I find that I want to jump ship and pursue something that has more earthly benefits. In those times God gently rebukes me and pulls me closer to Him.
“For this is the will of God, your sanctification” (1 Thess. 4:3). This summer as we have sought the kingdom, God has been sanctifying us. In times when I felt like I needed encouragement from God, I found Him revealing in greater ways the depth of my sin and how it repels people from Him. In those times by revealing my sin, He also revealed how amazing His grace is and that apart from it I am hopeless. In this process He has been sanctifying me. I pray that the lessons that God has been teaching me this summer will stay deeply planted within my heart.
God has also taught me much about trusting His promises. He has taught me that often times the hardest thing about trusting God’s promises is dying to my own desires. Jesus taught that, the first must become last in His kingdom and so when He teaches us those lessons it is painful because we have to die to our desires. The thing is that often times our wants can sound very godly, so when we are asked to die to them it seems wrong. I know I have found myself saying to God, “I want this so I can serve you more or so I can give more to you.” The truth is in those things there is a hint of selfishness that is repulsive to God and also makes it so difficult to die to those things. The great thing is that God keeps showing me that the results from trusting His promises are so much greater than what my desires would have produced.
God’s provision has been amazing as we have surrendered to Him and sought to do His will by seeking first the kingdom of God. Yes it has been hard and I have often found myself in a panic and moping around waiting for God to respond. Then He rebukes me through the Scriptures, my amazing wife, a life situation of a friend or a close friend and I come back to reality that my purpose in life is to know Jesus and to lead others to know and experience Him. That is my mission. I am convinced more than ever that I do not need a position or title to ever fulfill the mission that God has clearly called me to.
May I encourage you be faithful to what God calls us to in the scriptures and He will reveal His will to you only when it is necessary. Pray over the scriptures for what God is calling you to do as His disciple and start doing it. Don’t wait, do it now. When you do this it will not be easy and at times it will be scary but you will come alive and experience life more fully than ever.
|Worry is one thing that does not take a whole lot of practice to do. It is almost as certain as birth and death. As people we don’t need any one to teach us to worry, we just do it!
I have spent a lot of time worrying over the last week and today the Lord used a little book to convict me of that sin in my life. The book was a bunch of quotes out of books written by Chuck Swindoll made into little devotionals. For me it is one of those toilet reading books. Anyway the page in the book talked about how we as people simply like to worry. At the end he refers to worry as a companion. The more I thought of it the more I was convinced that he was right. Worry is like a teddy bear!
Many little kids use teddy bears for comfort. When nothing else is there they find a great companion in that teddy bear that will never walk away from them. For so many people worry is like that. They need worry for comfort. When nothing else is going on in their minds they use worry as a companion. They find something to worry about even when they aren’t worrying simply for something to do!
As believers we are to find companionship and comfort in Christ alone. Just like a teddy bear will eventually dissapoint a child because it will not interact so too worry will leave the companion with nothing but grey hair and a sour stomach. Instead in those times where their is nothing going on we need to connect with our savior and find intimacy. If we choose to connect with worry it will end up leaving us lonely and sick, robbing us from intimacy with those whom we are close.
Today choose to find intimacy with Christ and friends not worry. It is okay for nothing to go on in your mind. Be okay with being alone and find companionship with Christ. A teddy bear is only good for so long but eventually it will leave its owner empty. With all the worry I have done this week I have accomplished nothing, that is sad! So I pray that God will give me the strength every moment to choose his companionship and comfort over the soft emptiness of a teddy bear!