In God we trust?

Pr. 3:5: “Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding”

What I have found over the years is that obeying the Lord doesn’t always make logical sense.

One time the Lord told me to take a card and drop it off for a girl.  I got to the store to get the card, and the one He pointed out to me was very specific and personal.  I barely knew this girl, much less what was going on with her.  But I bought it anyway.

I obeyed, and it turned out that it was the Exact card she needed.  (She later told me)  I didn’t know her circumstances, but God did, and He was able to put a healing balm on her pain through my obedience.  It didn’t make 100% sense to me; in fact, I almost felt embarrassed, but I trusted God’s leading over my own understanding.

In my experience, when we trust God over our own understanding, He is able to do wonders in the lives of those around us.

Our own understanding is limited and ever-changing.  It’s easier for us to trust in what we can see or have experienced.  And just like we once believed in Santa Claus, but later changed our minds, what we understand isn’t static.

God, on the other hand, does not change.  He is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  He does not change.  We can trust in Him as much today as Abraham could trust him when God asked him to sacrifice his own son.

We don’t always understand His ways, but His was are perfect, His Word is flawless, and He shields all who take refuge in Him.  (Ps. 18:30)

Trusting in God will never be the wrong decision.

Go for it!

jamie

The good path

Pr. 2:9:  “Then you will understand righteousness and justice, equity and every good path.”

Not all paths are equal.  In order to understand the good paths, we must encounter God.

Saul is an amazing example of this.  He is found in Acts 9 “still breathing threats and murder against the disciples of the Lord.”  He had already wreaked havoc of the church, imprisoned men and women, and consented to the stoning of Stephen.  He is now found journeying on a path to Damascus prepared to bind and bring back to Jerusalem any he found that belonged to Christ.

Interesting path.

However, as he journeyed a light suddenly shone around him from heaven and He encountered the Lord.  The Lord pointed Saul to a different path.  Of this man who had persecuted the Lord (vs. 4), the Lord said, “He is a chosen vessel of Mine to bear My name before Gentiles, kings, and the children of Israel.”

And that is just what Saul (later called Paul) did.  If you follow Paul’s path after his encounter with the Lord, you will find that he preached the name of Jesus Christ far and wide, and trained others to do the same.  In addition, 14 books in the Bible are letters written by Paul.  He is still preaching the name of Jesus Christ today!

Encountering God certainly enabled Paul to understand and keep to a good path.  When we are looking for the good path, we needn’t look any further than the Lord.  As God’s chosen vessels, I wonder what we’ve been chosen to bear?

Amazed,

jamie

True trust in God

I know it’s Christmas, which is the celebration of Jesus’ birth, but the next chapter in my regular reading this morning was about Jesus’ crucifixion.  He was brought before Pilate, accused, betrayed, scourged, ridiculed, struck, spat upon, mockingly worshiped, forced to carry His cross, pierced, blasphemed, and killed.  Only as He died did one of the centurions proclaim, “Truly this Man was the Son of God!”

During our Christmas performance at church last night, Mary, the mother of Jesus sang a song that said, “Only God knows what my eyes cannot see.  When I don’t understand, I still believe there’s a plan…that only God knows.”  Mary had trusted the Lord even when it made no sense to her.  Joseph had done the same.

As I read about Jesus’ death this morning, I couldn’t help but note the striking difference in feelings that emerge from the story of His birth and the story of His death.  How proud I felt last night of Mary and Joseph for truly trusting God, in His sovereignty, and being vessels to carry out His plans.  We find Joseph trusting in and obeying God more than once as we read the scriptures.  We find Mary, not only being willing, but also magnifying and rejoicing in the Lord.

The story of Jesus’ death includes His mother, as well.  Yet, as I read about her looking on as her Son had been humiliated, abused, and was now suffering and dying on a cross, I felt such sadness for her.  How much harder must it have been to continue to trust in God’s plan during that pain.

And yet, we find her afterwards, in Acts 1:14, gathered with the other believers, continuing in one accord in prayer and supplication.  She continued to submit herself to the Lord and His will even though she had witnessed His will including the horrific death of her Son.  She understood what Jesus’ death meant.  She understood that there is so much more to this life that what our eyes can see.

Oh, how I pray that we will be able to trust in the Lord as Mary did.  As the end approaches, and things increasingly point us away from the Lord, we must still trust in Him and His will.  He still has a plan, and if we’re willing, that plans still includes us.  There is so much more for those who believe in Him.  There is so much more than what our eyes can see or what we can even understand.

The birth of Mary’s Son brought the gospel, healing, and deliverance to those who heard and were touched by Him.  The death of Mary’s Son brought salvation upon the whole world.  Whatever God does through our willingness is also a part of His plan.  We can trust in the One who continues to be faithful.

Counting on Him,

jamie

Well, aren’t you well spoken?

Pr. 15:23:  “A man has joy by the answer of his mouth, and a word spoken in due season, how good it is!”

I am sitting on a bench right now waiting while my son is with his speech therapist.  He has had a stutter for a while and meets with her once a week to try to learn ways to improve his fluency in speech.

His disfluencies mostly occur when he’s excited, wants to explain something, or wants to tell a story.  How I long for him to be able to express himself clearly as an adult.  I know he will have much joy in being able to speak clearly when trying to express himself and being able to speak a good word in due season when the time arises.

One thing I know; however, is that even if his speech never improves, if he has the Word of God in his heart, and he speaks that Word from his mouth it will not return void.  There are no discrepancies or disfluencies in God’s word.  The Word of God is pure, proven, and sharper than a two-edged sword, piercing even to the division of soul and spirit, and of joints and marrow, and is a discerner of the thoughts and intents of the heart.

No matter the vessel that holds and pours out the Word of God, God’s word goes forth the accomplish the purpose for which it was sent.  If you’re like me, I’m sure you’ve noticed that God’s word is always on time, as well.  A word spoken in due season, indeed.  Any time I need a good word spoken over me, God is faithful to use His word, His Pastors and teachers, His prayer warriors, His ministers of music, and His children to speak the exact word I need.

What I know for certain is that no matter our speech disfluencies, our weaknesses, our disabilities, or our faults, God’s word, if spoken from our mouths, will always go forth in power to complete the purpose for which it was spoken.  Continue filling yourself with His word.  In due season, someone will need to hear something you hold in your heart.  If you know their need then it stands to reason that no matter who you are…or are not…you are the person God wants to use to speak those words.

Don’t allow your weaknesses to hold you back from speaking God’s promises, precepts, power, and truth into someone’s life.  Remember that God’s strength is made perfect in our weakness.  Just be willing to be used and let God be the One who is perfect.  Someone needs to hear a good word from the Lord and the Lord is counting on you.

Speak life,
jamie

No shame in Christ

Pr. 11: 2:  “When pride comes, then comes shame; but with the humble is wisdom.”

Ps. 43:3:  “Oh, send out Your light and Your truth!  Let them lead me; let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle.”

The only real truth that we need to seek out, and upon which we should rely, is the truth from the Lord.  If we ask the Lord to send out His light and His truth, to open our eyes and ears to His Word, He will be faithful to do so.

In Gal. 1:10, Paul speaks about the truth behind his ministry.  He received his truth from heaven, from God, and was not concerned about the opinions or disapproval of man.  He did not serve the Lord for wages, status, approval, or prestige.  He said, “For if I still pleased men, I would not be a bondservant of Christ.”

Serving Christ was not something he did, nor could do, in his own strength.  Paul trusted in and relied on the Lord and His grace.  Paul lived by faith and gave up His life for the cause of Christ, for the salvation of others.

When we humble ourselves and submit to the Lord, He can use us to complete the work He began in us.  Allowing Him to do the work in our lives causes us to become a vessel for Him to use for the salvation, encouragement, provision, and education of others.  Trusting Him for our needs allows others to see the gift of faith in action.

We become wise in His presence, sitting at His feet, listening to the Word, and being open to learning more about Him.  There is always more to learn about God.  His Word always has a new truth that He will reveal to us  if we’re willing to take the time to seek Him.  When our understanding comes from the Word of God, and our strength is in Him, we are equipped for all things.

Humbling ourselves before the One who will lift us up will never cause us shame.

Enjoy His presence today,

jamie