Changes

Who but our God is a solid rock? (Ps 18:31b)

Is there anyone who loves change? I’m not just talking about just updating, changing for better, or fun changes, but those parts of life that felt good and worked and are now being replaced by things new, but not necessarily better things.

Sometimes there’s actually a fear of change, maybe because it can be accompanied by a sense of lack of control. But what it all boils down to is in what, or in whom, we put our faith.

Every person, every government, every boss, even our successes are all shifting sands—not a good place to anchor our faith and trust. Many tragedies are precipitated by one of these trusted “idols” falling short, failing to meet expectations.

When all other ground is sinking sand, there is someone in whom we can wholly lean on and trust. Christ, our solid Rock—unchanging through age after age.

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Plans

“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. ” (Jer. 29:11)

I have written about this scripture before, but now that I am working a minimum amount in my profession, I have really given much thought to the direction that God wants me to go from this point. Many times in my life He has opened doors that I never imagined. The important thing is not to limit Him. When He has a plan for us He can give us the physical strength, mental ability, stamina, or whatever skill is necessary to complete it.

There are many instances in scripture of people overcoming when all odds were against them (David, Nehemiah, Esther, Gideon…) The doubts come from the enemy who causes us to think that we can’t possibly be of any value to God when in fact, that’s when God works best. In my weakness, the power of Christ can work through me.

Lord, give me the strength to avoid making excuses. Just because I think that I can’t, I know that You can.

 

Amazing Love

And now the prize awaits me-the crown of righteousness…for all who look forward to His appearing (2 Tim 4:8).

The place that Jesus is preparing for believers (John 4:2) includes many rewards. Although we are not told what they are, I can’t begin to imagine if the most spectacular things on earth pale next to what is to come.

I am more than glad that salvation is a free gift; that we do not need to earn it. Not one of us could live a sinless life—not the most pious saint, and certainly not me, but we can achieve rewards. The bible calls them “crowns” which I have seen interpreted as rewards, awards and prizes. Anyway, if it’s a reward from God, it’s got to be more than amazing.

In 1 Thessalonians 2:19, Paul explained the crown of rejoicing with these questions—Who is our crown of rejoicing? Is it not you? Can you think of a better reason for rejoicing, a better reward, than by seeing people who are in Heaven with us because we had some part in their being there?!

Studying God’s word, and discovering even parts of His plans for us, gives us just tiny glimpses of His great and incredible love.

God is God

I am confident of this, that He who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus (Phil 1:6).

A devotional by Oswald Chambers had this phrase, “As sure as God is God and you are you…” It got me thinking about the vast chasm between God and my human nature—His pure heart, my selfish heart; His foresight, my myopic vision; His unconditional love, my fickle emotions.

Quite often, the way He answers prayer is different than the way I would (we can all be glad about that). The more I pray for someone who needs to change, even if it’s legitimate, the more the Holy Spirit spotlights areas in my life that need to change.

Anyway, I’m glad that God is God and that He is still working on me.

All You Need is Faith

Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding (Prov3:5).

For a short time, as an adult, I took piano lessons from an old German man, Dr. Wagner (pronounced Vagner). I loved him, but I sometimes I would get frustrated because something was missing. Then one day he remarked, “Mrs. St Clair, you play with your head, not with your heart.”

That was many, many years ago and I have applied that to my life many, many times. Sometimes I act on what I think instead of what is in my heart. But the heart is not always reliable either. What’s worse is when I act from my head instead of in faith.

Over the years, God’s faithfulness has been evident so many times. What may seem logical to me may not fit His perfect plan for my life. I’m glad He acts from the heart when dealing with me, His work in progress.

More

All glory to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine according to His power that is at work within us (Eph 3:20).

I have two thoughts on this verse. When God has answered, “Yes” to my prayers, He has amazed me by doing it in such a way that my limited mind had never imagined. I am reminded of jobs that I prayed for and how He answered with positions I would have never even pursued.

My second thought is that if He had not said, “No” to some of my requests, my life would be a hot mess at this point.

Through His power He is able to do ___*____ more than we ask or imagine. (*infinitely, exceedingly abundantly, above and beyond). And His love is equal to or surpassing that!

Mathew Henry’s commentary on this verse notes that “it is proper always to end prayers with praises. Let us expect more, and ask for more, encouraged by what Christ has already done for our souls.”

No Holding Back

Let’s throw off everything that hinders, and the sin that so easily entangles, and run with perseverance the race marked out for us (Heb 12:1).

What holds us back from enthusiastically following God’s plan for us? In my own life it has ranged from “You don’t really mean me, God?” to “I am definitely not dong that!” From timidity to downright rebellion.

There are many other things in-between that hinder us like guilt, or bitterness, or not moving on from past mistakes, or harmful relationships.

The important thing to remember is that God would never give us a job to do without thoroughly equipping us to handle it. It is not timid-sinful-guilty-unprepared-unknowledgeable me, but rather the Creator who makes grace abound giving sufficiency in all things, and an abundance for His good work (2 Corin 9:8).