Imperfections: Because We Can Handle It

Imperfections: Because We Can Handle It

This morning I was reminded of something important. As I was preparing my children’s lunch sacks for the day I grabbed two random clementines from the box. Very similar to these shown here (example only, originals are bouncing around somewhere in a school bag on a playground). One was perfectly orange and without blemish. The other had several discolored lines running through and around it. Knowing my children, my mind immediately knew which child to chose to have which clementine. I knew my oldest daughter would be able to accept it easier without much thought or hesitation. My youngest would have some qualms and may decide to not even eat it because it “looked” different.

Then it hit me! How much so does our Lord Jesus give us what he knows we can handle?! Sometimes we are given the imperfect because he knows we can handle it without judgement. How powerful the Holy Spirit is within us that we can see past imperfections for what something truly is on the inside.

We aren’t always as lucky to be handed the perfect, good looking, and shiny fruit. How much more character we have when we aren’t perfect. Just like me, as a parent, knew immediately what each of my children needed in order to be healthy and sustain themselves throughout the day… How much more does our Heavenly Father know what WE need!!

Father, we thank you for our imperfections and praise you even more when we can recognize them and give you praise despite. We also thank you for that which appears to be perfect, but we know appearance is only so deep. It’s your love and grace that penetrates inside of us that sustains us and makes us healthy. Praise you Lord for handing us imperfections in life. The lines and rough patches are your way of bringing us closer to you, that we not rely on ourselves but on YOU Lord. In your son Jesus’ name we pray, Amen.

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Are You Avoiding Friction?

“Everything is against me!” – Genesis 42:36

I wanted to write to you today about friction in our lives and how God uses that to build us, equip us, and makes us stronger. Today’s April 9 devotional in “Streams in the Desert” couldn’t have put it in a better way. Will you allow me to write it here for you today?

Many people are lacking when it comes to power. But how is power produced?

The other day, my friend and I were passing by the power plant that produces electricity for the streetcars. We heard the hum and roar of the countless wheels of the turbines, and I asked my friend, “How is the power produced?” He replied, “It simply is generated by the turning of those wheels and the friction they create. The rubbing produces the electric current.”

In a similar way, when God desires to create more power in your life, He creates more friction. He uses this pressure to generate spiritual power. Some people cannot handle it, and run from the pressure instead of receiving the power and using it to rise above the painful experience that produced it.

Opposition is essential to maintaining true balance between forces. It is the centripetal and centrifugal forces acting in opposition to each other that keep our planet in the proper orbit. The propelling action coupled with the repelling counter action keep the earth in orbit around the sun instead of flinging it into space and a path of certain destruction.

God guides our lives in the same way. It is not enough to have only a propelling force. We need an equal repelling force, so He holds us back through the testing ordeals of life. The pressures of temptation and trials and all the things that seem to be against us further our progress and strengthen our foundation.

Let us thank Him for both the weights and the wings He produces. And realizing we are divinely propelled, let us press on with faith and patience in our high and heavenly calling. – A. B. Simpson

So like Jacob, in Genesis 42:36 above, was not willing… could not bear to imagine loosing yet another son when they came back from Egypt requesting to take Rueben back for collateral, how much so are we struggling with our refusing our own frictions in life? Are we running from them? Trying to go around them perhaps? As in earlier posts, be IN them. God is doing a good work when you are “in this thing”. He’s got something bigger and better for you that you can’t even imagine.

*Streams in the Desert by L.B. Cowman

Are You Willing To Give It All Up?

Are you going to Rahab to seek your strength? (Rahab is “strength, reference Isaiah 30:7: Going to Egypt to seek strength.). What is your Egypt that you keep holding on to?

“Be still and know I am God” – Psalm 46:10

It’s time we let go of our Egypts. Let go of the “stuff”. Burn the ships! You see, when we lean on our own understanding we do not need our God for anything. In order to become a mature Christian we need to trust Him with it all. Let’s say together… “ALL”. If we trust God with little, he will do little. If we trust him with much, he will do much!

You see, sometimes we are just in this thing. We are in a place we’d much rather get out of quickly because we are uncomfortable or we don’t like it. Maybe we are being forgotten or, on the flip side, not forgotten enough. Is the monkey on your back jumping too much, too hard? Feeling like you can’t do anything right? Your boss seems disappointed in you? Do not despair (Psalm 27:14). When you are in this thing, you are in the thick of it, God is doing a work that’s so great! You are being prepared for something amazing my friend (I have chill bumps just thinking about it!). Sometimes The Lord will have us “in this thing” because he’s shielding us from what is outside of “this thing”. This is where we need to trust Him that he knows best. The moment we take the reigns we become our own god and begin leaning on our own understanding. It’s a scary place out there!

Are we willing to “Let Go & Let God”? To truly believe it, feel it in your marrow.. A sense of peace will rush over you. It’s a peace that surpasses all understanding (Philippians 4:6-8). You will know it’s not from you because on your own you would never feel this way. The Holy Spirit will change your thoughts, your tongue, and your actions.

So, dear believers, what are you trusting? Is it your career, money, the car you drive, or house you live in? Maybe you find status in the spouse you married. GIVE IT UP!! You cannot take those things with you. There is no sense in storing them up on earth when your real focus should be to store up riches and blessings in Heaven ( Matthew 6:20). How great of a kingdom and palace our King has waiting for us! Every little girl dreams of being a princess. Why is that? Because our souls know that’s where we come from and who we are in Him that made us! Our real home is a kingdom home with a real King as our Father.

Sisters and Brothers, The Lord eagerly waits to do immeasurably more than you could ever ask or imagine. Will you allow him?

Open the Eyes of My Heart Lord

Elisha prayed, “Oh Lord, open his eyes so he may see.” (2 Kings 6:17)

A prayer we need to pray for ourselves and others. Lord open our eyes! Then we will see all the events of our life, great or small, happy or sad, and they will be like a chariot for our soul. Are we going to let the enemy crush over us, steamrolling our souls flat?

The enemy seeks to wear out the saints of the Most High. (Daniel 7:25) That’s us folks! The closer our relationship to God the more the enemy seeks to pull us away. God cannot do much with a crushed soul. That is why the devil tries to push God’s people to despair and hopelessness over their condition or circumstance. “A discouraged army enters a battle with the certainty of defeat.”

It’s time we ride tall on our chariots! Understand the attacks of the enemy on our spirit and how to resist them. Do not let the enemy of this world destroy you and beat you down. You know the truths! Know and trust the facts!! Our God will not let you stumble nor will he tempt you. Turn your gaze upward and outward instead of downward and inward, lest we become so self-centered and like a turtle holed up in our shell. Release into God’s victory and saving grace for you!

Lord, I pray that you open our eyes. Let us have God Goggles and see people the way you see them. They are your children, created in your image. Who are we to judge? You are Lord and God of all. On our knees we pray and acknowledge everything belongs to you. The beast of this world cannot touch us. We are anointed and the Holy Spirit indwells in us. For this we find courage in you and thank you today.

Amen.

We Are Called To Be “IN” This Thing

A lesson today from:

Isaiah 24:15

“Glorify ye The Lord in the fires.”

T: We are to glorify God “in” our trials. IN the very thing that afflicts us. In the heat of the fire and pain we are to go to Him. We often want to run from, or go around, even avoid, the hardship. However, we are called to be IN it. This is where God’s glory comes through. If we persevere, he will remove our shackles in the furnace of affliction!

A: Where ye of little faith begins a testimony. We do not get a testimony from attending a good church service, or reading an article. We get it from being faithful and giving yourself up to the glory of God while in the heat. While in the struggle. We can trust in The Lord that He’s got this. He’s got US and will save us from the pit we are in.

C: We want to run from our problems. Run from those things that are uncomfortable to us. When that happens we think something isn’t right, something is surely wrong. Instead of resting in, IN, God’s will and perfect plan. Since when did we become God? And know best for ourselves?

S: Father, we pray for strength IN the fires. That we rest IN you to carry us through. We pray for our shackles to be removed without a hair on our heads scorched (Dan. 3:27) by the flames. Let us be your witnesses to your power and gift of grace!

Amen.

Teachers & People Pleasers

Have you been called to teach? Perhaps you are already a teacher of some sort, whether it be in school, church, or within your work community.

“Not many of you should become teachers, my fellow believers, because you know that we who teach will be judged more strictly.” (James 3:1)

The Bible reminds us that there will also be false teachers in our days (2 Peter 2:1-2). Many. Especially given that we live in a Pop-tart society expecting microwave results, many are drawn towards what they “want” to hear instead of the Truth. People will rise to fame and success because they are feeding a craving of what so many desire irregardless of it being true doctrine.

If you are called to teach, resist the temptation to teach more than you know! God did not say he would tell you what to say, rather he would TEACH you (Exodus 4:12). Also refrain from using the public platform as a disguised way of calling someone out. You may not use their name but you know it’s directed at someone specific. I think of Facebook. Do we ever make a post, seeming quite general, but knowing full intention was that a certain someone would be seeing it? Check yourself before you do something! Check your intentions and motive! I will be honest to admit, there have been times I’ve written and just before hitting “send” I’ve deleted and refrained. My motives weren’t with a right heart or good intention.

Lastly, don’t teach to please people. If you please people, they won’t stay pleased for long. Please God! “Am I now trying to win the favor of people, or God? Or am I striving to please people? If I were still trying to please people, I would not be a slave of Christ.” (Galatians 1:10) Do it for His glory, not your own or for others. Let the light of the Holy Spirit shine so bright through you that you are no longer visible, but that all they see is him!

Bless your light in this world today. May you conquer the enemy and follow His leading.

Amen.