Sunday, September 26, 2010

Enjoy Your Own Backyard

During wheat harvest, Reuben went out into the fields and found some mandrake plants, which he brought to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, "Please give me some of your son's mandrakes."But she said to her, "Wasn't it enough that you took away my husband? Will you take my son's mandrakes too?" "Very well," Rachel said, "he can sleep with you tonight in return for your son's mandrakes." Genesis 30:14-15

What started all this birth competition between Leah and Rachel, was envy. It was about looking at what another person had and wanting it. It is the grass being greener on the other side and doing everything you can to try to achieve it. It even came down to the using of herbs, the mandrake. I did an extensive search on this mysterious plant. The root resembles a person because the bottom root is separated into two and looks like human legs. It has fragrant purple flowers and leaves, that were used to line beds for the sweet fragrance it gives off and it was a way of enticing one to enter the bed and procreate. It was later used as a symbol of fertility. This root was mentioned as having an aphrodisiac tendency and made one sleepy. It is used in witchcraft. To sum it up, it is a form of witchcraft because it uses a plant as a means to a human purpose – trying to make something happen in the spiritual to become a reality in the physical. It is a good lesson to see how one can want something in life so bad that they become fixated on it and they try everything they can do make it happen. I think of women that want to get married and they try everything they can to meet “the one”. They look for love in all the wrong places, and they focus on “not having”. It is looking at the glass "half empty" rather than the glass being “half full”. Their eyes have strayed so far away from God that their focus on God has changed to a focus on themselves. I have learned that God has everyone exactly where He wants them to be and that we may not understand why, but He has a greater plan. Embrace your singleness and see the joy in it and not the negative side. Embrace where you are at – bloom where you are planted. God knows our hearts and desires, so we pray and ask, trusting that He will provide but it has to be in His time and not ours. Don’t live life always looking at the other side of the fence but enjoy your own yard. It truly is a wonderful place to be, for God has placed you there, so enjoy it. Enjoy His gift! 

Question: Are you looking at the grass on the other side of the fence and thinking it is a better place for you? Can you begin to refocus your vision as to where God has you now, and celebrate it?

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

When God Calls, GO!

But her brother and her mother replied, "Let the girl remain with us ten days or so; then you  may go."But he said to them, "Do not detain me, now that the LORD has granted success to my journey. Send me on my way so I may go to my master."Then they said, "Let's call the girl and ask her about it."  So they called Rebekah and asked her, "Will you go with this man?" "I will go," she said.( Genesis 24: 55-58)
We see the same "calling" in Genesis 12 when Abram got the call from God to leave his home, everything he knew as familiar and to go to a place unknown, because God called him. Abram heard the call and he followed God's call, not knowing where God was taking him. Here is another example of “I will go” and it is spoken from Rebekah when her parents wanted her to stay a little longer but she knew that if she was called, to a life unknown, to a husband she did not know, that she needed to go now and leave everything behind. Do we also have the same obedience? To leave our comfort zones?  To leave everything behind when we sense God calling us to an unfamiliar place? We may get called to do something small, and it may be scary and uncomfortable. An example of this is a time when I was eating at a restaurant and I sensed God was telling me to watch a young man at another table. I watched him with an elderly lady and the glow and light of Jesus was so bright. I was amazed to see this light and joy, fill the space around him. I knew there was something "different" about him and that there was such light, peace and joy that was coming from him. Then, he bowed his head and prayed with the older woman. "That's it, he's a Christian and that is the light of Jesus shining through him!" I then sensed the Lord telling me to tell him that Jesus' light is shining very brightly through him and that God has a purpose and plan on his life that this light is to go into this dark world and touch the lives that are living in darkness. “Are you kidding, Lord?” I felt so small and uncomfortable and decided to pass it off. “Nah, He can’t be asking me to do this!” Then I got it a second and then a third prompting. "Okay, I will do it" I thought and then I went to their table and felt so foolish and uncomfortable .  I introduced myself then I delivered the message. They smiled and I found out he was a Christian at a familiar church in the neighborhood and the lady was his mom. I shook their hands and then left to get back into my car. I sat and prayed – thanking God for using me and having me get outside my comfort zone to deliver what He wanted me to do! He may call us to do something small, but it will certainly be uncomfortable and may be challenging. The question is, will you go? Will you do it – even if it is uncomfortable. I am grateful that I heard the call and did what he told me to do. I still don’t know why I was told to do this but God sure knew!

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Taint the Saints

"They said to each other, "Come, let's make bricks and bake them thoroughly." They used brick instead of stone, and tar for mortar. Then they said, "Come, let us build ourselves a city, with a tower that reaches to the heavens, so that we may make a name for ourselves and not be scattered over the face of the whole earth." Genesis 11:3-4
 Here it is, the famous Tower of Babel that was built from the pride of man! The intent behind the building was to glorify the people and to have it visible for all to see! They wanted to make a name for themselves through their glorious man-made achievement! Today, this tower is a representation of those things in our lives that could build up our pride and eventually lead to our downfall. God loves the humble and not the prideful. He wants us to worship Him, and that was how we were created and it was to honor God in all we do and to build altars to him and not ourselves. Think about the word "pride" and realize, that was the cause of the fall of Satan from Heaven! In Proverbs 16:18 it states that "Pride goes before destruction, a haughty spirit before a fall". We all need to be cautious of how pride can slowly begin to take root in our lives and that can start us to build our own tower of pride. Many have fallen to sin, even pastors, when they get puffed up and prideful in the areas of wealth, prestige and power. These elements can taint the saints. We all need to be watchful, for those areas in which the enemy can entice us to open that door of pride in our lives and give the enemy a foothold. These sins will begin to start us building the foundation of our Tower of Babel and we build it brick by brick, until we have created this tower of pride in our lives. We need to guard ourselves and to keep our focus on the Lord and not ourselves. We are to love the Lord with all our heart, soul, mind and strength – not things of the world and that includes our own accomplishments.  We need to decrease for God to increase. When we begin to get puffed up and prideful at what we have accomplished, we need to get down on our knees and realize that where we are today is only because of the grace of our Lord Jesus Christ. May God be increased and magnified in your life so you can decrease. Help us to remain small, hidden and powerless so God can be magnified and seen.
Question: What tower have you built in your life that glorifies yourself and not God?

Friday, September 3, 2010

Big Task-Big God

Artist: Edward Hicks

That very day Noah had gone into the boat with his wife and his sons—Shem, Ham, and Japheth—and their wives. With them in the boat were pairs of every kind of animal—domestic and wild, large and small—along with birds of every kind.Two by two they came into the boat, representing every living thing that breathes. A male and female of each kind entered, just as God had commanded Noah. Then the Lord closed the door behind them. Genesis 7:13-16
As I read about the task that God had given Noah to do, I was amazed at the obedience and faith that Noah needed, in order to complete God’s task. Noah heard what God wanted him to do, and he did what he could do with his  own human efforts, but that was not going to be enough to get God's task done. There were things that Noah could not possibly do in this task and this is where his faith came in. God walked Noah through this process every step of the way. God gave him the plans on the dimentions of the ark and how to build it and Noah complied. God called for the animals to come to the ark and Noah led them in. It came time to close the door of the ark and God closed the door! This tells me one really good lesson today and this is when you have a really huge task ahead of you, God will do His part if you do yours. Noah relied on God and God did His part and Noah did his! It is a partnership that is built on faith and obedience. When there is a big task facing you, remember that you cannot accomplish it without God. It reinforces the phrase, Big Task-Big God! Nothing is impossible for the God! Question: Are you facing a difficult task that seems impossible? Will you trust God that if you do   your part, that He will do His?