I Was Turning To Everyone But God
I was standing before the Lord in worship one Wednesday service and I was craving a word from the Lord. I desperately wanted someone to pat me on the back and tell me what God wanted to say to me. Words seem to be flying that night. Our pastor had individual words for some ladies. I waited. I was disappointed because nothing came. I left with a “what about me?” question in my mind.
That night was a small symptom of a bigger problem. I was turning to everyone but God. I was relying on someone else to make me feel better. I had a long time friend I always depended on. I would call her with every single crisis I had. She always had a way of making me feel better. Except this one time. We had moved apart. Physically and spiritually. I had become a full time missionary and moved overseas. She began to doubt her faith in God. But she still made time for me. I called her crying every time I needed to process anything. One time I called her and our conversation was different. It was the first of many times where I realized I was using other people to fill voids in my life. My whole life I had been running to people for love, affirmation, acceptance and the whole time my heavenly father was standing there asking me, no-telling me, that HE is more than enough for me. More than enough for all my needs, all my desires, all my insecurities and all my brokenness.
Proverbs 8:17 says “I love those who love me; And those who diligently seek me will find me.” Diligently seek the Lord, and you will find him. Love the Lord, and He will love you. There’s nothing in there about seeking the approval of man or seeking the wisdom of man.
The Same Holy Spirit Lives in Me
I didn’t get a word from my Pastor that night in service, but I did get a word from God. God said, “I am enough for you.” I didn’t NEED a special word delivered by someone else. The same Holy Spirit living in the pastor, lives in me. I can’t live my life going from one crisis to another and calling my go-to person and saying “work your magic; I feel like garbage.” Hear me out, have a person, better yet, have an accountability partner whose job is to speak God’s truth in your life and point you toward Him. Have someone who directs your gaze back to the God who created you. A person who gives you a word in God’s perfect timing and champions your success. Do not have someone who lets you wallow in grief, strokes your ego, or gives you wordly advice.
Sometimes God is silent because He is waiting for you to rely on Him-to press in and seek His face above the comfort of anyone or anything else. Whatever you are going to before God, whatever you are relying on before God needs to go. It is an idol and it will only hold you back. In 1 Chronicles 16:11 the word proclaims, “Seek the LORD and His strength; Seek His face continually.” Seek Him continually, for everything you need. Seek His strength for every weakness you have. He wants to talk with you personally. He wants a personal relationship with just you-you are that valuable to Him! Press in to Him; He’s waiting to tell you magnificent things.
Stop Longing For Egypt
Do you find yourself longing for something God took from you? Maybe it was a job, a house, a relationship, a friendship, some item you loved? The list could go on and on.
I find myself doing that more often than I’d like to admit.
That reminds me of the Israelites after they left Egypt. God took them out of Egypt. They lived as slaves in Egypt. They were in slavery, being missed treated, overworked, you name it.
But God took them out of that. Out of the hurt, out of the pain, and out of the oppression. God rescue them and remove them from that awful situation.
But later in God’s word we see them start to miss Egypt. Long for it even. At this point they had the promise of Israel to look forward to.
Sometimes We Can Forget
They had a promise of a new land. A place that would be their own. A place flowing with milk and honey.
Instead of holding on to that promise. Instead of looking to that promise. They looked back. They longed for Egypt.
They wanted to go back. Go back to what was comfortable and familiar. To what they knew.
And sadly we often do the same. We look back longing for what God brought us out of. We long for what we had.
Sometimes we can forget the promises of God because we cannot see them yet.
We Can’t Always See God’s Promises
But it says in Romans 4:21 “And, being fully assured that what God had promised, He was able also to perform.’
Even though we can’t always see God’s promises, we can know and trust that he will do what he says.
Don’t long for something God took you out of just because you cannot picture in your mind how God will fulfill his promise.
Let the promise be enough. Let your knowledge of who God is and his character be enough for you to trust him.
Stop longing for Eqypt when you have the promise of Israel.
But Praise God
Ever heard someone report something really unpleasant and then tag on the end of it, “But praise
“My car broke down, but praise God!”
“My washer broke and my house is flooded, but praise God!”
“My doctor gave me bad news, but (you guessed it) praise God!” It sounds insane – delusional at best.
What kind of out of touch, nut job spouts off praise to a God that lets things fall apart?
Well, Job, immediately comes to mind. After losing his wealth, his house, and all his children in one
day, he fell to the ground in worship and said, “The Lord gives, and the Lord takes away. Praise the
name of the Lord.” (Job 1:20, 21)
And then Paul, who had much to complain about, said, “Give thanks in everything, for this is God’s will
for you in Christ Jesus.” (1 Thessalonians 5:18)
Give thanks in everything. Praise the Lord. In. Everything.
His Goodness and Faithfulness Don’t Go Away
You know, sometimes, “Praise the Lord” is a statement of faith, and not a description of your
circumstances. Sometimes we just have to say “Praise the Lord’, fully believing that God IS doing and
will continue to do praiseworthy works and fulfill his praiseworthy nature and plans, even though
things look bad. His goodness and faithfulness don’t go away when pain is present. They coexist and
inhabit the same space – often.
When it comes to suffering, I think some of us believe that God is in heaven twirling his mustache
thinking up all kinds of maniacal ways to punish us, or maybe that he’s lounging up there, passively
watching us as we live out his grand social experiment. If that’s what we think, then we are forgetting
who He is. He is the Mighty One that goes before us. Even into pain.
Jesus willingly subjected himself to torture and death on the cross. And he wasn’t immune to the pain.
He was stripped naked, whipped, beaten, and rejected on the cross and felt it all. Try to wrap your
mind around that and then remember, “By His stripes we are healed” (Isaiah 53:5). His wounds. Isn’t it
interesting that the verse is not, “By His power you are healed” or “By His grace you are healed”? Jesus
didn’t stop at providing salvation through the cross, though that would have been more than enough.
Jesus died the kind of death that would matter to a person overwhelmed by suffering and shame. He
doesn’t look down at us from his throne aloof, with unknowing eyes. In fact, whatever I think I know
about heartache and pain, God knows much deeper.
Let the Name of the Lord Be Praised
Because He was broken for us, we can celebrate the comfort of knowing that our pain is understood.
We can rejoice that he can and WILL genuinely minister to our hearts. We can lift our heads high!
Because he died and defeated death, we have the power to overcome. And if that all weren’t enough to make us smile in the face of our circumstances, heaven awaits! Even the worst days, months, YEARS
even, are a blip on a screen compared to enormous joy everlasting of eternity with Jesus.
God understands us. He loves us even though we are riddled with sin and gnarled by dysfunction. He
heals and redeems us, even though we deserve to be left broken. And because he saw the joy ahead of
him and endured the cross (Hebrews 12:2), now I can say:
When I am rejected and misunderstood – let the name of the Lord be praised!
When my child is sick and her disease has no cure – let the name of the Lord be praised!
When past failures and insecurities haunt me – let the name of the Lord be praised!
Whether my heart feels like singing or not – let the name of the Lord be praised!
Everything Under The Son
You might be asking yourself what this blog Everything Under the Son is all about. It is all about God. Despite all the differences we have One common thing has brought us all together. We have come together for one common purpose to glorify God in everything we do.
Colossians 3:17Amplified Bible (AMP)
17 Whatever you do [no matter what it is] in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus [and in dependence on Him], giving thanks to God the Father through Him.
He is the one that has transformed us from the common to uncommon.
We are common people who have been called by God to be Uncommon! Each of us comes from different backgrounds, different cultures, some raised in country and some out of country. Some of us raised in homes with two parents and others raised by single parents. Some of us are in our 20’s not married, some newly married, some in our 40’s just starting a family, others a decade or more into marriage. All of us trying to find the balance in life between family, work and God. We all work in some way either in the home or out in the professional world. Regardless of this, that thing which makes us uncommon is not our background, marital status, age, or occupation, it is our love and joy for the Son. He is the one that has transformed us from the common to uncommon.
Acts 10:15New King James Version (NKJV)
15 And a voice spoke to him again the second time, “What God has cleansed you must not call common.”
It’s not about us the messenger
God has taken each of us in different ways from broken vessels to be used for His glory. God has committed us to carry out the message. Committed, Execute, to pledge ourselves to our faith. It’s not about us the messenger (us) but about the common message (The Son).
1 Paul, a bondservant of God and an apostle of Jesus Christ, according to the faith of God’s elect and the acknowledgment of the truth which accords with godliness, 2 in hope of eternal life which God, who cannot lie, promised before time began, 3 but has in due time manifested His word through preaching, which was committed to me according to the commandment of God our Savior;
4 To Titus, a true son in our common faith:
Grace, mercy, and peace from God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior.
This blog is going to be a weekly writing of Everything Under the Son! We will be sharing just that, from the mountain top experiences, to the struggles in the valley, to the ways in which the Son encourages us daily, how everything in our lives comes under the Son moving us from the common to the uncommon!