Tag Archives: faithful

The Other Side of Obedience

Years ago, I made a lot of mistakes. I’m not saying I still don’t make them, but the ones I’m talking about were life altering mistakes. I’m still paying for them a decade later. I knew I was still paying for them physically, mentally and emotionally, but I hadn’t really understood how I was paying for them spiritually. Once I sought God’s forgiveness for those mistakes, that aspect was taken care of, but there was more to it than my need for forgiveness. There have been barriers that I’ve built up because of it that have caused me to limit God’s ability to bless me.

I feel like I’m a pretty blessed person as it is, but over the last few weeks, I’m realizing that God desires to bless me more than He has been. Recently, my wife and I have been working together to tear down a wall that was built years ago from those mistakes. As we pull it down brick by brick, it’s been like cracks in a dam. Blessings have been gushing out at us. We look at each other in amazement after each incident and wonder, “Could we have experienced this years ago had we tried to tear it down then?” I think the answer is yes.

God has several principles or laws in place that if we were to simply obey, we’d reap the reward on the other side. One of those laws is “give and it shall be given to you.” We’ve mainly heard this applied to the Church, but I believe it applies to anyone. If you give to others, God opens doors to bless you. I’ve heard it said, “If God can get it through you, He’ll get it to you.” I’m finding this to be true in my own life. The more we’re willing to give to others, the more God is willing to give to us. That said, giving in order to get is the wrong motivation.

When we give in order to bless, God sees our hearts and is willing to open up the windows of Heaven to pour out blessings on us. I think those blessings are intended to keep the cycle of blessing others going. If we hoard the blessings that God pours on us, then the cycle stops. We become like the man in the parable who hid his talent. What we have will be taken from us instead of us giving it freely. God trusts us with the ability to bless others, but we fail to trust Him to do His part. We’re afraid to let go because we have too little.

What I’ve found is that even my “little” can be a blessing to someone else. When I released that “little”, God released more to me. When I released that amount, He poured out more. Now we are enjoying the cycle of blessing. Just last night, my wife said, “I’m excited to see how this next blessing will take place.” God gave us a blessing yesterday and now we’re actively looking to see how we can give it away. It’s not because we’re expecting God to turn around and bless us again, but because being a blessing is so much fun. Acting on God’s behalf is the greatest blessing there is.

Our friend Mike always asks, “What has God placed in your hands?” It may not be much in your eyes, but it is a lot to someone else and even more in God’s eyes. Whatever God has given you and told you to release, let me encourage you today to be faithful to God with it. If He asks you to release it, then release it. You will be tearing down a wall that has been holding back blessings just waiting to be released because of your obedience. Look around today and be a blessing to others. You never know what’s on the other side of your obedience.

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Worthy of God’s Love

I’m not sure why I am constantly surprised by the goodness of God. There are times where I am just caught off guard at His faithfulness. I look at my life and I see all of my short comings and wonder why God would choose to bless me and to pour out His love on me. I know that I am unworthy of any gift that He gives, yet He still opens up the windows of Heaven and pours them out.

I think that’s one of the areas where it is hard to understand God because our minds try to rationalize Him as a human with human behaviors. We know the we are spiteful and hold grudges and we expect Him to. When He doesn’t, it blows our mind. I love how the psalmist put it in Psalm 36:5 when he said that His unfailing love is as vast as the heavens and His faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. It is so deep and so wide that we can’t begin to understand it.

I always want to rationalize it and understand it rather than to accept it and abide in it. I want to break it down and figure it out instead of just trusting in it. I think David understood it. He knew of the power that God has to forgive and forget. He relied on it and knew he was in trouble without it. You wonder how can an adulterer and murderer like David be a man after God’s own heart? Well it’s because he understood God’s ability to forgive and to forget.

It’s beyond me how God does it. I try to be a man after God’s heart and I fall short. I try to be like Him and I find I’m more like myself. I try to do what He asks and I end up doing what I want. I start off working hard to please Him, but in the end, I do what pleases me. That’s where God’s faithfulness kicks in. II Timothy 2:13 says in the Amplified version that even if we are unfaithful and untrue to Him, He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

How is that possible? How can God remain faithful and true to us when all we seem to do is our own thing rather than His? It’s who God is. He is a God who loves us more than our doubts, our mistakes, our short comings and our fears. He is patient and kind. His love knows no end and is not conditional. He is not human and is not limited like we are. Once we remove those human characteristics of who we think He is and accept His divine nature, we can begin to get a glimpse of who He really is.

There were several in the Bible like David and Paul who got a glimpse of that. I don’t think it is reserved just for them though. God wants to open Himself up to you and me and to give us a glimpse of who He is. We fight and push back because we think we are unworthy. It’s when we finally realize how unworthy we really are that He has us right where He wants us to show His faithfulness and love. Don’t push back away from it. Swim in that river of his love that is as high as the clouds and is as vast as the heavens. His love for you doesn’t depend on whether you think you’re worthy. He thinks you are and that’s what matters.

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The Poor Kid at the Table

Yesterday, I went to lunch with several coworkers from different departments in the company. When they suggested an expensive place to eat, I hesitated at first. They said, “What’s the matter?” Then one remembered and said, “Oh yeah. Your department doesn’t budget for food like ours does.” I replied, “I have to think about dinner. I don’t want to spend my per diem on lunch.” Someone replied, “Come on, poor boy. We’ll figure something out.”

I haven’t been the “poor boy” at the table since I was a kid. All these emotions came running back to me. I remembered what it was like to be at the mercy of whoever had invited me to eat. I had to see what they were thinking of ordering so I could order something less expensive. There were a lot of lessons I learned being the poor boy at the table. Lessons that helped shape who I am today.

One thing it taught me was humility. When you’re the one who is depending on someone else, you learn all about humility. You don’t get what you want, you get what they allow you to have. It’s when we can afford to get what we want that we forget about humility. We forget how to depend on someone else. We forget how to depend on God. We tell Him, “I can do this,” and we save Him for bigger things in our life. We start to treat Him like a genie.

God never wanted to be a genie and He doesn’t want us to save Him for the big things in our lives. He wants us to know what it’s like to trust Him for everything. He wants us to know what it truly means to walk by faith. The problem is that walking by faith is scary after you’ve adjusted to a life of walking by sight. It’s at that point that we only look to God in the dark hours of our life. He wants to be there with you in the light and the dark, the good and the bad.

Another thing being the poor kid at the table taught me was appreciation. I learned to appreciate what I had. I wasn’t going to get anything new for a while. I had to appreciate and take care of anything new that I got. My mom would say, “Those have to last you until Christmas. That’s when we can get you new ones.” Those words would ring in my ear as I had to make a decisions. Other kids got new stuff when theirs broke. They didn’t appreciate what they had. God wants us to be appreciative for everything He’s given us and not to be always wanting something we don’t have.

God gives each of us what we need. We don’t always get what we want. He said that when we’re faithful over the little things He’s given us, He’ll give us more. We have to learn to be humble enough to recognize that the little we have is enough. We also have to learn to appreciate it and take care of it by being faithful with it. When we learn to do those things, He knows we’re ready for more.

There’s always another level for Him to take us to. Have we learned to be happy being the poor kid at the table so He can take us there? Or are we resentful that we’re in this position and are constantly trying to get to that next level on our own strength? I’ve tried it both ways. Yesterday reminded me that it’s ok to be the poor kid at the table. All I have is from God anyway. When I learn to accept what He gives, I’m really the rich one.

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God’s Faithfulness

I’m not sure why I am constantly surprised by the goodness of God. There are times where I am just caught off guard at His faithfulness. I look at my life and I see all of my short comings and wonder why God would choose to bless me and to pour out His love on me. I know that I am unworthy of any gift that He gives, yet He still opens up the windows of Heaven and pours them out.

I think that’s one of the areas where it is hard to understand God because our minds try to rationalize Him as a human with human behaviors. We know the we are spiteful and hold grudges and we expect Him to. When He doesn’t, it blows our mind. I love how the psalmist put it in Psalm 36:5 when he said that His unfailing love is as vast as the heavens and His faithfulness reaches beyond the clouds. It is so deep and so wide that we can’t begin to understand it.

I always want to rationalize it and understand it rather than to accept it and abide in it. I want to break it down and figure it out instead of just trusting in it. I think David understood it. He knew of the power that God has to forgive and forget. He relied on it and knew he was in trouble without it. You wonder how can an adulterous murderer like himself be a man after God’s own heart? Well it’s because he understood God’s ability to forgive and to forget.

It’s beyond me how He does it. I try to be a man after God’s heart and I fall short. I seek to be like Him and I find I’m more like myself. I try to do what He asks and I end up doing what I want. I start off working hard to please Him, but in the end, I do what pleases me. That’s where God’s faithfulness kicks in. II Timothy 2:13 says in the Amplified version that even if we are unfaithful and untrue to Him, He remains true (faithful to His Word and His righteous character), for He cannot deny Himself.

How is that possible? How can God remain faithful and true to us when all we seem to do is our own thing rather than His? It’s who God is. He is a God who loves us more than our doubts, our mistakes, our short comings and our fears. He is patient and kind. His love knows no end and is not conditional. He is not human and is not limited like we are. Once we remove those human characteristics of who we think He is and accept His divine nature, we can begin to get a glimpse of who He really is.

There were several in the Bible like David and Paul who got a glimpse of that. I don’t think it is reserved for just them though. God wants to open Himself up to you and me and to give us a glimpse of who He is. We fight and push back because we are unworthy. I think that when we finally realize how unworthy we really are though is when He has us right where He wants us to show His faithfulness and love. Don’t push back away from it. Swim in that river of his love that is as high as the clouds and is as vast as the heavens. Accept that you aren’t worthy and trust in His love for you anyway.

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