Archive for September, 2011

13
Sep
11

discernment

I once read somewhere that being ok with not having all the answers was a mark of maturity. I agree with that statement wholeheartedly. There are some things in this life that we are just never going to figure out. There are other things that, with time, we will understand better. Then, there are the things, given enough time, effort and learning, we will master.

The problem, of course, is when we confuse these categories. We try to understand what is beyond our ability to comprehend. We stress and worry about things that are beyond our control. We waste valuable time and energy trying to force untamable issues into our designated boxes.

While we are attempting these impossible feats, we neglect that knowledge that is ours to master. We spend so much time, energy and emotion on the impossible that we have none left over for the feasible. As a result, we live our lives in, what one writer called, “quiet desperation” – never sure of anything – always wondering what we are missing out on. As a result, we live unfulfilled lives, generally marked by a critical spirit, fueled by jealousy caused by the realization that we are not living up to our God-ordained potential.

Is there hope? Absolutely!

Ephesians 5:17 tells us: “Don’t act thoughtlessly, but try to understand what the Lord wants you to do.” NLT

James 1:5 gives us this instruction: “If you need wisdom– if you want to know what God wants you to do– ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” NLT

Finally, Romans 12:2 gives insight into how all this comes about: “Don’t copy the behavior and customs of this world, but let God transform you into a new person by changing the way you think. Then you will know what God wants you to do, and you will know how good and pleasing and perfect his will really is.” NLT

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06
Sep
11

enjoy the trip!

Recently, my wife and I were working on the details for our 30th wedding anniversary trip. We will be traveling to some places we have never been before and we have a couple of hectic connections to make. Although I love an adventure, there is a part of my personality that wants to have all the details worked out in my mind, or at least have a familiarity with schedules, customs and directions so that I can get to where I need to be. However, when you travel to new places, that’s not always possible. Often you just have to wait until you are at your destination and then go with the flow. Not always comfortable to think about, but I’ve found that some of the best adventures of my life – and certainly some of the best memories – come about as a result.

The same is true spiritually speaking. We like everything to be neat, understandable and keeping with our schedule. We do not like it when our plans are diverted in any way, forgetting that Proverbs 16:9 tells us: “We can make our plans, but the LORD determines our steps.” NLT

We stress over unforeseen challenges as if the words of Isaiah 41:10 had never been written – “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” NASB

We worry about how to respond to situations that catch us off guard, ignoring the promise of Jesus in Matthew 10:19: “Don’t worry about what to say in your defense, because you will be given the right words at the right time.” NLT

We conjure up the perfect storm of financial catastrophe, all the while forgetting what Jesus told his followers in Matthew 6:25, 26: “For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they?” NASB

Hebrews 11:13 tells us that we are just tourists passing through this world so trust God and…

Enjoy the trip!