“It was not because of his sins or his parents’ sins, Jesus answered. “This happened so the power of God could be seen in him. We must quickly carry out the tasks assigned us by the one who sent us. The night is coming, and then no one can work. But while I am here in the world, I am the light of the world.”
February 26, 2018
This morning, the Lord gave me clear instruction in regards to a matter that I’ve been diligently praying and fasting for. As I look back, He’s been giving me cues for quite some time, but I’ve been rationalizing and ignoring. Why? I guess because it is outside my comfort zone. I feel embarrassed or it causes me great anxiety. I should have learned my lesson (refer to my post “Disobedience” for a better understanding) due to what transpired just the other day.
I didn’t think about any of this until the opportunity to act had passed! This is when the Lord tapped on my shoulder and said:
Did I waste my time?
How do you expect this prayer to be answered if you don’t listen and act?
How difficult is this?
You are delaying my work. You are destroying the progress that I’ve made thus far.
Sometimes, it does takes several fails before wisdom can penetrate my hard head. I sat up in bed and reflected on what had just happened, asking myself, why in the world didn’t you just act? It took a split second to rationalize His direction. Amazing how quick the brain works or was it really my brain that did that? Was there something else (unseen) in the room?
With a hot cup of coffee in hand and my quiet time resources before me, I bowed my head in prayer:
Lord…thank you for this day! Thank you that I was able to get out of bed without pain. Thank you that I’m healthy and that I’m able to sit before you and feel your presence and hear your words. You are my Source, my Strength, my Savior and I wouldn’t be where I am now without you! Thank you!! I ask that you overwhelm me with your presence this morning. I ask that you speak to me and teach me all that I need to know for this day. I ask that I understand it and retain it–for myself and for others. I thank you for your sacrifice, for your blood. I am covered and sealed and saved! Please forgive my sins, my disobedience, my desire to go my own way! I give you all the praise and the glory! In Jesus’ Name I pray, Amen!
I clicked on Dr. Charles Stanley because his messages always move me towards a heavenly perspective which paves the way for what God has to say to me. I become spiritually tuned in and I’m able to tune out my thoughts and the circumstances that surround me. In this moment, I’m drowning in my recent disobedience. Will my perspective ever change from narrow and selfish to wide and far-reaching?
Will my answer ever be, “Yes, Lord,” instead of “Hang on a minute–You want me to do what?”
Dr. Stanley spoke on the consequences of sin which was a perfect topic for this morning! One of the Scriptures he pointed out came from Galatians 6:7 (ESV):
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
If this didn’t give me a jolt, I don’t know what would! As the message came to a close the Lord impressed upon me that I should study, “rationalization” in the Bible. My routine is to grab my devotional and meditate on the given Scriptures. This was not what He had in mind, this morning! I listened!!
My research started with this interpretation from Genesis 39:9:
…Joseph resisted this temptation by saying it would be a sin against God. Joseph didn’t say, “I’d be hurting you,” or “I’d be sinning against Potiphar,” or “I’d be sinning against myself.” Under pressure, such excuses are easily rationalized away…it is an act of disobedience against God.
Now, I’m not in the same situation as Joseph, in regards to Potiphar’s wife, but I can certainly apply my sin to this interpretation. God asks me to do something and I immediately take in the command and let my emotions determine my actions. Instead, I need to realize that not moving towards His request is a sin which is a huge no-no! Consequences will then follow.
February 26, 2018 journal entry:
When Jesus speaks and directs me, it has nothing to do with the here and now at that point. Immediately, do as He says so His work can continue. Let’s look at this morning. I knew what I was supposed to do. I ignored Him which stopped a blessing. I have no idea what was on the other side of that command and I won’t know because the moment is over. I have no right to take away a blessing because I feel uncomfortable.
I understand that God doesn’t need me to work in the lives of others. He can certainly do all He needs to do, without me. I am, however, a vessel and I know this (in regards to my personal prayer request) because I’ve asked for it. I asked Him to use me. He has been doing that and in some circumstances, I’ve been rebelling.
I find it interesting that Ezra 10:1 wasn’t in the Master Index under “rationalization” but the Lord led me there anyway. This is the interpretation:
Ezra set the standard of repentance by his own behavior. His weeping brought others to the point of sorrow. Some may respond when we tell them what to do, but more will follow if we show them what to do and participate ourselves. In this case, Ezra’s actions actually motivated a leader to make a significant stand. We can never predict who will follow or benefit from our example.
I can share all I want but telling is not the same thing as doing which is what I should have realized this morning. It is my actions that will make the difference! There will be no movement if I don’t act upon God’s instructions. There will be no answer to my prayer if I stand-by. I need to be up front and on the double!!
Ezekiel 9:10 says this:
The people said that the Lord had abandoned the land and wouldn’t see their sin. People have many convenient explanations to make it easier to sin. “It doesn’t matter,” “Everybody is doing it,” or “Nobody will ever know.” Do you find yourself making excuses for sin? Rationalizing sin makes it easier to commit, but rationalization does not convince God or cancel punishment.
I was unable to complete this post due to the prompting of the Holy Spirit. There was more spiritual wisdom to come so I put it to the side and waited until I was given the go-ahead to finish.
Today is February 28, 2018
I believe the Lord has given me an ending to this post! Hallelujah! Terrific message by Dr. Charles Stanley this morning called, “Made for the Mountains.” If you need a bit of inspiration and a spiritual boost, I suggest you look this one up! I also found great wisdom in his devotion, “Every Day in His Presence.” The resources that God puts before us is always perfect and right on time!
Here is a passage from today’s daily devotion:
Your unbelief tears you apart. It may feel natural and reasonable because you see no evidence of relief for your situation. But the thoughts that arise because of your doubts will wear you out, discourage you, cause you to act rashly, and limit you from perceiving God’s perfect work on your behalf.
This morning’s journal entry:
Just think where you would be today if you had not pushed forth with the Online Welcome Team with Elevation. You were so scared, filled with doubt and not a lick of confidence–especially with phone calls and prayer to new guests of the church.
You kept going because you heard God’s instructions to persevere. You had faith and trust that there was a great purpose on the other side. Then you were told that there was an opening with the Online Care Team which is email only. This was in your comfort zone! It became clear, quite quickly, that you were NOT going in the right direction. It was rough! You found it difficult to respond with the appropriate, comforting, encouraging words. There was not really any peace in this new volunteer position. The connections were different from the Welcome Team.
Recognize and feel the difference between God’s way and your own way. There is a force, a clarity, a distinctive word that comes from God. It’s firm and stands out. It comes in a feeling or in a statement. It’s VERY there!
When it come from me, it is weak and in the background. There is little confidence and it’s wavering.
Now that I’m able to discern–Praise God–I need to act and get rid of rationalization. I now have a better understanding when the Holy Spirit is speaking to me. I need to respond by saying:
Thank you Lord for your heavenly direction. I know that this is for your glory and I’m pleased to serve you.
Than just do it!!
For those times of questioning (because they will come, I’m sure) on whether it is the Holy Spirit or myself speaking, I can reflect and pray on the following interpretation from 2 Corinthians 10:5:
Spirit-empowered believers must capture every thought and yield it to Christ. When exposed to ideas or opportunities that might lead to wrong desires you have a choice. You can recognize the danger and turn away, or you can allow unhealthy thoughts to take you captive. You capture your fantasies and desires when you honestly admit them to the Lord and ask him to redirect your thinking. Ask God to give you the spirit of discernment to keep your thoughts focused on his truth.
We all have a tendency to get wrapped up in what’s happening around us. We lose our focus and become overwhelmed and without peace.
The Holy Spirit asked me this morning to write down my priorities to which I did! I had three of them, God being first!
Guard your time and your energy in order to bring these “walls down” and ask yourself will this opportunity, this decision, this action, this word get in the way of my priorities? If so, turn the other way and seek God’s discernment and redirection. If not, then run full speed ahead because 2 Timothy 7 says this:
For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love and self-discipline.
Thank you Jesus–my Savior, my Strength, my Source and my Light! You have truly done some amazing work in my life and I can’t wait to see what comes next!
Thank you Pastor Steven Furtick for Elevation and all its opportunities!
In regards to Elevation’s Online Care Team: please know that this is a truly wonderful ministry. The leaders and the people involved are kind, friendly, encouraging and extremely strong in prayer. It just wasn’t where I was supposed to be.
Thank you Jonathan Josephs ( Elevation’s, Ballantyne Campus Pastor) for your divine and inspirational message, “Paying Attention.”
Last, but not least, thank you Dr. Charles Stanley for being the man of God that you are! My mornings are not complete without you!!