February 18, 2017

Do all things through Christ . . .

Months ago, the Lord gave me an idea, or at least I thought it was from Him. As the weeks went by, I became less certain. What if it was merely my idea, a way to bring attention to myself instead of a way to glorify God?

On the other hand, if God was in this, why was so little happening? Is Satan messing with me? How can I be sure that God is in this? Is God’s silence telling me to drop it? I’ve been praying that He would reaffirm this idea was from Him, or tell me otherwise.

This morning’s homework for our weekly Bible study had several challenges to this conundrum. As I went through the questions, I realized that my problem is not with God but with me. The idea calls me to do things that I’ve little experience with, to be willing to learn (and make mistakes), and to not be fearful but trusting Him at every step of the way.

I’m thinking my faith isn’t big enough, but the study material reminded me that this isn’t about my faith, but about my perception of God. Is He faithful to bring about the idea that He put in my heart (or that I think He put in my heart)? I was directed to this verse:

“But the Lord is faithful. He will establish you and guard you against the evil one.” (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

The word ‘establish’ means “marked by a firm determination or resolution.” I have to admit that I’ve been waffling. Instead of seeking the Lord concerning what to do next, I’ve felt like folding, giving up, neglecting the reality that if this is from God, it cannot fail; He will accomplish it.

With the issue still on my heart, I turned to the devotional reading for today which points to the reigning power of God. Like a series of exclamation marks, it emphasized the answer to my questions and those  excuses.

Who am I to question the power of God? “Who has measured the waters in the hollow of his hand and marked off the heavens with a span, enclosed the dust of the earth in a measure and weighed the mountains in scales and the hills in a balance?”

Why be afraid of anything or anyone? “Do you not know? Do you not hear? Has it not been told you from the beginning? Have you not understood from the foundations of the earth? It is he who sits above the circle of the earth, and its inhabitants are like grasshoppers; who stretches out the heavens like a curtain, and spreads them like a tent to dwell in; who brings princes to nothing, and makes the rulers of the earth as emptiness. Scarcely are they planted, scarcely sown, scarcely has their stem taken root in the earth, when he blows on them, and they wither, and the tempest carries them off like stubble.”

Dare I limit God’s creative powers? “To whom then will you compare me, that I should be like him? says the Holy One. Lift up your eyes on high and see: who created these? He who brings out their host by number, calling them all by name; by the greatness of his might and because he is strong in power, not one is missing.”

My age and strength are barriers?  “Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” (Isaiah 40:12–31)

Am I limiting the power of God? “He gives up nations before him, so that he tramples kings underfoot; he makes them like dust with his sword, like driven stubble with his bow. He pursues them and passes on safely, by paths his feet have not trod. Who has performed and done this, calling the generations from the beginning? I, the LORD, the first, and with the last; I am he.”

Why me? “You are my servant, I have chosen you and not cast you off”; fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:1–10) 

There is more, but for now I’ll refer to two lines from this reading . . . The first: In myself I am nothing, only what God allows me to be.

Second: God governs all things and all beings . . . In Christ, I can accomplish His eternal purpose.

Jesus, may Your will be done in this idea. Do make me willing and also make me able — by Your power and grace — that I will wholeheartedly do as You say and You will be glorified!

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