Monday, September 13, 2010

Are You Sure?

I suck at accepting stuff. In fact I suck so much that often times, I'll sit and fight it forever. I'll make every excuse under the sun to justify my denial of a thing. Why? I'm not sure. For me, when someone buys me a gift, it is hard for me to accept it. It is almost as if in some way I don't think myself worthy of the gift. I'll think of a time when I did something that merited nothing short of punishment. My mind will soon venture off from being blessed, to straight condemnation. Why is that? I know I am not alone on this one. I know plenty of us at some point in time or another have denied ourselves or attempt to deny ourselves something someone has given us. Why is it so hard to say thank you? What is so difficult about saying your welcome?

What's funny is that this feeling is itself an issue of pride, additionally, it is also an issue of self-pity, and the two hinge off of each other. To pity yourself is to think yourself in need of sympathy, and in that "need" unbeknown to you, you are sitting in the center of a pool of your own pride. Don't get me wrong, I am all for being broken, however, who is breaking you? Are you breaking yourself, or is God. When God does a work, when God breaks a person, the end result should always yield the fruit of restoration, redemption, recovery, remission, reconciliation. When we break ourselves, often the feelings are regret, regression, restrain, remorse. The second set yields nothing but condemnation, and in this, you hold yourself down. The bible is quick to remind us in Romans 8:1 that there is no condemnation in Christ, and it is so true. Any feeling of condemnation you might feel as a child of God is not His. God is the only one who can condemn, however, that condemnation comes only one we have died and are without Christ. For the child of God, the word isn't condemnation, it is conviction, it is chastening, two things, that when done by God, show His love to us, and ultimately yield a more complete work in Christ.

So what is it then about us? Why is it so difficult for us to accept the work of the Lord? We are human, so is that the best answer we can offer? I don't know, but I know this, Moses felt the same way when God Himself appeared in a flame and told Him what to do. To take it a step further, God told Moses word for word what would happen, He showed Moses what power he would have and even gave him a glimpse of it when He commanded him to turn his staff to a snake and when He asked him to strike himself with leprosy, and then heal himself. So what stopped our brotha Mo? Doubt, worry, fear, self-condemnation. I am sure at some point, Moses went back to that time he killed an Egyptian in defense of a Hebrew. I am sure his mind went back to that moment when the response from the Hebrew was anything but gratitude. I'm sure Moses went back to a moment in time when he had failed. If it wasn't that, then we know for certain Moses went and picked out his current disqualifications. Moses was quick to point out to God that he was a man of stuttering lips.

What I love most is what God says in response to him. "Who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the LORD?" Exodus 4:11. Often times, and for me more often than not, I am not qualified to do a work for the Lord. I am not qualified, nor am I deserving to take on a task in His name, nor am I worthy or deserving of a blessing He might have for me. I am in no way prepared to take on something. I never have been, however, I will be, and I will be not because I'll do it, but because the Lord will do it. He will lead me with a cloud by day and fire by night. He will ordain my steps for me, and lead me into the work He has prepared for me beforehand (Eph 2:10). It sounds simple, however, why is it we forget this? Why is it we beat ourselves to death asking and asking and asking? If God has revealed something to us, then we need not look anywhere else, we don't need a confirmation from another source, we have the Lord. If God is clearly on your team for a matter, then what worry is there, if God is for me, who can be against me? No feeling, no fear, no person, no situation, no trial will ever be able to out do or out think our God.

His love is a perfect, never changing, undying love. A love I wish I had words to describe, however, human speech does little justice to describe the ineffable love of God. I hate when people say that God is being mean to them, or that "God isn't listening to me" God is always listening to you. God's ears have been listening to you since before you even existed. God had your hairs numbered, He had your steps laid out, He knew when you would say yes, He knew when you would turn the corner, and He knew when you would jump on the straight and narrow path. God knew all of that, He has prepared for you a work ahead of you, that you don't even know about. If God is building your house, then you are not in any way laboring in vain. Your job as He builds is to serve Him and honor Him in speech, in deed, in work, in truth. Serve Him your finest cup of coffee while He builds for you and fear not. There is nothing wrong with finding a good thing. When that thing is of God, you will find favor in His eyes. Stop beating yourself up about why you don't deserve it or are unqualified and start asking God to show you what to do next. Stop playing the Abraham before you end up having an Ishmael in your life and start rising up as a man (or woman) and play the role He has called you to play.

God is a loving God, slow to anger, abounding mercy, and rich in grace. He led you out of darkness into marvelous light and will continue to do so. If He gave it to you, give it back to Him. Offer up yourself and whatever blessing it is He has given you and watch Him use it and you in unison to do His will. It's hard to hear a no from God, but even harder is to accept a yes. Sometimes, it really is time to see the doctor, and as nervous as you might feel to hear what he has to say, if you're healthy....why are you concerned?

Edit: I have never done this before, however, this blog has been on my mind all day. Talking with the Lord and really reaching into my heart, I found this. Often times it is so difficult to accept a good thing from God, or from anyone for that matter, because we are being considerate. How so? Well, consider this, when someone buys you something, you may feel bad they bought it, why? Because you don't want them to spend the money on something like that, you would rather they use it for themselves. In the same way, we sometimes try to push a thing out of our lives because we don't want to spend less time with God. We think that by avoiding all the good, we free ourselves of distractions and then can spend every waking moment with the Lord, when in reality, we forget one thing. When the Lord blesses you, your heart, if it is in the right place, should be to take that very thing and share it. Don't horde your blessings, don't keep them to yourself, give them back to God by pouring them onto others. Use it for His glory, because after all, it was He who got you there in the first place, it is He that will see you through it, and it is He that will show Himself mighty through you...I love my God....and I pray that whatever it is you are going through at this very moment, that you surrender it to God, and I don't just mean say that to Him, I mean pull out your spiritual knife and put it on the altar and really show Him you mean'll soon find Him smiling...let's not forget that when God makes a promise, He keeps it...

Isaiah 41:8-10...

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