Thinking–Beyond Now!

“In My Father’s house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you, And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also” (John 14:2,3 NKJV).

Preparation time is never wasted time, but it is time that few people ever use appropriately because they lack initiative to think beyond the moment.

Look at what Jesus said to His disciples–“I go to prepare a place for you…” How long ago was that? Whether we count the time as two thousand years or two days, we have to see the plan–for us whenever we leave.

Lack of preparation and planning are the main reasons why many people never taste success at anything. We cannot succeed if we do not plan and prepare. Preparing for eventualities means we have to consider all the possible outcomes and plan for them.

Taking a trip requires preparation–determining the cost, the method of conveyance, appropriate clothing, checking weather conditions, having sufficient income to cover emergencies.

With Jesus’ preparations He determined the cost was His life; He’s conveying us to heaven by supernatural means; we’ll be clothed with white robes, the weather will be glorious every day, and there are no emergencies to consider (no more sickness, no more dying, no hunger). Hallelujah! Praising Him for His preparations!

What are we doing? Have we considered our behavior and how it impacts the lives of others beyond this moment?

Retirement–(I’ve recently learned the hard way) takes consideration of all possible events and saving as much income as one possibly save–in order to make sure one can live (and not just exist) when they retire.

Death insurance–(commonly called life insurance)–is needed so there won’t be a burden on those left behind to put us into the ground. There are enormous costs associated with dying and many people don’t prepare for that eventuality. Unless Jesus returns before we die, we will die–and remain asleep until He comes.

Obesity--(a pet peeve)–causes a number of problems for people other than the one who has overeaten. Has any consideration been made for the possibility of someone else having to lift or carry them? Have they considered the possibility of their being harmed if they cannot move fast enough to get out of a burning house or car? Have they considered the negative impact that obesity usually has on their body? No one enjoys food more than I do, but I must also consider what would happen if I fell or needed assistance and no one being available to help me because of my weight. We need to think beyond the moment that food is in front of us and prepare for the future.

Care–for children and elderly–if parents are no longer able to care for children or elderly no longer able to care for themselves–who is going to do it? What preparations have been made for that possibility? Someone needs to prepare–in writing–if necessary plans for this possibility.

No one succeeds at anything without preparation–not athletes, not actors, not musicians, or singers, lawyers, doctors, teachers, parents, students–no one. If we really need a lesson in preparation–we can look to The Word and look around us at the squirrels and other animals that prepare for the winter and other seasons.  We can “watch the ants” and learn from them.

Learn to think beyond the moment and prepare for all those moments beyond the here and now!

 

Eyes On Me!

“I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you. Do not be like the horse or the mule, which have no understanding but must be controlled by bit and bridle or they will not come to you” (Psalm 32:8,9 NIV).

There are so many eyes–looking upon everything we do–judging, evaluating, assessing, criticizing, not knowing who we really are or who is guiding us. Or do they?

If the Lord is giving us instruction, and teaching us how to get to the destination He has planned for us, and counseling us as we journey in life, we have no need to be concerned about what others see–for they will only see our willing obedience to God, doing what must be done to obtain the goal. However, whatever we do, whatever others see–will determine whether we need to be “controlled or forced” to do something.

In spite of what many think, our obedience to God is out of a desire to please Him, not because He forces us to do anything. If we have a heart for God and we are hearing Him, we know that He only wants the best for us and we only want to please Him.

For those who do not understand God’s love or His plans, His Word will seem harsh and brash and controlling. But God–never forces or controls us to do anything–He gives us freewill to choose and to accept the consequences of our actions. When we choose not to understand or hear Him, we are left with those entities that will control–demonic spirits that lead us down the opposite paths of those God wants us to travel.

On the path to hell (and it is real), everything glitters and has much more appeal to our senses–sight, smell, feel, taste, hearing–it all looks good, smells good, feels good, tastes good and sounds good, but is it–all good? NO! The enemy deliberately makes everything that opposes God look better than anything God wants us to have because he–the devil–wants us to be miserable and to hate God.

Not convinced of the devil’s controlling influence? Take a good look around at our society--at those who are influenced by greed, drugs, and all other lusts of the flesh. The gambling looked good–easy money–until it’s all gone and now people have to steal to support their habit. The same is true with drugs and alcohol–controlling substances. On a personal level–hygiene takes a backseat to fulfilling the desires and cravings of those things which control the mind and behavior. Feelings and cravings in the lower extremities of bodies control–making sexual appeal for anyone more desirable and pleasurable than doing things God’s way. Even food controls–for those who lack discipline and self-control, overeating–which leads to health problems and early deaths. Oh, yes–the enemy controls, but God instructs, teaches, and counsels and leaves it up to us to hear and obey.

Whose eyes are upon you, today–the loving eyes of the Lord or the gleaming eyes of the devil? They know and we should, too–just by looking at what we do!