Write It Down!

Write It Down!

I will stand my watch
And set myself on the rampart,
And watch to see what He will say to me,
And what I will answer when I am corrected.

Then the LORD answered me and said:

“Write the vision
And make it plain on tablets,
That he may run who reads it.

For the vision is yet for an appointed time;
But at the end it will speak, and it will not lie.
Though it tarries, wait for it;
Because it will surely come,
It will not tarry.

“Behold the proud,
His soul is not upright in him;
But the just shall live by his faith. Habakkuk 2:1-5 NKJV

The Lord is yet revealing Himself to others–just like He did with the prophets of old. If we learn to receive, hear and listen, we might be surprised at what we are told.

People are still creating bucket lists–those desires they wish to achieve before they die or at least by a specific time in their lives. A goal is always a good thing, especially when the goal is for the good of others more than just self. And while having a goal is good, few goals are ever achieved without a plan to get there.

The plan–the step-by-step approach or strategy to get to the finish line, must be doable and must lead in the direction in which a person wants to go. Not having a plan, often leads to people doing random acts–that lead nowhere and then they wonder why they have not moved closer to their goal.

Perhaps the easiest way to reach goals is to have several short-term goals that lead to the larger goal–to complete the big picture.

For instance–if a student desires to improve grades and obtain a specific grade-point-average, they might want to start with a targeted study plan. For some that goal may include specific hours dedicated to study and preparing for daily class work and testing. This goal would include working on smaller portions of information for a longer time period (one segment 15 minutes a night), rather than trying to cram a great deal of information into an overnight, stress-filled approach.

If a person has a desire to be used in ministry, by God–the first step would be to develop a right relationship with Him and then to get into His Word and study–researching all that is unknown or not clearly understood. Reaching this particular goal takes time and there are no short cuts although some have attempted to circumvent the obvious. We must study to show ourselves approved unto God–willing to work to understand His Word so we might rightly–present it to others. Some have claimed a calling upon their lives by God and presented themselves to a local church leader and that leader has set them up to fail by simply allowing them to present a “trial sermon”and then giving them leeway (without sufficient evidence of study or relationship) to run and misrepresent the Gospel of Jesus Christ. 

If there is anything we want to achieve and God has given us the vision, we need to write it down, along with the plan to get there–step-by-step. When the vision is truly from God, it will be attained and nothing any man or woman attempts to do to hinder it, will matter. God’s plans will always prevail over anything we may plan to do–that is not of or from Him.

So if God has given you a vision–write it down and seek His wisdom to map out the plans to achieve and no matter–stick with the plan–inching your way, if necessary, to cross that finish line–according to His timetable. Remember–“the race is given to the strong or the swift, but the one who endures to the end.”

Our Help!

“On my bed I remember You; I think of You through the watches of the night, Because You are my help, I sing in the shadows of Your wings. I cling to You; Your right hand upholds me.” (Psalms 63:6-8 NIV)

Whenever we think that we are in a situation or a challenge alone, we must remember we’re never alone, for He is always with us and will be with us when all others forsake us.

This is one of those times when I really needed this reminder. All week long, I’ve been battling Murphy’s law–trying to keep my head up, my faith in tact and my temper under control. Whenever I felt like lashing out, Holy Spirit quickly checked me and reminded me I am not alone. Even though so many things have happened at the last minute to threaten the success of a major fundraiser for which I’m chairing–I can move forward–slightly disheveled and lighter in weight–but still smiling, still expectantly waiting to see what great things The Lord has in store for us.

Throughout life, no matter how carefully we think we plan an event, we must always be ready to respond to the unexpected--the changes that appear to thwart our success, but are actually there to test our mettle–how do we respond to irksome situations over which we have absolutely no control.

In every situation, we learn from experience that we must have a contingency plan (hearing God every step of the way). I’ll admit, sometimes we get so caught up in trying to make sure that every thing turns out right that we get distracted and miss pertinent instruction because of the “noise” of distraction.

No matter how many times the enemy has attempted to speak to my mind and stir up doubt–I have moved forward with tenacity–determined to see this event through to the end and no matter what else happens, I will be thankful for the opportunity and grateful to God for seeing me through it–He is my help–when I can count on no one else–He gives me insight and direction and strength to keep going. Through the pain of an afflicted body and through the tears shed when no one is looking, I hold onto His love and know that He’ll never let me down. And though I seek success based upon how I define success–the end result will be all that God intends it to be–all to His glory.

Our help–comes from the Lord! It is He who divinely inspires us to keep going. It is He who strengthens tired bodies and minds, and it is He who speaks to the hearts of others and stirs them to want to help. It is He who gives us joy and a song to sing in praise of Him. It is He who provides what we need in spite of naysayers and doubters. O Give Thanks to The Lord–Our Help in times of need.

I’m thanking God for all the people who are hearing Him speak to their hearts and obeying His voice. Our Help–from the generosity of donations of goods, to the volunteers streaming in to help us–are all a direct result of prayer and faith in Him who knows all things and does all things well. Hallelujah!

The Plan!

“And this is the plan: At the right time he will bring everything together under the authority of Christ—everything in heaven and on earth. Furthermore, because we are united with Christ, we have received an inheritance from God, for he chose us in advance, and he makes everything work out according to his plan.God’s purpose was that we Jews who were the first to trust in Christ would bring praise and glory to God. And now you Gentiles have also heard the truth, the Good News that God saves you. And when you believed in Christ, he identified you as his own by giving you the Holy Spirit, whom he promised long ago.The Spirit is God’s guarantee that he will give us the inheritance he promised and that he has purchased us to be his own people. He did this so we would praise and glorify him.” (Ephesians 1:10-14 NLT)

Everyone makes plans if they are going to succeed. Someone once said, “If you fail to plan, you plan to fail!” That makes sense to me. No one has really experienced success at doing anything without a plan.

Athletic coaches have a plan to win–sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t, but when it doesn’t, they revise/modify the plans until they do work.

Inventors have a plan–a plan that sometimes has to be modified to be successful.

Good parents, sometimes, have plans for their children, but they don’t always work because children grow up and exercise their ability to decide for themselves.

Without a plan, people have difficulty not running around in circles–constantly moving and getting nowhere or being stuck in a rut.

And this is what happens to us. God has a plan for our lives–plans for us to have abundant lives, joy, and happiness and to prosper as our souls prosper, but we think we know better than Him and make our own decisions without consulting Him and the Plan has to be modified until He can get us to see His plan is better. So, He waits for us and sometimes we see His plan coming together in our lives (when we obey) and sometimes we don’t (when we refuse to accept His plan).

What is His plan? Salvation–atonement for all mankind for the sins we are capable of committing–Jesus made the sacrifice for all so we wouldn’t have to do it. What a marvelous plan He has for our lives–Jews and Gentiles and anyone else who is willing to accept His plan through His Son.

I’ve lived enough of my life without His plan operating in my life to know that I prefer His Plan! His plan has been thoroughly detailed and He has forgotten absolutely nothing. The modification needed–is a change in my desire to see His plan work as He planned it, not me. Glory to God! Better seeing it late than not at all.

While I understand the tendency of people to blame God for all the bad stuff that happens in their lives, I always raise the question–what could I have done differently or how did I miss what You said? I’m not blaming Him for my missteps in life. Those were my decisions and I have to accept responsibility for them. Had I known earlier in my life that His plan was so much better; I would have listened–sooner.

For those who refuse to believe He is who He says He is and will do what He says He will do–for all who believe–I’m praying that you, too will learn to listen and accept what He has in store for you because His plan–is better than any plan you could ever have.

 

Having A Goal!

My goal is that they may be encouraged in heart and united in love, so that they may have the full riches of complete understanding, in order that they may know the mystery of God, namely, Christ,” (Colossians 2:2 NIV)

How thoughtful of Paul! In sending this letter to the church at Colosse, he reminded them of his goal–to encourage and to unite in love so they would be in position to receive a clearer knowledge of God.

Like so many people who have a heart for God’s people, Paul is reminding them that should not be fooled by those who would teach false doctrine or bind them to human rules and policies–forsaking the opportunity to allow Holy Spirit to rule in their lives.

That was then–who is trying to encourage hearts and unite people in love, reminding them of God’s love for them and the many blessings He has for them, now? Think about what is heard in churches, on television, on the radio, and seen on the Internet! Is there an encouraging word to comfort hearts coming from those in “positions of authority” or is it all smoke and mirrors–the great pretenders, who are in charge?

Those to whom God has spoken will only speak those things that God has said and those things can be confirmed in His Word. Whenever someone–no matter who it is–attempts to change God’s Word to promote their own agenda, know that their goal is to enslave others in opposition of The Word. Did you not know that Satan has a goal? Satan’s goal is to steal your joy, kill your spirit and destroy all that God loves. Don’ t be a willing participant by helping him to achieve his goals.

Instead, get into the Word, know what God has said pertaining you. Develop a right relationship with God so He can instruct, correct, and guide you into all truths! God has a goal and it is found throughout the Word, but clearly expressed in Jeremiah 29:11.”For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord. “Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future.”

Do you have a goal? “If you fail to plan a course of success, you plan to fail and will not achieve anything worthwhile.”

Fulfilling His Purpose!

“for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose” (Philippians 2:13 NIV).

If we, as believers in God, accept His Word as His revealed purpose for our lives, then what He spoke through Jeremiah speaks volumes as to God’s plans for our lives. “For I know the plans I have for you,”declares The Lord,  “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future” (29:11 NIV).

When we prosper (and not just in material wealth), we are fulfilling God’s good purpose for our lives. Our prosperity is a result of our obedience in all things and therefore we should not be ashamed to declare what God has done and is doing in our lives.

With all of the head-shaking and murmurs against “prosperity preachers” one would have to wonder if those complaining read and understood and had God reveal His truth about His Word. God is not against our prosperity--He might have some issues with how some have prospered, especially if the means to prosper encompassed misleading people or lying, or being corrupt. Not every so-called prosperity preacher is just preaching prosperity. We need to listen with our whole “spiritual ears” and hear what is being said.  The notion that God intended for His children to live like paupers is so beneath a loving, Father, that I wonder–who people are really serving when they think God wants us to be poor!

Throughout The Word, we are told the outcome or results, if you will, of our being obedient: we would have good success and everything we put some effort into would prosper; His blessings will overtake us and we’ll be the lenders, not the borrowers; we’ll be the head and not the tail in business; and this list could go on and on. When Jesus was teaching His disciples just before His return, He told, “whatever you ask of the Father in my name, that I will do.” So, where’s the problem with prosperity?

Some want to amass riches for their own purposes, but there are many of us who have faith and confidence in God’s Word so that we can “assist those in need.” The more we prosper, the more we can help others and this is the Will of God that we–born-again believers–help those who cannot help themselves. If we were doing this right now, this country would not need welfare benefits, but it is because of those in political offices–those who have become greedy and forgot the needy, that this country is in such a mess. When those who God has promoted to positions to help, forget how they got there, chaos and confusion reign and their only concern is what they can get out of the situation; not in helping others. We see that right now–with a Congress that won’t work for the people, but are more interested in pushing their own agenda. This is not part of God’s plan–this is pure politics. Since that is the case–I can only conclude the politicians involved are not acting in accordance to God’s plan to fulfill His good purposes.

Father, help us to understand You better.  Give us a heart like Your heart.  Give us a mind-set so we can think like You think. Move every obstacle out of our way so we can accomplish all that You have planned for us so Your good purposes will be fulfilled. In Jesus’ name, I pray and thank You, Amen!