THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

God’s Way


Proverbs 20:24

24 A person’s steps are directed by the LORD.  How then can anyone understand their own way?

Proverbs 16:9

9 In their hearts humans plan their course, but the LORD establishes their steps.

 

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It is interesting that we all seem to think that we are in charge of our lives when in actual fact we are not. Oh, I thought you knew that. Anyway, I discovered this truth in greater depth this week so I don’t blame you. I was reading the Proverbs this week and it is amazing how this fact is repeated periodically and in different ways all through the book. I learned from one of my teachers that repetition is for emphasis and emphasis alone; it is not a stammer.

 

So it got me thinking of Jonah. He was sent to warn a city of impending destruction and he opted to go his own way. He was in a boat going the opposite direction when a storm brewed and almost overcame the boat till they threw him overboard at his own request. He did not drown even in the deepest part of the sea rather he was swallowed by a big fish and spat out on the beach near his original destination. I must say it must have been icky to be in the belly of a large fish will all the bodily fluids and all. Anyway, he eventually arrived at the spot he was sent to and spoke the word of God. When the people came to repentance and he was stark raving mad. What he didn’t realise was that God is not bent on destruction rather he wants all men to come to him and love him and make his name known.

 

The thing I find most interesting is that even in his deliberate and great efforts to elude God he was brought back again and again to the place he had to be and the path that had been set up for him to walk and accomplish. I find this utterly remarkable. Even more awesome is the fact that God was so patient and gentle with him in an effort to bring him to the light. I realised that even today, He is as patient and gentle with me and will move to ensure that I accomplish the reason he has put me on this earth. I like Proverbs 19:21 which says, “Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails.”

 

I need to align with the PURPOSE that God intended me to achieve or else my life be of lesser value than He intended. The thing that remains with me daily is that the purpose of the Lord prevails. Regardless of how much I resist it and try to walk in my own ways His plan for me will not change to suit me and what I want to do. It is therefore in my best interests to be still before Him and listen and meditate on Him all the time then I can be all He wants me to be and more. When I am all He wants me to be I am effective and a blessing to all.

 

Are you like me? Does it overwhelm you sometimes to keep on the path He has selected for you? Do you wonder why things are not going the way you want them to? I urge you to find your peace and rest in Him and discover His purpose for you then you will thrive. When you are sure He is the one who has said you will stand regardless of the circumstances surrounding you. I know without a doubt that being comfortable and content in Him is worth every moment and I seek to be found there daily.

 

Connect to Jehovah and walk with Him no matter what and the rest of your life will make sense. I did not say be easy, I said, will make sense…sense because you will be assured of the hand of God in all you do and that will ensure success by His standards that is better than success by our standards. Walk in His purpose for you. You are blessed.

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK

Impact as Designed


When I least expected it my view was changed. Last Friday a colleague and I went venue searching and we ended up in a venue in one of the local forests. The thing I really was left with was the need to conserve the environment. We met the GM there and he is looking to better the place and it was amazing. He had an interesting thought process.

 

First he believes in empowering the local people to do the work and then train them to improve productivity. Second, he doesn’t think anyone should sit in one place and get comfortable at their job. One should look for comfort in their lives as well as look for opportunities to improve themselves and move on. The intention here is to make room for others at the lower rungs in life. Isn’t that amazing?

 

Isn’t that a new thought? Isn’t that the way to build an organisation? Create a place that can bring people in and improve them then let them out and on their way? Concentrate on improving lives and the ability to make impact. We all want to get people and keep them and there is a place for that in the top levels for purposes of consistency however, how many of us ever create systems that can work without us and still be as efficient to the client as if we were there? Systems that will enable us to be effective and have the kind of impact God intend us to have.

 

The local reality is different. Usually as a business owner, I am the centre of my business and as long as I am alive, well and able to work it will flourish. What happens to the design of leaving a legacy and inheritance for my children? Prov 13:22 is very clear, “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children but a sinners wealth is stored up for the righteous.”  I will concentrate on the first part; “A good man leaves an inheritance for his children and his children’s children…” anything else is for another day. It is God’s intention that I leave a legacy for the next two generations but how can I do that if I am not even able to take care of the current generation?

 

That thought takes me back to my thoughts on work. I am building a firm with a mandate to create great impact and wealth. You see, there is so much that needs to be done in the expansion of the kingdom yet there isn’t enough money. Think of how many people are still hungry, how many missionaries are ineffective because they do not have the right funding, there are people without bibles, clothes, homes, education….there is so much need and there are not enough resources to go around. How about the lack of schools and the need to train more teachers? There is so much to do out there and I cannot sit here and be complacent.

 

I must rise up and do what God is telling me to do whether or not you agree with me. I must get to the place where His instructions are more important to me than my personal opinions. I must connect to His voice and understand that the plans He has for all of us are good and not for evil to give us a future and a hope. I cannot but follow my destiny and work to walk in His ways and make the kind of impact I need to make.

 

Recently a man of God said that many of us are not being exposed to our destiny and to people of higher impact because we are not ready and able to withstand the onslaught of challenges that come with that kind of exposure. So, if I am destined to be so great and create such greatness for the glory of God then why have been so low financially for so long? Why have I struggled? What lessons do I still have to learn? What is it that I am not yet ready for? One thing I know is that I am filled with a deep desire to just get to know God and understand Him and His purpose for my life. I am beginning to understand what Christ meant when He said, “Seek first the Kingdom and His righteousness and all these things will be given to you.” Matt 6:33. Wow…the answer is in being in the place He desires me to be and in the line with His will all the while listening to His directions and walking in obedience.

 

Ok, so what does it take to be where we need to be in life? Obedience! When God says move we move. When HE says stay we stay. When He says wait we wait. I know that I am in the midst of something great and the only way I can latch on to it is to obey. I know I have written a lot about obedience in the last few months but it is a message that is refusing to let go of my heart and each time I put a hand to the keyboard it jumps out at me. This is the key I see for the way things will unfold to the honour and glory of the God the Father. I don’t know about you but at this time when all is said and done I want to be so sure of my calling, destiny and impact on this earth that it is worth aligning to the plans and focus of God.

 

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

What my heart wants


A couple of weeks back I was sitting with some girlfriends and we were talking about life and what we had always hoped to get out of it. I know we were all somewhat disappointed in the way had things turned out and we reminisce to what we always wanted to happen and make life what we always dreamed it to be. The most common ones were I want:

  • My spouse to help me with the work in the house
  • My spouse to take care of the devotional times and not be the one to initiate always
  • My spouse to take the kids to church
  • My spouse to understand me
  • Us to be free of the struggle to make ends meet
  • To be debt free
  • My boss this and that
  • My folks this and that

And on and on the list went and down the spiral of despair we went. At the end of the day we were not in good shape but we felt better because we had vented and got it off our chests. Misery loves company and at that point I did not realise I had just been in the midst of misery and had a strange feeling about that at the end of the day.

Much later I realised we were on the way to self-destruction if we remained on that road. The thought occurred to me that my life should be about more than what I want before God will come through and make changes. What do I mean? I never wanted it to be that I am the initiator of prayers in the home and I believe that it is the role of my husband the priest of the home. That’s cool but the real question is…what does God want me to do at this point? Now wait a minute: Where do the things I desire and want come into play? Doesn’t He say he will give me the desires of my heart? What will make life worth the living?

That is a foreign concept to most of us and I really struggled with that one. Then heard the man of God speak and many things clicked in and out. He said that the purpose of marriage is to depict the relationship between the Godhead. They are three, with distinct roles and yet they do not overstep each other’s bounds or fight. How many of us are like that. Then there is the purpose of the family and that is to raise a divine expression. This means that we need to raise the next generation of people who love God by choice and deeply to bring the kingdom closer to earth. In all this where is what I want? Where are all those things I have planned on all my life? NO WHERE!!!!! Isn’t that funny? I should really be asking “Lord what is your plan and purpose? What do you want me to do and become?” Not easy but that is the reality of my life. Wow!!!!

I realised that I am called to be more than just a regular believer but a change maker and earth mover. To be that, I must be clued into the will of God and choose to make his desires the desires of my heart. Yes, there are things that I desire and I make them known to him BUT when that is done I leave it ALL to him. Yes he gives me the desires of my heart but it is the renewed desires that he fulfils. When I am fully committed to him he will change the things I want to the things he wants.

John 6:56…As the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This got me on a new page just now…wow talk about revelation on the spot…If I live because of Him then I desire what he desires and he works actively in me. I am in the midst of a place that makes it easy for me to be connected and wanting what he wants and daily making the changes that I need to make. This is because I have finally got to the end of me and realised that there is nothing I can do that will work. I found that I must plug into him and find the way through obedience. It is an interesting walk because some of the things he wants me to do are different and humanly outrageous but yet not impossible. However, as I walk with him I am in the midst of making better choices in life. I still have things to change and I am changing everyday but I am also learning new things.

I am learning to concentrate on what God would have for me and not push for what I want. However the closer I get to him the more intertwined my desires for the same things he desires. This means that the life I live is full and happy despite the surrounding situation and I am above all things. I am above because nothing can hold me down when I am in his hands. I now want the things God wants for me and the level of my frustration in life is now non-existent. I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I that lives but Christ that lives in me. The life I live in the body I live by faith in him who saved me…this is becoming my daily desire. I am learning to love life and live it to the fullest…

THE CHRISTIAN WALK, The Simple Life

OBEDIENCE:


These last few weeks I have been working through the whole lesson of obedience. There are things in my life that I have needed to do but have not had the guts to do yet despite the fact that I know there are far-reaching effects of not doing them. I know you know what I am talking about when I say that often it is harder to do the things we know we should do. Even Paul said “The things I want to do, I do not but those I do not want to do, I do.”

You see, for as long as I know what I need to do and do not do it I live in disobedience to my Lord. However, being as human as I am and working with what I have, leaves me often sorely incompetent to achieve the desired goal and fearful to no end. I struggle with doing things that will alienate me from people more because I don’t want to carry the weight of a broken or bruised relationship. How ironic, because doing nothing hurts me and leaves me unable to be the kind of person I need to be. Catch 22 huh?

As I have thought through things I have realised that the greatest motivator not to do anything is FEAR. When we need to put in a resignation letter fear of the next step makes us sit on it. When we need to leave a relationship that is not working fear of rejection and/or loneliness keeps us in it. When we need to start a business fear of failure keeps us in employment. When we need to take the next step in our walk with Jehovah and it is a strange one fear of the loss of control makes us do nothing.

I had to overcome the fear of following Jehovah recently by doing his bidding unconditionally. The thing I could not explain is that I was petrified. The strangest thing was the desperate fear that letting go would make me fall flat on my face. Ok, I know God loves me and wants the best for me but at this point I could not bring myself to do what I needed to do. After a lot of soul-searching I realised that I had lost my faith and trust in God’s ability to sort me out and was depending on myself for solutions. So I asked myself, when did I lose this ability to trust? What happened to me and where did it happen?

I believe it all started I begun working with my hands and I learnt to provide for my needs. Isn’t it ironic that I say I was providing yet I wasn’t the one providing but it was Jehovah and I had just lost perspective? In the scheme of things opportunities opened up and after a while I lost the conscious remembrance that it is He who creates options then I find and fill. The loss of faith and trust begun with a subtle move from the extraordinary to the ordinary of just being able to put food on the table and make ends meet. In all honesty these provisions did not make up for the loss of a light and airy heart yet it never occurred to me that I had shifted my focus hence the stagnation. I had forgotten the freedom found in being in the centre of the will of Jehovah.

So, what did I do? I got to a place where my life wasn’t working as it needed to and I could only nothing on my own any more. In view of this I spent time sitting back and chilling learning to slow down and listen to the world around me. I found stillness in the quiet place and after I had sat still for a couple of days I begun to hear the birds chirping, the crickets creaking, the children laughing in school and many other things. It is strange…no surreal; to be in a place all by myself and be so at peace and in tune with nature…I must admit I am still developing that part. In the middle of this I turned back to Jehovah and asked him to speak to me and show me the way. His answer was strange ever so strange. He said, “You are standing in the way of your own destiny…you know what I have been asking you to do. Do it and then come back.” Only a father can say that to a child and it was the reality for me.

What I needed to do was hard and heartrending but seeing that I had no other way out I did what he had asked me to do and it was amazing. I can say that everyday from then a new step has been revealed and I am back to a place I cannot remember being for a while now. I love this place and realise that my destiny and peace in my life is pegged on my ability to listen and obey. I cannot say it is easy to follow everyday but the benefits and peace that comes with it makes I worth it. I love Jehovah and will do all I can to stay close to him

Just today I was reminded that the only way to be all I am called to be I must make obedience a lifestyle. So often we talk about the lifestyle of worship and never of obedience. My life has changed and I am free.

Obedience has set me free…how about you?