Hoo boy! That can be hard when He doesn’t seem to be acting the way we think He should, can’t it?
Perhaps you have an impossible situation in your life that you’re asking God to fix. You can see what needs to happen to fix the problem and maybe you’re even telling God what you think He should do, as if He doesn’t already know the end from the beginning.
Welcome to FREEDOM FRIDAY – A devotional, emotional, spiritual and sometimes hysterical series that I will be sharing on occasional Fridays, in addition to my regular Old Things New posts. Why? Because though once bound in chains Christ has set me free – FREE to live, to love, to dance, to sing, to be who God created me to be!
I love my church and I love the messages we receive from our Pastor Jeremy week-after-week. It’s almost like he can see inside my head when he’s preparing his sermons and I often find myself declaring a strong, “Amen!” to the words he speaks. Sometimes my amen may even be a little LOUD because, well, the Holy Spirit does a little dance with my spirit when a word resonates truth!
NOTE: All of the tweets in this post are quotes from our brilliant Pastor Jeremy. I couldn’t help but share them because they go so well with my message today.
A few weeks ago, Pastor Jeremy was doing a series which started with a passage out of Matthew 16 where Simon, upon whom Jesus had moments before bestowed the honor of the new name, Peter, or “ROCK,” reprimanded Jesus for warning the disciples that soon he would soon suffer, and die, and after three days rise again.
“Never Lord!”, Peter boldly declared. Matt. 16:22 NIV
Jesus’ answer to Peter? “Get away from me Satan, you are a dangerous trap to me. You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” Matt. 16:23 NLT
How quickly we can go from an “all in” faith like Peter’s to fear of our circumstances or fear of what “might” happen.
Another well-known example is found in Matt. 14:29-32 where the disciples are out in a boat when a vicious storm suddenly arises. When impetuous Peter sees Jesus walking to them across the waves he jumps right out of that boat and starts wave walking to meet him. Then he recalls the ferocity of the wind and waves and begins to sink. “Help me Lord!”
Ahhh, Peter! He received a bit of an admonishment from Jesus, and then, Jesus reached out, took his hand, and brought him into the boat with him. And the wind became quiet.
How often do I, like Peter, begin with great faith in God, filled with purpose and determination to live fully for Him? Then the “stuff” of life arises, and I take my focus off of Him. I lose my vision, my courage, and sometimes even my hope. Are you at all like me?
But God. Without fail, when I turn my focus back on God and cry out to Him, He assures me that He is right here where He’s been all along. He takes my hand in His and calms my raging sea.
Lately I’ve been hanging out on U-Tube, attempting to learn how to use my very nice camera in something other than automatic mode. This week I played around with “bokeh”. I know I’m a late starter because every blogger worth his or her salt knows how to create good bokeh.
For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, bokeh is defined as, “The aesthetic quality of the blur produced in the out-of-focus parts of an image produced by a lens.” Thank you Wikipedia.
This picture right here? This is an example of bokeh. The flower is the focal point and all that is happening around it is a blur.
The same is true with God. When He is at the center of my focus, I am at peace. That makes for a beautiful picture doesn’t it? When I’m not focused on God, I start seeing all the things happening around me that I can’t control. I look at outward circumstances from my own limited understanding and I become fearful, rather than trusting God. How quickly that can become a terrible downward spiral.
Fear can be fed, but so also can faith, even faith as small as a mustard seed. It is fed when we let our circumstances become a blur and focus our eyes back on Jesus. Just like Pastor Jeremy says:
Prayer: Lord Jesus, we are such flighty people. One moment declaring that You are Omnipotent and Sovereign and Wonderful and Good, and the next moment cowering under the covers in fear. Please Lord, forgive us our lack of faith and thank you that, in spite of ourselves and in spite of our circumstances, you remain faithful to us. I ask that You help us not to rely on how big our faith is, but on how big You are. Lord, please bring my friends little reminders throughout the day of Your presence beside them so that they will remember to keep their focus on you. Thank you for loving us so very much. Amen
Thank you, dear friends for hearing what the Lord laid on my heart today.
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