Skip to main content

Not giving up, just giving in

How many times we would love to throw in the towel, give up the fight, and move on without another thought - especially when the answers don't come easily, we are facing yucky stuff that is harder than we ever realized it would be, or the resistance we are facing is just astronomically huge! Then we get just a glimpse of hope from the Word of God, the counsel of a wise friend, or the unsuspecting message of a total stranger. God's faithfulness comes through - in that glimpse of truth, the word of hope, and the totally unexpected reminder of his care.

If your revelation hadn't delighted me so, I would have given up when the hard times came. But I'll never forget the advice you gave me; you saved my life with those wise words. Save me! I'm all yours. I look high and low for your words of wisdom. The wicked lie in ambush to destroy me, but I'm only concerned with your plans for me. I see the limits to everything human, but the horizons can't contain your commands! (Psalm 119:92-96)

Many times we may have heard that everything serves God's plans - even the worst of things. Nothing escapes his attention - that is true. Nothing happens by chance - this is also true. The most amazing thing someone once told me was that my misery was optional - there was no mandatory requirement to be miserable, even when miserable stuff is happening to or around me. The bad times come, but what we make of them is what counts. We can choose to wallow in our self-pity, or we can choose to be stretched to new capacity. When we choose the latter, we need the words of wise counsel to sustain us in the midst of the trouble or trial. We need the strength that comes from knowing we are listening to truth.

One thing is very clear to me - obedience is not by accident - nor is it optional. It is purposeful. It is a matter of choice - it is a matter of the application of truth. There are certain things that we can expect from God as we make the decision to live obediently, but we must choose the path of obedience. When we choose the path of obedience over the path of ease, he makes us wiser than our enemies! Ever want to outwit your enemy? You can - through obedience to God's counsel. He becomes a guide for us to help us navigate even the most difficult  and dangerous of stuff. It is important to remember here that the starting point in the process of navigation is to actually ascertain the course one is about to travel. In that "plotting" of course, the one navigating takes over control and then brings us to the desired destination. If we only followed half of the directions of the GPS in our cars, we'd still be lost!

When we choose obedience, he actually gives us more might and wisdom than our teachers. How can that be? When a student begins to grasp truth, it is possible for truth to expand because it is seen through fresh eyes. He has the ability to make us wiser than our elders. If you've ever heard the saying, "She is wiser than her years", this is what that is referring to. God's wisdom outshines all other. Probably the most valuable outcome of obedience is the certainty of our path. Embracing obedience begins to help us with the decisions of what to do with the evil around us - rather than being caught up in it, we reject it. We may have looked a lot at what the "longings" of our hearts might be. If we found they are more and more frequently the things revealed in the Word of God, we are probably pretty sure that our way will be made "plain" - easier for us to see, grasp, and understand. God promises to make our path straight (plain) - but this comes out of our choice to make him the center of our path! It comes as we choose obedience. Just sayin!

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

What did obedience cost Mary and Joseph?

As we have looked at the birth of Christ, we have considered the fact he was born of a virgin, with an earthly father so willing to honor God with his life that he married a woman who was already pregnant.  In that day and time, a very taboo thing.  We also saw how the mother of Christ was chosen by God and given the dramatic news that she would carry the Son of God.  Imagine her awe, but also see her tremendous amount of fear as she would have received this announcement, knowing all she knew about the time in which she lived about how a woman out of wedlock showing up pregnant would be treated.  We also explored the lowly birth of Jesus in a stable of sorts, surrounded by animals, visited by shepherds, and then honored by magi from afar.  The announcement of his birth was by angels - start to finish.  Mary heard from an angel (a messenger from God), while Joseph was set at ease by a messenger from God on another occasion - assuring him the thing he was about to do in marrying Mary wa

The bobby pin in the electrical socket does what???

Avoidance is the act of staying away from something - usually because it brings some kind of negative effect into your life.  For example, if you are a diabetic, you avoid the intake of high quantities of simple sugars because they bring the negative effect of elevating your blood glucose to unhealthy levels.  If you were like me as a kid, listening to mom and dad tell you the electrical outlets were actually dangerous didn't matter all that much until you put the bobby pin into the tiny slots and felt that jolt of electric current course through your body! At that point, you recognized electricity as having a "dangerous" side to it - it produces negative effects when embraced in a wrong manner.  Both of these are good things, when used correctly.  Sugar has a benefit of producing energy within our cells, but an over-abundance of it will have a bad effect.  Electricity lights our path and keeps us warm on cold nights, but not contained as it should be and it can produce

Scrubbed Up and Ready to Go!

Have you ever considered just how 'clean' your hands really are? In nursing school, I remember this exercise we did where we rubbed hand lotion on our hands, then were told to go scrub them to practice a good handwashing technique. Most of us were going the extra mile by scrubbing back and front, in between the fingers and then even up above the wrist area. Surely our hands were clean, right? We came back to the room for the 'inspection' of our handwashing jobs only to find our instructor had turned the lights off, had a black light set up, and inspected our hands under that glowing beast! Guess what else 'glowed'? Our hands! The lotion was 'laced' with this 'dust' that illuminates under the black light, allowing each of us to see the specific areas around cuticles, under nails, and even here and there on our hands that got totally missed by our good 'handwashing' technique! What we thought was clean really wasn't clean at all. Clean