Skip to main content

Finished Furnishings

Are you a giver or a maker? Is it possible to be both? Consider the difference between "giving" and "making". We can say, "I give you this item", or we can say, "I will make you take this item". Each carries a little bit of a different meaning. One implies an extension of one's self (making), the other the placing of something into one's care or use (giving). Yet, when we look at this in the terms of a great Creator "making" his people strong and "giving" his people peace, both words take on a different meaning!

God makes his people strong. God gives his people peace. (Psalm 29:11)

God "makes" his people strong - he brings about strength. It is in the movement and arranging of the various elements of our lives that strength is understood. In the times of the most significant weakness on our part, he comes through with the arranging of all things in such a manner so as to produce the ability to stand in his strength rather than our own. Of all those definitions for the word 'make' in the English dictionary, a couple stuck out as describing how our God moves in our lives to produce strength:

He causes himself to be understood - showing us he is all that he claims he is! God's goal is for us to understand him - to trust his ability, listen to his authority, and to take comfort in his attention. We could go through life with no understanding of him - not aware he 'backs' his claims solidly and without measure. God doesn't want that for us - he would rather have us 'know' him and understand his movements.

He causes us to be "made" as he has specified - not how others would specify for us to act or behave in this life. He has a purpose for each one of his creation, and he works overtime to bring us to the place of truly fulfilling our purpose. We make a lot of things, but in each 'thing' we make there can be variation. It might not be much, but there is variation nonetheless. God is truly the only one who can make this to specification each and every time. I don't know about you, but I want someone on my side who know not only 'how' to make life come together, but then acts repeatedly to have it come together in just the right way!

He causes us to move (to truly proceed) in the direction he has outlined for our lives. Try as we might, we can resist his direction, but we will never be happy outside of his defined leading. GPS on our cars tells us where the next turn should be - but it is possible to ignore it! GPS will 're-route' us after we don't take the turn, but it wasn't the route the little computer decided we should have taken in the first place. If you have ever had to 're-route' in life, you probably know there are usually a couple ways you can get back on course. Some of those ways are suggested by the GPS while others are formulated because we take this turn and then another until we are back in the general direction we were originally headed. Either way requires a whole lot of turn-around course adjustments! If we'd followed the leading we received first, we'd have save a whole lot of time, effort, and 'life fuel'!

God "gives" his people peace. Look at the differences in this passage. God "makes" us strong - because on our own, in our own capacity, strength is dependent on the circumstances, or the limits of our own physical condition or mental ability. In his "making" us strong, he causes us to transcend our personal limitations! When God "gives" us peace, it is because peace is something we struggle with accomplishing  in life. It isn't that we don't desire peace, but rather that it exists because of our own attempts to be adequate in the face of our own inadequacies! We 'try' and then admit all our 'trying' only led to more frustration, disturbed peace, and unintended outcomes. He makes us strong - in turn, he gives us peace. In the strength of our God, we experience the gift on his peace! He places into our lives what scripture refers to as peace which surpasses understanding - not so we will move without fear - but so we will come to rely on his leading. He "furnishes" us with peace - he "moves" us into his strength.

You may be in a spot today of needing strength - you will find it in allowing God to make himself understood in your life. You may long for peace - it is furnished at the hand of the one who holds both the present and the future in his hands. Stand strong and enjoy the peace! Just sayin!


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

A brilliant display indeed

Love from the center of who you are ; don’t fake it. Run for dear life from evil; hold on for dear life to good. Be good friends who love deeply ; practice playing second fiddle. Don’t burn out; keep yourselves fueled and aflame. Be alert servants of the Master, cheerfully expectant. Don’t quit in hard times; pray all the harder. (Romans 12:9-12) Integrity and Intensity don't seem to fit together all that well, but they are uniquely interwoven traits which actually complement each other. "Love from the center of who you are; don't fake it." God asks for us to have some intensity (fervor) in how we love (from the center of who we are), but he also expects us to have integrity in our love as he asks us to be real in our love (don't fake it). They are indeed integral to each other. At first, we may only think of integrity as honesty - some adherence to a moral code within. I believe there is a little more to integrity than meets the eye. In the most literal sense,

Do me a favor

If you’ve gotten anything at all out of following Christ, if his love has made any difference in your life, if being in a community of the Spirit means anything to you, if you have a heart, if you care—then do me a favor: Agree with each other, love each other, be deep-spirited friends. Don’t push your way to the front; don’t sweet-talk your way to the top. Put yourself aside, and help others get ahead. Don’t be obsessed with getting your own advantage. Forget yourselves long enough to lend a helping hand. (Philippians 2:1-4) Has God's love made ANY difference in your life? What is that difference? Most of us will likely say that our lives were changed for the good, while others will say there was a dramatic change. Some left behind lifestyles marked by all manner of outward sin - like drug addiction, alcoholism, prostitution, or even thievery. There are many that will admit the things they left behind were just a bit subtler - what we can call inward sin - things like jealousy,