Skip to main content

Thrown another curveball?

Those who listen to instruction will prosper; those who trust the Lord will be joyful. (Proverbs 16:20)

Norman Vincent Peale told us, "It is always too early to quit." Most of us want to 'prosper' - not just have prosperity. We want to have things 'go well' in our lives, without too much resistance involved. People who want to 'prosper' are not quitters. They find a way, maybe one that was not even considered in the beginning, but one they come to see as opening up before them. We might want to open a few doors ourselves, but until we learn to listen to God about which ones we are to open, we might just find ourselves opening a few that should have remained tightly closed.

We have already said some consider 'prospering' as coming into a patch of good fortune - amassing something of 'value' that one thinks of as 'prosperity'. I think God has a different type of 'prosperity' in mind for us than amassing things or finances. He wants us to thrive - to actually flourish in his ways. The opposite of this idea is that of failing. One moves toward the good, the other toward a position we would not really want to assume. God gives us the key to prosperity - listening to his instruction, then trusting him fully with our lives. 

I might talk a lot about obedience, but that is only because I know how hard it can be to actually take steps toward obedience in my own life. Trust me on this one - I want to flourish, but sometimes I put myself in situations where the conditions for thriving are just not ever going to be met! This is where God's grace comes in. He knows where we are struggling, and he provides the necessary instruction, encouragement, and faith to help us move forward. I think that might just be how we prosper - we recognize our choices are a bit 'weak' and we allow God to 'firm them up'.

To flourish, one needs the right conditions. We are all capable of starting out well, but when the conditions aren't favorable for our growth or development, what then? If we are wise, we'd turn to the one who knows how we 'prosper' even when the conditions might throw us a curveball. 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,