Thursday, February 17, 2011

Put GOD in the center

The prophecy was that a baby would be born in Nazareth; He would save the world of their sins. Not a lot of specifics, huh?

When Mary fell pregnant she didn’t say, “Ok, now, let’s go to Nazareth so that the prophesy of the Old Testament can be fulfilled.” As far as she was concerned she was just going to have the baby and raise the child with Joseph, their family and friends. That’s all she knew. Then the Roman Emperor decreed that a census should be taken. The Emperor’s goal was not to fulfil the prophecy either. God was using completely natural circumstances to move the people around for His purposes – like pieces on a chess board. The next thing they found themselves in Nazareth, gave birth to a baby boy in the manger – prophecy fulfilled to a tee.

God’s plan was to set the Israelites free from slavery in Egypt. Pharaoh would choose to harden his heart and he played right into God’s hands
for showing His power and miracles to the Israelites so that they would trust Him and know that He was their God. Eventually, after the tenth plague, Pharaoh practically threw the Israelites out of his country and demanded they leave. He must have thought he was calling the shots, but he was doing exactly what God had intended him to do so that His purpose could be fulfilled, i.e. saving His people from slavery.

God’s plan was that Josef would save nations from hunger 20 years after he had the dreams of the sheaves and the stars bowing before him. Joseph didn’t say, “Ok, let me go check on my brothers so that I can get thrown into a pit, be sold as a slave, be falsely accused of sexual harassment, thrown in prison – perfectly positioned for the king to spot me and appoint me 2nd in command of the whole of Egypt and save nations.” He didn’t know what hit him, but each party in the process did exactly their part for God to achieve His marvellous outcome of building the necessary character in Joseph so that he could be the man of the hour at the appointed time.

I have tried so many times to figure out God’s plan for me just to find out – with a huge disappointment every time – that I had missed the mark by miles?

Sometimes things don’t make sense in and of themselves, and it takes time for all the separate occurrences of our lives to come together and show the bigger picture in a meaningful way. I think in those difficult times, when nothing seems to make sense, all I can do really is what is in front of me naturally, and to trust that God is guiding me even though I don’t recognize it, and no matter how lost I feel; that He will achieve His greater purpose on the other side of it all. My part is to trust Him and obey whenever and however I feel Him leading me.

The rest of the time..?

...and, having done all [the crisis demands], to stand [firmly in your place]
(Ephesians 6:13)


Rest in the Lord; wait patiently for Him to act.
(Psalm 37:7)

I have this little card in my Bible – it is a reminder that I often need nowadays – it reads, Put GOD in the centre – and everything will come together. (Joseph is keeping an eye on it for me ;)

Saturday, February 5, 2011

No tomorrow in yesterday

No, dear brothers, I am still not all I should be but I am bringing all my energies to bear on this one thing: Forgetting the past and looking forward to what lies ahead, Phil 3:13 (Life Application)

I remember a brief few minutes with one of the company CEO’s that I worked for. He had just listed his company on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and they had an interview with him on television. It was quite the WOW event! I met him at the coffee bar the next morning and asked him how it was. At first he didn’t know what I was talking about and when I reminded him, his response was “Oh, THAT! That was yesterday; it is history – forgotten about already."

His story always reminds me that
the past is the past; whether good or bad. You can’t change it, you can’t enjoy it again – a once off offer; never to be repeated! If it was good,it is going to fade as time goes by. If it was not pretty you can’t go back and revise it. There is no point in asking, “Why (me)?”, “Why not (me)”, “What did I do wrong or do to deserve it?”, etc, etc. Fact is, it’s gone and it doesn’t care what your name is! All you can do is take whatever you could learn from it and move forward. If you don’t, it could drag you under, drowning you. Everyone fall down at times but it doesn’t have to be – shouldn’t be – fatal.

The future is not found in the past.

Yet there is one ray of hope: his compassion never ends... Great is his faithfulness; his loving kindness begins afresh each day. (Lamentations 3:21, 23) But forget all that – it is nothing compared to what I’m going to do! For I’m going to do a brand new thing. See, I have already begun! Don’t you see it? (Isaiah 43:5)

God is not a God of yesterdays, except to remind us of His proven faithfulness and the lessons to be learnt. We shouldn’t get stuck spending our energy on something we can't change either. We need to determine each day that today is a new day; to leave yesterday in the past where it belongs and to celebrate the beauty that is right before us; to not let it be tarnished by the memories of ‘used to be’.

*The picture is from MS Word Clipart

Friday, February 4, 2011

"Don't ever be afraid..." and here's why

“Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged! I am the Lord your God, and I will be there to help you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 (CEV)

Does this mean that we are not supposed to be afraid; to not feel fear? I don’t think so. We are human and we were created with emotions, and I believe that they serve a purpose too, but we are to be master over our emotions instead of being controlled by it.

I believe God is saying, “Don’t ever be afraid or discouraged” and here’s why – I am the Lord your God – I am with you – I will help you (not maybe – WILL) – wherever you go (there is nowhere where He cannot get to you).

We are to feed our faith and starve our fear. I read once that courage is feeling the fear and doing it anyway! To face our fears is the only way for us to overcome it. I’ve always remembered someone describing fear as (F)alse (E)vidence (A)ppearing (R)eal. On the other side of our fear we will find the liberty instead to be all that God has destined for us to be. However, the first step of believing what God says is up to us if we are to ever discover the wonderful things that are in store for us.

So the next time you feel fear you need to remind yourself of His promise and then make up your mind to be courageous and have faith that all will be well because He always does what He says.

*The picture is from MS Word Clipart