There’s a reason I’ve revealed My character to you in pictures that give glimpses of My reality.
I told you I’m your Father so you would know to treat your children in the same way I treat you. Discipline, yes, but also mercies that are new every morning, love that never fails, and lots and lots of grace. Throw in some longsuffering and patience, too. I do.
I told you I am the Good Shepherd, so you would have the same heart-wrenching concern for those outside My fold as I have. They are wandering, lost, alone. They need you and Me desperately.
I told you how much I love my church – enough to die for her. That’s how I want you to treat your brothers and sisters in the faith, so the world can see your relationships and believe in the reality of My everlasting love for them, too.
I told you I’m the Bread of Life and demonstrated that by feeding thousands of people at a time – a picture of the spiritual food you all need. Reflect My compassion to the world in need around you. They are hungry, sometimes for food, always for Me. You can help them find both.
These images let you see Me and My desires for you and the rest of the world. Go now and live as I lived when I walked on earth. Together, we can show them who I am!
Your loving Lord
“When I understand that everything happening to me is to make me more Christlike, it resolves a great deal of anxiety.” ― A.W. Tozer
Credit to author and speaker Rebekah McLaughlin for image concept.
“When your will is God’s will, you will have your will.” – Charles Spurgeon
One time, as I prayed for God to show me his will, his answer was not what I expected. It went something like this in my mind:
My will is for you to get to know me better. My will is for you to be controlled by the Holy Spirit. But, don’t worry. It’s more like “flowing through” than control. I want you to know me so well and to be so aligned with me that operating under the Spirit’s control will be as natural as breathing.
I do not control by force or coercion. I control by uniting my very self to you and, as we become one, my will and your will coincide. Not force, but flow. That’s my will for you.
As I considered this messsage, I realized that we, as God’s children, need to focus on one thing: getting to know him. Some of us have been learning about him for a long time now by reading the Bible, exploring creation, observing his activities in the world, sharing our hearts and lives with him day-by-day, and listening for his response. We all have a long way to go in our journey to knowing God, but everything we’ve learned about him so far should make us more able to give him control – to allow his personality, perceptions, and passion to flow through us every day.
When we do that, we don’t have to ask as often what his will is. The closer we stay to God, the more we are simply living his will day-by-day.
“. . . be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” – Romans 12:2
Nehemiah had gone to Jerusalem to oversee rebuiding the walls around the beloved city that had been destroyed by war. While in Israel, he not only rebuilt the walls, but became a leader in their society – teaching how God wanted them to live.
One day the people brought him a problem. Many didn’t have enough to eat and were being taken advantage of by those who sold grains and food. They were going into debt, mortgaging their fields, and selling their children into slavery, just so they could eat.
There had to be a better way! I love what Nehemiah did next. He says, “I took counsel with myself” (Nehemiah 5:7). After that thinking time, he confronted the nobles and officials, demanding they follow God’s way by returning the lands they had taken, stop charging interest, and engaging in fair dealings. Surprisingly, they agreed to do as Nehemiah said.
Do you ever “seek counsel with yourself”? There’s a way to do it that I’ve found quite effective. I sit in a quiet place acknowledging God’s presence and his lordship over me. Then, I begin to talk about the problem, thinking it through out loud with him. I am “seeking counsel with myself”, but doing it in God’s presence. He and I work it through together. Often, the answer to my dilemma becomes clear as my thinking is guided by God.
Sometimes, even before we seek counsel from others, maybe we need to do what Nehemiah did. Often God will help us find an answer or a path – just between the two of us.
“God is already present in my life and all around me; prayer offers the chance to attend and respond to that presence.” – Philip Yancey