This has been an exceptional week for God’s blessings in our house hold. Pat (my wife) is suffering from the flu but is steadily recovering and we thank God that it wasn’t as bad as it could have been. We also thank God for another week that He has supplied our needs and been faithful to maintain a system of order in our lives. We also thank Him for blessing us with you, the faithful readers of this blog and I appreciate those who take time to share their comments with us.
I confess, I am a recovering loophole abuser, who lived with only 2 facets of thought toward my decision making. I want what I want, and I want it now or it will go away as long as I don’t recognize (own) it. Simply put, I either made a selfish decision or made a decision to not make a decision. Then I would use loopholes to cover my prideful personal (the image I present to others) side in case everything went south and at the same time I had a loophole to enable my lazy (comfortable, safe and easy) side. In either case nothing was ever me fault because I had loopholes! However, I did discover after about 40 years of perfecting my loophole technique of decision making, there were natural side effects (which I refused to recognize as my doings) such as consequences of suffering, worry and pain. Let me break this down a little more; the big thing that I chose to ignore was the thing that weighed heavily on my soul daily. I had become a hoarder of misery, confusing and pain! I was lost beyond lost, filled with the deep dark, empty feelings of loneliness that few will ever understand. My life had become no more than a daily pity party celebrating my failures.
But by the grace of almighty God, I’ve come alive, my life is changed, and I am loved by God and myself! God started working with me to change my attitude and life style in which entailed me learning about loopholes. He began by showing me the greatest spiritual loophole for most Christian’s today which is found in 1 Thessalonians 5:21-22 (ESV), but test everything; hold fast what is good. 22 Abstain from every form of evil. This is (in my opinion) one of the most miss used scriptures in the bible. It allows (some of) us an easy way out of acting upon what we feel God has told or is telling us to do. As it turns out, I’m usually uncomfortable doing whatever it is that God is wanting done, so I test the spirit! And test the spirit! And I test the spirit! Eventually God chooses someone else to perform the task and my rationalization would always be the same. It wasn’t meant for me to do, or God wouldn’t have had them do it. Truth be told, when I was doing this, I didn’t even know how to test the spirit. But keeping with the faith I used John 4:48 (ESV), So Jesus said to him, “Unless you see signs and wonders you will not believe” to explain my short sightedness (to myself). I would kneel and halfheartedly pray for God to send me a sign, “if” He really wanted me to fulfill His request. As faith would have it, nothing happened to prove that God was not calling on me. My face did not appear in the clouds, nor my name written in the water of a brook. Nothing I considered spectacular happened over the next number of days, weeks or months, so I was off the hook. Even though I was going to church regularly, set on various committees and even sang in the choir. “I was clueless!” I actually had no idea as to what God’s signs and wonders would look like. In John 12:37 (ESV), Though he had done so many signs before them, they still did not believe in him. Maybe they were like me and found it was just easier to turn a blind eye to the idea. My life is filled with complications and I didn’t need anything more on my plate. Ergo, I put Thessalonians 5:21-22 into play. You know! That old “fake it till, you make it” scenario? Which by the way, I personally DO NOT recommend! You’ll find (as I did), the most miserable way to live life on this earth that there is. Regardless of what the world is whispering inside your head, “there is no happy half way” in living for God the worlds way!
God has called all His chosen to the purpose of loving Jesus, following Jesus and witnessing the very nature of Jesus to this world through His love and good deeds. In Hebrews 10:24-25 (ESV), 24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. It took me a long time to digest all of this but it’s actually quite simple! When I think I’m hearing from God, I first ask myself, is this for me or the kingdom, then I examine my heart for purity; as there can’t be any self-seeking involved! Then I turn to the scriptures, to confirm that this is God “you’ll know,” and finally I will seek wise counsel from my spiritual brothers and sisters. However, you have to understand, I don’t question God urging me to open the door for someone, paying for someone’s meal, helping the stranded and so on. I am reminded of something my pastor repeats often; “if I am to err, I try to always err on the side of God!” Here is a little food for thought, John 14:12 (ESV), “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes in me will also do the works that I do; and greater works than these will he do, because I am going to the Father. Do you know your sign and wonder? I do; mine is, “I am not who I used to be!” God did what I and the world could not. He changed my life! Leaving me to wonder, why me and the answer is, Because Jesus loves me! Thank you, Lord for changing my life through your grace, mercy and love! I ask you to continually fill me with more of you.
HAVE A BLESSED WEEK BY BEING A BLESSING TO OTHERS!