Woodworking

Our lives are like that wood: It’s the “flaws” that give them character, and once the whole is polished by God’s light, the lives are beautiful flaws and all.

It is the contrast in wood that makes it interesting – the knot holes and variations are what make it intriguing, and the polishing, or sheen over all adds to its beauty. Our lives are like that wood: It’s the “flaws” that give them character, and once the whole is polished by God’s light shining over all, the lives are beautiful, flaws and all. As long as we are active, we will have some flaws in our lives, but as we trust God, they will blend in to become beautiful instead of ruining our lives. (see Romans 8:28)

Spiraling

But if we keep moving, we will come to the center – to the Beginning and the End, and the Meaning.

Our lives are like a spiral leading to God in the center. We go along the path, moving constantly, sometimes wondering if the path really does lead anywhere. But if we keep moving, we will come to the center – to the Beginning and the End, and the Meaning. If we stop in the path because of the difficulties we encounter, then we do not find the Treasure which is at the end of the path.

Believernado

At the end of the day, blessings will abound wherever my path has led.

Meditation Thought: “…no one can say, ‘Jesus is Lord,’ except by the Holy Spirit.” (1 Corinthians 12:3)

The power of God working in and through us can be compared to the action of a tornado – except that everywhere we move with God’s power leaves a path of good – of joy, of gratitude. We are the tip of the funnel, moving along the earth – but the power of God is the force which changes the landscape, the lives which we touch. Where a tornado is a destructive force, God’s “Believernado” is a healing force, a reconciling force.

Not until the Holy Spirit releases His power within us can we have the force of a tornado – until that time, we can lead good, moral lives – but it is the conviction and power of the Spirit that moves us with such force that the paths where we move are changed so much that they are bound to be noticed and so bring others to seek the Force that produced such results.

Prayer of Response:
“Lord, I feel positive and eager to go out today and be a “believernado”, leaving a path of love, concern, help and encouragement wherever I go. I ask that Your wisdom guide me, and Your love work through me, so that at the end of the day, blessings will abound wherever my path has led.
Amen

Step One

We need to study the principles and pray for enlightenment so that we are acting with knowledge and with the will of God – which ensures that “all is possible”.

Meditation Thought: “All things are possible for one who believes.” (Mark 9:23)

The first step to any accomplishment is to believe that it is possible so that we will make the effort to succeed in it: we need to learn all we can about the situation, how to solve the problems and what cause will have what effect. When we learn the principles of life as set out by our Creator, we can apply them to each situation and know that they will work. But if we are ignorant of even one factor, the results can be vastly different.

We need to study the principles and pray for enlightenment so that we are acting with knowledge and with the will of God – which ensures that “all is possible”.

That’s a Win!

When you see the enemy’s strength, quickly turn your eyes from him to your Leader.

Meditation Thought: “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 15:57)

“I have sent a Hero to lead you to conquer your foes: Will you recognize Him, follow Him? If not, defeat will come. But the more you believe in Him, trust Him, obey Him, the more glorious the victories, the more enthusiastic you will be in the battles. Let Him use you – He knows your strongest assets and will use them well. Read your ‘marching orders’ every day, so you will be taking the right path to vanquish the enemy. When you see the enemy’s strength, quickly turn your eyes from him to your Leader – you know He has already been given the victory, and if you are right with Him, – both in the sense of obeying Him, and in the sense of being close to Him, the victory is yours also.”

Two Gears

Only when we can say “I’m yours. Take me as I am, imperfect, inadequate, but completely yielded does the gear slip smoothly into place.

Meditation Thought: “Anything is possible if you have faith.” (Mark 9:23)

Anything is possible if you have faith, because God is taking the action, not human beings. Faith is the lever that changes our gear from ‘our action’ to ‘God’s action’.

Maybe the gears are marked:
– ‘doubt’ and ‘trust’ or
-‘my will’ and ‘God’s will’ or
-‘my strength’ and ‘God’s strength’ or even
-‘my good works’ and ‘God’s grace’.

Whatever the labels, there is no doubt that the pace and the results are different in the two gears. We can be helped by suggestions on how to change gears, but only by our own act can we actually change them. We may have to pull and tug and experiment, but we must keep trying until we succeed in getting the gears changed.

The changing actually takes place when we relax and gently slip our heart and our will into God’s hands, but we may be unable to do this without some pulling and tugging – then giving up our struggle as inadequate, surrendering ourselves as having tried every way we knew and failing. Only when we can say “I’m yours. Take me as I am, imperfect, inadequate, but completely yielded does the gear slip smoothly into place.

Trial and Success

Apparent failures turn into successes under God’s loving guidance.

Meditation Thought: “Blessed is the man who perseveres under trial, because when he has stood the test, he will receive the victor’s crown, the life God has promised to those who love him. (James 1:12)

“Trial and error” – a way of life we have considered normal. But it is not normal for a Christian relying on God’s directions: His life is “trial and success” – for apparent failures turn into successes under God’s loving guidance and protection. This knowledge gives us strength to bear up under trial, that God might bring us further along the way He desires us to be. And the more we become His heart’s desire, the more we can stand the trial, and the more successful the transformation becomes.

Hope Does Not Fail

What better description for a life of peace and victory?

Meditation Thought: “We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.” (2 Corinthians 4:8-9)

Afflicted (hard pressed) – not crushed
Perplexed – not in despair
Persecuted – not abandoned (forsaken)
Struck down – not destroyed

What better description for a life of peace and victory? No matter what the circumstances, hope does not fail, for “we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

We are not crushed, despaired, abandoned or destroyed because we are not alone, we know our “Reserves” are coming to back us up – all we need do is to wait for them to come to change the situation. What a difference it is to know that our uncomfortable position is only temporary – and that good is being worked in it for us.

It’s easy to take discomfort when you know it is bringing rewards later, easy to take when you know it is improving you every minute. We don’t seek discomfort or problems, but when they come (as they do to believers and non-believers alike), we can rise above them in our minds as our minds concentrate on God, seeking His will – His wisdom – His solutions. Soon – or at least on God’s schedule – we have not only our minds, but every part of us risen above the discomfort and problem and feel exhilarated and happier for the overcoming of the trouble, for the knowing more completely than ever before, that God is sufficient. As we come closer to Him in trust, we can not only throw off fear of events, we can almost welcome trouble because we know God will work so much good from it that eventually it will become a blessing.

Dispelling Darkness

When His glory is perceived, others are drawn to it like a moth to a flame.

Meditation Thought: “Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.” (Matthew 5:16)

“Let” – not “Do” shine. Our part is to allow God to have His way with us, so that He makes our light shine. If we attempt the actual lighting by trying to accomplish it by good works, then people would focus on us, not God. By allowing God to take complete control of our lives, He lights such a bright lamp by the works He does in and through us, that His glory is seen in the light. When His glory is perceived, others are drawn to it like a moth to a flame, and God is then able to work in them, too, lighting their lamp.

The more people that allow God to light their lamps, the more light there is to dispel the darkness. We may never know how many other lamps are lit from our lamp by God, but we can be happy in knowing that our lamp is completely at His disposal.

Peace comes when we are doing the good works, knowing that God is pleased because we are doing His work, according to His instructions.

Transformation: Ignorance to Life

We are delighted, awed – even puzzled.

Meditation Thought: “But the hour is coming, and is now here, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for the Father is seeking such people to worship him. God is spirit, and those who worship him must worship in spirit and truth.” (John 4:23-24) “It is no longer because of what you said that we believe, for we have heard for ourselves, and we know that this is indeed the Savior of the world.” (John 4:42)

The indwelling Spirit and the indwelling Truth of the Word implanted in the mind are the transforming powers which move us from ignorance of life to knowledge of Life. We know Whom to worship and how to worship. We know Whom to petition and how to petition. We know Whose we are and why we are.

We have discovered a new part of ourselves: our spirit. We are delighted, awed – even puzzled over this piece of us which has been there all along, but we had not yet found it.

We must learn the function of it – we must learn how to integrate it with all of our other parts. The concept is so new, so different: a part of us that is not known by physical sense, or by the mental process, but by the breath of the Spirit which brings life to our spirit. When we are born of the spirit truly we are “new creations”; we can now worship in spirit and in truth. We are no longer deceived by appearances or by the impressions others press upon us, but know the Truth: we see not with blurred eyes, but with x-ray vision. We hear not the clamor of the world, but the harmony of heaven. We taste not the bitterness of envy, but the Bread of Life. We touch not the grasp of Satan, but the tender clasp of the loving Father. We smell not the odor of burning flesh, but the perfumes of the ripened fruit of the spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. (See Galatians 5:23)

%d bloggers like this: