Ducky Quack-Quack!

224598_7042Whenever anything bad happens the first thought to go through my head is, “Why me?”  “What did I do to deserve this?”  “How did I tick God off this time?”  “Things were going so well, why now"?”  Here is what I have become convinced of.  It’s hard to focus on God when He’s blessing me.  Sounds dumb I know.  It is however, true.  When He is blessing me, when things are going well, when life is ducky quack-quack, God tends to be put on the back burner. 

Oswald Chambers said it this way- “Troubles nearly always make us look to God; His blessings are apt to make us look elsewhere.”  Here, here Mr. Chambers.  I see that happen to me all the time.  When life sucks, I’m talking to Jesus.  When life is going well, I’m talking to everyone but Him.  My prayer this morning was “What have I been doing?  Why am I playing at being a Christ-Follower again?  Why hasn’t my walk at work matched my walk at home?  Why haven’t I really talked to you in a while God?”  Then He answered me, “Because life is going well right now.  Life is good and you’re taking me for granted.” 

 5-12 Trust God from the bottom of your heart;
   don’t try to figure out everything on your own.
Listen for God’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go;
   he’s the one who will keep you on track.
Don’t assume that you know it all.
   Run to God! Run from evil!
Your body will glow with health,
   your very bones will vibrate with life!
Honor God with everything you own;
   give him the first and the best.
Your barns will burst,
   your wine vats will brim over.
But don’t, dear friend, resent God’s discipline;
   don’t sulk under his loving correction.
It’s the child he loves that God corrects;
   a father’s delight is behind all this. (Proverbs 3:5-6, The Message)

I am NOT a prosperity preacher type guy.  (see 1 Timothy 6:6-10)  I think most of that is garbage.  Just my personal opinion but I can’t back up the belief that God wants me to have a Corvette or a Benz.  However God does bless us tangibly and intangibly, but rarely in the way we want.  He may give us peace in a dark time or help us pay for groceries when money is tight, but as far as I can see He isn’t going to give me a Corvette when  what I need is a mini-van.  God gives us what we need to serve Him, not what we want to serve our egos.  But no matter what the blessing is, tangible or intangible, it still tends to make us forget God. 

Maybe you are more spiritually disciplined than I am, if so- you are awesome.  But I imagine that 99.9% of us, if we really looked at, and I mean put a 500 watt quartz light bulb in the lamp in the living room of our heart and looked in the corners and under the love seat I bet what you will find is that, like me, you slack off when things are ducky quack-quack.  Your relationship gets stale.  Your prayers are shorter with way less emotion.  Bible reading is boring and nothing seems to be jumping out at you. 

If this is happening, be careful because the next step is for God to do something or allow something to happen that will get your attention.  Why?  Because He knows the longer you take Him for granted, the farther you get from Him.  The more comfortable you get with not praying or reading, the easier it is to ignore Him.  No one likes to be ignored, God definitely shouldn’t be ignored.  But we do.  I know I do. 

This morning He gently reminded me that I have been ignoring Him.  Hopefully I listen, because usually the reminders get a little more intense each time. 

1195551_what_not_to_do_3 Sometimes I hear my wife but I don’t listen.  I know she is talking, I hear her voice but I’m not listening to her words.  Usually a few minutes later a pillow or something comes whizzing at my head.  If I still don’t listen the object gets bigger and harder.  Ouch!!!  “What honey, I’m ready to listen!” 

 

 

God’s discipline (see last few verses above)  tends to start gentle and get a little harder each time as well.

“I hear you God, please help me to listen.”

 

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It’s all about Him,

Shawn

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The Ultimate Example of Obeidience!

Update-  Sorry it took so long to write this.  Saturday morning my Dad had a Medium Heart Attack.  He was rushed to the hospital where the Doc’s got him stable.  They went in and ballooned out a stint that was clogged with blood clots.  Then they reshaped the stint.  The stint clogged with blood clots again and they had to balloon it once again.  That seemed to do it.  He is recovering in the ICU right now.  The V.A. Hospital wants him to come there but we are praying he gets to stay right where he is.  The V.A. is one of the reasons he is having so many problems.  They send him to a different heart doctor each time he has a check-up.  Nothing is consistent.  So please be in prayer, I am not ready to loose my Dad!

There are a lot of times in our lives when God’s requests seem unreasonable.  “How can He ask that of me?” we cry.  “Thats too hard,” we complain.  When God’s request seems so outlandish or mean we need to remember, He sees the entirety of our lives.  He sees the big picture.  He knows the plans He has for us.  Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.” He has a plan and He knows exactly what it is going to take to mold us into the image of His Son.  God wants us to be Christ-Like.

Jesus is our greatest example of obedience.  He obeyed God even to the point of death, it was love that drove Jesus but it was obedience to God that killed Him.  It was obedience to God’s plan, the big picture that nailed Jesus to the cross.  Love may have held Jesus on the cross but it was obedience that put Him there.  If Jesus was obedient unto the point of death, how can we complain when God asks us to do something that might embarrass us, or cause us to loose our job.  How shallow are we?  How little do we trust?

Remember- Obedience is the way to blessings and hope.

Accept God’s Discipline With Thanksgiving

Part 7 on Obedience

right-way-wrong-way1.jpg    First let me state that when you do disobey God you can at any time stop disobeying and ask for His forgiveness.  Nothing you have done, are doing or will do is beyond God’s forgiveness.  God’s love knows no limits.  His forgiveness can cover all our screwups.  However, being forgiven does not necessarily remove the consequences of our disobedience.  Sometimes we have to get the spanking even after we have asked forgiveness.  Some of you don’t think that that is fair, but it is a natural law, just like gravity.  If you jump out of a 30 story building from the top floor you are going to fly all the way to the ground.  “SPLAT!”  When you break the law you will eventually get caught and you will pay the penalty.  When you break God’s law He offers forgiveness but not absolution from the results.  Now, sometimes we don’t see the consequences, but eventually they come.  The good news is that even then Jesus is right there with us.

Forgiveness is about restoring the relationship with God, not getting out of the punishment.  When I was 11 or so I shoplifted from Wal-Mart.  I got caught.  My Mom was not happy.  My Dad was not happy.  My Grandma was not happy.  When I got home my rear end was not happy.  But my folks and my Grandma forgave me.  I still had to take the punishment.  A lack of trust from my parents and 40 hour community service work picking up garbage.  (Riding with the guys on the garbage truck was one of the funnest times of my life.  They treated me well and bought me soda’s and candy.  Probably because I worked hard and didn’t have an attitude)  I did the crime and served the time.

While that was pretty minor it illustrates the point.  If you have time read the story of the Prodigal Son.  Click HERE to read it.  In it we read of God’s love and forgiveness toward us.  While the consequences of sin are unavoidable we can attain true forgiveness and renewed hope when we turn toward God and accept His loving offer.  He may not remove the pain of disobedience but He can forgive you and restore His blessing in your life.

Remember- Thank God for the spanking today, it may keep your butt out of the fire tomorrow.

Tomorrow- The ULTIMATE EXAMPLE of OBEDIENCE!!!