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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Get Serious!

      As you know from yesterday I am doing a study on James.  Great book, my favorite actually.  This week is chapter 4.  Read it HERE.  This morning I was reading James 4 again and a passage jumped out at me.

     Maybe you are like me, a Yo-Yo Christian.  One week you are serious about your relationship with God and the next week you don’t even pick up your Bible at all.  Or maybe it lasts a month or three but then the closeness seems to widen and before you know it you can’t see God in your life let alone hear Him.  I do that.

 You’re cheating on God. If all you want is your own way, flirting with the world every chance you get, you end up enemies of God and his way. And do you suppose God doesn’t care? The proverb has it that “he’s a fiercely jealous lover.” And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find. It’s common knowledge that “God goes against the willful proud; God gives grace to the willing humble.”  James 4:4-6

     “flirting with the world every chance you get.”  I never thought of it that way before.  I am a married man now, but in my single days I was a big flirt.  I would flirt with any and every woman.  Like a bumblebee flitting and flying to any flower I could find.  But then my wife got her hooks into me, I mean captured my heart, and I fell in love.  But even though I love my wife I still flirt from time to time.  Sometimes I don’t even realize I am doing it.  It is just second nature.  Don’t worry, my wife still bats her eyelashes at guys from time to time to get something.   In my spiritual life I flirt as well.  For example, when I look for pictures for this blog I do a google image search, it never fails though that a half naked woman shows up as one of the pics.  While I may not go to the large picture my eyes tend to stay on the small image for just a second or two longer than I need to, I’m flirting.  Ladies, how about you.  You may not flirt with lust but I bet most of you flirt with envy.  You see a “supermodel” and compare yourself to her and suddenly you have this deep anger towards either yourself or God because you don’t like like a “goddess”.  Never realizing that you would look perfect as well if you had your own personal Photoshop department digitally enhancing you.  

      In the verses above, toward the end, it says, “And what he gives in love is far better than anything else you’ll find.”  WOW!  Just like my love for my wife is far better than what I would find flirting with others God is saying the love I have for you is so much better than what you will find in the world.  It is complete, deep and satisfying.  

     It is time to get serious, time to quit playing around.  There is a song I like by Jonah33.  

This Is It (You Instead of Me), check out the lyrics.

Because I’m playing for keeps this time around
I’m in too deep
To think about falling down
And giving up again
I want to live each day just like
It was my last chance to prove
You’re all I have
And that is all I need

This is it, it’s what we’re waiting for!
This is it, it’s all we’re fighting for!
I finally get a chance to show the world
What You have done for me
So let this moment be
You instead of me

Tired and bruised, every broken bone
Reminds me that I’m far from home
And these scars remind me who I am
But You’re the one
the Reason that I run
And I won’t stop until You’re done
You’re the only hope I have

I’ve counted the cost and I know
Everything that really matters is
Everything worth fighting for

     

Tomorrow we will look at how to stop flirting and get serious.