Posts Tagged “Job”

The Israelites had the visible presence of the Lord to follow as they wandered in the wilderness. He appeared either as a pillar of cloud or fire. Those of us who trust Christ as our Savior have Him living in us and the Holy Spirit to lead us. Pillar of clouds or fire – visible and tangible; the Holy Spirit’s leading – invisible and usually intangible. How do you follow what you cannot see? How do you grasp what you cannot touch or feel? Let explore some answers to those questions.

Engage your faith.

1Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see. 2This is what the ancients were commended for… 6And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
Hebrews 11:1, 2a, 6

We grasp the movement of God first by faith – by believing that He is within us and that He wants to teach and lead us. That means approaching Him with confidence that He will teach and lead – He will respond when we pursue Him. It means beginning each interaction with the Lord – whether worship, prayer, Bible study or service – reminding ourselves that He wants to speak to us and will speak to us if we attune our ears to hear Him.

It’s very easy for me to begin to read the Bible in the morning and be halfway through a chapter (or further) when I realize that I’m just reading. I’m not approaching it with an expectation that God will speak to me. There is a world of difference in what I hear from God when I simply read as opposed to when I ask Him to speak to me and I expect to hear from Him. (Even so, I am always surprised when I do hear from Him – how antithetical is that?)

Be “in faith” – believe – that God will speak to you and lead you.

Be predisposed to follow wherever He leads.
Just as you have an expectation to hear from God, have an expectation that you will do whatever He says. A “wait and see” attitude is not only displeasing to God, it is a mask that covers the face of pride, a critical attitude and seeds of doubt.

A “wait and see” attitude pridefully says that you will decide if what God has told you to do is the right thing for you to do or not – if it is best for you. It puts you in the position of being critical of the plans God has for you. It casts doubt that He will enable you to do what He has called you to do. Pride, criticism and doubt are all problems that plagued Job and his friends. I believe God would say to those of us who nurture a “wait and see” attitude, the same thing He said to Job:

4 “Where were you when I laid the earth’s foundation?
Tell me, if you understand.

5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!
Who stretched a measuring line across it?

6 On what were its footings set,
or who laid its cornerstone—

7 while the morning stars sang together
and all the angels shouted for joy?

8 “Who shut up the sea behind doors
when it burst forth from the womb,

9 when I made the clouds its garment
and wrapped it in thick darkness,

10 when I fixed limits for it
and set its doors and bars in place,

11 when I said, ‘This far you may come and no farther;
here is where your proud waves halt’?

Job 38:4-11

Unquestionably, God is more knowledge and more power than you and I. Sometimes He needs to remind us about that.

If you want to find and follow the invisible, you must believe that He is and be determined to follow Him when He reveals Himself to you.

Friends, I have to pause here and say that as I write this, God is dealing with me so seriously about this issue. I can think of so many times when I have wondered “is this God?” and not been obedient, only to learn later that it was, indeed, God. I can think of so many situations where I have been afraid that others would think it wasn’t my “place” to do something, so I haven’t acted upon God’s leading. I can think of so many situations when I have kept silent when God was prompting me to speak.

Lord, forgive me. Change me – give me a predisposition to speak and act when I sense Your leading.

Readers, may I encourage you to pause and ask God to reveal if this is an area of weakness for you? If it is, repent (agree with God that you have failed Him) and ask Him to forgive you and change your heart and mind so that You are predisposed to follow Him.

Experience God’s presence regularly.

You will more likely be able to recognize God’s leading in your life if you regularly pursue God’s manifest presence. (See my blog “Recognizing the Invisible God” for more on the manifest presence of God.) Regularly do those things that most easily lead you into His presence. Attend church, have your own personal times of worship and Bible study, fellowship with other believers. I find that when I am regularly experiencing the manifest presence of God, I am more likely to see His presence in my life throughout the day. I am more likely to sense when He begins to move and when He settles in. Practice experiencing the presence of God so that you can recognize when He moves and when He stays. I cannot emphasize enough the importance of pursuing God apart from attending church weekly. Worship Him throughout the week, not just on Sundays.

I recommend the Christian classic The Practice of the Presence of God by Brother Lawrence. Brother Lawrence was a French monk who purposed to find God in the everyday activities of His life. You will be challenged to do likewise by reading it. It’s a short book that packs a powerful punch. There are many versions of it available, so the one you purchase may not look like this, but you can click on the book title above to order it.

Get to know God’s nature and character through Bible study.
While he may act differently with different people because He has created each of us uniquely, He will never act contrary to His nature and character. For example, God’s ways are always loving. Even in discipline, He does so in love, always desiring a restored relationship. His heart is revealed in so many passages, but I like this one:

34“O Jerusalem, Jerusalem, you who kill the prophets and stone those sent to you, how often I have longed to gather your children together, as a hen gathers her chicks under her wings, but you were not willing! 35Look, your house is left to you desolate. I tell you, you will not see me again until you say, ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord.’”
Luke 13:34-35

Set aside times to be still before the Lord.
Our culture is fast-moving and it is seldom silent. All that noise and movement makes it difficult to find and see the invisible. After a personal three day retreat with the Lord at a local monastery, my husband described his quiet time alone with the Lord like this:

It’s like every noise and every activity is drawn on our soul. The soul gets over-crowded with such things, so we take an eraser and erase what we don’t need anymore. But the eraser leaves a chalky film behind. When I spent time quietly with the Lord, it was as if He had totally washed the slate board of my soul clean. There were no traces of all the gunk of the previous week. With the noise of my soul quieted, I could more easily see God in the world around me and hear His voice in my ear.

Do what He has revealed to you to do.
Earlier I wrote that we ought to have a predisposition that says “yes, I will follow You.” That’s step one. Step two is actually doing it. Having the predisposition toward obedience doesn’t take us all the way – we must actually make the decision to be obedient and then we must act accordingly.

Be obedient. If you don’t do what you know to do, God is not likely to show you more of the plan! By not being obedient, you are limiting how much of Himself God will reveal to you. He’s typically not going to reveal the next thing until you’ve done the first thing. Perhaps this verse reveals why:

Anyone, then, who knows the good he ought to do and doesn’t do it, sins.
James 4:17

We are actively sinning when we are not obedient to what God has revealed as His will for our lives. Deal with the sin if you want to hear more from God. Remove the veil that separates you from Him.

Well, that’s quite a list:

  • Engage your faith.
  • Be predisposed to follow wherever He leads.
  • Experience God’s presence regularly.
  • Get to know God’s nature and character through Bible study.
  • Set aside times to be still before the Lord.
  • Do what He has revealed to you to do.

Where are you weakest? May I encourage you to work in those areas, trusting that God is faithful and will meet you and reveal what you are to do? and may I encourage you to have a “full speed ahead” attitude toward following the leading of the Lord? He will reveal it when we are faithful to believe and pursue Him daily.

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One of the first verses that impacted me was in Job (yes, Job!). After losing his children, nearly everything he owned and finally his health, after his wife has told him to “curse God and die,” and after his three friends unjustly accuse him of sin, Job says the following:

19 All my intimate friends detest me;
those I love have turned against me.

20 I am nothing but skin and bones;
I have escaped with only the skin of my teeth.

25 I know that my Redeemer lives,
and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.

26 And after my skin has been destroyed,
yet in my flesh I will see God;

27 I myself will see him
with my own eyes—I, and not another.How my heart yearns within me!

Job 19:19-20, 26-27

“I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth.” Wow! In the very depths of pain and sorrow, Job is able to make this tremendous proclamation of faith. When I first read this verse, my faith was quite new. Why was I reading Job? I have no idea – it seems such an illogical book to read for a new Christian. Perhaps, though, it was the hand of God who knew I would slog through the arguments found in chapters 2 through 18 until I came to Job’s proclamation of faith and that it would make an impression on me that would last forever. I remember pointing out the verse to Phil (“Look at this!”) and needle-pointing it on a gym bag.

I wanted, and still want, the kind of faith that says “I know my Redeemer lives” no matter what my circumstances are.

We find a similar verse in today’s Resting at the River’s Edge reading. Habakkuk cries out to God to save His people only to have God answer Habbakuk saying that things will get much worse – He will bring judgment on Judah. In chapter 3, you can hear the faith and the plea in Habakkuk’s heart:

LORD, I have heard of your fame;
I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD.
Renew them in our day,in our time make them known;
in wrath remember mercy.
Habakkuk 3:2

As I pray with others for revival in my heart, in our churches and across our land, I often quote this verse. “Lord, we have heard of the great things you have done. We stand in awe of them. Do them again in our day, Lord! Do them again in our day. Show Your mercy, Lord. Send revival to our land.” “Lord, I have heard of your fame. I stand in awe of your deeds. Renew them in our day.”

Habakkuk isn’t finished there, though. He finishes with his Job-like proclamation of faith:

17 Though the fig tree does not bud
and there are no grapes on the vines,
though the olive crop fails
and the fields produce no food,
though there are no sheep in the pen
and no cattle in the stalls,

18 yet I will rejoice in the LORD,
I will be joyful in God my Savior.

19 The Sovereign LORD is my strength;
he makes my feet like the feet of a deer,
he enables me to go on the heights.
Habakkuk 3:17-19

“Lord, even when my life falls apart – when my business fails and my cupboards are bare, when what I’ve dreamed about and prayed for earnestly does not come to pass – I will still rejoice in You. You are my Sovereign Lord in whom I will find my joy.”

God is blessed and is honored by such a faith. Prayers like this demonstrate our trust in an omnipotent God – One who knows what we need better than we know it, One who loves us more than we can imagine and One who desires to bless us. When He holds back on what He has promised, it is not from capriciousness. It is not from folly. It is for a purpose.

I trust God’s purposes because I have come to know Him over many years. That inexperienced faith that recognized Job’s statement as significant has taken root and is learning to “rejoice in the Lord” – because I not only know He lives and that I will see Him, but I also now know His character and His purposes. (Well, some of them anyway.) His ultimate purpose (and my greatest desire) is to bring glory to His Son. Sometimes that means trusting Him when my world falls apart.

“Thank You, Lord, that we can know of Your fame and Your awesome deeds and they can increase our faith. Thank You, Lord, that You enable us to climb higher when there seems to be no earthly reason for us to do so. Thank You, Lord, that You are my Faithful God.”

Bless and honor God today, friends, by trusting Him for something that you’ve held on to in the past. Trust Him with the solution you can’t find. Trust Him.

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Last week in this “Heart of a Worshipper” series (HWS). I wrote about how our willing heart leads to having a free heart. Freedom! What a concept worth rejoicing over. This article takes the concept one step further…A worshipping heart is a secure heart. Read on. If you missed any of the articles in this series, you can find them all listed here.

A Secure Heart

We’ve looked at many characteristics of the heart of a worshipper. We began by saying that the heart of a worshipper is a hungry heart – one that wants to know God more intimately. We’ve seen that being vulnerable to God and willing to follow Him leads to a heart that is free from condemnation and fear. I’d like to take that progression one step further: The heart of a worshipper is secure. It stands firm. It is established. As the worshipper comes face to face with the God who loves him beyond anything he can imagine, his heart becomes rooted and established in that love. Recognizing the depth of that love fills us with a certainty, a knowing, that God is on our side. Paul writes this to the Romans in one of the most significant chapters of the Bible:

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?…No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 
          
Romans 8:35, 37-39

Obviously, Paul is fully, completely and utterly convinced of his security in Christ. He knows, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that he cannot be separated from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus.

In 1 John, the apostle John wrote:

God is love.
         1 John 4:8b

Notice that he didn’t write that God has love, but that God is love. His very essence is love. John continues to describe the heart that is established in and by God’s love.

     …God is love. This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might live through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins… And so we know and rely on the love God has for us.
    
God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.
  
          1 John 4:8b-10, 16-18

David also had this certainty. In Psalm 62 he writes:

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will never be shaken.
          Psalm 62:1-2

Never is a very strong word!

Job’s heart was secure. In the midst of his terrible loss and pain, He cries out in one of my favorite passages in scripture:

I know that my Redeemer lives, and that in the end he will stand upon the earth. And after my skin has been destroyed, yet in my flesh I will see God; I myself will see him with my own eyes – I, and not another. How my heart yearns within me!
          Job 19:25-27

As a very young Christian, I read this passage, and I was blown away. Job lost everything. His wife told him to curse God and die. His friends told him that his sin must be exceedingly great for God to be treating him so badly. And surely God seemed far away to Job because his situation wasn’t getting any better. Yet, his heart was ultimately secure. He knew He would see God.

A few weeks ago, we looked at the first quality of a worshipping heart – having a heart that is hungry for God. Job’s heart yearned within him to see God. And in the midst of his greatest trial, he was able to say “I know that my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth.” That is an established heart.

It makes me want to stand and shout praises to my God. Hallujah! If God could make a man in Job’s circumstances be such a worshipper and have such faith, there’s hope for me! My heart also yearns to see God with my own eyes.

Lord, establish my heart as you established Job’s that I might be able to say in times of distress and disappointment and confusion, “I know my Redeemer lives and that in the end He will stand upon the earth and I will see Him with my own eyes.”

It’s all about being transformed by the One who loves us and desires good things for us; the one who says He has plans for us – plans to prosper us and to give us a hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Part of that transformation is becoming so dependent on the One that is supremely dependable that your security is forever in the Omniscient, Omnipotent, Loving One. And when your trust is in the One who knows all things, is all powerful, and is love, where is there any potential for being insecure?

I’m not there yet! I still have fears. I still forget to depend on God and depend on my own efforts. But I’ve learned that when I am consistent in worshipping God, pursuing to know Him intimately, I develop a greater understanding of His surpassing love for me. Then my heart becomes firmly established regardless of the circumstances that surround me. As you get to know Jesus more intimately, you can develop that same sense of security.

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Here’s a great blog on another network about the book of Job. Enjoy!

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RestingAtTheRiversEdgeLogo

Spring is in the air and it’s time to move on. That’s what you’ll read about as you get into Joshua this month. First, though, we’ll finish Job. It’s a hard book, sometimes, but I’ve been so blessed by the bit we started in April. And in the next few days I’ll be posting a link to a good blog about what Job teaches about suffering.

 We’ll also read Galatians and Philemon this month and begin 1 Corinthians. Lots of territory to cover. May I recommend that if the weather is nice in your area of the world that you take your Bible and sit outside with the Lord some? It does wonders for the soul…especially if you live in a state that has kept you inside for quite a while like I do.

As always, don’t become frustrated if you don’t keep up. Simply keep the reading plans and mark of what you read as you read it. It’s fine if it takes you two or three years to read through the Bible – it’s a great accomplishment no matter how long it takes.

To download a PDF of May’s reading schedule, click here.

April Reading

May Recommended Reading Plan

Enjoy your time at the river’s edge this month!

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In the midst of Job’s life, after he has lost his children, his possessions and his health, his friends come to comfort him. Somehow that conversation goes off course and they begin to accuse Job. Surely he wouldn’t be experiencing such tragedy unless he had sinned in some way. At one point, Job says:

2“Yes, I know this is all true in principle. But how can a person be declared innocent in the eyes of God? 3If someone wanted to take God to court, would it be possible to answer him even once in a thousand times? 4For God is so wise and so mighty. Who has ever challenged him successfully?
          Job (9:2-4) (New Living Translation)

Job recognizes that no matter how blameless and upright he has lived his life, he is no match for the righteousness of God.  He continues:

30Even if I were to wash myself with soap and cleanse my hands with lye to make them absolutely clean, 31you would plunge me into a muddy ditch, and I would be so filthy my own clothing would hate me.

32“God is not a mortal like me, so I cannot argue with him or take him to trial. 33If only there were a mediator who could bring us together, but there is none. 34The mediator could make God stop beating me, and I would no longer live in terror of his punishment. 
         Job 9:30-34

What a foreshadowing of Christ! “If only there were someone…a mediator who could bring us together…”

The Gospel message surely is “Good News.” There is someone. There is a mediator. That mediator is God’s Son, Jesus.

5For there is one God and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus, 6who gave himself as a ransom for all men.
     1 Timothy 2:5-6a

There is only one who can stand as the mediator between us and God. That one is the one who paid the ransom – the going exchange rate – that was required to make us righteous before God.

I love how the New Testament and the Old Testament are so intertwined. They are a single, cohesive message. God provided the mediator that we all need to be able to stand blameless before Him.

Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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Job had a hard road to walk for a time. If you’re Resting at the River’s Edge with us, this week you’ve read that Job was “blameless and upright; He feared God and shunned evil.” (1:1) He was also quite rich in love and material possessions. The Bible describes him as “the greatest man among all the people of the East.” (1:3)

And then his world fell apart. All his material possessions were lost and his children were killed. Upon hearing the news of each of his losses, he responded like this:

At this, Job got up and tore his robe and shaved his head. Then he fell to the ground in worship and said:
    “Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
    and naked I will depart.
    The LORD gave and the LORD has taken away;
    may the name of the LORD be praised.”
          Job 1:20-21

Oh that I would always respond to all my challenges as Job did! Tearing his robe and shaving his head are a sign of mourning. Job was mourning the loss of his family and lifestyle. But in the midst of the mourning, he is also worshipping the Lord.

Having hope, as those of us who love the Lord do, doesn’t mean that we are impervious to life’s challenges, disappointments and disasters. It also doesn’t mean that we are somehow “above” emotions that are attached to such losses. We experience them just as our unbelieving neighbor does. What it means, however, is that in the midst of our pain, we have another perspective that we pull from the background to the foreground.

When life happens, it pushes itself to the foreground of our lives. It’s in our face, and it seeks to overpower all else. It requires our deliberate act of worship to put it back into its proper place, which is the background from which we live out our faith.

Put yourself into the scene of Job’s life: He hears the news of the loss of his property and the death of his children. It overwhelms him. He demonstrates his mourning by tearing his robe and shaving his head. And then he deliberately puts the things of this life into the background and brings the Lord front and center. He worships God. He falls to the ground in worship. He declares truth.

Do you think it was easy for Job to say “Naked I came from my mother’s womb, and naked I will depart. The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away; may the name of the Lord be praised.”? I can assure you that it was not. In his emotions, he was crying out in pain. Yet he still knew that the Lord was worthy of worship in the midst of all that life throws at us. He also knew that the way through the pain was to allow the Lord to take center stage in our life – to allow Him to become the foreground and redirect our pain to the background.

Did Job’s life miraculously and suddenly become good again? No, it did not. Did Job’s faith give him answers that satisfied his crying heart? No, it did not. And it may not do those things in our lives, either. God’s ways are beyond our understanding and He is not answerable to us.

When we allow this life to be the foreground from which we live, every bump and bruise, every break and tear, every shattered dream and lost hope, seeks to overwhelm us and take away our joy. But when we deliberately put God in the foreground, those bumps and bruises, those shattered dreams and lost hope are put into perspective. “The Lord gave,” Job said, “and the Lord has taken away.” “Blessed be the name of the Lord.”

The Lord gave and I enjoyed it. I was blessed by the hand of the Lord. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

The Lord has taken away and I will miss it. I will grieve for it. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

In both, the Lord is sovereign. He is in control. We can have peace. We can have rest. My life is not spinning out of control. My life is in the hands of the sovereign God. Your life is not spinning out of control. Your life is in the hands of the sovereign God. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

Friends, may I encourage you to live your life with God in the foreground and allow the things of this world to be the backdrop from which your faith and love of the Lord is displayed. Blessed be the name of the Lord.

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March took us through the Old Testament law presented in Leviticus and then we began reading in Hebrews, a book that was written to the Jews and draws the relationship between the grace of the new covenant available through Jesus and the law of the Old Testament. In April, we’ll finish the book of Hebrews, take a few days off in the New Testament, then move into Romans. I love Romans. It was a verse in Romans that made the most impact on me when I was resisting the influences of God on my heart. He was trying to reach me, but I was running the other way. And then I read Romans. Wow! But I’ll save more about that until the middle of the month!

We’ll also read Numbers. Don’t get bogged down in the book! You might try reading it in the New Living Translation – it puts all the counts in a table, the way we would record the information today. If you find yourself in overload, take a step back…what’s the significance of the size of the total number — is it large or small? What’s the relative size of the various tribes? Know this: Each one of us is important to God. He keeps track of each of us. I’m so thankful for that!

Shortly after mid-month, we’ll begin Deuteronomy. It’s a great book — Moses is preparing to die and he wants to say to remind Israel of all that he has taught them on their journey. We’ll be journeying ourself into Job at the same time. What a perplexing book! But God has a great message in the book, so stay tuned.

I  hope you’re continuing in the journey through the Bible. Please don’t get discouraged if you fall behind…just keep reading. God will honor your efforts as you rest at the river’s edge with him a little each day. He will speak to you as you pursue Him.

To download a PDF of April’s reading schedule, click here.

April ReadingApril Reading

Enjoy your time at the river’s edge this month!

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About a week ago, I wrote a blog titled We Don’t Have a Clue…

Yesterday a friend sent me an e-mail with a paragraph that just blew me away. It relates so well to my earlier blog (expressing some of what I was trying to say so much better than I had) that I asked his permission to share it with all of you. He graciously agreed.

“Job discovers, in the end, how vast the mystery of God is as God asks him questions that he cannot fathom the answers to. 

     Knowing God is like having the responsibility of drinking the Atlantic Ocean dry.  We can drink until we are full and find that we have only tasted the depths of God and that there is so much more to drink. 

     And what a difference it is between tasting the water and describing the taste to someone else.  And, if we are so successful in describing the taste that they want to drink it for themselves, helping them not be overwhelmed at the vastness of the ocean is our ongoing opportunity.”
                               Peter Scott

Our ongoing opportunity — to not only drink fully of God daily but to describe it to others and help them not be overwhelmed in the process.

 Can you hear the joy in that? What a God we serve!

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The horses are prepared for battle, but the victory belongs to the LORD.
           Proverbs 21:31

I’m a planner. I love planning. It brings me a sense of peace. It brings order and structure to chaos. Although many would see planning as something restrictive – something that boxes them in, I have come to understand that planning is a form of creativity. In creation, God brought order to chaos. The earth was “without form, and void” (Gen 1:2). That describes many projects before a planner steps in. Anyway, I used to believe that I had no creativity. Now I recognize that creativity comes in many forms, and my ability to bring order to chaotic projects is a form of creativity. And I feel better about myself!

Strange, I suppose, how I feel better about myself because I now believe I have creativity. I’m not sure why that is and should probably do some inner searching to figure it out…but that’s a blog for another time I suppose.

Today’s blog is about preparing horses for battle. Planning is a lot like that. To mix a few metaphors, planning is getting all our ducks in a row, it’s lining up the troops. It’s laying out an efficient and strategic way of getting the job done. Like I said, I love doing that. The  challenge that’s hard for me to resist is the challenge of bringing order out of chaos.

Maybe you’re like me. If you’re not, you probably know someone who is (perhaps the person you’re married to!)…Now you have insight into our wierdness.

To Those of You Who are Like Me
Let me strongly encourage you to remember that God is honored by our planning, but only when the planning is done with the full faith and trust that victory belongs to the Lord. We prepare our horses for battle, but victory belongs to the Lord. The trap that Satan will set for us is that we subtly begin to believe that our well-established plans are sacred and that they have won the victory. At that point, friend, your strength has become your besetting sin. To avoid this, let me encourage you to develop the strong, consistant habit of acknowledging Him in all your ways (Proverbs 3:5-6) – always pause to pray before, during and after planning. You need to do this not only to allow God to direct your planning, but to remind yourself that you need God to direct your planning.

Let me also encourage you to not take your plans (and yourself) so seriously. Practice flexibility. Yes, you probably developed the best plan, but sometimes following someone else’s plan is more important. There are more important things than attacking a project in the most efficient manner possible. Sometimes making someone else know how important they are to the team is more important. Sometimes giving someone else the experience of leading is more important. Sometimes just playing well with others is more important. Be flexible. Don’t let your plan become your idol.

To Those of You Who Know Someone Like Me
What a treasure you’ve found! 🙂 Help us become the people God wants us to be. When you see us placing too much importance on/in our plans, gently remind us that victory belongs to the Lord. I used the word “gently” for two reasons: (1) Depending on your personality, just a little planning on our part might look to you like I’m trusting in my plans when in reality I’m just using the gift God has given me – don’t crush my spirit by accusing me of not trusting God everytime I use my gifts. (2) If I really have fallen into Satan’s trap of trusting myself or my plans instead of God, you are uncovering my sin. No one wants that to be broadcast to the world. Be gentle with me. Trust that the Holy Spirit will convict me of my sin.

Praise God! Victory is always His!

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