Sunday, October 14, 2007

ENOUGH?


This morning I found myself needing something. I went outside and in the beautiful cool air of the morning I found myself thinking about what was going on deep inside me. A restlessness has begun to develop in my heart. A desire for something. I put the name to a few things, and of course the Lord would not let me receive what was not true. What I need is the Lord. He is the only thing that will fill this never ending longing in my heart. I admitted that the Spirit was right. I need God. And even in the rough nature of my heart-I called out to Him. And He answered. I came in and turned on my computer to check my emails before getting ready for church. And as the computer was coming up- this is what I heard. The TV was on a pastor sharing his morning message. That Message? Contentment in Christ. My morning devotions by email? Well, I let you see.

Several Ways to Make Yourself Miserable

  1. Count your troubles, name them one by one--at the breakfast table, if anybody will listen, or as soon as possible thereafter.
  2. Worry every day about something. Don't let yourself get out of practice. It won't add a cubit to your stature but it might burn a few calories.
  3. Pity yourself. If you do enough of this, nobody else will have to do it for you.
  4. Devise clever but decent ways to serve God and mammon. After all, a man's gotta live.
  5. Make it your business to find out what the Joneses are buying this year and where they're going. Try to do them at least one better even if you have to take out another loan to do it.
  6. Stay away from absolutes. It's what's right for you that matters. Be your own person and don't allow yourself to get hung up on what others expect of you.
  7. Make sure you get your rights. Never mind other people's. You have your life to live, they have theirs.
  8. Don't fall into any compassion traps--the sort of situation where people can walk all over you. If you get too involved in other people's troubles, you may neglect your own.
  9. Don't let Bible reading and prayer get in the way of what's really relevant--things like TV and newspapers. Invisible things are eternal. You want to stick with the visible ones--they're where it's at now.
I know that most of us have heard the above quote. But I found that 6 through nine caught my attention. The next thing that hit me was what often causes me to start wandering from my source of contentment in Christ.

Tested for Abundance
TGIF Today God Is First, by Os Hillman

We went through fire and water, but you brought us to a place of abundance. - Psalm 66:12b

It is nice to hear that God desires to bring us into abundance. In fact, many a preacher has promoted the goodness of the Lord and His ability to prosper His children. Alas, my experience is that this gospel of material abundance has little to do with the gospel of the Kingdom as our Lord works in the realm of the sanctified soul. The passage above tells us that God does in fact bring us into places of abundance. However, upon further study of the entire passage, we learn the route to this abundance.

For you, O God, tested us; You refined us like silver. You brought us into prison and laid burdens on our backs. You let men ride over our heads; we went through fire and water, but You brought us to a place of abundance (Psalm 66:10-12).

God's economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God's economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of Himself. It is then that we are truly blessed. Wisdom cannot be gained through intellectual pursuits. Wisdom comes only through experience. Real wisdom comes from the kinds of experiences that come only through the deepest tests. Lessons of refinement, including prison accompanied by burdens, lead us through the fire and water. This is the territory that must be traveled to reach that place of abundance. It would seem strange that a loving God would use such means with His children. What we often fail to realize is that God's measuring stick is the character and likeness of Jesus Christ Himself in each of us. This cannot be gained through a life of ease and pleasure. Ease and pleasure fail to refine.

Is God using your workplace to refine you today? Has He placed you in a prison or laid burdens on your back? Take heart if this is the place you find yourself, and realize that if you are faithful through the tests, you will enter a place of abundance that few will ever attain. The darkest hour is just before daybreak.


Often my times of wandering from God, begin while in the refining times. Things get rough and just before daybreak--I give up. What I have been trusting in-the thing that can not be seen with my visual eyes--I often give up on. I decide that, enough is enough. I can not take it anymore. I -feel- that instead of the hard times being for my benefit, they are actually destroying me. We both know that that is not TRUTH. How long does the massive heat of refining last? I am not sure except to say, A lifetime.
So this morning, I am calling out to the one who's hand has been on me all through the refining process. I want to "enter a place of abundance that few will ever attain". Just now Charles Stanley is quoting the verse that says, "I will never leave you or forsake you". Pretty cool huh? I know He will not leave me. But, my heart does cry out-ENOUGH! Daddy God, how much more? And I find the answer He speaks to my heart, "Just a little longer-rest in Me." My answer, HELP ME JESUS!

Thank you for listening. I always strive for honesty on this blog. My relationship with God is black and white in my eyes. It is either in the right or it is wrong. I want to walk in the light. I pray you find that the longing in your heart today is for HIM and being met only by HIM.

I love you guys.

13 comments:

MelanieJoy said...

Well, I see you read the devotion this morning before I could get my email off to you. =) In it though I just hit the prayer portion...so
since you posted the devotion part.....
This is the line that hit me most "God's economy of abundance often has little to do with material blessing. In God's economy, abundance is often measured in wisdom and knowledge of Himself". That one hit me hard
as a single gal. It's not the material things I desire...haha I'm so not a "material girl" but the security while on earth I worry about. I know that NO ONE can or will take care of me like Him! I find myself sooo satisfied in His love alone. I do- I just want more of Him!!

Melanie said...

What a great list of ways to make yourself miserable. I'm afraid I find myself doing some of those things!!

Please stop by my blog to learn more about an Activity Menu Challenge that is taking place tomorrow.

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

Isn't it amazing that when our defenses are down... Satan jumps on board... and beats us over the heat with one great pity party...

and we buy in...

we lather in it...

until we remember who we really are....

HIS...

This was really good... because I am easily distracted....

great reminder....

thank you my friend

love ya
Connie

Connie@Little Red Hearts From God said...

I meant head not heat..

i'm full of cold medicine right now!!!

Karen said...

This is good Sharon and so true. I did pray for you last night. It is in the refining process that we want 'out'. I'm going through it too, I didn't realise that my perfectionism was causing myself so much stress all around - and now that God is tapping on that, well it's like a sore tooth and I don't like it, because I don't want to let go and not be so orderly, so structured - yet at the same time I long to let go, but this battle. You know what I went to bed last night uttering these very words "I've had enough" (of me and my 'fleshly' stuff, that's what I've had enough of - but I was also feeling generic and needing to say 'enough'). Woke up this morning to the most beautiful rainbow. After some time of prayer in the night the Lord had shown me some out of the stuff box which would necessitate my changing my ways somewhat!

Sharon said...

Just checking.

Denise said...

Wow, thanks for making me want to dig in deeper, love you my friend.

Dee said...

I love the PSV!! HA HA!! Thanks for your encouragement -- I knows it's just sodium, but it stinks! I delivered my papers yesterday and had a 1hr. hike w/ DH also. It will come down! It has to. Sorry your scale is related to mine...

Love the list here -- humorous reminder. D

Daisy said...

(((Sharon)))

Hi, Im Ally said...

Sharon, I am almost "wordless!" This was just soooooooooooo amazing! I have read it though once but feel like it´s going to take a few times to get it to soak in....I love it.... it reflects so much of what is going on inside me too... this is just so great...oh man I am excited..oooooooooo..thanks! Can you tell I am touched??!

Hi, Im Ally said...

I loved the verses... I have NEVER noticed them before about going through fire and water and then coming to abundance...that is just sooooo deep...oh man...

Nicki said...

I have been dealing a great deal with contentment as well. You are right, God is the only thing we need and should be the only thing we desire.....it's hard.

It's so funny that you wrote about this, because my next bible study is titled "Life in the Refiner's Fire." hmmmm. =) God continues to speak doesn't he?

Karen's Korner said...

I followed a link from Ally's Antics to your blog. I can really identify with wanting to get out of the fire when you are in the refining process!
Sometimes I am tempted to think 'God must hate me to put me through this' but obviously that is not the truth! Because He loves us so much He takes the time to work on our character flaws so we can become 'conformed to His image'.
May He give us the grace to keep saying, 'I want Your will, in Your way and in Your time.'