Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Constricted to be Fixed

Psalms 94: 12-14-12 Blessed is the man whom you discipline, O LORD, and whom you teach out of your law, 13 to give him rest from days of trouble, until a pit is dug for the wicked. 14 For the LORD will not forsake his people; he will not abandon his heritage;

Hebrews 12:6-For the LORD disciplines those he loves, and he punishes each one he accepts as his child

Beloved, are you stuck somewhere in your life? Have you been there a long time, seemingly unable to progress no matter how much you commit to yourself to change, to get it right, to make a dent in progress? If so, and you're a believer,  there is a lesson for you right there where you are that you're simply not taking a hold of. Consider for a moment...could it be possible that God is constricting you to fix you? Constrict means:
  1. To make smaller or narrower by binding or squeezing.
  2. To squeeze or compress.
  3. To restrict the scope or freedom of; cramp: lives constricted by poverty

You're stuck. And, you're stuck for a reason. I believe God doesn't move you past your last act of disobedience and He does it specifically to fix a problem and bring about a change in you that is needed before you progress to the next step. God is order and He does all things well. Don't think you're going to slop through a life in Him.  Yes, God is love and yes He is a good Father. If you're His....if you're His child He will discipline and correct you. Not just to break you (He does sometimes break your will and make you wish you'd obey) but the goal is to equip you, to make you fit for use. As you suffer, remember the end of your suffering is to establish, strengthen and settle you through your experiences with Him in each season of your life (1 Pet. 5:10). He loves you so much He won't leave you alone as you are so instead He leaves you right where you are in your hot mess of life until/unless you desire change and obedience rather than sacrifice. That is the reason your life feels so confined and the resistance to positive, lasting change is so stifling, upsetting and frustrating!

If I repeatedly merry-go-round on an issue in my life seeing the same thing over and over and over...I realize then the situation is speaking to me and I'd better listen up. I've learned that God speaks in a multitude of ways that are consistent and thorough, the problem is never Him speaking! Its always our "not listening" ears  that He won't shout into.  He won't shout over your lack of willingness to do the hard thing, to discipline yourself, to change and repent. You have free will and God respects that free will He gave us---despite our wishing He'd just make us change! God is truth Beloved.  Don't you know truth and revelation never have to shout? Only deception covers itself over in disguise, whispering sweet nothings or shouting freedom that's really bondage. Truth quietly and simply stands bare, naked and in place. It doesn't move or change from day to day. It stares you right in the face until you accept it and take a hold of it.  You can pretend its not there...you can blur it with self-medicating things to soothe the ache but still it stands. You need truth to face this confined place in your life. You need revelation to clearly see what to do and how to do it.

Dear one, your quagmire has a purpose. You're constricted for a reason. Get the lesson---apply this truth to your life and see if its true. Its simple and not difficult. God won't hide from your request for wisdom concerning your life and relationship with Him (James 1:5). Write down your life story, what's going on right now? Then, get alone with God, pray, ask Him to show you what the issue is. He'll speak so be prepared to obey. I believe you'll be amazed how you'll finally and swiftly move forward and out of your purposeful constriction!

Monday, May 17, 2010

Now that you know, what will you do?

James 1:23-25 (New International Version)

23Anyone who listens to the word but does not do what it says is like a man who looks at his face in a mirror 24and, after looking at himself, goes away and immediately forgets what he looks like.25But the man who looks intently into the perfect law that gives freedom, and continues to do this, not forgetting what he has heard, but doing it—he will be blessed in what he does.

Many times when coaching individuals in life and spiritual matters they will say to me ..." Cheryl, I just don't know what to do. Why won't God tell me what to do here?" and I have a standard reply because its true. What is the last thing God told you to do that you've left undone? I believe God does not take us past our last act of disobedience. Its just been a truth I've experienced over and over in my own life and I believe its as true as the air we breathe. Beloved, why would God give you further information when you're not applying the information you all ready have?  We seek further guidance for our lives when in reality we don't want to do what we all ready know to do right now, especially if we don't LIKE what we're to do so we'll just take some new information to disobey thank you very much. When reading that can you see the idiocy in that attitude and request of God? Examples:

We ask God why He isn't blessing us but we're unfaithful with the money we all ready have, yet we want more to misappropriate and spend on our lusts.

We don't want to forgive someone but we blow it big time and ask God to forgive us, never mind the un-forgiveness and lack of mercy/grace in our heart we want our forgiveness, even if we won't give it.

That's just two examples but if you sit and dig around in your mind you'll find things that you're not doing that you KNOW to do and yet, you're asking, seeking and knocking for more information from God.

If you're in need of direction, if you're questioning God what is His will in and for your life, get out a piece of paper and sit down, make a list. Write the things you know to do and then check yourself in those areas. Its rare that I don't find a revealed truth that I all ready know without a shadow of doubt that I'm just not fully obedient in. I then repent, ask God to show me what to do right there right now and trust me HE will let you know. I am always amazed at how that then opens the flood gates for the next step. Just like you put one foot in front of the other to walk, God will give you step by step instructions to follow that are very specific for YOU and your life. Reflect back and then don't forget what you look like in that mirror. God speaks. He is ever faithful.

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Excel in the Grace of Giving

2 Cor. 8:7- But just as you excel in everything—in faith, in speech, in knowledge, in complete earnestness and in your love for usa—see that you also excel in this grace of giving.

Beloved, why do you give?

Really giving has been a heart/mind set for me for the last year. During a time of great lack in my life I questioned God why. He began to show me my motivation and heart was in getting and being protected when I gave. I wanted Him to bless me and I gave out of fear and compulsion. I didn't want to be used so when I gave to others I had an eye on what they would do with what I gave and how they might use it.  I also gave so that I could be "seen as a giver," with no grace what so ever added to my giving (grace is unmerited or undeserved favor). That is the honest truth and the reality is, that I was never giving with a clear heart and mind. I gave to get, which is what I believe, if we're completely honest with ourselves most of us do this type of giving. God is not pleased or served in this type of giving and perhaps that is the reason so many of us Believers live in lack? I don't know. But, I determined to fix my own heart before God. Besides being ashamed of myself, I completely understood why the lack I so greatly despised was front and center in my own life and I determined to get over and out of it. I'm now living on my giving. When I give anything at all I pray over it to release it fully with no thought of return because I TRUST God with it. Return is not my responsibility at all, its God's and He is ever faithful. I can't out give Him! I see my giving just like putting a seed in the ground. Digging it up and looking it over in concern for its growth kills the seed and stunts it from doing what it has to be put in the ground and left alone to do! As I gave to people I truly prayed for them, and the person to do God's will with it. Many of us miss our blessings and entertaining angels unaware by not being led of God to give to people no matter the package they come in. I stopped wanting my giving to be neat, tidy, accounted for and seen by men. That's not a spooky spiritual thing either...we never know what helping someone out will do for them along the way and getting someone to do what we want with what we give them shouldn't be our motivation...getting someone to do what GOD wants them to do with what we give should be our heart attitude or simply don't give. Trust me, when you give like this amazing things will begin to happen. Opportunities to give that are divine and directed will present themselves to you and you won't give out of pride, obligation or compulsion or fear. You will just give and experience such joy! Yes, I still struggle with selfish pride and giving to get but at least now I'm aware and conscious of my motivation in giving. Now, I want to excel in the grace of giving first and foremost and I truly want to help others. I want them to be blessed and experience a full and rich life and I am willing to let God use me as He sees fit. I don't mind being used because I always know what I'm being used for...the grace of giving!