God’s Perspective

“Do everything without complaining.” Philippians 2:14

I’ve been complaining A LOT recently.  First complaining about back pain, then complaining about my vacation possibly needing to be canceled and complaining about the way “people” drive.  For no apparent reason I find myself complaining about the stupidest things.  Who am I to complain?

Who am I to always have it my way?  Who am I to always get what I want when I want.  We live such a spoiled lifestyle of instantaneous gratification.  Most of us have no concept of the reality most people on this earth face because we spend so much time thinking about ourselves.

It’s good to get a new perspective, one that is not selfishly focused on ourselves.  Take a moment and look at what you are currently complaining about.  Step out of your own perspective and try and see it from your neighbor’s perspective.  Now try and see it from God’s perspective.  Think about that person or the people that drive you a little crazy.  You know the ones.  Now try and look at yourself the way they see you.  Now try and look at them the way God sees them.  Ouch… maybe it’s a bit of a wake up call.  To love each other as God first loved us.

How can we love each other as He loves us?  How can we love ourselves they way He loves us?  If we see each other the way He does.  If we see ourselves they way He sees us. Look through God’s glasses of love, joy and peace.  He see’s the complaining heart in us and has nothing but patience for us.  His kind eyes encourage us.  That perfect goodness allows us to rest in His sovereignty.  He has always been faithful to us, never forsaking us.  In our moments of weakness He is gentle with us.  And through it all He becomes our self-control.

How beautiful would it be if we all loved the world around us as God loves us?  What kind of life would we lead if we stopped looking inwardly and selfishly just long enough to stop complaining and start loving?

When you choose to acknowledge the Spirit of God and what He has already done for you, you are able to let that same Spirit overflow in extension to the world around you.  That Spirit is as it is written in Galatians 5:22-25, “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such things there is no law. And those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and appetites and desires. If we live by the Spirit, let us also walk by the Spirit.”

Vessels in Accomplishing God’s Will

Who am I to write?  There are many more equipped, more qualified.  They can write with a larger, educated vocabulary.  Their writings can be edited to perfection and grammatically correct.  So, who am I to write?

I am the daughter of the Eternal Father.  I am his creation and made in his image.  Whether down and out or on top of the world, he has given me a passion.  It is therefore my joy and my will to write and to share.  If I don’t, if I stop, how can God accomplish his purposes in and through me?

I am the ship shifted on the choppy seas.  He is the voice that calms the storm in me.  “Peace be still.”[1] Not only that but he states, “Peace be still and know that I am God.”[2]

There is rest in him.  In knowing God is God.  Resting in the beautiful sovereignty of his divine plan.  Rest in knowing his redemption for this earth and those who live here.  There is rest because his grace is sufficient to cover ALL sin.  Even the sin we neglect to see in ourselves.

He never needed us to accomplish his will.  He will never need us to accomplish his will.  He is God.  But how beautiful and loving of an Eternal Father to allow us the privilege to be vessels in accomplishing his will.  It is an honor to receive the Great Commission out of Matthew 28.  What a marvelous idea, that we, his creation, can make disciples?  What Church would we have?  If we, as his justified and sanctified children actually spent our days making disciples?  It doesn’t matter where he placed you on this earth or what you do?  What matters is – are you making disciples where you are day in and day out?  Do you believe that you can be a vessel used by God to change the world around you?  If you step up to the plate with God’s mission and vision in your heart, what could he accomplish through you? – His will? – You bet!

No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. [3] You don’t have to die.  You just have to lay down the plans you want for your life and live your life in God’s will.  While you are at it you can make disciples and change your world.  Impact the culture.  Transform a generation.  Who says it can’t be done?  Who says you’re “too little” “too insignificant” “not educated enough” “alone”? Those are lies from the pit of hell.  AND satan will NOT win this battle.  He will NOT win this world, this culture or this generation.  NOT on my watch.  NOT while I’m alive.  As long as I’m breathing I will praise the name that is above name because I know that one day every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.[4]

What you choose to do today will impact the kingdom of darkness or the Kingdom of Light.  Sure, His grace covers us.  He knows we need it.  But don’t allow your failures to keep you from accomplishing God’s call on your life.  If you fall, get back up.  Let’s be an army that advances!  We’ll do it in love, his love, his grace.  But – we will “overcome evil with good”.[5]  Christians, eternal life is too important for us to run away in fear.  Living a life on this earth living in His freedom is too important for us not to want to scream it out on the rooftops. (I don’t recommend actually doing that, just a figure of speech related to the passion in my heart.)

You know how to transform a generation?  You live a life of love, grace and freedom.  You speak in love when you know you should and you love not with words but with action when you know you need to.  There is no need to complicate it.  After all, he said, Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’ The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no commandment greater than these.” [6]

That burning fire inside, that stirring that has you all riled up… that’s the Holy Spirit.  He’s saying… “It’s time!”

*I’d love to hear your comments or at least read them.

[1] Mark 4:39

[2] Psalm 46:10

[3] John 15:13

[4] Philippians 2:9-11 (paraphrased)

[5] Romans 12:21

[6] Mark 12:30-31

Pruned to Bear Fruit

In order for the vine to produce the best fruit it must be pruned to perfection. John 15 says that He is the Vine and we are the branches.  The branches are pruned in the winter while the branches are “sleeping”.  The process helps with the growth of the vine and ensures the best fruit.

How many times does God prune us in the winter times of our lives?  Does God prune you back when you are in a sleeping season?  It is this unpleasant, tedious process that forces growth, maturity and the best fruit.

Most of the time the pruning process is time consuming, painful and wearisome.  It’s the part of the harvest process that we don’t like to think about.  Planting a seed or harvesting a crop is so much more exciting and beautiful.  However it can’t be a beautiful harvest without a hard season of pruning perfection.

Then once the crop is ripe and ready for the picking we can reap a fruitful harvest.  May you abound in and be filled with the fruits of righteousness (of right standing with God and right doing) which come through Jesus Christ (the Anointed One), to the honor and praise of God [that His glory may be both manifested and recognized].” Philippians 1:11 (AMP) 

Jesus is the only way that we are made righteous.  He is the only way we are made fruitful.  He is the only way that we are able to grow, mature and produce the best fruit. He causes us to be righteous.  We don’t have to work for it or cause it to happen.  We are called to abide in His love.  And in His love we will be pruned and bear fruit in due season.

What is your best fruit?  Are you in a “sleeping” season?  Are you going through the tedious pruning process?  Are you ripe with your best fruit?  Do you remember that righteous fruit is for the distinct goal and purpose to bring honor and praise to God that His glory may be shown and renowned?

“I am the True Vine, and My Father is the Vinedresser. Any branch in Me that does not bear fruit [that stops bearing] He cuts away (trims off, takes away); and He cleanses and repeatedly prunes every branch that continues to bear fruit, to make it bear more and richer and more excellent fruit. You are cleansed and pruned already, because of the word which I have given you [the teachings I have discussed with you]. Dwell in Me, and I will dwell in you. [Live in Me, and I will live in you.] Just as no branch can bear fruit of itself without abiding in (being vitally united to) the vine, neither can you bear fruit unless you abide in Me. I am the Vine; you are the branches. Whoever lives in Me and I in him bears much (abundant) fruit. However, apart from Me [cut off from vital union with Me] you can do nothing. If a person does not dwell in Me, he is thrown out like a [broken-off] branch, and withers; such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and they are burned. If you live in Me [abide vitally united to Me] and My words remain in you and continue to live in your hearts, ask whatever you will, and it shall be done for you. When you bear (produce) much fruit, My Father is honored and glorified, and you show and prove yourselves to be true followers of Mine. I have loved you, [just] as the Father has loved Me; abide in My love [continue in His love with Me]. If you keep My commandments [if you continue to obey My instructions], you will abide in My love and live on in it, just as I have obeyed My Father’s commandments and live on in His love. I have told you these things, that My joy and delight may be in you, and that your joy and gladness may be of full measure and complete and overflowing. This is My commandment: that you love one another [just] as I have loved you. No one has greater love [no one has shown stronger affection] than to lay down (give up) his own life for his friends. You are My friends if you keep on doing the things which I command you to do. I do not call you servants (slaves) any longer, for the servant does not know what his master is doing (working out). But I have called you My friends, because I have made known to you everything that I have heard from My Father. [I have revealed to you everything that I have learned from Him.] You have not chosen Me, but I have chosen you and I have appointed you [I have planted you], that you might go and bear fruit and keep on bearing, and that your fruit may be lasting [that it may remain, abide], so that whatever you ask the Father in My Name [as presenting all that I Am], He may give it to you. This is what I command you: that you love one another.” John 15 (AMP)

Praying Scripture

Dear God, Please keep my husband safe on the road.  Give him wisdom and incite as he works.  Help him to be attentive to the task at hand.  Bless him today, Lord.  AMEN.

I pray prayers like this one all the time.  There’s nothing wrong with it BUT could it be better?

Of course God honors the heart of His people.  He is not going to respect Christian rhetoric if the heart is not in it.  At the same time he blesses the young child who comes innocently before him and prays the simplest of prayers.

Yet how more powerful can we pray?  In Matthew 6:5-13, Jesus teaches us how to pray.

“And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by others. Truly I tell you, they have received their reward in full. But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come,
your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.’

Praying the scripture gives us an additional authority in our prayers.  It is an authority of the Kingdom of Heaven that overwhelms the darkness and consumes it.

Dear God, May your kingdom come, your will be done in and through my husbands life today.   Give him wisdom and knowledge, that he may be a leader in his household and company.  Praise be to the God and Father our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed Aaron and me in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ.

(Scripture referenced in prayer Matthew 6; 1 Chronicles 1:10; Ephesians 1:3)

It’s the same prayer, just with a scripture based backbone.  As you pray, “It is written” you move heaven and earth to accomplish God’s will.