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My ten month old grandson hasn’t just learned the art of climbing up and down everything he can! He can climb up on the bed, crawl across it, and slide down the opposite side before you can bat an eye. He climbs up and down the couch, every chair, and has recently discovered that if he climbs up in the dining room chair, he’s only one climb away from being on top of the dining table. Tonight, he was up in the chair and on top of the table in a split second. I can see this one is going to give me a few more gray hairs than I already have! To him, climbing on everything is so much fun, and he has no idea that danger could be lurking so near! He doesn’t realize that he could fall and hurt himself with one wrong move. That’s what he has caregivers for! The people who are caring for him are aware of the dangers and have to let him explore while keeping him safe. Sometimes Christians can be like my grandson. We are so busy focusing on what we are doing that we have no idea of the danger that is lurking nearby. We don’t understand that with one wrong move, we could do something that really hurts us.

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom to devour.” 1 Peter 5:8

As Christians, we also have Someone who is watching over us and helping to keep us safe. We may not see the danger nearby, but He does! And He will keep us from falling!

Tonight my husband shared something he heard today and it’s been on my mind ever since. He said he heard someone ask how we can say God is silent if we haven’t even opened our Bible. It’s a very valid question, I’m afraid. It’s so easy to blame God for being silent when we are doing nothing to hear from Him. We could also ask how we can say God is silent if we haven’t even spent one minute in prayer or how can we say He is silent when we haven’t stopped long enough to even notice the blessings He has given us. Part of our problem, myself included, is that we treat God like a genie in a bottle. We want something and we expect Him to magically show up and grant our requests. The sad part is, even if God was a genie in the bottle, we probably wouldn’t want to make the effort to take the bottle down off of the shelf and take the top off to summon Him because the truth of the matter is that we don’t want to put the effort into our relationship with God that will result in us hearing from Him or seeing Him at work. We want God to do all of the work and us to just sit back and reap the benefits. If this is our attitude, we will never have an up close and personal relationship with God. Yes, we may know Him, but we may never experience Him. Any relationship requires effort on both sides. Our relationship with God is not an different. We get out what we put in!

“Call to Me and I will answer you, and show you great and mighty things you do not know.” Jeremiah 33:3

 

Have you ever noticed that little children rarely forget anything? My grandson is definitely one who never forgets anything. This morning, he asked me to wash his favorite fire truck shirt (the one we have to literally peel off of him because he loves it so much) while he was gone. As soon as he walked in the door, he immediately ran to me and asked if I washed his shirt. I told him that I did, but it was still in the dryer. “Thank you, Nana, for washing my shirt,” was all he replied as he raced off to play. When he finished playing outside, he came in and took a bath. As soon as he got out of the tub, he asked me again about his shirt. I told him to take a peek on my bed. When he saw his shirt sitting on my bed, he excitedly exclaimed, “Nana, my shirt is ready!” I was laughing to myself thinking how he was going to make sure I didn’t forget about that shirt! As I thought about it, I was reminded of the following verse:

“Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all His benefits…” Psalm 103:2

I, for one, tend to forget! I am much quicker to grumble and complain than to count my blessings! I can easily see the glass as half empty instead of half full! God has lavished blessing upon blessing upon all of us, but we don’t always remember that! We forget what He has done for us! My prayer for all of us is that don’t forget, but instead, we make it our goal to remember!

A few days ago, my three year old grandson was feeling a little under the weather. When he woke up and saw that I was dressed for work, he started to tear up. He looked at me with those baby blue eyes of his and asked, “Nana, don’t you want to stay home with me today?” My heart just shattered into a million pieces! Of course I wanted to stay home with my sweet boy! If it were up to me, I would never leave him! However, I also realize that there are times when I have to leave no matter how hard it is for either of us! That’s just part of life. In our humanness, we can’t be everywhere at once try as we might. At some point, we have to be away from those we love. God, on the other hand, is not like us. He can be everywhere all at once. He is always with us. We never ever have to worry that we are going to ask Him to stay with us only to have Him say He can’t! Before we can even recognize the fact that we need Him, He is there! He’s never too busy, He never has something more important to do, and He never has another obligation that He must attend to. God is with you when the going gets tough, when the road you’re traveling is treacherous, and even when everyone else has abandoned you. You are never alone! You have a constant Companion, and He will never leave!

“He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6

 

Today was one of those days when it seemed as if everything that could go wrong went wrong and even the things you didn’t think could possibly go wrong, somehow managed to go wrong. It was the kind of day that makes you just want to go home, crawl into bed, pull the covers over your head, and start over again tomorrow. When I opened my devotional this evening, the first words I see were “count it all joy”. “Haha! Very funny, Lord! I bet you’ve been waiting all day for that one, haven’t You?” It’s not easy to count it all joy or even count a little bit of it joy sometimes, is it? Sometimes life is just hard, and it just gets the best of us. How in the world could God possibly expect us to count it all joy when joy is the last thing we  feel? How can we count it all joy when we can’t even muster a smile on our face? The first thing we have to do is to remember that joy is not the same thing as happiness. Happiness is based on our circumstances and our feelings. Joy, on the other hand, is not based on our circumstances nor our feelings. Joy is based on the fact that, no matter what, we have hope in Christ. It doesn’t matter what we are facing…as long as we have Christ, we can trust that it’s going to be okay. He is our Hope and the reason joy can be a reality no matter what!

“My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials…” James 1:2

 

I think we are all guilty of trying to fit God into a box of our own design…a box that conforms Him to what our limited minds can handle and grasp.  However, no matter how we try to shrink God down to our level, we just cannot do it.  He was, is, and forever will be the King of the world.  Natalie Grant’s song says it best:

I tried to fit you in the walls inside my mind
I try to keep you safely in between the lines
I try to put you in the box that I’ve designed
I try to pull you down so we are eye to eye

When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you’re the one who holds it all
When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world

Just a whisper of your voice can tame the seas
So who am I to try to take the lead
Still I run ahead and think I’m strong enough
When you’re the one who made me from the dust

When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you’re the one who holds it all
When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world

Oh, you set it all in motion
Every single moment
You brought it all to me
And you’re holding on to me

When did I forget that you’ve always been the king of the world?
I try to take life back right out of the hands of the king of the world
How could I make you so small
When you’re the one who holds it all
When did I forget you’ve always been the king of the world
You will always be the king of the world

God is so much bigger than anything we will ever be able to understand.  We will never be eye to eye with Him.  He is beyond anything our minds can fathom and the best we can do is remember that He was, is, and forever will be the King of the world.

 

“It may not always be easy, but being frustrated and unfulfilled due to being outside the will of God is more difficult than pressing through all the opposition in order to walk in His will.” Joyce Meyer

I think for most of us, it’s easy to decide that being in God’s will is the most difficult path we could possibly walk. We can convince ourselves that what He is asking is to do or not do is just beyond what we can do. We may believe that there are just too many obstacles in our path to accomplish what He has planned for us, and we can be sure there are people encouraging us to give up. And what do we do…we give up! What we fail to consider when we give up and step outside of His will is that ANYTHING outside of His will is going to end up infinitely worse than ANYTHING we could’ve faced in His will. We have to realize that outside of His will, we don’t have His protection, His strength, His resources, His power, and His hand guiding us. When we are in God’s will, we may face opposition from the world, but when we are outside His will, we will face opposition from Him. God will fight us to stay in His will where He knows we are safe and protected. He will battle us as long as it takes and as ferociously as it takes in order to bring us back to where we need to be. God is relentless in His pursuit of us…He will never let us go! The choices we make are ours and no matter what we choose, there will be difficulties and opposition. We just have to decide if we want to face opposition from the world or from God.

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