Watching what happened with FBI Director James Comey reminded me of the time I was fired –at church. Like so many, I’ve been watching with interest the current events of the last week regarding the firing of James Comey. I’ve heard comments about the messy way the firing was done (not even a heads up or a handshake?), Comey’s prior mistakes, Comey’s support or lack of support in the FBI. Of course, if you listen to the Huckabee-Spicer-Trump connection from the White House, you would think he’s the worst FBI director of all time, but that’s politics. Continue reading
Here’s a little lesson from the Book of Samuel. The worst thing we can do is act while in a state of frustration. Take time to cool off. Make sure you’re being led of God and not trying to move things along in your own strength. I recall the trial of two young converts who were being persecuted by their parents for being born again. They wanted to move out of their parents’ home and get an apartment together but needed a third person to handle the rent. Somehow they found another young girl who had recently come to the Lord. Although this girl had a job, she also had emotional problems and really put the girls through some difficult times. Part of their agreement was that she would take care of providing money to buy groceries. She never actually gave them money to shop, however; she always had to accompany them to the store. This sounded OK at first, but as soon as they took the groceries to the cashier, she always refused to pay, claiming she couldn’t find the money.
So my husband and I went along one day to see what was going on, and sure enough, when she got to the register, the cashier told her the cost and she did not release the money she had in her purse. So these poor girls were stuck with this person because they wanted to be on their own so badly and wanted to get out of the persecution but ended up in a worse situation.
Sometimes we think we need or want something and we beg God to give it to us. We’d better be sure, however, that our desires coincide with the will of God. In 1 Samuel 8, the children of Israel not only asked for a king, they demanded one out a knee-jerk reaction to a scandal in the temple. Samuel’s sons were taking advantage of the people, and the people decided to correct the problem themselves instead of letting God correct it.
After Samuel’s sons were exposed as hypocrites, they said, “We want what everyone else has—a king,” because they thought a change in regime would make things better. They let this scandal affect their trust in God—who, incidentally, had done no wrong. The prophet Samuel told them they would face many hardships with a king, but they would not listen. The point is that a king was Israel’s own solution to the problem; they did not pray to find out God’s solution. Israel also misidentified the problem; it was not Samuel, but rather the two sons, who were not worthy of their position. Plus, Israel was ruled God, not a man.
Samuel was distressed about Israel’s request. After all, how could he not take this personally? It was his sons that were causing the trouble. The people failed to realize, however, that even though Samuel’s sons were rotten, Samuel was still God’s man and God’s representative. They’d forgotten it is the Lord who not only grants position and power, but He also takes it away when needed. He has always been the One to set up kings and then take them down. This is why God let Samuel know “They are not rejecting you; they are rejecting me.” In essence, the people were telling God, “You cannot handle this. We’re the ones who have been hurt and we’ll decide how to fix this.” So the people stopped trusting God’s help and rejected God’s rule altogether. That is why He called their request “wickedness” in 1 Samuel 11:17. In the end, however, God gave Israel what they asked for in 1 Samuel 8:22, but Israel’s kings caused them a lot of sorrow and eventually split the nation.
We tend to demand that God give us what we want—right now! When one of our friends gets a new car, for example, we rush to get one ourselves. When someone we know gets married, we demand God give us a spouse, too. And when He doesn’t, we try to solve the issue ourselves. But God is a God of order and time; He works in His time and will not be rushed. Often what we want is not what we need.
Desires can become idols and replace the will of God if we let them. All desires are not evil, but if our methods for dealing with those desires or our frustration over not getting what we want, crosses the will of God, those same harmless desires can be deadly to our connection with the Lord.
-excerpt from How to Walk on Water: A Christian’s Survial Guide for going through Trials.
Will the Lord be pleased with thousands of rams, or with ten thousands of rivers of oil? Shall I give my firstborn for my transgression, the fruit of my body for the sin of my soul? He hath showed thee O man, what is good; and what doeth the Lord require of thee but to do justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with thy God? Micah 6: 7-8.
Often people talk about how hard they work FOR the Lord. Continue reading
Do you ever feel trapped in your life? Sometimes life is moving forward, and then other times, it seems we are stuck in the same circumstances day after day with no end in sight. At the risk of being Captain Obvious, let’s say that life is not easy. This is especially true in the Christian walk, which the Apostle Paul advertised as being a prisoner. Continue reading
I didn’t expect the outpour of response from the prior September 5th post, but I appreciate the feedback. As a blogger, I simply wanted others to know that this was a much-needed catharsis for me. This is a real-life continuation to me of a prior article on this blog on the Prison of Perfectionism. I am still healing from the many layers God is pulling back in my life to move me forward in my ministry. To those that have written me privately out their pain. I’m sure if your parents had felt freer in doing so, it would have led them to support their own parental instincts in raising you. Continue reading