Isaiah 43 is one of the most wonderful chapters in all of scripture. (Of course I say that about a lot of chapters.)
But what draws me to this particular chapter is how many times God draws attention to his own lordship. God is not capable of arrogance as it would sound coming from human lips.
He’s doesn’t repeat this time after time for his own benefit but for ours. He is reminding us that he and he alone deserves to be called the one and only Lord.
He goes on to recount his creation of all living things on this earth, we humans in particular. Paul quotes Isaiah 9b, “Will the clay say to the potter, “What are you doing?” In Romans 9: 20-21, it states that we are his to shape and mold as he sees fit without question.
To give someone else control isn’t easy. Giving our government control over our actions isn’t easy. None of us like being told where we can or cannot go.
But maybe we can use this restriction on our lives as a way to remind us that this is how we are supposed to place ourselves in the Potter’s hands to do with as he wishes.
Think of this portion of scripture the next time you bristle about your restrictions and confinement. Let those feelings of irritation remind you, remind me, that we are usually wrangling with God over these same control issues.
Assuming we are in right relationships with God, his molding of us will only draw us closer to him and his purpose for our lives.
If we are not in right relationship with God, he will have to continue getting us back to that starting point as a lump of clay and start all over again, many times all over again.
Doesn’t it make sense to cooperate with him the first time?
Let’s allow God to really shape us during this shut-down. Let’s think through our reactions about giving up control and try and determine if we treat God this way sometimes. Is there a correlation? Can we learn from this how it feels to give God control?
I wonder why we are all looking for something to do. I’ve even got a post coming soon with some ideas for you. But I wonder, why are we trying to occupy every minute?
I’m guessing it’s because we’re scared and being busy helps. But I’m not sure that’s so good. So while I, too, am getting bored and want to fill every moment, I’m also trying to make sure I have plenty of contemplative time. I want to think about this crisis and how it can make me stronger in my faith walk.Tweet
What about you? Are you taking time during this quarantine to simply think?
God bless and stay safe.
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Starting in July, I am adding a new menu item. Do I sound like a restaurant?
What shall it be then?
An appetitzer? Main course? dessert?
I think we’ll call it the “tantalizer”.
Have you ever heard of E. M. Bounds?
If not, let’s just say that he has written more about prayer than any other author ever, 568 pages to be exact. The book I have contains all his books in one big volume. have had his book for years and when I want to torture myself I read portions of it.
I use the word “torture” because as the introduction written by Jim Cymbala of The Brooklyn Tabernacle says regarding his book, “You either stand near to enjoy its warmth or you move away because the flame seems too much to bear.”
E.M. Bounds took the word of God literally in regards to prayer, something I think many of us don’t do. And that certainly includes me.
I think I am praying believing that if I believe what I’m praying, my prayers will be answered. (Yes, I mean it just the way I wrote it, convulted though it is.)
The truth, though? I think if I really did believe it, I would pray much bigger than I do.
Don’t look at me askance. How many you really believe that if you were to pray really big for something like world peace, it would happen?
I’m not saying it wouldn’t either.
All of this is just to point out that prayer, while really quite simple (after all, it’s only a conversation between two people), is complex. Not because prayer itself is complex but because we are. Prayers in the Bible are simple (and short, I might add), I wonder how we made it so complicated.
The longest prayer is found in Nehemiah 9:5-38, that’s only thirty-three verses. It can be read in a matter of minutes and yet is a powerful prayer.
E. M. Bound’s book challenges me and encourages me at the same time. (For some reason, I can’t download the image but you can find it here on Amazon.) And while I still maintain prayer is simple, that doesn’t mean there isn’t a lot more we can learn.
I hope you will enjoy the excerpts that I will post on Mondays. Remember, 568 pages! So just giving you a few sentences every week isn’t even going to give you an inkling about the book’s depth of insight. I encourage you to buy the book or get it from your local library so you can pick it up if only to read a few sentences at a time.
God bless and have a great day.
The post, “An exciting new series on authentic prayer” appeared first on “Under His Wings” @faithsighanddiy.com
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Last week, I got my manuscript all together in one place.
I had been working on the chapters of my book in separate documents. Eventually, I have to have it all in a PDF file in order to publish it.
The writing has been easy compared to this part.
I think I also told you I’m reaching out to everyone I know who has a social media platform to help me publicize my book.
As I was thinking about publishing and all I had yet to learn, I thought of someone within our family network who has written some books herself and done quite well. I was hesitant to ask for her help because she has her hands full with her job and her family.
But I reached out anyway just for clarification about a couple of things. In the course of back and forth texting, I asked her if she would be willing to actually be my consultant in this whole process. I told her I wouldn’t take her help unless I could pay her.
Her response was that she had also received lots of help when she started out and this would be her way of passing it on. We scheduled an hour between her dropping her daughter off at a friend’s house and having to pick her up. I told her I would be taxing her brain non-stop during that time.
And I did.
Boy, we worked hard and fast and after one hour I was further along in the process of getting my book published than I would have ever been on my own. We accomplished in one hour what could have taken WEEKS! And that’s assuming I didn’t have a breakdown in the process.
(I hope you read the post from last Thursday because this is kind of the same theme. You can find it here if you’d like. )
This was another example of God going way beyond what I thinking or could imagine. (Eph:3:20)
That got me to thinking. I wonder what we could all accomplish if we prayed bigger and dreamed bigger?
I wonder what we could all accomplish if we trusted God more, had more faith.
If there is one area where I feel I “lack” in my walk with God it is right here, having enough faith. I never feel like I’m even close to having the kind of faith others have.
When I feel like that way though, I remind myself that this is just another way of comparing myself to others, but I don’t recognize it as such because it sounds so “spiritual”. It’s just as self-destructive and every bit as wrong, not to mention counter-productive to my overall spiritual growth.
In my book, I have one day (it’s a daily devotional) when I write about how comparing ourselves to others can trigger a plummeting mood. Left unresolved, it can lead to depression.
Interestingly enough, it’s my faith-walk where I do the most comparing. Now, just who do you think is behind that? It certainly isn’t God, is it?
Think big this week.
Think outside the box.
Pray outside the box.
I think God loves it when we pray big. It’s kind of like we’re saying, “I believe you really can do more than I can think or imagine.” Don’t be like me and measure your own level of faith. That’s between you and God anyway, isn’t it? Let him be the judge.
And don’t let anyone else judge you about your faith.
BTW, I wrote the above for me even more than I wrote it for you.
God bless and have a good day. ‘
The post, “How to pray bigger than the faith”, appeared first on faithsighanddiy.com.
There are times I can’t even believe how God shows up in my life.
I sure hope you have that experience. I’m alway surprised and yet I shouldn’t be because God’s been surprising me my entire life.
Well, as you know I’m working on my first full-length book, a devotional for Christians who struggle, or have struggled with depression/anxiety and never want to face it again.
Well, the writing part has been easy. I’m constantly reading about mental health issues, anxiety, and moods in general. My library records are proof of that. I wonder what the librarians think when my books come in. (We have a small library so I order books online most of that time.)
My mind is constantly mulling over ideas of what to write about. I always have plenty of information to pull from. And then there is my own experience with depression and that of many others I know and have come acquainted with over the years through teaching Bible classes, counseling, and as a hospital chaplain.
When I sit down to write, it’s like my fingers are writing with little conscious awareness on my part. It’s actually a little ethereal feeling at times, like something outside of me is moving my fingers.
I don’t think I’m unique in this regards. I hear other writers say the same thing. It’s actually very exciting.
I am also concurrently working on a fiction book. It also seems to be writing itself because I’m letting the characters tell me what they want to say and do. I’m not contriving anything and I have no real plot in mind.
Again, the characters are letting me know what is happening next.
I wondered about that. Is that even an acceptable method of writing a fiction book.
Shouldn’t I have an outline?
So I bought some highly recommended books about writing. One of them titled, “On Writing” was written by someone whose books I have not and probably will never read. It’s just not my type of book.
Stephen King, no less.
I mean, really. What would Stephen King possibly have to say to me? (Meaning, of course, that he writes horror fiction and I’m writing a Christian devotional. Nothing against the man at all.)
As it turns out, a whole lot.
That’s what I mean by God showing up in the strangest ways in just the ways we need.
Once I got past the language, and was able to cipher out the “meat”, I realized that I felt totally validated with how I’ve been writing. Things like avoiding adverbs whenever possible. I do.
Using the few words possible to say something and eliminating all unnecessary words. I do. (Which, in conversation though, I have a hard time doing.)
And there is so much more.
We need to always remember that God can give us what we need in the most outlandish ways.
This might be the most outlandish yet.
I hope your day is a truly blessed one.
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