Tuesday, May 25, 2010
Tuesday, May 18, 2010
Why do we have to make things so complicated? We look at life for what we can get and for what we want. I want nice clothing, I want a , I want an expensive car, I want a Great marriage, I want the perfect family…and the list goes on. Our wants in life really are endless, aren’t they? But I think we want these things because we think that’s what we’re supposed to want out of life. But when we really look at what we need, a very different picture emerges. One that is simpler. We may not even like it at first and it may even take a while getting used to it.
So what’s the difference between need and want? How does wanting something make our lives so much more complicated?
A need is something that have to have; something that you cannot live without; necessary to survival. For example – food, shelter, and good health.
A want is something you would like to have but not necessary. This would be things like designer clothes, , ipods, huge bank accounts….etc.
We complicate out lives with all our wants. All things that we desire, and if we don’t get them, we take life as a disappointment. All these wants in our lives, we make such a big deal over them that after a while we feel we cannot live without them. They become a “need” as the attachment grows. But what do we actually need in this life?
I want to share an experience with you from this past weekend. My mom, sister and I went up to Oklahoma for my cousin’s graduation and to see my Grandma, who has Alzheimer’s. She recognizes very little anymore…where she is or even the people around her. After the time we spent with her this weekend, I thought a lot about needs. What did my Grandmother really need? What did she truly need in this stage of her life? Shelter, clothing, nourishment, Love and Care were the things that popped into my mind. These are the things that would impact her life the most. 5 things. . Then, I thought about the things that I think that I need. I think I need. Well, I came up with a list greater than these 5 simple things. And I have been trying to figure out why that is. Why do we make things so complicated with our wants if they’re not what we really need?
Can we use these want in our lives forever? Have you ever noticed that the things we want are the things that constantly change? There is always a newer model, advances in technology, new color and patterns. And this concept will continue, it will not stop, ever! Think about this for a minute…the last want you wished for, what happened when a newer or better option came out?
This can even be applied to people in our lives. “I want a special someone in my life.” And along the way you pick out someone you want to become special to you…the relationship forms and yet soon you find yourself wanting something more from the person or a different person altogether. Sounds pretty complicated to me that you can’t be satisfied with the things that we want out of life.
In Exodus 16 – the Israelite people have escaped from Egypt and started to wonder in the desert running low on food and supplies. God reins down “manna” for the people to collect and eat. They can only gather what they need for eat day…anything that they want to gather for the future will spoil. It's so easy for them, and us, to get carried away. This concept is more prevalent today I think with everything that is made available to us.
See, the Great thing is that God knows what we actually need!
Psalm 116:5-7 “The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion. The LORD protects the simplehearted; when I was in great need, he saved me. Be at rest once more, O my soul, for the LORD has been good to you.”
Matthew 6:8 – “Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.”
He knows what is necessary and what is not. We just need to realize and trust that what He offers and gives us is All we really need in this life.
Matthew 6:31-33 – “So do not worry, saying, 'What shall we eat?' or 'What shall we drink?' or 'What shall we wear?' For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.”
His clarity in the matter makes it very simple for us! Seek Him first and He will give you what you need!
Philippians 4:19 – “And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.”
When I flipped to one of my devotionals this afternoon, today’s verse May 18 was: Isaiah 58:11 – “The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail.”
Tonight at BSF (Bible Study Fellowship) one of the hymns we sung drove this point home even further! The hymn was Great is Thy Faithfulness...here is the chorus
Great is Thy Faithfulness!
Great is Thy Faithfulness!
Morning by morning new mercies I see;
All I have needed, Thy hand hath provided;
Great is Thy Faithfulness, Lord, unto me!
God will satisfy All our Needs and He will help us distinguish between the wants and needs in our life when we look to him! All we have to do is lay those wants at his feet and receive what we need from him alone! It’s Simple, God is truly all we Need in this life!
Monday, May 10, 2010
Have you ever experienced running out of gas? Literally driving along and pleading with the car to give you a few more feet….PLEASE…just a few more feet! Except when you’re out, you’re out! Or how about when your brain has been running low on energy…like cramming for finals in college. Come on brain, you can do it!!! Keep going….just a little more information to cram in… More! And once again, when you’re done, you’re done. Complete and utter exhaustion! We have trouble keeping our heads up, eyes open and feet moving. Our minds and body need to rest and be refilled! So we run to the refrigerator and seek food, run to bed to seek sleep, run to a comfortable place to see solitude. Refill and regenerate. And then we are able to get back to the task at hand and finish or keep going.
So what if the task at hand is life and there isn’t a designated “end point” that you are trying to finish (like a test or work project or goal). You just have to keep going whether you are on empty or not.
What if you are running low physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually? That’s enough to knock anyone to their feet and not want to get back up. This is where I was Friday and Saturday. Brought to the point where I didn’t want to care about anything anymore. I couldn’t think straight. My body didn’t want to do anything! Exhausted in every aspect!
Something important has to happen at this point. Perseverance and Faith. On I read my morning devotional about this very thing. Will also talked about this a bit in his blog recently (http://wbt4.blogspot.com). But I want to hit it from a different angle. The angle of how you refill…re-energize…get back to full working condition.
The verse that I'd like to focus with is 2 Corinthians 4:16 - "Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day."
It's so easy to lose heart along our daily path when we face the issues and problems that come at us and even stick around. We want to set everything down and walk away! Our eyes and mind see only what we face, not what is on the other side when things are over. A blindness in a way takes over. A spiritual blindness in which we are focused on the world and the issues we face instead of God's purpose in the situation or because of the outcome of the situation.
What we have to do is go to God for the refill in these times! Not just do our best to get through them alive and then pray for regeneration! We say..."If I can just get to Friday, I'll be able to rest"..."If I can get this paper/project done, I can focus on something else"..."I need to get things straight with me before I add someone else to my life." This is just such a common subject. I was saying these very things this past week..."If I can just get through the competition Saturday, I'll be good"....but then i found myself saying after the competition on Sat..."If i can just get through the Art Awards dinner on Tuesday I'll be Great for the rest on the school year."
Today, Monday, two days after the competition I should have, theoretically, been rested and good for the rest of the school year. And was I? Nope, not at all. Why? Because there is always something else to "get through". It's a shame that this is what consumes our minds. These tasks and events to "get through". These tasks that when they are over and done, we assume will be the key to a stress release. Really?
If we read on in 2 Corinthians 4 verses 17-18 we read - "For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal."
We are not to let these momentary and (I really love this) temporary things drive us day by day. We are to go to God with these day to day things and let him fill us and give us rest as we go through these trials and stressful events. We are not to let fatigue set in, pain develop, or criticism force us into the mindset that we need to just get by till the next thing. We are to walk along side Christ as He takes us through each trial giving us rest along the way so that we are not just praying to get by!
Ephesians 3:16 - "I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through the Spirit in your inner being,"
Romans 8:26 - "In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express."
God gives us the Holy Spirit to Fill us along the way! As a believer and beloved child of God, we are never left alone, to our own resources, to cope with problems!!! And even when we are tired and cannot find the words to pray the Holy Spirit prays with and for you! Friday night, I knelt to pray at my bedside and nothing! Nothing! Not a thought or feeling ran through my brain. I was upset that I couldn't even pray for strength. But the great thing is...that I didn't have to! I have a helper!!! And God hears and answers our prayers according to His beautiful and divine will!
Thank you Lord for that fact that we can come to you when we are neck deep in the issues of life! Thank you that when we do not have the strength to stand, we are made strong through your Son Christ Jesus! And thank you, that when the words can't be formed in our minds or mouths that your gift of the Holy Spirit prays for us!!! Thank you that You hear us and answers our prayers when we are running on empty!!!!!!!!!