From Physical Difficulties Come Spiritual Masterpieces

masterpiece 3

When we initially surrendered to God and began the journey with Him, many of us believed that all of the world’s successes and possessions were ours to attain.  We believed we were going to live on easy street.  Everything thereafter that we touched was going to turn to gold.  And why not?  God is on our side.  But reality soon appeared.  Somewhere in time we come to the realization that life is a series of problems that need to be resolved.  Every day brings new difficulties, challenges, and yes, opportunities. And one needs to learn how to handle them wisely, with patience, or they will come back to haunt us for the rest of our earthly life.

In our early walk with God we hopefully learned that not all opportunities of material gain are blessings from Him.  Many times they are only tests to measure our faithfulness, values, priorities, and character.  We recall one instance where a friend had the opportunity to purchase a business. He prayed, counseled, fasted and searched for the “right” answer. Finally, based on the physical events in his life it looked like the answer was to go for it. He did.  Three years later showed him that physically it was a dumb thing to do.  But spiritually, it taught him many valuable lessons of life that are with him to this day.  One such lesson is that from physical difficulties come spiritual masterpieces.

Physically he lost everything.  But spiritually, God was creating a masterpiece.  It was through this ordeal that he discovered joy in tribulation.  He discovered patience in overcoming obstacles.  He discovered peace in confrontation.  And most importantly, he discovered love at the bottom of the pits.  In other words, he discovered all of life’s greatest values while he was being kicked, abused, defeated, and ostracized.  Human pride was being displaced with humility.  Selfishness was being revealed.  Arrogance was being chopped down in size.  Vanity was being deflated.  The Holy Spirit was attaining His objectives while he was busy pursuing other things that he thought was more important.  The spiritual project being created in us is His work.  And it seems that He does His best work while we are going through the rough times of our lives.

Yes, we know that being a disciple of His places us on a road least traveled.  It may be a road without all the physical comforts that we in America are accustomed with living.  But the process has its rewards.  Likewise, the end result has a reward.  To other eyes, the road may be rough.  But as disciples, the road is that one, spiritual Olympic journey for the gold.  The process may look tough, but the reward now and for eternity is worth the challenge.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Great, Creator Dad, thank you for allowing us to be a part of your masterpiece under construction.  And a special thank you for caring and loving us even when our attitude and feelings are against you.  Forgive us.

Help us to always trust you, especially when the circumstances and times are difficult.  Help us to focus our attention and desire in you.  Lead us to your heavenly calling and help us to understand our part in your creation.  We pray for the strength, courage. and conviction to glorify you in all our undertakings.

No matter what the outcome, no matter what the events, no matter what the circumstances, let our heart, mind, and soul always praise you and trust you for the end result.  Help us to focus our eyes towards you and not our surroundings.  Take care of us as you do in mercy, compassion, and goodness.  Help us likewise treat others as you treat us.  Thank you, Jesus.

Yours In Christ,

Dr. Mike

Coach, Consultant, and Encourager

Author of Great Business Emulates a Good God

 

Does God Make Sense?

When Job lost his family, and his earthly possessions were taken away, plus his health destroyed with boils, did he consider that time in life to make any sense? When Joseph was taken into slavery to Egypt and locked up in jail for over ten years, did he make sense of his current situation?  When the apostle Paul found himself left stoned to death, shipwrecked, beaten, pursued by his enemies of the cross. did he consider his current situation to make any sense?

When we stop and look at our present time, do we ever ask if it makes any sense?  Though most of us are not a Paul, Joseph, nor Job with no major specific mission in life; where history will not record our accomplishments to the masses. In fact, most of our lives are quite normal and most the time uneventful. And frankly, most of us enjoy it that way. But, does it make any sense?

We live in America, the Disney Country of the planet earth. We have the choice to live anywhere that is affordable for us. Wehave the opportunity to educate ourselves at any university if we apply our self. We could pursue whatever occupation interests us. We have the opportunity to select our own mate and have as many children as physically possible. We also have the opportunity to worship at the church of our choice. We probably have more than enough in physical comforts and may even begin to feel guilty whenever we acquire more. But does our present situation make sense?

If tomorrow we lost everything we own; if our world fell apart and we are taken into prison for something we didn’t do. If we are beaten and left .for dead, would our present situation make sense?

The answer of course is that as a disciple of His, everything makes sense. Nothing will separate us from the love of God. As His disciple, He is the center of our universe; the center of our life. He makes our situation make sense. No matter where we find ourselves, no matter what the situation, no matter what the outcome, He is in control. Our agreement with Him is to surrender all and He will make sense of it all.

He is creating a masterpiece in each one of us and collectively in His universal Church. In our almost forty years following Christ, no matter what ignorant decisions, actions, or events that have taken place, He has always been with me. When evil surrounds us or death knocks at our door, we may not have fully realized it at the time, but in hindsight, He is always around and in control. There is a great purpose being worked out here below and we are a part of it. Yes it takes faith. But isn’t that one part of the armor of a Christ­ follower? And shouldn’t a disciple of His be wearing that armor every day?

Does your present situation make sense? Or maybe the question really is, “Does God make sense?”  Only when we faithfully answer that question, will our present situation make sense.

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 9

Dear Purposeful Dad, thank you for being in control. Thank you for taking care of the small details of life. But mostly, thank you for being involved in our life.

Help us to yield ourselves into your hands, to trust you in all of life’s circumstances and situations. Help us to see the circumstances that you present to us as opportunities to witness to your great power in our life. We pray, glorify your name by creating your masterpiece in us. Take the circumstances that we find ourselves in and change our heart to be like yours. Change the heart of those around us to be like yours. Change the circumstances if you believe that to be the best solution, but more importantly, take the present situation and reveal your Greatness through it. Let others see your magnificence. Let us see your magnificence. Let others know that you know us and care for us. Let your life abide in us and in you.

Let us not try to make sense of the situation we are in. We do not ask why. Instead we ask that you take our present situation and magnify yourself through it.

Let your glory abound. Let your Word abound. Let the Holy Spirit abound. Let your  Kingdom abound. Help us abound for your name’s sake.  In Jesus we ask. Amen.

Dr. Mike

 

The Spirit Is Always Moving

be still 9Like many children, I had great dissatisfaction for standing still in my youth. I had to be doing something all the time.  Today though, I have found it much easier to stop whatever we are doing and smell the roses. But even today, when we see injustice, pain, misery, sorrow, and the effects of sin in people’s lives, we cannot be still.  A strong internal drive from within the heart wants to reach out, hug them, let them know that God cares, and wants to help them.  An internal force from within our inner being wants to reach out at times and lay hands on those who ignorantly plan and execute evil unto others.  The Spirit of God cry’s out and can’t keep silent!
To be still and not do anything seems easier as we age. Maybe it’s possible because we become tired of exerting energy that disappears as we grow older. Or we convince ourselves that we have done enough already and let the next person do their share. Maybe we don’t want to get involved because it takes time away from our everyday routines. We would rather keep things as they arc than change them and we think by being still nothing will change. How lazy and self­ centered we can become over time.
Today I’ve come to see that “to be still” really means to be dead. It’s the person born in 1972, graduates from high school in 1990, dies in 1999 and is not buried until 2050. Physically he may still be around, but inside of him he died years ago.
To be still means to run away from our problems. To be still means not to accept personal responsibilities for our brother’s condition. To be still means not discovering God’s creation. To be still means having no intimate relationship. To be still means not enjoying life’s good things.  To be still is not the life of a disciple of His. His disciples always keep moving; even when they are still. She may be still, but exercising faith like Moses standing before the Red Sea with the Egyptian Army behind him. ”The Lord will fight for you; you only need to be still (Ex 14.14 N IV).” Or he may be still while praying and asking God to intervene on someone’s specific situation. Then again, she may be still and in communion with her Maker discovering His Presence at the moment. The point is that a disciple of His may look still on the outside but in the inside the Holy Spirit is leading him to response accordingly. It is very difficult to be still when God’s Spirit resides in you!  How do you response to the nudging of the Holy Spirit in your life?

OUR PRAYER

PRAY 8

Our Heavenly Dad, oh how our heart hurts with the injustice, pain, and sorrow that we see people inflict on others. Some of it intentionally, most of it out of ignorance. Either way, help us to pray for those who are being persecuted. To ask you to intervene in their lives that hurt, to lead them to you.

Our soul is restless for you. Our soul hungers for you. We cannot sit still until your Words and Holy Spirit has made their mark in the life of those who are hurting. Help us to be your witness. Help us be your servant. Help us to reach out and touch those who you know need help today. Let nothing prevent us from sharing your Word with others. Oh Holy Spirit, fill us with your fruit. Let it overflow and touch the lives of those around us. Let us not live a life of seclusion, but a life of service. Let us not be still, but alive in you. Let your richness overflow and make others rich. Lead us always unto your paths.  Thank you Creator Dad, thank you Jesus, thank you Holy Spirit.

 

Dr. Mike