WHO DO YOU THINK YOU ARE?

God has a plan for your life. So does Satan. Choose carefully who you’ll trust.

You have been divinely created by the same God who created the universe! Before the first sonogram gave your parents an idea of what you looked like, before your mother first felt your movement, God was creating you with His own personal touches.

David tells God:

13 For you created my inmost being;
    you knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 I praise you because I am fearfully and wonderfully made;
    your works are wonderful,
    I know that full well.
15 My frame was not hidden from you
    when I was made in the secret place,
    when I was woven together in the depths of the earth.
16 Your eyes saw my unformed body;
    all the days ordained for me were written in your book
    before one of them came to be.

Psalm 139:13-16 New International Version (NIV)

From the time I discovered I was pregnant with each of my daughters, I had plans for them. I imagined wonderful, memorable moments with them. I considered how I would raise them. I wondered what sort of personalities each would have. And, of course, I couldn’t wait to buy baby clothes!

But God had already beat me to the punch. Sure, I conceived my daughters, but God designed them with His own specifications. Whatever plans I had were secondary to the plans God had for them. And He had good plans!

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God has good plans for each of us, too. We are no different now, just because we’ve lived 30, 50, 70-plus years. Here’s the thing about God: Once He has spoken, what he says must come to fruition.

For some of us, someone significant in our lives – a parent, a teacher, a classmate, a lover – may have distorted or perverted our identity and our purpose. Satan will start early in his battle to win our soul by using the free will of others to lie to us about who and Whose we are. And because we are a blank slate, we will likely believe those lies.

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But God knows who we are, who we’re meant to be. His purpose for each of us (and, yes, that means each of “them“, as well) is greater and more glorious than we can begin to imagine. We are like a seed with the potential to produce a tree, which can produce seeds with the potential to grow a forest. At all times, we are potential. Powerful potential. Know that you can plant a seed and plan for a forest.

If you suspect that you’re not fulfilling your God-ordained purpose, ask Him to speak truth to you. Then wait for His words. Listen closely to hear God’s intent for your life and agree with Him. He will tell you the truth about yourself. Despite what anyone has told you about yourself, how others have defined you, what lies you’ve been told about yourself, know that God will show you the truth of how precious you truly are.

Savior every True word!! Jesus Choose you & He Loves you!!God has a plan for your life. So does Satan. Choose carefully who you’ll trust.

 

SUSTAINABILITY

I did an internet  search on the word “redeem” and one of the first things I found was a company called Redeem, which is “a leading global provider of recycling and recommerce solutions for mobile phones and other handheld electronic devices.” Which doesn’t matter at all to this post. What I found interesting was it’s tagline: “making sustainability easy”.

I know it sounds weird, but I’ve been sort of meditating on that over the past few days. Redeem: making sustainability easy.

I think about my personal life, my own redemption through my salvation. I’ve been redeemed by God through the sacrificial death of His only Son, Jesus Christ. I have been purchased. The debt for my sins – past, present and future – has been paid. Christ’s death erased my debt.

Now, “sustainability” has become a go-to word for ecologists. In ecology, it’s “how biological systems remain diverse and productive indefinitely.” Less specifically, it’s “the ability to be maintained at a certain rate or level”. It’s the capacity to endure.

Does my relationship with God need to be sustainable? Yes! The good news – and the point I’m trying to make – is that my relationship with God is sustainable through my redemption, and not by any other means.

Ephesians 2:8-9 makes it clear that “it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this is not from yourselves, it is the gift of God— not by works, so that no one can boast.” It is only by grace that we are saved. It is only by God’s grace that we are redeemed. And it is only by our status as children of God that our relationship with Him is sustainable. Good works won’t do it, although good works should flow naturally from the redeemed life.

And because of His grace, there is nothing we can do to make Him love us more and nothing we can do to make Him love us less. That’s some pretty decent sustainability.

So if I could, I would adapt the company name and its tagline to read: Redemption: Making Sustainability Easy. What a cool way to think about my relationship with God!

THIS MIGHT HURT A LITTLE

I found it! I found the quote that says what I’ve been meditating on but couldn’t quite put into words. But C S Lewis managed to articulate my meditations well.

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Not that I don’t have moments when I do doubt if God will bless me. I do. However, what I’m realizing is that I hope to be blessed the way I want to be blessed because I think what I want is what is best for me. And that’s a two-part issue: As a human, I believe I already know what’s best for me and, as LaRonda, I am not always confident that God wants to give me good things.

I’m slowly accepting that God does love me – always and anyway. That’s grace. I wasn’t raised with grace or mercy, so it’s been hard for me to accept that God loves me always and anyway. Often, I feel inherently unlovable enough to not warrant grace.

As I mature into my faith, I’m accepting that what God wants for me is good, better than what I can hope for myself. But I’ll be honest. I often cringe when I trust God. Why? Because I know it might hurt! Don’t pray for patience; just pray for everything to go your way instead. Right? 🙂

I was absolutely terrified last month as I watched our checking balance deplete with no hope of improvement in sight. What if God meant to bring His will to fruition by means of us losing everything we had and turning our lives upside down? (I know it sounds dramatic and tragic. Welcome to my head!)  I was certain that I couldn’t bear to go through something like that. And I couldn’t understand why I was being put through such a trial when God knows I don’t have the emotional foundation for something like that.

Everything turned out fine, and my faith in God as my provider was exercised and strengthened. But it wasn’t fun. So what I believe I need to do is rely on what I know of God rather than my feelings. And that’s what I’m in the process of doing right now – getting to know God by reading His word and visiting with Him in prayer and quiet more than listening to what others have to say about Him. (And you’re welcome to come along for the ride!) I’ve been to church and Bible studies, so I know many of the stories; but I’m finding that there is no substitute for letting the Holy Spirit tell me what I need to know about my God, letting God reveal Himself to me intimately, personally. I just need to become confident that He is gentle enough to meet me where I am – even if it’s on edge of an imagined cliff or on the shore of my own Red Sea – but still willing to stretch my faith when He knows I’m ready for it – like that teacher in school who constantly told me that I wasn’t living up to my potential. (I was quite satisfied with mediocrity, thank you very much! It took less effort than potential.)

Ultimately, I know that I need to believe that it won’t hurt any more than it absolutely has to and that His grace is sufficient to carry me through the pain if it’s necessary. I suppose growing pains should be expected. There are plenty of examples in nature to show it’s even necessary in order for a creature to become what it was born to become. It’s going to take a lot of trust for me to do that. And honestly, like living up to my potential, it’s a little scary to consider. But the option of depending on myself really isn’t a preferable option, is it?