09 Nov 2015
God has an individual, specific plan for each one of us. From before we were born, God knew who we were going to be and what His plan was for our lives. He made each of us perfectly different for exactly the role He has in mind for us to play.
He also gave us the ability to decide for ourselves what is right. Many of us ignored God’s plan and made decisions without consulting His manual—the Bible. We went our own way and dismissed His blueprint for our lives.
Now we sit in a self-made prison of despair or self-hatred. Our version of our plan for our lives ran ourselves into the ditch. We have divorced our spouses and hurt our children. We feel worthless and wonder why we exist at all! That’s definitely not God’s plan for our lives.
God gives us a set of guidelines to make our lives richer and safer. The Ten Commandments are not God’s way to restrict our happiness. They are part of His plan, and they outline the ways we can live safe, abundant lives.
God’s plan for our lives involves not only a full life here and now, but also true freedom for eternity. God loves us so much that He wants us to live with Him forever. Imagine living for eternity in the presence of Almighty God Himself. And to make that happen for us, God was willing to sacrifice His only Son to pay the debt for our sin.
God’s love is so deep that He offers this gift to us—free. When we believe in Him and accept His gift of salvation, He makes a reservation for us to live with Him forever.
31 Aug 2015
Why do we feel anxious about the future? Why are we waking up at 3:30 A.M. worrying about the kids, the job, the bills, our marriage or the fact that we are not married? We obsess about the future and fret about things we cannot control. And, we do these things in the face of Paul’s assurances that God has all these areas of our life covered. Take a look at Philippians 4: 6-7, below:
“Do NOT be anxious about anything, but in EVERY situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God that exceeds all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.” [Emphasis added]
The reason we read this passage and still fret and worry and are anxious is simply because we are not sure that if we really, truly surrender our fears, worries and concerns to God that He will get it right! We don’t really TRUST Him to know what is best for us and our kids and our net worth.
Yet look closely at what Paul is teaching. He instructs us to give every concern to God in prayer. He coaches us to make the long list of petitions or requests for God. Paul is not backing up here and scolding us for asking God for stuff. But then there is this pesky word…thanksgiving… Paul must have just misplaced this word when he wrote this. After all, we know that we must be thankful after God answers our prayers, right? But no! Paul is placing that word exactly where it should be…before we receive God’s answers to laundry list of wishes. Paul is instructing us to be thankful to God for His answers, before we even find out what they are. Paul is telling us to be thankful for God’s leading and bounty and discipline or whatever His answers will be BEFORE we know them and judge them according to our yardstick of acceptance. We must trust that God knows what is best for us.
Our prayer should perhaps end with this statement: “God, please hear the prayer I would have prayed if I had all your information.”
When Paul writes of the peace of God that defies human understanding and that will guard our hearts he is using military language. When a friendly army surrounded a city, the inhabitants of the city slept peacefully. If we had Seal Team 6 patrolling the perimeter of our yard at night, we would sleep like babies. But that is the type of peace of which Paul is assuring us.
In Al-Anon the slogan, “Let Go and Let God” is used. Use it here. We can alleviate the stress of anxiety and worry by really trusting that God knows our every need and will get our requests right…even if we don’t think so in the short term. Let God do His thing!