Helping women live victorious lives in Christ

Posts tagged ‘God’

I’m Already Complete

A dream I had this morning left me feeling odd.  In this dream, I was searching for something that would bring me peace and contentment.    I was literally trying everything I could to find this desired state, and finally, after munch struggle, I found it.  It was a little girl.  And when I found this little girl, I knew she was what I’d been looking for, and I began to release all the other things I’d tried in search of satisfaction. 

Searching

Well, who among us can’t relate to searching for something that seems to elude us, but we believe that once we get it, it will completely fill and satisfy us.  It could be that career, that relationship, that fortune, that house…it could be any number of things.  We think that if we just get that thing, all will be well with us and the world.  But time and time again, we’ve been disappointed and discouraged.  If we finally receive the thing we believe is the panacea for the lack of peace in our lives, we soon come to realize that it isn’t!  So we go on a search for the next thing, and the pattern repeats itself.

I believe the message from that dream is that Jesus is the One thing that can fully complete us. Colossians 2:10 (KJV) says “And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power.”  The NIV says that “in Christ you have been brought to fullness. He is the head over every power and authority.”    According to Clarke’s Commentary on this verse, “the Colossians were empty – spoiled and deprived of every good, while following the empty philosophy and groundless traditions of Jewish and Gentile teachers; but since they had received Christ Jesus they were filled with him.”  Doesn’t that sound like us?  We are empty and trying to fill ourselves with any and everything, only to fall short every time.  In Jesus, we find our completion, contentment, and peace.

So what does that mean?  Do we stop striving for the dreams and goals we may have?  Absolutely not!  But we put those goals and dreams in their proper perspective.  They are designed to give us some level of satisfaction and fulfillment, but they are not meant to complete us.  Only Jesus can fill that space each of us has inside.  And when we’re feeling empty and alone, we should seek Him out in prayer, Bible reading, meditation or quiet time (instead of trying to fill that space ourselves). And when we will draw closer to him, James tells us that Jesus will draw closer to us (James 4:8). 

So today, I’m resting in the truth that I am already complete in Christ. I’m believing what Jesus said about seeking Him first and the kingdom of God. (Matthew 6:33) And I’ll strive to press into Him to remind myself that He is my source of peace and contentment.  Will you do the same?

It’s Storm Season…Are You Ready?

Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash. Matthew 7:24-27

 

Hurricane image

 

I live in West Central Florida, and from June 1 to November 30, we have to contend with hurricane season. As I write this, we’re about 6 weeks into the season.  Things have been quiet so far, but that could change at any moment.  Having been born and raised in New Orleans and now living in Florida, hurricane season is a part of life.  What can this weather phenomena teach Christians?  I’m glad you asked!

 

We know it’s possible that a storm will come

There are some years when the season is a quiet one, while other years, it’s crazy! But we know, based on scientific evidence, that a storm will come! In 2004, we dealt with 4 hurricanes back to back here in Florida that took just about the same path (right up the middle of the state).  Just as soon as we breathed a sigh of relief, there was another one on the way that we had to brace ourselves for.  It’s a proven fact that, because of the warmth of the water and other factors, these storms WILL form in the Gulf of Mexico and travel around the states surrounding the gulf, or to the states bordering the east coast of the United States.

Just like we know hurricanes will come, we Christians also know that the storms of life will come. James 1:2 tells us to “Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds.” (NIV, emphasis added)  James doesn’t say “if” trials come, but “when” they come.  Peter says in 1 Peter 4:12: “Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you” (KJV).  Just like we shouldn’t think it strange that a tropical storm or hurricane will form in the Gulf from June to November, we as Christians should not be surprised that storms and trials come in our lives.  So, if we know storms and trials are coming…

 

We need to be prepared for when a storm comes

During hurricane season, there are several ways to find out how to prepare for a storm.  The local city and county governments publish brochures and update their emergency preparedness websites, local TV stations air news specials, and local newspapers have entire sections dedicated to hurricane preparedness. When the storm hits, we know what to do (or we should know what to do), and there should be no excuse for lack of preparedness.  Unlike sections of the country that deal with tornados, when facing hurricanes, we have advanced warning.  We have the resources at our disposal to get ready, so we can prepare ourselves as best we can.

Christians also have advanced warning of impending storms (we already know that they will eventually come).  And we’ve been given instructions on how to get ready.  What are those instructions?  According to Jesus, we are to hear his words and put them into practice. As we read and hear the Word of God, we become more assured of the promises He’s made to us.  Our faith is growing as we study and meditate on his word, and we are becoming like “a wise man who built his house on the rock.” (Matt 7:24, NIV)  Although we don’t know the exact circumstances, we are shoring ourselves up for what will come.

 

We have an assurance that, despite the storm, all will be well

When a tropical storm or hurricane comes, there will be some after effects or consequences.  There could be flooding, downed power lines, interrupted phone service, and damage to our homes.  But if we’ve prepared properly, we’ve secured a generator, we’ve evacuated to a safer location, or we’ve stocked non-perishable food and water to have on hand until the comforts of home are restored.  We have what we need to face the consequences of the storm, and we know that eventually, things will get back to normal.

I’m sure you can see the parallel for the Christian!  J  Look what Peter says in 2 Peter 2:9a: “Now if [all these things are true, then be sure] the Lord knows how to rescue the godly out of temptations and trials.” (AMP)  Praise God, He know how to rescue us! Also, look at Jesus’ words to us: “The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock.” (Matt 7:25, NIV)  Despite the rain, wind, and streams, the house that was built on the rock remained, while the house that was built on sand fell.  The house on the rock remained because it was built on a solid foundation.  Rock is far more stable than sand, right?

Don’t be caught unawares, we know that a storm will come.  It’s our responsibility to prepare for impending storms when things are going well, not when the storm is barreling down on us.  And as we prepare for impending tests and trials, and build our spiritual house on the solid foundation of Jesus Christ, we are assured that we will be able to withstand the storms of life, because God has promised that we wouldd.

A storm is coming…are you ready?

While I Wait on God…

As believers, when we are faced with trying situations, we know to seek God’s guidance and wisdom for answers and direction in our situation.  We’ve done that….but what if God ‘takes His time’ to answer us?  What if our answer is not instantaneous?  What if we see other peoples’ prayers answered before ours? What do we do in that in-between time while we wait on God?  I don’t claim to be an expert on this subject, but I am writing about what I am experiencing as we speak!

PURSUE – Don’t give up pursuing and seeking God.  Our quiet time in prayer, study and meditation with God will give us the strength to get through the wait time and to overcome the impatience we may experience.  In Psalm 27:4, David says that this is the ‘one thing’ that he is seeking after.   He is seeking God because “in the day of trouble, he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock” (vs. 5).

PRAISE – Praise help us keep our focus on the right place….God.   Again, looking at Psalm 27, David says that “at his tabernacle will I sacrifice with shouts of joy; I will sing and make music to the Lord” (vs. 6).   Giving praise to God lifts our spirits when we get bogged down in the issues we waiting to hear from God on, and it helps us remember from whence comes our help! (Psalm 121:1)

PRESS – If you are waiting for instructions from God as to what move to make next, ask yourself, ‘what was the last thing God told me to do?’  Whatever that thing is….press on and do it!  We are not to sit at home and wait for lightning from Heaven to reveal the answer we are looking for.  Are you getting weary while waiting?  Again, press on!  Be faithful to what God has called you to do, and He will reward your faithfulness.  Why should we expect God to bless us with greater ministry, greater reach, greater influence and greater territory, when we are not faithful to the smaller territory that He’s already assigned to us?

PATIENCE – OK Lord, I’ve been seeking Your face, praising You, and pressing on, but nothing is happening!  Let’s look back at Psalm 27….verse 14 (NIV) says “Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.”  This is when our faith kicks in…..when the time gets long for our answer, this is when everything we’ve read and heard about God needs to be put into practice.  We don’t just say that God is omnipotent, we BELIEVE He is!  We don’t just say that He owns the cattle on a thousand hills, we BELIEVE He does!  This is where the rubber of our faith meets the road of our life. 

Lastly, the thing that underlies all of the above is PRAYER.  Continue your conversation with God as you wait.  God may have allowed this trial to come into your life to draw your closer to Him, and to enjoy more intimate fellowship with Him.  He may have allowed the situation to linger so that He can prepare you for greater works in Him. While we are ‘going through’, our prayer time should not be consumed with just our own needs.  Remember those who have greater needs than you, and ask God to show you how you can be a blessing to them! 

As you wait on God for your answer or breakthrough, I encourage you (as I encourage myself)….remember who it is that we serve!  We serve an all-powerful, all-knowing, sovereign God who is able to do all things well!  And remember that ALL things really do work together for the good of them who love God and are called according to his purpose!! Be Blessed!!

 

© 2009 Brenna Fields Taylor