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Don’t Assume God’s Not Working

22 Jul

Kathi, holding a tiny baby, walked into a drug store and asked the clerk if she could use the store’s baby scale.

“Sorry, Ma’am,” the clerk said. “Our baby scale is broken. But we can figure the baby’s weight if we weigh mother and baby together on the adult scale.

“Then we can weigh the mother alone, and subtract the second number from the first.”

“Oh, that won’t work,” Kathi said.

The clerk, puzzled, said, “Why not?”

“Because I’m not the mother,” Kathi said. “I’m the aunt.” *

I laugh as I read that, because I’ve often assumed something wouldn’t work, but I had a skewed perspective … or a limited one.

Have you ever assumed that God’s not working in a situation, only to find out some time later that He was working behind the scenes, planning for something spectacular or even “impossible”?

Once, when I felt led away from one job to another, I couldn’t figure out why God didn’t give me the “release” to change jobs right away. A little frustrated, I determined to work hard and “finish well” for as long as God kept me in that job.

Then, months later, God opened an incredible opportunity for ministry and gave me the “go ahead;” but when I went into my boss’s office to tell him I was moving on, I was shocked that he seemed relieved!

A week or so later, I discovered why. I was one of his employees slated for layoff!

God had a greater plan that I could not see, and His timing was perfect.

M. Blaine Smith wrote about his experiences with God’s unseen activity in an article titled “Help from Behind the Scenes” (12-15-97). “If I could glimpse the unseen circumstances that are affecting my destiny,” Smith said, “I would often be encouraged by what I found.”

But then he said, “If I truly knew everything going on behind the scenes that’s affecting my life, I would be unsettled by plenty of it, for I wouldn’t automatically know how to put it all in right perspective.”

How does he resolve his feelings about this? “Yet I have an extraordinary basis for knowing ~ simply as a matter of faith ~ that Christ is working behind the scenes to bring about his best for my life,” he said. “Without knowing any of the details of what He is doing, I have profound reason to be hopeful.”

Over and over again in the Bible, we see that God worked behind the scenes for our good and His glory.

God gave Gideon a glimpse behind the scenes of how He was going to defeat the enemy Midianites (Judges 7:9-15). God opened the eyes of Elisha’s servant to see the powerful angelic army “behind the scenes,” ready to fight against the enemy (2 Kings 6:15-18) ~ one of my favorite Old Testament stories.

Smith notes that, at Jesus’ birth, “few realized that God was acting in a way which would forever alter the course of human history and the destiny of innumerable lives.”

But I’m thinking about the “behind the scenes” story of Jesus’ death! I am awed by this scripture: “But we speak the wisdom of God in a mystery, even the hidden wisdom, which God ordained before the world unto our glory: Which none of the princes of this world knew: for had they known it, they would not have crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Corinthians 2:7-8).

Apparently, Satan and his evil cohorts had no idea of the scope of the incredible behind the scenes plan of God in Jesus’ death and resurrection!

Friend, our loving, sovereign God is always working behind the scenes. There’s no need to worry … no need to fear … no need to manipulate circumstances.

We can rest, knowing everything is under control. Let that truth give you hope today!

Comment opportunity:  Has God ever pulled back the curtain to let you see behind the scenes to what He is doing in your life? Or have you been surprised by God’s activity on your behalf? I’d love to hear your stories!

* adapted from Cybersalt Digest, Issue #3674

Run to the Fortress!

4 May

A daddy was listening to his four-year-old say his bedtime prayer.

“Dear Harold,” the boy began.Praying Little Boy

“Wait a minute,” said the dad. “How come you called God ‘Harold’?”

The little boy looked up and said, “That’s what they call Him in church. You know, ‘Our Father, who art in Heaven, Harold be Thy name.”

When the father stopped laughing, the boy resumed his prayer.

He lost it again when the boy said, “And forgive us our trash baskets as we forgive those who put trash in our baskets.”

Another little boy once prayed, “Dear God, please take care of yourself, because if anything happens to you, we’re gonna be in a big mess!” *

We smile at these children’s prayers, but that last one had a nugget of truth. Without God, we ARE in a big mess. And our nation desperately needs to understand that.

May 5, 2011, is the 60th annual observance of the National Day of Prayer. The theme chosen for the special day of prayer is “A Mighty Fortress Is Our God.”

I (Dawn) remember when my two young sons used to build forts among the low trees on our back hill. They “defended” their territory from these fortresses, and I often smiled at their youthful valor.  But it also pictured for me how God defends us, and we are safe with Him.

Psalm 91:2 says, “I will say of the LORD, ‘He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”  I think that this is a verse we all should memorize for these tough days. 

Whether economic upheaval, family breakdown, or even the threat of war, we have a safe place in God ~ we can trust Him regardless of our circumstances.

That doesn’t mean that we’ll have it easy. Life inside a fortress can get pretty spartan. But we know that ultimately, our lives are safe with God if we have put our trust in Him. The opposite is also true. Those who do not know the God of the Bible have no sturdy fortress. They trust in things and people that can fail (Psalm 118:8).

Psalm 18:1-2 says God is our rock, fortress, and deliverer. What does this mean? Our Mighty God is our our security, our shield, our safety, our stronghold, our strength, and our Savior!

The writer of the song in Psalm 46, declared, “God is our refuge and our strength, an ever-present help in trouble.” We have no reason to fear, for the Lord Almighty is with us. Yes, the God of Jacob is our fortress. When we are most tempted to fear, our Father in heaven says, “Be still, and know that I am God.” Do you know Him? Do you trust Him? You can personalize this Psalm… “The Lord of hosts is with ME! The God of Jacob is MY fortress.”

Our focus in times of trouble must not be on the scary Continue reading

“Who ya gonna call…?

12 Apr

My (Dawn’s) husband says I have some of the weirdest dreams. I can often remember them in full technicolor when I wake up.

One night I was dreaming that I was sitting in a church pew, listening to my pastor. In Boy Sitting on Pewmy dream, I was the same age I am now, but next to me were my two sons when they were in elementary school … and next to them were my three  granddaughters. (I warned you that I have weird dreams.)

My pastor was preaching about bad habits and the victory that is ours through Jesus, if we will avail ourselves of His grace and power. He was gearing up to a major point, and he asked a series of questions:

“Where do you look for your source of strength?
“What do you turn to when your world seems to crumble?
“Who are you going to call upon when you need help?”

    And my youngest son Michael yelled out, “Ghostbusters!”

    I won’t tell you the rest of the dream. It gets pretty bizarre from there.

    But I got to thinking that who we call upon for help really does make a difference.

    I follow a lady on Twitter named Lori Moore.  A few weeks ago, she posted this gem: “Whenever I fill out an application, in the part that says, ‘If an emergency, notify,’ I put ‘DOCTOR!’ (What’s my mother going to do?)”  Smart choice!

    I sang a song in a little white church as a girl. The original lyrics* are ~ and you can sing it with me if you know it: “Living below in this old sinful world, Hardly a comfort can afford. Striving alone to face temptations so ~ Now won’t you tell me ~ Where could I go but to the Lord?” And the chorus goes: “Where could I go; oh, where could I go, Seeking the refuge for my soul. Needing a friend to save me in the end ~ Won’t you tell me ~ Where could I go but to the Lord?”

    J.B. Coats wrote the song after Continue reading

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