Monday, April 5, 2010

Good things?

A lot of things have been weighing on my mind of late. Batting around many thoughts and ideas. One thought keeps returning to my overly busy mind.  Are all things that we considered good from God?  I'm not entirely convinced that the answer is "yes."  If the "good" things continue to make me take time away from my family, so much so that I miss important milestones, is it a "good" thing?  If the "good" things make me so tired and bone weary that I cannot exercise my muscles to keep my body in shape, is this a truly a "good" thing?  When I realize that the "good" things have taken over the time I used to spend in midweek worship of my Lord, is this truly a "good" thing?  When the "good" thing keeps leading me back to the scripture, "Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest." (Matt 11:28 NIV), is this truly a "good" thing?  When the "good" thing pulls my time away from the project the Spirit laid on my heart at the beginning of the year, is this truly a "good" thing? 

I have come to the realization that just because something is "good" doesn't necessarily mean that it is meant for me to accomplish.  The deceiver is always setting traps for me.  That is what he's all about, deceving, lying, etc. His primary mission is to keep me, to keep us, from fulfilling the mission God has given each of us. It seems that the deceiver's choice of weapon for me is to hit me at ego level.  However, I could have prevented this by taking control and not allowing the deception in the first place. The ultimate responsibility is mine. I have control of my choices (Thank You God, for allowing me free will).  And now I realize that some of the "good" things that came across my path were things I allowed to become distractions by making poor choices and losing precious time for the goals God had established for me to accomplish. 

A distraction sent my way was spending too much time working, always looking to make more money.  But when I was reading the scripture, what jumped out at me but Proverbs 23:4, "Do not wear yourself out to get rich; have the wisdome to show restraint." I tried to justify working extra because I was helping pay off bills, put money in savings, help fix the house, and so on and so forth.  I didn't think I was concentrating on "getting rich" but rather just "breaking even." Here I was spinning my wheels trying to do things my way, pumping up my own ego with what I could do in this situation.  When I realize that my Lord was right there the entire time waiting for me to realize that He had the answer, I feel so foolish.

Now I find that I'm doing something oh so similar with some projects/missions that have come across my path.  Just because something good, some wonderful mission project for the Lord comes to my attention, doesn't mean that I physically have to be the one to accomplish the mission.  God gave us each gifts and talents to use wisely.  When we use our gifts in the way He designed, every part of the Christian body participates in the mission.  Some parts are the face, voice and feet.  They are out there parts of the body going forth and speaking, being the presence in the world.  Others are hands who work in the background, providing support in numerous ways. The hands make goods and build funding for for the other parts of the body to go forth.  Is one more important than the other?  Absolutely not.  In Ephesians, the apostle Paul tells us that the Lord called some to be preachers, some teachers, some evangelists, etc. Everyone has a job.  We do our jobs together "to prepare God's people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ." (Ephesians 4:12-13).  What a wonderful plan.  Share the work so that one person isn't loaded down; so one person doesn't become weary.  We all grow through the tasks, the missions.  We all learn from the different aspects we participate in.  Again, in Ephesians, the scripture tells us, "Speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up in Him who is the Head, that is, Christ. From Him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work." (Ephesians 4:15-16.).

These words really hit home.  They tell me that yes....there are many good things that the Lord wants to have done. He's allowing me to see what these good things are, but He expects me to allow the body to work as a whole. He's not telling me that I must do each thing.  I now realize that He's pointing out to me areas that need work so that I can relay a message.  When I look back I now realize the difference in the messages I've been given.  Some were given to me in a way that left no doubt that I was the the responsible party for the task at hand.  I had the gifts, the talents, to accomplish the task.  Other messages were in regards to tasks that I sat here wondering about with thoughts like, "Dear Lord, I know that I know that You need this accomplished.  I know you'll give me the skills I need to do this task." But, in these particular instances in my life, I now realize I totally ignored part of the message. Not only did He tell me what needed to be done, he brought a particular person to mind. Did I go to that person and share the message? I'm sorry to say that, no I didn't. I let me ego take over and told myself "He'll equip me." Does the Lord equip us?  Oh, yes, He definitely does.....when they are things that we need to be equipped with. However, in these cases, these weren't things He wanted me to do so I wasn't equipped to complete the tasks.  I spent numerous hours trying to do things that weren't mine to do. What a hard lesson to learn.  But, thankfully I have learned. Now, I will be sure to stay in pray, use discernment and certain of who the message, who the task, is for. 

He created the body for a purpose, His purpose.  We are here to work together, to accomplish a wonderful mission.  So yes....good things are from God.  However, I must use discernment to be sure that the "good things" are things meant for me.  If they aren't, and I am to pass on a message, then I must ensure that the message gets to the right person so there isn't distraction and delay.

Yes...oh yes...God is good all the time...and all the time God is good.

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