Saturday, December 3, 2011

Testing what you hear against the Bible.

When I worked in the Kid's Church Ministry we taught the kids that they always needed to measure up what they heard in their lives against the Bible to know if it was true or not. We wanted the kids to know from an early age that there would be many times in their lives when they would hear things that sounded REALLY good and inspirational, and they will think it is right...BUT, if it is not from God, then it is not good or right. Period.

I've heard Susie Larson say before, "an un-appointed work is an un-annointed work". This is a biblical idea. It's not just a "fancy little quote that makes you feel good". The truth is that if God is not calling you to something then your work is done in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:58 says, "Therefore, my dear brothers, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain." Any labor done "IN THE LORD" is not done in vain. The opposite is also true.

I read this yesterday that I thought sounded inspirational.
“The best way to predict the future is to create it.”
IF my goal was to seek my own personal gain here on earth then this quote is very motivational, because it gives me the determination to set a goal and make it happen, but the truth is I want more than that. This quote almost makes me feel like I alone determine what my future will hold, which is not ENTIRELY true. Besides, if I am REALLY honest I want to do more than just fulfill all of MY desires here on earth anyway. Who I am is just not THAT great. I want to lean into God's will for me and find HIS purpose for me because if I do than I am tapping into something greater than myself. YOU too, right? I almost posted the quote with the cute little paint palette guy when I felt the Holy Spirit tell me to test this idea against the scriptures. What it seemed to come down to was this:

Planning is good.
Trusting God is better.
Using your gifts for the Lord and His GREATER purposes while you are here on earth....putting more faith in HIM than in yourself is BEST.

My personal favorite scripture that speaks to this idea of planning is one that speaks in FAVOR of planning. It is the scripture of the "Proverbs 31 woman"...also known as "a wife of noble character", which is just riddled with the idea of a woman who has not become a great wife by chance, but by choice. Every verse is written in such a way that suggests that this is a woman who has done a great deal of planning and her family is blessed for it. To read Proverbs 31 you make click here.

Here are just a handful of other verses that speak on this topic of "planning" (most of them speak "against" it, actually, and suggest that you TRUST God instead):

Proverbs 16:3
Commit to the LORD whatever you do, and your plans will succeed.

Isaiah 32:8
But the noble man makes noble plans, and by noble deeds he stands.

Jeremiah 29:11
For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.

Deuteronomy 31:8
The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.

Job 42:2
I know that you (GOD) can do all things; no plan of yours (GOD'S) can be thwarted.

Ephesians 2:10
For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.

Psalm 94:11-14 The LORD knows the thoughts of man; he knows that they are futile. Blessed is the man you discipline, O LORD, the man you teach from your law; you grant him relief from days of trouble, till a pit is dug for the wicked. For the LORD will not reject his people; he will never forsake his inheritance.

Isaiah 30:21
Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Psalm 32:8
I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go;
I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.

1 Corinthians 7:24
Brothers and sisters, each person, as responsible to God, should remain in the situation they were in when God called them.

Psalm 33:11
But the plans of the LORD stand firm forever, the purposes of his heart through all generations.

Isaiah 42:16
I will lead the blind by ways they have not known,
along unfamiliar paths I will guide them;
I will turn the darkness into light before them
and make the rough places smooth.
These are the things I will do;
I will not forsake them.

Matthew 6:30-34
If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Psalm 20:4
May he give you the desires of your heart and make all your plans succeed.

Give God your paintbrush and the picture will be so much more vibrant than you ever could have come up on your own, and the blessings will be so much greater than any you could have provided for yourself. This is the hope we cling to and believe in. Your life's purpose is totally unique. You were designed EXACTLY the way you were, and brought into the world at EXACTLY the right time because that is EXACTLY the way God wanted it. YOU are part of HIS bigger plan here on Earth right here right now. Breathe in and out slowly right now and thank Him for that.

All good things come from you, Lord, and we can trust you to prove yourself faithful with every detail of our lives, knowing that you do not forsake your children. It goes against your nature to do so. None of us are here by accident. You have placed us here because you have a purpose for us being here. Lead us and guide us day by day, as we seek your face in all we say and do Lord. May all we say, think and do be for your glory. Thank you for this gift of life. Amen.

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