Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Resting in God

"When we are afraid, the least we can do is pray to God. But our Lord has a right to expect that those who name His name have an underlying confidence in Him. God expects His children to be so confident in Him that in any crisis they are the ones who are reliable. Yet our trust is only in God up to a certain point, then we turn back to the elementary panic-stricken prayers of those people who do not even know God. We come to our wits’ end, showing that we don’t have even the slightest amount of confidence in Him or in His sovereign control of the world. To us He seems to be asleep, and we can see nothing but giant, breaking waves on the sea ahead of us.

“. . . O you of little faith!” What a stinging pain must have shot through the disciples as they surely thought to themselves, “We missed the mark again!” And what a sharp pain will go through us when we suddenly realize that we could have produced complete and utter joy in the heart of Jesus by remaining absolutely confident in Him, in spite of what we were facing.

There are times when there is no storm or crisis in our lives, and we do all that is humanly possible. But it is when a crisis arises that we instantly reveal upon whom we rely. If we have been learning to worship God and to place our trust in Him, the crisis will reveal that we can go to the point of breaking, yet without breaking our confidence in Him.

We have been talking quite a lot about sanctification, but what will be the result in our lives? It will be expressed in our lives as a peaceful resting in God, which means a total oneness with Him. And this oneness will make us not only blameless in His sight, but also a profound joy to Him."

By Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest

Monday, February 3, 2014

Embracing a Manna Mentality

One thing I'm learning as I downsize and simplify home and life is to let God provide what I need when I need it instead of feeling I have to cover all the bases myself or prepare for every possible scenario.  I'm learning to live with a "manna" mentality.  The Bible tells of God's provision for the children of Israel in the wilderness after they left Egypt.  Each day he provided something called manna for them to eat.  It was fresh every day and in fact, except for taking extra for the Sabbath, it would spoil if they tried to take more than they needed for one day.   

I think it is wise to plan ahead and do things like stock a pantry, put money away in savings, buy extra when things we use regularly are on sale, etc., and I do those things.  But what I'm seeing in myself is a shift from fear and "what-if" thinking to one of common sense and balance where I trust God for my daily bread, both figuratively and literally, instead of feeling I have to provide for myself on every level.  There will always be what I need for the day.  I don't have to worry about tomorrow.  There's enough to go around.  They will make more.  God is already there.

What I'm finding is a renewed sense of peace and gratitude when I don't worry so much about provision and instead trust that the Lord will give what my family needs when we need it and often in more abundance than we expect.  When I focus on just today I'm able to be thankful for all that it holds without being distracted with what is around the corner whether real or imagined.

"For this reason I say to you, do not be worried about your life, as to what you will eat or what you will drink; nor for your body, as to what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing?  Look at the birds of the air, that they do not sow, nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not worth much more than they? And who of you by being worried can add a single hour to his life? And why are you worried about clothing? Observe how the lilies of the field grow; they do not toil nor do they spin, yet I say to you that not even Solomon in all his glory clothed himself like one of these. But if God so clothes the grass of the field, which is alive today and tomorrow is thrown into the furnace, will He not much more clothe you? You of little faith!

Do not worry then, saying, 'What will we eat?' or 'What will we drink?' or 'What will we wear for clothing?' For the Gentiles eagerly seek all these things; for your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.  So do not worry about tomorrow; for tomorrow will care for itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own." - Matthew 6:25-34