The Sovereignty of God: A Wake Up Call

The Sovereignty of God: A Wake Up Call

Psalms. The Hebrew songbook. David wrote many, and we love the twenty-third psalm.

But have you read Psalm 2 lately?

Gee whiz. A top forty tune, this isn’t.

If you ever wanted a perspective of the sovereignty of God and the world at large, take a look.

Psalm 2
Why do the nations conspire
and the peoples plot in vain?
The kings of the earth take their stand
and the rulers gather together
against the LORD and against his Anointed One.
“Let us break their chains,” they say,
“and throw off their fetters.”
The One enthroned in heaven laughs;
the Lord scoffs at them.
Then he rebukes them in his anger
and terrifies them in his wrath, saying,
“I have installed my King
on Zion, my holy hill.”

I will proclaim the decree of the LORD:

He said to me, “You are my Son;
today I have become your Father.
Ask of me,
and I will make the nations your inheritance,
the ends of the earth your possession.
You will rule them with an iron scepter;
you will dash them to pieces like pottery.”
Therefore, you kings, be wise;
be warned, you rulers of the earth.
Serve the Lord with fear
and rejoice with trembling.
Kiss the Son, lest he be angry
and you be destroyed in your way,
for his wrath can flare up in a moment.
Blessed are all who take refuge in him.

World powers. Nuclear weapons. Rebellion.

And God is amused at the thought.

Then, He gets down to business.

God is God, and we are not. He is in control and always has been. He has a plan—and that plan is Jesus. Before whom every knee will bow.

Every knee.

I know that in my head. God is great. He is mighty and all-powerful, etc., etc.

But I forget He really is—great, mighty, and omnipotent. Old Testament miracles of Red Sea partings and enemy armies wiped out by a single angel? Well, those things happened a long time ago. Today, I just want my family saved and covered.

Have I made Him too small? Have you? Are we settling?

God’s advice is this:

Submit

Recognize the sovereignty of God and submit to the authority of His Son Jesus. Psalm 2:11 reminds me, “Kiss the Son . . . blessed are all who take refuge in him.”

Stop

Stop relying on my own strength, wisdom, and understanding because it pales in comparison with His. Psalm 2:1 tells me, “. .  the peoples plot in vain.” Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.” “Plotting” my own plans” and “Leaning” on my own understanding are constant battles for me.

Seek

Seek Him, because the God of the Old Testament is the same God today. Psalm 2:10 says to be wise and be warned. The sovereignty of God will prevail. Psalm 27:8 tells us, “My heart says of you, ‘Seek his face!’ Your face, O LORD, I will seek.”

The sovereignty of God cannot be brushed aside without major consequences. Let’s adjust and daily seek His plan for us. He’s waiting.

Questions:

Does the God of the Old Testament have a place in 2015?

Do you find yourself in wait mode, waiting for heaven or for Jesus’ return with little expectations for the in-between time?

When is the last time you encountered God?

Family Application:

We all have expectations—of each other and of God? What expectations do you have of God?

Evaluate those expectations. Do they require much faith?

Talk through: submit, stop, and seek. Which one is hardest for you? Why?

Tweetables:

If you want to examine the sovereignty of God vs. the world at large, take a look at Psalm 2. Click to tweet.

World powers. Nuclear weapons. Rebellion. And God is amused at the thought. Briefly. Click to tweet.

Have I made God too small? Have you? Are we settling? Click to tweet.

The Real Prison Bars

The Real Prison Bars

Slavery or submission? That’s our choice. And make no mistake, we are free to choose.

Don’t like those choices? Let me flesh it out for you. Scripture makes it clear we will serve someone or something. Two forces contend for our loyalty.

One is good.

One is not.

Check out this verse from Romans, “Don’t you know that when you offer yourselves to someone to obey him as slaves, you are slaves to the one whom you obey—whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which leads to righteousness.” (Romans 6:16 NIV)

Paul follows that verse with these, “When you were slaves to sin, you were free from the control of righteousness. What benefit did you reap at that time from the things you are now ashamed of? Those things result in death! But now that you have been set free from sin and have become slaves to God, the benefit you reap leads to holiness, and the result is eternal life.” (Romans 6:20-22)

In John 10:10, Jesus says, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”

When we offer to obey something or someone other than God, we willingly take on shackles. We willingly walk into the jail cell. The enemy is subtle. He tweaks our thoughts and camouflages the bars. Sin looks so good—until the key clicks in the lock, and we can’t get out.

Only God can set us free.

James 4:7 tells us, “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Funny, God never flees from us. Instead, Scripture gives us pictures of a father running to meet the returning prodigal, a shepherd leaving ninety-nine to search for one, and a bleeding savior taking our place on the cross.

Submission to the evil one or submission to Jesus? Death or life? The choice really isn’t that hard.

Questions:

Where does the idea of independence come from?

Why do we buck the idea of submission?

What has been your experience with each master?

Family Application:

Discuss the ideas of independence and submission.

Compare your kids’ ideals of freedom as a grown-up to reality.

Talk about how to choose whom to serve.

Tweetables:

Slavery or submission? That’s our choice. And make no mistake, we are free to choose. Click to tweet.

Scripture makes it clear we will serve someone or something. Two forces contend for our loyalty. Click to tweet.

Sin looks so good—until the key clicks in the lock, and we can’t get out. Click to tweet.

With Christ In the School of Fear

With Christ in the School of Fear

“Fear is not an emotion. It is an entity.” –Jimmy Evans, pastor of Trinity Fellowship in Amarillo, TX, founder of Marriage Today

It was a light bulb moment as I sat at our church’s women’s conference. Jimmy Evans backed up his statement with the following verse, “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power, of love, and of a sound mind.” (2 Timothy 1:7 NKJ)

If the verse sounds familiar, it’s because I’ve mentioned it a few times. It’s the one God gave me for 2015. There’s a well-known book on prayer by Andrew Murray called With Christ in the School of Prayer. Great book, but this year I could write a different one—With Christ in the School of Fear.

God is calling me to deal with fear like never before. I didn’t think it was an issue. Talk about a blind spot. Here’s what I’m learning.

First Response

My initial reaction to something is often fear, though I would call it—concern. Like when I read my syllabus for Evangelism class this summer and noted the amount of practical application required. My muscles tightened, and my heart sped up.

The Holy Spirit said, “See? Fear.”

Dang it. He was right. Now I’m more aware of my first response and I’m changing it to something else. Peace. Faith. Prayer.

War Zone

This is war. I have one child who deploys to the Middle East this year, and another giving me fits. The battle is on. My weapons? The armor God provides. Taking every thought captive. And worship. Lots of worship. And in worship, praise and thanksgiving. Over and over again.

More Than a Conqueror

God is faithful. He trains me to stand my ground—not as a quivering victim, but as an overcomer, a conqueror, a daughter of the King.

It’s easy to “what-if.”

It’s easy to stress.

It’s easy to give in to self-pity.

But that’s not what He calls me to. Negative fear is an entity, and it belongs under my foot, not around my neck.

If you struggle with fear, with worry, with concern, buckle on your armor and crank up the praise music. It’s time for school. Grab your Book and learn from the Master.

Questions:

In what ways can fear manifest?

What does fear steal from us?

Are you tired of it?

Family Application:

How do you define fear in your life? Scared, afraid, nervous, anxious, worry, concern, anticipation? Talk through it as a family.

Match a memory verse with the definition that fits you and your trouble spot best (fear of the dark, what people think, the future, the unknown, bad things, loss).

Kids’ Resources: GT and the Halo Express, Glen Keane’s Adam Raccoon series (Glen Keane worked as a Disney animator and is the son of Bill Keane of Family Circus cartoon fame. Look for these under Cross Training at the Amazon store on my website.

Tweetables:

“Fear is not an emotion. It is an entity.” –Jimmy Evans, pastor and founder of Marriage Today Click to tweet.

God is faithful. He trains me to stand my ground—not as a quivering victim, but as an overcomer. Click to tweet.

Negative fear is an entity, and it belongs under my foot, not around my neck. Click to tweet.

Discipline: Turning Want-Tos into To-Dos

Discipline: Turning Want-Tos Into To-Dos“Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. No one serving as a soldier gets involved in civilian affairs—he wants to please his commanding officer. Similarly, if anyone competes as an athlete, he does not receive the victor’s crown unless he competes according to the rules. The hardworking farmer should be the first to receive a share of the crops.” (2 Timothy 2:3-6 NIV)

Soldiers. Athletes. Farmers.

The common denominator?

Hard work. Discipline. Focus. Things our culture admires—from a distance. Because we would rather greet the returning soldier, cheer the athlete from the sidelines, and pick up a salad from the grocery store than serve, train, and plant ourselves.

‘Cause it’s hard.

The older I get, the more I battle laziness. Physically. Mentally. Spiritually. Yet Paul reminds me in Ephesians 6, I am a soldier, “Put on the full armor of God so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes.” I need to have both my armor and my game on.

What kind of Christian soldier will I be?

Paul understood the difficulty of training. He shares his personal struggle with discipline:

Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training . . . we do it to get a crown that will last forever. Therefore I do not run like a man running aimlessly . . . No, I beat my body and make it my slave so that after I have preached to others, I myself will not be disqualified for the prize. (1 Corinthians 9: 24b, 25a, c, 26a, 27)

What kind of spiritual athlete will I be?

Jesus speaks in John 15:8, “This is to my Father’s glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.” Paul Harvey fleshed out what it takes to cultivate a harvest in a great piece called “So God Made a Farmer.” https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuzhwkaNC40

What spiritual harvest are you cultivating?

God calls me to discipline. This month, some friends and I begin a journey through Spiritual Classics: Selected Readings for Individuals and Groups in the Twelve Spiritual Disciplines, edited by Richard Foster and Emilie Griffin. Celebration of Disciplines is another Foster book I like. I want to be a lean, fit believer, like Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire fame.

Trained, in shape, disciplined.

Andy Andrews says, “Discipline is the ability to make yourself do something you don’t want to do to get a result you really want.”

What do you really want from your relationship with God?

Are you up for a challenge? Ask God about a training plan today.

Questions:

Is your want-to strong enough to become your to-do?

What will remind you of your “really wants” and help you keep going?

Who is your accountability partner?

What’s your next step?

Family Application:

Do your spiritual goal setting as a family. Encourage one another and hold each other accountable. Share your struggles. Focus on the want-tos.

Check the Amazon store on my website for the books above.

Tweetables:

Hard work. Discipline. Focus. Things our culture admires—from a distance. Click to tweet.

My desire is to be a lean, fit believer, like Eric Liddell of Chariots of Fire fame. Trained, in shape, disciplined. Click to tweet.

Andy Andrews says, “Discipline is the ability to make yourself do something you don’t want to do to get a result you really want.” Click to tweet.

Draw Near to God

Draw Near

Draw Near“Even the sparrow has found a home; and the swallow a nest for herself, where she may have her young—a place near your altar, O LORD Almighty, my King and my God.” (Psalm 84:3 NIV)

A mama robin has set up shop in our backyard. Her nest balances on a thin rail of our patio cover. She brings to mind the verse above. Psalm 84 is a favorite. You may recognize bits of songs and choruses in its verses, but the message is to draw near to God. The psalmist speaks of his desire to be in God’s dwelling place: in the courts, at the altar, in the doorway. I love how even the birds nest close to the altar.

To draw near to God no longer takes a trip to the Temple. If you follow Christ, the Temple is you. We are walking, talking, living, breathing Holy of Holies, because God’s Spirit lives within.

Why is it so easy to forget He is there? Too often I act independently or expect Him to keep up with me.

I need a retriever mindset—like my Lab Zuno. Zuno doesn’t set the day’s schedule. He simply follows me. Downstairs to throw in a load of laundry. Upstairs to my office for work. Back downstairs for lunch. He doesn’t care what I’m doing. He just wants to be with me.

Try these tips to draw near to God through the day:

  • Instead of talking to yourself, talk to Him.
  • Begin your work with worship.
  • Plan breaks to reconnect.
  • Don’t sweat the time you give Him. God will redeem it through the day.
  • Keep a Christian book handy.
  • Choose a verse to think about for the day.
  • Keep praise music on.

To draw near to God doesn’t require a pilgrimage or even a trip to church, though you’ll benefit greatly from being plugged into a vibrant body of believers. All it takes is shifting your attention to Him.

And He treasures every moment.

“There are no losers excepting those who quit.” –Frank Laubach

Questions:

When you think of drawing near, does God seem close or far away?

Family Application:

Keep a jar on the table with idea slips: What can I do with God today?

  • Listen to a song
  • Take a walk.
  • Read a Christian book.
  • Read your Bible.
  • Draw a picture.
  • Eat a _____ and think about how God made it and why.

A great resource for developing this mindset is Practicing God’s Presence by Bro. Lawrence and Frank Laubach. Check the Amazon store on my website for Practicing God’s Presence and other recommended reads.

Tweetables:

Today drawing near doesn’t take a trip to the Temple. If you follow Christ, the Temple is you. Click to tweet.

We are walking, talking, living, breathing Holy of Holies, because God’s Spirit lives within. Click to tweet.

I need a retriever mindset—like my Lab Zuno. Zuno doesn’t set the day’s schedule. He just wants to be with me. Click to tweet.

All it takes is shifting your attention to Him. And He treasures every moment. Click to tweet.

“There are no losers excepting those who quit.” –Frank Laubach Click to tweet.

Weddings, Willingness, and Wine

Weddings, Willingness, and WineWe’ll attend three weddings this summer. Three. Children of friends and friends of our children. I can’t wait. Jesus attended weddings too, and I found a lesson in one such scene. One in how to define obedience.

At the wedding in Cana, Mom Mary nudges Jesus to take action when the wine runs out. You can picture the eye roll and the “Mom!” He gives her. It’s not time yet.

But she won’t let it go. Her next words, she directs to the nearby servants, “Do whatever He tells you.” (John 2:5 NIV)

Their assignment?

Fill six stone water jars of twenty-to-thirty gallon capacity.

Where’s a water hose when you need one? After innumerable trips to the well (How many gallons can you carry at one time?) they fill the jars to the brim. Jesus now instructs them to take some to the master of the banquet.

The banquet master is so impressed with the wine’s quality he seeks out the bridegroom to compliment him personally. The bridegroom is clueless.

But the servants know.

Now the servants could have refused to obey this stranger. They could have obeyed, but griped every step of the way. They could have delegated the task to someone farther down on the servant totem pole. Or they could have simply obeyed, just happy in the festive atmosphere of the wedding.

Poor attitude or willing, the servants fill the jars—and participate in a miracle, Jesus’ first.

But—

Can’t you just see Him wink at the waitor who draws the first cup of wine? Can’t you see Him putting a finger over His lips as the servant’s eyes grow wide in amazement?

Like a parent accompanied by his “helping” child, God delights when we work with Him. Check out Jesus’ words in John 15:14-15, “You are my friends if you do what I command. I no longer call you servants, because a servant does not know his master’s business. Instead, I have called you friends, for everything that I learned from my Father I have made known to you.”

So are you doing what He tells you? Because that’s how we define obedience. Do whatever He tells us. Our attitude reflects how willing we are. Willing or not, if you’ve obeyed, I bet you’ve seen some God-things go down. If not, you’re missing out. Be willing to fill the jar—whatever that may mean for you—and watch for the wine.

Questions:

Had you been a servant at the wedding, how would you have responded to Mary?

To Jesus?

How do you respond to Him now?

Do you see a similar response in your kids?

Does anything hinder you from complete obedience?

Have you seen water turn to wine?

Family Application:

Assign your children some mundane tasks, then hide something fun along the way. Coins, candy, something age appropriate. Be creative.

Examples: Ask your teen to mow the lawn and tape a $5 Sonic card to the side of the gas can.

Ask your child to straighten and dust the bookshelf. Hide candy behind the books. If they do the job well, they will find it.

Have your children empty the trashcans and tape a prize to the inside bottom of one of the cans.

Tweetables:

The bridegroom is clueless. But the servants know. Click to tweet.

Poor attitude or willing, the servants filled the jars—and participated in a miracle, Jesus’ first. Click to tweet.

Like a parent accompanied by his “helping” child, God delights when we work with Him. Click to tweet.

Be willing to fill the jar—whatever that may mean for you—and watch for the wine. Click to tweet.

Spilled

Spilled

Mary and Judas. Very different these two, but you wouldn’t know how different until the crucifixion was at hand. That’s when it all spilled.

“Six days before the Passover, Jesus arrived at Bethany, where Lazarus lived, whom Jesus had raised from the dead. Here a dinner was given in Jesus’ honor. Martha served, while Lazarus was among those reclining at the table with him. Then Mary took about a pint of pure nard, an expensive perfume; she poured it on Jesus’ feet and wiped his feet with her hair. And the house was filled with the fragrance of the perfume. 

But one of his disciples, Judas Iscariot, who was later to betray him, objected, ‘Why wasn’t this perfume sold and the money given to the poor? It was worth a year’s wages.’ He did not say this because he cared about the poor but because he was a thief; as keeper of the money bag, he used to help himself to what was put into it.

‘Leave her alone,‘ Jesus replied. ‘It was intended that she should save this perfume for the day of my burial. You will always have the poor among you, but you will not always have me.’” (John 12:1-8 NIV)

Mary, literally, pours forth love for Jesus. The greatest commandment of “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind”? Check. The girl’s got it down.

Yet until this point in Jesus’ story, Judas’s relationship with Him appears no different from Mary’s. Judas has spent the last three years with Jesus. He’s preached the news of the kingdom, healed the sick, and cast out demons. He’s seen Jesus walk on water and turn water into wine. In fact, Judas carried the moneybag, and no one thought twice about it. At the Last Supper, when Jesus said one of the Twelve would betray Him, the disciples are stumped. No clue.

But after Judas’s comment in John 12, something begins to smell.

The passage above reveals much about the heart of both Judas and Mary. Mary too has a close history with Jesus. Jesus raised her brother from the dead. She shines in the Mary and Martha story where Jesus praises her priority of intimacy over service. Here we see extravagant worship.

While service and generosity are important, they are not what Jesus praises, which brings another passage to mind: “Not everyone who says to me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ will enter the kingdom of heaven, but only he who does the will of my Father who is in heaven. Many will say to me on that day, ‘Lord, Lord, did we not prophesy in your name, and in your name drive out demons and perform many miracles?’ Then I will tell them plainly, ‘I never knew you. Away from me, you evildoers!’”(Matthew 7:21-23)

Jesus commends an extravagant relationship with Himself.

One that knows no bounds.

One for which no sacrifice is too great.

One that places Him above all else.

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.” (Matthew 22:37)

Mary. Judas.

One recognized she had received much and therefore loved with abandon.

One couldn’t see what he had and consequently, was never satisfied.

God, give me eyes to see the grace, mercy, and forgiveness You have lavished on me. Help me to respond in lavish worship, praise, and thanksgiving.

Questions:

If Mary is on one end of the scale of relational intimacy and Judas is on the other, where does your heart fall?

Judas _____________________________________________ Mary

How can you cultivate a Mary heart in yourself? Your kids?

How can you avoid a Judas attitude?

Ideas:

  • Thankfulness journal: 5 things you are thankful for each day.
  • 2-way conversation with Jesus: Expect to hear from Him.
  • Praise and worship regularly.

Tweetables:

Initially, Judas’s relationship with Jesus appears no different from Mary’s. Click to tweet.

While service and charity are important, they are not what Jesus praises in John 12. Click to tweet.

Mary. Judas. One recognized she had received much and therefore loved with abandon. One couldn’t see what he had and consequently, was never satisfied. Click to tweet.

Targets: Sharpening Your Focus on God

Targets: Sharpening Your Focus on God

At what target are you aiming?

Being a better person?

Controlling your temper?

Reading your Bible more?

Prayer?

All worthy goals, but have you linked them to the most important goal of all?

“Hearing that Jesus had silenced the Sadducees, the Pharisees got together. One of them, an expert in the law, tested him with this question: ‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?’

Jesus replied, ‘ ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ This is the first and greatest commandment. And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.’”(Matthew 22:34-40 NIV)

For the believer, a focus on God marks the bull’s eye. Our relationship with Christ is the center. Our target.

Ready

Know yourself. Your strengths. Are you relying on them instead of God? How about weaknesses? Are they producing despair instead of turning you to God? Proper equipment. Does some wrong thinking need to be challenged? Are wounds keeping you from relating to God as He designed? Ask God to help you work through any obstacles or distractions which may be affecting your focus.

Aim

What do you tend to aim at instead of God?

Think back to your dating years. When Russell and I were dating, Russell influenced my schedule. My thoughts leaned toward him. Phone calls were planned. Letters and visits home were highly anticipated. (We’re old, I know. No cell phones or email.)

Relationship also drives my spiritual walk, though it wasn’t always that way. I used to obey from fear. Fear of consequences, punishment, and rejection. The target was avoiding these things.

Today the target is God Himself. I obey because my fellowship with Jesus is sweet, and I don’t want to hinder that. I want to hear Him clearly and often. And I can’t, if I ignore Him or aim elsewhere. I’m learning to practice God’s presence by taking Him with me. Work, school, lacrosse games. As I focus on the have-to’s of the day, I remember He is there and talk to Him as we go.

Fire

Do I want to become a better person? Sure, and I know I will when my focus stays on Him.

Controlling my temper? When my eyes are on Him and we have a running dialogue, self-control gets easier.

Bible study? God promises His Word never returns void.

Prayer? To not talk to Him is as unthinkable as not speaking to my husband or kids.

If you target Him, you’ll hit everything else.

Questions:

Go into archery mode. (Or gun range.) What do you have to do to hit the target?

Walk through the questions above.

Are you Ready?

Are you Aiming at the right target?

When you Fire, what adjustments will you make to hit the bull’s eye?

Tweetables:

For the believer, a focus on God marks the bull’s eye. Our relationship with Christ is the center. Our target. Click to tweet.

I want to hear Him clearly and often. And I can’t, if I ignore Him or aim elsewhere. Click to tweet.

As I focus on the have-to’s of the day, I remember He is there and talk to Him as we go. Click to tweet.

If you target Him, you’ll hit everything else. Click to tweet.

Rooted

Rooted

Yard work. Spring has sprung, and so have the weeds. My husband does most of the yard work, but one thing falls to me. The flower beds.

I love to garden, but I hate weeds. Hate them.

When I finally make it outside for my semi-annual weed pulling, two kinds of weeds stand out. The Jack-and-the-Beanstalk kind and the one that snaps off at the top and leaves the root, giving the enduring promise of more. Gee, thanks.

Both kinds have roots that are tough to remove, which fit beautifully with the verse that caught my eye this morning.

“A man cannot be established through wickedness, but the righteous cannot be uprooted.” (Proverbs 12:3 NIV)

Poor choices will never establish a man. The man marked by bad judgment is easily undone. Uprooted. Unraveled. What looked good on the outside is exposed, and the game is up.

But check out the righteous man (or woman). Weed killer, spades, a shovel. They ain’t coming up. They are tenacious. Persistant. Stubborn—in a godly kind of way. Why? The choice to feed on the essentials. Just as plant roots need nutrients for healthy growth, spiritual nutrition is vital too. Food and water, vitamins and minerals, and Sonshine.

So, what’s your root like? Are you cultivating spiritual growth and root strength? Are you tapping into something deep? Someone who will keep you grounded and sustain life?

How ‘bout the kids? Are they anchored by activity or by the Word? Are their roots reaching for shallow things or going deep?

As you rev up the lawn mower and dust off the garden tools, let God speak to you. Tune your ear to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and learn from the creation around you.

Even the weeds.

Questions:

To what is your root anchored?

What is feeding you?

Are you thriving?

How ‘bout the kids?

What is their focus?

On what are they feeding?

How is their spiritual health?

Tweetables:

Just as plant roots need nutrients for healthy growth, spiritual nutrients are vital too. Click to tweet.

Tune your ear to the whispers of the Holy Spirit and learn from the creation around you. Even the weeds. Click to tweet.

God and The Box: Taking Risks

God and the Box: Taking Risks

I’ve always considered myself someone unafraid to take risks. Like Peter. Walk on water with Jesus? Bring it. But today a friend caught me in more of a Moses moment. She confronted me with the fact I was putting God in a box, placing limits on the Almighty.

And I know better.

I’ve seen Him bust my box before.

Time constraints? No problem.

Indecision? Clarity.

My plan? Detour. God’s way goes here.

In Exodus 3 and 4, Moses is having a box moment, several in fact. Catch the dialogue:

“Moses said to the LORD, ‘O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.’

The LORD said to him, ‘Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I the LORD? Now go, I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.’” (Exodus 4:10-12)

No boxes, because none could contain Him. Put God in a box? Seriously? Who would go there?

Moses. And me.

You see my dream—my deep dream—involves something way out of my comfort zone. Risks I haven’t been quite ready to take. So I conveniently constructed a timetable that put this particular dream in the far, far away category. My friend challenged me to move it up to now, if God so leads.

Gulp.

When God calls us to risks, He’s asking us to risk on Him. That changes the picture, doesn’t it? But it means letting God have free rein. Out of the box. And if we let God out of the box, we have to go too.

Let’s step out of the box this week and help others climb out too. Take a risk on Him.

Questions:

In what ways have you put God in a box?

Are you modeling this for others?

Has this been modeled for you?

When has God blasted out of the box?

If you let God out of the box, you have to go too. What will you do today to get out?

What have you talked about doing for years—but haven’t?

Or your spouse?

How about our kids? Are we unconsciously setting a far, far away timetable for them too just because they’re young?

Tweetables:

I was putting God in a box, placing limits on the Almighty. And I know better. He’s busted my box before. Click to tweet.

When God calls us to risks, He’s asking us to risk on Him. Click to tweet.

And if we let God out of the box, we have to move too. Click to tweet.