Growing Pains

Growing Pains

Our Heavenly Father’s will is for His children to have the best in every area of their lives. What He has prepared for us might not be clear, but we can trust that it is much more than we can ask or think. At times, it might be difficult to let go of the present because of the uncertainty of the future, the unknown. It’s in understanding our inheritance that we can walk by faith and trust our Daddy.

Parents know what their children are able to do because they watch them mature. They know that in order for them to walk in their ability to do more, they must let go of what they did at an earlier age. For example, when they began teething and were being prepared for solid food, they were weaned from drinking out of a bottle. When the bottle is removed, children are upset because they don’t understand it’s in preparation for something they will enjoy even more. As we grow up as sons of God, there are some things that our Heavenly Father removes because He has more for us.

Each new step in our development requires a step of faith. Even if we could see what He has prepared for us, we wouldn’t understand it fully because it’s moving into the unknown. All we can do is trust that Father knows best and enjoy our growth, from glory to glory! 

Galatians 4:6-7 “And because you are sons, God has sent forth the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying out, ‘Abba, Father!’ Therefore you are no longer a slave but a son, and if a son, then an heir of God through Christ.”

 

The Sound of Abundance

The Sound of Abundance

Are we expecting the abundance of life Jesus came to give us? Have disappointments diminished the fervency of our prayers? Do we find ourselves hesitating to still believe for something because it’s taking longer than we anticipated? Do we still believe, but for only a little rather than all of the manifestation? Whatever our answer is, God is increasing our faith for such a time as this!

Our expectations are to be for much more than what we can ask or even think. For example, someone praying for their marriage to be in harmony, not only expects they will get along better, but visualizes a second honeymoon! Another praying for their child to be delivered from drug addiction believes for them, not to just be free, but to minister to others who are bound. A sickness is not believed to improve a little bit, but to be completely gone! A job search will end in the best position, not the least. A test to pass will result in a grade within the maximum range, not the minimum. Elijah did not just hear it was going to rain, but heard the abundance of it. What are we hearing?

Our prayers can be fervent because surely they avail much for God’s will to be done! The Word of God we hear, we can stand upon. We pray and never give up. We can count on the abundance of what He promises in His Word. We stand by faith, expecting God’s best, from glory to glory! 

1 Kings 18:41 “Then Elijah said to Ahab, ‘Go up, eat and drink; for there is the sound of abundance of rain.’ ’’

 

It’s Personal

It’s Personal

Each of us encounters the risen Lord. One primary way we encounter Him is through personal encounters unique for every person — intimate and private.

We grow in our awareness that God knows and understands us with love and compassion. What we find in the process is that God draws us to know and understand Him. He does so personally: to a gardener, He reveals Himself and speaks through the gardening process; to the fisherman, through fishing; to the shepherd through sheep;  to a parent, through a child. He meets us where we are and ministers to us through personal experiences and situations so we can know Him for ourselves. Mary recognized Jesus after He had risen when He called her by name. This showed His knowledge, love and care for her like only He could. When we seek the Lord, amid our tears, we will find Him closer than we ever expected.

The personal relationship we have with the Lord is such an individual experience we cannot compare it with others. We can never think that one is experiencing the Lord more than another, because it’s not the more or less, it’s the one on one. It can never be the same, because God’s ways are new every day. Familiarity can hinder our hearing from God through a fresh approach. We are taught not to take things personally, but that doesn’t apply to what comes from the Lord: it is personal, from glory to glory!

John 20:15-16 Jesus said to her, “Woman, why are you weeping? Whom are you seeking?” She, supposing Him to be the gardener, said to Him, “Sir, if You have carried Him away, tell me where You have laid Him, and I will take Him away.” Jesus said to her, “Mary!” She turned and said to Him, “Rabboni!” (which is to say, Teacher).

 

In Between

In Between

Are things coming between us and the Lord? No! He is always with us, but the cares of this world and the fiery darts of our adversary may hinder our feelings of closeness with the Lord.

We know this is happening when our walking in love, joy and peace is altered. When we receive bad news from a doctor, are unable to pay a bill, or have a difficult conflicting situation with someone, we may feel as though the Lord is far away. What happened can appear to come between us and the Lord; we may not hear His voice clearly, receive His love or trust His care.

What we learn to do in these cases is see the Lord handling the situation, and know the Lord is placing a hedge of protection around us. He stands between us and the difficulty. We do so by faith, quickly remembering He is with us and not far away. We are able, by His grace, to allow nothing to come between us and know that all that comes through His love is upon us. Our Lord Jesus is the mediator of the new covenant and we are reconciled to God. We can hold tight because He has brought us to a place of surety, comfort and safety. This persuasion handles any division, from glory to glory!

Romans 8:38-39  For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. 

 

ALL Things!

ALL Things!

Because the Lord is with us, we can do all things through Him including being content in every situation. Discontentment gives us a desire to live in another place, have another job, buy more stuff or be another person. Advertisements show pictures of another thing, or another place, that seem to be what we need to have a better life. Nothing in the natural can satisfy.

Our contentment is in Christ, not in this or that. If we get our contentment from this or that, we will go up and down constantly as this or that will always change and never be enough. It’s through our knowledge of Christ that we learn to be content.

We learn that Christ works all things together for our good. We learn He provides for us in the midst of all situations. We learn He has a glorious plan for our lives and that He enables us to walk through every challenge–and He uses it to bring forth His perfect will. We learn to be content because we truly can do all things through Christ. We find that not only do we go from strength to strength, but also from glory to glory!

Philippians 4:11-13 Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

 

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