Things you can’t control:
1. Your kid becomes independent at an early age and stuffs his face with an all-natural ingredient sandwich made straight from the sandbox…
2. Your dog is living in complete freedom and finds it enjoyable to declare it by running out of the house wherever and whenever he pleases…directly toward the neighbor’s outdoor cat….in the middle of the street…..in the sandbox where your kid just stuffed his face with “dog freedom”….
3. Feeling connected with God…
Things you can control:
1. Placing large oven mits on your child before he/she goes in the sandbox, making it nearly impossible to stuff anything in his/her mouth (with the exception of a full-fledged nose dive)
2. Building an underground fence in order that you can watch family members go out to train the dog, forget where the fence is, and have to discover the “uncrossable boundary line” the hard way (or the entertaining way….depending on whom you’re asking) 😉
3. Maintaining communication with God…
The video below was a great reminder of why and how I can stay in tune with God. The ‘why’ is because I know He is faithful to reward me with more of Himself by giving me wisdom, revelation, and by letting me encounter Him. The ‘how’ is to keep praying (speaking with Him and listening to Him) and to keep reading His Word.
Check out the video for yourself by clicking here or read through my own take-away notes below.
1. Sometimes we have mountain top experiences, but this may not be the “normal” of our Christian life.
I once heard someone say that the chapters in Matthew 5-7 where Jesus gives the sermon on the mount should be our “normal” Christian lives, if there ever were a “normal”. It’s not radical to live like Jesus did. It’s Biblical. Therefore, the chapters in 5-7, which talk about being humble and poor in Spirit and merciful and enduring persecution and seeking God and praying and turning the other cheek – these are all “normal” things for a Christian. These are the things we should be asking the Lord for. They aren’t necessarily “stage light” qualities that will get us 15 minutes of fame, but they are “normal”…for a Biblical Christian. 😉
2. We don’t need to seek out encounters with Jesus. We aren’t Christians based upon the things we see or don’t see. We are Christians based upon our faith. We are Christians based upon faith, not sight.
“We walk by faith and not by sight…” 2 Corinthians 5:7
“We don’t measure reality based upon our five senses…” – Stuart Greaves
3. We might not always FEEL connected to God, but we can be consistently and constantly communicating with God through praying and through reading the Word.
This is the difference between being able to control something and not doing it, thus being discouraged OR persevering in our ability to do what we can (though it might be mundane in the moment) and reaping the benefit later. If we are feeling disconnected to God, we pray and read the Word. If we are feeling connected to God – great! We still pray and read the Word. Why? Because this is what we have control over. If we want to meet with God and eventually feel Him again, we just keep on keepin’ on.
4. God gives us promises to not only memorize, meditate on, and cling to. He gives us promises to ACT ON.
The promise in James 4:6 of drawing near to the Lord is not a one way street. The Lord is asking us to seek Him out (to pray to Him for specific things and to listen for His answer and to find out more about who He is by getting into His Word)
Draw near to God and He will draw near to you – James 4:8
5. In times that we cannot feel the Lord, there is peace that passes understanding (logic) and there is knowledge and belief that surpasses emotions.
In seasons where we feel like it’s hard to feel the Lord, we have to have the KNOWLEDGE – the KNOWING and the BELIEF – that Jesus loves us. He proved His Love on the Cross. In the dry seasons, we can look at the Full Gospel (what we were saved from and what we are saved to) to be reminded of His Love for us. The Cross has been and will always be a point of victory.
Give us the grace to keep pressing into you, in every good, bad, rough, hard, and joyous season.