Thursday, July 3, 2014

"Honey from the Rock"

Right now, Brunswick County, NC, the area I've been writing about off and on since returning home from it, is experiencing Tropical Storm Arthur. While a tropical storm isn't as serious as a hurricane, it can still be dangerous because of rip-currents, etc. 

This brings me to today's topic.

Many things in our spiritual lives--things that may be more subtle than the "hurricane" of blatant sin and rebellion--can also be dangerous. I have been reminded about one such danger over the last several days: Walking in our own counsel and not in God's counsel.
While we're (somewhat) on the topic of laundromats, if you've ever wondered whether homemade laundry detergent will save you money and if it will work just as well as most commercial products: yes and yes! If you live in a house (and have plenty of storage space), I recommend making a liquid detergent recipe.  If you live in an apartment (or otherwise don't have plenty of storage), I recommend making a powder detergent recipe.

This morning, while sitting in the laundromat waiting for our clothes and linens in the wash, I read Psalms 84. The verse that stuck out to me the most was the latter part of verse 12: 
"...blessed is the man that trusteth in thee."
Right there in the laundromat, with clothes and people both swirling around all around me, that verse hit me: The man who trusts in the Lord will not only have peace about his future in Heaven (i.e. eternal security); he will also have peace about his future on earth (i.e. his daily living, whatever that might be). 

Verse 10 says: "I had rather be a doorkeeper in the house of my God, than to dwell in the tents of wickedness."

Sometimes it may seem like the people who are not faithful to God reap more benefits in this life, but let me tell you this--there is nothing in the world like living your life with a clean conscience before God. 

You may not have wealth, you may not have status, but if you are where God wants you and you are faithfully attending to the duties that He asks from you, you are a blessed person.

The Psalms are a great reminder that God must be our strength--not ourselves (Ps. 81:1). We are not to worship "any strange god" (Ps. 81:9), including our own abilities, our own personal merit, or our own ability to politic and "advance ourselves" within the church. 

We should not, for example, be so interested in a church solo that we decide to "show off" our abilities in order to get the part we want in the Christmas cantata. Displays like that only bring glory to ourselves and not to God. 

Furthermore, if we have to manipulate and politic in order to become involved in a ministry or become a leader in a ministry or "get our way" in a ministry, we need to pause and consider if we're really ministering at all. We need to consider whether or not we're following our own counsel ("I know I'm supposed to have/ do _______ because I can/ am ______.") or following God's counsel.

It has been my experience that God tells us to "wait" more often than we actually do.

I remember many times while I was growing up my dad would say, "If you're pushing things too hard or forcing a situation, it probably isn't where God wants you." This doesn't mean we shouldn't work hard, but we need to work hard where God currently has us in order to be promoted.

"For," as Proverbs 25:7 says, "better it is that it be said unto thee, Come up hither; than that thou shouldest be put lower in the presence of the prince whom thine eyes have seen."

God may not put you someplace you want to be placed because you'll get hurt, God may not put you someplace you want to be placed because you'll be tempted, God may not put you someplace you want to be placed because you're not ready for it yet. What's more, our goals for our lives may not be God's goals for our lives.

Whatever the reason, we need to "hearken" to God's voice. And in order to hear and obey God, we need to be seeking Him every day--not just looking for what we want to hear Him say to us. Or looking for "signs" like: "Someone accidentally called me 'Mrs.' today, it must be a sign that I'm going to get married soon!"

God laments our unfaithfulness and distrust of His timing and judgment (Ps. 81:13). It's so silly of us when you look at it the way I heard one preacher explain it: "We can trust God to save us from Hell, but we can't trust Him to provide our daily needs or our desires?"

So often, if we would just listen to God and obey Him (even if that means waiting), He would have contented and "satisfied" us--our longings and desires--with "honey from the rock" (Ps. 81:16). That is, He would satisfy us from the counsel of His Word.

Place your trust in God, and let Him satisfy you with "honey from the rock."

--Mrs. D.

P.S. If you're looking for a free Bible study resource (for yourself, your family, or a ministry), check this one out.

P.P.S. If, like me, you get frustrated with routine housewife tasks, read this.