Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will direct your paths."
Friend To Friend
The Bible is filled with miracles where God intervened directly in time and space.
· Dividing the Red Sea
· Raising the dead
· Healing the blind
· Turning water to wine
God used miracles in a limited world to demonstrate His unlimited power. It is easy to see Him in the miraculous events of life but I believe God's greatest work is in our everyday lives where He takes the ordinary and uses it to create a magnificent design. We are experiencing God daily. We simply don't know how to recognize Him.
I heard about a pastor's young son who came running in the house after playing outside for hours. His mother took one look at his dirty hands and told him to go wash them carefully. When the little boy asked why he had to wash his hands, his mother told him that there were germs living in all of that dirt. The little boy refused and began to complain, "Germs and Jesus! Germs and Jesus! That's all I ever hear around this house, and I've never seen either one!"
Just because we can't see God at work doesn't mean He isn't at work. In fact, God is always at work in our lives. We just need to look for Him.
1. Look for God in circumstances.
God is constantly at work in our lives preparing us to do what He created us to do. A.B. Simpson says: "God is preparing His heroes, and when the opportunity comes, He can fit them into their place in a moment. And the world will wonder where they came from." When we understand that God integrates every circumstance to accomplish His will, it is easier to trust Him. Even when we do not understand, even when we can't explain it, even when it doesn't make sense or seems wrong, we can choose to trust Him. It is easy to trust God when the seas are calm and the skies are clear, but the strength of our faith is measured in the midst of a storm.
A crisis always reveals what is really inside. Letting go means that we trust God enough to obey Him. Trust is demonstrated by obedience and what I do reveals what I believe about God, regardless of what I say. God will not waste direction on a disobedient heart. The more we obey, the more we will trust. The more we trust, the more we will obey. God reveals His plans to an obedient heart. When we trust God enough to surrender our will to Him, we will find that He is Lord of our circumstances.
2. Look for God in people.
Proverbs 27: 17 "As iron sharpens iron, so people can improve each other."
"Each other" literally means "companion or friend; neighbor or associate". God uses every relationship to improve us and to accomplish His will in us. People come into our lives for eternal reasons. Relationships are mirrors. In them, we see reflections of ourselves. Relationships expose the weaknesses we try so hard to bury and teach us important lessons like forgiveness, patience, kindness, goodness and self-control. If we need to learn patience, He brings someone that is irritating. If we need to learn to love, He will bring the unlovable. God takes those people we call "difficult" and uses them as pruning tools, tools of molding and refining. If we fail to learn from one, He will send another. Even if we do learn from one, He will send another to teach us a different lesson.
3. Look for God in mistakes.
Romans 8:28 "We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan."
Even the disasters that strike us are intended for our good. God is in control. Ivory soap is the "soap that floats" but it wasn't always that way. Years ago, this soap was just another brand among many -- until a factory foreman made a mistake. He left a batch of new soap in the cooking vat and went to lunch. He was late getting back and the soap overcooked. It seemed to clean the same. It was just lighter. He could choose to report the mistake, and get fired, or he could make the best of it and ship it out. The results of the "new" soap surprised everyone. Instead of complaints, the company was deluged with orders for this floating soap and the foreman was promoted. God often works the same way. He takes our mistakes and brings good out of them. If we let Him, God will use the pain of our sin the destruction of our mistakes as the foundation upon which He builds a new life, a better life. What we call "dis-appointment" is really "His appointment." God does not waste a single experience.
4. Look for God in a personal relationship with Him.
John 10:27-28 "My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never die, and no one can steal them out of my hand."
The plan of God is revealed through a personal relationship with Jesus Christ. We were not created just for time. We were created for eternity and if we live just for this life, we will miss the ultimate purpose of creation. When our circumstances don't add up, the people in our lives seem to be clueless and our mistakes make no sense, we can keep coming back to this relationship because we can depend on God to meet every need. When we know God, His power is credited to our life account. We could be living in spiritual wealth instead of spiritual bankruptcy.
The story is told of a business man who was selling some warehouse property. The building had been empty for months. Vandals had damaged the doors, smashed the windows and trashed the place. As he showed a prospective buyer the property, he took pains to say that he would replace the broken windows, make any repairs needed and clean it up. The buyer said, "Forget about the repairs. When I buy this place, I'm going to build something completely different. I don't want the building. I just want the site."
God is waiting to work in your life. You don't have to repair anything or clean up anything. He just wants you and is waiting for you to come ... just as you are.
Father, I want to see You and know You more. Please help me to look beyond myself and my own circumstances to see Your hand at work in my life. Help me remember that You are my source and will supply my every need. When I make a mistake, help me find a seed of victory in it. I pray that You will open my eyes and my heart to the people and circumstances around me and help me see You in every part of my life. Thank You, Lord, for all that You are doing -- now -- in my life.
In Jesus' name,
Now It's Your Turn
Read the following bible verses and think of ways each one can be applied to your life. Then memorize these verses and invite the Holy Spirit to bring them to mind when you need them.
- Psalm 33:20 "We wait in hope for the LORD; he is our help and our shield" (NRV).
- 2 Corinthians 12:9 "But he said to me, 'My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you'" (ICB).
Psalm 23:1 "The Lord is my Shepherd. I shall not be in want" (NIV).