I love rambling thoughts that reveal truths, little God moments!!! I was thinking today about how many parents struggle to get their child on the right path in school. I know many parents are frustrated with their talented children who perform well below their ability. They tell their child he/she needs to study so they will be prepared for school and their grades will improve. The child is more interested in playing video games or texting friends than studying so their grades suffer. The parent tries various things to encourage the correct behavior to no avail. The child simply wants to do what feels good in the moment. Their grades continue to suffer and now the child is frustrated with school and says “I hate school”. The parent says “you have a lot of talent that you are wasting” “all you need to do is put out a little effort studying and over time your grades will come up a lot” “we wouldn’t ask you to do this if we didn’t believe you can”.
After a couple of years of being frustrated and angry the child decides to start studying, mainly because they are taking a science class they are interested in learning about. Their science grades are good so they start to study in other classes. In a matter of a few months the child is making B’s in all their classes and an A in science. I am sure this is a familiar story and perhaps your own story.
This rambling thought reminded me about our spiritual relationship with God. We have frustrations in life with jobs, marriage, children, co-workers, money, in-laws and many other things. Many people fret over financial difficulties, worry about how to pay the bills or how to get out of excessive debt. God tells us to tithe 10% Malachi 3:10 “Bring the whole tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. The best part is God is the one who owns the storehouse!
Test me in this,” says the LORD Almighty, “and see if I will not throw open the floodgates of heaven and pour out so much blessing that you will not have room enough for it.” I think most Americans would associate the “blessings” with possessions or more money. What if the only blessing God gave you was the removal of the worry and frustration you have about money. Would that be a good enough blessing? What if you have peace and hope in your heart while you are working yourself out of financial difficulties. Would that be enough of a blessing?
Another issue that really gets us trapped is resentment, bitterness and anger. We have plenty of reasons for how we feel. Yes it hurts deeply to be treated badly yet God tells us to Ephesians 4:26-27 “”In your anger do not sin”: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, and do not give the devil a foothold.” I imagine God says “you are 100% right about what they did and the way to release yourself is to follow what I said in Ephesians”. How did we get where we are? We did not obey the word that was given to us. God is simply saying “stop holding things against people becoming judge, jury and executioner”. What would happen if God treated us with resentment, bitterness and anger when we fail?
Our lack of obedience is the real culprit. We act more like the child in the school story. We try to solve things our way or in some cases we do nothing at all and simply let life pass by us. The answer has already been given to us.
Like the child in the story our life can turn around quickly if we simply obey what our parent (God) has already instructed us to do. I heard someone say one time “People often look for God to reveal some new marvelous thing to them when God is saying I can’t reveal anything new until you do what I have already instructed you to do”, “you do not need a new word you need to get the old word into your heart”.
I know obedience is often difficult because it goes against our pride. I do know it is possible because Philippians 4:13 I can do everything through him who gives me strength. Maybe this verse needs to become your new mantra!!