Life is messy and things happen.
When troubles arise for the believer, I feel there are 6 things helpful to do. Last week, in part one, we covered the first step extensively, which was to get our eyes on the Lord.
Whatever has your full attention will be the main focus of your life. Which do you want it to be? God or your problem?
Today, the next step will be discussed:
Get Peace in Your Heart
· What's the first thing you do when you are called by God? You get rid of any sin in your life. God called Gideon to get rid of the place where Baal was worshiped on HIS OWN FATHER'S LAND!
· I think it is worth mentioning: If you are experiencing trouble, ask yourself is there anything I’ve done I need to make right? I’m not saying problems always come because of sin, but let us each examine our own thoughts and attitudes first.
I’m currently reading "The Daniel Prayer" by Anne Graham Lotz. It’s a wonderful book on prayer and I encourage all of you to read it. She shared about how important confession of personal sin is to have results in our prayer life.
She told of reading a pamphlet by Charles Finney, “Preparing the Heart for Revival.” He wrote that to experience revival, we must look to our own hearts, to examine the state of our own minds, to reflect on past actions.
Things to ask ourselves: have I neglected things I know I should be doing out of love for God and family? Is my concern for lost souls fading? Have I become critical of others? Is there any hypocrisy in my life? [Finney suggests we review our motives THREE times!]
It takes courage to honestly assess and acknowledge our shortcomings, but when one is desperate to hear from God, it's worth the pain.
I undertook this little assessment myself. During my second review of myself, I recalled an incident that happened some months ago. (Okay, a year ago.) I had bought some placemats at WalMart and when I got home, seeing the placemats were rolled up together, I realized after checking my receipt I'd only been charged for one placemat instead of four. Feeling very virtuous, I laid aside the money for three placemats and the receipt in my wallet determining to pay for the placemats my next trip. WalMart is my second home, after all.
However, somehow I never seemed to make time to actually go by the service desk and pay for them. You know how it is, I'd glance at my watch and say, "Well, I'm running late ... I'll do it next time."
I'm sure you figured out, next time never came. What's worse, a little voice began to say to me, "WalMart makes a lot of money off me anyway."
All this came to mind. I knew what I had to do. Of course, by now, I'd lost the receipt. I went to the Service Desk and explained my dilemma.
"Do you have the receipt?"
"Are there any placemats like those still in the department where we could scan them?"
"No," I said, hanging my head even lower ...
"Well, we appreciate your honesty but we can't take money without accounting for it. Thanks for coming."
Goodness, I owe WalMart $4.50 and can't get them to take it!
Just to make sure I learned my lesson, God had me give that money away so that I can at least say I didn't get free placemats!
Some may feel this is a small thing but there's a scripture in the Song of Solomon about the little foxes that spoil the vines. Little things can ruin a great harvest!
You can confidently approach the throne to find help in time of need when you are at peace with God. It’s worth everything.
It’s also worth mentioning here that when you focus on God’s love for you, it really helps you to have peace in your heart. I love that line from the song “Good Father:”
“You’re a good good, Father, that’s who You are, that’s who You are,
And I’m loved by you, that’s who I am, that’s who I am.”
That song has a biblical basis:
great love the
Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! (1 John 3:1 NIV)
Next time you look in the mirror, say “Hello, I’m Jerralea, child of God, and I’m loved by the Father.” That thought can really be a mood-lifter!
So, to recap: When troubles come our way, we fix our eyes on Jesus, and we make sure we have peace in our heart, that all is well between us and the Father.
See you next week for step 3!
I'm sharing this with the communities at #TellHisStory, #FreshMarketFriday and Grace&Truth.