and receive instruction,
that thou mayest be wise
in thy latter end.”
Okay this is another first for me!!
This is the first time I am writing a two part post!
I will post part one today, and if you want to read part two, you will need to come back and join me next week. And I sure hope that you will!
Several months ago, Brian and I were in our truck on top of a hill enjoying a breakfast truck date, when all of a sudden, in the very far distance, Brian spotted smoke rising up into the bright, beautiful blue sky!
When Brian and I were dating many, many, MANY years ago, he was a volunteer firefighter, so once you get that “fireman’s flame” in your body, it’s there to stay!
As we were feasting on our yummy breakfast, we were watching the smoke and noticed that it was spreading rather quickly from one spot to another. Okay, well Brian noticed it, and he pointed it out to me!!
And you know the old saying, “where there’s smoke, there’s fire!”
So, all it took was for me to say, “Let’s go follow the smoke and see if we can find the fire. We’ll go on an adventure!!” And away we went driving down the road following the smoke signals!
However, those smoke signals weren’t as close to us as they first appeared to be when we were sitting on top of that hill!
We drove and drove and drove some more and at one point, we made a complete circle and ended up right back where we started!!! Brian was ready to give up, but I said, “No, just go another way, we came this far, and remember,
we are on an adventure!”
Just when we would think we were nearing the fire, we would realize we were further away than when we began!
But finally, slowly, inch by inch, we could see the flames leaping just a little bit taller from out of the brush and the smoke was getting denser and ash was flying around in the air!
The excitement was building!
We definitely were on an adventure!
Wait, here is a disclaimer: Please don’t think we are some kind of "fire maniacs"!! We (well Brian knew and told me!) that it was some kind of brush fire, and Brian was familiar with the area, so we knew that it was highly unlikely that any lives or property would be in danger.
Okay back to the story!!
The moment arrived. We reached our destination! We could get no closer to the fire.
This was it.
And guess what?
It was a dead-end!!!
A firefighter lady approached the truck and said, “Oh, you must be some of our concerned neighbors who didn’t get the notice which we left on all the nearby houses that we are conducting a controlled burn today!”
Well, ummmmmm, no, we didn’t get a notice because we don’t live anywhere near this neighborhood!! We were miles and miles from our home!
But I did get to see the helicopter take off right in front of us as they headed out to douse the controlled burn! One second later and I would have missed that excitement. It really was fun to watch!
And it was an adventure!
Well, you know, I see this adventure in two different ways from a spiritual stand point.
Today, I'll share the first way, and next week, I will share the second way!! So PLEASE come back and join me next week for part two!!!
Sometimes we set out on our own adventure in life. Something we really believe that the Lord wants us to be doing for Him and for His Kingdom. But there's just one major problem with our plan.
We forge ahead before we ask Him about it. Before we ask the Lord to give us His wisdom concerning our adventure and even if it’s His will for us.
"For the Lord giveth wisdom: out of his mouth cometh knowledge and understanding." Proverbs 2:6
So on we go and we definitely hit some major twists and turns along the way. The pathway may even become clouded (like it did for Brian and I from the smoke and ash), but we press on, dig our heels in a little bit deeper and make the adequate adjustments to make our adventure fit into the circle that we keep going around and around in. But still never stopping to inquire of the Lord if this truly is what He wants us to be doing for Him.
We are determined to make that square peg fit into that round hole no matter what!!
Finally after much frustration, going nowhere fast, spinning our wheels, wasting a lot of time, we reach the end of ourselves. We reach the “dead end” and finally realize that way back at the beginning of our "adventure", we should have taken the time to ask the Lord for His wisdom and for His guidance before jumping in with both feet.
"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him.”
I’ve learned the hard way, over the years, that not all things that I attempt to do for the Lord, are part of His will for my life.
We need to STOP and ASK HIM first before we plow ahead!
If we're really honest enough to admit it, there are many times when we don't want to ask the Lord His thoughts on the adventures which we are on! Why? Because what we are doing is comfortable and easy and it scares us to think what the Lord may ask us to do for Him!
The Lord is not going to call us all to go as missionaries to Timbuktu, unless that's His will for our life!
He is NOT out to make our lives miserable!
But He will certainly ask us to step out of our comfort zone at times so that what we are doing FOR HIM is totally BY FAITH and not of ourselves.
“That your faith should not stand in the wisdom of men, but in the power of God.” I Corinthians 2:5
We also can get ourselves in trouble with the adventures which we choose for our lives when we are not satisfied with who we are.
Oh how I have struggled with this over the years, especially since chronic illness entered my life.
Sometimes we want so badly to be Sally, who is the super, sensational soloist at our church. But that's not who God made us to be. God made us to be Suzy, who just happens to be an amazing church nursery worker who works "behind the scenes" and can calm the most troubled toddler and quiet the most colicky baby!
Or we know that we are just meant to be Dan, the dapper, head usher of our church, and we have done everything in our power to get our name bumped to the top of that "usher list"!! But that's not who God made us to be. God made us to be Paul, the prayer warrior, who due to extenuating circumstances cannot get out of his house much anymore, so he spends much time in his "war room" praying and interceding on behalf of others.
Are you getting the point??
Once we stop trying to push that square peg into that round hole and allow the Lord to use us the way HE CHOOSES, then we will know JOY, PEACE and CONTENTMENT!
"Delight thyself also in the Lord: and he shall give thee the desires of thine heart." Psalm 37:4
How's the best way to KNOW if what we are doing is REALLY for the Lord or REALLY for us?
Here is the best answer that I know of...
"Trust in the Lord
with all thine heart;
and lean not unto
thine own understanding.
and he shall
direct thy paths."
"Father, thank You, that as believers in Christ, You have gifted each of us with spiritual gifts, talents and abilities that You desire for us to use for You, Your kingdom and for the benefit of reaching the lost with the Gospel. Lord, may we always pray before we venture out into any major adventure always seeking Your will for our lives. Lord, it is a great honor and a privilege to know that You would use people as ourselves to do Your work here on earth. May we always be found content with however You choose to use us. In Jesus' Precious and Holy Name, Amen."
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May God Bless You,