Category Archives: God

Majesty of God

You had to be an ostrich with your head buried in the sand this week (8/21/17) to not be aware of the fact a swath of our country was experiencing a full eclipse of the sun. Because we live in South Carolina, my husband and I were blessed to be part of that experience. We got our glasses and took the boat out on the lake. I can only say it was a fabulous show that the Lord God Almighty put on for His children to see.

It was in the middle of the afternoon, and it grew dimmer and dimmer around us. There was an eerie feeling in the atmosphere as though there was something extraordinary about to happen. Even our dog Lily barked to signal that she knew this was out of the ordinary. On the lake, the horizon burst into violets, pinks and blues of twilight.

As I watched the moon completely cover the sun, I observed the glorious halo that surrounded the moon. It was such a breathtaking view. My husband and I sat there in awe about what we were witnessing. The moon continued to pass over, and it got light and lighter until it was normal again.

How like God to teach us a lesson about Himself in such a magnificent way. As all this was happening, I thought about how the moon represented sin in our world. It seems today more and more people are going their own way and trying to blot God out and ignore that He is and that He has laws we need to abide by.

No matter how people try to cover up or blot out God, He is still here and can be seen. His glory and majesty cannot be covered. It shines out from behind any sin or attempt to ignore Him. He is the Great I AM. Those glasses we used to watch the eclipse represent our spiritual eyes that can see His glory when others who do not have them cannot.

I was amazed at how it took only a sliver of the sun to make the darkness go away. The same can be said for God. This world, as sinful as it is, would easily be and often seems to be a dark and awful place to live, except for the fact that God is still among us in all His glory. A halo of light in a dark world.

Those of us who believe and have faith in the LORD, take on His light. We then become bits of light in the darkness. It is our job to show the LORD to others and keep Him alive in humanity by practicing and showing others the fruit of the spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, long-suffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, meekness and temperance. Those are the things that are stronger than anything Satan can hurl at us. These things come from the LORD and show a glimpse of what He is like. The darkness cannot cover these things, for they shine too brightly, especially when practiced in His name.

For me the eclipse was a reminder that God is in control no matter what we do here on Earth. His Glory is always shinning for those of us who have the spiritual eyes to see. I am humbled that I can share in that glory by being a light in this world and shine for Him by faith and practicing the fruit of the spirit.

Great is the LORD and most worthy of praise; his greatness no one can fathom. One generation commends your works to another; they tell of your mighty acts. They speak of the glorious splendor of your majesty— and I will meditate on your wonderful works. They tell of the power of your awesome works—and I will proclaim your great deeds. They celebrate your abundant goodness and joyfully sing of your righteousness.

Psalms 145:3-7 NIV

God Sees

When I was 6 or 7 years old and got mad at somebody, I used to stick out my tongue at that person. I made a mistake once and did that to my mother and got spanked for it. Of course, I did not do it again…that she could see.
After that spanking, if I got upset and felt the urge to stick my tongue out at someone, I would cover my mouth or go into another room, in a closet or under the covers of my bed so nobody could see me. When I did this, it made me feel kind of powerful. I could stick my tongue out at someone, and they’d be none the wiser, including my parents who were a major source of my irritation.
Then one Sunday we had a Sunday School lesson about the 3 O’s of God, His Omniscience, His Omnipotence and His Omnipresence. The teacher talked about how God was all powerful, and could be everywhere and see everything we did because He was right there. What really freaked me out was when she said we can’t hide anything from Him that no matter where we go, He will see us. I asked if he could see us in closets and under the covers, and she said yes. I thought, Oh, no, God has X-ray vision!
I was so upset to learn this. I thought I could hide things from God, and He wouldn’t see it. To find out that I was wrong, was overwhelming. I had no choice but to beg God for forgiveness. It was probably the first Sunday School lesson I ever had that made an impression on me.
Of course, as a child you think of all the stuff you did that you thought God couldn’t see in the closet, under the bed or wherever – anything from saying “potty words” to sticking out your tongue. I remember thinking that I was in deep, and I couldn’t do things like that anymore. I was careful from that Sunday onward for a while anyway.
As I got older, there was great comfort in knowing that God could see me no matter where I was. That meant He knew my distress and when I needed Him. That He’s there with me through the good and the bad. I don’t have to ask Him to come because He’s right here – always. He has the power to help me no matter what my issue is.
Hagar had a similar experience. She ran away from Sara and Abram. She thought that she had gotten away from all her problems to a place where no one could find her. But she was upset not knowing what she was going to do. I’m sure she was crying and scared. An angel came to her and asked her where she came from and where she was going. She told the angel about her situation.
He told her to go back and submit to Sara, and he would give her numerous descendants. He knew she was pregnant and told her to name her son Ishmael which means “God hears”. He said that God has heard your cry of distress. He also told her more about what her son would be like. From that moment on Hagar referred to God as “The God who sees me”.
Hagar returned to Sara and Abram as God requested. While her circumstances there were not ideal, she found comfort in knowing that God saw her and was with her. He was the same God who was with Sara and Abram. She knew was just as important to Him as they were because God sought her out and helped her when she needed it. Just like Hagar, we are important to God and no matter where we go or what we do, He’s right there and knows everything about us, and loves us unconditionally.

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the LORD. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:7

 

 

God’s Timing

My husband and I bought an older ranch home that need some TLC. We decided the painting needed done before we moved in. We chose a light gray color for the main part of the house and decided while we were at it, to also paint the white trim to make everything look freshly painted.

My husband traveled for his job, and he was taking forever to get it done. Time was tight for us, and we had to be out of our rental soon. So, I decided to help my husband paint to hurry it along. As I painted I noticed that all paint cans looked alike, and the paints looked very similar wet. Because of this, I ended up painting the long hallway white instead of gray. Due to my impatience, it took twice as long to finish the paint job. If I would have allowed my husband to do it in his own timeline, it would have been done on time and done right. My mistake cost us several hours of repainting and took precious time from other things that needed to be done.

Just as I thought I would help my husband along, Sara thought she would help God along in His plan. Both Abram and she were still waiting for the son that God promised years ago. Sara became impatient and decided she would give Abram her handmaiden Hagar and allow him to get her pregnant. That way Abram would have the promised son.

Of course, when Hagar became pregnant, it caused a problem between the women. Hagar began to lord it over Sara because she was pregnant and Sara was not. Of course, Sara blamed Abram for the problem, even though it was her idea in the first place.
Abram tried to make peace in the household and told Sara she could do whatever she wanted with Hagar. Sara reversed the tables and treated Hagar worse than Hagar had treated her. Hagar ended up running away.

Whatever Sara had imagined her helping God might accomplish, she discovered the hard way that it was not the right thing to do. Her efforts ended up causing conflict and in the short-term harmed her relationship with Abram. God had His plan and His own timeline. There is nothing anyone can do to change that.

Waiting on God requires patience. His time is not ours, nor are His ways our ways. This makes it hard for us to know when we are supposed to act or wait on God. The key is to maintain a relationship with Him. If Sara had gone to God and asked if Hagar was the answer to the question of a son for Abram, God would have told her ‘no’. Just as Sara could ask God questions, we have that same capability. He speaks through the Bible and the Holy Spirit.

Studying the Bible on a regular basis will reveal God to us. We can learn something about how He thinks, know His ways and what’s important to Him. That will help enlighten us as to what He would have us do in certain situations and guide how we should pray. It will also give us encouragement as we wait on an answer to our prayers.

To know more about Him brings us closer to Him and builds a vibrant, spiritually healthy relationship with Him. We are His children and He loves us and wants us to know Him, just as He knows us.

For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. Isaiah 55:8

Don’t Forget God in Your Plans

One day, I decided to surprise my family and bake chocolate chip cookies for dessert.  Because I had made them so often, I had the recipe memorized.  Not using a recipe made me feel like a professional baker. As I began to measure and pour into the mixing bowl, I smiled as I thought about my soon-to-be wonderful, edible creation.

I put the cookie dough in the oven to bake and set the timer.  When the timer went off. I pulled the cookies out. They were as flat as wax paper and fell apart.  I was both shocked and upset and went to look at the recipe.  As I read the instructions, I realized I had forgotten to add baking soda and salt so that they would rise.  The batch of cookies had to be thrown away.

Leaving out key ingredients in a recipe is a formula for disaster. In much the same way, when we leave God out of our decisions and choices, it is a formula for disaster.

An example of this goes back to Genesis in the area known as Babylonia. The people there all spoke the same language and had wandered away from the Lord.  They decided to build a city with a great tower.  The people did not consult God about it. They wanted to build something extraordinary that would make them famous and would reach to heaven.

The Lord looked down and saw what the people were doing. They had forgotten God. He knew that the more they could do and succeed on their own, the more sinful they would become. They wanted to do what they wanted to do and did not care whether it honored God or whether it was even good for them. Their sinfulness angered Him, and he scattered them. The He gave them each a different language so it would be harder to communicate with one another.

The great city and tower were forgotten in the chaos of needing to make a life in a different area of the world and/or speaking a language that nobody understood.  The delicious and rich cake of life flattened and left them starting over with the need to just worry about the basics. All the familiar and former things were mostly gone. There was no longer room for pride and arrogance.

I’ll never forget how proud I was that I didn’t have to consult a recipe for those cookies. I even fantasized about having my own cooking show and being a sought-after baker. The shock and dismay dispelled the pride and arrogance and brought me back to Earth. I realized that if I wanted to be a world class baker, I couldn’t count on my memory. I needed to keep to the recipe to make sure the most important things were not forgotten.

When we reject or forget Him in our decision-making processes, it can result in some hard life lessons. God is the baking soda and salt in our lives. He helps us rise and become the best we can be. When we have a relationship with Him, He will be in everything we do. He will be the constant that will keep us together to enjoy rewards and allow us to rise above our calamities.

 

Consider this, you who forget God, or I will tear you to pieces, with no one to rescue you: Those who sacrifice thank offerings honor me, and to the blameless I will show my salvation. Psalms 50:22-23

 

Moving

You could probably call my husband and I nomads. So far, we have moved a total of fifteen times. Our moves mostly have been job related. We have moved within the same city, another city more than fifty miles away, and out-of-state. The hardest moves have been those that were out-of-state.
Of course, the hardest thing about moving out-of-state is that you are a total stranger to a new place. You need to decide where to live in a place you know little or nothing about. You are unfamiliar with the local roads, food, sports teams and perhaps even need to get used to a new dialect or accent. You will need to make new friends and find new doctors, dentists, schools and a church. It is a difficult transition.
Being a stranger in a new place was not an unfamiliar concept for Abram and Sarai. They moved around many times. However, they had settled nicely in Canaan and enjoyed living there on the land God promised them until famine came. Then they had to move to Egypt to find food.
As they neared their destination, Abram was worried about the Egyptians killing him because of Sarai. She was still a beautiful woman and if they knew Abram was her husband, they might kill him and take her. He told her to say she was his sister so that his life would be spared. Sure enough, she caught Pharaoh’s eye, and he gave Abram many extravagant gifts for her.
Remember that God promised to look out for Abram. But Abram instead of relying on God to protect them, took matters into his own hands by lying about Sarai. Not only did this cause Pharaoh to be in a position to commit adultery, but it ended Sarai’s and Abram’s marriage. If they were not married to one another, it blocked the promise of descendants via Abram and Sarai as God had promised.
God caused plagues to fall on Pharaoh’s household. Pharaoh knew the Lord sent those plagues and called for Abram. He asked Abram why he lied about Sarai? Pharaoh could have had them both killed for their treachery. Instead he ordered him to take Sarai and leave the country and gave him an escort out of Egypt. Abram was permitted to keep the gifts he’d been given for her. These gifts added to the wealth Abram already had.
At first, I thought it was weird that God would reward Abram for not relying on Him by giving him more wealth. But I think God wanted Abram to know without a doubt that He had intervened, and His plan was in place no matter how Abram tried to mess it up by not trusting and seeking the Lord’s guidance.
When I read this story, I am reminded that God has a plan for us. No matter what we do, His plan is THE plan and cannot be changed. It comforts me to know no matter what I do, I cannot change or screw up God’s plan for me. He gives me freewill, and I always have the choice to rely myself or on Him in all my decisions. All I need to do to make the right choices is know Him by reading my Bible and spending time in prayer. The closer I am to Him the easier it is to get with His plan.
For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Jeremiah 29:11