And having done all, to Stand!

ImageIf you are planning to carry through and have a “new reality” what is your first step to doing it? Are you reading your list of things to do out loud to me now? I see you have a great determination, I am very proud of you! What comes next? You want everyone around you to be happy for you, to cooperate with you, to give you encouragement and brag on how proud they are that you are making great strides in your own personal “12 step” program (I used that because we are all familiar with the AA’s program not recommending anything). Well baby if you are waiting on all the above then my fear is that you are going to be greatly disappointed and maybe even fall off your new resolve and end up being disappointed with yourself.  How many times has that happened to me? Somehow we want to be the center of everyone’s universe and that just isn’t going to happen. It’s the same with any resolve you make in your life or when something wonderful happens to you, no one will be as happy for you as you are for yourself. I remember when I received the Holy Spirit into my life I was the one that was most happy, when I told others about it they either thought I had lost my mind or were just not impressed. I had been raised knowing, learning, hearing and seeing the gifts of the Spirit operate in my dad and in churches where he ministered but I had hooked onto my dad’s coattail and was sliding through on his experience! It took a great heartbreak, one where I felt I had been broken into a million pieces before He came and put me back together again! I wanted everyone to have what I had and I pushed and on some maybe a little too hard. But that’s the way of it isn’t it? When someone has finally kicked the smoking habit they become very self-righteous with any poor person who is still hooked on needing a smoke, looking down their nose at them and simply not understanding how they couldn’t simply just do it! Same with someone who has lost a good deal of weight, they make anyone who takes an extra cookie feel like a genuine slob. The feeling I get when I encounter someone like that is not a very Christian-like spirit because nothing makes me happier than to see them slip back into their old habits and light up or smear a hot fudge sundae all over their face and let some of their lost weight find them again! Then how do we get through this trying to better ourselves without driving everyone around us crazy, or getting down in the pit of self pity because no one notices our heroic efforts? Galatians 5:7-10  You were running superbly! Who cut in on you, deflecting you from the true course of obedience? This detour doesn’t come from the One who called you into the race in the first place. And please don’t toss this off as insignificant. It only takes a minute amount of yeast, you know, to permeate an entire loaf of bread. Deep down, the Master has given me confidence that you will not defect. But the one who is upsetting you, whoever he is, will bear the divine judgment.  Keep yourself away from negative influences that try to discourage you in your endeavor and don’t be that person who makes everyone dread to see you coming not wanting to hear all of your great exploits! If you are waiting for other people to make you happy then you will be waiting for a very long time, learn to be happy on the inside of yourself. Be content with what you have which is a great segue for Philippians 4:10-14 I’m glad in God, far happier than you would ever guess—happy that you’re again showing such strong concern for me. Not that you ever quit praying and thinking about me. You just had no chance to show it. Actually, I don’t have a sense of needing anything personally. I’ve learned by now to be quite content whatever my circumstances. I’m just as happy with little as with much, with much as with little. I’ve found the recipe for being happy whether full or hungry, hands full or hands empty. Whatever I have, wherever I am, I can make it through anything in the One who makes me who I am. I don’t mean that your help didn’t mean a lot to me—it did. It was a beautiful thing that you came alongside me in my troubles.  I look at you and see a success, I pray that you will be strong in your resolve to better yourself whether it is only physically or spiritually maybe you even want to go back to school to take classes so you can get a higher paying job and better your financial position, what ever it is “having done all, to stand!” And everybody said…. AMEN!

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