‘Good things happen to those who know God loves them.’ Joseph Prince.
The popular cliché is, ‘Bad things happen to good people.’
And so bad things happen to good people, reinforcing the idea that we can expect bad things to happen. The more we believe bad things will happen, the more they do.
We know God loves us, the Word says, ‘For God so loved the world that he gave his only Son…’ That is wonderful.
Next, we are told, ‘God is able to do exceedingly abundant beyond all we ask or think.’ Eph 3: 20-21. That is even more wonderful. But has anything changed in our lives? Are we still struggling with circumstances and life?
Psalm 91: 1-6 pops out at us, ‘He rescues us from every trap…protects us from the fatal plague…his promises are your armour… no need to fear the dangers of the Day or the plagues of the night. Though a thousand fall at my side and ten thousand around me, the evil will not touch me…’ When we read this passage, our reaction is that those words are written for King David at that time; not for today. We dismiss the writings as not spoken by God and continue the struggle of life as best we can.
God loves us so much Jesus died for us, the promise is exceedingly abundant more than we ask or think. God wants our soul to prosper and be in health, he’s our shield and protector. What stops us from taking God at his Word? It is our mindset. We have been taught what we can believe or can’t believe but never to take God at his Word. Oh no! God may love us but not enough to give good things to us.
We need a new mindset, one that knows God truly loves us. An understanding that God is never mad at us, who never listens to the tittle-tattle of others. Are we genuinely confident we are the apple of God’s eye, his righteous children because of Jesus death? A new mindset will bring about confidence in the Word. So, make sure you know God loves you.
Thought for the Day: ‘Good things happen to those who know God loves them.’ Joseph Prince
Entering a restaurant and being waited on is sheer luxury.
Chefs cooking delicious food and waiters or waitresses bringing it to the table is sublime. The waiters fill your glasses, fetch the coffee, enquire if the food is to your liking, are you happy with the service. Your every need is anticipated. One feels important, very special and affluent.
My husband Bruce, and I have just celebrated a wedding anniversary by having dinner at a local restaurant. Separated from the crowd in an alcove, we dined with our son and daughter-in-law. We were waited on, congratulated and fussed over.
Recently, the camera flash of revelation went off as I sat in church musing on what was being said and done. There are a number of Bible verses that urge us to wait on God.
My understanding of waiting on God was to spend hours, days in prayer, reading the Bible all the time, mind blank, just waiting. Waiting on God in this fashion, I was led to believe would bring about miracles, revival, healing, moving God to answer my prayers. I found this kind of waiting on God hard work and failed dismally. No wonder it was a struggle. When compelled to do something, it becomes legalistic and dead, in the end one fails.
What if there was another meaning to waiting on God similar to the waiters and waitresses? Waiting on him in praise and adoration. Delighting myself in his presence, seeking out his every need, fussing over him, as it were. Psalm 37: 4 and 7 says, ‘Be delighted with the Lord…Rest in the Lord…’
I became excited and worshipped him. I mused on the love that God had for me. I was both enthralled and awed at his love that overlooked my rebellion and insistence on independence. I waited on God, spent time basking in his love, thanking him for loving me even I didn’t even know him, listening to him. Waiting on God was never so easy and sweet.
IN THE PAST
In olden times, Israelite priests were forbidden to wear woollen garments next to their skin. Fine linen garments had to be worn. Linen was a picture of God’s grace. Woollen garments caused sweat and perspiration and was and denoted self-effort. ‘They must not wear anything that would cause them to perspire.’ Ezekiel 44:18, 19, LB.
It is clear that God is hates the self-effort of his people. He denounces our efforts to make ourselves acceptable in his sight by calling our righteousness a dirty rag. For us to be righteous and meet God’s requirements of holiness and purity we must by faith accept that God has made us righteous in Christ. We must accept the goodness of Christ as our own by faith.
My first understanding of waiting on God was mostly self-effort. I wanted to please God but it was out of duty. I waited on God because I was told to, not because I wanted to. There is a difference. Waiting on God doesn’t mean to wait for him to do something, in my opinion it means to spend time with him, to be in his presence, by prayer, study of the Bible, even sitting and meditating.
THE CAMERA FLASH
The camera flash showed another way to wait on God and please him. Praise, worship, adoration and thanksgiving. Offering praise, thanksgiving, and rejoicing is proof that we have accepted what Jesus has done for us and that pleases God.
We can wait on God washing clothes, doing dishes, eating a meal. We can leave the bustle of life and be quiet, set ourselves apart to bless him, thank him and adore him. This way of waiting on God is effortless and pleasing to him.
Let me close with the scripture that set off the question of waiting on God, ‘But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength. They shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.’ Isaiah 40: 31 LB.
THE FLOWER AND THE HOVER-FLY
The flower opened its heart to the sun, to life; in wanton abandon.
The flower said to the hoverfly, ‘Come to me, and I will feed you. My heart is full of sweetness, come drink of me and you will be satisfied through the cold winter months.’
The hoverfly buzzed with glee and settled on the flower, ‘Aha!’ it said, ‘A heart of sweetness. I will gather for me and my hive. We will live through the hard times of winter.’
Jesus opened his heart of love as he died. He said, ‘Maybe people will read my heart now and know that I love them and do not condemn them because I have come to give life and save all those who call on my name and drink of my Spirit.’
Jesus said, ‘Come to me, and I will give you living sweetness that will last for eternity, that will enable you to live through the hard circumstances, cold and loveless times. Drink of me, I only can supply your thirsty spirit and hungry heart. Believe in me, I am the way, the truth and the life. Receive me, I will make you acceptable in my Father’s eyes.’
When we have drunk of Jesus eternal sweetness, we are free to fearlessly open our hearts and let others drink of the inherent sweetness deposited within us by Jesus.
‘Don’t go too close to that well,’ my mother yelled, as I ran up to my father leaning over to catch a bucketful of water he had just wound up from the depths of the well. He was bucketing water into a trough for our thirsty cattle. We were in a drought and water was scarce.
I peered over the edge of the rickety boards around the lip of the well into the dark depths.
’Get back out of it,’ my father growled.
I obeyed. My father continued to lift water by bucket, regardless of the danger of falling in and drowning himself. He had grown careless with continued use of winding the windlass up with a bucket full of water and letting the bucket free fall to the water. Watering the cattle took hours after a hard day’s work.
When my father had finished watering the animals the well would be empty. It would take all night for the water to seep back in again and reach the water table, ready for the next day’s watering.
At the beginning of summer, the well had been brimming full and there was no indication that it was 60 feet deep. By mid-summer, the water level had dropped and my father was looking skyward, wondering when it was going to rain.
It was always a struggle to get water. We never seemed to have enough of it. Every winter we had too much and every summer not enough. Water had to be carted from a bore several miles away in a tank for washing and drinking. Our cattle had to be driven to the bore over the miles maybe once a day if they were lucky.
Water is the staff of life even as bread is. Are we aware of how little water is available in Australia? We are so careless of it in the cities. It is our right to have as much water as we want and even waste. How many people can we support in Australia on the amount of water that we have? So much of our nation is waterless, rendering the land un-useable. To enter the outback is to travel hundreds of miles without finding a drop of water.
Today when I think of that well I shudder with the horror of its danger, its seeming harmlessness and how easy it would be for me as a child to mistake its safety and drown. My parents were right to warn me but there were no safeguards around the well then as there is today with childproof fences around swimming pools and every dangerous piece of water.
HAVE A DRINK
Jesus was hot and tired as he sat on the stone wall around the well and waited, the woman approached, hesitantly, ‘Do you want a drink?’
‘Yes,’ Jesus replied, ‘do you want a drink?’
‘No, I have just drank.’
‘You will need a drink again when you get home,’ Jesus looked at the woman searchingly. ‘Follow me and I will give you water that satisfies inwardly. You won’t need to search for the water that I give, anymore.’
Ben & Sadie injected, they waited, the euphoria came and they gave themselves over to the drug. They drank deep of the experience. When they awoke they were in their squat, needing another fix to continue life in the euphoria.
Ken drank in the sight of his dream car standing in the car yard. He yearned to experience of its powerful performance, to go places in it. He was never satisfied. He felt, if only –he could have that car he would be satisfied.
Jason struck it rich – a gambling jackpot – but he wanted more, he was still wanted more money, power, satisfaction. He gambled his fortune way as his search for that satisfaction. He never experienced that contentment, that feeling of having arrived.
What well are you sitting beside waiting to drink from and having drunk you want more and more?
Is there a satisfaction to be found? Yes
THE SEARCH IS OVER
Why not sit beside the well of life offered by Jesus – don’t wait – don’t fear a drowning – just drink deep of the relationship offered by Jesus.
‘I am the Bread of Life. No one coming to me will ever be hungry again. Those believing in me will never thirst,’ he invited.
Forever sitting beside your wells in the hope of having your dreams come true will never happen.
Sit with Jesus, walk with him, and drink the same water as he does. Be satisfied.
THE UNTAMED SPIRIT
The Walt Disney animated film, The Untamed Spirit, is about a horse with an untamed spirit and a girl with a similar nature.
A wild horse or a brumby is the personification of a free, restless, untamed spirit. An unorthodox person or independent – minded person is often dubbed a maverick. Unbranded young animals are titled mavericks meaning nobody owns them.
The Holy Spirit of God – the Spirit of Jesus – the Untameable Spirit that created the universe is ageless, from eternity to eternity. Nobody owns the Holy Spirit, he is his own person. He is from eternity to eternity.
In and through Jesus, he created the lowest form of a microbe and the most complicated form of life. The man and woman was his crowning creation.
However, the Spirit that was without restraint confined himself in and through a person, his creation. The Holy Spirit confined himself to living in and through his creation. He cannot move unless we allow Him to fill us, direct us, motivate us.
When God created the first couple, he gave them free will. They were a fantastic pair. Living a remarkable life in a wonderous time, in a perfect place. They were as God. They had all that he had.
The untrammelled Spirit would have had unlimited freedom in them and through them, and they would have done amazing things. Still, all we are told in the scriptures is that they walked and talked with God in the cool of the day.
Then came the fall. When the super pair were challenged by the serpent to question God. The question put to the wonder pair was, 'God knows that in the day that you eat from the tree of knowledge of good and evil your eyes will be opened, and you will be as God.'
The chosen pair had not realized they were as God anyway. They had everything; in short, they were as God. The glorious couple were duped by another spirit wanting to usurp the place of the Untamed Spirit of God.
So, they ate. Adam and Eve used their gift of free will to choose and threw away their privileged position as the perfect pair. Thus, the untamed Spirit was tamed, or was it?
Subsequent generations though the millennia have blocked the Spirit. Could God by his own creative hand have thwarted himself? Could his deep desire to have a family of people whom he could walk and talk and relate intimately with be his undoing? Could His Spirit, at last, be tamed?
The untamed Spirit of God had a contingency plan. That plan included Jesus, his Son. Jesus was the perfect man to demonstrate the freedom of the Holy Spirit of God. Jesus performed miracles and all manner of wonders. The Spirit of God was released through him.
People then and now marvelled at Jesus and what he did. But, because of the glorious Edenic pair, their actions in the Garden were passed down to us. As a result, only a few people could accept the free Spirit of Jesus – believe in him, take him and be filled with him and live by the free Spirit of Jesus.
God in Jesus went through death, created by the beautiful pair of Eden. Yet, he overcame to rise above that death in the resurrection.
The untrammeled Spirit manifested himself on the Day of Pentecost.
The people saw the demonstration of the Spirit by a strong wind, by fire, by joy unlimited and by hearing various languages. Thousands of people believed that day. That day the Spirit was free, he moved through people freely because they had faith in Him. The fall of the miracle pair was negated by Jesus' death and resurrection. The Spirit was now free to move in and through those who believed.
Today, the warfare continues—the power and freedom of God's untamed Spirit wars with the Spirit of the Edenic pair.
The untamed Spirit freely roams, seeking those with hearts hungry for something they know not what. To those, the living Spirit reveals himself and Jesus.
Those people who believe and accept Jesus, the Spirit fills them with himself; he leads them into all truth about the Father. These people are set free to move with the Spirit to see prayers answered, the miracle of healing and provision provided. In these believers, the Spirit moves freely. What the Edenic pair lost, Jesus bought and gave back. The untamed Spirit isn't tamed anymore.
God is never stumped for a way out. On the contrary, he has a contingency plan so that when we, the fruit of that wondrous Edenic couple, fail; through Jesus, we are given back everything they lost.
We are restored and can walk and talk with God. We have become the glorious ones, through Jesus. Everything that Jesus is we are as well. We are no longer mavericks unbranded. God has put his brand on us, we are his children forever.