Tuesday, February 10, 2015

FAITHFULNESS IN ROUTINES OF LIFE


As usual we find the Lord faithful.  All through my life when I am struggling over an issue I will ask for knowledge and the Lord has always answered.  
I went searching for a book in my stack of Biblical books (still in boxes) in my bedroom.  I could not look at every book and only had a few to choose from top boxes.
The Lord has my husband in a Theology Class using a book written by Charles Caldwell Ryrie. There in the top boxes was another book by Ryrie called" Balancing The Christian Life "Boy could I use some balance today :) 

I came right to a chapter called Routine Faithfulness. Below are some sections of this chapter that may help someone else as well today. It is not the whole chapter, just some important points. 

[Grey is the book and blue is my statements]

ROUTINE FAITHFULNESS

Too often messages on the spiritual life focus on crisis experiences in the believer's life.  The exhortations of such messages normally call for some crisis decisions. Admittedly we often need calls to decision and certainly spiritual principles should be applied in the crisis of life. But it is equally true that since most of our time is spent in the routines of life we ought to apply spirituality in these areas as well.

1Cor. 4:2  Moreover it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful. 

 Most Christians activities are comprised of routine affairs.  Therefore it is mostly in the area of the routines of life that faithfulness is requires.  Have you ever noticed that when Paul summarized the Christian's conduct he related it to the ordinary activities of life:  "Whether therefore ye eat, or drink, or whatsoever ye do, do all to the glory of God" [1 Cor. 10:31]. 

It is the routines of life in which a spiritual person will exhibit faithfulness to his Lord.  And these are often the most difficult areas.

There are few who cannot gird themselves for the unusual.  Most can produce when pressed.  This is also true in spiritual matters.  
But we all tend to let our guard down in the routine. And if the same routine is our lot for very long we inevitably grow weary and often disheartened simply because the routine "gets us down."  But if the Bible principles of spiritual living work at all, they certainly should work in the routines of life and they ought to work continuously.

FAITHFULNESS IN PROBLEMS

In this section Ryrie  explains some problems Paul had to deal with. He uses 2 Cor. 4:16  "For which cause we faint not [DO NOT LOOSE HEART]; but through our outward man perish, yet the inward man is renewed day by day.

From these problems Ryrie says

"The example and teaching are clear.  A spiritual person shows persistence, not faintheartedness in the face of difficulties.  He will not give up when the routine begins to grind to his very soul.  Rather he will show consistent and persistent faithfulness to the task to which he has been called.

I found it interesting in one of the problems Paul had to wait 2 years under house arrest for his accusers to come forward and press charges.  If they did not it was dismissed.  The accusers, by pressing charges and not coming forward, kept Paul out of circulation (so they thought) for 2 years. They also kept him from being acquitted and his ministry vindicated.  

Paul had to be Patient and so did his circle of friends who were waiting it out with him.  It was to them he wrote 2 Cor. 4:16.  It would have been easy to get discouraged month after month.

If any man had a right to lose heart Paul certainly did in the face of such problems.  He said he would not do so.  If the grace of God can be seen through the lives of those who have been helped, then problems are a small thing to endure.  Paul assure himself with the promise that God renews the inward man daily even though the outward man is subject to all kinds of pressures and problems.

The rest of the chapter is Faithfulness in Prayer, Good Works and Witness.  

I love his last sentence (see below) in this chapter as I find it to be so true as we go through problems and then have to wait on the Lord and go on about our daily routines being faithful in them as our personal witness to others.

"The longer I live the more I am convinced that genuine spirituality is not really proved from the pulpit or classroom or Sunday school or board meetings; rather it is demonstrated best by consistent living before God first of all, and then before those closest to us in the home.  A kind of spirituality can be seen on parade; the kind God wants is cultivated and practiced consistently and persistently in the routine of life.

Nana





Tuesday, February 3, 2015

LETTING GO

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Some years back my daughter, was lead by the Spirit to give me a little book called Deserts of the Heart by Pamela Reeve  She said she never looked inside to see what it said. She was just led by the Spirit to send it to me. There is some irony in her giving me that book then, but I will not go into that. It is of a personal nature. 

This little book has refreshed me and confirmed for the second time I was to keep quiet in my situation.  

The words of wisdom have given me hope and comfort through some tough trials in the last few years. I am sure some of you have been in similar circumstances in your life as well. 

Most of us when going through a Desert situation long for the "way it use to be."  God would have us to trust him and move on with Him. 

If you are going through a Desert situation, my heart goes out to you.  May the Lord give you comfort also.

Today I will give you some valuable truths and comforts from this book I have read.

"LET GO"
All of the scenes, all of the voices, seemed to play over and over again in my mind.  What if I had done this? What if I had said that? What if I had proved point A? What if I had yielded on point B? Was it my fault after all? Did I sin in this?
When at the last hearbreaking minute that plan fell through, it became clear to me that this way of life was over.
God was saying, "My daughter, it's time to let it go."
Let go? What a frightening, desolate prospect! It tasted like death.  Let go?  That meant crossing the nightmare heart of the desert--straight through the heat and deadness and pain--rather than skirting its edges.
Yes, I had always believed (in a theoretical sense) that "God was my all-in-all."  I believed He was who He claimed to be.  But now I was forced to step out in naked faith and prove His sufficiency in my life.
I would have to put the past pleasures and satisfactions right out of my mind and endure the ache of barrenness.  I would have to put to death those dreams of "what might have been" or "what might be."
"FORGIVE"
I had to forgive those who had wounded me, rejected me, turned away from me.  What was the alternative? HATE?  BITTERNESS? VENGEANCE? TERMINAL CYNICISM?

Acceptance won the day.  What resignation, trying to forget, or distracting myself with a thousand activities could not accomplish, acceptance did.  As Amy Carmichael wrote, "In acceptance lieth peace."

Pamela Reeve states that this did not happen overnight it was a process.  A worthwhile process. We must allow God to work in our lives and the ones we Love.  She did come out on the other side to that pool of water in the desert that satisfies our thirst, and so will we.  

Nana