Tuesday, August 16, 2011
Building the character
Today we face battles of every kind. Some bring us to our breaking point, but more importantly they bring us to our knees. A friend today shared with me, "You have a King in you. You can conquer it!" (Thanks, Roberta) How true. We do have a King who lives and He lives within us. Why do I see these big battles with fear and trepidation? Why do I back away and think they are too big for this girl? Satan would love nothing better than for us to crumble. We must remember, nothing is too big for God.
I had to ask myself, "Am I putting on my armor?" I have designer armor, you know. Yes, indeed! It was designed by God, Himself and it is fear proof and fail proof. When we are allowing God to guard us and live through us there is no need for fear. He has conquered that battle already. He is the Victor! There is no failure when we are living in His will. Now, if I step out of His will and try to conquer those big things in life all on my own, failure is just about emanate. I cannot do it alone, but with Him, what? ALL things are possible!
Have you ever picked up a novel and read the last chapter first? I am so guilty of this. I know, some may think it spoils the story, but for me, it only makes it more real and exciting. I will read the first chapter and then I move to that last chapter. See, that way I know how the story begins and ends. That way no matter what happens in the middle of the storyline, I already know the grace and hope that abounds in those last pages. To me, that is pretty cool.
We know how the story begins. God created us in His image. I think that is even too much for me to fathom. Oh, the love He has for us. We too know how the story ends. Jesus returns for those who believe in Him and we spend all of eternity with Him. That too, is huge. Too much for me to try to gather in my brain. I think of the greatness of God and I am on overload. He is too big for me to understand, but what I understand is, even in my shortness, He still loves me. Even when I fail and move out of His will, His love never stops for me. Oh, the healing grace of unconditional love.
What we really fear is all that stuff that flows in the middle. Am I right? We seem to forget how important the beginning and ending of the story is for us to live out each day in faith. Faith is living in the middle without fear. It is stepping into the storyline not knowing what the next page will reveal, but knowing whatever it holds, God is already there. He wrote my script. The pen is still in His hand. We should find great comfort in knowing He is in total control. Total control even when we are out of His will. He has a way of bringing us back in as our character continues to grow.
God's Word begins with a great love story. God creates man and woman. He loves us. He wants to be with us. His Word ends in love too. Revelation closes the chapter on book one and leads us on to the second book of the series. One that we should be yearning for. One that we should be excited about and waiting for it to hit the stands. It will be unfolded before our eyes. Just as in the Old Testament they didn't have our bible in front of them. It was being written as they lived. As they faced trial and tragedy. As they walked with God and moved away from Him. We now have their story in our hands to learn from and praise the mighty God who brings it all together for us.
It doesn't matter what we face today, we can do so knowing we have the power and might of the Holy Spirit living within us. We can face that fear head on know that even though we may fall short, with Christ in our lives we can stand tall and conquer all that comes our way!
"For everyone has sinned; we fall short of God's glorious standard. Yet God, with undeserved kindness, declares that we are righteous. He did this through Christ Jesus when He freed us from the penalty for our sins. For God presented Jesus as the sacrifice for sin. People are made right with God when they believe that Jesus sacrificed His life, shedding His blood. This sacrifice shows that God was being fair when He held back and did not punish those who sinned in times past, for He was looking ahead and including them in what He would do in this present time. God did this to demonstrate His righteousness, for He Himself is fair and just, and He declares sinners to be right in His sight when they believe in Jesus." Romans 3:23-26
"We can rejoice, too, when we run into various problems and trials, for we know that they help us develop endurance. And endurance develops strength of character, and character strengthens our confident hope of salvation. And this hope does not disappoint. For we know how dearly God loves us, because He has given us the Holy Spirit to fill our hearts with His love." Romans 5:3-5
"Don't you realize that all of you together are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God lives in you? God will destroy anyone destroys this temple. For God's temple is holy, and you are that temple." 1 Corinthians 3:16-17
God didn't give us the Holy Spirit and all of our spiritual gifts to remain hidden. He wants to expose all to His glory. As He is writing our story, don't be afraid of what that next page holds. Don't fear what we don't know. So many times that is exactly what I do. I fear the very things that haven't happened. My faith needs to be alive and well for me to succeed as a child of God. Success is not worldly treasures, but releases all that God has for us and watching it grow. I am always going to fall short. No doubt about that, but in my short comings, God shows His might. He conquers those big things in life that overwhelm me. He casts out all fear just by His presence.
Before you think of what is going to happen in the next scene, take time and enjoy the chapter your in today. Even if it holds the unexpected. Pay attention to detail. My husband jokes and says that I miss everything that is above 5'3. Friends, that is why God made tip toes. Stand in excitement. Sit on the very edge of your seat ready and empowered by Him to take that leap of faith into all He has created just for you. Sure, there might be some chapters we don't enjoy. There might even be some that we would like to skip over. To that I say, don't close your eyes in fear. Read on, my friends. God isn't finished with us yet. Our story is still being written, and our Creator knows just how great that last chapter is!