Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Getting Out of God's Way

My dad was a painter. He specialized in painting boats. I remember when I was in high school I would go and help my dad paint boats in the summer. Actually, I had to do the sanding and my dad did the painting. Every once in a while he would let me paint something, but often my dad would come over and re-do it. There were times when I felt like I was just in my dad’s way.

Do you ever feel like you are in God’s way? The truth is, sometimes we do get in God’s way. We get in God’s way when we say we are Christians but our actions don’t match our words. Then others will wonder what kind of God He is when His followers act like everyone else in the world. We get in God’s way when we are willful and don’t want to listen to what God has for us to do. We get in God’s way when we support the things of this world.

To get out of God’s way doesn’t mean to step aside and let God do the work. To get out of God’s way means we humble ourselves so that we have minds that will hear what God has to say to us. It means that we have hearts that receive God’s love to the point where His love overflows from us to others. It means that we follow God’s leading for our lives. It means that we make ourselves available to serve God wherever He might call us.

When we are able to get out of God’s way, we put ourselves in a place where God will use us, and bless us, and minister to others through us. God has chosen to impact this world through your life and mine. That is one of the main purposes of why we are on this earth (the primary one is to worship God and be in relationship with God). If we can understand this, and get out of God’s way, then wonderful and powerful things will happen!! Blessings.

Thursday, December 01, 2011

How Do You Handle Failure?

Just a couple of weeks ago the Los Angeles Galaxy professional soccer team won the Major League Soccer cup. In doing this they were considered ‘winners.’ This was an especially important win for English soccer player David Beckham, because he had been paid millions of dollars to come and help the Galaxy win. For four years they had failed to win the ultimate prize. So when they won this year, everybody applauded David Beckham for again being a winner.

The blunt truth is that there are very few “winners” the way the world defines this term. Out of 16 teams in the Major Soccer League, only the Galaxy won the cup. Out of 30 basketball teams in the NBA, only the Dallas Mavericks won the trophy. If we go by the world’s definition of winning, then all the other teams in these sports were failures; they failed to win it all.

I think we all too often apply this definition to our lives as well. We believe that if we don’t continue to climb the company ladder then we fail. We believe that if we aren’t making ‘lots’ of money, then we fail. We believe that if we don’t have a spouse, two kids, a house, and a dog, then we fail.

The good news is that God looks at things differently. 1 Samuel 16:7 tells us: “But the LORD said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The LORD does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.’” God looks at the heart.

It is true that we do fail in that we might fall short of the expectations of others, or we might fail to meet our goals. How do you handle failure? If you have the definition of the world, then it might lead you to get down on yourself or your life. But if you think about 1 Samuel 16:7, then you realize that what is important is the status of your heart.

As long as you are doing your best and seeking God’s will, then you will be fine. So, anytime you experience what seems like failure, then you need to seek after God, who will make sure your heart is in the right place, and set you off on the correct path again. Failure then turns into an opportunity to adjust ourselves in God’s will and to re-focus on the goal God has for us. Blessings.