Saturday, December 17, 2011

If only...

     Last Sunday my husband, David, and I spent time watching sermons we had recorded over the past week.  T.D. Jakes.  Joel Osteen.  Joyce Meyer.  Jentezen Franklin.  Jesse Duplantis.  We both were sick with colds and as much as we wanted to get out of the house and to a church... sitting in a pew coughing and sneezing to share our colds with everyone... just didn't seem right.

     While we missed the fellowship of being in church, it was good to get submerged in the Word from so many incredible pastors.  What made it even more incredible is that the underlying message from all of them was the same.

     When we make up our minds to live for God... live as God desires... then we live a life filled for His purpose and He blesses us richly.  When we do the 'right' thing, when we do our best for Him, when we believe on Him and in Him....

     The key is to make that decision when things are good so that we can stick to it when things are bad.     It can be so easy to follow God's will in our lives when the sun is shining, work is going well, bank accounts are full, the car runs great, we're in good health, and even the pug dog is fat and happy.

     But the challenge comes when those things change.  We can become resentful, jealous, angry.  We compare ourselves to others, 'coveting' what success someone else might have.  Those days it rains, when we dislike our jobs, when paychecks don't stretch as far as you need them to, when the car's warning lights stay on and it rattles when it runs, when we are sick, and even when the dog bites us...  Those are the times when we find ourselves bargaining with God, making promises that we will be better "if only..."

     "If only..."  Two words that can carry so much weight in our lives, and can do so much damage.

     I also watched a movie this week, House of Sand and Fog, which was based on a novel by Andre Dubus III.  Towards the end of the movie, one of the main characters was praying to his god for the life of his son.  "If only" his god would save his son, he would make everything right.

     We are to do the right things, to live by the example set for us the best we can, to fulfill His purpose for us, to share His word and His love.  There is no "if only" in His desires or promises for us.  Why should we put an "if only" on our promises to Him?

45 Not one of all the Lord's good promises to Israel failed; every one was fulfilled.
~ Joshua 21:45 ~


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