This morning I read and re-read this passage which states “And as Jesus passed by, He saw a man which was blind from his birth. And His disciples asked Him, saying, Master, who did sin, this man, or his parents, that he was born blind? Jesus answered, neither hath this man sinned, nor his parents: but that the works of God should be made manifest in him.”
Whenever we have a challenge, it is never, ever punishment but is only the opportunity to know God better and our relationship to Him! There can be no inheritance of family weaknesses or traits when we truly understand everything is to glorify God. So often, we want to look for a cause in the human scene and that search only leads to confusion. By keeping our focus on God/Good, what we need to know is always revealed to us. Man can never be separated from God.
This morning while at my desk studying and praying before starting my day, I glance out my back window. There I see doves playing in the bird bath, squirrels scampering about and deer running by. This scene is absolutely captivating as I realize it has not changed, probably for years and years, but my “seeing” has changed. Not too long ago, I would have never seen this due to “busyness” but it has always been here. What else have I overlooked? II Corinthians 9:8 states “And God is able to make all grace abound toward you; that ye, always having all sufficiency in all things, may abound to every good work:” Today, I will be aware of what I am seeing and how I am looking.
Recently I was thinking about small children dressed as ghost and goblins for Halloween. When we open the door to pass out candy, we even feign fear and surprise at whatever costume that is before us. But never, do we believe for an instant that the child wearing that costume is what he/she is portraying. As we think of an adult with an unpleasant character trait, shouldn’t we see that as not belonging to God’s precious creation?
Ephesians 1:32 states “And be ye kind one to another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, even as God for Christ’s sake hath forgiven you.” Today, I will not be fooled by anything ungodlike belonging to one of His children, including myself. That will include even a physical ailment!
The very instant we experience adversity, doubt about God and His goodness come flooding into our consciousness. Actually, at that exact time, we can turn from fear and know God is just working His purpose out. It seems so easy to turn to discouragement but the Christ, Truth is just waiting for us to replace our thoughts about self and replace them with thoughts about God and our relationship to Him. “Turn the other cheek” which could just mean look at the situation from a different angle.
Isaiah 55:8-9 reads “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declare the Lord. As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts.” That verse is self-explanatory to me. Don’t trust my thoughts unless they are from God. If we are entertaining negativity of any sort, we know that is NOT from Him and then, we simply and humbly ask to see what He sees, which is always His perfect child. He also works out every detail and takes you all the way! Not partially, but all the way.
This morning as I was working with the term “self-immolation”, the thought came to me of all self-pity, justification, righteousness, absorption and on and on. To self-immolate means to kill off pity, self-righteousness, absorption, etc. Then as I researched more about the word “immolate”, I saw it also means sacrifice and/or blessing. This was so interesting to me because when I truly listen to God, I remove all sense of “self” and the blessing appears.
Philippians 4:4-6 states “Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God.” I can only hear God when I am mentally on bended knee with no sense of self and this occurs by putting God first.
Today, I will practice trusting God with small things while things are running smoothly. By doing this, when a challenge appears, it can be treated and dismissed as a pebble rather than a mountain. Spiritual senses is strengthened by doing just this!
Matthew 6:20-21 reads “But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”
While pondering about human popularity, I was gently reminded how important that was to me while in school many years ago. It seemed necessary to me for those to like me even when I may have not liked them in return. Many times, I have seen it in parents who want to be their children’s best friends or in jobs where the leader was obsessed with his popularity rating so that his job suffered.
When we put God first and realize He is our main concern, everything else falls into place. John 16:33 states “I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have perfect peace and confidence. In the world you have tribulation and trials and distress and frustration; but be of good cheer, take courage; be confident, certain, undaunted! For I have overcome the world. I have deprived it of power to harm you and have conquered it for you.”
We are never told that everyone is going to like us or agree with us. What is important is that we hear God and obey Him!