Friday, May 31, 2013

Proverbs 19:21 I like "easy!"

I don’t know about you, but I like things that come easily to me! I’m not a fan of the challenging! Don just left at 6:30 in the morning to go for a hike up Mt. Baldy with a good friend. He was so excited to do this. I’m thinking, “Why on earth????” What could possibly be fun about a steep climb up a mountain on a hot day? Let me sit in the recliner and read a novel for a couple of hours! That’s my idea of fun!

This morning I read a devotional that reminded me, however, that if what I am doing for the LORD is easy, then it’s probably not what He has planned for me! Our God is so big and His plans are so great, why would we think He wants us to think small? And then I read this verse in Proverbs:

Many are the plans in a man’s heart,

    but it is the LORD’s purpose that prevails. (Proverbs 19:21 ESV)

My plans seem so puny! Finish out my teaching career in a few years, and then retire! Sounds fine, right? But what I want more than anything is what the LORD wants for my life. What might He have for me to do if I’ll only seek His will above mine? If I don’t need to rely completely on Him to accomplish something I’m doing, then I must not be reaching high enough! Now, this particular year of teaching actually DID need a complete and total reliance on Him to get me through! It was the most difficult year I’ve ever experienced for a myriad of reasons. But, as always, He has faithfully brought me through, and has taught me so many things in the process!

I think most of us, even if we honestly do want to be in His will, nevertheless make our own plans. We dream up our own area of ministry, hoping He’ll bless it. And don’t we love doing the things which come easily to us? Well, Jesus was very clear that being His follower was NOT the easy way! Picking up your cross requires a lot of sweat! He warns us over and over of the difficulty involved in choosing to be His disciple. So why are we surprised, and why do we whine when faced with a challenge?

One of my favorite life verses is Ephesians 3:20.

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us... 

I’ve always read that with the thought that God does so much more than we can even imagine - and certainly that is what it says. But if you read what comes before and after this verse, you get a bigger picture of what that “more abundantly” might encompass. It is part of Paul’s glorious prayer for the Ephesians. Note the scope of the prayer:

For this reason I bow my knees before the Father,  from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named,  that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being,  so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love,  may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth,  and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God. 

Now to him who is able to do far more abundantly than all that we ask or think, according to the power at work within us,  to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever. Amen. (verses 14-21)

What big plans God has for us! He wants us to glorify Him - and that does not involve easy and puny! Yet, whatever He calls us to do, He also equips us to do. He will strengthen us with that same power that raised Christ from the dead! Now, I’m truthfully hoping that won’t involve climbing a mountain, but I’m at least praying to be willing to think beyond retirement! How about you?

Can’t sign off without saying, “Happy Birthday” to my darling Molly! Thirty-eight years ago today my life completely changed when that sweet angel child was placed in my arms. Love you, dear Molly!  

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