Thursday, October 6, 2011

Daily Pop Quizzes... on Obedience!

Every morning the Bible app that I have on my phone sends me a notification to read that day's verse and passage. It's pretty convienent and has really caused me to stay in the Word on a daily basis. I usually read the verse and passage that it has scheduled for that day and then try to keep that particular word in my mind and heart, and really focus on it as I go through my daily activities. The verse that comes up each morning is just an individual scripture that is randomly selected for that day; so... when I started using this app, I decided just to trust that God had picked that particular scripture for me for that day and go with it! Several times just during this week it really seemed to be that God was using that randomly selected verse to teach and test me on being obedient to His word and will.

On Monday, both my husband and I were struggling with trying to understand God's will for us and the fact that it may not match up with our wills at this time. My verse for that day...  Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on you own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make straight your paths. When I read that verse on Monday morning I couldn't help but let out a little giggle and say, "Thank you God! Thank you for reminding me that You are in control and all I have to do is trust in You!" And as I went throughout my day, every time I felt myself falling back into discouragement and questioning "why?" I would pull that scripture back up and read over it again. Then... God impressed me to text that verse to my husband. I was like, "ummm.. okay God...  he is gonna think I'm weird just texting him a Bible verse randomly!" But I trusted Him and did it anyways, and that night when we were getting settled for the night my husband asked me if I had picked that verse especially for him or if it really was my random verse for the day. I explained that it was just my random scripture and all said was "hhhmmm... .okay!" That was enough confirmation for me! I knew just by the tone in his "hmmm" and the look on his face that it was the perfect scripture for him at that time. So... not only did Monday's little pop quiz on trust and obedience lift my spirits and reassure me that God is in control; but it also encouraged and ministered to my husband. That's pretty amazing!!!

Tuesday's pop quiz, on the other hand, was a little bit tougher! Ephesians 4:29 Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouth, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. Now when I read this on Tuesday morning, I was like "oh yeah... I got this one! I don't talk corrupting talk!" Ummm WRONG!!! I should have known that if Eph 4:29 was my scripture for the day... I was going to be tested on it. As soon as I got to work on Tuesday, it seemed like everything thing that could have gone wrong...DID go wrong. It was a stressful day, I was in a bad mood, and EVERYONE around me was talking corrupting talk! Nothing good for building up of anything or anyone and definitely no grace at all! I was overwhelmed with the negativity and felt myself falling into the complaining and murmuring that was going on around me. And then I realized what was going on ... I started repeating the verse over and over and OVER again to myself. I think I probably looked back at that verse 15-20 times throughout the day and asking God to help me control my thoughts and my mouth! And then He did... all of the sudden, in the midst of everyone else complaining, I said: "my scripture for today said for me not to let any corrupting or bad talk come out of my mouth. So I'm not talking about this!" I thought to myself, "wow... did I just really say that out loud!" and all the others around me just kind of stopped and stared at me for a minute. I didn't even really care that they may have thought I was weird. All I know is that I was obeying God and they stopped talking negatively about everything (at least around me anyways)! But wheewwww... what a test!!!

So now every morning when I read my randomly selected scripture, I realize it isn't really random at all! It is God's little pop quiz for me on how well I am going to obey Him that day... and I like it! I feel like He is training me and preparing me for bigger and more life-impacting situations that may come along in the future. So I'll keep taking these pop quizzes on a daily basis and pray that God teaches me unconditional trust and obedience through them!!!

Monday, October 3, 2011

Being Still...on the go!

Psalms 46:10 Be still and know that I am God...
       This is perhaps the most well know Bible verse where God is telling us to be still and if you go back and read the entire chapter before we get to this verse, you will see that there is quite a variety of chaotic circumstances going on that would cause anything but "stillness." Yet He says "be still and know that I am God." He tries to remind them that He is in the midst of all the chaos AND He is still in charge of all things.
      Our lives are so often full of chaos and clutter that, like in Psalms, we forget who is in charge of it all. God wants to remind us that He is in the midst of all things and He will be our help and place of refuge if we will just allow Him to do so. I know, I know... being still in this day and age is so hard. Between work, daily tasks, and maintaining personal relationships with those around us... who has time to be still? We are constantly on the go. But somehow we have to find a way to still ourselves... our inner selves, our minds, hearts, and spirits. We need give God an opportunity to be our help and our place of refuge.
       Recently, I have found that it is in the moments when I am doing my most routine, daily activities that I am able to still myself, my mind, and my heart. Now while this could never take the place of truly being completely still in mind, heart, and body, it is during these basic daily tasks that I am able to tune in to God and listen to Him, converse with Him, and worship Him. I may still be physically on the go (getting ready for work, driving to and from work, fixing supper), but I am still. The routineness of those activities allows me to tune out every other thought and know that He is my God, He is in control of my every situation, and He will be my help and place of refuge if I will only realize that He is in the midst of it all. AND... guess what... He says that once we are still and know that He is God... the rest of the world will also begin to know that He is God! They will notice a change in us. He says that He "will be exalted among the heathen." Imagine that... there are a lot of great things that could come from us just taking the time and making a conscious effort to Be Still...even when we are on the go!