Decided

Exodus 36:7 “…what they already had was more than enough to do all the work.”

Giving thanks in a season of Thanksgiving may or may not come easy. He has sustained us, provided and deserves to be given all of our thanks and praise.  Even while we wait on God to answer our prayers, I am deciding to keep on thanking and praising Him for all that He has done in the past and all that He will do in the future.

I give God my praise, my thanks, my concerns, my heartbreak, my stress, my disappointments, my victories and my what ifs.  He has shown His unfailing love to me so it is my desire to speak and write thanks to God.

In our current season of applying to universities and waiting, I am learning to give Him my praise and thanks and to expect Him to open the right doors of opportunities for my child. He has a grand plan for each step that she will take on a college campus and on the major for which He has designed her. I am trusting Him to take what my husband and I have brought to Him, our dedication of our child to Him, our thanks for the miracle of life and praise for His Provision and Character, and to build the future for my child that only He can design.

The Bible gives us a visual on how God works regarding what people gave to Him.  Consider how God provided for His multi-million dollar Sanctuary dream in Exodus.  He arranged the details of materials and gifted people in the building of the Sanctuary.  After Moses spent sacred time with the LORD on Mount Sinai, he assembled the Israelite community and shared the materials/needs list with them which would be needed to create the Sanctuary in Exodus 35: 5-9.  

God told them what was needed and commanded those who were willing to bring the materials so that work could begin on the Sanctuary.  The people whose hearts were stirred and willing brought what they had as an offering to the LORD.  They willingly brought the materials so that they could build a Holy Place in which His Presence would dwell. He already knew how his Holy Place would look so these materials would be used specifically.  In addition, he had given skills to tradespeople who would use the materials to build the sanctuary to the exact specifications.  

Eventually, the workers told Moses that what they had was more than enough to do all of the work. God’s pattern was to provide so that His Presence would be welcomed and potential outcomes became possible.  

When I see how God supplied the need to build a Sanctuary for His Presence to dwell, I notice God’s pattern and provision in planning.  If he provided more than enough back then, I am confident that he will keep providing today for us.  As a Believer in Christ, we are the Temple of the living God so he cares about how our lives are planned and how provision is implemented.

In the building of the Sanctuary, it was the people’s obedience that paved the way for the work that lay ahead.  In our lives, as we bring our will and resources to Him, He sees the building blocks to craft his dream for us and our children.  Obedience opens our Father’s opportunity preparing us for His Best Plan!

Those who were willing decided to bring what they had and it made all the difference in accomplishing the purpose of God.  He wants us to also bring what we have to Him because it really matters. He wants our heartbreak, the gut wrenching groans, the tear stained face.  He knows that as we give what we have, even giving our brokenness to Him, He takes it and uses it in the journey toward healing. It matters what we share with God.  He will provide a sense of help, wholeness and restoration when we have welcomed Him and given Him our truth.  

I may not feel that I have a lot to give, but I choose to give Him my thanks for all that He has done in my life. Make no mistake, I need to thank and praise Him so much more, but know that when I have stopped to give Him what I have, even if it was my thanks on hard days, I have experienced His presence and witnessed His building of my spirit when it was torn down.  

I can trust God to move mightily and provide more than enough to see me through difficult moments.  The people in Exodus couldn’t see the finished Sanctuary when they were bringing their supplies to the builders, but they had faith in the ones who could bring a dream to a reality.  I also have full faith in God to take my thanks and build His vision for my future and for the future of my family.

What will you decide to give to God in this season? All I know is that when you make the decision to bring and offer what you have, He takes care of building His vision for your life. Make no mistake, the God who used what the people brought to Him in Exodus, is the same God who is using what people today offer back to Him. He is our Provision, our Protector and our Peace Maker.

My Prayer Today:

Father,

I praise you for your unfailing love. Your gift on the cross has redeemed my life and given a lifetime of grace. I appreciate you and honor you with my life and words.

I love that you show us stories of how you acted mightily on the behalf of your people throughout the Bible. Your pattern is to provide so that your Presence will be welcomed. Potential outcomes become possible because of your plan. Lord Jesus, I offer up praise and thanks as a mom who wants your Holy Spirit to walk with my children every day of their lives and to open the right doors for them.

I will admit, the waiting on the college acceptance letters and wondering how it will be paid for is consuming my thoughts. Please, Lord Jesus, allow your peace to stand at guard around our hearts and minds as we wait on you. We have dedicated our child back to you and honored you by teaching her your Word both at home, in the car and at church. I know that you are working and helping her see that the next year will be a new beginning as she begins college. Please help her to make the best choice and provide for every single need that we will have. You make streams in the desert. I know you are a good God, giving good gifts to your children. I just ask now that in the strong and mighty name of Jesus, you will guide us into all truth and provide for her as you unfold your perfect plan.

We don’t deserve it, but still you are so good to us. I thank you and praise you for the way you provided in the building of your Sanctuary. Many people used their talents to build it and others brought what they had so it could be built. We are giving you what we have, our praise, our thanks and our requests, so you can open the doors into the future for our child. We welcome your Presence so that potential outcomes can be revealed in your timing.

And, Father. Help this Momma’s heart. As we’ve visited Universities in the past year, my heart leaps for joy over the college life that awaits our child while also making me feel a bit uneasy. Help me to not be upset or anxious. I give those kinds of thoughts to you now. I praise you and thank you for helping us as parents and for helping our child. Now, please stand at guard around our hearts and mind so that your peace that transcends all understanding will protect us.

It is in the strong and mighty name of Jesus that I pray.


Propelled

“What’s that sound?” I asked my husband as we were slowly traveling through our cove in a lake. This squeaky noise got louder then went away once we accelerated into open lake water only to appear again about 15 minutes into our trip. Dark clouds appeared on the horizon so he turned the boat around only to hear that awful something-is-wrong-with-this-boat clamor. We arrived back in our cove and creeped back to our dock. The screeching originated from the back of the boat.

No working boat meant our daughters’ times to go tubing were gone. My husband had spent a dozen Saturdays replacing the floor and wood which had rotted in places. He had installed new carpet on the boat and fixed upholstery. Now, none of this mattered.

After my husband and his dad investigated the noise, they decided the propeller needed replacing. No propeller resulted in our boat sitting still. So, they drove 30 minutes away to buy a new propeller then installed it with the boat in the water as dusk fell.

The boat is like a new one now going even faster than before.

Just replacing the propeller allowed the new propeller to work with, not against, the engine to propel the boat forward. The old propeller looked exhausted, having broken chunks and dings all over it. The new one created new thrust so we could have forward momentum across the lake.

How do you know when to replace a boat’s propeller before it breaks while you’re on the boat? The experts recommend overhauling your propeller if one of three issues are present:

1.) Your propeller has been damaged due to impact or corrosion.

2.) You have exceeded your propeller’s operational life limit.

3. You are looking for a significant performance increase.

From: http://hartzellprop.com/consider-propeller-replacement/

The boat must have an engine and a propeller in order to work properly. Sure, we had paddles on the boat but wouldn’t need to use them since the forward momentum should happen when the engine and propeller work together.

In our lives as Believers in Jesus, the Holy Spirit provides power for service and boldness to share the good news that Jesus saves. I have realized now that we are like the propeller and the Holy Spirit is the engine. If I am spiritually healthy, my life will have a greater impact when my heart is in alignment with the Holy Spirit. God guides me, propelling me into the steps that He has planned for me. But sometimes, I realize I am not headed anywhere based on hurtful memories or damaging words from someone in my life and pressure to be everything to everyone.

In order for a boat or airplane to remain safe and healthy, a propeller assessment is needed to be sure that the vehicle works with the engine and arrives safely to its destination. We could use the same criteria that propeller experts use to evaluate our lives.

1. Have we been damaged by impact or corrosion? Have the actions of another dented our bumper? Could the corrosive effects of hurt and shame cover our forgiven and free hearts? I assure you that God heard those comments from people who hurt you. Ask Him to give you the courage to stand. Ephesians 6:13-19 reminds us of what to do when we are under fire or been damaged in some way:

Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness, and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace; above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God; praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, being watchful to this end with all perseverance and supplication for all the saints— and for me, that utterance may be given to me, that I may open my mouth boldly to make known the mystery of the gospel.

2. Have we exceeded our operational life limits? Have all the pressures that pull at us caused exhaustion or a time of stalling? When we feel tired, worn out and not enough, then it is time to stop, cry out to God and lay it all out before Him.

Our propeller couldn’t stand it any longer so it screeched. Are you making comments that in retrospect show burn out? I know that God can restore even the most tired and worn out person. All we have to do is ask Him to help in our time of need. Psalm 46:1 reminds us to let God take care of us when we feel that we are not enough. He is always enough for us. Psalm 46:1 “God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”

3. Are we looking to increase our performance?

I would like for God to help me to speak life and share truth from His Word effectively. I like to blog and pray that the Holy Spirit works in the hearts of readers. I think it is interesting that Paul asked others to pray specifically for him because he wanted to increase his effectiveness. I also desire for God to increase my effectiveness in my marriage, my parenting, my health and in my relationships with others. Here is insightful commentary on Paul’s request:

Paul asked for prayer to have a bold and clear proclamation of the Gospel.

The gospel was of first importance for the Apostle Paul (1 Corinthians 15:3). His gospel focus comes out in his personal prayer requests.

He requests prayer for the right words in sharing the gospel (Ephesians 6:19), to proclaim the gospel without fear (Ephesians 6:20), clarity in communication (Colossians 4:4), doors to be opened for the gospel (Colossians 4:2), and that God’s word would speed ahead and be honored (2 Thessalonians 3:1). He doesn’t want to leave any room for miscommunication but rather prays and requests prayer for the gospel to “run” through his ministry.

This focus shows the deep compassion and eternal focus of Paul–something we would all be better to emulate.”

From: https://www.leadershipresources.org/blog/prayer-requests-of-paul/

My prayer is that we will ask God to empower us to stand, to extend His grace to help in our times of need and to effectively communicate with others. I want the gospel of Jesus to be my focus so that others may know Him. A spiritual overhaul that can only be accomplished through the Holy Spirit working in our lives will increase our life’s peace and joy in the journey.

If we are to propel effectively like God designed us, then we must evaluate ourselves then let the Holy Spirit do the heart overhaul.