TTHE PERHAPS PARADOX

Culled from the SUN STAND STILL Devotional by Steven Furtick

1Samuel 14:1-14

In today’’s reading the army of King Saul has been locked in a standoff against the Philistines. And Jonathan, the king’’s son, has become so aggravated with the inaction of his fellow warriors that he decides to make a bold move. He enlists his armor bearer to join him on a two-man commando raid.

His battle plan is potentially God inspired— – and a little ludicrous. The two young men will openly approach the enemy outpost. If they get a go-ahead sign from God, they will attack. A borderline suicide mission. But if God is with them, Jonathan figures, nothing can stop them.

In his motivational speech to his bodyguard, Jonathan seems to be speaking out of both sides of his mouth: •

– Nothing can hinder the Lord.

– Perhaps the Lord will act.

At first glance this seems like spiritual schizophrenia.

But perhaps Jonathan isn’’t schizophrenic. Perhaps true faith always feels this way. On the one hand, I know that God is able to do anything. On the other hand, I think He’’s willing to do this specific thing. I know God can. And I’’m pretty sure He will. But I can’’t be completely sure.

That’’s where audacious faith comes in.

Audacity isn’’t the absence of uncertainty and ambiguity. Audacity is believing that God’s promise is bigger than my perhaps.

The Bible says that God’’s Word is a lamp unto our feet (Psalm 119:105), not a floodlight beaming to our destination. So, armed with the confidence that there’’s a decent chance and an interesting possibility that my impulse might be from God (perhaps, in other words), I start investigating.

We’’d all like to live in a world where God lets us do big things that require minimal risk. Where the voice of the Holy Spirit carries for miles and miles, piercing through static and fuzz, jeers and taunts. The fact is, though, that the land where the sun stands still is a land where promise and perhaps must coexist. Audacious faith does not eliminate doubt and fear. It eclipses their power one decision at a time. You know God’’s will by doing God’’s will.

Jonathan and his armor bearer ended up saving the day in a spectacular way. Their act of audacious faith tilted the fate of an entire nation.

Act on your “perhaps”, and see what God will do in your world.

THE GRASS IS NOT GREENER ON THE OTHER SIDE

We were told as children that the grass is not greener on the other side simply because things are not always what they seem, but I have come to realize that yes the neighbors grass may actually be greener than mine but it is because my neighbor tends to his grass. The truth is that the grass is always greener where you water and fertilize it.

And being thankful—really intentionally listing out things for which we are thankful—is a great way to start watering and fertilizing. It changes everything.

So bring out your shears, trowels, fertilizers, etc and let’s get to work making our own grass the greenest it can be!

1 Chronicles 16:8

“Give praise to the Lord, proclaim his name; make known among the nations what he has done.”

Colossians 2:6-7

“So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live your lives in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.”

1 Timothy 4:4-5

“For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving, because it is consecrated by the word of God and prayer.”

Colossians 3:15

“Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

Phillipians 4:6

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.”

Jeremiah 30:19

“From them will come songs of thanksgiving and the sound of rejoicing. I will add to their numbers, and they will not be decreased; I will bring them honor, and they will not be disdained.”

1 Corinthians 1:4

“I always thank my God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus.”

Revelation 11:17

“We give thanks to you, Lord God Almighty, the One who is and who was, because you have taken your great power and have begun to reign.”

Psalm 100:4

“Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.”

MEND THE BROKEN

““They have treated superficially the [bloody] broken wound of My people, Saying, ‘Peace, peace,’ When there is no peace.”

‭‭JEREMIAH‬ ‭6:14‬ ‭AMP‬‬

Many times when we suffer pains or hurts, we spend years hiding from that pain instead of dealing with it, we use “Christianese” to cover up. ‘It is well’ we say, ‘God is in control’ we say, ‘nobody understands’ we say, and many more such words that come from our lips and not our hearts. We wallow in a place of despair, pain, discouragement, we trudge on alone, putting up a brave face, hanging on by a thread yet on the inside we are shattered and broken. We put on bandaids saying, ‘it’s not so bad’ yet the wound festers, the pain deepens. Because we don’t deal with the pain, the pain steadily and surely deals with us. Before we know it, it begins to manifest in extraordinarily low self-esteem and acute vulnerability to dysfunctional relationships.

The brethren are no help either as we either ignore or fail to notice the pain that is etched deep in the eyes and souls of outbreaks brother or sister, even when they reach out for help, we do not hear or make them feel less than just because they dared to be vulnerable.

The time has come for us to allow ourselves be open with one another in Christ, to be the ear that our sister needs, the shoulder our brother needs, the heart that feels and understands the pain in the eyes and souls of others.

Can we lay aside the religious bravado and allow ourselves to heal truly and fully? Can we help each other face the pains in their lives that have become giants threatening their very existence, can we make room for them to open up and deal with their fears that they might find peace?

We can only overcome what we have confronted and confronted truthfully! Our comforter and ever present help, the Holy Spirit is there always to help us

Your story is not over because of past pains and hurts, You can overcome, you will overcome, I am not saying it will be easy.  I am saying it will be worth it.  And YOU are worth it!

REACH FOR YOUR DREAMS

“Too many people are not living their dreams because they are living their fears.”

From The Confident Woman Devotional by Joyce Meyers

This word hit my so strongly this morning. I realized that all I do is to please and make everyone around me happy and comfortable. I invest so much of myself to satisfy others and in the process lose sight on me. Don’t get me wrong, there is nothing wrong with doing things for the benefit of others, in fact so much joy is derived from doing just that. Jesus our example tells us to bear each other’s burdens, to live at peace with All as much as lies within us. My point this morning is that in doing that we should not lose sight of who we are, we should not forget to be the men/women God created us to be, we should not please men and displease God!

In other words, instead of doing things out of our heart, we do them because we are afraid of what will happen if we don’t. “Someone will get angry! I will get left out! People will talk about me!” It is time that we started being the person we really want to be. The person God created us to be! The World Changers! The Overcomers! The Winners! It is time to reach for your dreams.

YOU ARE VALUABLE

“Others were given in exchange for you. I traded their lives for yours because you are precious to me. You are honored, and I love you. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will gather you and your children from east and west.”

‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭43:4-5‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You are special to God, it doesn’t matter how you feel, what people have told you, the unequivocal truth is that YOU ARE VALUABLE TO GOD! YOU ARE SPECIAL IN HIS EYES! GOD LOVES AND CHERISHES YOU!