This past weekend and beginning of this week I traveled to Jackson, Michigan for a Youth Pastor’s Retreat (thank you Pastor Jeff T. from Plymouth for putting it together). As I was heading up to the retreat my GPS took me to a different location than the actual cabin.. This happened 4 times that weekend as we traveled to various restaurants and locations. Each time I plugged an address into my GPS somehow it took me to a totally different place, it was insane! I wondered to myself, “how does everyone else’s GPS work just fine but I’m lost every time?!”. I quickly discovered on my quiet hour ride home today that God was allowing me to experience a message. My GPS quickly stood for, Gods on Purpose Situations as he was revealing to me the importance of seeking his face as a first resort. You see, there is a common thing that occurs each and every time I am stuck at a location that was not intended to be my final destination. There is ONE common thing I do when I am lost and have NO other choice. I must call my husband.. No, just kidding, but I have to ask for help or I must use a different online GPS. I am 100% reliant if I am lost, on my GPS, so I will sit in my unknown location for as long as it takes until my GPS gives me a second option or shows me the correct path. It hit me like the worst dad joke you’ve ever heard on my way home.. I realized there is one common factor when I hit rock bottom too. There is one common denominator when I have nothing left and I feel so hopeless..
Just like when I get lost and have NO choice but to turn to my GPS when I get overwhelmed, afraid, hopeless, or torn apart the only solution is my God. What also occurred to me is that we spend so much time crying to the sky sounding something like this..
- Lord, how could you do this to me?
- Lord, I am a good person I don’t deserve this!
- Lord, how could you make my life so miserable?
Just to name a few, Sound familiar? We spend so much time blaming God for everything wrong in our lives that we don’t realize when we are in the most turmoil God is holding us closer than ever. When we go through the deepest of waters God is more present and in our midst than ever before.
“Beware that in your plenty, you do not forget the Lord your God and disobey his commands…” (Deuteronomy 8:11)
Moses is clearly describing our lives in 2015 much clearer than we even realize in this scripture. When we have plenty it is easy to let God fall on our priority list and lose sight of his promises by keeping his commands. I am not suggesting that God sends havoc and lightening bolts on his people who forget about him, but I am saying the storms don’t always have to be storms from the devil. How often as Christians do we say, “The enemy is just taking hold of me right now”? Way too often. The real issue is we struggle to view God as one who would challenge us in life to discover his Glory and Grace. Just as Moses described in Deutoronomy we have such a struggle leaning on Jesus and obeying those commands in Christ when life is great.
Why would we not take some of the storms as blessings from God?
I lived 22 years as what I would probably best describe as an Atheist. The beauty of spending 22 years without God is that it becomes SO clear how much you need him when it hits you that you believe. Your heart becomes on fire for Christ because you know the withdraw of life without him. What if we all realized we could spend eternity without him? What if we realized that WE are supposed to struggle that burden everyday as Christians. What if I suggested that WE were responsible for preaching the word to open the door for their relationship with Christ to begin? NO WAY! That is way too heavy huh? The crazy thing is that IS our jobs as we acknowledge our call we are taking on that heavy task of being exactly who Jesus called us to become and do his work. How could we ever do his work if we can’t praise him and worship him above all else? If he isn’t the center of our lives how can we preach the true Gospel to others?
STOP. Stop assuming that every storm is the enemy and START realizing that centering our lives in Christ means surrendering it all no matter what the circumstances are. Start being submerged in Gods word every day to remind yourself even when you have “plenty” that you have nothing without him. Don’t let the long days, rough nights, and a heavy ministry blindside you from your number one task.. Loving and surrendering to God.
#Heisfirst #SurrenderAll #ChristCentered #GPS