Seeking, Finding, Accepting

My devotions started in one place this morning but ended up in quite another. Bear with me.We live in a world filled with people who say they are seeking God but yet scuff and bristle at words of instruction or advice. I am not picking on anyone in particular here but am betting that more than a few people fit the category. It is you, it is me, it is the world we live in.

 Lets make sure that we do not fall back on human nature as our excuse to live out what we know is wrong. It may be easy to say that “it is just who I am and how I am”, but the bottom line is we all make our own choices as to how we are and who we are.

I ran across Proverbs 14:6 and 18:1 today. They are started with the following phrases, “A scoffer seeks wisdom and finds none” and “ He who separates himself seeks his own desire” .

Could it be those who are seeking wisdom from God and not finding it are in themselves their biggest roadblock? Just asking, if it hit a nerve maybe that deserves a bit more prayer? If we are setting ourselves apart from God then we are certainly seeking that which pleases us and not God.

Those same verses end this way, “He quarrels against all sound wisdom”. It is the old I know what I want, I am going to get what I will argue against sound wisdom with every excuse in the book, no matter what stands in my way. The truth is offered and often glaring right in front of us, but so is evil.

However, scripture also says that knowledge comes easily to one who is in the presence of God. Understanding and knowledge will increase in a wise person who seeks knowledge in the presence of God. That is truth and what will get you the kind of knowledge that is profitable.

Oh but here comes the part that gets me every time. What if the knowledge I am seeking comes in the form of another human? You know that God sometimes sends those more experienced in Godly living than we are? Yes He does, is it comfortable, no it is not. Does it bring anger, at times, yes it does, that is simply human nature. But scripture says that a wise and understanding man WILL find the knowledge he seeks if he stays close to God.

It is when we step outside the presence of God and scurry back to our human (flesh) nature that we find ourselves being offended and even angry at words of truth being directed at us. Make no mistake, that instruction and wisdom that makes us uncomfortable can come from reading scripture that goes against our human nature, it can come from God pressing down on you (the voice over your shoulder) it can come from Godly counsel from a more mature Christian. We are human, our first instinct is to say how dare you…..blah, blah, blah.

Step back into the presence of God and see what He has to say, He does not mean to provoke anger, that comes directly from the foothold Satan has found to cling to. God gives us instruction so that we may live in harmony with Him. He gives us wisdom so that we may know and accept our inheritance and live in full blown color with Him.

Perhaps Ecclesiastes 1: 13 says it best…..and I set my mind to seek and explore by wisdom and concerning all that has been done under heaven. ……….

Or how about this one, Ecclesiastes 7:25, I directed my mind to know, to investigate and to seek wisdom and an explanation, and to know the evil of folly and the foolishness of madness. Notice the very first statement, “I set my mind and I directed my mind”, it seems that the ball is in our court!

Try it, see how it works for you.

Dottie

…………….and so I ride

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New Weight loss challenge, Day Two- Counting the Cost

Scripture given for the day. Matthew 16:24 If anyone would come after me, he must deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.

Ok, so maybe this isn’t going to be so easy. I am to tired to take up a cross, they are heavy.

There are preparations and plans that have to be made. But instead of buying special diet food, cleaning out cabinets that are loaded with junk food, we are traveling on a different road. Suddenly this seems to be getting more interesting.

We are told to think on the fact that there is a difference in the mindset of those who live a healthy life and are thin and those of us who struggle to lose or maintain their weight. The thin, healthy people make distinct and definite choices every day with regard to food, their health, their bodies, exercise and they probably look at life differently in general.

Maybe it is just me, but doesn’t that seem just a tad bit like a struggle and not a whole lot different than what we do every day. I think about what I eat, I think about exercise and my health. I think about, but avoid looking at my body. However, the difference that the founder of the group is trying to get me to see I believe, is that where I think about these things, those people who have achieved a healthy weight actually DO THOSE things.

If getting healthy and losing weight is really what your plan is, you have to do more than give it lip service or put on an outward show (as written about previously). If this is truly your goal, and mine, then we are going to have to make the changes necessary to do it. There is no magic bullet, we have searched and searched and not found it yet. I am quickly coming to the conclusion that it simply doesn’t exist.

Cathie told us to determine what we were willing to sacrifice to achieve our goals. Because at the end of the day, no matter what diet you are on, no matter who you are listening to, are you willing to accept that you, only you are one hundred percent responsible for your success or failure. I think that if we are honest here, we have simply avoided this fact. It can’t be our fault, we think about food every day, plan what we eat, when we eat it and how we eat it. Maybe it is time to step up and take that responsibility, you know, the one where you are responsible for what you eat, how you eat it, where you eat it, how much exercise you get and even how we think about life in general.

She points out the awesome example that the Bible gives us in the Hall of Faith in Hebrews 11. There are plenty of others also. Gideon, Samson and David, Daniel, Paul, Samuel and all the prophets. Take a look at these examples, they are motivation for what is possible if we only try. If it is going to be successful, the fact is, it is going to be hard work.

This is such a different approach for me however, not so much talking about what to eat or not to eat. Rather, asking if I am looking at the deeper issues of why I gained weight in the first place. Am I underestimating the efforts that are necessary for success? Getting real personal and deep into the. closed off parts of me that no one gets to see, such as do I feel worthy of being my best, am I sabotaging my own efforts? Again, I say, ………………oh……………..wow.

Matthew West says it best, (yes, we were given this also) “There is a way between guilt and grace, they are fighting for a sacred space. And the phrase that I should be looking at more deeply than any other, I AM LIVING PROOF THAT GRACE WINS EVERY TIME. Grace can reach us, it does reach us.

 Hallelujah, be certain that Grace will win every time!!!!

Let’s do this!

Dottie

……………and so I ride