Brother Arthur was often heard to say, “We serve an inconvenient God”. There are circumstances that the Lord, (not the devil), permits in my life that I judge I could well do without! They are not convenient to me! When the challenge comes in everyday life, this is where I make my choice whether to praise God IN everything. Not FOR, but IN.
Are the words “….praise You in everything”, just the line of a song, or will I make them a lifestyle?
David prayed, “Teach me your way, O Lord, unite my heart to fear Thy name”, Psalm 86:11. When I have a heart that is “united” with the Lord’s, then I will always find something positive to stay thankful to Him in any situation.
A brother shared his testimony this week: A gale was raging outside, high winds were buffeting the building, but he was very busy inside grouting tiles. It was reported to him that the wind had blown some of the tiles off the roof and smashed on the ground below. He left what he was doing to inspect the damage and saw that some of the ridge tiles were also missing, but nowhere to be seen outside. Further inspection, through an attic window, revealed the missing ridge tiles. They had been hurled into a valley on the roof, some broken, but had damaged the rubber roof lining in the trauma. It was just a little nick, but if the weather turned into heavy rain, then the roof would leak. Our friend felt the pressure inside him begin to build. This incident was so inconvenient. He was on a time schedule and very busy with the job at hand, grouting tiles. If he left the grouting, the cement mixture would go off. If he left the damaged roof, it could leak if it rained. He recognised that this was where he had to make a choice to be the keeper of God’s peace in his heart. He encouraged himself in the Lord and stayed positive, thanking the Lord that the huge tiles hurled off the roof had not landed on anyone down below causing serious injury. Thank God the weather was dry and he was able to safely climb into the valley on the roof and glue the damaged rubber before the rain came. Meanwhile, a friend continued the tile grouting so the mixture did not go off. There is always a place where we can stay positive with God, in a negative circumstance.
Another friend blacked out while driving his car this week and crashed. He was taken to hospital to recover, but it could have been so much worse. He could have mounted the pavement and killed pedestrians when he blacked out. He has now recovered but, let us praise and thank God that no one else was injured. To stay thankful, keeping my heart united with the Lord, is true worship. It is here, in the grunge and grind of everyday living, that I make it my lifestyle as I declare, “True and righteous are all your ways, O Lord.”
Jesus said, “Blessed are the pure in heart for they shall see God”, Matthew 5:8. Heart purity is seeing God in ALL things.
The apostle Paul rejoiced in his infirmities and viewed them as opportunities for a divine, royal exchange. Do I? 2 Corinthians 12:9, “ He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for thee, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.”
……that the power of Christ may rest upon me…..the Indwelling Christ, the all sufficient One!
We all have an inbuilt inadequacy, that Jesus might occupy that place, by His design, to live His life in, and through, me. We are like spiritual porcupines, bristling with qualifications of inadequacies for the potential for the glory of God. (1 Corinthians 1:26-31)
I finally “get it”! True worship is a lifestyle I can appropriate in any situation. When adversity comes my way, let me not be tempted to say, “It’s not fair! I could do without this, Lord!” May David’s prayer become ours – “Unite my heart to fear your name”. May I choose to eat from the Tree of Life and not the forbidden tree of the knowledge of good and evil, (Genesis 3), which divides my heart. A victorious person has a lifestyle of worship because his heart is united with the Lord. He always sides with God declaring, “True and righteous are all your ways, O Lord.”