Thursday, October 23, 2014

Doin What Comes Natur'lly

We're fixers aren't we? Men don't want to listen to problems unless they can fix them. Women not only talk about problems, they work out things that aren't broken...yet. It comes so naturally! And since we come by it so naturally, we might think that's what we were made to do--solve problems. Or is it?

The thing that strikes me every time I read Psalms is how little the psalmist actually does. He doesn't seem to fix anything! He writes about enemies. He writes about problems, bigger problems than I hope I'll ever have--the threat of death, loss of his kingdom, betrayal of his son, and sin of adultery. And I ask myself, if he had all these problems and they're bigger than mine, what's the right answer? How did he deal with them?

1) He told God--and he was brutally honest.
2) He reminded himself of who God is and what He does.
3) He responded to God, not the situation.

In other words, David, the psalmist, didn't try to fix the problem. He doesn't record ideas of how to get away this time or thoughts on if he said this then she would say that and they could do this.... From other books in the Bible, we know he made decisions. He used common sense and logic in light of God's Word, but first and foremost, he praised God. He sought the Lord. He trusted. He settled his mind on the goodness of God. He didn't manipulate circumstances or worry about people. He didn't fixate on a desired outcome. He took comfort. He rested. He waited. And the result?

He found peace. Hope. Contentment. Rest.

How often we need to stop our brains and talk to God--not ourselves or others. We need to share our frustrations, difficulties and sorrows. We need to recall who He is and how much He loves us. And we need to wait. If He can create the known universe, He can change my circumstances. If He moved from Heaven to Earth, lived, died and rose again, He can mend broken relationships and change hearts. I can't.

And that's the crux of the matter, isn't it? As long as I fret and worry, I feel a sense of importance, control and crucial involvement. What? Give it up? Never. Because.'s mine. It's about me. If I stop, it may not turn out according to my design. Honestly, I'd like to think I can come up with a way to make it work. If I rest in the Lord instead of working my design, who gets the credit? Oh, yeah, God does. And if I wait on Him, it's not as much fun--what will I do with all the extra time and energy? (How many "I's" do you count in that paragraph? Very telling isn't it?) Oh, how easy it is to give in to self and fear forgetting we live by faith, faith in a loving God who is very, very capable.

Doin what comes natur'lly is just that--my natural bent, living as if God doesn't exist. Harsh, but true. When I do it supernaturally--wait, rest and praise--He works amazing things. Without my help. Imagine!  And in the midst of it all, He is enough. More than enough.

 Those who live according to the flesh have their minds set on what the flesh desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. The mind governed by the flesh is death, but the mind governed by the Spirit is life and peace. The mind governed by the flesh is hostile to God; it does not submit to God’s law, nor can it do so. Those who are in the realm of the flesh cannot please God.

 Therefore, brothers and sisters, we have an obligation—but it is not to the flesh, to live according to it. For if you live according to the flesh, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live.
For those who are led by the Spirit of God are the children of God. The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by him we cry, “Abba, Father.”
What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things? Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies. Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us. Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?  As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long; we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”
No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:5-8, 12-15, 31-39

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