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Monthly Archives: August 2010

Let’s Take A Dive Off The Cliffs Of Insanity

Let’s take a dive off the Cliffs of Insanity:

John 14:14: “If you ask anything in My name, I will do it.”

Anything?  Wahoo!  Okay God, here goes.

God, I’m asking.  Will You please instantly give me perfect health, great wealth, the ability to fly,  a need for only six hours of sleep per night instead of nine, a beautiful, safe, comfortable home, good friends, time and money, and a ministry that matters.  Amen. Oh, and please melt 50 pounds of fat off my body.  Amen.  One more thing:  I’d like a personal chef, maid, housecleaner, and masseuse.  And a swimming pool.   And could you please make my home near the ocean, but by a lake, with lots of good hiking nearby?  Put it near a culturally rich city, yet firmly in the country.   And whatever else You know I’d like.  Make me a great artist and a good writer.  And a fabulous speaker and teacher.  Amen.  Oh yeah.  Bless my family, my church, my pets.  Be glorified.  Amen.

Reader, what’s wrong with this picture?

 
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Posted by on August 30, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Following Through

The difficulty in deciding to follow Jesus lies not only in that initial leap of faith, but in the long and arduous journey of following through.  Temptations abound to draw us off track, the worst of which is simply habit. Since I cut up that “emergency” credit card, which had assisted so proficiently in landing me thousands of dollars in debt, I have been amazed by how much I relied on it to ease me through my cash-poor life. A mere two days after shredding the card, I found myself in line at the store handing back a hefty portion of groceries because there wasn’t enough money in my wallet.  I’d shopped without considering the cost because I was so accustomed to using my credit card to fill in the financial gap between what I wanted and what I needed.   Thank you, merciful God, that the cashier and two ladies behind me in line were as sweet as pie about it.  It was pretty embarrassing.

The next day, I almost had to get out of the latte drive-through line because I’d forgotten to check for cash in my wallet.  I rarely carry cash because it has been so much more simple to use credit.  That way, it wasn’t necessary to figure out ahead of time whether or not I had enough money with me.  Fortunately (or not), my wallet held a few dollars and I didn’t have to get out of line.  Then this morning, while online, I ordered some small thing and it wasn’t until I began to type my credit card information that I remembered I don’t have one anymore.  Old habits die hard.  In fact, old habits take a long, long time to die.  They die kicking and screaming.  Old habits die making a terrific scene.  It’s been less than a week since I gave up credit and I’m thinking already of giving the old habit an Oscar for Best Drama.

It is so automatic a gesture to reach for the credit card that at first I didn’t quite know what to do.  My brain simply froze for a second or two.  Even worse was the sharp prick of fear in my gut, “What if I want and can’t ever have?”  For a moment I saw myself as a teenager, hungering for everything and affording nothing.  I remembered the popular girls at school when I was thirteen, with their noses firmly in the air, saying, “We don’t like you because of your clothes.”  Like a flash of lightning, I suddenly saw what money had come to mean for me – worth, freedom, control, success, self-sufficiency, a kind of “I don’t need you” layer of protection against those who will not like me.

What does money mean to God? “No one can serve two masters; for either he will hate the one and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other.   You cannot serve both God and money.” Clear as a bell.  Well, amen.  It makes perfect sense, does it not?

“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on.  Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing?”

Hmmm.  I’m sure I want to serve God only, but what if God views food and clothing with so little interest as to warrant shopping at only Wal-Mart for the rest of my life?  Oh, say it isn’t so!   I happen to appreciate well-made, high quality goods.  I mean, Wal-Mart is all right in a pinch for a dish drainer or a trash can, but I prefer to shop for my clothes elsewhere.  Mind you, I’m not talking about dropping $1200 on a pair of Jimmy Choo’s.  I just want to shop J. Jill, Land’s End, LL Bean, and the like.

“Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them.  Are you not of more value than they?”

Yes, but God, they eat worms.

“Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?”

I’m short and round; obviously worrying hasn’t worked well for me.  In fact, that’s a good way of saying that even though buying clothes increases my endorphins, it’s really only an illusion of control and self-sufficiency.  While I’m busy feeling good about myself and in control of my life, the opposite is really true.  That is why I must trust God to provide. Even so, Lord, I just want to mention that I prefer beautiful things.

“So why do you worry about clothing?  Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these.”

Good point.

“Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith?”

Wow.  You really do love me, God!  Silly me, of course you do.  Jesus didn’t die for the birds of the air or the grass of the field.  He died for me, and silly, silly me, He didn’t die merely to clothe me well.  My eyes were on my circumstances, not my Lord.  I’m sorry, God.  Dress me according to your will, not mine.  If creation is any measure of your taste, I’ve nothing to worry about.

“Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’  For after all these things the Gentiles seek.  For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things.  But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.”

That’s right!  Seek first the kingdom.  Seek God.  Look to the cross for proof of my significance.  Trust and obey.  And God’s provision satisfies.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about it own things.  Sufficient for the day is its own trouble” (Matthew 6:24-34).

Thanks, God, for smoothing out the furrows on my brow.  You know you rock, God.  It won’t be easy, but I’m kind of looking forward to the challenge of following through.  Love you.



 
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Posted by on August 21, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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If Wishes Were Horses, We’d Be Out Of Debt

I wish I’d known from early on how to properly handle money.  I wished I’d know how to develop a budget and to spend and save accordingly.   I wished I’d had, but I hadn’t.

I remember starting off at 17 in my first apartment with a spanking new checkbook and the assumption that the bank couldn’t know about any checks I might write because they would not be present when I wrote them.  I was very silly in those days.  For a brief moment, I fantasized about all the things I could buy without anyone being the wiser.  I was clueless.  I had no idea that all checks make it back to the bank.  Fortunately, I was wise enough to know that if it were so easy, everyone would be doing it.  Somehow the bank knows.

I remember also the mathematical circumstances of my first student loan.  Having followed the directions on the application to determine the amount of interest over the life of the loan, I immediately convinced myself I was mistaken, math not being my strong suit.  The interest amount was so shockingly high I was sure it couldn’t possibly be allowed.  So I went ahead and borrowed … every semester of every year I was in school.

I wish I’d possessed basic knowledge (and maturity) about credit and interest rates and the horrors of debt collection.  Growing up we never had money so I learned nothing about it except its lack.  We mostly lived in hand-me-downs and shopped for school clothes once a year at places like Jamesway and the Big N (on par with K and Wal-mart).  We never ate out.  Our breakfast cereals were primarily Wheaties or Raisin Bran.  Ma figured they’d last longer if we didn’t like them.  True.   Super Sugar Smacks were a step up and we got them some of the time, but cereals like Trix and Booberry were way out of our league.  When money was especially tight, we ate meals of rice, milk, sugar, and cinnamon.  We should have been grateful that we always had food on the table (remember those starving people in China?), but hey, we were kids and most kids aren’t grateful.

It’s not as though my mom didn’t try to educate us about the value of a dollar.  For a short time I had a nickel allowance.  Eventually, I graduated to a whole quarter, even fifty cents.  That was an exciting time, because we could still buy penny candy at the gas station.  But then Ma couldn’t afford allowances anymore and so we got nothing.  As far back as I can remember, when we kids asked for something that cost money the answer was almost always “No” because as Ma said, “If I do it for one I’ll have to do it for all six.”  There were six kids in our family.  That’s why we never got Booberry – that little box would not have survived six kids chowing down two or three bowlfuls each.

As a teenager, I never went to the mall.  There was no point in doing so.  I didn’t even know that teens hung out there.   Even as a young adult I didn’t care for the mall.  It was too overwhelming.  Everything I saw I wanted, yet I could afford nothing.  It seemed like everyone in the world was there buying things except me.  Why did they have money and not me?  After college, I had money in my pocket for the first time.  The mall became a fun place.  Shopping made me feel happy and hopeful, like I could become that person I always dreamt of being.  The self-confident, popular people I met all dressed stylishly and went places and did things that cost money.  I wanted to live like them, be like them.  It appeared as though money could and did bring love and good times and I wanted it.  Oh, how I wanted it.  So I spent every available penny I had on buying a little chunk of that heaven.  Even though I paid my bills paid on-time, I saved nothing, but spent it all.  And then I discovered the wonderful world of credit.  The more money I made, the more I spent.  It was never enough.  Eventually it all landed on the card.  And what a ride it was!  Month after month I paid the minimum amount without understanding what that meant.  By the time I learned the truth about credit, the habit was firmly entrenched and my debt was in the thousands.

After getting saved, I began to learn about God’s perspective on money and debt through many avenues such as Bible study, Christian Financial Concepts, and a wide variety of secular money management lessons.  Yet even with education, debt does not disappear magically.  I learned a lot over the years, but practiced little.  Budgeting gave me a great deal of hope until some unanticipated bill messed it up and I had to rob Peter to pay Paul.  Getting back on track was nearly impossible because unexpected bills came in the mail on a fairly regular basis.  If I’d not had credit card debt, I could have paid these bills immediately and without difficulty.  If wishes were horses, beggars would ride.

“Will not your debtors suddenly arise? Will they not wake up and make you tremble? Then you will become their victim” (Habbakkuk 2:7).

I’ve struggled with consumer debt most of my life.  Even though I’ve tithed since the beginning, practicing self-control has not come so easily.  Letting go of greed and gluttony is far easier said than done.  Our culture waxes on self-indulgence, indeed our very economy is based on it.  I wanted what I wanted when I wanted it.  I certainly did not want to deny myself.  You know what really stinks about it all?  God enabled me several times in those years to completely pay off my credit cards only to find me a year or two later, to my shame, even more deeply in debt.  Isn’t that pathetic?

A few years ago, I paid off my cards yet again.  Grabbing my scissors, I cut them into pieces, all but one, that ridiculously ill-named “emergency credit card”.   There has never been an emergency for which it was required, but I am, once again, thousands of dollars in debt.  This time, however, I’m certain I’ve learned my lesson.  Actually, I learnt it years ago.  I just didn’t follow its advice.

But I’ve been praying for God’s help.  I have confessed my sin of greed, self-indulgence, and a total lack of discipline and self-control.  I’m repenting.  It has been 2 months since I last pulled that emergency card out of my wallet.  Today, I put it through the shredder.

I want to live free, not only of consumer debt, but of the mold and shape and size the world says I must be in order to be accepted.  My significance is in God.  I am a Christian; the world will never accept me.  Selah.

But God says I am His beloved and He is mine.   He tells me to not worry for He will provide for me (Matthew 6:25-34) .  I have fixed my eyes on Jesus and am running the race in such a way as to get the true prize, a crown that will last forever (1 Corinthians 9:24-25).

What about you?  Where do you go when you are sad, bored, lonely, or hurting?  Do you, like so many of us, spend money to feel better about yourself?  I’ve heard it said that the way we handle money speaks volumes about our spiritual maturity.  Feeling convicted?  Get help.  Go to God in prayer.  Confess and repent.  Determine in your heart to walk that way no longer.  And may the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, guard your heart and mind in Christ Jesus (Philippians 4:7).

I have decided to follow Jesus.  I have decided to follow Jesus.  I have decided to follow Jesus.   No turning back, no turning back.

 
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Posted by on August 17, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Faith Is Being Sure

Have you ever received a calling of God, yet nothing in your life seems to lead you in that direction?  Have you heard His voice, but what He said would happen hasn’t at all?  Have you found yourself worrying that what you labeled as being from God is really only from your own selfish desires?  Well, join the club.  Sometimes I think I could win the gold medal for second-guessing God and myself.

I have wondered for a long time now whether or not God has truly called me to a speaking ministry.  Some days I think He has; other days I’m not so sure.   Sometimes I wonder if I merely made it up in order to feel important.  Current circumstances certainly preclude a speaking ministry:  I care full-time for my mom who has Alzheimer’s and even with a few hours off a week, I accomplish little more than teaching a Bible study, which is, by the way, a great joy for me.

And then I worry that maybe this is pride trying to garner me some of the Christian world’s applause.  After all, what do I have to say that someone else cannot say better?  And why should anyone listen to me in the first place?  A kind stranger reminded me recently that it’s not me from whom people wish to hear; it’s God.  And He can use anyone in any way at any time in any place.  That’s a freeing statement.   After all, it is His Spirit who does the actual work in people’s hearts anyway.  We’re just the messengers.  🙂

Many years ago, God showed me a picture or vision if you will.  I saw myself standing on the cliff of a high mountain overlooking a large, green valley filled with people.  My hair was short, my figure slim, the opposite of what I looked like at the time, and yes, this gave me a great deal of pleasure!  I wore a kilt of red and blue plaid, signifying family.  In my hand was a golden trumpet, which I raised to my lips and blew.   As I looked at myself standing firmly on the edge of that cliff, I understood that I was announcing what God had done in me and my [spiritual] family.   In fact, I was sharing my testimony.  I knew that God was telling me I would someday share this testimony of God’s grace, mercy, and sufficiency before crowds of people.  I had no idea how this might come about; I only knew God was telling me it would be so.  That was about 16-17 years ago.  It hasn’t happened.  And yet, despite the occasional worries, I persist in believing it will be so someday.

“Now faith is being sure of what we hope for and certain of what we do not see” (Hebrews 11:1).  My hair is quite short nowadays, but I am far from slim and trim.  I suppose that means the time has not yet come.  LOL.

That’s probably not too far from the truth, weight excluded.  I’ve learned that God sometimes gives us an assignment well before the day it becomes due.  I believe it is because He wants us to study [His word] hard and practice, practice, practice.  And I don’t mean to merely practice my speaking ability.  I’m talking about character formation.  God takes time to build our character to match the assignment, as Henry Blackaby says.  We cannot do God’s will in the strength of the natural man.  God must cultivate within us a Christ-likeness and this takes time.  Had I tried to force a speaking career back then, it would have failed.  My character lacked maturity and Christ-centeredness.   I may have been eager, but enthusiasm is not a substitute for preparation.

I have spoken in front of groups of people in the past and looking back it’s easy to see that it was usually about me, not God.  Most of the time, I was just trying to be somebody special.  I’m glad those days ended fairly quickly.  I needed time to grow up.

Even now I cannot call myself a Christian speaker.  I do teach a Bible study and this is a cherished time to be led by the Spirit and talk about God.  My blog is certainly another opportunity.  It’s true that I’m not standing before crowds of people speaking about what God has done, but with these rich opportunities in my hand right now, I am more than willing to wait on God for the latter.   For the first time in my life, I truly understand what it means to be patient and wait on the Lord.  It is not about sitting around eating bonbons and watching soaps.  No, it is about participating with God as He forms our character into the image of our Lord Jesus Christ.  I’ve stumbled around in the dark a bit, but I’m confident that “He who began a good work in [me] will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus” (Philippians 1:6) .

And so I choose to wait patiently on God for the fulfillment of that long ago vision.  And as God continues to prepare my heart and my mind, I am becoming more and more sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see.  And even if I am wrong about becoming a Christian speaker, at least I will not have wasted these years of preparation for whatever it is the Lord will bring into my life.  And to God be the glory!  Amen.

 
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Posted by on August 12, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Creation Gives Us A Glimpse Of The Creator

From time to time I like to include a guest post in my blog.  This one was written by my eldest brother, John C. Yuhas, who fishes, hunts, and preaches in Big Sky Country and is Pastor of  New Life Foursquare Church (Darby, Montana).  It first appeared in the Ravalli Republic newspaper on April 17, 2008.   Enjoy!

Glacier National Park, Montana

Montana is of course beautiful, but there are times and places when the glory that is Montana can take your breath away.

For me, the time was many years ago and the place was Glacier National Park.  I stood upon a high mountain on a clear spring day looking at mile after mile of rugged mountains.  Their high peaks were still crowned with the pure white of a departing winter but from their knees downward splashed the vibrant green of a sudden spring.

Running down from white to green were what appeared to be glistening silver lines.  Even as I looked, I knew the lines to be far away streams filled with the energy of the snow melt and sparkling in the sun.  My heart was filled with wonder and thankfulness as my eyes and indeed my soul feasted on this spectacular view.

More recently, I had another perhaps not as majestic but no less soul-refreshing time as I stood knee deep in one of my favorite pools in the East Fork of the Bitterroot River.

I was happily holding on to a throbbing fly rod bent with the weight of a solid trout.  The trout made one lovely, completely out-of-the-water jump, before landing back into the cold dark waters of the Bitterroot with a splash.  It was brown and bigger than what clumsy me usually manages to catch.  So I was especially happy not only to hook it, but to actually land it.

As I was undoing the fly to release it, I was struck by its stunning beauty.  A mature male brown trout in the flaming colors of the spawn – a thing of wild beauty – and indeed very special gift from the Creator.  As I watched it swim away, I took time to gratefully thank the Creator for allowing me to catch such a treasure.

Such experiences and more are why so many call Montana home.  Montana is indeed a very special place.  But did you know that the Bible teaches that this wonderful creation is a gift from God who not only created it but gave it to us for our enjoyment.

Yes, the deer, elk, trout, the land and the waters are all gifts given by the hand of God to be a blessing to all of us who walk this good earth.  I, for one, am very glad for these precious gifts.

Yet, creation is not only a gift, but a form of revelation from God.  Looking up into a clear night sky into the vastness that is this universe, we can get a glimpse of His power, His glory and consequently our own smallness.

Looking into the face of our child, or better yet, a grandchild, we can almost see the eternal.  The mountains, the streams, the oceans, and why yes, even a single flower all have a testimony if we would but listen to it.

As great as this revelation is, the Bible teaches that there is an even more clear revelation of what God is like.  The better, or should I say, the best revelation of what God is like is the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is said, he is the express image of God.

Just as a painting will reveal to some extent, the artist who painted it, only by getting to meet the artist do you get to know what the artist is truly like.  It is the same with God.

One can learn much about Him through the artwork that is his creations, but it is only in the face of the Son of God, that we clearly see God’s face, God’s love, God’s grace and God’s will for us.

May your heart be filled with wonder and revelation as you enjoy this great place we call Montana, but even more importantly may your heart be drawn to Him who created it and unto His Son the Lord Jesus Christ.

 
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Posted by on August 9, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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Rock Steady

Rock steady.  More than anything, I would like to be rock steady.  I want an undivided heart, wholly and consistently focused on Christ, seeking and doing His will.

and that rock is Christ

Proverbs 14:12  “There is a way that seems right to a man, but its end is the way of death.”

Too often I find my dreams and desires divided from the will of God.  What seems a great idea to me is often just a thinly disguised opportunity to seek glory for myself, to make myself significant in the eyes of others.  This disloyal heart persists in equating value with worthiness.  If only I could convince others of my worthiness, they would value my words, and everything would work out beautifully.  The kingdom of God would never tire of me.

This time it seems as though I’ve made it.  All is triumph; they love me.  I’m popular, accepted by the in-crowd of the brethren.  They want to hear what I have to say.  They want to learn from me and follow me.  They respect, even admire me.  I’m on the top of world looking down on the huddled masses yearning to be free.  I feel great.

And then all of a sudden, before I can holler Eureka!, something happens and it all comes tumbling down.  Somehow, somewhere, my foot slipped and I’m falling, falling, falling.  The crowd failed to respond to my great idea as I thought they ought.  Just a little chink in the armor of my confidence.  But since my confidence was based on my supposed worthiness, that chink tears open my armor and I’m left completely vulnerable to the onslaught of the enemy who has no mercy.  Before I even realize what has happened, I’m a mass of nerves, misgivings, and self-berating.  It’s like air being let out of a balloon.  What’s left is a muddled scrap of confusion and depression.  This great idea didn’t work out because I’m an idiot.  I’m stupid and a fool to think God would ever use me in such a way.  Me, a leader?  I’m just not good enough.  I never was (and here ticks away a long list of past failures).  You get the picture.  Sound familiar?

Jeremiah 17:9  “The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it?”

That is one side of my divided heart.  It only pretends to fight vanity.  Depression, as far as I can tell, is merely a culturally acceptable form of rage.  I’m in the depths of self-pity, not because my intrinsic value is in question, but because my pride is hurt.  I want to lash out at others because they failed to adore me.  I had wanted to be great in their eyes.   After all, it feels good to be admired.  But God will not allow us to use Him to satisfy the demands of vanity and pride.  He will not allow us to mistake our value with worthiness because He knows we are not worthy.  “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).  God says we are to confess our sins, that is, agree with God.  So long as I blame others and wallow in self-pity, I am not confessing this anger to be sin.  Although I mask it with feelings of hurt bewilderment, it is really unholy rage.  At its core is the demand that others give us that which is only to be accorded to God, that is, worship.

I cannot slay the dragon of pride, therefore I hide behind a show of false humility.  But in the end, truth always shows.  The audience is, thankfully, fickle.  A thin waft of pride’s scent and they turn away.   There is no justification for loyalty here.  Yet pride raises its ugly head anyway, and roars in anger, “How dare they not love and worship me!”  The other side of my heart responds, “Why should they?  Their loyalty is to God, as it should be!”

One might consider the issue solved.  It is proved to be pride, and every good Christian knows pride to be at the heart of sin.  I see it is pride.  But labeling it is not enough.  One must turn away from sin.  Therein lies the difficulty.  It is not as easy as it seems.  Knowing oneself to be prideful is not the same thing as letting go of said pride.  Instead, the enraged division of my heart merely turns the blame to God saying, “It’s Your fault, God.  I was only trying to carry out your will.  I’ve prayed and prayed.  You should have done something.”

Even so, pride is already defeated.  It is impossible to fight against God and win.  He’s always, always right.  And deep inside, I know it very well.

Last night, God listened to my ranting and raving.  I heard Him saying, “There, there.”  He knew I was too tired to listen well.  In His infinite mercy, God let me sleep on it.  And instead of abandoning me in my hour of angry pride, He stayed the night with me, working deep within my heart into the wee hours of the morning until finally, I awoke, ready to listen.

Psalm 86:11  “Teach me your way, O LORD, and I will walk in your truth; give me an undivided heart, that I may fear your name.”

This morning I sat down to write.  I wanted to pour forth all my unhappiness and disappointment.  What I wrote was what you are reading.  A confession of pride.  A story of repentance made possible by a new heart.  God said, “I will give you a new heart” (Ezekiel 36:26).  This heart is malleable.  This heart loves God and longs for holiness.  It is willing to be molded into the image of Christ.  This heart is undivided.  Today I recognized the truth about myself and agreed with God.  This day I turned from pride to humility in seeing myself just as I am.  I am the now and the not yet.  And my value, not my worthiness, is infinite because of Christ in me.  I am loved simply because I am His.  This is wisdom: to agree with God.  I think I’ll be wise today.

 

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Yahweh Jireh: The Lord Will Provide

Have you been longing for a more intimate walk with God?  Do you want to get to know Him better?  Intimacy and knowledge of God are mutually inclusive.  To know Him is to love Him and vice versa.  So how do we better our understanding of God and His ways?

One of the more intriguing ways to learn about God is to study the characteristics inherent in His many names and titles.  We know Him as our Lord and Savior, King of kings and Lord of lords, Prince of Peace, Wonderful Counselor.  Our God is the great I Am, Yahweh, El Elyon, El Elohim, and El Shaddai, among others.  Experiencing God, by Henry Blackaby,  has a wonderfully LONG list of names, titles, and descriptions of God with NIV Bible references.  These can be found at the back of the book and used during prayer, a little each day.  Ask God to help you come to know Him better through these, His names.

Today, I’m acutely enamored of Yahweh Jireh, The LORD Will Provide, a title straight out of Genesis 22:14:  “And Abraham called the name of the place, The-LORD-Will-Provide; as it is said to this day, “In the Mount of the LORD it shall be provided.”  Abraham came to know God as his Provider through experience when God stopped him from slaying his son Isaac and provided a lamb instead for the sacrifice.  That’s how we come to know God – through His word, through prayer, through experience.   And that’s how I got to know Him just a little bit better lately.

Once upon a time, a few days ago, I brought my vehicle in for its annual inspection, one way our state syphons money off the taxpayers.  I figured an hour or two and we’d be on our way, right?  Not. You see, my vehicle failed inspection.  I wasn’t expecting that.  And my current inspection sticker was due to expire in 2 days.  Arrgh!

As it turns out, the shop wanted $600 to fix the rear brakes, side mirror, and wipers just so it could pass inspection.  Next they wanted another $400 to fix the front brakes and another $760 to fix my leaky exhaust manifolds.   With tax, that’s almost $2000, my friends.  A hefty arm and a leg for anyone … and I have no income because I stay home full-time caring for my mom who has Alzheimers.

Upset?  You betcha.  Freaked out?   Almost.  I remember asking God, “Where on earth am I going to get that kind of money?”  It’s hard to believe that God was planning to send me a check in the mail for $2000.  Panicking just a little, I hurriedly emailed a few family members whom I thought might help.  Then I prayed:

“God, I’m really irritated by the whole thing, but I know that You are a good God and that You will provide for me in some way.  I’m going to trust in You to provide.”

Now my family is not the kind that shares money, especially when there isn’t any to share.  How often, as a teenager did I heard my mom say, “If I do it for you, I’ll have to do it for all six and I can’t afford that!”  As children, we were very concerned with fairness.  She even had to count the jelly beans in our Easter baskets because we’d quickly discover if somebody got more the rest.  Anyone who believes that humans are basically good never saw six kids complaining about who got more jelly beans on Easter morning!

As you may have guessed, I received a typical Yuhas response to my email: “$1200?  That’s ridiculous!  Get your brother to do it.”

They were right.  I did, and it ended up costing only $230 total, saving me close to $1000. Praise God for brothers who fix their sisters’ cars.  The Lord provides – His way.  I can afford $230.  God is so good.  He gives us what we need ($230), not necessarily what we want ($1200), in due season.  My God is The LORD Will Provide.  Experience really is the best teacher.  And I’m living happily ever after.

 
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Posted by on August 2, 2010 in Adventures in Christ

 

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