Friday, December 15, 2006
Approved to God
My husband and I have now been on two cruises. After going twice, I think it is safe to say we know what we are doing. The first time you go on a cruise, you feel pretty clueless. What to pack, what to wear, what shore tours to take, etc. The second time we went, we planned the trip with two good friends who had never been before. It was great knowing the ropes! My friend Laura would call me and ask me a million questions about the cruise and what to expect. So I had lots of fun preparing her and telling her what she needed to bring. The first cruise my husband and I went on was with my parents. All four of us were first time cruisers. My mom and I would be walking somewhere on the ship and see passengers talking on walkie talkies. They had obviously been on a cruise before because if you happen to cruise with a group, it's hard to find one another at times. Walkie Talkies are a great thing to have on a cruise! Except Mom and I soon learned that our men could always be found on the lido deck eating ice cream. ALWAYS.

The point is, it's nice having a friend tell you what to expect. If you are traveling somewhere for the first time, it is great to have someone tell you where to eat, where to shop and all those little things we travelers like to know.

Right now I am traveling down a road I have never traveled and the hard part is, I don't know anyone that has traveled to this place and come home the exact same way. Instead, they have changed, wrestled and struggled a lot to figure out what this foreign soil is all about. Today I am on foreign soil. I am asking God questions I have never asked or even thought about asking. I don't have anyone telling me exactly what this place looks like or what to expect. That makes it kind of hard. Instead I have a lot of people questioning how I traveled here. And the more I travel, the more I feel sorry for those that are not on this road with me. It's tough though, I must admit. I have to stop and ask a lot of questions. I have to look at my map constantly and pray for my tour guide to lead the way. And He does.

The road I am on is exactly where the Lord put me. In fact, I feel honored to be here. Yesterday someone said something to me that I must share. I was told to be careful that Satan is not weasling his way into my life trying to get me off course. Today I laugh about that. Isn't that what Satan tries to do to ALL OF US? But, guess what? Satan hates this place I am at. He hates the road I am traveling because it makes his puny job a lot more difficult. The longer I am on this road the more people I begin to see here. Hey, I am not alone! That is comforting to say the least. Along the way I have began to journey with others and we search together. We pull out our walkie talkies and chat and we find that our God is so much more loving, so much more powerful than we ever imagined.

This morning my friend Vivian in Canada sent me today's devotion from Oswald Chambers. I feel as if He wrote this for me all those years ago.

Approved To God

If you cannot express yourself well on each of your beliefs, work and study until you can. If you don't, other people may miss out on the blessings that come from knowing the truth. Strive to re-express a truth of God to yourself clearly and understandably, and God will use that same explanation when you share it with someone else. But you must be willing to go through God's winepress where the grapes are crushed. You must struggle, experiment, and rehearse your words to express God's truth clearly. Then the time will come when that very expression will become God's wine of strength to someone else. But if you are not diligent and say, "I'm not going to study and struggle to express this truth in my own words; I'll just borrow my words from someone else," then the words will be of no value to you or to others. Try to state to yourself what you believe to be the absolute truth of God, and you will be allowing God the opportunity to pass it on through you to someone else.

Always make it a practice to stir your own mind thoroughly to think through what you have easily believed. Your position is not really yours until you make it yours through suffering and study. The author or speaker from whom you learn the most is not the one who teaches you something you didn't know before, but the one who helps you take a truth with which you have quietly struggled, give it expression, and speak it clearly and boldly.

Wow. Not much else to say after that.

Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth-2 Timothy 2:15

  posted at 10:05 AM

At 12:39 PM, Blogger Dee said...

Embrace the road you are on ... you are NOT allowing someone else to form your beliefs and that, my friend, is very much what is wrong today.

You are searching - keep asking those questions...I sure do. Some call it lacking in faith, I call it a need for deeper understanding. He will shed the light for you and you will become deeper in love with Him. He's awesome that way!

The devil weaseling his way into your life, huh? I would imagine instead the devil looking quite frustrated at the fact that one of "those Christians" is NOT in a church building and yet growing closer to God all the time. One who is making a difference in so many lives, those close and many far away... yeah, I don't think he's coming in, but I think he's getting mad!!!

My time on foreign soil taught me a LOT. I regret NONE of it! I came out with a hunger and thirst like never before, but amazingly full at the same time! I grew closer to God and strengthened relationships along the way. I learned a lot about myself and how judgmental I had become and how to work towards being less so .. have I arrived at all I learned, NO WAY!!! I still question and from time to time, trod around on foreign soil AND funny enough learn more from each little trip!

WOW - I had to copy and print the Oswald Chambers devotion. That's something I wish I had read 4 years ago - because when we chose to step back from the "norm" we were chastised greatly for such. Of course, we stayed to course and found the path He had for us, but I would have certainly found comfort in knowing there were others!!!! :)

Love you girl!

At 2:04 PM, Blogger V. said...

So blessed to be on this journey with you my friend.

I have my own struggles, some similar to yours, some all my own.

Yet, my God is with ME. HE comforts me when nobody else is around. HE comforts me when I feel I don't make sense to myself. HE leads me to all understanding through HIS WORD.

May the glory of the Lord abound in your life; may you shine in exactly the way He intended for you.




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