Calculating with God
"All our fret and worry is caused by calculating without God." Oswald Chambers
As I typed this quote on Facebook this morning, I had one thought so how do we calculate with God? Because when we get down to dealing with worries then Christian “sayings” help in the moment but long term lack staying power.
I don’t know what you’re worried about but I know my own worries, and I figure some of them may be yours too. So let’s take the four most common areas I worry about and see if we can change our calculations to include God.
- By far my most common worries have to do with earthly things. From paying bills, to helping the girls with college, to buying new clothes, will we take a vacation this year, our cars are getting older will they make it, on and on I could go but I think you get the drift.
We are in good company here, Jesus talked with His disciples about being anxious about their lives, what they would eat, wear, very earthly things. Basically, Jesus told them not to worry about these things but instead seek his kingdom and they will be added to you. (Luke 12:31)
That opens another door, how do we seek God’s kingdom? For the sake of brevity, I’m not going to go down this path, but just a little. We seek God’s kingdom by doing what we see Jesus doing in the Gospels, summed up in my mind as helping people, through our actions and words. I know from past experiences when I get involved with people so many of my worries become trivial. We calculate with God by engaging in the activity of God’s kingdom.
- Family and friends who don’t know Jesus or follow Him. Don’t we find ourselves sometimes worrying about them? Wondering what it will take for them to see they need a Savior. Maybe even we (I) get flustered when it has been months, years and we don’t see any change. We begin to worry, and fret, about what will happen. This one to me is harder, God’s Word tells un in several places that He choose us before the foundation on the world (Ephesians 1:4) or before we were born (Galatians 1:15) but at the same time salvation occurs on God’s time table, not ours. (Galatians 1:15-16 example of Paul).
So how do we reconcile God’s choosing, His timetable and our part? Our part is to tell our story of Jesus. I don’t know how they whole thing works out with being chosen before the foundation of the world, but I do know time after time in God’s Word people received salvation because another person told them about Jesus. One of my favorites is Acts 16:13-15, a woman named Lydia. Paul and Timothy sat down and spoke to the women where one heard Paul, Lydia and God opened her heart to pay attention. They spoke to her. Do I do the same? I worry but do I speak? We calculate with God by opening our mouths of the mighty deeds God has done for us.
- Marriage, boy it’s impossible not to be worried about your marriage in today’s world. I think regardless of what we have going on in our marriages, the biggest key I have found in 18 years is being willing to change. Nothing stays the same. Kids come, then they go, youth is there and then ebbing away. (Slowly I hope) But we calculate with God by remembering His promises, precious and very great promises. Recently, I was talking with a friend in the ladies room at church, tears welled in both of our eyes, marriage is hard. I told her somehow we have to learn to let Jesus be the one we hold most tightly to, because a man is bound to let us down. Maybe, not even on purpose they simply aren’t perfect but Jesus is. We calculate with God by knowing how great His love is for us, and His power towards us who believe, and we begin to know His promises for us. (A little bit of Ephesians 1:18-19, 2 Peter 1:3-4)
I hope you see, like I was reminded of this morning, we calculate with God by His word. We are to live by the Word of God, we are to sow the Word, the Word is to abide in us, the Word is our sword, I could go on but to sum it, when we find ourselves worried, God’s word will change us and our situations.
Faith comes by hearing, and be hearing the Word of Christ. Romans 10:17
So what do you think? What would you add about worrying verses calculating with God?
Last Updated (Friday, 22 February 2013 10:45)
Unwavering Women's Conference
We are making plans for our 2nd Annual Women’s Retreat and hope you are planning to join us!
This year our theme is “Unwavering”. I like old words and wavering is one of those old words. Maybe it’s because I find myself wavering between God and the world more often than I care to admit. God on the other hand is steadfast, never changing—the promises of God have stood steady even when gripped in wavering human hands. Do you know why that is?
An old word, if there is such a thing as old words. A word almost meaningless in today’s world, except to God, a word running like a scarlet cord from the opening pages of the Old Testament until Jesus established the new covenant in his blood.
What if we drew a way for weekend so a old word could become a precious word to us? If we understood what covenant means for us, could we become unwavering women of God?
I think so. Last year, we drew away to focus on the Holy Spirit and I know in my own life that time is still bearing fruit!
We will have four teaching sessions, an opportunity to, visit the Chapel, as well as plenty of time to just soak in the beauty of the Cove.
And in the evenings we’ll have the game area stocked for those who love some friendly competition!
Enjoying fellowship with old and new friends around some of the best food I have ever eaten, lifting our eyes to see a view that takes our breath away. If you have never been to the Cove in Asheville, NC you will fall in love with it! You can look at the retreat center here.
If you would like to see last years photo's you can find them here.
The dates are August 23rd thru 25th. (Friday thru Sunday)
The cost includes two nights lodging and five meals and snacks. (Dinner Fri, Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner on Sat and Breakfast on Sun.) Four Teaching Sessions by Jenny on Covenant.
The cost is:
Single Occupancy Room $280 per person
Double Occupancy Room $210 per person
Triple Occupancy Room $190 per person
Are you ready to join us?
You can register here. After you fill the form out you will receive an invoice for the $100 non-refundable deposit. Or the full amount which ever you choose. The invoice will be from PayPal so you can pay by credit/debit card.
You can take a peek at the facilities at www.thecove.org if you have never been.
We are so excited and we pray you are able to join us at the Cove. We will have time to study God’s Word together, to hike or relax in the rockers, an opportunity to pray, worship with Angela Chesnut and build friendships! In addition, you will feel the presence of God as you step on the grounds and experience the wonder of a get-a-way!
Last Updated (Monday, 04 March 2013 20:41)
If you have ever seen me open up God’s Word in the last two years, my feet had one pair of shoes on. If I could make them match the outfit, I had them on. Or even close to matching I wore them.
This year you may have heard me ask for advice on what to do to save my shoes. They were stinking. I’d come home, take off my shoes, and Chad would remark, “Something is wrong with your feet. They smell horrible!” What he didn’t know is my feet sweat when I get nervous, so they had accumulated a lot of sweat.
I begin to ask for advice on what to do about the smell where ever I was speaking. I received lots of advice, from sprays to putting them in the freezer.
Yes, I did. If you try it make sure you remember to take them out before you stick your feet in and run out the door. Otherwise, they kinda feel sticky. A very weird feeling. Did take care of some of the smell though.
I wore them the other day to the mall and for the first time ever my feet hurt, badly. Tears filled my eyes as I realized my shoes were goners.
Why, you may be wondering could a pair of shoes that I paid $25 for hold such a place in my heart?
As I was driving home I started thinking about the day I bought the shoes. I was coming out of a season of extreme pain.
A season where we had lost our home, moved several times, and had began getting our feet back under us. I became involved at church, when a situation came up where I was asked to step down from a planning committee.
I sat in my office floor and cried. I had to call a lady I greatly admired and respected to tell her, I had been asked to step down. Now, most of you know I have some anger issues, and nothing like crying your eyes out, then getting ticked beyond belief and trying to take the high road. A road that doesn’t come naturally to you, I’m naturally inclined to the mud. What I wanted to do was act ugly.
You know the kind of ugly, you plan out.
Thankfully, only by the grace and restraining power of God did I manage to not make the situation worse. Barely.
But the pain, some of you may know what I’m talking about, where you are deemed not good enough for a volunteer position is heart wrenching Tears. Anger. Humiliation.
My feet go kicked out from under me, but Satan wasn't finished.
Within a few weeks, maybe a month or so, my middle daughter ran away. Hours dragged on as people searched for her in the pouring down rain. I went into my bathroom, falling to the floor crying. I wish I could say I prayed some kind of faith filled prayer, but truthfully I just cried.
I felt so battered. Bruised. Abandoned. Humiliated. Angry.
When the police brought that darling daughter home, it was obvious she didn’t want to be brought home. I don’t think there could be much of a worse feeling for a parent.
We kept going to church, but I had a wall between my heart and God. And people too.
Fall came and we moved closer into town, in a neighborhood with lots of people. I don’t know what exactly happened but I started missing God. I missed being in his presence. I missed writing in my journal. I would see an older lady who went to our church walking in the neighborhood every morning as I went to work. I stopped to say hi, and she said she was praying for those who lived in the neighborhood. I missed praying. But I smiled and drove on.
I picked up a Christian book, didn’t finish it. Went to a Bible study, dropped out. More feelings of failure. The end of year was fast approaching and my loneliness grew. I didn’t know what else to do other than go back to a study I had written when I felt close to God. Trying to get back where I was, someplace where I felt loved.
At some point towards the end of the year I opened up my Bible and saw this verse:
“Remember not the former things, nor consider the things of old. Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert. Isaiah 43:18-19
I sent out an email to some friends and I’ve copied it here for you…
This time of year makes me pause and take stock of how 2009 went.
We went through some tough changes, had a scare or two with the girls,
made a complete mess of a situation or two.
But as I looked through my year, I can see where God was faithful.
The toughest change, has helped to put us right on the narrow path,
where we wanted to be, even if we were too weak willed to get there ourselves.
Our priorities had gotten off kilter as a family but Katie woke us up to what really matters.
And you know what?
I realized that whether we are camping in a desert or surviving in a wasteland, God is there. Making a way for those of us in the desert, providing a stream for those of us in the wasteland.
Our part is not dwelling on the past.
Trust me, I’m with many of you, I could totally replay over and over how I acted, reacted or should have acted. But that’s not our God, He is into doing a New Thing! We just have to “perceive” it.
In fact, the way is already there for us in 2010 and the stream is already available for us in 2010.
The question is, will we perceive it?
Here’s my New Year’s Resolution for 2010
To perceive God’s way and a stream no matter where I am!
Within a few weeks of the end of the year I invited some friends over for Bible study.
I went and bought my shoes. They have just a little height to them, and I thought they would give me some confidence. Because I had none.
When I looked in the mirror, all I saw was a woman who had lost her home, been kicked off a church committee, and had a runaway daughter.
There were 6 of us at the first study, “Walking in a New Way”. Then we did “Planted” right in my living room and about 10-14 came. My shoes were on my feet. They still were my confidence. They represented to my heart a second chance. Oh good grief, maybe a fourth or fifth chance.
Then we did “The Butterfly In Me” at church. Then “Joshua”. “Planted” again. My shoes made me smile every time I put them on.
They reminded me of the kindness and graciousness God is prone to show any of us.
I wore them all kinds of places, always knowing they represented God’s welcoming me back.
During “Seriously God”, they smelled so bad, I only wore them a little. But I wanted them every week.
Tearing up in the mall I realized I don’t need them anymore, God is our confidence, not shoes that will eventually stink. It’s time for new shoes, only for fashion this time. Could I not perceive it?
I don’t know what you are feeling today, but if you’re in need of a second chance, God offers them. If you miss God, it’s because He’s missing you too. Keep searching for him, go back to what you were doing when you were close and see what happens.
Last Updated (Monday, 06 August 2012 12:11)