God-I Have Questions

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Hello! Yes, it has been longer than normal since the last posting. I pray you and your family are doing well and embracing the new summer season. In the words of our sweet little Jude, “It is hot, hot!” So, enjoy, kickback, and take joy in the pool, sprinkler, air conditioner, etc. This too shall pass.

Refining ministries has begun a season of study entitled, “Major Wisdom through Minor Prophets”. This month we are diving deep into Habakkuk. I refer to him as the “why bird”. He was a bold prophet-brave enough to address God with his questions and honest concerns. Although I am not sure he liked the response he received, Habakkuk felt confident enough to layout his true thoughts before God.

While reflecting on our group discussions, I had to question myself about my faith when it comes to asking the Lord hard questions. Oh, I often ask for things-healing, comfort, renewal, restoration, self-discipline, etc. for others as well as myself. Yet, I don’t regularly ask why God is doing what He is. So, I had to ask myself “Why not?” What can I learn from Habakkuk to strengthen my relationship with the Lord?

Let me share my revelations:

1. Habakkuk was very secure in his relationship with God. He brought his concerns directly to the one who is in charge. (Habakkuk 1:2) He didn’t hop on Facebook and ask his social network. Habakkuk wasn’t one to run to the nearest neighbor and complain about God’s delay based on his timetable. This prophet went straight to the best source-the Almighty Father-the maker of heaven and earth.

Lesson one: Go to God first!

2. Habakkuk was raw and open about his deepest thoughts. (Habakkuk 1:2-4) He didn’t beat around the bush or try to sweet talk his way around asking. Straight to the point was his approach. Let’s get down to business and spill out what is troubling the heart.

Lesson two: Don’t waste God’s time-get to the point & share your deepest concerns.

3. Habakkuk wasn’t shy about expressing the fact he could not understand God’s ways. He immediately began asking why. What is taking you so long to end this awful behavior and destruction? He asked GOD boldly-the God of the universe. Wow-the thought of doing this is not as comfortable for me as it seems to be for Habakkuk. But why not? God has our back and loves us so much. God is big enough to handle our questions no matter what they may contain.

Lesson three: If you don’t understand God’s ways, ask why? He is willing to listen.

4. The Lord answered Habakkuk with a reply which was shocking to him. (Habakkuk 1:12-17) God will respond, but we may not like the answer. God knows the future and is working out all things according to His plans. His ways are not ours nor do they often align with our human understanding. However, we must be willing to embrace the Lord’s perspective.   

Lesson four: Be willing to see the situation through the eyes of God.

All this in just Chapter 1! Major wisdom through a minor prophet’s boldness to go to God first, get straight to the point, ask God why when not understanding, and be willing to see the situation through the eyes of the Lord. What knowledge to take to heart when having questions about issues in life. I have many!!!

What about you?

How do these four points assist you in dealing with difficulties you incur?

Times when you just want to know WHY?

Let God be your Rock just like Habakkuk.

Blessings my friends!

The Power of One

I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart. Jeremiah 24:7 (NIV)

It has often been said that the power of one can cause earthshaking results. The power of one can begin a ripple effect continuing for generations to come. Remember, …if you have faith as small as a mustard seed, you can say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move… – Matthew 17:20. Why?-because of your trust in the Power of the ultimate One!

My heart aches for those struggling in their faith. I have been there! It almost caused me to throw in the towel! I felt hopeless. PERIOD! Hopeless. I promised God (even while I was in the dark pit) that I would make a change and I would even be an agent of change for those who struggled in their faith and spiritual maturity. I decided my dash would matter!

I hear you loud and clear–how can one person really make a difference. Let me just say-I am living proof that through the Father all things are possible! I can barely recognize the person God is refining let alone believe I am still alive. If you had told me three years ago where I would be today I would have told you “You have the wrong person!”

You too have the power of one. It begins with your spiritual growth and commitment. Then it continues with your investment in just one. The impact of your life can leave a legacy from your extension of God’s love and grace.

Let me encourage you to take a deeper leap of faith:

  1. Come to the Ladies retreat in July. This opportunity will give you lots of encouragement and practical ways to stay connected to God.

2. Tell someone about it! Encourage them to go. Pay for their gas to get there and back. Get out of your comfort zone and move those mountains! Someone’s life depends upon it.

3. Can’t go yourself. Pray! We need your prayers. Watch someone else’s children, house, pets, etc. so they can attend.

4. Our earthly time is unknown. Please make use of your dash.

For this reason you also must be ready; for the Son of Man is coming at an hour when you do not think He will.

Matthew 24:44

Nahum: A Fatal Blow

Photo by Mike on Pexels.com “The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him.” Nahum 1:7 (NIV)

Happy Friday my dear friends. I hope you have an exciting weekend planned. They always go by so fast.

Refining ministries have been conducting short studies over minor prophets via Zoom. We take one chapter a week, read it on our own, dig into deeper meaning through personal resources, and then come together and discuss. This has been a delightful experience.

Over the past three weeks we have been focusing upon Nahum. I know—I hear you—why in the world Nahum? I thought the same thing when we studied Obadiah and now when my mind wonders into the judgement zone, I remind myself of the takeaway from Obadiah. The powerful messages that have surfaced from many overlooked books in the Bible has been transforming thoughts, actions, and hearts!

Today, I would like to share with my learning from Nahum.

Let me start with a bit of history: After studying all three chapters, I was appalled from the evil and violent empire of Assyria. They had become a force to be reckoned with and gained major worldly power and possessions through oppression and direct disobedience to God. Their destruction and deception gained them outward attractiveness because of the status they displayed. Nineveh, the capitol, felt protected by its enormous wall and had allowed their ego to reach great heights. They had overtaken the ten northern tribes and were working on a plan to obtain the two southern ones. Disgusting cruelty and gross acts can barely scratch the surface of the levels they went to gain worldly power.

Nahum warns Nineveh that their time is up. God’s justice is coming and His righteous anger will be carried out in the days ahead. They refused to take refuge in the Lord. They wanted to worship their gods and trust in themselves. In chapter 3, verse 19 Nahum tells them, “Nothing can heal you; your wound is fatal. All who hear the news about you clap their hands at your fall, for who has not felt your endless cruelty?” Their lust of being “top dog” and doing whatever it takes to get there has now caused a fatal blow to their existence. OUCH!

Our sweet Father gives us a choice of how we want to live. Also, He is the only one who knows our inner part (heart). His goal is to remove sin in our lives and bring inner peace. (Deut. 4:24; 5:9). So, when I went to the Lord in prayer to get His perspective on Nahum, this is what He revealed to me:

  1. What choices am I making that may lead me to destruction?
  2. Who have I possible destroyed, injured, or scarred with my words or actions?
  3. How can I abstain from allowing worldly ways to creep into my life?
  4. Is Chapter 2 a prescriptive of a pathway I am traveling?
  5. Am I obsessed with power, little gods, or anything else which will lead me to sin and a hardened heart?

OVERALL TAKEAWAY:

Put my trust only in God. (Nahum 3:8-10)

Deal with sin because it cuts off my fellowship with God.

Failure to follow God leads to painful consequences. Possibly, a fatal blow!

Yes, all this from the little book of Nahum. Powerful-life changing wisdom and advice! Come join us June 14th as we begin a new three-week study over Habakkuk. I promise you too will have a mighty takeaway and you will always remember Habakkuk. Major wisdom through minor prophets is worth embracing!

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