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Posts Tagged ‘wise choices’

Evidence confirms: God loves to take ordinary people living ordinary lives and accomplish impossible feats. Examples include:

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  • An imprisoned slave, elevated to prime minister in a matter of minutes
  • A village shepherd boy who became the greatest king of his nation
  • A widow who took a stranger into her home, and witnessed miraculous events
  • A common girl, chosen as queen in a foreign land and became the savior of her people

No doubt you recognize these persons. We would never consider them ordinary because of how God used them:

  • Joseph
  • David
  • The widow of Zarephath
  • Esther

But if we visited Joseph in prison before Pharaoh sent for him, if we passed by David watching his father’s sheep, if we ran into the widow of Zarephath at the village well, or if we met Esther in her cousin Mordecai’s home, would we have recognized greatness? Would we have known that these people were extraordinary? I doubt it.

We easily forget that what we see from our human perspective is never the whole picture. Only God has an omniscient view of circumstances and events—including past, present, and future.

Only God has the capability of weaving complex events to accomplish his purposes. And his work is always extraordinary. The wonders of creation offer undeniable proof.

nature-mountin-flowers

And since you are part of God’s wondrous creation, you are extraordinary. Yes, YOU!

That means:

Our seemingly ordinary lives, lived out through ordinary days, can have extraordinary significance, because God Almighty is orchestrating them.

That doesn’t mean we just sit on the sidelines and watch God work. Choices must be made:

  • Joseph chose to honor God in Potiphar’s house (Genesis 39:4), and in prison (v.22), long before his miraculous promotion from slave to prime minister.
  • David chose to spare King Saul twice, even though the king pursued David with the intent to kill David chose to wait for God’s timing for his coronation (1 Samuel 24, 26).
  • The widow of Zarephath (a town not in Israel) surely knew nothing of Elijah or his God when she met him at the town gate. There was no reason to take him in; she had nothing to offer him. As it was, the woman and her son were starving. The land was parched dry by famine. But she chose to believe his assurance that God would supply their needs. And miracles resulted (1 Kings 17:7-24).
  • Esther chose to intercede for her people, even though it may have led to her own death. She saved the Jewish captives in Persia from annihilation (Esther, ch. 4, 5).

Esther-and-the-King

We never know when a decision or choice may directly or indirectly cause significant, extraordinary results.

Therefore, our decisions must be based on scripture-based convictions and values. It is God-influenced choices, day by day, even moment by moment, that will lead us to extraordinary living, accomplishing divine purpose.

But be prepared. We may not know the significance of some of our choices until we reach heaven.

Think of Ruth, who chose to follow her mother-in-law, Naomi, from her home in Moab, back to Naomi’s home in Judah. She also decided to follow Naomi’s instructions and glean barley in Boaz’ field. At the end of the beautiful drama it is revealed that Ruth became the great-grandmother of King David and a descendant of Jesus himself, and a book of the Bible is devoted to her story. What an honor for a woman not even from the house of Israel!

ruth

But Ruth never knew.

Extraordinary people live extraordinary lives when they’re led by God–choice by choice, decision by decision. And they leave the results in his capable hands.

(Art & photo credits:  www.St-talkla.org; http://www.1decision1day.com; http://www.ammiministry.org; http://www.joyfulphpist.wordpress.com.)

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Northern Cardinal

 

For several weeks this spring we enjoyed a special visitor to our home, a male cardinal.

At least once each day he perched on the window sill above our front door.  His head would cock from side to side as he considered his reflection in the glass. Then he would flutter upwards, sometimes as high as two feet or so, his wings batting against the window.

 

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No doubt he thought the reflection was another cardinal, and he wasn’t about to allow an interloper to move in on his territory!

Every morning I heard his fluttering wings against the glass and stood to watch his proprietary dance.

What if he hurts himself, I thought. Too bad I can’t communicate with the little guy, and let him know his fight for territory is unnecessary.

 M-m-m-m.

We humans ARE capable of receiving communication.  And God has graciously given us his Word–full of infallible wisdom–so we don’t waste time and energy on worthless pursuits.

Too often, though, I am like that little cardinal, fluttering my wings in a frenzy of self-gratification, or questions that have no answers, or worthless contemplation of what ifs.  The results are as unproductive and meaningless as territorial rituals with a nonexistent rival.

Unlike that red bird, I can understand instruction, but sometimes I fail to pay attention.

It’s not as if God hasn’t clearly explained through many scriptures the way to peace and contentment. Some are embarrassingly familiar:

Do not fret…Trust in the Lord and do good…Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.  Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him and he will do this (Psalm 37:1-5).  [So, it boils down to this:  Am I going to believe that God will do what he says?  Am I going to lean into him and trust?]

“It is more blessed to give than to receive” (Acts 20:35).  [That principle applies to gifts of time and effort as well as monetary.  And just how often does the giver experience more blessing than the receiver?  Almost always!]

“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God.  And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and you minds in Christi Jesus” (Philippians 4:6-7). [Note to self:  Focus on your all-powerful, all-knowing, all-wise God.  He is bigger than any problem, any need.]

Instead of beating my wings in a flutter-frenzy, I want to take inspiration from another activity cardinals are known for:  singing!

I lift my voice in praise to you, my God and King!

Your majesty and greatness are beyond comprehension,

yet you care for me.

You extend your mercy to forgive,

your grace to provide,

your wisdom to direct,

your strength to uphold.

Everything you do is right.

May my heart be steadfast

to trust you and follow your Word.

Turn my heart toward your ways

and away from worthless pursuits.

If I’m serving and singing, I won’t have time for flutter-frenzies!

(Photo credits: http://www.planetofbirds.com; http://www.coldhandswarmearth.blogspot.com.)

 

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