So funny that I used that reference to Romans 8:28 at the end of my post yesterday, because when I got to church last night, that was what the sermon was about! How cool right? Well it was cool but probably not in the way most of you might think.
God DOES work everything together for the good, just like His word says, but that doesn't necessarily mean you are going to be all rosy, happy, and fullfilled. It doesn't mean that you are going to end up getting everything you've ever wanted. It means that God has a purpose and a plan, and he takes EVERYTHING all the crap, loss, loneliness, hurt, happiness, joy, peace, etc and he works it all together into the bigger picture to create balance and to make His will be done. IF you aren't in His will, guess what you aren't going to be partaking of that good he talks about. It's not Him being mean, it's us being disobedient.
He talked about knives last night. Isn't it SO annoying going to use a knife and finding out it's dull? You have to work twice as hard to get the job done and sometimes you even end up cutting the wrong thing, LIKE YOUR FINGER! EEK! See God knows better than to use a dull knife so when He goes to use us in a situation and we are dull, we get put on the whetting stone. Yep yep, that's the block that sharpens knives. It grinds away the dull edges, let's just say it's not all butterflies and candy...it's pretty painful when all our crap is being grinded away, but it's necessary so that we can be sharpened, to cut through life like we are supposed to!
How do we become dull? Well just by every day use, the more we reach out to people, act nicely, achieve breakthrough etc...the quicker we become dull. The word says do not become weary in well doing...that's telling us that we need to be sharpening ourselves on a consistant basis so that we don't get dull! That's where quiet time comes in, going to church, bible studies, etc... How else can we get dull? The enemy presses hard on us and makes us dull quicker. Keep in the word! To prevent this. And the last reason you become dull is if you use your blade for the wrong task, like using it as a can opener, or to cut through something you shouldn't, it will make your blade defective. How can we use our blade in the wrong ways? Being People Pleasers. It is NOT our jobs to please people, it's our jobs to love people. Those are two VERY different things that people think are the same thing. Loving people is sometimes making decisions you know they won't understand, but are the best. It's being truthful when shoving it under a rug would just be SO much easier. Do not let people run your life! Listen to God and follow His commands...it may not make sense and sometimes it may hurt b/c He is using those circumstances to sharpen you either way when you are obedient, it works together for your good!
We need to stop looking around us and feeling like victims! Have you said to yourself recently, I just feel like I should be through this already, I'm ready for the next step? Why is my life one big cycle of crappy times and windows of sunshine? Well...the thing is God goes to sharpen us, and having that wonderful free will we can free ourselves from that whetting stone, that grinding, that painful circumstance, BUT the test still comes even if you skip class and when He goes to use His knife [you] and you are still dull, you get put right back in that same place to re-learn the whole lesson. When tough situations arise in our lives, we need to stop feeling the vicitim and realize that we are recipients, of situations that we can pass and move to the next step or fail and have to retake. The point is IT'S OUR CHOICE! It's not God sitting above us laughing, He wants us to succeed and He knows what we need to overcome in order to do it. One of the things Pastor Scott said last night that really caught me was, if you are obeying God than any negative circumstance becomes your employee in your life. You have authority over it, to do it's job in creating balance in your life but not to destroy you or overcome you! WAHOO for victory!
The best analogy he used was this. He has a son in highschool all summer his son has been getting up early every day going to the field and reporting to someone called coach. He comes home, he's bruised, cut, sore, tired, hungry...they feed him, give him some medicine, put him to bed early and the next morning he's up and ready to do it again! Why would someone desire to go through such pain!?!? You want to know why?....Because He knows it's not always going to be practice, one day there WILL be a game. He wants to know how to his part perfectly when that time comes.
Our lives are not always going to be practices. A lot of us are going through tough stuff, with relationships, jobs [or lack there of], houses, cars, buying groceries, our kids, whatever it may be look at your circumstance and don't look at it as something that has "happened to you" but something God is using to sharpen you with for what is to come. Because the opportunity to show off your skills will soon come, will you be ready? Or need a retake?
Currently they don't have the message posted but I'll keep looking and let you know. =]
Be blessed everyone,