Post 21…January 2023…Stretch Your Imagination

Saturday, January 21, 2023

Have you ever tried to stretch your imagination? All of us from time to time (mostly more than not) have doubts about something in life.  Dobu is an enemy of God and if we want to really be used by God we need to let go of the doubt that comes our way.  This is not always easy but we can overcome anything because nothing, absolutely nothing is impossible with God.

Doubt is an enemy of God for which the devil wants us all to doubt so that we will be/feel defeated.  Even Joshua had doubt and had to overcome his doubt.  The word in Joshua 1:9 says to Be bold and strong.  “Banish fear and doubt for remembering the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”  This is a very cool/good statement that we need to heed in every situation in our life. It tells us we can banish fear, but that no matter where we are or what is going on in our life…God is right there with us.  That is wonderful news!

    However, even Joshua needed to have a “pep” talk.  God tells him to “Be determined and confident.”  Whoa!  If only we all felt like that all the time right? So what causes us to doubt anyway?  Comparing your abilities with others for one.  We never have to compare ourself with anyone.  Each of us is unique and different and, in God’s eyes, we are equal.  Some might seem better because that is what humans do…judge things from their viewpoint and not from God’s, and because someone seems better, can talk better, and has more of whatever “it” might be…we doubt ourselves.  God’s word tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 “It is dumb (stupid) to compare yourself to other people.”  Even remembering your failures in life (and failures don’t have to be a bad thing because they teach us something) cause you to doubt your abilities.  God has a lot of promises in His word, and God never lies Dig into the word of God and find out what God promises you, but also look to see if the promises you claim have a part for you to play as well.  If you want to be used by God, then look for a promise.  God keeps His promises: Joshua 23:14-15.  God never breaks a promise and never will.  Trust God and His word for He will never fail you! 

Note:  It doesn’t matter if the other person you think is bigger, better, and badder than you in regard to something.  What truly matters is what God thinks.  God has no favorites, and He uses each of us differently.  There are things some other people are better at doing than I am/you are, but that doesn’t mean God doesn’t use us each differently to reach different people in our life.  We no longer have to compare ourselves with anyone. 

I like this saying:  “Are you caught between an army and an ocean? Look up because nothing is impossible for God.  He will part the sea to get you to where you need to be.”  Isn’t that a cool statement?

See God work His great power for your benefit.  You might not trust man, but you sure can always trust God.  Those that say there is no God and keep trusting in themselves and other people have not “yet” learned just powerful our God truly is. 

Ecclesiastes 11:4 says, “If you wait for perfect conditions, you’ll never get anything done.”  How true that statement is.  Proverbs 3:5-6 says, “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and don’t lean on your own understanding.  In all your ways acknowledge Him and Hew ill make your paths straight.” 

Nothing is impossible with God:  Ephesians 3:20 says, With God’s power working in us God can do much, much more than anything we can ask or imagine.  God promises us strength and I sure know I need it.  In Joshua 1:5 God promises us success, in Joshua 1:7 God promises us to support, “I will be with you wherever you go.”  Joshua 1:9 God says to lean on Him every day. The thing is we all need to obey God and we will be wise and successful.  But what is success?  Men…or God’s view?  Joshua 1:8 tells us that no one can defeat us with God on our side.  Joshua 1:5 That does not mean that problems and circumstances don’t come our way for they do and will, but with God, on our side, we can win the battles.  When we lean on something we trust that to hold us up.  Trust God to hold you up.  Faith gives us the courage to confront overwhelming obstacles.  Trust God in all things in your life and even if you must go through things…God is watching, working on it, and getting you on the path you need to be…even under duress at times.  God didn’t say we would get through life with no problems.  He did say, however, that in this life we would have tribulations, but we can overcome and make it across that finish line from earth/death…right into victory and heaven.    

    For with God, nothing will be impossible.   Luke 1:37   When you read that statement what do your think or feel? Doesn’t it cause expectation in your that you are on the right track?  It does for me.  I can claim the promise of God and know that even if I don’t yet see something God is always at work on my behalf. How could I not get excited by that verse when even the impossible can happen?

Okay, okay…so you have another thought…if God can do anything…why isn’t He doing it, right now, for me, for us?   That is a fair question.  Why isn’t God fixing this situation for me/us?  Is this for everyone but for me? What gives? Is it a God problem, a me problem, or are my expectations just too high?

So let us see if we can find an answer to that question. Here are a few verses that might get us closer to the answer. 

Is anything too hard for the Lord? I will return to you at the appointed time next year, and Sarah will have a son. – Genesis 18:14 So in this verse it says that I will return at the appointed time.  That means, from this verse that there is an appointed time to do things.  We might not like it, but God knows best. 

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you. – Jeremiah 32:17 Now, even though, it says nothing is too hard for God…where does it say that God is going to do everything we want, when we want, and how we want it?  It doesn’t. 

Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible. – Matthew 19:26   So yes, we can see that nothing is impossible for our God to do, but should He do everything we ask…what if it is not good for us, or what if the timing is wrong, or what if God has something better down the road for us?  What if God just doesn’t want that for us at all? 

Another thing to consider is that God sure is all-powerful, but don’t we have a part in life and what happens?  Shouldn’t we be moving in and by faith?  Of course, we should.  If we don’t trust God and don’t have any faith…then should God move our mountains for us?  Just a thought there to consider. So do you have faith?  Do you trust God each day of your life?  Do you give/surrender your life to Him and actually ask God asks you to do?  Consider yourself and your motives…are your motives right motives and would God say they are?

Jesus said that He could not do any miracles there, except lay his hands on a few sick people and heal them. He was amazed at their lack of faith. – Mark 6:5-6…..There were people who just lacked faith and because they did lack faith God could not work in their lives. 

Then another time when Jesus heard this, he was amazed at him and turning to the crowd following him, he said, “I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel. – Luke 7:9    People our faith matters a great deal if we want to stay in the right standing with God and if we want God to move in our life.

Think on these two verses for in both of them Jesus was amazed first at a lack of faith, and then He was amazed at the faith the man had.  I hope that you and I would be the ones that would have great faith in our circumstances.  When things are not going as you think they should you just might want to check your motives in that situation.  I’m not saying you lack faith, but you might want to search your motives to see if you need to do or change anything in your life.  If faith is said to be able to move a mountain…have you tried to move even a pile of dirt?  Don’t think that anyone wants to beat you up here…but sometimes we just need a wake-up call because we pressed the snooze button one too many times and overslept.

So a big question to you is do you have faith and do you believe?  If you don’t then most likely you won’t find the answers you want. And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him. – Hebrews 11:6

What are your motives when you go to God and ask Him to move your mountains?  Really think about this one for this one is a Biggy. Okay, so you have faith and that is good, but what is your motive?  Consider what James says: What causes fights and quarrels among you? Don’t they come from your desires that battle within you? You desire but do not have, so you kill. You covet but you cannot get what you want, so you quarrel and fight. You do not have because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. – James 4:1-3   Whoa…wait a minute.  Could you be your worst enemy when it comes to wanting something from God?  Even if you think your motives are right and good…whose measurement are you going by to determine that?

 There is something amazing about a God who does impossible things. He does them for the right reasons. Take your children for a moment.  Let’s say you have two kids and both want even the same thing…one has faith and good motives while the other can be (in reality) a real jerk expecting you to do what they want, when they want, and give them what they want.  Which would you feel better about giving_____ that too?  Be honest here.  Who had the right motives, the faith, and acted correctly.  Well, what do we think God sees each day with billions upon billions of people on this earth?  Whom should He help first?  Why?

Okay…The reason we need to search our motives is to see if what we are asking for is selfish, immature, wrong for us (especially at this time), that our motives are ungodly, etc.  What is the motive (for real) that we ask God to do something?  Should we consider that motive and see how we should and can change it?  Of course, we should. The truth is, your motives matter when you’re asking God for his help.

The desires of the heart can be very tricky and devious, even downright deceptive. It’s possible a wrong motive could be at the center of your asking and you may not notice it…or possibly, not want to acknowledge it. After all, we are human, and we do a lot of dumb things without first considering why we are doing it.  And as much as God loves us and wants to help His kids…Sometimes it is us that causes the situation not to leave. 

    Next, is what you are asking God to do or fix, or whatever… aligns with His word.  It is like asking for your neighbor’s spouse…no….God is not going to give you that and if you were to get your neighbor’s spouse God is not in that nor does God approve.  When we ask for something that God has said no about in His word do you really think you are going to change His mind or con Him to thinking as you do? Nope!  Not going to happen. 

We all need to be diligent prayer warriors.  We all need to search God’s word on every subject we have a need for, and we need to check ourselves to see if what we want and ask for would really line up with God’s word. We always need to line up with the word of God and not as mankind thinks or tells us we should.

When we get what we want in life, or if life is going well…it is easy to trust God.  But what about if your life is not so great now…do you stop trusting God?

We have all been (well, most of us anyway) at a place where we just don’t know why God is not moving our mountain.  But do you have a part to play in the mountain moving?  It very well could be that you do. Although God can do the impossible…should He?   

This next part is extremely important: Here is the difference between faith and trust. Faith is believing that he can and he will. Trust is understanding that he will but that he will do it at the moment when it’s best for you. That is not always easy for us humans now, is it?  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. – Isaiah 55:8-9  God does not operate on our agenda and in our time frame.  God is never late and never wrong.  We can always trust His decisions.

I know this lesson is far from complete and hope that you will study it further so that you can have your mountains moved.  Sometimes we have to go around the mountain a few times until we do whatever it is that God thinks is right for us to be doing. 

Now, may God bless you, and provide for your needs and not your selfishness or greed.  May he protect you and draw you close to Him each and every day.

God bless you!