Thursday, November 16, 2017

Has your soul “entered the iron” of your circumstances?

When I read Psalm 105:18 in the Amplified version years ago, it haunted me. “ His feet they hurt with fetters; he was laid in chains of iron and his soul entered into the iron...”. It implies the same message in many versions. Joseph’s soul entered into the iron which chained him. Joseph had been sold into slavery by his brothers. And he was chained. I can’t even imagine his circumstances...or can I?

What horrible circumstances have you gone through?  What kind of abandonment have you experienced?  Have you been attacked by those who should love you?  Have you been wounded, oppressed, violated, or shamed?

It’s so easy to go there—letting your soul (your mind, will, and emotions) go into the iron (captivity) of your circumstances. It’s easy to keep your eyes on others, on what is happening TO you. It’s just easier to give in to all of it. It’s hard to fight it. The Bible insinuates Joseph lived there for years—his heart locked (and strengthened) in the foul play of his brothers. 

How do you break free of those chains?  Better do you keep your soul from entering the iron in the first place? must see your circumstances from God’s perspective. He’s allowed this to touch your life. And “what Satan intends for evil, God means for good.”  We have already been seated in heavenly places—a good place from which to gain God’s perspective. Talk to Him. Ask Him what you need to see and learn through this adverse season. 

Bless. Don’t curse. This is so important to keep your soul from the iron. Pray immediately for those who’ve hurt you. Ask God to bless them. And give God praise. And forgive. 

I’ve had several dark hours where my soul did—or wanted to—enter the iron. And I believe blessing and praising were two key elements which kept my soul out of the iron those times. And most of the time, I’ve only gained God’s perspective and purpose in hindsight. So...give God time to work!  He only wants good for you!

Wednesday, November 8, 2017

Hitting the Target

Andy loves to tell the story of when he ran sound for George W. Bush when the Texas governor spoke in Borger, TX.  Zach excitedly told us that he got to write some songs with some well-known song writers recently. I’ve been to both The Pioneer Woman’s Mercantile & Magnolia Markets.  Why do we get excited to be around famous people?  I️ didn’t even have to see Ree Drummond or Chip & Joanna Gaines—I️ was just happy to be around what they’d created!

There’s something in us that causes us to admire celebrities and draws us to their greatness. I️’ve thought on this a lot. We love to see someone who’s “made it!”  This can be good...but it can also be harmful if that person has no moral character. And any celebrity will tell you that they miss the anonymity they once enjoyed. 

I️ believe the greatness we must be drawn to is the Spirit of God in others. I’ve known so many people in my lifetime who weren’t famous—but I️ was drawn to them because of the beautiful display of spiritual fruit in their lives. The Spirit of God is preeminent. HE’s the one who has power. HE’s the one who can do more than we imagine. HE’s the one who teaches, guides, and counsels us. He must increase and we must decrease.  We humbly submit who we are to God so He can fulfill the good purpose He has for us.  

I️ think it’s a beautiful thing when we finally “get” our reason for being created—when we understand our purpose. It brings us into alignment with God. We agree for His good plan which He prearranged before time began. . It may or may not make us famous. But...we can certainly allow the Spirit of God to shine through us to a world who needs HIM. THAT’S when we hit the target of His will. 

“For we are God’s [own] handiwork (His workmanship), recreated in Christ Jesus, [born anew] that we may do those good works which God predestined (planned beforehand) for us [taking paths which He prepared ahead of time], that we should walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us to live].  Ephesians 2:10 (Amp)