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Inspirational Articles by Lygia Lovelace

 

 

What I Really Want

 

 

"Look Mom, we just rescued this lizard from a cat's mouth!"

 

Ewww…I never know what the kids are going to bring to the house. Frogs flattened by the road, squashed lady bugs, an old smelly horse's hoof…it's always an adventure! And we live in the city!

 

But something about this lizard caught my attention. It was breathing hard. Its heart must have been beating fast! But the most interesting thing about this lizard was the cat hair in its jaw. This lizard had fought for dear life!

 

What kind of chance did this lizard have? No chance at all, really. If it weren't for my boys, the lizard surely would have become a cat's random afternoon snack. But not this lizard! Even before the "divine intervention," this reptile was willing to fight to the death. This little lizard was a warrior!

 

I coaxed the boys to let it go. After all that, it deserved freedom! Gratefully, the lizard took off into the bushes without even a backward glance.

 

Are you a warrior?

 

Abram was a warrior. I was surprised by this when I first read it. I had heard that Abram was obedient. He packed up his tent without a word and moved when God told him to -- even though he didn't know where he was going. I knew Abram wanted a son very badly, and God gave him one -- eventually. And I had heard that God told Abram to sacrifice his son. I knew that Abram would have gone through with it -- if God hadn't stopped him.

 

But I never thought of Abram as a warrior. A fighter.

 

But he was when he had to be.

 

Do you remember from a previous article (Singin' the Blues?) that Lot chose the best land? He left Abram, for the most part, standing in the dust. But Abram didn't seem to mind. And when Lot left, God repeated His covenant promise to Abram -- that all the land would someday be for Abram and his descendants. Do you think he really believed it? Though he was a man of great faith, I'm sure he had a hard time envisioning children and grandchildren and great-grandchildren and so on among the tumbleweeds and trees and tents and sand and such…

 

I know I would have.

 

Do you struggle with having faith?

 

I do. Lately, as we have been "on our own" as church planters in the St. Louis area, God has been HUGELY challenging our faith. We've been without sufficient income before, but I don't think that it has been any easier for me this time.

 

According to the world's standpoint, we just don't make enough money to "make ends meet." And right now, we have bills that we just can't pay. We barely paid rent this month.

 

Sometimes, as I stand in the dust with our many college degrees and my husband's doctorate, watching others with good jobs and well-paying ministry positions riding off into the sunset, I feel like Abram might have felt occasionally…

 

"Where are your great promises for us, Lord? When will we see them? After all, we've tried hard to follow You. So when will you provide our needs?"

 

And my God will meet all your needs according to His glorious riches in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:19

 

Discomfort and jealousy knock at my heart's door. Do you know what I mean? The enemy whispers things to me, like…

 

"…your needs aren't met because God doesn't love you as much as him/her…"

 

"…God has forgotten you…."

 

"…if you had only done ______________________ (fill in the blanks), then God would love you more…"

 

These are lies from the enemy! Does the enemy seek to condemn you? Remember,

 

Therefore there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus…
Romans 8:1

 

Let conviction come from the Holy Spirit. Condemnation is not from God. Condemnation is from the enemy.

 

Anyway, as I've been pondering this principle of God providing for our needs, God has been right there, ready and waiting to teach a willing heart. (And that in itself is God, meeting my needs).

 

You see, my idea of "needs" is not necessarily the same as God's idea of "needs." I feel like some of our needs are:

 

1. …sufficient money to live on and the ability to pay bills on time

 

2. …plenty of food on the table

 

3. …health and energy and time to do what God has called us to do

 

4. …healing in my children

 

5. …a definite place for our church to meet, as we seek to minister to St. Louis

 

You get the picture. This is the "agenda" I've been presenting to the Lord.

 

Well, God has been teaching me that His "needs list" is different from mine. I would not pretend to know exactly what God is thinking…

 

For My thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways My ways;
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

 

But BECAUSE His ways are higher than mine, I am beginning to grasp the concept that "needs" are just different in God's eyes.

 

Here's what I mean.

 

What are my needs, truly? What are they in God's eyes? Well, for one thing, His priority is in the spiritual -- the eternal. In God's eyes, my greatest needs are spiritual!

 

Perhaps my greatest need, right now, is to say as Paul said,

 

…for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…
Philippians 4:11

 

Do you know about Paul? He was so hungry at times that his belly must have hurt from lack of food. He was in danger and his enemies beat on him, stoned him, and imprisoned him. He was cold and thirsty and homeless. And the early churches Paul started were not only often on the move, but they were often on the run! Did Paul complain to God and accuse Him of not meeting his needs?

 

Not at all. Paul, in his need, was content. Paul had his eyes on a higher prize…to know Him.

 

Can I say that I am content, no matter what? No…not yet (to my shame), but I am working on it.

 

So, that is my greatest need. And I feel that indeed, God is meeting this need as He is teaching me to be content. No matter what…whether I have rent, whether I have health, whether or not I like my job, whether or not my children suffer, whether I have extra food on the table, whether or not our little church has a building. Paul told Timothy,

 

But godliness with contentment is great gain.

 

For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it.
I Timothy 6:6-7

 

God is concerned with meeting my spiritual needs. That's more important than my physical needs! Though I believe that in His own time He will sustain us and provide for us -- as long as we are walking in His will -- I'm glad His priority is on the spiritual. He is preparing us for things to come. He has us on a spiritual journey. There is purpose in what He does or doesn't do. He whispers to me, "Be content…"

 

Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know…
Jeremiah 33:3

 

Isn't it a paradox? In my physical need I am calling to Him, but He delays that answer…and in His providential delay, He is meeting my spiritual need by challenging me and teaching me and growing my faith.

 

And you know, this actually causes my physical needs to pale in comparison to what He is doing inside of my heart…

 

Is God a Promise Keeper? Yes, He is. Does He meet my needs? Yes, He does, in His way -- in the best way possible! Abram would agree with me.

 

Not long after Lot went riding off into the sunset, he was captured -- he and his whole family! You see, Lot may have had plenty to live on, but he was on a spiritual journey of his own. God had much to teach him, too. You can read about it in Genesis 14 and following. But what amazes me is Abram's response! He gathered together some men and went to rescue Lot and his family. Just like that!

 

Abram was a warrior, with God's help, when He needed to be. Abram depended on God to take care of him. Abram believed God's promises, even though he didn't see them all fulfilled.

 

Abram knew about God's providential delays! Yet he walked in faith, he fought in faith, he waited in faith.

 

To be a warrior like Abram and have great faith? To be like Paul and be content, whether I am in need or I have plenty??

 

That is what I really want. And that is all I really need.

 

"If you can?" said Jesus. "Everything is possible for one who believes."
Immediately the boy's father exclaimed, "I do believe; help me overcome my unbelief!"

Mark 9:23-24

 

 

And what more shall I say? I do not have time to tell about Gideon, Barak, Samson and Jephthah, about David and Samuel and the prophets,
who through faith conquered kingdoms, administered justice, and gained what was promised,
who shut the mouths of the lions,
quenched the fury of the flames, and escaped the edge of the sword;
whose weakness was turned to strength;
and who became powerful in battle and routed foreign armies.
Women received back their dead, raised to life again. There were others who were tortured,
refusing to be released so that they might gain an even better resurrection.
Some faced jeers and flogging, and even chains and imprisonment.
They were put to death by stoning; they were sawed in two;
they were killed by the sword.
They went about in sheepskins and goatskins, destitute,
persecuted, and mistreated -- the world was not worthy of them.
They wandered in deserts and mountains, living in caves and in holes in the ground.
These were all commended for their faith, yet none of them received what had been promised, since God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they
be made perfect.
Hebrews 11










Copyright © 2012. Faith Matters by Lygia Lovelace. All rights reserved. KenLovelaceMinistries.com

 



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