Fanning The Flames Of Faith
That's Not How This Works, That's Not How Any Of This Works!
Ramona Isler: Posted on Monday, November 17, 2014 1:36 PM
The summer that I knew my marriage was in trouble, I started this blog. That summer I also started praying and worshipping like I had never done before. God was actively speaking to me and guiding me along the way. He kept me from certain destruction and left me with a small piece of my mind left.
I, of course, was praying for my marriage to be restored. I was praying that God would move my ex-husband’s heart, touch his mind and open his eyes to see that he was following a path of destruction. A path that would destroy our marriage, our way of life, our home and our individual selves. I never prayed and cried so much in all of my life. I cried until my eyes were permanently swollen. I had to tell people at work that I was suffering serious allergies to explain the perpetual puffiness.
And a lot of what I prayed was for God to change him, and change me. I said so many times, “not my will, but Your will be done”. I said that a billion times. I also said, “well God if this isn’t Your will, then strengthen me to deal with it.”
It was all crap.
Well, not all crap. I thought I meant it at the time. But I knew it was crap because when God didn’t restore my marriage, I lost it. When things didn’t get any better, but actually got worse, I blamed God. I cussed and fought and carried on. I stopped going to church. I stopped listening to anyone and everyone who could help me through. God and I broke up. Because what good was all of that churching and praying and praising and wailing if I wasn’t going to get what I want??
But that’s not how it works. That’s not how any of this works..
If my relationship with the Lord is based on what I have in my bank account, then I'm in the wrong.
If my relationship with God is determined by my address and what part of town I live in, then I'm wrong.
If my relationship with my Heavenly Father is based on how hard or little I struggle to get by, I am wrong.
If I have a longer list of gripes than of gratefulness, then I am doing it all wrong.
God never said that if we follow Him we wouldn’t have trouble. If fact, the bible very specifically told us that we would. (Beloved, do not think it strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened to you; 1 Peter 4:12).
The bible outlines how hard this walk was going to be. It tells us that we will suffer for His name. It’s not His fault that we want to use God as a bank teller, rental agent, car dealer and grocer MORE than we want Him to be the saving grace of our soul.
Jesus wants to give us eternal life in Heaven. He wants to fill us with the hope of God; the peace of God and His joy. (In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. 1 Peter 5:10). It’s not His fault that we associate peace and joy with how much money we have in the bank.
A true relationship with Jesus Christ will allow us to learn to walk in His peace and joy DESPITE that negative bank balance, the credit card debt and troubles of this world. Because true peace and joy are not dependent on those things.
True peace and joy comes with knowing that Jesus Christ came into this world, sinless and walking this earth to save our souls. To wash away our sins and give you rest (These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world. John 16:33).
We think because we pray that we “deserve” something from God. We don’t deserve anything but His judgment. But BY HIS GRACE we are forgiven and allowed to taste freedom from the bonds of this world.
We must choose to have peace. We must choose to walk in joy. We have a choice. Be miserable in this place of misery or strengthen our true relationship with God, deep inside of ourselves, and walk in His righteousness.
He wants us to worship Him, IN SPITE of what’s going on in our lives. He wants us to love Him because He first loved us. He wants us to praise Him because of all of things He’s already done and where He’s already brought us from. And from there we will have a blessed assurance that NO MATTER WHAT is going on in our lives, God was, is, and always will be there. We can know that in this life of trouble, Heaven awaits. There is peace in that. There is joy in that. His grace is sufficient to see us through.
That's how it works. That's how all of this works...
Start the day thinking of the good things in your life. Of all of the things you are grateful for. Because I promise you this, there is someone in this world who wishes for 1% of what you have.
My Gratitude List – in no particular order
I am alive
I am physically well
I have my mental faculties
My children are alive and safe
My children made it adulthood and I was able to live to see it.
I had amazing parents who were flawed and terribly imperfect, and I survived
I have a place to live
I have food in my cabinets
I have pots and pans and dishes
I have a job
I have a car
I have clothes to wear; my closets and drawers are full
I have shoes to wear; multiple pairs and varieties
I can see
I can hear
I can walk
I can talk
I have loving family and friends
I have television and internet
I can read and write
I have a great church and an awesome pastor
I have a God who loves me no matter how awful I was 15 minutes ago
I am assured a place in heaven