Jesus Christ says, in effect, Don’t rejoice in successful service, but rejoice because you are rightly related to Me. The share in Christian work is to rejoice in successful serve, to rejoice in the fact that God has used you … He is pouring rivers of living water through you, and it is of His mercy that He does not let you know it…and by the reaction of your life on the circumstances around you, you will fulfill God’s purpose…It is the work God does through us that counts, not what we do for Him. -Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, August 30.
I have a tendency to do this. I’m a pragmatic person–more concerned with usefulness than aesthetics. This carries as a ribbon through ever aspect of my life, including my own self worth sometimes. I need reminders like this day in this devotional to remind me to stop striving, just rest in the Lord, place my trust and confidence in Him, not in how clean I keep the house, how well-mannered the children are, or even if the whole family liked dinner.
14 “This God, our God forever and ever—
he will always lead us.”
Where I ended yesterday, but look, God used it to speak to me this morning!He is so very gracious and merciful to me! He always leas me, always guides me. Thank you, Lord!
“Jesus gives believers an unshakable Foundation for life: Rm 9:33; 1 Cor 3:11; Eph 2:20, 1 Pet 2:4-7. People of both Isaiah’s time and Jesus’s time tended to use religious words empty of true spiritual commitment (see Is 29:14; Mk 7:6-7). Too often people tend to give lip service to the Lord while trusting other things or people to make like work.” (Guthrie, Dr. George H, Day-by_day Chronological Bible, Christian Standard Bible, Holman Bibles, 2017, p. 916).
Notice the change from past tense to present tense in the last two sentences. Dr. Guthrie is more tactful than I. Before i got t the last line, I was thinking, “In Isaiah and Mark? They do that now! Heck, *I* sometimes do that!” And there it is. Sometimes I’m just lip service; sometimes I’me just not feeling the Holy Spirit moving me. Sometimes I have selfish wants and desires, and sometimes I find myself saying things I wish I wouldn’t have said…Gee, Randi, nothing like making yourself seem so much better than everyone else!”
The advantage of spiritual maturity–one advantage I’ve found to be improving on, slow learner–is being able to recognize when I’m giving lip service, especially to the Lord. I recognize but can’t seem to stop until I realize it and ask the Lord for help! What I can’d do, He can and does.
Right now we are trying to sell our property in Colorado and move to Missouri. Everything is set in Missouri, we just have to sell this house. Correction, God has to sell this house. I’ve determined there is nothing more for us to do; there is nothing I *can* do. It is fully up to God.
I will be sad and frustrated–probably–if He doesn’t move us. We’ve been looking at Missouri for 12 years but I had given up on it because nothing seemed to work out. I was so defeated, mad that I had spent so very many hours and nothing came of it.
Jeramie found a property and it took him about a month to convince me to even look at it on the computer–seriously, I was avoiding it like coronavirus! Jer was persistent, though, and showed me the pro forma numbers he’d worked out and I could see the potential…and i was back to putting hours in. I did get a rein on it and refused to do anything more than walk through open doors, and make Jeramie make the decisions.
The first property didn’t work out, but Jer amazingly found a second viable property, and armed with new knowledge about the loan requirements, I switched over some paperwork and we went for the second property.
To have two properties come available that were large enough acreage, and had a sizable house for our family of six, and to be in our price range was amazing. To have it happen: boom, boom. That’s a God thing.
The things that have fallen into place, the crazy, unexplainable…I really don’t see Him yanking this property away after all these things! The sellers are willing to rent the house to us–were–because we thought we’d be waiting on FSA (Farm Services Agency, government) for loan approval, but they approved in 30 days! That was super-fast!
I already found a church family, and even got to attend a Sunday Service when I went to check out the property in person. Which was another answered prayer:I asked God what to do and Jer comes in two minutes later and tells me to go to Missouri by myself, he would say home and hold down the fort. I wouldn’t have been able to go to Sunday Service if Jer had gone.
We had originally though to sell part of the cows and all of the equipment; replace it when we get to Missouri. Over time those plans didn’t work and so we looked at hauling all the cows out and the equipment we’d planned on replacing, plus the tractor. My cost estimate ended up being half of what a trucker ended up telling me the cost would be for just the flat bed! That was a lot of cash we din’t have and hadn’t planned on needing.
I started looking at other options and was going to call the rental shop in town to see what it would cost to rent their flatbed with dovetail (ramps on back to load and unload equipment). Jeramie had said he would need to haul something back to make it worth the trip. I didn’t think so and said, “I’m probably not find a backhaul.”
The afternoon I planned on calling, a woman I know from church came into my work. She said she’d been meaning to ask me if I could use any grass seed when I moved. She had some from Alaska. No, probably don’t need Alaskan grass seed in Missouri. She’d forgot where we were trying to move to.
She mentioned they had a cattle chute in Missouri that they needed hauled back to Colorado. Oh really?
I asked if they had a flatbed gooseneck trailer with dovetail. How ironic, they do. Thirty-one foot flatbed that they just swapped. Even funnier, it still has the Missouri tags on it! The swap was so recent they hadn’t switched over the tags.
So this was interesting. Would they be willing to let us use the trailer and haul back their chute? It was an idea, but where was the cute? Six hours across the state/ We looked it up, 120 miles due east of where the farm is, even on the same highway. Then she said they would help by paying “a few hundred” in fuel. Seriously.
She and I exchanged our husband’s phone numbers and by that evening the men had spoke on the phone and set it all up to happen at an unknown time because timing is dependent on the sale of this house.
Would God really put all these things in order simply to have us not be able to sell, not be able to move? Am I reading too much into it? Am I setting myself up for disappointment? Or am I not trusting enough?
I want God’s will. I say that, but we also all know I want what I want, and I want it now–and I’ve been wanting Missouri for a long time. It’s a balancing act, though. i want what I want, but I want God’s will more–which is still selfish, since i know He has better than I could ever dream.
So I trudge–try not to trudge, it’s not like I don’t have enough things to be doing, things that need done, regardless of whether or not we’re moving, namely: homeschool kids, get to teaching English online, and all the thingsfor Back Forty Blog that I’ve been putting off for four years, not to mentions Mo’s Real Life and the other businesses God has given me. Just recently He laid on me to write about resources and resource management.
It’s very similar to the idea of Mom’s Real Life, a time management system targeting busy mom’s, but a system usable by anyone who needs to keep track of multiple people. This time the resource management is more broad. Resources as in everything including time. I’m waiting for a solid answer as to whether the writing should be directed at Christians specifically, or it it be for everything and just have mention of God and my believes. Everything comes from Him, so there’s that.
Wow, didn’t even get around to reading the chapter in Isaiah! The flashback to the final verse of yesterday and the preface to the new section of reading was enough to have me go on and on!
Tomorrow: Isaiah 27.
Today, more prayer and begging for some certainty as to the plan. If that plan is to keep us here in Colorado, fine. I’d really like to know, though. But then, that’s where faith and trust of and in the Lord have to carry me, right? This is where “the rubber meets the road” so to speak. Lord, Your will be done.