Beauty and the Beast

Beauty and the Beast

Psalm 36:7-9 (NLT)

How precious is your unfailing love, O God! All humanity finds shelter in the shadow of your wings. You feed them from the abundance of your own house, letting them drink from your river of delights. For you are the fountain of life, the light by which we see.

 

The Beast is retired. After eleven long faithful years, the Chevrolet Suburban also known as grocery getter and mom’s taxi has finally gone into retirement. What a process! She has been showing signs of aging for a long time. Who wouldn’t after hauling our family around for all this time? She didn’t show her 190K miles but oh how she was feeling it. When the ad for the new car came up on my feed, I knew it was the one. I could feel it. It met all the criteria. We drove to the dealership to take a look just before closing. The salesman informed us another customer had already expressed interest but we could buy it “out from under her” if we really wanted it. No, we told him to call us in the morning if she didn’t commit. I prayed in that moment and asked others to pray that God’s Will be done. Over a car? Yes, in every single detail of our life I want God’s Best right down to the car we drive.

We cleaned out the Beast that night in preparation for the call. Tears welled up as all the memories came flooding back. The trips when it was full of squirming, squealing children. Pulling off his uniform nametag reminding me to pray for our soldier each day as if a reminder was needed took me back to the day we dropped off our son to head overseas. Laughing at the gold glitter that we could never get up after our daughter’s wedding. Right down to the “Hope” ribbon on the back representing all the trips to Gainesville to care for our son who is now in remission. All this life lived in a car but now we are moving to the next season. Moving on is hard. I felt guilty as if leaving an old friend behind. In that moment, I wasn’t sure if I really wanted them to call or not.

The dealership called bright and early the next morning to let us know the woman never came back so off we went. My heart raced. An automobile is a big purchase. There are so many considerations. The “old girl” barely made it to the lot as suddenly a loud squeal came bursting from the hood. Parking her there was the distinct odor of antifreeze coming from the leaking water pump. It was time. However, as I looked at the “new-to-me” shining Beauty of a used car sitting there it seemed too good to be true. Of course as always there were negotiations, and at one point I actually considered getting up from the table and leaving in the boat we came in on. I would just fix it and keep driving rather than go through all this. I told the nice young man working with us that I know that truck. I know everything that is wrong with it and just how much it will take to fix it so leaving behind the new car that I do not know is not a problem. The deal was made and we now have a new car. Why the story of Beauty and the Beast? I will tell you. God wants us to live in His Abundance every single day of our life. Too many times we choose to remain in what is comfortable and known rather than stepping out in faith when He moves us.

All humanity is covered by God’s Unfailing Love. It is completely up to us whether or not we accept our place in it or not. Those who choose to live in the Presence of God following Jesus through this life will live in God’s Abundance and in overflowing delights. It flows from His Unfailing Love. He cannot turn it off or redirect it. God is not a man. He doesn’t lie or change His Mind. When He commanded blessing over our life – we are the only ones who can divert it. When we choose something other than God’s Way or less than His Best, it is our decision to do so. God pours abundance in our life, but if we choose to settle for the known and comfortable way than we have chosen to take control of the outcomes in our life. When we call on His Name we are saved. When we choose to walk in His Way – we encounter the Blessings that He preordained for our life. But like a farmer who plants a crop unless we begin to harvest those things God has cultivated in our life – we will live lacking all the good things that He has promised.

John 1:16-18 (NLT)

From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another. For the law was given through Moses, but God’s unfailing love and faithfulness came through Jesus Christ. No one has ever seen God. But the unique One, who is himself God, is near to the Father’s heart. He has revealed God to us.

 

Many Christians leave the captivity of sin to enter bondage to the Law of God. It is self-imprisonment for those who do. When we are freed from sin, we decide that now we must earn the Unfailing Love and Grace of God to have His Glory and Goodness in our life. So we become rule followers rather than God’s Children. So focused on doing all the “right” things, we miss the part about just loving Him with all of our heart. The intentions of our heart speak louder to the Lord than anything we do. We must connect with Him relationally not religiously to live in His Abundance. It is an inheritance that cannot be earned only experienced. God’s Unfailing Love and Faithfulness came to us through Jesus. (Period.) He is near to God’s Heart. When we draw close to Jesus making Him the Center of all that we do and make Him the One we want most – we will have God’s Blessing on our life. We just have to break through fear of failure and worrying about tomorrow to focus on what God is doing in us and for us today. Christ came to give us abundant life – we honor Him by living that life. (John 10:10)

Mark 4:14-20 (NLT)

The farmer plants seed by taking God’s word to others. The seed that fell on the footpath represents those who hear the message, only to have Satan come at once and take it away. The seed on the rocky soil represents those who hear the message and immediately receive it with joy. But since they don’t have deep roots, they don’t last long. They fall away as soon as they have problems or are persecuted for believing God’s word. The seed that fell among the thorns represents others who hear God’s word, but all too quickly the message is crowded out by the worries of this life, the lure of wealth, and the desire for other things, so no fruit is produced. And the seed that fell on good soil represents those who hear and accept God’s word and produce a harvest of thirty, sixty, or even a hundred times as much as had been planted!”

 

We live in seedtime and harvest. It is Biblical. As we walk with the Lord, our life plants seeds of righteousness along the way that one day will grow and become a blessing. Blessings of God of the greatest potential have nothing do to with tangible things but are things like love, joy, peace and all the other fruit of the Spirit. (Galatians 5:22-23; Psalm 4:7-8; Psalm 68:9-10) As we believe God’s Word enough to ingest it, remember it, recite it, think about it, obey it, and overall respect it in our life – this is how we sow it like a farmer plants a seed and cultivates it.

Some people hear the world of God but life has made them hard and jaded so they refuse to believe it. There are others who receive God’s Word but because nothing is done to cultivate it wander away from it. Others will receive it and cultivate it until the worries of life distract them. This is where I find myself many times when the worries of life bind my feet from walking by faith in ALL things. Others will be good soil and when they hear God’s Word they receive it and hold on to it until it comes to pass. This is where I want to be. Those who do will experience a harvest of abundance in their life greater than they ever imagined possible from a God who does more than we could think to ask for. I do not ever want to know what fear has taken from me and kept from my life but from this day forward I want to move on God’s Word every single time it rises up in my heart. The more we know Him the more we trust Him. Fear dies where faith is born. I will trust you only is for sure when confident hope becomes a reality. Faith makes the impossible possible through Jesus Christ. I want to believe God in all things and live in His Abundance. God open my eyes and heart to receive your Word today ALL OF IT.

Psalm 65:11 (NLT)

You crown the year with a bountiful harvest even the hard pathways overflow with abundance.

 

The pastor that shared this verse with us read it from the New King James Version that says, “You crown the year with your Goodness and Your paths drip with abundance.” I am a careful Christian. Talking with my husband while we waited at the dealership, I share with him that I believe the sudden and traumatic diagnosis of our son with cancer changed something in me that I want back. I am tired of worrying and preparing for tomorrow and not living for today. This is not what God wants me to do, but I have discovered it is exactly how I have been living. I want to hear God’s Voice and act on it unconcerned about what tomorrow, a week, a month or a year may bring just confident that God controls it all. To live in the abundance of God requires that I trust Him in all things enough to enjoy the blessings of today not worried about tomorrow. It is not a reckless lifestyle but a content relationship with the One who loves me most and best all the time!

Matthew 25:29 (NLT)

 For to everyone who has, more will be given, and he will have abundance; but from him who does not have, even what he has will be taken away.

 

I want to be a soul set free in the One I love. I am longer condemned to death by my sin. All is forgiven. I do not want to be bound to the Law and the lie that I must live religiously to see the Blessings of God in my life. I want to walk in the abundance given to those who love and trust Jesus in all things. Fear is the beast that keeps us from having all God promised. Faith is the beauty of believing in a God whose love is unfailing, grace is sufficient, and kindness never ending. This is the God I serve the One who wants good things for me every day I live on this earth. Lord, teach me to walk in your abundance today! Walk in the blessing of God today. Let Him fill you and your life with every good thing that He has for you! It is a good life. It is a God life.

Psalm 27:4 (MSG)

I’m asking God for one thing, only one thing: To live with him in his house my whole life long. I’ll contemplate his beauty; I’ll study at his feet.

Advertisements

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s