“My time is not here yet, but your time is always opportune.” This is what Jesus said to his brothers in John 7:6, replying to their advice about His visibility and their marketing wisdom. And there’s lots of value in thinking about the right timing, alignment, relationships, resources, etc.
It seems to me that in our modern world, we don’t have much appetite for patience, refinement processes, aging, maturation and stuff like that. We want the results, but not the time that goes into having the results. And yet I see such massive value in the actual process, time spent, maturation journey. There is timeless wisdom and value in looking at life for the long view and not only the short-term gains. Indeed, since God is the author of time, we would be wise to trust in God’s timing and processes, but most of all that God deeply loves us!
“If I’m smart, I’ll be important.”When I was growing up, I used to think this. Consequently, I thought that college degrees where the golden ticket to being valuable & respected. And then I met some college professors who were nothing short of thoroughly brilliant, but didn’t have much voice nor impact.
Sometimes, I don’t think we stop to think about what we want & when we get our desires, we can be disappointed or unfulfilled. For this reason, we would be wise to pray that God would direct our desires & Help is to walk in truth. Such praying can help us to not pursue futile goals nor disappointing outcomes!
What do you want? Are you interested in having a better education? Do you want to exercise more? Do you want a healthy marriage? Do you want a vibrant & growing relationship w God? What do you want?
Desires that we don’t achieve can become frustrating & discouraging. So it’s important to think about what we want, our end goal, in smaller steps like one decision at a time.
When we consider what we want & align that to our decisions, then we can make progress towards achieving our desires & goals. Les walk towards our goals & desires one decision at a time.
Because Jesus was a Jew when He lived on earth, I firmly believe that bacon wasn’t in His eating repertoire. However, bacon seems to be more than a little popular for the 21st century palate. Our appetites & eating habits have dramatically changed, some for the good & some not so much.
Which brings me to the question related to our appetites. What tastes good & what do you like to eat? Some of the things we like to eat aren’t good for our bodies just as much as some of the desires that we have aren’t good for our souls.
Let’s be sure to cultivate not only healthy appetites for our bodies but let’s also feed our souls sturdy, life-giving sustenance found through daily Bible & prayer time! Since we’re on the cusp of turning the calendar, let’s not wait for a New Year’s resolution to foster these appetites. Start now & you’ll likely keep a better routine going into the New Year than depending on a date change to facilitate a change in routines.
Some helpful tips could include:
set your alarm & get up rather than snooze it endlessly;
find a friend that can encourage & partner with some accountability;
keep track of the positives from staying disciplined;
Weekly grocery shopping when I’m hungry is tricky, particularly when the store has samples. What happens is that regardless of my list, I can impulse buy & come home with some random stuff.
Sometimes, I think we do the same thing with stuff that’s not just food related. There are times when I can be struggling with some emotional stuff or various pressures & I’ll divert my attention with some sports thing or pick up an interesting book.
What usually works the best for me when I find myself struggling is to let my heart settle deeply into God’s love for me. Rather than being impulsive, let’s train our appetites to crave Jesus, the greatest fulfillment & solution in our lives 🙂
Have you ever waited to acquire something you wanted? It seems to me that waiting & wanting go together like peas & carrots, almost complementary. Things that I’ve waited for & wanted include: a new coat, a camera lense, opening nightcare in India, surgery on my shoulder & lots of other stuff.
Recently, I read about sin waiting for & wanting Cain in Genesis 4, related to the tension between Abel & Cain about their respective sacrifices. God confronted Cain in verse 7 and told him, “If you do well, will not your countenance be lifted up? And if you do not do well, sin is crouching at the door; and its desire is for you, but you must master it.” Sin was waiting for & wanting Cain but God told him that he needed to master sin & not be mastered by sin.
I honestly think that sin also waits for & wants us as well. Sin wants to control us, creating chaos & destruction in our lives if we cave in to it’s desires. Cain surrendered to sin and lived a vagrant and tormented life. Let’s learn from Cain’s downfall & master sin rather than let sin master us. Indeed, Romans 8:6 says, “For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace” Just because sin is waiting for & wanting you doesn’t mean that you have to be it’s victim. Let the Holy Spirit strengthen you on the inside to overcome the seductions of sin!
Despite our best intentions, all of us can struggle with getting what we want. And what we want seems to flitter from stuff, to time, to clothes, to gadgets, to health, to relationships and lots more. I was recently giving God an earful about not getting something that I thought I wanted. Instead of getting my way, it seemed like the exact opposite was happening & there wasn’t anything I could do to change the situation. But what I could change was my attitude – and our attitudes can be a powerful tool when we make wise choices.
On top of working through my attitude choices in my recent situation, I also learned that while I may not always get what I want, I can trust God to give me what I need 🙂
Just because I want to do something doesn’t mean that I should – indeed, learning to work with people, helps us to do much more than what we could do by ourselves. Furthermore, only God is wired up to do all of that stuff & much more. If you’re like me, let’s be mindful that we don’t drown ourselves in all our dreams and desires 🙂
I’ve been thinking about how my kids are growing & changing – it didn’t help that my daughter announced this morning that she’s eligible to start driving next year :/
Change is an interesting topic & we are not always so keen for change, unless it’s in the improvement sphere. The reality in which we live everyday, however, is change. Nothing stops changing except God. So maybe if we would like to see things not change for awhile, maybe we could translate this desire to mean that ultimately what we really want is more of God 🙂
It’s always a great pleasure to find things that we look for. One time, I lost my wedding ring for like 2years. When we found it, there was MUCH REJOICING!!
Be mindful of the things for which you seek.
If you’re looking for popularity, you’ll find it & probably be disappointed.
If you’re looking to be wealthy, you might discover that money isn’t everything you thought it would be.
If you’re looking for success, you might find that it’s nothing more than a cat-and-mouse chase.
If you’re looking for applause & affirmation, you might discover that it costs more than it’s worth
If you look for God’s kingdom more than anything else, then everything else will fall in your lap 🙂
Charades is a fun game to act out lots of different things. If you’ve played this game in a group, you know that you’re supposed to act something out & help your team guess your word(s) based on your acting. This game can be lots of fun, but unfortunately, I think we play this game in our life, from time to time. Here are a few examples:
Sometimes I think we pretend to be humble, when the reality is that we’re merely insecure.
Sometimes I think we pretend to be confident when the reality is that we’re arrogant
Sometimes I think we pretend to be peaceful when the reality is that we’re apathetic
Sometimes I think we pretend to be strong when the reality is that we’re scared
There are lots of other ways we live the charade game & ultimately, I don’t think there’s anything wrong with wanting to be humble, confident, peaceful, strong, etc. But my sense is that we can’t really have these things well integrated into our lives as a normal reality without God’s help. Just some food for thought 🙂
Its interesting to take a step away & look “objectively” at our desires. I think that we often get so wrapped up in achieving our desires that we neglect to consider what is motivating the desires that we have. Sometimes, you can tell alot about a person by the things they like & desire. For example, when I look at myself lately, I find that I’m very interested in deeper conversations & things that feel shallow to me at the present are very unappealing. In fact, I had a very superficial & short conversation today w someone that I’ve known for a really long time. When I got off the phone, almost the entire conversation felt like a slap in the face, I guess because I had been hoping for a discussion at greater depths.
So my take away is this: I think my desire for greater depths could possibly be a beckoning from God to move away from the shallows & into the depths w Him. Maybe the call of the wild seems wild to my soul because it is God beckoning to the depths in my heart to embark on deeper adventures with Him. I think that we need to be careful not to mistranslate our desires into shallow soul pursuits that distract us from genuinely spiritual destinations.
Probably one of my favorite verses in the Bible is Ps 42:7 – deep calls to deep & Your waves have swept over me (sarah paraphrase).
Philip 2:13 says that God is working in us to will & do of His good pleasure. In light of the idea of working out our salvation with fear & trembling from verse 12, we could see God as our work out trainer – helping us have the desire & power to do what He wants (work out our salvation).
God is working in each of us. When Paul wrote this, he used the present tense & in Greek, this means an ongoing & continuous action. So God is working in you & me today, even at this moment, helping us to have the desire & abilities (resources, etc) to accomplish His will. If you get more specific, those times in your day when you feel like being kind, patient, friendly, generous, forgiving (see the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5) – these are God moments. He is working in you – be encouraged & offer Him some cooperation (I can’t say that word without thinking of Seasame Street).
Make today a God-watch day – watching for Him working in you His desires & abilities!