I am a slow learner sometimes and sometimes I even need a little kick in the rear to get me walking in the right direction. But I have found that if God really wants me to do something, He just sits on me so hard that I can’t move until I have done what He wants me to do. This word is a result of just such a moment.
Wednesday night at church while waiting for the praise and worship to start, I was reading Jeremiah and I kept getting distracted because of a conversation going on next to me. I didn’t hear all of what was said, but I do remember hearing certain comments like “tithing is a bit overstated” and “if he died right now, where would he be going?” All I could do is shake my head and chuckle.
Well, during the worship all I could think about is honeybees and catching flies with honey. Then God sat me down and pointed me to this scripture.
Proverbs 16:24 Pleasant words are a honeycomb, sweet to the soul and healing to the bones.
I felt the need to give this scripture to the person on the receiving side of the conversation. But I didn’t. I thought, am I supposed to give this to him? What if I am wrong? What if this was not meant for him? How do I explain why I gave it to him? Well, I pray the Lord forgives me for disobedience, because when I woke up this morning I knew I should have given it to him and I knew that I couldn’t be doing wrong if I am doing as God leads me.
I know it because this morning I woke up with just one thought on my mind – Clay. I had a vision of a round circle cut into a block of cement. And a hand was trying to fit a hardened piece of square clay into the circle. But it wouldn’t go in and the harder the hand pushed the more stressed and bruised the hand was getting, and finally the hand pushed so hard that the clay broke into a dozen pieces. The hand cleared the pieces from the cement and tossed the clay to the side. Then the hand took a softened piece of square clay and tried to put it into the round hole in the cement. It didn’t slide right in, so the hand again tried to force the clay into the hole. The clay didn’t break this time, but the clay was squished and only a portion of the clay made it into the hole, the rest went all around the outside of the hole. The hand cleaned the clay from the hole and tossed it to the side. Then the hand had yet another piece of square clay. The clay once again would not fit easily into the round hole in the cement. But this time the hand took the time to round the edges of the clay and mold it into a form, which soon slid easily into the hole.
This is when I realized that God was showing me why he put that scripture on my heart. I realized my purpose for God. I also understood that everyone has a unique purpose for God.
Each of us are given gifts as we grow in the Lord so we can ultimately fulfill His purpose. God molds us in the shape and form He needs us to be in, to be in accordance with His plan. We are the clay, He is the potter. In the vision, I saw the hardened clay to be a hardened heart. Like a new born baby we don’t understand how to do things our Father’s way, we want to do things our own way. This creates stress and conflict, and we get bruised (usually on the rear). But God softens our hearts and during this time we are allowing God to use us for His purpose, but we still try to do it our way. Then, a time comes and we open our hearts and become willing vessels. God molds us into what He wants us to be, we do not resist and we fit perfectly in the spot designed just for us.
Romans 9:20 – 21 On the contrary, who are you, O man, who answers back to God? The thing molded will not say to the molder, “Why did you make me this”, will it?
A good friend once told me that my biggest problem was the “Why me” syndrome. I am so unworthy, why would you choose me? But should we ask this question of God? I will always believe that you can ask God anything. But there are some answers that will be beyond our comprehension. We just need to let God use us, knowing He has a purpose. We need to trust He knows what He is doing and not worry about the why. In the end does the why matter anyway? Or does it matter more that God loves you and believes in you enough to give you a purpose? The fact will always be that we are who we are and God is who He is and it’s only by the grace of God that we can be all He wants us to be.
Proverbs 29:1 A man who hardens his neck after much reproof will suddenly be broken beyond remedy.
When we have hardened hearts and we are stubborn, when we resist God and we refuse to follow his will, we will eventually break and crumble. Pride is a very destructive thing to have. Stubbornness comes from being prideful, and wrath and indignation await those who are stubborn. Like the hardened piece of square clay we will be broken.
But when we try to do good and we constantly fail because of our stubbornness what do you think happens? We want to do God’s will, but we want to do it our way and in our time. What becomes of us?
Do not believe that everything that doesn’t go our way comes from Satan. It should not be going our way anyway, it should be going God’s way. Sometimes God punishes us in order to bring about repentance. This is called discipline. Just as you discipline your children, God will also discipline you. There is also something else we cave into a lot. It is called self-will. When we put self-will before God’s will, calamity is just around the corner. Let’s look at the story of Samson and Delilah.
Before Samson was even born an angel of the Lord appeared to Samson’s mother and said “For behold, you shall conceive and give birth to a son, and no razor shall come upon his head, for the boy shall be a Nazirite to God from the womb; and he shall begin to deliver Israel from the hands of the Philistines” (Judges 13:5)
Nazirite comes from the Hebrew word naziyr (naw-zeer’). It means to separate or consecrate.
So Samson was to be consecrated and he was to never cut his hair and as long as Samson obeyed this, God blessed Samson with great strength. Later Samson fell in love with Delilah, who tricked him into telling the secret of where his strength came from. Samson’s hair was cut and his strength left him. But what ended up happening? In the end Samson ended up calling out to God and God returned his strength to him. But between the time his hair was cut and the strength being returned, Samson had his eyes gouged out, he was thrown into prison and made a mockery out of. (Judges 13-16)
The will of God was for Samson to not cut his hair. Samson knew Delilah was trying to trick him. This is evident from the three times she came asking about it and he deceived her. But Delilah kept at him and kept at him wearing Samson down slowly, until he finally gave in.
Satan also likes to wear us down. We are constantly bombarded with temptations and with evil people surrounding us with lies and deceit. But what I saw, or in this case did not see, when reading this story – I did not see Samson turn to God and ask God to remove the temptation. So Samson did things his own way and he suffered. He did turn back to God and ask God for help later, but he got battered and bruised in the process.
So now you have tried being hard hearted and pride broke you into pieces, you have tried to follow God, but in your own way and time and you are getting battered and bruised. Now, why don’t you try letting God mold you, as you should be molded. To fit you into the perfect spot he wants you to be in. A spot made just for you.
How do you do that? We can not see the purpose you have for us. We are blind and can not see, Lord. Help us to follow your ways. And the Word of the Lord says:
Isaiah 42:16 I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains, these are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.
The word rugged in Hebrew is ma` aqash (mah-ak-awsh’) and it means crooked or twisted. The word for plains is miyshowr (mee-shore’) and it means to make level or straight.
Our Father is saying He will straighten our path and He will shine a light for us to follow because He knows we do not know the path. And He says “I will not leave them undone.” The Hebrew word for used for “leave them undone” is `azab (aw-zab’) and it actually means to leave, loose, forsake, to depart, abandon, apostatize, to desert. So God is saying He will not abandon us or forsake us, but he will show us the way and will make our path easy to follow. Our part is to receive this promise. And how do you do that? You listen and hear the voice of the Lord.
Proverbs 19:20-21 Listen to counsel and accept discipline, that you may be wise the rest of your days. Many plans are in a man’s heart, but the counsel of the Lord will stand.
We can try to follow our own way, but we are already destined to a purpose for God and He will prevail. We are to open our eyes and our hearts to hear His voice and we are to accept the discipline we are given when we are rebellious. Follow God and have peace. What if you have doubt as to what path to take?
One of the best friends I ever had in the whole world once gave me the wisest word ever told to me by man. He said “When in doubt, pray”. God is always there 24/7, He has all the answers and already knows where you are going. There is no one better to follow in heaven or on earth than the Lord. He will never lead you astray, He will never lie, He will love you unconditionally and He will never, ever leave you alone. Listen to the Lord with all your heart.
“Today if you hear His voice, do not harden your hearts” (Hebrews13:7, 15; 14:7)
I cried out to God to show me my purpose. I pleaded with him because I needed to know that I actually did have a purpose. I was in turmoil and confused as to where to go and needed help. And God answered me. I heard His voice and I opened my heart to receive and now I have my answer. I know if you open your hearts, He will also show you.
I offer this prayer to the Lord for each of you.
Father I love you so much and I thank you for blessing us with life. You amaze me each day as I awake to the beautiful wonders of this world. I praise you, Lord God with all my heart and I will worship you with all my strength. Father, I humbly ask that you open our hearts, soften them so your love and only your love may flow through. Help us to understand our purpose. Fill us with the knowledge and wisdom necessary to fulfill Your purpose. As you have promised, Father, shine a guiding light on our path and clear all the stumbling blocks, so we do not stumble. Help us to be better servants to you, Lord. Place people in our path, Father, that will help us grow and mature, that will help us to follow – someone to guide us. Lord let us also be a guide to others as they also search for their place in your house. Help us to love them with the perfect love you have for us. We love you Lord with all our hearts, now teach us to listen and to learn. Help us to hear You when You call. In the name of Jesus, Amen