GOD DOESN’T WORK THAT WAY
18 October 2015
Because Step and I live a little differently to most people we know – we can be looked at as ‘foolish’ ‘irresponsible’ and ‘unprepared’. And believe me – when it is pointed out to us, at first, it can feel that way.
But my favourite is when friends feel it necessary to tell us ‘God doesn’t work that way’.
You won’t believe what happened to me!!! But, first, I want you to stop and think, really think, right now. How DOES God work? What if I asked you to answer that question now? ‘How DOES God work?’ Do you know? Have you thought about it and prayed about it – or is there some preconceived idea about how far God can go and how far He can’t. What limits do YOU think God has?
This is a legitimate question to ask yourself. Because, basically, your entire faith and life depend on the answers you scrape up from the back of your mind or the depths of your being.
Possible mind-limits for you could include: God can heal a sore leg – but not a BROKEN leg.
God can heal the flu – but not CANCER.
God can bless you with funds – but not until you’ve proven you’re a hard worker.
God can help you buy a house – but He wouldn’t just GIVE you one.
Over the past month God has had me on a journey that I knew nothing about at the beginning of that month. Don’t you love it when He does that? He can be a cheeky chap!
And that journey is about something that I used to think was a dirty word. It is a close cousin of the fruit of the Spirit, and a constant throughout the Word. It is something I hadn’t noticed, didn’t strive for, put not too much emphasis on and really thought it was something for stuffy old people.
By way of background: Let’s look first at the fruit of the Spirit in Galatians 5:22
“LOVE, JOY, PEACE, PATIENCE, KINDNESS, GOODNESS, FAITHFULNESS, GENTLENESS AND SELF-CONTROL.”
It’s the lucky last that I want to talk about first.
Now let’s check out 1 Corinthians 9:25-
“Every athlete exercises self-control in all things. They do it to receive a perishable wreath, but we an imperishable.” or as Jim Rohn puts it –
“Everyone must choose one of two pains: the pain of discipline or the pain of regret.”
Now here’s that nasty word I’m talking about
SELF CONTROL – or as these guys, Paul in the Bible and Jim here – SELF DISCIPLINE.
Don’t you reckon it sounds stuffy and boring and something old people do?
Yet, God has been teaching me how important it is.
Hang on, before I tell you what happened, check this out.
Even way back in 384 BC Aristotle got it when he said
“What lies in our power to do, lies in our power NOT to do.”
Ok last one, then I’ll tell you what happened. Let’s check out the Word again and make sure I’m getting this right…
Proverbs 25:28 days
“A MAN WITHOUT SELF-CONTROL IS LIKE A CITY BROKEN INTO AND LEFT WITHOUT WALLS.”
Now, I am not really the kinda gal that particularly wants walls around me – you know what I mean? Yet I don’t want to be broken-into either. So how does this relate to me?
Let’s have a look at something many responsible people call CONSEQUENCES.
Andy Andrews – anybody know Andy Andrews? He is one of my heroes. He is such a positive go-getter. He wrote the SEVEN DECISIONS FOR SUCCESS. My manchild Benny put me on to him years ago – actually, get this, HE IS THE GUY who put me onto that 7 seconds of laughter I write about in FALLING UP STAIRS. You know? The one my daughter-in-luv grudgingly thanks me for teaching my son Caleb. She is still embarrassed when he is driving down the road with the windows down in the city and laughing his head off. Over nothing. Crazily. Oh, its such fun. It releases happy hormones and lifts you up for the whole day.
Anyway Andy Andrews says, “SELF-DISCIPLINE IS THE ABILITY TO MAKE YOURSELF DO SOMETHING YOU DON’T NECESSARILY WANT TO DO TO GET A RESULT YOU WOULD REALLY LIKE TO HAVE.”
self- discipline rules;
WHAT COULD HAPPEN?
IS THAT WHAT YOU WANT?
Some people do this. Some people have been doing it most of their lives. Some people use it as an excuse to NOT do anything. You know the old, ‘what if such&such happened?’ and they’re too afraid to step out and do anything. Fear of all the terrible consequences their minds can conjur up stop them from actually DOING. Doing anything.
But if we look at this from God’s point of view. The God who has promised us so much. The God who put dreams and desires inside us. God, the dream-giver and the dream-fulfiller. Then I reckon there is a huge lesson in it.
Let me tell you what’s been happening to me. And I didn’t mean to. And I didn’t ask for it!
IT ALL STARTED WHEN I decided to FAST AND PRAY.
Flip – ANYTHING CAN HAPPEN.
I was simply being selfish to start with. Honestly!! I just wanted a new Buzz. I don’t have enough money for the new buzz I want – so I thought I would fast and pray and voila – God would bring it.
Actually – I still think that. God WILL bring it. But that’s a testimony for next week hehe.
At first it took no discipline at all. I had decided to fast and pray and that is what I did. I ate no food, drank no alcohol, ditched my CHAI TEA (which was my NUMBER ONE ADDICTION) – and just drank lemon juice & honey in hot water. It was so easy. I really didn’t know what everyone was complaining about.
But it was only lunch time the first day!!!!!! Haha
Second day, before I went to bed with my tummy growling and my mood not the most pleasant – you’ve heard of HANGRY haven’t you? I cooked up a sweet potato and had that for dinner.
After that, I had some vegies for dinner every night for the first week. Second week I introduced some salad for lunch.
Still no sugar, dairy, wheat, chai, alcohol – just fresh vegies and my lemon and honey drink.
In that coupla weeks, I prayed not just for me – but right through our church people and my friends and all my extended family over and over. I hope you felt the difference.
So then it was over.
I had done what I set out to do.
I was so stoked.
Now I could go back to doing whatever I wanted…. Right?
God had other plans.
He had spoken to my inner-man about self-discipline and I began to notice things.
Our spending had changed (of course it did, I was no longer eating or drinking – I was a flipn cheap shout).
I no longer wanted to be RECKLESS. I had lost weight and felt good.
I was more clear headed.
I was friendlier!!!!!!!!!!!
I gained confidence.
I felt more in control of my life and the things around me.
I found I was utilizing my time better and had time to tidy up some loose ends that kept being transferred from week to week in my diary.
I was complimenting people so easily – everyone I saw, I saw something wonderful.
I could handle change better. I wasn’t freaking out over the things that weren’t going my way.
My failures weren’t shattering me. You know I am putting together a book called ROOM TO BREATHE and when some of the famous people reject my invitation to come aboard it can affect my self-confidence. But, suddenly, I didn’t care. I trusted God that the right people would come and those HE didn’t want, wouldn’t.
This is something you’d think I would think ALL THE TIME. But it wasn’t. I didn’t know that consciously, but during and after fasting, God showed me SO MUCH.
IT WAS LIKE I HAD SPIRITUAL EYES OPENED WIDER. It was awesome.
I felt closer to God. I felt like He was talking with me – like a mate.
I began to set goals and deadlines with confidence.
I was smashing goals with ease.
Man, I tell you – my whole outlook was changing.
And, people were telling me God had worked through me when I was with them!!!!!!!!!!
One example: A customer came into the Olive Tree and we got chatting – and before you know it, she is spilling all this horrible stuff that happened to her as a kid and I was embracing her. It was nothing too unusual for me or for the Olive Tree. This kinda stuff happens all the time there.
But, just as she was paying for her cuppa and turning to walk out, she said, “my back is healed since talking to you.” Just like that. I didn’t even KNOW her back had anything wrong with it.
It made me remember a few other incidences where God had worked through me without me consicious of it. I began to recall a few other women who had said my hug brought healing or my words changed their outlook. Things I was not consiciously doing or saying. Just God somehow had more freedom to do his stuff within me and through me.
And, when I picked up a drink of alcohol, with all my resolve to be responsible – I drank THREE GLASSES in one sitting. Instantly my eyes were opened. Stay away. You have no self-discipline in that area. Wow – that was liberty and freedom right there.
Here was a new me who actually LIKED self-discipline! A person who was forward thinking, and willing to take responsibility for what was to come.
And I liked it.
Self discipline is actually LIBERATING!
Remember – I’m on a journey – I haven’t arrived.
But it is a journey of no more blaming time (or lack of it), energy (or lack of it), others or even thinking I know everything.
Yeah, I even take advice onboard without feeling like it was a slight against me.
And guess what? I was having a down moment on Wednesday morning and I received a private message from a woman I have never met, who lives in Fiji, who became my friend on facebook through Falling Up Stairs. And she sent a simple text that said, “God has you on my heart today. He loves you. Be blessed.”
That, my friend, is our loving Father. Stretching His heart and arms over the oceans to hug a daughter back to joy.
He is a very big God.
Who woulda thought?
How self disciplined are you? How is your walk going with God? How is your evangelism going?
Do you spead love, joy and happy vibes wherever you go?
Or are you walking around with criticisism, a sense of entitlement, holding grudges, too lazy, bored or uninspired to minister to anyone around you cos all you can see is what you DON’T have for yourself or what others AREN’T doing for you?
How’s your perception of God?
I want you to stop and think, really think, right now. How DOES God work? What if I asked you to answer that question now? ‘How DOES God work?’ Do you know? Have you thought about it and prayed about it – or is there some preconceived idea about how far God can go and how far He can’t. What limits do YOU think God has?
WHAT LIBERTY IS GOD OFFERING YOU RIGHT NOW?
2 Timothy 1:7
God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of LOVE, POWER & a SOUND-MIND.
Consider yourself Luvd-on by your friend Chrissy xx