Friday, March 26, 2010
I did another 'not-so-random open the Bible to this point and have a quiet time.' today. I appreciate Habbakuk's prayer in chapter 3, especially 3b-4: "his glory covered the heavens and his praise filled the earth. his splendor was like the sunrise; rays flashed from His hand where His power was hidden." I LOVE FINDING CREATION VERSES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :) :)
He begins like most psalmists stating that the Lord's fame and power are known first in what He has done and in Creation. :) What is also cool is verses 6-10 could be references to the Flood. "The ancient mountains crumbled and the age-old hills collapsed" Tetonic activity might have leveled older mountain ranges and made new ones. "You split the earth with rivers, the mountains saw You and writhed torrents of water swept by; the deep roared and lifted the waves on high" Ok, that is definitelya reference to the Flood, and taking the previous verses in context what that, it is interesting that Habbakuk points to the Flood as evidence of God's power and judgement because he is writing this to warn the Israelites of the impending captivity.
Verses 11 - 16 could talk about the end-times. "You crushed the leader of the land of wickedness, you stripped him from head to foot." That could refer to the time Nebuchadnezzar was owned by God and made to EAT GRASS or could refer to God's ultimate defeat of Satan, of whom God says will get his FACE CRUSHED. The threshing of the nations indicates end times because God would separate His people from the ones that didn't call upon Him for salvation.
Then we get to verses 17-19 which people quote all the time. "Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength; He makes my feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to go on the heights." Knowing that God is powerful enough to create the whole Earth and flood it; Knowing God will crush Satan and the nations and save His people is security enough for Habbakuk. Though every main source of revenue in his country is ruined, he doesn't panic because God is on his side and is in control of all of it.
Do I believe that? Haha... sometimes. I get the theological significance, but the times when I'm not offered a job and feel powerless and feel like I'm abandoned, I tend to say some not-so-nice things to God and come very close to slamming the door in His face and give up. These are the times when I realize that I have a 1/10th of mustard-seed faith in this area. It's there. I know it's there, but I still get shaken when stuff doesn't work out.
What do I need to do? Realize God has me where He has me both in circumstance and geographical location for His reasons. If I need to leave Fort Collins and go elsewhere, He will work in it. Even if I leave with the attitude of, "Whatever. I'm done trying to fight to stay in Fort Collins. I'm outta here. I'm using my degree in a career-type job and that's my life." God is still sovereign. I might have to eat grass at some point (figuratively speaking) if I held onto that attitude long enough. Or If I leave trusting God has finished the work He has me here in Fort Collins to do and trust He has something for me closer to Mom / Grandma / and my other relatives, I can believe God is sovereign and that His plan will work out. Keeping in mind that God is powerful over His creation ( me included), and all governmental, corporate, economic powers helps me understand that He is ultimately in control and can be trusted with any economic /political /other factors affect my circumstances. Thus, I can say with more and more confidence (as I learn this in a deeper way), "Though the currency devalues, though employment rates do not rise, though economic power shifts from my nation, and the people are overwhelmed with taxes, though our debt to other nations increases, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. The Sovereign Lord is my strength and my ultimate worth and value; He makes me feet like the feet of a deer, He enables me to continue climbing on the heights." Altered version of Habbakuk 3:17-19.
Sunday, March 14, 2010
Romans 5:3-5 discusses suffering as it produces endurance, character, and hope in that order because it forces us to cling to the Holy Spirit more. Elsewhere Hebrews 12:1-2 calls us to endure (or persevere in other translations) the race that God has marked out for us and that endurance comes from fixing our eyes on Christ.
I think of endurance a lot with my continued search for full-time work. I would lie if I said that I was unemployed, and at times I am not grateful for the research assistant and call center jobs that I do have. I just want something more. Something in my field that would help me pay off my loans faster, give me full benefits, and be something of a professional job.
It can be easy to fix my eyes on that goal and put my hope in that goal. It can be tempting. I could easily move to Denver after I leave The Rock and join the GCM church there. I could even go to another city and join a church there. But God has called me to be part of the Summitview family. Fixing my eyes on him, arranges my priorities. Yes, I should continue to strive to find a job that will meet my needs, but my focus shouldn't be there. My focus should be on my Provider. He knows my needs and my abilities. He also knows my limitations with my eyes and transportation. I must trust Him first.
If I relied on my own self for endurance and focused on that perfect job for my hope, I would have given up a long time ago. Focusing on God helps me keep on going because I am living in His plan, and ultimately knowing Him better is the prize for finishing.