Personally Striving


The Preamble:
Just like many of you, I desire to be blessed.  So much so that God’s plan for my life has consumed my thoughts, and I look for the potential lesson or blessing in every circumstance or situation.  Through our conversations, I’ve convinced myself that struggle/misfortune is in many ways part of, or preface to, the blessing.  However, it seems fitting that in order to be blessed, we must understand what a blessing is.   The dictionary describes a blessing as “something promoting or contributing to happiness, well-being, or prosperity.  Now, I don’t disagree, but for a concept that has its origin in God, where better to go to understand that concept then the Bible.  Personally, I derive my definition of blessings from Romans chapter 6, verse 23; “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus.”  Simply put, a blessing is any and every display of God’s grace and mercy.  Now I am by no means the “fire and brimstone” type.  My father always told me that you attract more bees with honey, rather than the alternative.  To become a Christian because of intimidation or fear of what may happen (in my humble opinion) is much less fulfilling than becoming a Christian because you understand the benefits of a true relationship with God.  However, no matter what brought you to the table for salvation, you have to appreciate verse 23 in the 6thchapter of Romans.  Quite frankly, our merit, no matter how noble, earns us death!  We can’t earn our blessings, much less eternal life.  Any and everything that God sees fit to give us… is a blessing!  Furthermore, as I continue to ponder struggles and blessings, this thought seems to emerge… attitude is everything… but we’ll get to that some other time.
Give God Room to Be God:
In the Second chapter of Exodus God introduces Moses.  However, it’s the testimony of Moses’ mother that impressed me.  In this time Egypt was being ruled by a new Pharaoh.  This Pharaoh feared that the Israelites would soon outnumber the Egyptians, so he enslaved them and ordered that any boy born of Israelite blood be put to death.  Moses’ mother hid her baby as long as she could, but she realized that she wouldn’t be able to protect her baby forever.  I like to think that at this point she let go, and let God.  She placed that baby in the basket knowing that there is no force in heaven or on earth stronger then God’s love.  She got out of the way and allowed God room to be God.  How many of us are standing in the way of our blessings because we simply won’t get out of the way and allow God to do something miraculous in our lives?  How many of us are trying to fix our own problems when we have unlimited access to the greatest problem solver of any generation? 
Sometimes when I need to get out of the office, I go home and have lunch.  Usually I’ll eat my food and relax in front of one of my favorite childhood shows… “Home Improvement.”  If you’re not familiar with the show, Tim “The Tool Man” Taylor has his own home improvement show in which he always injures himself and rarely finishes a project.  Although he fancies himself an expert in home improvement, many a kitchen appliance has perished at his hands.  I noticed that when something in the house broke, not matter how savvy Tim professed to be, he always made matters worse.  Ultimately, the plumber always had to get involved.  How many of us are making a mess of our problems as well?  How much time and effort, sweat and tears, or heartache and pain would we avoid had we just called on the plumber before getting our hands dirty (Please don’t miss that).
We are Our Worst Enemies!!!:
In an earlier conversation we talked about being mentally strong.  We talked about the fact that in most cases, the mind fails far before the body; furthermore, if we learn to be mentally strong, we will learn to push through our situations.  In many cases deliverance is found in a different frame of mind or different perspective, and for that reason we must learn to be mentally strong.

However, to take this notion a little further, I started to think about some of the reasons we fail to be mentally strong.  First came the obvious… giving up is much more comfortable than pushing through.  We don’t work out because it’s much more comfortable to sit on the couch, we don’t diet because it turns out that the foods that are bad for you taste so much better… we are creatures of comfort.
Then I started to think a little more about Romans 6:23, “For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is everlasting life in Christ Jesus.”  In some cases, I believe we talk ourselves out of blessing because we KNOW that we don’t deserve them.  Candidly, we’ve earned nothing more than death.  Who are we to receive a blessing?  The human rational can be a double-edged sword.  We justify doing things to take ourselves out of a blessing by reminding ourselves that we didn’t deserve it in the first place (I know I have), forgetting to remind ourselves that God placed a gift at the end of the verse.  A gift is something you don’t have to earn!!!  Understanding that eternal life is a blessing, I find it completely acceptable to apply this logic to blessing in general.  You don’t earn them… they’re gifts.  Just prepare yourselves to receive them!
Peace & Love Family,

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