While I have been able to get a lot done before I leave for Ireland in just a couple of days, there is still so much left to do. On this Thankful Thursday, I am tempted to sit here, paralyzed by the undone, and throw a pity party! In fact, I have been immobilized this morning and am still in my exercise clothes; yes, I had good intentions of hitting the treadmill this morning, but all that has been racing is my mind filled with anxiety for what is not done, what will happen during my absence and what if...what if....what if!
I am reminded of a devotional that I finished writing this week for publication on an online devotional for November 8th. Don't you just hate it...I mean love it....when God brings to your mind, using your own words.....His Truth that always crashes the best of pity party!
Psalm 116:5 November 8, 2007
“The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.”
Is your God big enough?
In his book, Your God Too Small, J. B. Phillips lists some names we have developed for God in our adult thinking: Resident Policeman, Parental Hangover, Grand Old Man, Meek and Mild, Absolute Perfection, Heavenly Bosom, God-in-a-box, and Managing Director. Suggesting that we bring our childhood beliefs and life experiences while defining God in our adulthood, Phillips purports that we find ourselves perplexed by a description of our God who is not big enough for our modern day needs. “While [our] experience of life has grown in a score of directions, and [our] mental horizons have been expanded to the point of bewilderment by world events and scientific discoveries, [our] ideas of God remain largely static.” Ask yourself this question today, “Have I ‘conformed to the pattern of this world’ as I understand who God truly is? (Romans 12:2)
….but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.” It’s time for some transformation of thought! “His good, pleasing and perfect will” is evidence of His gracious and righteous nature; our God is not limited to our mental capacities. He cannot be put in a box; still, as Phillips states, “Many men and women are living today, often with inner dissatisfaction, without any faith in God at all. This is not because they are particularly wicked or selfish, or as the old-fashioned would say, “godless,” but because they have not found with their adult minds a God big enough to “account for” life, big enough to “fit in with” the new scientific age, big enough to command their highest admiration and respect, and consequently their willing cooperation.” Yes, it’s time for the renewal of our minds!
I avoid conforming to this world—we all try. And yet, when we limit our understanding of the true nature of God by our mental processes during trying times, we conform indeed. Renewing of our minds changes our prayer of “Why LORD?” to “Thank you LORD!” Thank you for your Holy power and never ceasing love to bring something eternally good out of every bad situation I face. Thank you LORD for your never-ending presence in my life, even when I do not have the ability to see it. Thank you God for your Holy grace, girded with compassion which guides your perfect will for my life. Ah yes, renewal works!
Reflection: Who do you say God is? Have you put Him in a box or labeled Him within the confines of your own understanding? Or, do you rejoice with the Psalmist as he proclaims publicly how big his God is? Read all of Psalm 116; go ahead—“test and approve” all that God is--read all of the Psalms! Renew your mind today and discover our conception of God can never be too big!
So, today, I am thankful that no matter how big my anxieties become, my God is bigger.
I am thankful for God's Word, for His voice that speaks to us even when the roar of our world seems too loud.
I am thankful for God's gracious righteousness; that no matter my weakness and sin, He faithfully covers me with His righteousness.
I am thankful for the conviction of His Word: that His Word faithfully transforms my mind and renews my Spirit.
I am thankful that no matter where I am, God is there.
I am thankful for His very real presence and purpose for my life. Too often as I am overcome with reliance on my self....I forget that He is with me. I am thankful that when I forget who God truly is.....He is faithful to remind me!
Have a great TT!