As I discussed Proverbs 3: 5-6 tonight during Bible study, I was sharing how acknowledging God is speaking who He is: The Great I Am that I Am, the first and the last, the sovereign God…acknowledging He is this big God.
THEN, for the first time in all my years studying this verse, it hit me – or rather was revealed to me – that acknowledging God in all my ways is trusting that His plan is best…His way is best.
Acknowledging God is surrendering to His will and being obedient to that will – even if we don’t understand it. But we trust Him to the point that whatever the outcome, we know he’s got us and we’re safe.
It’s, “Not my will, but thy will be done.” I acknowledge you not just to get me to the destination, but I trust you for the journey as well.
Have you heard gospel singer, Tasha Cobbs-Leonard’s song, You know My Name? Do you believe it?
It’s true. It’s scriptural.
God knows the names of all who are His.
Early this morning as I read John 10, I saw verse 3 in a different light. It says: “To him the porter openeth; and the sheep hear his voice: and he calleth his own sheep by name, and leadeth them out.”
What was revealed to me was, he not only knows my government name – that name my parents registered me in – but he knows me by the name, “Christian.” That, is also my name.
I started thinking and questioning myself: Am I living up to my name? You see, once we are covered in the blood of Jesus and have a personal relationship with God, then are we truly Christians. Christian is not simply saying we believe in the Father, Son and Holy Spirit or we are Christian because we attend church and are affiliated with the Christian faith. It’s living out the Christian life in word and in deed from the way we speak to people to how we handle them, to whether we are putting God first…do we love Him and love our neighbours as ourselves?
Further, Exodus 20:7 speaks to not taking the name of the Lord our God in vain. That’s not only casually dropping His name as a swear word or in a joke. When we say we are Christian, but don’t live as Christians, that’s also taking His name in vain. It’s like pretending to be a part of the royal family, but not being blue-blooded. It’s easy to dress the part, speak the language and blend in. But when Jesus looks upon us, can He call us by the name, “Christian”?
Just as there is fake news, there are fake Christians. The sad thing is there are those who are tares, growing among the wheat, but the time will come for there to be separation. Let us ensure we are not among those who say in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works?” However, God responds: “I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity” (Matthew 7:23). Lord, God have mercy! For people to believe they are Christians…saved…but in the end, He never even knew them…this is sobering.
So are we living up to the name the Good Shepherd calls us? Let us examine ourselves to see that we are in the faith (2 Corinthians 13:5).
When I worked as a television reporter, my worst on air experience was reporting live one evening during a week-long conference.
I don’t know what happened, but as I was speaking, suddenly my train of thought was derailed. I was on national tv and I didn’t remember what I was supposed to be saying. I got stuck. Trepidation set in. It was unbelievable! Yes, thousands of people watching live and I went silent. I wanted to walk away from the camera on live tv. And I can tell you that in broadcasting, silence for a few seconds could feel like a few minutes. It was an AWFUL experience.
Thank God I was able to recalibrate and finish the report, but I felt so badly that I went home, threw myself in bed and sulked. I was so embarrassed. I beat myself up badly.
I remember entering the newsroom the next day and being told by the main news anchor that she knew how I felt. She then gave me good advice: “Dassah, get straight to the point!” I took that and ran with it. This was my career at stake.
Interestingly, despite my public blunder, I wasn’t pulled from reporting live in the evening lineup the next day. That evening and for the rest of the week, I nailed it!
In fact, I was later told that when I was struggling in those moments the evening of the gaffe, the News Director was in the control room saying, “Come on Hadassah. Regroup!” I couldn’t hear her. I couldn’t see her. And I imagine that is just how God is rooting for us to get back on our feet when we make mistakes and fall.
In fact – and this is the amazing part – the next year when that same conference was held, I was bumped up from being the floor reporter to actually being the HOST of the live evening broadcast. And guess what? It was successful with no embarrassing moments. I went on to LOVE live broadcasts! As I now reminisce, all I could say is what has become my favourite quote: ‘Looka God!‘
I brought up this scenario in my life to prove that just as you are sitting there thinking you might not be worthy of that promotion, you don’t have sufficient experience to chair that committee, you don’t have the best grades to intern at that company, you’re not in the click, you’re too dark, you have no degree, you are the least worthy to represent the department, you are too old, too young, you just got hired, when you see UNWORTHY, God sees WORTHY. When man sees you as unqualified, God has already stamped QUALIFIED!
Let me give you three Biblical examples:
When Gideon was told that he would deliver Israel out of the hands of the Midianites, he said, “My family is poor in Manessah and I am the least in my father’s house (Judges 6:15).” But didn’t God qualify him and MIRACULOUSLY delivered his people?
When Sarah was told she would bear a child in her twilight years, she said, “After I am waxed old shall I have pleasure, my lord being old also? (Genesis 8:12).” But didn’t God raise up seed for this couple?
When Moses was told he was to go to Egypt and lead God’s people out of bondage, he said, “I am not eloquent…I am slow of speech, and of a slow tongue (Exodus 4:10). Didn’t God make a way?
I am one who believes in people being worthy, but I am reminded that our version of worthy sometimes differs from God’s. Let’s not forget in 1 Samuel 16, the Lord “refused” SEVEN of Jesse’s sons before choosing David because “…man looketh on the outward appearance, but the Lord looketh on the heart (7). OKAY!
We serve a God who sees differently and is a system-shifting God. Ecclesiastes 10:7 is amazing and is proof as well! Solomon said, “I have seen servants upon horses, and princes walking as servants upon the earth.” Wouldn’t God shift the system JUST FOR YOU?
What are you doubting God can do? Don’t box Him in.
Have you prayed over and repeatedly for something and still have yet to see it come to past?
Are you tired of praying about that situation, that problem…that desire…that longing?
Are you ready to throw in the towel?
Perhaps one of our issues is we are too focused on what WE want. We are humans and often, it’s all about us and what we desire. But what about what God wants?
My friend, who is a priest, once told me that God is more interested in who we become during the journey as opposed to just getting us to the destination.
As I think about this, it reminds me of a graduation. It’s such a big deal. Lots of bells and whistles. It’s an exciting day…but it’s ONE day. It’s that one day which culminates years of schooling in some instances. And trust me, I love graduations! They are worth celebrating. However, it’s the challenges we overcome, the victories, the failures, the late nights, early mornings, the tears, the difficult professors, perhaps the sitting out a semester for whatever reason…the journey of mountaintop and valley experiences, which all make the tassel worth the hassle. It’s all we have been through to get to that cap and gown, cross the stage, family-cheering moment.
So as you wait on what you have so earnestly prayed for, begin to take your focus off the destination and begin contemplating what God is doing in you during the journey. Is He trying to get you to be more patient? Is He desiring to strengthen your faith in Him? Is He saying, ‘You’re not ready. You want this more than you want me’? Is He saying, ‘My grace is sufficient’?
The reality is waiting can be hard (I know). Waiting can be lonely (I know). Waiting can be frustrating, particularly when we’ve been waiting long AND we see others – including those who do not serve the Lord – receiving some of the same requests we have been praying for (I know that too!). It might be weeks, months, years of prayer for healing, deliverance from low self esteem, a house, that new job, the husband, the baby, the salvation of your son, that scholarship, restoration of your marriage, that financial breakthrough etc. If God were to give us everything we want – and immediately at that – we would have no need to trust in Him. We would see Him as a magician.
So during these early morning hours, as I think about what I am waiting for, I encourage you – while I am encouraging myself in the Lord – to fix your eyes upon Jesus. Do not desire anything or anyone more than Him. Do not compare yourself to others. What God has for you…for me, we will get. Wait patiently. Wait on His timing. Wait faithfully. Worship while you wait. Get busy doing the work of the Lord, while you wait. Don’t waste your wait. Grow through it.
Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart: wait, I say, on the Lord. ~ Psalm 27:14