The Gospel of Self

Godiva-Amsterdam

Why is combating the “gospel of self” so important?

Because focusing on our will, instead of God’s will, causes us to compromise Scripture, meaning we look at it for what we WANT it to say, not letting it speak for itself.

So how do we fall into this deception? What does “compromising Scripture” look like? I suggest that it is as simple as us “bending” Scripture to meet our preconceived notions of what it SHOULD say.

And then when someone disagrees with us we say, “Oh that’s just your interpretation.” But, these ARE NOT interpretation issues! These are context issues. HUGE difference!

I like what the AiG founder, Ken Ham says when he is talking about evolutionists and creationists looking at the same evidence but coming up with completely different conclusions. The difference, he says is, “Where we start impacts where we end-up.”

Let me draw what that looks like:

Proper Context         ++   Passage’s Interpretation      ==   Peace
IM-Proper Context    ++   Passage’s Interpretation      ==   NO-Peace

Here’s the sobering part of why we end up with NO-Peace:
Romans 8:6, For the mind-set of the flesh is death, but the mind-set of the Spirit is life and peace.

  • Here’s the context of Romans 8:6: The Holy Spirit makes a difference in our life.
  • The interpretation is above.
  • So, when I do NOT have peace, it is for one reason, because I am NOT focusing on the things of the Spirit.

Now let me challenge your prayer life, and I will use just one example:

Giving Thanks

We all know 1 Thessalonians 5:18, that we are to give thanks “IN” everything, but do we realize that we are to give thanks “FOR” everything (Ephesians 5:20)?

  1. Example of when my checking account is low. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You that You have another opportunity to strengthen my faith muscle, and I get to watch You do it!”
  2. Example of protection when I drive, or, traveling mercies. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You that your angel is alongside me, guarding me along the way so that I arrive at the place that you have prepared for me (Exodus 23:20), WHEREVER that is.”
  3. Example of a child in the military. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You that I can trust You with my child to do WHATEVER You want in his life, because You are sovereign and You know what is best (Psalm 103:19).”
  4. Example of poor personal health. In light of the above, my prayer becomes, “I thank You Lord that You have promised to comfort me IN this affliction, so that I can comfort others in the self-same way (2 Corinthians 1:4).”

We need to rethink the way we pray. And hear me, I’m not saying this is the ONLY way to pray about these issues. I’m merely showing how “giving thanks” can be done IN everything and FOR everything, just as Scripture says.

 

Blessings,

 

Mark S Mirza
Author/Speaker
www.ThePray-ers.com

PS: Giving Thanks (for everything) often leads to worry. Here is a 3 minute video I did on worry last year.
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QufiGwdMjBc 

Problem Throwing

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SUBTITLE: When Life Throws You Problems

Imagine that you’re 30,000 feet up in the air…in turbulence.

I just read a post from a friend of mine that said, in part, “sometimes life throws you problems…” and I think we need to look, “gently critically” at this for a moment.

God is sovereign (Psalm 103:19) and so NOTHING in your life happens outside of His providence. Remember Job? When you read the first two chapters of that book, you see that God actually prompts satan (not capitalized on purpose) to do what he does to Job. And remember 2 Chronicles 7:14? Well there’s a verse before it. In verse 13 God is speaking, He says, basically, “When I bring natural disasters, and when I bring those things that impact your finances, and when I bring illnesses…”

These passages, and a lot more, cause me to look at problems that are “thrown” my way, a bit differently than just, “life throwing you problems.”

You see, the one and only constant that I know is God. I trust Him. I know that He is sovereign. I know that His Son came that I might live life abundantly. I know that He has a plan for my life. I know that ANYTHING that happens in my life has gone thru His hands BEFORE it came to me.

So, far from saying, as my friend did, later in her post, “just hang on…” Far from that, I am saying, because God is sovereign, “Thank You Lord, for this challenge. Thank You Lord for another opportunity for You to strengthen my faith muscle, and I get to watch You do it!”

Now let me talk about my friend for a moment. I know her very well, and I KNOW that her idea was, AND IS, to be an encourager…BUT, even my “gifted encourager” friend can find herself focusing on the wrong point, namely, “that life has thrown you a problem.”

No! The right perspective is, God is sovereign! He is doing something, “for the better” (Romans 8:28) in my life, THAT’S the right perspective…No offense to my friend, I hope.

 

Mark S Mirza
Mark@CTMPrayer.org
@CTMPrayer
www.CTMPrayer.org

Common Thread Ministries

Praising God Amidst Brokenness

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This post is taken from
a prayer of Paul’s that we often miss.
The HCSB entitles this section of the chapter
A HYMN OF PRAISE

Romans 11:33-36 (NASB)
“Oh, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are His judgments and unfathomable His ways! For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who became His counselor? Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever. Amen.”

Paul has just spent the previous 86 verses discussing Israel’s rejection of the Messiah, and what that means, to them and to the Gentiles. In much of these 86 verses, you hear Paul’s heart breaking for his people…and it is in THAT context that he praises God.

APPLICATION…Can you praise God when your heart is broken…whether it be for your loved ones, or for your nation? Can you praise God when you are broken through being laid off, being divorced? Can you praise God when brokenness comes because of sin that you have let get out of hand? Maybe it is something that you “hid” from God, that you lied to a loved one about? Believe me, praising God is so much bigger than we realize. It has a place in every one of these situations.

By looking at Paul’s prayer can you tell where Paul received his comfort from? After 86 verses of lamenting, I think Paul puts down his pen and opens his heart to receiving comfort from God. And how does he receive it, this comfort? I believe that it is in Paul knowing the wisdom and knowledge of who God is, which Paul gained from spending time in His Word (remember verses like 2 Timothy 4:13). I believe that this allows Paul to see the depth of God’s riches. In recognizing afresh, all of this about God, Paul realizes that he doesn’t need to have all the answers, because God’s judgments (or decisions) are unfathomable to our finite brains. He acknowledged that no one can know the mind of God, and certainly, no one can “counsel” God or give Him advice. Verse 35 uses a phrase that in English comes out a bit awkward, Or who has first given to Him that it might be paid back to him again? I think a better way to say this is, “Do you think you can give God something He would then be beholden to you over?” Paul finishes with basically saying, “Look, this is all about God!”

So, recognizing that due to circumstances, any circumstances, you are broken. I want you to pray Paul’s prayer with me, using your own words where appropriate, and applying it to your brokenness. These verses (Romans 11:33-36), prayed, might sound something like this:

Father, the wisdom and knowledge gained from Your Word confirms for me the depth of Your riches, and Lord, they are too wonderful, too overwhelming to me. So often I want to know and figure out Your mind, but thank You that not only can I not know Your mind, but no one can give You counsel. You know my situation Father, so much better than I do, there is nothing I can offer You that would cause You to owe me anything, and Lord, I do NOT want that responsibility. You are sovereign overall and Your throne is above the heavens (Psalm 103:19). I praise You that Your sovereignty means that all things, all circumstances, including this difficult one in my life, are not a surprise to You, it was seen by You first and authorized in Your personal plans for my life. And so without any hesitation, and with perfect trust I can say that this difficulty is from You, through You and unto Your Glory, forever and ever. Father, I do not understand my plight, but I thank You that You are in control. It is THAT wisdom and knowledge of the riches You have given me, through Your Son, even in the midst of my difficulty, that allows me to approach You in praise, in the midst of my brokenness. Lord, I praise You for I don’t need to know exactly how You plan to work, I don’t need to give You “advice” about my situation for I trust You. In fact it is foolish for me to even think that You owe me any explanation. I trust and know that You work all things out for the better (Romans 8:28), Amen and Amen.

 

May I end with a couple of reminders?

  1. I’m not saying, “Don’t ask God to take away your difficulties.” It is natural to do that, and even Paul did…three times! I’m not saying that there is ANYTHING special about asking three times. Paul could have asked only one time, or ten times, or more. My point is this, at SOME TIME he stopped asking!
  2. Also, Philippians 4:6-7 gives us a “formula” if you will, to receive peace. It says, you come to the Lord with what? It says, “with prayer , petitions and thanksgivings…” The next time you are anxious about ANYTHING, would you seriously consider carrying a piece of paper with you, and start writing the things down that you can give thanks for, on behalf of your difficulty? You will be surprised the things the Lord lays on your heart.

When I was in Kenya a couple of months ago a new friend of mine, stood up on the last day I was in her village. She said, “Last night, I was lying in bed, my leg was hurting and I started talking to God, ‘I said Lord, I don’t like what that Muzungu said, but I know it is in Your Word, so will You show me what I can give thanks for?'” She smiled and then her eyes teared up, and she said, “There were a thousand things I could give thanks for.”

My friend, praise Him! Praise God that you can give thanks and praises for difficulties in your life. And friend, thank the Lord that I didn’t lecture on what the Bible says about the “benefits” that come from difficulties in our life. That is a whole other post!

Mark S Mirza
Common Thread Ministries
Mark@CTMPrayer.org
@CTMPrayer

Common Thread Ministries

When is Worry Like Fasting?

PrayerBox-2013-0217-cropped-webDPI.jpg
I was up early this morning talking to the Lord about upcoming events and then wrote the following to the Lord, about 3:00 am, I said, “Lord, I want a new memory verse, but I think that I will go back to those I have already memorized.”

And in looking for that memory verse I came across Matthew 6:34, but then I thought about Matthew 6:33-34, and then I started looking back further and further, for foundational context.

The more I looked back into the passage, the more I saw how Christ was using His previous words to lay the foundation for what He was going to say about worry…and then I saw it, the connection between fasting and worry…and not a “good” connection.

At the time of this writing, in my notes, I still didn’t know what I’m going to memorize, but I loved seeing this truth from the Sermon on the Mount.

If you want to read it ALL in context, go to Matthew 6:16-34 and read it in the NASB. It’ll take a few minutes, but it is worth it. Here are my notes from this morning:

  • I don’t think I ever noticed this before, but in the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus discusses fasting, to set up His discussion about worry. He describes the person fasting, and fasting in a way that gets “their reward here on earth” (Matthew 6:16), their “treasure.” He is talking about the Pharisees who liked everyone to see their sorrow, like, unfortunately, so many people today, who give their prayer requests, for the purpose of allowing others to see their sorrow. The are, forgive me, simply having a gloomy pity party!
  • As I think about it, I realize that often, no, OFTEN, people share their prayer requests in a way that “demonstrates” to themselves (and they think to others), that they have a right to worry about their situation
  • I suppose one’s motivation (and only they can deal with that) gives away whether or not they are seeking accuracy in prayer, or if they just want everyone to know every detail of their problem. In this case, their motivation is “getting their reward here on earth” which, is no different than that Pharisee. Jesus then directly compares this action, gaining pity, as storing up an earthly treasure (Matthew 6:19).
  • Jesus then goes on to talk about the reasons we do not have to worry. You can read all of the reasons you don’t have to worry (Matthew 6:20-32), and in reality, you will see that you already know them.
  • But here’s the key, verse 33, seek first His kingdom and His righteousness…It’s counter intuitive isn’t it? Jesus is saying that instead of worrying about this which you are praying about, instead of focusing on that “terrible” prayer request, we are to focus on, seeking His kingdom, and His righteousness. It truly is counter intuitive.
  • What is Jesus saying? Simply this, take the focus off yourself! And THEN He says in Matthew 6:34, “So don’t worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will take care of itself, each day has enough trouble of its own.”

Wow, you know what? Because He is sovereign, because His throne is above the heavens (Psalm 103:19), I really don’t have to worry, do I? And neither do you my friend.

I need to make two notes here:

  1. I am not saying that church isn’t where we are to bring our prayer requests, or that we are not to sorrow, especially in church. This IS one of the GREAT characteristics of church…just check your motivation.
  2. Don’t judge! You may hear one’s prayer request and label them a Pharisee. You can’t do that, rather, help them, encourage them, cry with them, as Jesus did in John 11:35 just a few verses before He brought Lazarus back to life.

Common Thread Ministries

Praying 25 Days of Christmas (Day 23)

December 23

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Has to do with when the Lord’s plans are not clean and neat
    • We often think that if something is from God it will go smoothly right?
      • Think again!
      • Remember Job, the difficulties came at God’s insistence!
    • And so, because He’s sovereign,
      • Because the Holy Spirit does not make mistakes,
      • Because nothing is a surprise to God,
      • We can trust Him!
    • Psalm 103:19 tells us that, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.”
  • Today’s prayer

As I reread the account of the Magi’s visit (Matthew 2:1-12) and the flight into Egypt by Jesus’ family, including King Herod’s butchery (Matthew 2:13-18), I am reminded Lord that Your plans are not always clean and neat. We often find ourselves in a deep valley that You have brought us to. Father, thank You for Your many promises, of which Romans 8:28 is only one. It tells us that ALL THINGS work together for good, for those who are in Christ Jesus, Your son, the One who’s advent, who’s coming, we celebrate this Christmas season.

  • Follow-up to today’s prayer
    • People like to say that Job brought his issues upon himself, which doesn’t bear out in the text, (note Job chapters 1 and 2)
    • And look in the NT, Paul talked about it, Peter talked about it (1 Peter 4:13) rejoicing in and EXPECTING to suffer, with Christ
    • We make a grave error in the West by thinking that when difficulties come our way God wants us to wriggle out of them.
      • He has allowed them!!
      • God has allowed them for a reason!!

Common Thread Ministries

Praying 25 Days of Christmas (Day 10)

December 10

  • Background to today’s prayer
    • Trust…a scary word when you are dealing with an unknown.
    • And yet two biblical characters, in two very difficult situations handled truth very differently from one another.
    • Let me jump to the opposite end of this spectrum, knowing that nothing is impossible with God.
    • My prayer for us today is that we would be open to the Lord working these truths into our life.
  • Today’s prayer

Zechariah looked to man’s wisdom and doubted while Mary looked to Your sovereignty and trusted. What do I do? Lord, Psalm 103:19 tells me that You are sovereign over all…yet I so often act like Zechariah wanting to decide if Your ways fit into my box (Luke 1:18) whereas Mary trusted in Your words that came through the angel (Luke 1:38). Father, we often quote verse 37, “Nothing is impossible with God.” Lord, would You convict our hearts to be broken for our selfish misunderstanding, causing us to glory in child-like faith instead.

Common Thread Ministries

Day After the Day After (Sovereignty)

Prayer and the Elections (Romans 13:1)

SOVEREIGNTY

The question asked, multiple times yesterday was, “Well then, how do we pray, going forward?”

I suspect that we will approach this question a number of times during this series, so let’s tackle this today, from the standpoint of Psalm 103:19, where David tells us that the Lord’s throne is above the heavens, and He is sovereign over all. Think about this for a minute, His throne is above the heavens…He is sovereign over all…you mean, the pink slip I just got at work isn’t a surprise to God? Nope!

The bad report from the doctor isn’t a surprise to God? Nope!

Not at all? So then, something that we call, “Election Results” are not a surprise to God either, are they? Nope! In fact, our foundational verse above, Romans 13:1 tells us that God is the one who installs leaders.

So, how do we pray, going forward? Begin with the acknowledgment that God is sovereign over everything. In fact, why don’t you do this, beginning today, when thoughts come into your mind that worry you, about the nation, about your future and your kids’ future, go back to the reality, the truth, the Sword, i.e. “The Nugget” that Psalm 103:19 makes clear to us…The Lord’s throne is above the heavens, and He is sovereign over all.

Join us tomorrow, “D.A. + 2″ (The Day After plus 2 Days), when we will continue this journey that we are calling The Day After Series.

Mark S Mirza
Common Thread Ministries

Common Thread Logo

Laid Off?!?!?!

Friday Morning In AtlantaA friend of mine would begin this day with, “Happy Friday Brother Mark!” And it is, a happy Friday…but will it be for everyone? This photo is what the day is beginning like here in Atlanta…it’s a beautiful happy Friday. But what if you’ve just been laid off? I started to write this story from the perspective of the person who isn’t hurting financially, and then revised it to those who are, and then I realized that the same principles of scripture apply to both!

You see, yesterday a friend of mine texted me that his wife was laid off. This post is an email to him, I’ll call them John and Jane.

John, thanks for texting me about Jane. I appreciated your words that you, “…have total faith God will provide. We want Him to lead us as He wills…” I know you and Jane, so I know that is what’s in your brain. My concern for you is what’s in your heart? In other words, what are you living? And what will you two live tomorrow? Here’s why I ask this John, there are principles in the Word that tell us how to “live-out” what we say we believe, and that is where the rubber meets the road. So let me just, gently, lay out three principles that you can help Jane with, okay?

The First is WORRY — Psalm 103:19 says, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.” Dr. Stanley has told us at our men’s prayer meetings that when he learned the meaning of this verse, he stopped worrying. He says, that once in awhile something will tweak his brain, but he doesn’t worry. When I speak I like to give an example of a scene in heaven that does NOT occur. God is standing on a cloud looking down onto earth at us, and then He looks closer…and closer…and closer. Then He calls over Michael and Gabriel and He asks, “How did that happen?” John, the principle is that because that scene in heaven NEVER occurs, her getting laid off isn’t an accident, it didn’t catch God by surprise. John, your wife doesn’t need to worry.

The Second is ANXIETY — Did you know that scripture tells us that we do not need to be anxious? In fact, the same passage that tells us this tells us how to receive peace…it gives us a “formula” for receiving peace! Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “not be anxious about anything,” and of course, to “come to the Lord with prayers and petitions” BUT it adds another attitude that we are to come to the Lord with, when we are leaning towards being anxious. It not only says come to Him with “prayers and petitions,” but with thanksgivings also. That’s right! We are to come to the Lord, being thankful about our situation! In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to the thankful for everything. Why? Because this is God’s will in Christ Jesus for you! Now hear me…God is saying that (see above) because Psalm 103:19 is still true, because that scene in heaven does NOT occur, this is NOT an accident to God…the evil one DIDN’T slip one past the God of the universe. What’s the principle? It’s similar to the first. Remember the definition of faith? “Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 in the NIV/1984)? The second principle is to give thanks. You really can give thanks to God for this situation, not because you like it, but because you know (by faith, even though you do not see the future) that He really is in control…you KNOW it!

The Third is the UNKNOWN — When satan “loses” the battle of making Jane anxious, because she will not worry, but will in fact, give thanks to God, he (satan) will come back to her with something like, “that’s all well and good, and Mark may be right that you do not have to worry, but let’s just think about the future, okay? How are you going to pay the mortgage next month, or when your severance runs out? How are you going to buy groceries? You probably want to start thinking about which bills you won’t be able to pay.” Sound familiar? That’s what the evil one does. When he fails in one area he moves into a different area. Let me “up-the-ante” here John. Today is the first day after Jane has been laid off, please, Please, PLEASE, do not let her focus on, “Oh My God! I need to get my resume out in as many places as possible…today!” This is what we tend to do and it is wrong! It is wrong because it is us, our brains, trying to figure out God’s will for our lives, BEFORE we’ve even sought Him. So then the question comes up, “But how will I know if He’s talking to me?” Great question and there are a number of answers in scripture. Let me just focus on one of them…1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace…” (NASB). Here’s the principle…Until you have PERFECT peace, you do not move forward! Here’s why, in Proverbs 21:1 we read that God directs the hearts of kings. If He can direct the hearts of kings, He can direct my heart in spite of any anxiety that may be trying to force itself upon me. Really, this is the essence of trusting God…as opposed to yourself. There is another argument, which usually my, and I say this lovingly, my “control-freak” friends postulate, namely, “I have to get a job so I’ll throw my resume out and let God open the doors He wants.” John, this is just “worry” and “anxiety” in a different form. Let me say this properly. This is NOT trusting God, rather, it is us saying, “I don’t trust God enough so I’m going to help Him.” Here’s why I make this point. Too many times God opens doors, NOT for us to go through but TO TEST US. To see if we will go through a door because WE WANT TO rather than the door He wants us too. Remember the principle, “No peace, no move!”

Interesting isn’t it, all three of the principles above lead us to peace…or focus on peace. Is that an accident? I don’t think so, you see, the third peace of the armor, “your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (NIV/1984) tells us that Jane can go through this time in her life with peace. Because she has accepted the Gospel of Christ, she can go through this time in peace…believe it or not! And that, my friend, is your role…helping her, by lovingly showing her these principles, to go through this time in peace. As you and her do this, it will actually be an exciting time! Where you two see God move, showing Himself faithful to you. That’s what He wants to do. That’s what He always wants to do, but we mess it up by worrying, getting anxious, focusing on the unknown, and God is sitting there saying, “Trust me…” (Psalm 143:8)

I love you my friend. I hope this is helpful.

For those of you that are interested, we have the following tools:

Praying Psalm 119 CoverPrayers from Psalm 119 and prayers from the Book of James

 

 

 

 

GBC 2012 Annual Meeting LogoGBC Prayer Initiative and our weekly prayers

 

 

 

Ranger Joes God and Country Show LogoDaily Radio Spots

 

 

 

And of course my new bookMark's New Book, Praying Psalm 119

 

 

 

In His Name, with great thanksgivings,

Mark S Mirza

By: TwitterButtons.com

 

Laid Off!!!

Friday Morning In AtlantaA friend of mine would begin this day with, “Happy Friday Brother Mark!” And it is, a happy Friday…but will it be for everyone? This photo is what the day is beginning like here in Atlanta…it’s a beautiful happy Friday. But what if you’ve just been laid off? I started to write this story from the perspective of the person who isn’t hurting financially, and then revised it to those who are, and then I realized that the same principles of scripture apply to both!

You see, yesterday a friend of mine texted me that his wife was laid off. This post is an email to him, I’ll call them John and Jane.

John, thanks for texting me about Jane. I appreciated your words that you, “…have total faith God will provide. We want Him to lead us as He wills…” I know you and Jane, so I know that is what’s in your brain. My concern for you is what’s in your heart? In other words, what are you living? And what will you two live tomorrow? Here’s why I ask this John, there are principles in the Word that tell us how to “live-out” what we say we believe, and that is where the rubber meets the road. So let me just, gently, lay out three principles that you can help Jane with, okay?

The First is WORRY — Psalm 103:19 says, “His throne is above the heavens and He is sovereign over all.” Dr. Stanley has told us at our men’s prayer meetings that when he learned the meaning of this verse, he stopped worrying. He says, that once in awhile something will tweak his brain, but he doesn’t worry. When I speak I like to give an example of a scene in heaven that does NOT occur. God is standing on a cloud looking down onto earth at us, and then He looks closer…and closer…and closer. Then He calls over Michael and Gabriel and He asks, “How did that happen?” John, the principle is that because that scene in heaven NEVER occurs, her getting laid off isn’t an accident, it didn’t catch God by surprise. John, your wife doesn’t need to worry.

The Second is ANXIETY — Did you know that scripture tells us that we do not need to be anxious? In fact, the same passage that tells us this tells us how to receive peace…it gives us a “formula” for receiving peace! Philippians 4:6-7 tells us to “not be anxious about anything,” and of course, to “come to the Lord with prayers and petitions” BUT it adds another attitude that we are to come to the Lord with, when we are leaning towards being anxious. It not only says come to Him with “prayers and petitions,” but with thanksgivings also. That’s right! We are to come to the Lord, being thankful about our situation! In fact, 1 Thessalonians 5:18 tells us to the thankful for everything. Why? Because this is God’s will in Christ Jesus for you! Now hear me…God is saying that (see above) because Psalm 103:19 is still true, because that scene in heaven does NOT occur, this is NOT an accident to God…the evil one DIDN’T slip one past the God of the universe. What’s the principle? It’s similar to the first. Remember the definition of faith? “Now faith is being sure of what you hope for and certain of what you do not see.” (Hebrews 11:1 in the NIV/1984)? The second principle is to give thanks. You really can give thanks to God for this situation, not because you like it, but because you know (by faith, even though you do not see the future) that He really is in control…you KNOW it!

The Third is the UNKNOWN — When satan “loses” the battle of making Jane anxious, because she will not worry, but will in fact, give thanks to God, he (satan) will come back to her with something like, “that’s all well and good, and Mark may be right that you do not have to worry, but let’s just think about the future, okay? How are you going to pay the mortgage next month, or when your severance runs out? How are you going to buy groceries? You probably want to start thinking about which bills you won’t be able to pay.” Sound familiar? That’s what the evil one does. When he fails in one area he moves into a different area. Let me “up-the-ante” here John. Today is the first day after Jane has been laid off, please, Please, PLEASE, do not let her focus on, “Oh My God! I need to get my resume out in as many places as possible…today!” This is what we tend to do and it is wrong! It is wrong because it is us, our brains, trying to figure out God’s will for our lives, BEFORE we’ve even sought Him. So then the question comes up, “But how will I know if He’s talking to me?” Great question and there are a number of answers in scripture. Let me just focus on one of them…1 Corinthians 14:33 says, “God is not a God of confusion, but of peace…” (NASB). Here’s the principle…Until you have PERFECT peace, you do not move forward! Here’s why, in Proverbs 21:1 we read that God directs the hearts of kings. If He can direct the hearts of kings, He can direct my heart in spite of any anxiety that may be trying to force itself upon me. Really, this is the essence of trusting God…as opposed to yourself. There is another argument, which usually my, and I say this lovingly, my “control-freak” friends postulate, namely, “I have to get a job so I’ll throw my resume out and let God open the doors He wants.” John, this is just “worry” and “anxiety” in a different form. Let me say this properly. This is NOT trusting God, rather, it is us saying, “I don’t trust God enough so I’m going to help Him.” Here’s why I make this point. Too many times God opens doors, NOT for us to go through but TO TEST US. To see if we will go through a door because WE WANT TO rather than the door He wants us too. Remember the principle, “No peace, no move!”

Interesting isn’t it, all three of the principles above lead us to peace…or focus on peace. Is that an accident? I don’t think so, you see, the third peace of the armor, “your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace” (NIV/1984) tells us that Jane can go through this time in her life with peace. Because she has accepted the Gospel of Christ, she can go through this time in peace…believe it or not! And that, my friend, is your role…helping her, by lovingly showing her these principles, to go through this time in peace. As you and her do this, it will actually be an exciting time! Where you two see God move, showing Himself faithful to you. That’s what He wants to do. That’s what He always wants to do, but we mess it up by worrying, getting anxious, focusing on the unknown, and God is sitting there saying, “Trust me…” (Psalm 143:8)

I love you my friend. I hope this is helpful.

For those of you that are interested, we have the following tools:

Praying Psalm 119 CoverPrayers from Psalm 119 and prayers from the Book of James

 

 

 

 

GBC 2012 Annual Meeting LogoGBC Prayer Initiative and our weekly prayers

 

 

 

Ranger Joes God and Country Show LogoDaily Radio Spots

 

 

 

And of course my new bookMark's New Book, Praying Psalm 119

 

 

 

In His Name, with great thanksgivings,

Mark S Mirza

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