Sunday, August 30, 2009

My Doll Babies Head Keeps Falling Off!

As a little girl I had this one doll that I genuinely loved. I named her Lauren. I used to carry that doll around the house. Her head was a very real like sculpted plastic along with her arms and legs. But her body was cloth. Unfortunately her head was too heavy for her body. As much as I loved that doll and carried her around. Eventually her head would keep falling off. My mother tried very hard to save Lauren. She would try to tighten the head in place by strengthening the cloth neck, but inevitably as much as I loved that doll I had to give her up. I just looked ridiculous carrying around this decapitated doll.

I spoke in the last blog about how God wants us to come to Him like children, but I want to take that one step further. He wants us to trust Him unconditionally like children. He wants us to look to Him and not question his leadership. However there are things of the spirit He wants you to begin to mature in. There is a spiritual maturity He is yearning for His children to walk into.

1 Corinthians 13:11 says, “When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.”

Hebrews 5:12-14 says, “For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you again the first principles of the oracles of God; and you have come to need milk and not solid food. For everyone who partakes only of milk is unskilled in the word of righteousness, for he is a babe. But solid food belongs to those who are of full age, that is, those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil.”

Many times believers will make sure they have the basics covered. They’ll get saved which is awesome but then won’t spiritually grow past that point. Their running around wondering why they aren’t growing up spiritually. Their like me carrying that decapitated doll around because their afraid or simply refuse to let go of it. God wants you saved. But He also wants you to begin to grow in the things of God. He wants you to move forward in Him. He’s looking for the mature sons and daughters of God.

In order to move forward and grow up in the things of God you must choose to let go of the things in your past and move forward into what you know you must. You must let go of the things you put before the Lord. You will find peace doing that. You will find unspeakable joy.

Philippians 3:14-15 says, “I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus. Therefore let us, as many as are mature, have this mind; and if in anything you think otherwise, God will reveal even this to you.”

Holding on to the decapitated dolls in our lives will not allow you to grow up. It’ll stop the places you can go for him, and frankly you’ll look silly holding on to these things. Allow God to show you what is holding you back today. Allow God to show you how to grow up in Him. He knows you better than you realize. He wants you commit your ways to Him, so that He can direct your paths.

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em, know when to walk away, and know when to run.

When I was a little girl my mom and dad owned this huge van. It was an attempt to have an RV van conversion because it had a sink, and cabinets. It was white outside with this huge mural of a sail boat on the outside. Now I realize how illegal this was, but the front was so big I can remember fitting a lawn chair between the two front seats so an extra person could set in the front seat. My mom used to drive by herself from Ohio to Florida with my sister when we were little. She would wake up early and drive down here to visit my aunt and uncle and cousins that used to live here. In the van there was an 8 track player. Now I‘m sure somewhere in the inside of that blue van there were more 8 tracks but we used to play the best of Ann Murray and Kenny Rogers ‘The Gambler‘ what seemed like over and over again. In fact as an adult every time I hear one of those songs I think of being a kid in a big blue van on the way to Florida. The road would go on for miles and my biggest worry was my sister and I arguing over the Barbies.

It’s been a difficult season in our lives and I know I’m not alone in this. So many questions can sometimes dance in my head like a big bass drum. I found myself singing Kenny Rogers ‘The Gambler’ the other day and it got me thinking. God wants us to come to him as a child. Matthew 18:3 says, “And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” and Mark 10:15 says, “I tell you the truth, anyone who will not receive the kingdom of God like a little child will never enter it."

What am I trying to say? Is that we have to trust God. We have to not worry about the small stuff. We have to know what He wants us to do weither it makes sense to our head or not.

Isaiah 30:21 is one of my favoirte scriptures. It says, “Your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “ This is the way, walk in it,” Whenever you turn to the right hand Or whenever you turn to the left.”

John 10:4 says, “ When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice.

John 10:27 says, “My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me.”

It is so easy to get caught up in the frustration place. Where cares in this world feel like they are choking the very life out of you. But God gives us a promise. He wants us to trust him like a child and He will take care of us. Many today are setting at the crossroads of life scared to step anywhere because they don’t want to miss God. What has He told you to do? If you are His child you hear Him. It’s completely normal that a child understand their father. Many have allowed their frustrations to drive a wedge between them and God. Get back to what God has told you. What is He telling you to do. You have to trust Him like a child. He’ll tell you when it’s time hold em’, fold em’ or walk away. He’ll take you to where you need to go.

Frustration can be an ugly thing if you let it. God doesn’t shake your destiny and his promises in your face just to move it when you jump. He’s not like that. He loves his children. He desires for you to fulfill your destiny on this earth I would say even more than you do. He wants you to be planted where He has ordained for you. Trust Him today. Know that He hasn’t left you. He has never forsaken you, but you are going to be able to look back on this season of your lives and know that you are right on time. Get where you need to be and be planted. Do what He tells you to do, and let Him take care of the rest.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Beware of Carpet Tacks Ahead!

Back in Ohio where I grew up my mom and dad have an in ground swimming pool. I don’t remember how old I was, but one fateful Sunday we were having a family picnic and I crawled out of the pool to swing on a hammock. I was swinging too hard and on the hammock sideways and knocked my head against the wooden deck. My sister came running up to make fun of me. Starting to call me a “big klutz”’ which truthfully wasn’t far off, for some reason that ticked me off. She started running to the house to tell my grandmother what a klutz I was, and I newly wet from the pool started chasing her to stop her. I don’t know what I thought I would prove to think I would stop her. My mom and dad at the time needed their carpet replaced. We had exposed carpet tacks in the entry way of the house just past a linoleum entry way. I hit that linoleum running after my sister, slipped on the water dripping from my body and flipped around. Those carpet tacks caught on my left side of my foot leaving very distinct long gashes in it. Blood was everywhere. Now in this instance I really was being a klutz, but it was my insistence on stopping my sister that got me into trouble.

The Bible says that vengeance belongs to God. Romans 12:19 (NASB) “Never take your own revenge, beloved, but leave room for the wrath of God, for it is written, " VENGEANCE IS MINE, I WILL REPAY," says the Lord. Vengeance means punishment that is inflicted return for a wrong.

Often times people will wrong you in this life. They’ll lie about you, spread gossip, hate you unjustly, and continually look you over for promotion. It’s so easy to want to chase after them when they do and try to smack them upside their head. But if you do that, then you’re trying to get even. You’re trying to get them back when really it’s up to God to do that for you. When you try to do that for God, you’re not helping him. It ties his hands from bringing vengeance for you, and gets you bitter and frustrated in the process.

When Jesus was wrongfully accused the Bible says, Acts 8:32 (KJV)“The place of the scripture which he read was this, He was led as a sheep to the slaughter; and like a lamb dumb before his shearer, so opened he not his mouth” Jesus didn’t try to fight them. He didn’t even open his mouth to tell them all what they were doing. He let God get the vengeance. He didn’t break free of his bondage and go chase after them, though he could have. He allowed God to have the final word.

Folks people will reap what they sow, and what goes around does come around. I’ve been in situations where I have seen God eventually bring vengeance back to me. One particular instance that comes to me now as I write this was a situation when I really had to take a stand for Christ. It was one of the most challenging times of my life. However about a year after that, someone “randomly” ran into me one day. His story came out. He was now serving the Lord because of what He saw me go through. He said he knew that in order for me to stand the way I did, God had to be real. That was vengeance because God worked good in a situation the devil had meant for evil in my life. Isaiah 63:4 says “For the day of vengeance is in mine heart, and the year of my redeemed is come.”

I believe we all need a good reminder that we don’t have to prove ourselves to ones in our lives, and we don’t have to sit around and plot how repay individuals for the junk they’ve put us through. I have seen God work this out time and time again. Eventually He will turn things around. Eventually He will silence the mouth of the enemy over you. Eventually He will bring the truth out. We have to trust him enough to do this. We have to be at peace with ourselves and the people around us and know that He is God. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Sometimes, God Surprises His Kids!

One of my favorite childhood memories was when I was probably 8-9 years old. My dad put me in the car one morning and refused to tell me where we were going. He simply said for a car ride. After the minutes begin to drag on that car ride began to get unbearable to me. I wanted to know where he was taking me, and why we left. I always have had an overactive imagination and I can remember trying to guess, but I never figured it out. After what seemed like a lifetime, but really it was only an hour, my dad pulled the car into the Columbus Zoo parking lot. I can remember feeling so special that my daddy was taking me to the Zoo for the whole day just the two of us. I remember little about that trip, other than how special that made me feel. A few days ago I called him and talked with him about it, and he remembered how much I loved watching the eagles. It’s a special memory for both of us.

Let’s be honest here. God doesn’t always tell us everything He’s up to in our lives and sometimes that can get us frustrated. Isaiah 55:8-9 says, “ For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.“ For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts.

But even if we feel a bit frustrated at where we see ourselves going, we have to realize that God knows what He’s doing. He had good plans for His children. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “For I know the plans I have for you," declares the LORD, "plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

I wish I could tell you that everything God has for you to do will make sense but I can’t. But this is where you have to trust Him. You have to know that He has good plans for you. You have learn to let go of you controlling your life, and trust that He is. In reflection of that story with my dad, I could have thrown a fit and demanded that he tell me where he was going. I could have waited until we got to a stop light and simply walked out of the car, but I would missed out on such a wonderful day. My own frustrations and concerns would have stopped the very blessing my dad had in store for me. In order for me to get the blessing I had to trust that wherever he was taking me he knew what he was doing. I had to go along with it.

Proverbs 3:6 says, “In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He shall direct your paths” Psalm 9:10 says, “Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.”

Do you trust Him today people? Do you truly believe that God knows what He’s doing? He has not forsaken you. He has not forgotten about you. You are His child, and He loves you so much. He has not brought you this far to leave you now. But He wants to bring you to the place of destiny. He wants to bring freedom to your life. Are you going to trust Him today, or are you going to demand He stop this car and let you out. It can be scary and frustrating at first when you’re not sure what God is up to, but if you know Him, and trust Him you’ll know everything is going to be alright.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I made it rain Pepsi!

When I was growing up Pepsi used to come in glass bottles. My dad has always been a fan of Pepsi and so the glass bottles were always in an abundance in my house. The problem was my dad liked his glass full and the bottles never quite filled them up. My mom had to get these cork things to cork the left over bottles so the Pepsi wouldn’t get flat. I was a pretty curious kid and one day I had this great brainstorm. I wanted to know what would happen if I shook the Pepsi bottle up as much as I could. Heinz sight is always 20/20. I can look back on this and think why didn’t I just go outside to do this? But that would have required more thought into this experiment then I had been willing to give. In the kitchen I shook up the bottle. The cork flew off in an explosion hit the white ceiling. Pepsi began dripping all over the kitchen. “Ann, Can you bring your dad his Pepsi?” I could hear my mom call me from the living room. Drips and puddles formed at my feet. My mother’s footsteps heard. The smell of sugary soda filling the air. My mom walked in the kitchen to see her youngest daughter covered in Pepsi. Today if you look on the ceiling of the kitchen, there is a Pepsi stain.

Some of you feel like that Pepsi bottle today. There is so much talent and life in you that you feel like you’ve been shaken all over and ready to explode! Trust me, I know the feeling. But you have to keep trusting God. He knows what he put inside of you, and He knows when it’s time to get it out.

Matthew 6:33 says, “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” So often we hear this scripture used to define our finances, but it’s so much more. You have to see what God has for your life despite your location, your talents, your money, your friends. God knows what is best for you. He put all those talents and gifts in you and he knows when and how it’s best to bring them out.

Proverbs 13:12 says, “Hope deferred makes the heart sick, But when the desire comes, it is a tree of life.” God knows when and how He’ll bring out your talents and giftings. Psalm 43:5 says, “Why are you cast down, O my soul? And why are you disquieted within me? Hope in God; For I shall yet praise Him, The help of my countenance and my God.”

You have to lay it all down before God, and allow God to resurrect what and when He brings to you. I can hear many of you thinking what about the parable of the talents? I am not telling you not to use them. But what I am saying is that the frustration about using them can turn into a rain cloud above you. Frustration just frustrates you and leaves you miserable. It’s hard for anyone to fulfill the calling of God on their life when their walking around with that kind of attitude.

I always tell people to figure out what they can do now. For example if God called you to run a restaurant and you know it’s not time and the finances aren’t there then what can you do now? Come up with a business plan, logo’s, marketing strategy, etc You could even take a business class or go and talk to other people who run a restaurant. Education is a powerful thing. There are things you can do now so that when it is time, you’re ready to go. What about me? God told me to write my first book 15 years ago. Did I get there overnight. . .nope? But in the meantime though I have moments of Pepsi explosion frustration what did I do? I kept writing. Today I’m working on book #8 with lots of other projects under me. I may not be where I want to be yet, or be where I know God has called me, but I’m doing everything I can to get there. I am continuing to put my writing ability that I know only comes from God to the plow.

I get frustrated at people when they complain and complain about not being able to use their giftings for the Lord. But they have to seek first the kingdom. They have to do what they can do now. But instead so many are convinced that since they see their destiny 5, 10, 15 years from now there is nothing they can do now, so they set on their bums getting frustrated, and inside their becoming like that Pepsi bottle. Their about to explode and it’s not going to be pretty when they do. Pastor Arthur always said, “God doesn’t move a parked car.” What did he mean by that. Get up and start moving, God will direct you as your moving toward the goal. But when you set there not doing anything, you’ve given up and you’re harder to move. People in Christianity are so funny. I’ve heard the excuse that “it’s not time yet.” People use it like a banner over them. But make sure that it really isn’t time, and not an excuse because like I said before even if it isn’t time there are things you can do in the meantime. Don’t use that as an excuse for you to grow stagnant.

Take a deep breath folks and let go of all that pent up Pepsi (frustration) inside of you. Begin to trust God. He gave you those abilities for a reason, and it is His delight to see those things be used for His kingdom. Get your eyes off of what you’re not doing, and out them on what you can now. Do not worship the gift, but worship the giver. Sometimes even if we don’t mean to, we can begin to build idols in our heart about what God has called us to do. We must seek HIM first, and have no other God’s before Him. Just trust Him. He knows what He is doing.


 

Thursday, August 13, 2009

Are you Spiritually Fertile?

***Before I start teaching on this I want to preface this with a few points. I taught this message at Freedom about 4 years ago, to some of you it might be a rerun. God gave me this revelation probably 6 years ago, and since then I’ve found myself coming back to it time and time again. I felt to bring it up in this blog for some months now, but had been waiting on the right time. I am talking about spiritual infertility, not physical infertility. Infertility itself is a very sensitive area. Yes, spiritual issues can reflect in the physical, but I’m talking here about a spiritual mindset. So please before anyone wants to email me and yell at me. . . Please understand I’m not talking about any person in particular, but about my own struggles. Thanks. ***

The very first commandment that God ever gave Adam and Eve was Genesis 9:7
As for you, be fruitful and increase in number; multiply on the earth and increase upon it." Again, for the sake of this teaching I’m talking about spiritual fertility. I’m not about to preach God wants everyone to have 50 kids. That takes a very special person and God knows I’m not one of them. What God is saying here also has spiritual implications. He wants us as his children to go forth and have spiritual children and reproduce for God. What does it mean to have spiritual children? It means that you’re going around and helping spiritually raise ones in the faith. You’re nurturing them and helping God bring them into a place of maturity. You’re reproducing little Jesus’ on the earth. It is beyond frustrating when you have it on your heart to produce for the kingdom of God and you feel that you’re not. It can be a mental challenge that will push you beyond yourself.

I began to see that there are very specific times in the Bible where some of the woman dealt with infertility and how we could translate that into our own lives. There is another Biblical example of this with Abraham and Sarah also Michal has issues, but for the sake of this blog I’ll leave it with Rachel.
In Genesis 30 we see how Rachel dealt with her infertility. Genesis 30: 1 it says, “Now when Rachel saw that she bore Jacob no children, Rachel envied her sister, and said to Jacob, ‘Give me a child or else I die!’” Ok, so first of all she looks at her sister and envies her. Envy will dry up a spiritual womb. It makes it very difficult for you to produce for the Lord because you’re so busy looking at your brothers and sisters. You’re all about your own struggles. You stop caring about the people around you, and are so caught up in yourself. Instead you have to look to God. Secondly I love what she says to Jacob here. . . .”Give me a child lest I die!!!” Hmmm, isn’t she the drama queen. She’s throwing a grown up fit! Really, like Jacob can control this situation. Jacob’s response to Rachel in verse 2 is angered frustration. It says that his anger is aroused. Here’s a revelation. . .I don’t think deep down that Rachel is mad at her husband but that’s misplaced anger. She’s really honked off at God because she’s not producing. After verse 3 we don’t hear much from Jacob for awhile. How do you respond to a child throwing a fit. . .you ignore it.

I remember a time early in our time here in Florida when I found myself in Rachel’s shoes. God called me into ministry young I was so sure we were going to make this cross country move and God would immediately start doing in my life what had been on my heart for years. But that didn’t happen. . . .instead I found myself pregnant, across country with no family, no friends, and no money. I slowly began getting very grumpy towards Dan. I have news for you all. . .I don’t think it was Dan I was mad at but at God. When I realized this I was able to repent and adjust but it wasn’t an easy season.

So what does Rachel do? She gives her husband her maid trying to make the will of God happen. Her maid Bilhah starts conceiving. She’s getting more envious. Then we get to verse 14. To paraphrase it Rachel’s sister Leah sends one of her sons out for some mandrakes. Rachel asks for one, and in order to get one Leah makes a deal with her that Jacob their husband will have to spend more time with Leah. Rachel agrees to this. What’s a mandrake? I did some research. A mandrake is the witchcraft of the day. It’s like a plant root that’s considered to promote fertility. Hmmm, Rachel is now so desperate to produce that she will settle for the witchcraft and prostitute out her own husband saying he has to spend more time with the other wife then with her. She’s not going to get pregnant that way! And she doesn’t.

It is at least four years later until Rachel does get pregnant. I know that because her sister has 4 more children. Down in verse 22 is that “God remembered Rachel.” That remembered looked up in the concordance is that God made her ready. I want to point out here too, that we are not in a competition here. Rachel’s sister had way more kids than her. But by Rachel’s offspring, she goes to have two boys, God saves the whole tribe from starvation. It’s Joseph who later gets the children of Israel to Egypt.

Rachel had to go through the process. She had to stop looking at what everyone else was doing around her and trust that God would work it all out. She had to stop competing with everyone else around her and realize that God’s work would be done in her life. She had to allow God to make her ready.

I personally know how frustrating it can be to have so much to do for the kingdom in your heart and be frustrated because you haven’t seen it come to pass. But you must submit yourself to a process. Philippians 1:6 says, “being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ.” God doesn’t start things in people for the sake of just starting things. He does not mess with his children. But He will finish what He started. He desires that His children fulfill their destiny in Him. You just have to submit to the process and allow Him to make you ready.

I encourage you today to spend sometime considering Rachel’s story. Are you so competitive that your constantly looking at what everyone else is accomplishing? Have you grown envious? Are you so desperate to fulfill what God has for you that you’re willing to settle for what isn’t God? If you find yourselves saying yes to any of these, pour it all out to God repent and allow Him to get you back on track. I assure you He’ll remember you and make you ready!

 

Sunday, August 9, 2009

"She'll be coming around the mountain when she comes!"

After my husband and I had my oldest daughter I can remember one day in particular trying to set her down for a nap. She’d been cranky. I was frustrated because it seemed every time I laid her down she’d cry. She couldn’t have been more than a month old. We lived in this little one bedroom 600 square foot apartment. I really had no one to give me help since we’d moved across country from all our family. I remember distinctly trying to put her down, she woke up screaming, and I felt the Lord say, “It’s just as frustrating to me when I work on something with you to let go, and we should be past it and as soon as we move on to work on something else in you, you pick it back up again.”

It is possible for us to frustrate God. He loves us so much, and He is changing us from glory to glory. He’s got so much to do in your life. You have to let Him work on those things in you. Once He does work on that thing. . .you need to let it go and not pick it back up again. We get annoyed that He doesn’t seem to be doing things fast enough in our life, but really sometimes it’s our own stubbornness that can hold His plan for our life at a halt.

Philippians 3:12-13 says, “12 Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. 13 Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”

I’m not saying to you that you’ll forget everything in your past. But what I am saying is keep God’s plan and purpose in your life clearly in your focus. Press forward. A person running backwards will eventually fall on their butt.

There are some of you today that are frustrated because you feel you have gone around and around this mountain. You’re feeling that “you’ve been here before and done this too many times.” Maybe this time you go around the mountain you should ask the Holy Spirit as to how to deal with it, and do it His way. Maybe this time, instead of going around the mountain. . . You’ll be moving up it! Press forward to the goal.

Habakkuk 2:2 says, “Then the LORD answered me and said: “ Write the vision And make it plain on tablets, That he may run who reads it.”

I would encourage you today that if you don’t have a clear vision as to what God wants for you in this life to write what you do know. Write it down even if it sounds silly to you. Keep it before you and when you feel like your going around that mountain again. Keep pressing forward!

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Falling Alseep While Swimming Is Not A Good Idea

When I was little I was on a swim team for a season. My stroke was the back stroke. I couldn’t have been more than seven years old. But, I remember that we had to be timed in that year at going a certain distance. I don’t remember much about it except doing my back stroke and then hearing my father. He was yelling at me. It startled me at first. As I opened my eyes I could see him yelling through the water. I had fallen asleep while swimming. It’s not something I would recommend.

All too often in our Christian walk we can do the exact same thing. We can get caught up in doing the exact same motions for so long that we find ourselves getting so comfortable that we fall asleep. The Bible warns us of falling asleep in our Christian walk.

In Matthew 25:1 [ The Story of the Virgins ] "God's kingdom is like ten young virgins who took oil lamps and went out to greet the bridegroom. Five were silly and five were smart. The silly virgins took lamps, but no extra oil. The smart virgins took jars of oil to feed their lamps. The bridegroom didn't show up when they expected him, and they all fell asleep.” This story goes on to say how the five missed it when their bridegroom came and the other five were ready. Because they were not ready and lackadaisical they missed what God or the bridegroom was doing.

1 Corinthians 15:18 says, “Then those also who have fallen asleep in Christ are lost.”1 Thessalonians 5:6 says, “So then, let us not be like others, who are asleep, but let us be alert and self-controlled.”

We cannot continue to move forward in God and be asleep while swimming. There are times in life that God may have you in a season may feel you’re not moving very quickly, but you’re still moving. You must move forward. You must wake up from your slumber. You must embrace each day and all that God has for you. Sometimes it’s very easy to just be so hurt and weary in life that you can choose to go to sleep for shear exhaustion.

Matthew 11:28 says "Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.”

Some of you desperately are crying out to God for that rest. God will give you that time of refreshing that you need. But when it’s over put your shoes on and keep running. Push forward to what God is doing. The banner that is instilled in you must go on. There are people out there in the world that need the message that God has in your heart.

Can you hear your Father calling at you from the edge of the pool? He’s yelling at you, pleading that you hear Him. He doesn’t want you to drown. He doesn’t want you to go out, but he wants you to come up. I can hear Him, He’s saying, “Wake up People! I love you! Do not loose heart! Live your lives extraordinarily for Jesus. Press on and take hold of what I have already accomplished in your lives. We have a world to tell that, Jesus is alive!”

Monday, August 3, 2009

Does it Feel Like Your Bomb Shelter is Filling up With Water?

I grew up in Ohio. On the property that my parents owned in a heavily wooded area was a bomb shelter. Built by whoever owned the property before my parents had bought it. We’re guessing it was built some time during the height of the Cold War since my mom and dad have owned the property since 1974. Many a bomb shelter were built around the country during this time because so many were scared of a nuclear attack. People thought that in order to survive they had to be in a shelter below the surface. After my parents bought the property my dad decided that building our play house right on top of it was the best idea he could come up with. I remember as a kid going down there on only few occasions. The funny part about this bomb shelter was that I’m pretty sure whoever built it didn’t take the time to figure out that every so many times a year it fills up with water. The steps to lead down to it were wooden and over the course of the years they’ve broken apart because of all the water. Building a bomb shelter that fills up with water on a occasion is a funny story but it is also in one word redundant.

We all go through times and seasons were we feel like our bomb shelter is filling up with water. Maybe we feel like the seasons we’re going through have no point or purpose. Often times we can feel as if we’ve been around the mountain too many times and are wonder if God is being redundant with us.

I can assure you today that God knows what he’s doing and He has a plan. Ecclesiastes 3:1 says, “To everything there is a season, A time for every purpose under heaven.” One of my favorite scriptures in the Bible is Isaiah 55:8-11, “’For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways,’ says the Lord. ‘For as the heavens are higher than the earth. So are My ways higher than your ways, And My thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain comes down, and the snow from heaven, And do not return there, But water the earth, And make it bring forth, That it may give seed to the sower And bread to the eater, So that My word be that goes forth from My Mouth; It shall not return to Me void, But it shall accomplish what I please, And it shall prosper in the thing which I sent it.”

So here is my point, you may feel like the time and season you are in is redundant and feels like a bomb shelter that fills up with water. But I assure you that God has a plan and purpose for your life. He knows what He’s doing. I was recently rereading “Close Encounters of The God Kind” written by Jesse Duplantis. If you’ve never heard before how Jesse had a major encounter where he was taken up into heaven I highly recommend that you hear this story. In it Jesse gets to talk to Apostle Paul. One of the lines from that conversation has stuck with me. Paul says to him, and I’m paraphrasing, “That so many people go through things, but in the grand scheme of things that their suffering is only for a moment. Don’t make it a lifetime.” Meaning go through your season and move onward. Even if it feels redundant.

God knows what He is doing in your life. He has a plan and a purpose that must be fulfilled. Do not give up hope, and don’t give up now. Even if it continues to fell redundant to you keep plowing forward knowing that some way God will make it all work out. Later you may be able to look back and see how everything came together because of His amazing plan. I challenge you today to keep trusting Him. Keep yielding to His plan, and you’ll be surprised where He will lead you.