Saturday, April 12, 2008
He is Keeper
We all have them. In this I am not unique. Within each of us there are those certain few things to which we and we alone can fully tend. You know them--for some it's their children--no one can care for and protect them the way we can. For some it's their retirement--can't trust anyone with that but ourselves--and we work to create a perfect investment portfolio. For others it's more vague--our future. We're not all worriers by nature, but intrinsic within all of us is the urge to keep certain facets of our lives to ourselves, especially where God is concerned. God you can have my tithe, but I'll keep the rest and invest it as I see fit. God you can have my kids on Sunday, but I'm not letting them go to Mexico on a mission trip--that's too far. God you can have my overall lifestyle--I won't swear or hurt others, but don't expect Sundays. Sunday is my day off. You get the picture. The point is that we tend to keep things separated--compartmentalize. We put God in one box with things that are meant for Him and everything else is carefully arranged in our own box. The contents of the boxes generally boil down to what we trust ourselves with and those things with which we think we can trust God. Recently I was talking to a beautiful woman of God who told me she was for the first time sending her children to public high school. They'd never attended a public school and she had planned to school them at home for the duration until God whispered into her heart and she realized she was keeping her children when He was more than able to look after their needs. And so she removed her children from her box and placed them into God's...and His box she discovered she needed to enlarge His box. For me, it's always about finances. I can trust God with my marriage and those kinds of things, but when it comes to finances, I get all riled up and hot and bothered. When our family moved from Ontario to Georgia we left more than beloved friends and family, we left a stable job with benefits, investments and a good health insurance plan. What we came to was an uncertain economy, self-employment and no health care for my husband and I. Yikes. Please don't misunderstand me--I will never advocate mismanagement or irresponsibility among Chrisitians under the flimsy veil of trusting God. What I do want to make clear though is that in my heart, more often then not, I get things mixed up. My actions are a reflection of what I believe and my actions often indicate that I believe it is up to my husband and I to keep finances in our box. And you know, I'm way off base there--it is up to us to be responsible but God and God alone is our keeper. We only rob ourselves by keeping the God stuff in this tiny little box. Keeping everything in our box limits the power of God in our lives. We tend to the details of our lives without ever really consulting God. We consult parenting books, educational philosophy books, political articles, newspapers, CNN, our parents, our friends and our direct line to God goes unused. Sometimes we give him a perfunctory call " Lord give us wisdom to get through the day." But the truth is, we don't even want that wisdom. We have access to enough of our own here on earth. And we are missing the boat entirely. It's God's desire though that our "faith would not be based on human wisdom but on the power of God." (I Cor. 2:5) The power of God. Now that's a thought. I love the worship chorus Chris Tomlin sings: How Great Is Our God? My life will answer that question far louder than my lips ever will. If I believe He is truely great, I'll freely surrender all those things that I feel only I am able to care for to The Keeper. Who am I kidding anyway? It is God who formed my very frame within my mother's womb. It is God who holds the planets in orbit and it is God who causes the very grass to grow, the flowers to bloom, the sun to shine. How great is our God? How great? Far greater than the cares of this little Georgia girl's heart. Far Greater. "Now unto Him who is able to keep you from falling..." (Jude 1:24) Lord, help me today to reflect your infinite capabilities. When I am tempted to worry, to insist I can plan my future better than you, will you remind me that it is You and You alone who is my keeper. You are able to do exceeding abundantly above all I could ever hope, Lord. Please don't let me rob you of your glory by insisting on doing things myself. You are able. Help me to keep enlarging your box until mine is empty. Amen. Job 38 4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation? Tell me, if you understand. 5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know! Who stretched a measuring line across it? 6 On what were its footings set, or who laid its cornerstone- 7 while the morning stars sang together and all the angels shouted for joy? 8 "Who shut up the sea behind doors when it burst forth from the womb, 9 when I made the clouds its garment and wrapped it in thick darkness, 10 when I fixed limits for it and set its doors and bars in place, 11 when I said, 'This far you may come and no farther; here is where your proud waves halt'? 12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place, 13 that it might take the earth by the edges and shake the wicked out of it? Listen Nicole C. Mullen--Redeemer Chris Tomlin--How Great is Our God?