Friday, March 10, 2017

How to Keep Going: Part Three



Part One here. Part Two here.


          * Destroy the tapes: Did you notice that when God asked Elijah a second time what he was doing there his answer was word-for-word the same as what he had said before? Almost as if it was a rehearsed answer. Do you notice that when you don’t respond to one of your children, they say the same thing thinking you haven’t heard? I even find myself doing this with my children as if to say – didn’t you hear what I said? It kind of feels like that is what Elijah is doing here. Didn’t you hear me God? Friends, our minds can sometimes be like little tape recorders that we program a message into and it plays back over and over and over. I mean really – these kids are driving me crazy, their things are a mess again, they aren’t focused on their schoolwork and I’m carrying the responsibility. Let’s make sure we throw out the tapes that don’t benefit us or clothe us with strength and dignity. Let’s put God’s Word on those tapes and let that replay over and over!

      Be reminded of our calling: after the gentle whisper passed by and Elijah restates his recorded answer. Next, God sends Elijah back – go back the way you came. His tasks were not complete, God wasn’t finished with him yet. God gave him specific instructions on what to do next and Elijah obeyed. God asked him to anoint three men – He provided help for Elijah and a respite, He shows him he is not alone, He gives him sort of a big picture view of what He is still up to. With so many around me discouraged in staying the course in homeschooling {and I include myself in this!} it can be easy to mentally glorify the thoughts of sending our kids to school. Oh, the lighter load it would be – but would it really? It is important to discern if God is releasing us to pursue something different or if the calling is still there and we need a willing-to-be-made-willing attitude adjustment.

** Please note that I am not saying it is a sin to put your children in school! My heart here is for those who feel called to homeschool and still get weary or discouraged along the way!

As we close, here are a few final thoughts:

1.       When we experience a mountain top moment, such as Elijah did with the prophets of Baal, the attack may grow intense and we may be exhausted and even discouraged. A good practice would be to look back at God’s faithfulness, make a list of accomplishments and successes when our tendency is to focus on the failures and what needs fixing.  Don’t minimize the successes! Can your child read? Say their ABC’s? Put their shoes on? Fix breakfast? Brush their teeth? Recite Scripture? Sing praise to God? These are successes my friends.

2.       When I feel overwhelmed/inadequate, I can turn to the promises and truths of God’s Word and listen for that gentle whisper, choosing to believe Him and fix my eyes on Him.

3.       Consider what is ruling my heart. Colossians 3:15, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts…” Do I have something else ruling in my heart?

4.       Am I spending time with God?

5.       Do I know how/when to rest? 

6.       Do I listen to the whisper or forge ahead with my own agenda? 

One more verse I really want to share with you is 1 Chronicles 28:9-10. Let me give you a little background here. David is speaking to his son Solomon. Remember that David wanted to be the one to build the temple for the Lord but God said He wanted a man who was not a man of war and that He would reserve that honor for his son. Solomon is now the man who receives this massive project of building a temple for God. And let’s face it – it is a daunting and huge task! I sort of see these verses as our recipe for success:

And you, my son Solomon, acknowledge the God of your father, and serve him with wholehearted devotion and with a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands every motive behind the thoughts. If you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever. Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”

The temples that God has called us to build into are these children He has put in our homes and families.I am seeing fruit from the enormous investment of energy and time in my children. Do I still get discouraged? Absolutely! We have very rough days and they are still children who would rather play than work, but my perspective has been renewed and refreshed by the time in God’s Word.

If I could say one thing to my own heart this morning and to yours as well, it would be that last part of the verse we just read, “Consider now, for the Lord has chosen you to build a temple as a sanctuary. Be strong and do the work.”

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Thanks for joining this little series this week - trust it has been a blessing to you in some way! 

3 comments:

*carrie* said...

Thanks for sharing your heart, Monica. Love you!

Christina Gomez said...

Amen!

Huskerbabe said...

As always you have a beautiful way with words, it's truly a gift from God.