Transformation Garden - June 18, 2012

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Today’s Text and Thought of Encouragement:

“Casting the whole of your care, all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all, on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully.”
1 Peter 5: 7
Amplified Bible

“Cast your burden on the Lord, releasing the weight of it, and He will sustain you: He will never allow the consistently righteous to be moved.”
Psalm 55: 22
Amplified Bible

“How gentle God’s commands!
How kind His precepts are!
Come, cast your burdens on the
Lord, and trust His constant care.
His goodness stands approved
Down to the present day;
I’ll drop by burden at His feet,
And bear a song away.”
Philip Dodderidge

Today’s Study Text:

“And 480 years after the Israelites came out of the land of Egypt, in the fourth year of Solomon’s reign over Israel, in the second month, Ziv, he began to build the Lord’s house.”
1 Kings 6: 1
Amplified Bible

EXPLORATION:

“Our Lives – Part of God’s Divine Plan”

“Just as God leads me I would go;
I would not ask to choose my way;
Content with what He will bestow,
Assured He will not let me stray,
So as He leads, my path I make,
And step by step I gladly take,
A child in Him confiding.”
Lampertus Gedicke

How have I seen God’s guiding hand in my life?

Am I willing to follow in the path that God has laid out for my life?

“What is it to us how our future path lies, if it be but His path? What is it to us whither it leads us, so that in the end it leads to Him? What is it to us what He puts upon us, so that He enables us to undergo it with a pure conscience, a true heart, not desiring anything of this world in comparison of Him?”
John Henry Newman

INSPIRATION:

“Thy way not mine, O Lord,
However dark it be!
Lead me by Thine own hand,
Choose out the path for me.”
Horatius Bonar

Do you believe that when you were born God had a plan for your life? If so, has God laid out His entire plan before you from beginning to end?

I find these two probing questions to be extremely applicable to Solomon’s life, for we note that interestingly, not only did Solomon know, from the time he could understand, that God had a purpose for his life, he also knew, without a doubt, what that purpose was, for as he told King Hiram of Tyre, “My life purpose is to build a house to the name of the Lord my God, and my father David’s God” (1 Kings 5: 5).

There was a clear directive for Solomon’s life. God had plans for him. His father David had plans for him. And gladly, Solomon not only accepted the purpose of his life, we find in our study text for today, 1 Kings 6: 1, after only four years on the throne of Israel, Solomon undertook the gigantic task of building a “house for the Lord.”

The interesting point about this story is that there are not many times in Scripture when an individual had such a defined plan laid out for them in so much detail. Not even Moses, God’s dear friend, understood what God had for his future when he was the young heir apparent in Egypt, after which, he ended up herding sheep for forty subsequent years and then ended up herding another group of “human” sheep for the last forty years of his life.

The fact is, that for all of us, and yes, this means you and me, God has a distinct and unique plan for our lives. Yet, I know from my own personal endeavors, that while I believe God has a plan for my life, I certainly can not tell you, from beginning to end, what the grand design God has for my life looks like.

Unlike Solomon, who knew a great deal about the purpose of his life, I have seemed to find myself, at times, flopping around in distress like a fish-out-of-water, as I tried to find solid footing in one place or another, getting my bearings, hoping I was headed in the right direction in my life.

Pastor and author F. B. Meyer, who ministered for nearly fifty years at the Baptist Chapel in York, England, shares these tremendously insightful thoughts:

He (God) has chosen the circumstances of our life, because they are the shortest path, if only we use them as we should, to reach the goal on which He has set His heart…God has a perfect plan for each of us, and He is unfolding it a bit at a time, by the events which He puts into our life each day!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes, to be perfectly honest, it’s the “bit-by-bit” part, which happens each day, that makes me impatient. Especially when I don’t know exactly what’s going to happen. God’s guidance, a little at a time, can from one day to the next take its toll on a “control freak” like myself who likes to plan ahead and have a clear course set for the future.

Pastor F. B. Meyer continues his thought about God’s guiding hand and our future by going back and looking at another building project, this one undertaken by Moses in the Sinai wilderness when God asked him to build a tabernacle -- a house of worship. Here’s the interesting way Pastor Meyer uncovers God’s guidance in this project as he also correlates this experience with God’s direction in our own lives:

Before Moses built the tabernacle, he saw the whole pattern of it…In some secluded spot on Sinai’s heights it stood before him, woven out of sunbeams; and he descended to the mountain foot to repeat it in actual curtains, gold, and wood. God does not show us the whole plan of our life at a burst, but unfolds it to us bit by bit. Each day He gives us the opportunity of weaving a curtain, carving a peg, fashioning the metal. We know not what we do, but at the end of our life the disjointed pieces will suddenly come together, and we shall see the symmetry and beauty of the divine thought. Then we shall be satisfied.”

I love the idea that while today, what you and I confront in our lives may seem as purposeless as carving on a piece of scrap wood for no apparent reason, we may find that when we are finished with our “wood-work,” that we have just chiseled another integral piece needed in our life which is being built to house our Father.

Least, like myself, you have ever questioned God’s leading and wondered to yourself, “What in the world is God doing here?” I like this very direct advice shared by Thomas Merton, “Those that make their own bosoms their oracle, God is disengaged from being their guide; they need Him not; but the snares they run into will soon show them how much they need Him.” In other words, bit by bit is well worth the waiting.

I find this expressive prayer, penned by Sheila Maxey in her book, Encounters, to express perfectly the willingness I long to have in my heart to follow God’s guiding hand and to live out His purpose in my life -- bit-by-bit!

“God, not that way;
This way is easier.
Merciful Lord, forgive us.

Lord, not that way;
This way is more interesting.
Merciful Lord, forgive us.

Lord, not that way;
This is Your way.
Merciful Lord, forgive us.

My ways are not your ways, says the Lord.”
Sheila Maxey


“Lead kindly light, amid the encircling gloom;
lead Thou me on.
The night is dark, and I am far from home;
lead Thou me on.
Keep Thou my fear, I do not ask to see the
distant scene – one step enough for me.”
John Henry Newman

AFFIRMATION:

“All the way my Savior leads me;
what have I to ask beside?
Can I doubt His tender mercy,
who through life has been my guide?

Heavenly peace, divinest comfort,
here by faith in Him to dwell;
For I know whatever befalls me,
Jesus doeth all things well.”
Fanny J. Crosby


“Lord, Thy word abideth,
and our footsteps guideth;
Who its truth believeth
Light and joy receiveth.”
Henry Williams Baker
English hymn-writer

Your friend,

Dorothy Valcárcel, Author
When A Woman Meets Jesus
Dorothy@TransformationGarden.com

P.S. Just to let you know, Transformation Garden is now on FACEBOOK. Please come and see us and share the garden with your friends. The Daily Devotional is posted everyday, Monday through Friday on Facebook, too. 

My book, When A Woman Meets Jesus, is available wherever books are sold and on the internet at www.amazon.com, and www.Christianbook.com, or by calling toll-free, 1-800-Christian.  You may also call Transformation Garden at 480-281-1508. 

For more from Dorothy, please visit transformationgarden.com.

 
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