Week of April 17
"And He made known to us the mystery of His will according to His good pleasure, which He purposed in Christ." ~ Ephesians 1:9
I once met a young, married woman who had wisdom beyond her years. She said something profound that I will always remember which was, "The trouble with life is that it's just so daily."
May we not get so bogged down by the "dailies" that we lose sight of God's greater vision. Let us not forget that God has us in an integral "now" process that is leading us to the fulfillment of our divine destiny. Take joy, and count it all good. Our best vacation from toil and hardship is in the presence of the Lord. In due time, we will reap the harvest if we journey to the fulfillment of His purposes.
A couple of years after this young woman made her statement, God made big shifts in her life. Indeed, when God's purposes are fulfilled, He will move us beyond our circumstances. One of my favorite prayers is to ask the Holy Spirit to help me "get it" the first time, that I would not have to cycle around the mountain of lesson-learning repeatedly. Once is enough for me in this second half of my life on earth. I don't want to waste anymore of God's time, and I declare that, through His grace, the latter will be greater than the former.
Therefore, let us do our excellent best to honor God in all that He has called us to in the here and now, processing circumstances His way in love, mercy and forgiveness. And know that we are indeed pleasing Him and making loving memories. There will come a future time when "now" will be the past, and we will forget the hardships of today. So that when the future arrives, we can reflect with great joy, peace, liberty and appreciation, having no regrets, bearing no grudges and gaining God's wisdom.
Be assured that God takes good pleasure in giving back our dreams. If you are in a dry place, know that your escape, your sanctuary can be found in the presence of the Lord. Spend time with Him. Ask Him to reveal His mysteries, His timing, His destiny plan for you. Ask Him to give you His understanding of what you've gone through and how He will bring it all together in His due time, in His good pleasure. Ask Him to awaken you to His greater vision. Trust that He will show you specifics concerning your future. You will surely see that there will be no greater dream fulfillment, no greater plan, no greater intimacy and no greater love for you.
God takes good pleasure in giving back to us through His servant heart. He once spoke to my heart, saying that because I laid down my dreams and got involved with His dreams, He has gotten involved in my dreams and is giving them back to me in a way that is greater than I ever expected.
I don't know that I've ever been more humbled or awed. Indeed, God rewards sacrifices of the heart that make room for Him to be first. And He showed me that He will reveal such mysteries to us through revelation if we take the time to get alone with Him and ask.
God's good pleasure is linked with the fulfillment of His predestined purposes for us (Eph. 10-12). Our time, our hearts, our minds, our wills, our bodies, our dreams and our agendas are not our own when we are sold out to God. After all, Jesus laid down His life for us at Calvary. How can we call ourselves Christians if we do not honor Him for paying such a high price to give us eternal life in heaven?
Let us remember that God created us for the purpose of fellowshipping with Him. We are to make Him our first priority, our first love. It gives God good pleasure when we praise, worship and honor Him throughout our destiny journey, even if it is done sacrificially. He delights when His plans and purposes are fulfilled through us, when we are a living testimony to His power, love and glory. Therefore, may we lay down every idol, every hearts desire, turn from every temptation and say, "Yes, Lord. Have it Your way no matter what."
Margaret D. Mitchell is the Founder of God's Love at Work, a marketplace outreach purposed to share God's greatest power source - the love of Christ.