March 1, 2014

Patience is a Virtue

I found this picture on the Internet. Speaks volumes, doesn't it? Patience is a struggle for me. I know that I must be patient, it is the best way for me to approach any situation in life, and to stay at Rest. If I choose to be any other way, then I choose to allow worry, fear, anxiety, doubt -- to creep into my mind, and my attitude quickly sinks. I need to remember that God has me covered (Ps. 91:4). I am safe and secure in His presence and abiding Holy Spirit. There is nothing that will harm me nor will I be left on my own to handle the circumstances under my own determination and will.

No, the Lord is my covering, my blessing, my portion. He is the One who ensures that I am well cared for and the One to whom I look for my every need. Therefore, I REST, and I remain patient -- waiting for Him to provide, to direct, to guide. He is my LEAD, my HEAD, and I am His servant, His follower, His body (part of His body). He is good, so very Good to me.

The fruit of the Spirit is patience...

I found this picture on the Internet as well and I love what Beth Moore says here. She speaks about all the instances where we need to apply patience to our lives. There are sticky and sandy people in our lives, the kind who rub us the wrong way (ouch!) There are circumstances that squeeze and pinch us, and cause us to feel very uncomfortable. This is life, and we must learn how to deal with the awkward, the difficult, and the unpleasant episodes -- we must be patient with people, with the events of our lives, and we must remember to wait always for the Lord. His peace and comfort are with us all the time, but we must wait upon Him, looking up, and acknowledging that we need Him to fill us up every day. We mustn't try to be patient on our own, instead we must let the Holy Spirit do it for us.

There may be some in the church camp who disagree, who believe that we are not to sit around waiting on God to do everything for us, and that we are to use our human abilities (reason and rationale) to "keep His Word." I disagree with this view because I lived it this way for so many years, and I never improved, no matter how "obedient I was" to the Word of God. I do not believe that God needs my obedience to do what His Holy Spirit already does in my life. He needs me to agree with Him, and to be willing to allow the Holy Spirit access to do His work, but He doesn't need my legalism, my adherence in my flesh to the Word. I never could do that, no matter how I tried. I always failed, and I never felt like a victorious saint, but more so like a miserable sinner.

No, I believe that God does His work through us. We must be open to Him, and we must allow Him to do this work. The rest is His business. I lay down my will, and I let Him abide in me. The rest as they say is all about Him.

So back to the business of being patient today.

I have been frustrated over my lack of work, and I have been having this same discussion with the Lord for three-four weeks now. It goes something like this...

Me: Lord, how will you provide for my needs? I need "X" money each month to pay my bills, and I don't see that amount coming to me anytime soon.
Lord: I have you well-covered.
Me: Do you think GCU will give me two classes to teach next fall? It doesn't look like there are enough classes to go around for all the adjuncts.
Lord: You are covered, well covered.
Me: How will I pay for all these bills coming in? I don't see how I can pay for everything. There isn't enough money to go round.
Lord: Rest. Trust Me. I have you well covered.

Yeah, this is my conversation, my typical conversation with the Lord. I am covered, well-covered. What does it mean to be well-covered?

Psalm 91:4 speaks about God's covering or protection. There are numerous other verses that provide clarification on this same point: God is our shield, our buckler -- our Perfect Protection.

I believe it means that when you are in God's perfect will, He covers you. He protects you completely. You are not alone, and you are not out struggling to figure out what to do next. You hear God's voice, you listen to it, and you do what He instructs you to do. In this way, God covers you.

Today, I have heard His voice. Today, I have listened to it. Today, I have obeyed and followed His instructions. I am well-covered. I am well-covered.

Dear Lord,

Your will is perfect, and your peace is uncompromisingly perfect. I am thankful for your Holy Spirit, and the way that He ministers to me -- helping me to understand your perfect will -- and learning how to abide in your presence. I ask now that you will keep me well covered. Cover me all the days of my life, from beginning to end, and without fail, do not let me be uncovered before your Mighty Presence. I thank you now for the work you are doing in me and through me. May your Name be praised today, and forever more. Amen, so be it. Thy will be done. Selah! (Pause and calmly think about it).

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