Have you ever had one of those mornings where it just felt like you got up on the wrong side of the bed? Well, I sure did this morning! I didn’t really sleep well to begin with. It had nothing to do with my wife though, she slept like a log all night! I just found myself twisting and turning into the wee hours of the morning. Then my sweet little dog decided that she wanted to go exploring around 6:15 AM. First she walked around the house three times clicking her nails along the wood flooring the whole time. Finally she came back into the bedroom and did her famous “I need to go out” stare and tail wagging at me for a few moments.
So I begrudgingly got up and let her out the sliding door and just as I thought, she went out, did her thing and then turned a deaf ear to my calls to return to the house and began sniffing the ground as she patrolled all around the fence in the large yard. She did stir up a rabbit who went running and hopping across the yard in a flash, so that was a little fun to watch!
But I was not a happy camper... I managed to utter a few words of thanks when Mandie cut her explorations short and returned to the deck halfway through her backyard patrol.
Then I returned to bed and tried my best to fall back asleep… which actually happened, although I had a whole bunch of very restless dreams until I finally got up around 7:45. At that point I figured that the best thing to do was to keep my natural thoughts quiet so I simply prayed aloud as I got dressed, ground some coffee beans and brewed some fresh Java. After a half hour or so in the Word and some delicious coffee, the cobwebs and irritations began to fade away!
As I read from Philippians 3:2-10 yesterday and today, I came to the conclusion that I do not like it when people try to tell me that I don’t know what I am doing, and that THEY know what’s best for me! Paul told his readers in verse two to “Beware of dogs! Beware of those who do evil things. Beware of those who insist on circumcision.” (God’s Word ©) I read that as “Be wary of those who insist on you doing things a certain way – with lots of Do’s and Don’ts. Who want to force you to follow a strict set of laws, ways or systems.”
I have faced these kind of folks numerous times over the last few years and have come to learn, as I study the Word, that God’s grace is different than this. My experience in the midst of following His advice through the impossibly difficult times is that His love and grace are A LOT more flexible than many of us think!
These same thoughts keep floating through my mind as I follow the current Presidential campaign in our country. I get the clear impression that the people of the land are speaking but the established political parties are not listening! The majority of the common folks like you and me are crying out for change as witnessed by their support of those individuals who come from outside the established political hierarchy in Washington. Yet the two political parties still hang on to the past, deny what is happening before their eyes and keep declaring that we are all wrong and that THEY know what’s best for us! I am kind of excited to see how the Lord’s purpose will pan out for all of this come the end of the year!
In my own personal experiences I have come to notice that it seems like the facts don’t really even matter to some. It’s almost like it is more important to them for us to follow what they say without regard to what’s really going on… Weird wouldn’t you say?
Paul goes on in verses 3-10 to explain that our best course of action is to serve the Lord and glory in Christ Jesus, for the things that the world holds as important are worthless to a life that is yielded to Christ. For me it comes down to whose opinion matters the most to me… Those who aren’t really listening or Christ with Whom I could never go wrong with? Okay… I know, that is a No-Brainer… but sometimes in the midst of difficult, stressful and emotional times we seek the comfort of people’s short sided advice instead of taking hold of the long term peace and victory that hanging in there with Jesus gives us!
Philippians 3:10 sums it all up quite nicely by telling us that the answer to everything lies in our deliberate and consistent efforts to develop a close and intimate personal relationship with Jesus and in doing so, have an intimate knowledge of the power of His resurrection working in our lives on a daily basis. Ah…. I like that plan! How about you?
Have a great rest of the week, and as you do, keep asking yourself… “Who am I expecting to listen to and follow today?”