Being Moldable and Remaining in God’s Hands

Continued from here.

In the Bible study of Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God, Henry Blackaby talks about the potter and the clay from Jer. 18:1-6. He says that just like the pot in the potter’s hands,

To be God’s servant, you must be moldable and remain in the hand of the Master.”

I used to not do either one and was miserable. In March 2003, I climbed into the hands of the Master by committing to spending my first hour with God daily. He filled me with His love and then started molding me, leading me to release my bitterness by forgiving my child abusers. He then led me to humble myself in my marriage and breathed new life into those dry bones. And then he led me to submit to authority, which is still an area where the clay can be a bit stiff, but God is working with me by degrees.

All of this molding has come about by remaining in the potter’s hands. I have stayed committed to my daily quiet time with God, which I believe is critical to the molding that has taken place inside of me. I am now learning that one hour is not enough. I cannot focus on God for one hour and then my problems for the other 23. It’s not enough to climb into the potter’s hands for one hour and then hop out for the rest of my day. I need to rest in those hands throughout the day, recognizing that He is moving in the situations that I keep running ahead to try to fix myself. God created me with an assertive and zealous nature, but those qualities only benefit God’s kingdom when used at the appointed time and in the appointed way.

Patience does not come naturally to me, but perhaps it’s easier to be patient when I rest in the hands of the Master. At the appointed time, He will tell me to act, and then He will do the work, parting waters that I could never part myself.

[Graphic: Cover of Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God (Workbook)Courtesy]



How to Obey God When It’s Hard

will_doContinued from here.

In my last blog entry, I promised to share the steps I take to stay obedient to God when I really, really, REALLY don’t want to.

Step 1 is to spend more time with God. When I am having an obedience problem, I’ll double up my time with Him. I’ll spend more time in prayer telling God all of the reasons why I don’t want to obey and then asking Him to change my “want to” to align with His. I’ll double the number of songs in my praise & worship time with an emphasis on songs that focus on praising God in the storm. And I’ll spend more time in His Word, focusing on Scripture that is applicable to my area of struggle.

Step 2 is figuring out which of the four fundamental beliefs I am struggling with the most because when I fully believe all four of them, I don’t have an obedience problem. Which am I doubting the most? God’s love? His goodness? His presence with me in this situation? Or His control over this area of my life? While I might be wrestling with more than one area, I’ll typically notice that one link is the weakest, so that’s where I’ll focus my efforts.

Step 3 is repentance. I’ll admit to God that I have been struggling with doubting His presence in this situation and ask His forgiveness. Don’t worry – He already knows! I will tell God that while my circumstances are tempting me to doubt His presence, I choose to believe His Word over my circumstances. (Yes, this is hard for me to do as well.)

Step 4 is to meditate on Scripture that builds my faith in that weak link area. For example, if I am struggling to believe that God is walking through this situation with me, I’ll meditate on Deut. 31:6 and Heb. 13:5. I’ll tell God that while I don’t feel His presence, I know He is with me because His Word says He is.

Step 5 is to obey God anyway. No matter how many doubts assail me, I’ll tell God, “I love You more. I’ve put all my eggs in Your basket, so either You will come through, or I’ll fail. I WILL obey You, no matter what I see.” This kind of faith is not easy, but it really is that simple.

[Graphic: Cartoon of Grace checking items off a checklist and saying, “Will do!” Courtesy Bitmoji.]

Obeying God When It’s Hard

zipped_mouthContinued from here.

My struggle between the desire of my flesh and my desire to serve God is probably evident in my last few blog entries. I really don’t want to stay in this particular situation in my life, and it’s within my power to leave it. However, God has not given me the green light to leave (yet), so I cannot leave at this time and stay within God’s will. For the last few months, I’ve been obedient on the outside by remaining under this unwanted authority, but I haven’t been obedient on the inside with my mouth (complaining) or my attitude.

So, how do I continue on in a situation I don’t want to be in without complaining and having a bad attitude? It all comes down to love. If I love God, I’ll do what He tells me to do. It really is that simple. Unfortunately, simple is not always easy, and this is certainly not easy for me.

Perhaps you find yourself in a similar situation. You know that God wants you to stay in a situation that you really, really, REALLY don’t want to be in. The World tells you to leave (and the World will give you permission to leave pretty much any situation or commitment you have ever made), and it seems like your life would be much better if you could simply remove this thorn from your flesh yourself. How do you stay the course?

The answer is love. As Henry Blackaby, Richard Blackaby, and Claude King said in their book, Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God , if you have an obedience problem, then you have a love problem. When you truly love God, you choose to do what He tells you to do, even when you really, really, REALLY don’t want to.

What helps me is to continually remind myself about the four fundamental beliefs: God loves me, He is good, He is with me, and He is in control. I’ll share my “how to” steps in my next blog entry.

Continued here.

[Graphic: Cartoon of a head shot of Grace with her mouth literally zipped with a zipper. Courtesy Bitmoji.]