Philippians 4:9

Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me-put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.

After seeing another just awful paycheck this morning, I felt the need to go to Phil 4:8. To remind myself of God’s goodness, His faithfulness. Then I came to this verse. You do not hear it quoted regularly. I find that a lot with what I consider a power verse like Phil 4:8. They tend to be attached to something so much greater.

I believe wholeheartedly that the Lord speaks to His children. I don’t go around telling people the Lord spoke to me about so and so because that is the quickest way to be labeled a religious fanatic, but He does in fact speak to me. Sometimes, it is through a tugging at my heart. A lot of times it is through His word…the one sure way I know to hear from Him.

This morning-this was my word. I have been on a journey lately. I am learning about so many things here lately…my brain is probably on overload from all the thinking and reading I have been doing. I read an entire book in two days…inhaled its message, and I have been wrestling ever since. I say I now know what it means to wrestle with God because normally I have one of two responses: run and hide or immediately obey. If I do have a wrestling moment, it typically leads rather quickly to the former. But I have been wrestling now for days, and I am not backing down. This time I know there is too much to lose.

The book was 7 by Jen Hatmaker. The tagline indicated a mutiny against excess. I don’t know about you, but I have it good. I don’t feel like I have much money and I don’t live extravagantly, but I have clutter. I consistenty feel like I do not want anything in my pantry for dinner (even with all those options) and decide to grab food elsewhere. I can somehow turn a want into a need. I. Am. Spoiled.

And now I am being called to change that. Insert wrestling match. I think it is good to wrestle with God…I am not saying no to Him…I am slowly determining what it is that He wants in my specific situation. She ate 7 foods for a month. I want a lifelong change…how do I make that happen? Thus far the answer is to empty my pantry by using everything I have in there until it is gone. So why did I eat out last night? I still have so very far to go.

So when I got to this verse I was hit right between the eyes. Putting into practice what the Lord has revealed to me personally is NOT easy. If I am going to cook, I so want to be able to go buy fresh food to make beautiful culinary creations. But I have perfectly good food IN MY PANTRY. And no one has to tell me this, but there are people starving in this country and all over the world. How selfish and ungrateful I have become.

I believe God is a loving God full of grace and forgiveness, but I cannot omit that he disciplines His sons and daughters. I am screwing up. Just because I am still wrestling over some of the concepts he has touched my heart over, doesn’t mean I can skirt the ones I know how to handle right now. So when I saw that measly amount (where were the bonuses that he should have made?), I thought this:

My God is good. He is faithful. He called us to this place. There is something we are missing.

I cannot blame God for not providing. He is providing. Our savings are disappearing because we are making bad choices. We don’t spend much, but is any of it necessary? Are we living like there are no bonuses or are we trying to live like we used to when there were and then getting upset. Why do I have cable/internet? I say all the time I don’t need cable but I have to have it for the internet. And 75% of the last couple of days it has been out! Some messages are just harder for me to get.

I don’t know if putting the things God has revealed to me into practice is going to affect my husband’s success at work so that his pay can get better, but I do know that if we walk faithfully with the Lord, we will have His peace. And that is better than anything this world has to offer.

What is the Lord asking of you?