Sunday, November 15, 2009

Give the Lord the glory, AND give Him all the problems too!


Good morning.  It's a beautiful Sunday morning.  Whether it's cold where you are, rainy, or the sun is shining matters not -- it can be an awesome day just because you declare it so.  Joy is a choice. 

 
Sunday mornings are very early for me -- I'm up way before the sunrise, getting ready to go to church.  No matter how well I prepare during the week for Sunday, it's inevitable that sometimes things fall through the cracks.  On extremely rare occasions I've forgotten something, but more often than not I'm dealing with something outside of my control.  I have a very strict checklist of everything that has to be done on my part before Sunday morning comes.  Rarely if ever is my list not completely accomplished in just the way I want it to be.  But plenty of times something that wasn't mine to do goes awry.  Those things used to practically drive me to have to check in to a mental health facility.  (You think I'm kidding?!)  I've gotten better about it, but still have a ways to go.  It is only through the power of God and much grace that I am still on the ministry journey today.  God is growing me all the time in this area and so many others.

 
Anyway, why am I bringing this up this morning?  Well, I've had to realize that however it goes is not a reflection on me at all and I still have to CHOOSE JOY.  

 
For instance, in years gone by I used to allow my attitude to be affected by how many showed up at church or how many didn't show up.  Then I realized it had nothing to do with me.  I made a decision to refuse to allow my mood to be altered by church attendance.

 

 
I love Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) and here's something he said: 

 

"Living a full and overflowing life does not rest in bodily health, in circumstances, nor even in seeing God’s work succeed, but in the perfect understanding of God, and in the same fellowship and oneness with Him that Jesus Himself enjoyed. But the first thing that will hinder this joy is the subtle irritability caused by giving too much thought to our circumstances. Jesus said, ". . . the cares of this world, . . . choke the word, and it becomes unfruitful" ( Mark 4:19 ). And before we even realize what has happened, we are caught up in our cares."

 
Did you get what he just said?  "...nor even seeing God's work succeed..."  I know from experience of posting on Sunday mornings that some of my friends in ministry read my blog or facebook before they go to church.  (Wow, I'm honored!) Today I just want to be a blessing to you if you are reading before church in reminding you not to give too much thought to the circumstances, and above all else please don't attach it to yourself if it's negative.  When are you going to stop beating yourself up?   You are probably very careful about not attaching the success of the church to yourself and "keeping yourself humble" but let me ask you, have you attached shortcomings of the church on to yourself?  Why? 

 
I used to take so much of what was wrong in the church upon myself.  Let me ask you a question, why is it that when everything in the church is going right, everyone is careful to say, "give God the glory!" but when everything is going wrong they say, "what's wrong with the pastor?"  No, I'm sorry, it doesn't work that way.  It's not "give all the glory to God when it goes right and take all the blame yourself when things go wrong."  A friend of ours who pastors a 4,000 member church here in Florida told my husband and I that when something goes wrong in his church he says, "Wow, you've really got a problem to solve here, Lord!"    He says that everyone is quick to point out that it's "God's church" but yet when a problem comes along they expect the pastor to have all the answers.   Even when he has things happen like an air conditioning unit go down (which is a big thing in Florida!)  he says, "Well Lord, your air conditioner is broken, so you'll have to do something about it..."  

 
I just want to encourage all my ministry friends who are going to church this morning (or coming home this afternoon) possibly facing circumstances that are way less than perfect -- just throw it on Jesus.  He said to cast all your cares on Him for He cares for you.  If 10 people did not show up for rehearsal, that is NOT YOUR PROBLEM.  It's their issue and it's God's problem.  

 
If everything went wrong today, it's not your fault.  On the other hand if everything went right it's not your fault either!

 
 To summarize:

 
  • Choose Joy
  • Don't give too much thought to the circumstances
  • Give God the glory!
  • Give God the problems too!
  • Have a great Sunday my friends, and CHOOSE JOY either way!!! And...
  • As my friend Pastor Lisa Alexander says, "Let God be God in His house!"  


3 comments:

DaNella Auten said...

lol yeah out of my control... My teenager locked both of my hubby's sets of keys in the truck... We didn't make it to church today... But we doid get the keys out... lol
Choose JOY!

Deborah said...

Oh my Deanne you have just given me confirmation. Every year about now I start trusting the Lord for a word for our home this year was HOPE and the word that has come through over and over is JOY and Laughter for 2010 so when I came to bed and decided to read your blog my night time read, I saw this I choose Joy and the word just became alive in my heart and spirit. thank you dear dolla

Melissa said...

Good stuff! I needed to hear this today. There are a few things that are not in my control and although I am very very grateful for others to step up and take responsibility of things, I am finding it very hard to step back and not feel that uneasiness as I watch what is going on. This my friend has helped take that burden off my shoulders! Thank you! Love ya!