“Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.” Phil 4:6
I’m afraid that many believers trust in Christ for their atonement, but fail to trust Him in everything else! Churches have turned from faith-building assemblies to self-building training centers, talking and singing about God’s power through Christ while tightening the bootstraps of self-reliance. Sermons in the name of Jesus no longer point to Jesus but systems! Advice from pastors, counselors, books, lessons, sermons and testimonies no longer strengthen faith in Christ but replace it! And we wonder why we’re still anxious, confused, overwhelmed and exhausted.
When we shift our focus from faith in God to faith in self and others, God and His sovereignty become small while people and their solutions get bigger! We lose track of God’s grace and start chasing after man-made assignments! “Stop regarding man in whose nostrils is breath, for of what account is he?” Isaiah 2:22
What is our God-given purpose? GOD IS! In God we live and move and have our being! We are to love God with all our heart, soul, strength and mind; and others as ourselves. We are to do everything, whether in word or deed, in gratitude to the glory of God. We are to act justly, love kindness, and walk humbly with our God. (ref)
But we fail miserably if we do not serve with the strength that God provides. We can neither live for God effectively nor delight in serving Him if we do not lean fully on Christ in FAITH! “Let God be true, but every man a liar,” even if it contradicts everything that has ever made sense to us! (ref)
As believers we do not have to struggle alone if we are yoked to Christ first and foremost. My identity is found in Christ and only in Him, not in my ‘self’ or others. Cooperation with God in obedience to His word is not burdensome but light, whereas all our many righteous acts without Him are like filthy rags. (ref)
I shudder at the following statement: “If things are not right, don’t blame God. You’ve been sowing bad seed!” This gross generalization can be horribly misunderstood and it shrouds God’s sovereignty! Bad seeds are bad choices–sin–but they do not always cause bad things!
Paul did not sow bad seed when he repeatedly faced death! (He probably enjoyed many more comforts while he was still Saul than after his conversion!) Paul did not miss his great assignment when he was imprisoned, flogged, beaten, stoned, shipwrecked, adrift in the open sea, sleep-deprived, hungry, thirsty, cold, naked, and in danger from bandits, false brothers, gentiles and even his own countrymen! (ref)
Paul’s great assignment was to die to self (all of it, including his self-esteem) and to live unto Christ! God willed his hardships and weaknesses to make him strong in Christ and to keep him from pride. Flogged and imprisoned, Paul and Silas sang hymns of praise! They didn’t sing the blues! (ref)
Chastening and hardships are God’s gift of grace to us! Christ came to give us life–life more abundant–yes, but HIS abundance of peace, courage, patience, perseverance, faith and much, much more–not worthless, self-serving creature comforts and conveniences!
God’s Sovereignty vs Man’s Grand Plans
In Damascus the governor under King Aretas had the city of the Damascenes guarded in order to arrest Paul. However, Paul was lowered in a basket from a window in the wall and slipped through his hands. (2 cor 11:32-33)
At an abortion clinic of Los Angeles County Gianna was awaiting her death sentence but was born ALIVE!
God’s sovereign plan had changed everyone else’s plans for Paul and Gianna! God’s sovereign plan is always at work, always changing someone’s plans, and nothing can ever thwart it! God’s sovereign plan never fails; we can trust Him with our lives! (ref)
Why does God allow what He allows? Listen to Gianna and see how in all of her trials God receives praise and glory through Jesus Christ. Gianna’s story is far more than a pro-life pitch, it’s a pro-Christ exaltation!
I know that I am in a government building… and I know that it is not at all politically correct to say the name of Jesus Christ in places like this, to bring Him in to these sorts of meetings because His name can make people so terribly uncomfortable. But I didn’t survive so I could make everyone comfortable. I survived so I could stir things up a bit…
How much are you willing to take and how much are you willing to risk to speak the truth in love and graciousness, and stand up and at least be willing to be hated? Or at the end of the day is it all about you…?
You see, I’ve been hated since conception by so many, and loved by so many more, but most especially by God.
Gianna was diagnosed with what she calls the gift of cerebral palsy, which was caused directly by the lack of oxygen she received while trying to survive.
Ladies and gentlemen there are things that you will only be able to learn by the weakest among us. And when you snuff them out, you are the one that loses. The Lord looks after them, but you are the one that will suffer forever…
Don’t you realize that you cannot make your own heart beat? Don’t you realize that all the power that you think you possess, you really possess none of it? It is the mercy of God that sustains you, even when you hate Him…
I fall gracefully sometimes and very ungracefully at other times depending on the situation, but I consider it all for the glory of God. You see, ladies and gentlemen, I am weaker than most of you but this is my sermon, and what a small price to pay to be able to blaze through the world like I do, to offer hope…
And I think in our misunderstanding of the way things work, we misunderstand how beautiful suffering can be. I don’t willingly sign up for it, but when it comes we forget–we forget that God is in control, and God has a way of making the most miserable thing beautiful.
After reminding the men, women, and politicians of their basic God-given moral responsibilities, Gianna then asks the ultimate question and gives its only solution:
What sort of man do you want to be, a man obsessed with your own glory, or a man obsessed with the glory of God? It’s time to take a stand. This is your hour. God will assist you. God will be with you. You have the opportunity to glorify and honor God…
Some of you might be slightly annoyed that all I keep doing is talking about God and Jesus, but how on earth can I walk about–limping through this world–and not give all my heart and mind and soul and strength to the Christ who gave me life. So if you think I’m a fool, it’s just another jewel in my crown. My whole intent of living here is to make God smile!
Could she have a better purpose? Gianna does not have self-esteem, she has God-esteem even if she should fall ungracefully or be considered a fool by unbelievers! Gianna has acknowledged God’s irrefutable sovereignty and grace and Christ’s powerful mercies more during her speech in a government building than most pastors do in their Sunday sermons at church!
Thank you for visiting!