Monday, October 26, 2015

Old Dreams New Ones

Job 17:11

My days have passed, my plans are shattered, and so are the desires of my heart.

Yes, sometimes God breaks and shatters dreams. In this case Job has come to the realization that he has lost everything. Finances, family, friends, all of it gone. But what he doesn't know is that later in the book God blesses him with so much more. Job does not know the end yet. He is stuck in the middle. He knows only pain and suffering. But there is light at the end of the tunnel. However, it does not come for a long time. In fact he won't know for like another 20 chapters. The lesson here is that sometimes that in order for God to bring blessing, there needs to be a changing of things. Even when you lose everything, and you feel you are in the depths of despair, God is breaking your old dreams, to create new ones. And ones that are greater than what we could even imagine.

It is not fun to be in this part of the narrative. It is a time of great uncertainty and great unrest. It's not a great place to be in. It happened to me and I do believe that it is happening to me now. God is in the process of changing my dreams and shattering my plans, but I know that there will be better ones. I have to remember that when I am in a season where the Lord is pruning or changing, it will be better on the other side. Even if the season hurts, and there is pain and sorrow, what is on the other side is even better than now. For it is true that the shattering of dreams today is the foundation of better dreams tomorrow.

Thank you Lord for this reminder that You know the ending, I don't. I have to trust in You.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Set your heart...

Ezra 7:10

For Ezra had set his heart to study the Law of the Lord, and to do it and to teach his statutes and rules in Israel.

You know that studying the law of the Lord is such an awesome thing. We all need to study it and know it and have it in our hearts. But Ezra takes it to a place where, if we are serious, we should all go. Now, we know that we should all strive to know the Lord and His commands. But here in this verse is where the kicker is for most of us. It’s that little saying in the verse: “Ezra set his heart…” Ezra set his heart in the right direction. He set His heart. Meaning he willfully, knowingly, and purposefully turned his full attention to God and His laws. He set his heart on the right things. He set his heart on the Lord God. He set his heart to know His laws and by knowing His laws, Ezra gained understanding and knew God.

I just read something about how this generation can barely hold 15-20 seconds of attention. The TV, the internet, the social media, has reset our attention span to mere seconds. The result of that is often times we are just distracted. Those distractions tug our hearts in many directions. From news, to what people say online, to the latest entertainment, sports scores, and the list goes on and on. Our heart, my heart, is often time a distracted heart. I get distracted by what is going on today. So what often happens is that my heart begins to wander and drift to sometimes meaningless and stupid things. The key is to take a hint from Ezra here. It is to set your heart. Turn your attention and make it laser focused. Especially set your heart in your walk with the Lord. Set your heart to study the Law of the Lord. Meaning really set your heart to pursue God. It’s going to take effort. It’s going to take work, but in the end, the reward of knowing God and knowing Jesus is worth it all.

Lord thank you for this important daily reminder to set my heart on you.