Father, May I

As a child I played a game called ‘Mother, may I?’ with my friends. One person portrays the ‘mother’ and stands at the victory line, the rest of the children line up in a row facing ‘mother.’ Then ‘mother’ called each child by name and told them to take some steps and how big and what type of steps. For example, ‘mother’ might say, “Kimberly, I want you to take three giant steps.” Then Kimberly would have to say “Mother, may I?” If Kimberly took the steps and didn’t say, “Mother, may I?” she would be sent back to the starting line. Think how different the rules would be if it were our Heavenly Father who was standing at the victory line. God might say, “Kimberly, take two baby steps.” Kimberly would not be sent back to the starting line if she took those steps, because God, our Father is more benevolent. God would then give her something else to do and as long as she continues to obey Him, the closer and closer she will get to the victory line or God. If she is not obedient to God, she won’t get more instructions from God until she continues in obedience.

Our Father wants us at the victory line with Him. He has given us the tools to get there through the sacrifice and redemption of his own son and through the Word. He wants to give us instructions. We must be willing to listen, by reading the Word, and by doing what He tells us.  2 Timothy 3:16-17 “All Scripture is inspired by God and is useful to teach us what is true and to make us realize what is wrong in our lives. It corrects us when we are wrong and teaches us to do what is right. God uses it to prepare and equip his people to do every good work.” In Proverbs 8:33-35 “Listen to my instruction and be wise. Don’t ignore it. Joyful are those who listen to me, watching for me daily at my gates, waiting for me outside my home! For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the Lord.” Instruction and wisdom go hand in hand. We get wisdom and instruction through asking God and by reading the Bible. God will make his words come alive for you if you ask.

Once in a church I was attending, God told me to get on my knees during praise and worship. I was hesitant at first, then I felt the Holy Spirit urge me again by saying “If you won’t obey me in the small things, I can’t give you bigger things.” I knew I must be obedient to God, I knelt that Sunday night. A couple of weeks later, on a Sunday morning, sitting towards the front of church, I received the same message to worship on my knees. I was more hesitant, reasoning in my mind that I was sitting at the front and didn’t want to make a spectacle, the lights were brighter, not dim as that one evening before. At the urging of the Holy Spirit I finally said in my mind, “Okay Father, I know.” I knelt again and I felt an indescribable peace. God blesses us when we are obedient.

When we are obedient, God can use us. No wonder the Bible refers to us being molded like clay. An obedient heart is pliable like a potter’s clay but a disobedient heart is hard like a brick. The brick can be broken or crushed and used again, where it is refashioned into another purpose but how much better to be fashioned into God’s purpose from the beginning! We do not need to see with our physical eyes the works of God. If he tells us to do something and we’re obedient he will get the glory. If we obey his instructions, great things take place. God is not a God of failure. He tells us in Joshua 1:5 “There shall not any man be able to stand before thee all the days of thy life: as I was with Moses, so I will be with thee: I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee.” He won’t tell us to do something without backing us up. He is just looking for an obedient person to carry out his work.

In ‘Mother, may I’ the children are ready to get to the victory line. Sometimes they take even bigger steps than instructed. God wants to see us get to our victory line, the line where we hear his exact instructions and do them willingly. We just have to open our hearts. If we haven’t heard from God lately and want to, all we have to do is ask and be obedient. Psalm 32:8 “The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.” We need to want to take giant steps but be willing to take baby steps if that is what our Father instructs. If we are in tune with what our Father wants, then we have his vision. How wonderful to see through God’s eyes and walk in his will, helping others to know that he is God, our Father who loves us so much! “So we have stopped evaluating others from a human point of view. At one time we thought of Christ merely from a human point of view. How differently we know him now!” 2 Corinthians 5:16 Oh, to see through the eyes of God!

Prayer for each day: ‘Father, May I – have help to see through your eyes and know your will for my life. I willingly accept what you have for my life and walk in your instruction. Please guide me in every hour of each day. Amen.’

Time Alone with God

I have been an exhorter in the past and I want to re-establish my role by encouraging others.  My question to you is; how often do you have time alone with God? If we’re too busy for God, then we are simply too busy. When I allow God to be in charge of my life, I am amazed at how much more productive I am. When I put Him first; everything falls into place. I have developed five points on how to put God first in my life. Five is the number of grace and the acronym I have used spells out the word GRACE.

G – Getting to know God:

We can’t reach others without first having our own time with God.  We have to know what the Bible says in order to share it. So why do many of us try to live a Godly life without having personal time with God? When we study the Bible, it overflows to the rest of our life.  Out of that wealth, we are able to minister to and encourage others. What we put in is what comes out. If I FILL my heart and mind with the Bible, there is not any room for negativity. We can strengthen our relationship with God by communication and observation otherwise it won’t grow. With our friends we listen and find out as much about them as we can. This is how our relationship with God should be; sharing and communicating, finding out everything we possibly can about Him (getting to know God). Satisfied living comes through knowing God. Matthew 5:6 (Amplified) “Blessed and fortunate and happy and spiritually prosperous are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness for they shall be completely satisfied.”

R – Refusing self:

Just as we should ask about our relationships “What can I do to make this relationship better?” we should ask about our relationship with God. When we focus on what we do rather than what we can get, we become selfless instead of selfish. When we put our own self first we are giving into our weaknesses.  In Galatians 5:20-21, the Bible speaks of idolatry. The definition of idolatry is “excessive devotion.”  This could mean loving ourselves more than others. Jesus’ example was to put the needs of others first by being a servant. Luke 22:27 “Who is more important, the one who sits at the table or the one who serves? The one who sits at the table, of course. But not here! For I am among you as one who serves.”

A – Asking:

Asking for wisdom and making our petitions known before God is how we should pray, simplicity is the best approach. Our time should begin with prayer. “Never stop praying.” 1 Thessalonians 5:17 We should have confidence in our prayers just as Abraham did.  When Abraham prayed that Lot would be spared from the destruction of Sodom, obviously he had confidence in that prayer because we read he had slept that night.  Genesis 19:27 “Abraham got up early that morning and hurried out to the place where he had stood in the Lord’s presence.” If Abraham didn’t believe Lot would be spared, I don’t think he would have slept.

C – Charging

Letting God be the one that charges us up. Most people don’t try to withstand a trial or problem without running to God in prayer. But why not just be hooked up to God all the time? Think of yourself as a three-prong electrical plug. The bottom prong is for “Grounding!” That grounding should plug into the Bible. Notice how it is fatter than the other two and relate that to how much we should draw on the Bible. Then take a look at the other two prongs.  Notice how they are wider at the tip? Those prongs represent our outstretched hands in worship. Once they are ‘plugged into’ the socket they are harder to pull out. Now, take a look at the holes in these prongs, relate these to ears. These two prongs make the circuit complete and if we are not listening to God along with praying, worshiping, and reading the Bible, then our circuitry is incomplete. I know people who cut off the third prong because it doesn’t fit. They take a risk of getting shocked. We need to be careful that we don’t cut off our relationship with God by only praying and not reading the Bible, which makes a one-way relationship.  Also, if we were to tape up the holes on the prongs, and we only went to God in prayer, then how can we hear? In Romans 10:17 the Bible says, “So faith comes from hearing, that is, hearing the Good News about Christ.”

E – Exalting:

When we hear from God, how can we help but exalt or worship Him by praising Him in spirit and song? Exalt means to raise in rank, honor, power or character. We should exalt God far above everything and everyone. I love the song “How Can I Keep from Singing?” by Chris Tomlin. This is how I feel about God. I cannot keep quiet about all the things he has done for me. Worship is so important in our daily walk, it isn’t just for Sunday, and God loves to hear our praises! “But the time is coming—indeed it’s here now—when true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and in truth. The Father is looking for those who will worship him that way.” John 4:23

We live in such a “give me” society that it’s no wonder we expect God to do everything while we just carry on until we ‘need’ Him. Grace is freely given, unmerited favor, the Love of God, and the influence of the Holy Spirit in us to strengthen us. God gave us his best through Jesus Christ and his death on the cross, a perfect sacrifice, his resurrection, and the Holy Spirit. He graced us with the Bible, but what have we given in return? Sometimes we offer a mere pittance of a prayer before our meals or a ritualistic prayer before bed when God deserves our best! The very least we can do is give of our time to communicate with Him. I encourage you to show God honor for the grace he has shown you, he loves you and wants to bless you by communicating with you. Have some time alone with God today and every day. Your life will be better because of the time you spend.

REFLECTIONS –kimberly mcElroy

I look at you and I see myself.
I see your eyes sparkle like the stars in the sky.
Your smile lights up my universe.
When you laugh, it is music to me.
When you sing praises, I am overjoyed!
When you call my name, I am here.
I am so pleased when we talk &
When you talk about “us” to others;
I am a very Proud Father.
My Heart overflows with Love for you my child.
I see you just as I see the rest.
The image you see in the mirror is mine.
The images you see on the streets might be mine.
Find out…
If not, Point the way.
Let my light shine through you.
I will show you the way.
Just trust me each day.
— Your Father in Heaven