Tuesday, January 31, 2012

40 Days of Discovery- Day 30

Only 10 days left...  It's been quite a journey!

I've been seeking God about the matter of needs vs. wants.  I've heard over and over that God meets our needs not necessarily our wants.  As I wrote in a previous post, I'm asking the Holy Spirit to redefine "need".  I haven't given myself permission to enjoy some things in life.  I am very frugal, and simple.  Yet, I love beauty--beautiful art, beautiful music, beautiful homes, beautiful hairstyles, beautiful clothes, etc.,etc.  Somehow, because the world prostitutes beauty, I've not allowed myself to enjoy more beauty in my life.  Because there are children starving and dying around the world, does that mean I can't enjoy life?  I've started feeling a bit guilty about spending money on luxuries since I could give that money to help the poor.  That's not God's way.

The Holy Spirit is revealing the truth.  He's teaching me that I don't have to choose between feeding the poor and enjoying his gifts.  He's El-Shaddai, the inexhaustible source of EVERY good and perfect gift.  So He has enough to take care of ALL  of His children and care for the poor.  As I think of Israel, God told them continually to care for the poor, but He also promised that they would live in abundance.  They were to enjoy the land of milk and honey.  God prepared this place for them.

The problem is that we like to worship the gifts, instead of the Gift-giver.  It doesn't matter if it's a spiritual gift, or a physical gift.  We so quickly make life all about getting the gift, and keeping the gift.  Our eyes become fixed on the gift or gifts, and our hearts become devoted to it.  There's also this flesh to contend with.  It continually rises up so that it may be pleased.  Eating is a necessity.  A desire created by God to nourish our bodies.  It's good to eat.  And God gave us taste buds, and He gave food flavor, and scents so that we can enjoy the process of nourishing our bodies.  Yet, when our flesh masters us in the area of eating, we're unable to say "no" to food that we shouldn't eat or when we've had too much.  This is a sin.  We become a slave to anything that masters us.  And anything that masters us, apart of God, will destroy us.  God came to give us never-ending, abundant life.

1 corinthians 10
 23 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but not everything is constructive. 24 No one should seek their own good, but the good of others. 

1 Corinthians 6
 12 “I have the right to do anything,” you say—but not everything is beneficial. “I have the right to do anything”—but I will not be mastered by anything. 

A  person who has the right perspective can give all that He's been given freely and generously 1) He knows where the gifts came from, and there is plenty more that the Father willingly gives to His children.  God's children will never do without anything that is needed.  Again, need has to be defined.  As one of God's children, I'm learning to defer my understanding to my Father who is perfect in His wisdom.  Sometimes, I need manna. Sometimes, I need to enjoy some fried crawfish!   2) It is an offering back to our God.  If we really understood the beauty and majesty of our God, we would willingly give back to Him every gift as an act of praise to Him.  Oh, Lord, open my eyes that I might see.

I think this struggle of enjoying God's gift, and being a generous giver, may be a constant struggle for me.  In some ways, I think that's good, because it means I'm  paying attention. On the other hand, I really want to live this out in peace--resting in His grace.  Actually, I can rest in His grace even as I strive to live this out.  I will fail, erroring in one direction or the other.  Yet, I desire to please Him.  He knows this.  And I am confident that His grace is fully sufficient for me.  I thank you for that, my God.

I was reading today about Amy Carmichael.  I was so encouraged to read that often she struggled in prayer, and she was a woman of GREAT PRAYER.  She struggled that her motives may not be pure.  (None are, really) She sometimes resisted asking the Father, feeling like the request was wrong to ask.  And yet, in one instance the Holy Spirit rebuked her for desiring something and not asking.  But she quickly learned the lessons that the Spirit taught.  Once she knew that God was guiding her to ask  for something, she persisted in asking until it was received.  Often she asked that God would confirm if a desire was from Him, with a sign.

Perhaps I'm making this too complicated.  I tend to do that.  Perhaps it's as simple as going to our Father with our needs (real or perceived) and desires, and releasing it into His hands.  Simply, trusting.  Asking that He would confirm our asking so we know whether we should persist in asking.  And then wait on Him to guide us to the answer.  So easily said.  So difficult at times to live out.  help me Holy Spirit!  Help me.

It is much simpler to live out as I live my life in a continual dialogue with Him.  I know that He led me to ask for a dishwasher, for it really wasn't even something on my radar.  And then after asking, He granted my request.  And I give praise to my God who supplies ALL things for His children.!!!!

1 Timothy 6
17 Command those who are rich in this present world not to be arrogant nor to put their hope in wealth, which is so uncertain, but to put their hope in God, who richly provides us with everything for our enjoyment. 18 Command them to do good, to be rich in good deeds, and to be generous and willing to share.


  1. Alecia,

    Reading your blogs on your 40 Days to Discovery these last few days has been such a blessing to me. Thank you for your obedience to the Father in stepping out to do this. God is using you mightily! Be encouraged.

    Sister in Christ,

  2. You've done a great thing by sharing your intimate thoughts about your discoveries with God. It lets us know that others struggle with many of the same issues. xoxo

  3. Thank you so much for your encouraging words. They were much needed today.