Monthly Archives: February 2017
Monthly Archives: February 2017
Written by Kelly Elders
For more from Kelly Elders please visit: kellyelders.com
GOD IS INCLUSIVE!
One of the many reasons I love God is that He is inclusive. He is always including us into His story. We sometimes believe that God needs us to carry out His plan and purpose. The truth is God is God all by Himself. If He wanted, He could call forth an army of angels and clothe them with skin and they could save, deliver and heal as they spread the Word of God all over earth, yet He included us. He doesn’t even have to subject Himself to our economy, He is a creative God and could just make things appear, but He included us.
God is not limited to us but His desire is to move through us!
He includes us in His vision and invites us to take part. His hope is we will grab ahold of every opportunity set before us and run.
It’s time to partner with Him and carry out His purpose. We need to change our way of giving to get and instead start giving to further His vision. He wants to share heaven, power, provision, favor and so much with us and all we need to do is link up with His plan. We bring our obedience and God brings everything else! For our own lives, we need to link up with Him and step out into whatever He has for us. I no longer have to be focused on the outcome just focused on my obedience. The outcome is up to God. He says one plants, one waters but He brings the increase or growth (1 Corinthians 3:7). We just obey by being available, willing and doing all that He says. Sometimes God isn’t so concerned with the outcome as much as He wants to see if you will do what He asks, when He asks. Don’t get me wrong God is all about increase but wants us to obey and trust in Him no matter the outcome.
I have decided to change my focus from the outcome to obedience. I don’t need to look at the outcome to decide if I have succeeded. I succeed when I am obedient to Him. How freeing is that? Don’t measure your success by your outcome but by your obedience. We tend to measure victory by how many people showed up, by how many people responded, by how much money did it produce but what if it was just about you being obedient?
In Ezekiel 3:11 God instructed Ezekiel to go and say no matter the outcome.
“And go to the exiles, to the sons of your people, and speak to them and tell them, whether they listen or not, ‘Thus says the Lord GOD.”
Ezekiel’s obedience wasn’t based on the outcome but on his obedience to God. God wants us to be included through our obedience. He wants to fulfill His purpose on this earth and He has invited us to take part!
Choose today, to be determined to just obey and let God be responsible for the outcome!
As parents, we grieve over the poor choices our children make. But never fear, there is great power in prayer! Know that God draws near to the brokenhearted. Not too long ago my young son was lost in addiction and chose to live on the streets. Yet through the entire journey the Lord was faithful. He steadily comforted me through various passages found in The Bible.
The book of Lamentations 2:19 states, “Arise, cry out in the night, as the watches of the night begin; pour out your heart like water in the presence of the Lord. Lift up your hands to him for the lives of your children, who faint from hunger at every street corner.”
This passage spoke directly to my situation as I that parent, crying out through the night for my child. My mind would wonder off imagining if he was hungry or begging for money or food on the street corners. My heart was spent with aches, prayers and tears. In this trial I had to remain confident in the Lord’s ability to save him. It wasn’t about being angry at the Lord for the choices my son made or about putting myself down wondering what I did wrong. I just missed my son, I wanted him home safe.
We live in this world with enemies all around us. Being able to recognize the strategies of the enemy is important. The enemy was the attempting to take me out and accuse God for my son being gone. Here I am a faithful mother raising my children in the faith and now my son leaves the safety of his home and becomes a prodigal. In times past I may have gotten angry and blamed God but not this time; I had come too far with God to blame him. I had to recognize where the schemes were coming from and make a choice to stand firm in my faith in God rather than blame God. I chose to believe God is good and that He is for me and my son. I didn’t question why this was happening. I chose to wake up and recognize who my enemy was and stand up and fight for my son because he was in darkness and headed for serious trouble. I reminded myself what the book of Ephesians chapter 6 states, “when you have done everything you can to stand, stand therefore.” The position of standing is there for a reason. It didn’t say quit or complain, it said to stand. It also says the shoes you stand in is the readiness of the good news in peace.
So I positioned myself to stand in the scriptures that brought me peace and comfort, one of which was the parable of the Lost Sheep found in Luke 15:4 wherein Jesus told this parable: “Suppose one of you has a hundred sheep and loses one of them. Doesn’t he leave the ninety-nine in the open country and go after the one… ” Jesus is the Good Shepherd and I believe He will go after that one, your special one.
While my son was gone, moment by moment throughout my day the Lord would fill me up with strength to endure this trial and stand. Yes, I missed my son so much. I prayed he come to the end of himself, wake up and come to his senses. I remember creating a private prayer group on Facebook for my son where just certain family and strong believers were invited to pray for him. This platform helped me to write out my prayers. It also provided a place for other to encourage me but more importantly partner with me in prayer to stand for his liberation. As I reflect back on it today I the faithfulness of God.
Though my son was not home, I was able to be filled with hope, faith, joy and expectation. I know our God is good. I believe He is a good Father and He never leaves us. I believe He never forsakes us and He knew where my son was. So during my trial I continued to press into God to know His character. I found certain worship songs that would elevate the greatness of our God and this would encourage me to have more faith. Worship also filled me with the confidence to stop worrying about my son. Instead I held onto God’s promises and celebrated in advance his homecoming. I faithfully attended woman’s bible studies and surrounded myself with believers who actually believed God could save my son. When negative people would speak against my son and his past reputation of failure rather than on God’s reputation of faithfulness, my position to stand for truth was to quickly forgive them and separate myself. I had keep a clean heart to stand strong in believing God could save him. There were moments when my broken mother’s heart would fail yet I had to remind myself God, He never fails. I couldn’t rely on people to build me up if they were not relying on God to build them up. Instead I needed to draw closer to God.
When adversity hits your family, stay connected to God in worship and be filled up and encouraged through scripture. If you’re a parent grieving over the choices of your children, I would encourage you to forgive them for their choices. Forgive yourself for any shortcomings and get realigned with God. Ask Him to forgive you if you had any doubt in His ability to save your children and then strap up in your holy armor and stand in prayer to battle for the lives of your children. Know that there are more for you than against you. God is for you, you got the name of Jesus, the Holy Spirit, the blood of Jesus, the keys to the kingdom, angels, the living Word and a company of women who will partner in prayer for your children.
Today, I am happy to report my son is home safe and serving the Lord. To God be the glory. Great things He is doing and great things He will continue to do. I believe in the God of miracles for you too. “And when he finds it, he joyfully puts it on his shoulders and goes home. Then he calls his friends and neighbors together and says, ‘Rejoice with me; I have found my lost sheep. I tell you that in the same way there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent.” Luke 15:5-7