Saturday, May 23, 2015

God Will Show-Out

Your place-setting. Just for you.
I remember years ago when I first arrived in South Carolina. I had come from California and all of my belongings were in storage. All I had were myself and my two boys. That was about it. One of the hardest things during that time was waiting for my car. Even that was in a storage facility in California. I felt hopeless having to rely on others for transportation, but I knew my situation was temporary. At least with a car my boys and I could "escape" to different parts of South Carolina. Without one I felt limited and closed-in.

One time when I needed yet another ride to my job, which was about 40 minutes away (the owner of the borrowed car I was using wanted it back), I had gotten a ride from a woman who I found out days later, wasn't the nicest person. On one occasion when she didn't think I gave her gas money fast enough, she became mean, rude, and obnoxious. It became obvious that she didn't really believe my story that my car was in storage in California. Needless to say, my association with her was over within weeks of meeting her. Finally my car came. It was a happy day that I will always remember. On one of my usual drives to work I passed her on the road. I drove by and looked over at her smiling in my "new" car with my California license plates. The look on her face in those short moments were sheer shock, disbelief, and amazement. That look will forever be etched in my mind. I have to admit, it's a cherished moment.

Every time I think back to that day, I think about how the Lord will set a place before our enemies. Although she may not have been an enemy in the traditional sense of the word, she clearly wasn't a person who wished me or my sons well. That, I knew for sure. But God...He made it so I didn't need to show-off by calling her and saying, 'see see I got my car and I don't need you anymore.' No, there was no need for that. God simply showed her that I wasn't lying about my car.

There was no doubt to me that I knew God worked in my favor that very moment. And all I had to do was drive by and smile big. Not a smile of spite or anything of the sort. Simply a smile of, 'hey good to see you, thanks for what you did for my sons and me, but I'm glad I have my car.' I never saw her again after that. Sometimes all we have to do is show up, perform, drop the mic, and exit stage left. Show over.

The moral of the story is, as we continue to live for God and have faith in Him, He will be the one who showcases our lives the way He sees fit. And I believe He does this:
- to increase our faith in Him by showing us His favor in our lives  
- to bring others to Him through our lives as witness to His goodness

All of this I liken to a southern phrase called, "showing out', which means showing off or bringing attention to. Just like God showed-out in my favor that day, He will do the same for anyone, because He is a God of showing-out with an exclamation point.

Saturday, May 16, 2015

You Have the Right to Remain Silent

No need to keep talking about it. Just be about it.
Sometimes when I watch two athletes, I tend to favor the one who remains quiet. Typically big mouth people are fun to watch because they're entertaining, but it's something about that cool, calm, and collected one I like studying. And like athletes, I like watching those National Geographic shows about tigers who sit back and watch their prey. Those tigers are always so patient. They just chill, knowing confidently where their next meal is coming from. No fan fare, no huge roar to let every animal know what's about to happen. Because if the premature big roar happens too soon then that prey will be gone in sixty seconds. So tigers know exactly what to do. They're just doing what they have to do to get what's coming to them. That's attractive to me. I can watch those tiger shows forever. Sometimes I'll just YouTube them and study their character, study their leadership.

It all reminds me of God's blessings. As we continue doing our thing, staying in our anointed (special God-given area) and remain silent about it, then God will do what it is He said He would do. What am I saying? I'm saying we don't have to brag, boast or jump up and down to be seen. Just like that strong confident athlete and tiger, all we have to do is be silent and wait. Our win and hearty meal will come, because God's word doesn't come back void or empty.

How do I know? Because, just as Moses told the Israelites who feared the Egyptians, "the Lord will fight for us and all we have to do is be silent (Exodus 14:14), there is no need to worry or fear. Thus, these words apply in many situations as we stay focused, stay motivated, and remain silent. And when that happens, God will make our voices loud without us saying one word.

Saturday, May 2, 2015

Playing Our Position

As I think over my life, I sometimes realize where I went wrong in some situations. Like in my teens when I thought I knew everything and nobody could tell me nothing. I just knew beyond a shadow of a doubt that I knew more than my mother. For sure I thought in many instances she had no idea what she was talking about. In some instances I even thought I was the mother when it came to what was right and wrong. How foolish huh? Just straight up stupid thinking. Yet haven't we all been there before in some way? As I got older I understood that a child can and will never have the position of the parent even if that child becomes the caregiver of the parent or calls all the shots. The parent is still the parent. That's the position God created, it's the way He set up the order of that family. And order is extremely important.

In Luke 6, we are reminded that, "the student is not above the teacher, but everyone who is fully trained will be like their teacher" (verse 40). In other words, we must stay in our place, because the Lord made us for specific purposes to carry out specific functions. If we will remain humble in spirit in listening to the wise counsel of the person in authority, then we will get what it is God wants us to have. When the person in authority is carrying on in a wise, respectful and correct manner, then we will be just fine. If the person is not, then God will take care of that too. I have seen with my own eyes that the Lord will make correction as needed so there's no need to worry or to step out of our place.

It's so much easier when we play our position and stay there. Other than that, God will continue to direct our paths and make them smooth.