God has been working in me as always to teach me many lessons. I feel like I am a forever work in progress and often wonder is He ever thinks ‘when are you ever going to get this?’.
For those of you who may not know I am in sales, and am self-employed. In my time doing this job over the past 6 years, I have felt God use me in ways I would never have imagined. I know there have been times where my place in this industry was by His design…and let me tell you – that a good feeling to have.
When I started I took one verse and pinned to my office wall and it is still there reads:
Honour the Lord with your wealth and with the first fruits of all your produce.then your barns will be filled with plenty and your vats will be bursting with wine. ” Proverbs 3:9-10
I also read and re-read “Commit your actions to the Lord, and your plans will succeed.” Proverb 16:3.
I spent time in prayer and acknowledged that there would not be a client or deal that was not brought but by Him, and that I would commit to keep my focus on Him and not me. He chose to bless me and my business has grown and I find myself very busy. Sometimes I even wonder if He is sure I can manage all he has provided. It would seem my ‘barns are filled with plenty’ of business indeed.
I am so grateful. My thanksgiving comes easy and it is so apparent in my life that God is great, that it is His glory and His power that has brought me to this place. I am happy to worship and sing praise to Him for all He has done and provided.
However recently He has been working in me and pressing me with challenges, questions and circumstances that I have little understanding of. Over several months it has left me wondering why He has been trying to get my attention
Well, the other day when I was driving – and if you read these often, you know it is often when I am driving – it came to me. Struck me crystal clear . He wanted to ask me something…
“Would you praise Me if it were all gone?”
Somehow I knew He was challenging me specifically in my area of work. I knew it in my heart…this is what He wanted me to face.
If I never did another deal, if I never got another client, if it all fell apart and I was called to walk away completely and start over elsewhere, would I still be singing praise to the Glory of God?
Do I really give praise to the God that gives AND the God that takes away?
Was my praise and worship conditional on what I had been provided?
Questions that burned, challenged my core thoughts and feelings. Questions that went against my human nature.
Then I opened up my Bible Study homework. We are doing a Beth Moore study on Breaking Free from the things that bring us bondage in life. And doesn’t my homework find me learning about how we are to find satisfaction in God and God alone. That He wants to bring us back from captivity and bring complete satisfaction that will renew our spirit, and meet all our needs.
It took a while and I struggled but I found myself in prayer and found myself praying these words:
“God, deep down the selfish part of me struggles with the increasing importance ‘me’, So often my praise and thanks to you comes in response to action or blessing. I forget to thank You just for being who You are. You are the God who gives and the God who takes away. It is not what you have done for me that I source my praise in, but who You are. If You choose that any or all that I have been afford shall be taken, I will still praise You and seek to find peace, hope and satisfaction in You alone. You are great and greatly to be praised regardless of the circumstance I find myself in. Help me to remember this – remind me often… and keep me humble, that You may never find the need to humble me to get my attention”
I can not even put into the words the feeling once I admitted how hard seeking that truth was, working through it and admitting it to God. The amazing part was He always knew I had it in me…He was just drawing it out of me so I too knew it was there. God is great and greatly to be praised!
I wonder if any of those reading have been in a similar place. Where praising, loving and sensing all God has done for you is seemingly easy and comfortable? I wonder if God has ever pressed you to really think about why you praise Him. Whether what He does matters more than who He is? I wonder if like me, He is looking to you and asking Will you declare the glory and sing praise to the God who gives and to the God that takes away?
It is a big question and one worth struggling with.