Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Decade of Destiny

Lately I've had some time to reflect, there have been some moments of significant frustration as of late. It has been clear in my postings. I recognize these periods for what they are, spiritual attack, disobedience, selfishness, call it what you like, but they are moments I'm not proud of. Don't get me wrong, we celebrate life at our house, we can see "the forest from the trees," but sometimes the earthly, fleshly warrior takes center stage and distracts me from the ultimate goal. We've learned that as much as we'd like to see the "roadmap" for Parker, only God knows the plans he holds for Parker (or any of us). We are reminded to live TODAY, because tomorrow isn't promised to any of us. Rick Warren's devotions last week were on the "decade of destiny." Love what he says about realizing that life is a test. And nothing is insignificant in life.

"Over your Decade of Destiny, you will be tested by God as he develops your character, faith, obedience, love, integrity, and loyalty.

Words like trials, temptations, refining, and testing occur more than 200 times in Scripture. God tested Abraham by asking him to offer his son Isaac. God tested Jacob when he had to work extra years to earn Rachel as his wife.

Adam and Eve failed their test in the Garden of Eden, and David failed a test from God on several occasions. But the Bible also gives us many examples of people who passed great tests, such as Joseph, Ruth, Esther, and Daniel.

Character is both developed and revealed by tests, and all of life is a test. You are always being tested. God constantly watches your response to people, problems, success, conflict, illness, disappointment, and even the weather! He even watches the simplest actions such as when you open a door for others, when you pick up a piece of trash, or when you're polite toward a clerk or waitress.

We don't know all the tests God will give you, but we can predict some of them, based on the Bible. You will be tested by major changes, by delayed promises, by impossible problems, by unanswered prayers, undeserved criticism, and even senseless tragedies. In my own life I have noticed that God tests my faith through problems, tests my hope by how I handle possessions, and tests my love through people.

A very important test is how you act when you can't feel God's presence in your life. Sometimes God intentionally draws back, and we don't sense his closeness. A king named Hezekiah experienced this test. The Bible says, "God withdrew from Hezekiah in order to test him and to see what was really in his heart." (2 Chronicles 32:31 NLT)

Hezekiah had enjoyed a close fellowship with God, but at a crucial point in his life God left him alone to test his character, to reveal a weakness, and to prepare him for more responsibility.

When you understand that life is a test, you realize that nothing is insignificant in your life. Even the smallest incident has significance for your character development. Every day is an important day, and every second is a growth opportunity to deepen your character, to demonstrate love, or to depend on God.

The good news is that God wants you to pass the tests of life, so he never allows them to be greater than the grace he gives you to handle them (1 Corinthians 10:13)."

Taylor is stealing the show for pictures this week. Cotillion Ball. Wow, where did the time go, my "baby boy" looks like such a young man. And a handsome one at comments on my "bird mask" please :)

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