Friday, December 19, 2014

To Be Set Apart for Preparation

I love it when God decides to share words of encouragement with me.  Like billboards along my highway advertising his love for me or beaming out rays of enlightenment that I wasn't expecting at that moment or in that method. He is faithful and creative in his care for me.

Billboard #1-

My email inbox receives a devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries every day.  One day this week Lysa Terkeurst shared an experience from a conference she attended where she ended up being seated at a table totally by herself.  She was separated from usual friends and none of the expected people at her assigned table showed up. As her mind began to play pity party thoughts, she heard the Lord say, "You aren't set aside, Lysa. You are set apart." As she pondered that she realized that to be set aside is to be rejected, to be set apart is “to be given an assignment that requires preparation…as you pray through your feelings,[of loneliness or insecurity] see if maybe your situation has more to do with you being prepared than you being overlooked.”
Thank you, Father.  You know I needed to hear that.

Billboard #2-
From a Bethel sermon,  Bill Johnson referenced the verse from Ro. 8:28-"all things work together for good to those who love God..." Then he made this statement: "There would be no need for that verse if we weren’t in a process”. I'm reading between the words and see another reminder here about preparation. In the process of loving God and trusting him we are not just waiting to see the working-out-for-good of things, but He's working out good in us. 

Billboard #3-
Randy Alcorn used the same verse on his blog today.  About our life after this he says, “We’ll no longer have to cling by faith to ‘God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God’ (Romans8:28, NASB). We will see history as definitive documentation of that reality.” The me, after the preparation is complete, is looking  forward to that hind sight view!  The fine print on this one says-it will be worth the clinging and believing.

What are your signs saying? God will be faithful to tell you just what you need to hear. Keep your eyes open. It is just a matter of waiting and staying faithful and learning all that the process wants to teach us.   

Oh, how I need your grace, Father. Gather up the loose ends of the threads of my emotions and fasten them securely in the eternal pattern where they belong.  I’ve made a mess of separating them from the weaving because I didn’t like their color or placement.  Others I’ve snagged on sharp conclusions or rough judgments. I’m holding still so you can repair. I’m enduring the pain of your correction in the preparation.  Your gentleness comforts me. You speak while you work. Your words give me hope, extend undeserved forgiveness and soften my stubbornness.

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