If You Love Me

My husband and I like to take our dog Autumn for walks on our property. We take the leash along just in case she refuses to obey.

If we’re not careful, she’ll wander off and return smelling like the decaying carcass of the animal she rolled around in. Why on earth do dogs do this? Baffling and gross!

When my husband and Autumn returned from a recent walk, he was happy to report that she was very obedient. Actually, he was amazed by her obedience. Needless to say, he made sure Autumn knew he was very pleased with her.

You see, Autumn is usually a fearful, stubborn, rebellious dog (sounds a lot like me at times). So, for one of us to say that she was obedient for an entire 15-acre walk is really saying something.

Autumn’s act of obedience reminds me of scripture. John 14:15 “If you love me, keep my commands.”

We don’t have to exhaustingly work hard at trying to obey God in order to prove our love for Him. The more we fall in love with the Lord, obedience to Him will come more naturally. We’ll actually desire to be pleasing to Him.

Psalm 119:35 Direct me in the path of your commands, for there I find delight.

The more time Autumn spends with my husband, the more she gets to know him and trust him. The more she knows him and trusts him, her love for him grows. Therefore, her obedience to him increases.

It’s the same with God. The more time we spend with Him in prayer, bible study, and experiencing life with Him, the better we will know Him. The better we know Him, the more we will trust Him and what He says.

The more we realize we can trust God and His Word, the deeper and deeper in love we will fall with Him. Resulting in more obedience.

What is the result of more obedience? A more pleasant journey.

Psalm 119:1-2 Blessed are those whose ways are blameless, who walk according to the law of the Lord. Blessed are those who keep his statutes and seek him with all their hearts.

What is the reward of obedience?

Psalm 91:14-16 “Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name. He will call on me, and I will answer him, I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With a long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”

Just as my husband made it clear to Autumn that she had done a great job on their walk and that he was very pleased with her obedience, so also the Lord will express His delight in our obedience.

Matthew 25:23 His master replied, “Well done, good and faithful servant! Come and share your master’s happiness!”

I don’t know about you but that’s what I’m looking forward to hearing the Lord say to me at the end of my walk.

~Patrice Maguire

Dear God, I know I am a sinner, and I ask for Your forgiveness. I believe Jesus Christ is Your Son. I believe that He died for my sin and that You raised Him to life. I want to trust Him as my Savior and follow Him as Lord, from this day forward. Guide my life and help me to do Your will through the power of Your Holy Spirit. I pray this in the name of Jesus. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Don’t Give Up Hope

Have you ever believed beyond a shadow of a doubt that the Lord told you to do something? And that your obedience to Him would lead to a blessing? You believed it so much that you actually stepped out and did it. You may have not even know where the faith came from to do it but you had it and you used it. You said to yourself “If God told me to do it then He’s going to show me how to do it and He’s going to make everything work out.” Right? Then you come up with all of these preconceived ideas of how it’s all going to play out. Mistake number one! I know because I’ve been there and done that plenty of times. Then when things don’t go as you imagined they would or should you get discouraged and start to lose hope. Mistake number two!

I’m reminded of the story of Abraham. First God tells Abraham to leave his family and everything he knows to go to a land that He would show him. Then He told Abraham He would make him a great nation, bless him, make his name great and that he would be a blessing to all the people of the earth. God didn’t tell him where he was going. He didn’t tell him how he was going to become a great nation or how he would be a blessing to all the earth. There were no details. Abraham did as God told him to do. He took one day at a time and followed as God led him.

I wonder if, like us, Abraham had his own preconceived ideas of how all that God told him was going to play out? I suspect he did (Genesis 12-21). If Abraham had not wondered how God was going to make him a great nation then there would have been no Ishmael. Abraham and Sarah were getting discouraged and losing hope. So they took matters into their own hands. God was taking too long! They wanted to help God keep His promise. As if God needs our help. But isn’t that what we do? We start to get impatient with God so we start to question things and try to make sense of things. After all, we have to be logical. We think things like “Well maybe God meant this or maybe God wants me to do that.” We just end up making a mess of things.

Isaac was the promise from God. Isaac was how Abraham was going to be a great nation. The promise of Isaac came over twenty-five years after the promise was made. Abraham was one hundred years old when his son of promise was born. Sarah was past childbearing age. God taught Abraham a lot of lessons in those twenty-five years. God waited until He would get all of the glory and until Abraham was ready before He fulfilled the promise He had made to him.

Maybe things aren’t going as you thought they would. Maybe you are getting impatient with God. Maybe you are thinking about taking things into your own hands and helping God out. Maybe God is working things out in you and making you ready for the promise. Maybe God is waiting to fulfill His promise to you when He knows that no one else will get the glory but Him.

Don’t give up hope! God always keeps His promises (Psalm 108:4 For great is your love, higher than the heavens; Your faithfulness reaches to the skies.) His thoughts are not our thoughts and His ways are not our ways (Isaiah 55:8). Take one day at a time and follow God. He will show you the way and He will fulfill His promise to you.

~Patrice Maguire

 

 

 

Scars of Impatience

I’ve been wanting to write a blog all week. I’ve felt like a racehorse at a starting gate. I even tried to write one on Monday but ended up deleting it because it just didn’t feel right; it wasn’t coming together. The timing and content were all wrong. God was working on something in me and He wanted me to wait until I could share it with all of you. He loves for me to be transparent and tell on myself. That way He gets all of the glory. As it should be!

I’ve been a little impatient with God lately. Impatient to the point where I’ve actually become angry with Him. Have you ever had a situation where you were sure God told you to do something so you stepped out in faith and did what He told you to do but it didn’t turn out the way you thought it should? Or you were even right in the middle of doing what He told you to do but there seemed to be roadblocks everywhere? Well, that’s where I am. It’s left me asking questions like “why?” and “when?” Then the Lord reminded me of something this morning.

Once my mom shared a memory with me about something I did when I was a little girl. I don’t remember doing what she says I did but I know it’s true because I have a scar that proves it. One evening my mom had prepared dinner as she always had. The food was very hot. I was very hungry. My mom was trying to explain to me that the food was too hot to eat as she blew on it to try to cool it off. She didn’t want my mouth to be burned. I didn’t want to listen to her and I didn’t want to wait. I grew more and more impatient. Then I became very angry with her and threw a fit. I started crying and screaming and running around. Then it happened. I ran right into the corner of a brick wall. I was hurt very badly. I have a scar and a slight dent in my forehead due to the injury.

Isn’t that just like us with God? He’s prepared something so good for us and we can smell it. It smells amazing! It smells so good that it makes us more and more hungry for what He’s promised as the end result of our obedience. We want it now! But it’s not ready. He’s trying to encourage us through His word that it’s coming and He’s telling us to just be patient. But we want it now! And just like I got angry with my sweet mom, who only had my best interest at heart, we get angry with God and do something that causes ourselves pain and leaves a scar.

We all bare these scars. They come in all shapes and sizes. Some are the scars of giving up hope too soon when our breakthrough was just around the corner. Some are scars of taking control of the situation and doing things our way only to realize we made a mistake. No matter who we are our scars always look like regret. But thankfully that isn’t the end.

God wants to use those old scars of impatience to remind us of our past mistakes so that we won’t make the same mistakes again. He wants us to remember that we can trust Him in the waiting because He knows what’s best for us. It’s in the waiting that makes the fulfilled promise taste so much better than we could have ever imagined it would.

Psalm 34:8 Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in Him.

Psalm 130:5 I wait for the Lord, my whole being waits, and in His word, I put my hope.

Ecclesiastes 7:8 The end of a matter is better than it’s beginning, and patience is better than pride.

Colossians 1:11 Being strengthened with all power according to His glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience.

~Patrice Maguire