Thursday, March 3, 2016

No One Can Understand You... Part 1

Image courtesy of Pansa/freedigitalphotos.net

My son, if you accept my words
and store up my commands within you,
turning your ear to wisdom
and applying your heart to understanding
indeed, if you call out for insight
and cry aloud for understanding,
and if you look for it as for silver
and search for it as for hidden treasure,
then you will understand the fear of the Lord
and find the knowledge of God.
~ Proverbs 2:1-5, NIV ~


God has been working on a weakness of mine for a long, long time.
So has Satan. 
I would never have thought that my volunteering or using my “gifts” could become stumbling blocks for me, but, whoa, Nelly… did they ever!

Thankfully, a series of sermons, devotions, and passages from books I’ve been reading finally convinced me that I needed to make a change… 
A BIG CHANGE. 
For 5 or more years, I have been managing social media for a non-profit organization. Because my daughter has a rare disease and this non-profit supports families and raises awareness of the syndrome, it was easy to convince myself that I NEEDED to do this.
God called me to this. God designed me for this. God raised me up as a leader for this cause. 
All of these “reasonings” are decent. 
All of these arguments may be true…for a season. 
But I started to feel very anxious and over-whelmed with what I did.   
Yes, I enjoyed it. Yes, my fellow leaders told me what a great job I did. Yes, I was on social media anyway, so it was “no big deal.” 
So, why the anxiety? 

As my pastor started a sermon series called “Kickstart” at the beginning of the new year, I started to hear God tell me that HE wanted me to “KICKSTOP.” 

GOD pretty much started challenging the pride that had gotten tangled up in volunteering. 

“You are not the end-all and be-all to the social media for this group, Tammie.” “You need to listen to me about when to start something and when to stop something, Tammie.” 
So, the wheels were turning in my head… but I still refused to listen to GOD’S voice, and I kept listening to the world. 

Not too much later I started reading a daily devotional written by Sarah Young called Jesus Calling, and at the same time our sermon series at church started which was titled “[Re] Discovering Jesus.”   

I realized that the time I had “carved out” for maintaining the social media for this organization had started to steal time from God. 
A YEAR ago, I was waking up and doing my daily readings through the book of Psalms and I was spending time in a prayer and journaling. I quickly fell into the habit, however, of waking up and getting on Twitter and Facebook to read articles and share resources from our non-profit. Before I’d know it, 1 1/2 hour or even 2 hours would pass by and I needed to start my day. 
Sorry, God… I’m too busy doing “good work” to spend time with you this morning. 

Yes, I was doing a good job. 
Yes, it was a worthy cause. 
Yes, faith without works IS dead (James 2:17). 

But I was losing sight of Jesus and focusing on the world. I was sacrificing my relationship with the Living God for a “relationship” with 400 “followers” on Twitter. 

This is NOT God’s desire for me-to become swept away in the world of social media all for the sake of good cause…not when the only LIFE-SAVING cause, the most CRITICAL decision we can make is to spend time with God. 

In light of all of this, I swallowed my pride and stepped down from my position. 
Oooo… real tough to STOP volunteering, Tammie. 
Wow… way to take one for the team, Tammie. 
Right, I heard those voices too, and that’s what kept me in my position for as long as I did. 

But drawing away from God was giving the Devil a foothold-and Satan was getting in my heart and creating anxiety and bitterness.  It was growing and it was seeping out of me. 

While some people wanted to “pep-talk” me with fun phrases like “just keep swimming,” “let it go,” and “hakuna matata” there was a much deeper root to my problem than an animated movie could extract. 

In spite of my fear of what others thought, I had to make a radical change and reverse the direction in which I was moving. 

“Do not expect anyone to understand fully My ways with you, any more than you can comprehend My dealing with others.” Jesus Calling, Sarah Young, p. 62. 

That’s it… it’s as simple as that.  No one can EVER understand why or how God is dealing with ME…because they aren’t ME and they are GOD! 

That’s really why I’m writing what I’m writing today.  To show that WE are mysteries to one another.  Just as our children can be medical mysteries, or their means of communication can be difficult for us to understand… WE will always be mysteries to one another because God has a special plan for each of us. We MUST-MUST-MUST stay in TUNE with God in order to be able to HEAR Him above the noise of this world because, as much as we believe we can give good advice to one another, we can never REALLY know what God’s plan is for another person’s life. 

Now, HOW do we KNOW God’s voice?   

Well, that’s what I’m going to explore for next week… 

Pray: Heavenly Father, thank you for having a unique plan for me… no matter how uncomfortable to path there may be. Thank you for teaching me. Thank you for the Bible so I may learn what “your ways” are like and learn what your will is for me. I pray, Lord, that I will listen better, and obey FASTER. Amen. 

~Tammie Hefty

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