Thursday, September 29, 2011

Change the Oil

It's been a while since I have written. I’ve really wanted to write more, I’m just not getting anything. 

I was praying at church the other night, and I asked God to help me.  I know that part of it is I don’t spend enough time alone with Him and in His word.  I have to be more disciplined in that area.  He did show me something, though, after I prayed.  He showed me that I had some jealousy and envy that I had to get forgiveness for. This particular snare was causing me to become bitter. I felt like I was not being treated fairly, and when I got to the bottom of it, God was there.  He was ultimately who I was angry with.

Ever been angry with God?  You might as well level with Him, because He knows it anyway.  Getting those feelings out in the open can help you see what's at the root of it, and help you let go of it; help you to ask for forgiveness.  I had been mad at God--though I didn't realize that I was--because He moved all my kids to locations far away from me. I didn't understand.  Why would He do that to me?

Then I remembered that God supplies all my needs.  All of them. Whatever I need, He provides.  If He doesn't provide it, then it isn't a need, it's a want. I don’t understand it in this particular incident, but that’s the truth of the matter.  I have had to give this to God.  If I trust Him, then I have to believe that He knows what is best for me. I have to take Him at His word and remember that He has "plans to prosper me and give me a hope and a future." (Jeremiah 29:11). 

And of course, I also have to realize that it’s not all about me. *Ouch*  We don't like to hear that, do we? 

It’s not always going to be easy, but I have to do some things that God has called me to do, and it may mean sacrificing some things. I have been given a very specific path that God has continued to confirm in my life. One of them is the college degree I'm working on.

Meanwhile, I have lots of things to be thankful for, like some wonderful deep relationships that God has given me.  These friendships enable me to have that loving family relationship right here at home in the absence of my own, biological family.  I also have a good job where we are a family, which is a  wonderful source of strength and support. 

In the end, God gave me an analogy to help me understand what unforgiveness and bitterness would do to my heart and my life.  He showed me that the bitterness in my heart was like oil in a car, way overdue for a change.  Just like the oil has to be changed or the motor will be ruined, the bitterness—the old oil—has to be drained from my heart.  I believe God supernaturally does this, taking the old oil out like in an oil change.  Then He replaces the plug, so to speak, and fills me up with the Holy Spirit.  I have to go back to Him regularly—ideally, daily—to stay full of His Spirit. 

I'm not sure why the oil change example, but that's the picture I got when He was speaking to me during my time with Him the other night. I have asked for forgiveness and for Him to "change the oil" in my heart, "transforming and renewing my mind" as He says in Romans 12. 

So here is my prayer tonight:

"The bottom line is, I trust You, Father.  Fill me with Your Spirit. Use me to encourage others in their walk with you.  Give me strength to walk the path You have set before me. In Jesus’ name, Amen."