YOU CHOOSE...

 

I know this may sound cliché, but I have learned a few things in my many years of serving the Lord. The only person who can allow Him to make you happy is YOU. That means that no other person can permanently take away your happiness. There are some situations that dampen our spirits and require a process to recover from them, but those situations are temporary. Unless you choose different.

 

I was saved when I was 17 years old.  My salvation was a profound experience, I knew I had ‘found it’. I was also baptized and filled with the Holy Spirit.  The renewal of my mind though, has been a process. I have had to choose many things that at times made no sense at all. Faith based beliefs are beliefs that are based on that which is not seen or felt. Now isn’t that ambiguous.

 

Most of us know you can’t buy happiness. It is true. I married a rich man once, and we were miserable. I was in fact ‘in love’ seven times and left brokenhearted, alone and destitute before I finally learned to let the Lord choose my man for me. I refused to get in His way again. Now, I am married to a man God showed me was for me.  We struggle some financially, but we are truly meant to be together. We are happy even though we have our own issues and our own ideas that do not always coincide.  We have a ministry together. We live together, work together and serve one another as we are serving God-together.

 

I have gained some knowledge about trying situations. If you can’t change your situation, stop trying so hard and change your mind about it. Choose to think differently about it. Choose to think on the positive side of things. Forgive and give up anger and retribution. Ask God to help you understand and to give you peace. Maybe in stressful relational issues, it is best at times to give each other time and space. You can’t control the world or anyone else for that matter, but you can control yourself and what you choose to think. You can feel better if you allow yourself that privilege.

I have played out a scene in my head about an issue that really bothers me as if it is resolved to the benefit of all. Now that may be fantasy but it makes me feel better. Then, in reality I am more happy to deal with things as they really are.

 

I know a lot of people who find others who are happy and stable and they cling to them thinking that purely by osmosis some of what happens to others, all that good stuff will rub off on them. It will not. Everybody must choose a happy state of mind or leave an unhappy situation for himself or herself. If you have ever read our book “The Victory Prayer” and my husbands testimony you will see that we have had many tough obstacles to overcome. We were not born with a silver spoon anywhere in sight. What we chose to have was our obedience and faith in a book called God’s Word. We also had an ability to completely resign to His will for our lives not ours. I believe it has made us more useful to the Lord and Him kingdom to have experienced being absolutely and completely broken people.

 

I had a ‘Job’ experience once where when I gave my life and my trust to Jesus Christ, and then I proceeded to loose everything! Although that was not pleasant, I never lost anything I absolutely needed. God restored to me what He wanted me to have. And I want to ask you something? Are you truly happy, because I am! By trusting God, things will happen in your life which will hurt and you may not like or understand those things. But by trusting God, nothing will separate you from His love. Nothing that happens will damage you beyond repair. He does not work that way. If you let Him, He will use any pain for a purpose.

 

I have bought a home we love, put out a book that is successful in helping others and we have just signed a record contract. How else could we be here? We are not young as before. We are not pounding the pavement as we have done in the past. We are private, quiet people who do not have a massive social network. What we are is obedient. We are in God’s perfect will.

 

He does the rest. We rest in Him. Instead of worry-have a little faith. You can sit in your sea of sadness or you can reach beyond yourself and put your praise on. Join a support group and improve. Choose to do something different than the same crap that gets you nowhere. That just leads to hopelessness when God wants your hope to be in Him. Keep in mind, lots of people believe ‘there is a God’ but that kind of belief does not lead to their personal salvation and walk with God. The Bible in James notes that even the demons believe in the living God.  The belief that does lead to salvation has an implied trust and commitment. Example, if my husband believed in marriage but never asked me to marry him, trust me…I would have moved on.

 

Once you know God’s path, stick to it. Your decision will be followed by your feelings, not the reverse. Life is complex. Keep things simple. God first, begin the day with prayer, one day at a time. If you want life to bless you, be a blessing. Accept disappointment gracefully. Choose wisely your friends and respect them. Assert yourself when you are wronged. Speak up; no one will do this for you. We are choosing not to be victims here.

 

Although you may lack a measure of beauty, perhaps you are not rich. Maybe you are simply not popular---let alone, famous! However, you can entrench yourself with the best attitude on the earth. Therefore, no door allowed opened by God will be closed to you. What mountains you will move then. Choose Gratitude.  There is no lack in that land.

 

Perhaps your life is not turning out as you have imagined it would. Maybe you have tried and have made a mess of things. Ask Jesus Christ into your life, again if you already have and simply forgotten Him. Give your will to God. It is an act of your will to turn your direction over to Him. It may be one of the hardest things you have done, only because you are used to being in the drivers seat. He can turn any mess into a message. He can make your life purposeful. It may look completely different than the life you had planned, living life doing God’s will. I was a registered nurse for 21 years when the Lord called me to John Tatum Ministries. Now, I am a musician? I never saw that coming. The Lord gave me a vision of a CD on the wings of angels to make it abundantly clear what I was to do. When I said ‘Lord I don’t know anything about music’, He laughed. He said, “That is beside the point”. I learned that sometimes the Lord calls you to do things that can only be done ‘through Him’. 

 

I want to share a story with you that will make this all seem to fit.            

 

“A young woman was getting ready to graduate from college. For many months she had admired a beautiful convertible car in a dealer’s showroom, and knowing her father could well afford it, she told him that was all she wanted. As graduation day approached, the young woman awaited signs that her father had purchased the car. Finally, on the morning of her graduation her father called her into his private study. Her father told her how proud he was to have such a fine daughter and told her how much he loved her. He handed his daughter a beautifully wrapped gift box. Curious, but somewhat disappointed, the young woman opened the box and found a lovely, leather-bound Bible, with the young woman’s name embossed in gold. Angrily, she raised her voice to her father and said, “With all your money you give me a Bible?” And then she stormed out of the house sadly, leaving the Bible behind.

 

Many years passed and the young woman was very successful in business. She had married, had a beautiful home and a wonderful family. But, she realized her father was getting very old and she thought perhaps she should go to see him. You see, she had not seen him since graduation day. Before she could make the arrangements, she received a telegram telling her that her father had passed away. He had willed all of his processions to her and all she needed to do was to come to his home and take care of things. When she arrived at her fathers’ house sudden sadness and regret filled her heart. She began to search through her father’s important papers and saw the still new Bible, just as she had left it years ago. With tears, she opened the Bible and began to turn the pages. Her father had carefully underlined a verse: Matthew 7:11: “And if ye, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give to those who ask Him?” As she read those words, a car key dropped from the back of the Bible. It had a tag with the dealer’s name, the same dealer who had the car of her dreams on his lot so many years earlier that she had so desperately desired. On the tag was the date of her graduation and the words: “Paid in Full”.

 

How many times do we miss God’s blessings because they are not packaged as we expect?  Have you sacrificed your Isaac? You can choose to believe Him or not. Follow Him or not.

 

Obey Him or not. Give Him your will or not.

You have one chance at this life to live to the fullest of your potential and to do God's will.   

        Put your passion into it!

 

Can you make room for Almighty God?

 

He is worth it!