Moving Forward or Staying Content

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“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”                                                 ~ James 1:2-4 ~

Sometimes God allows us to go through trials and temptations of many kinds. I think its because he is getting us ready for the next journey he has for us. To see if we still need to grow a little bit more before we can set out on our next journey with him. Not that he is unaware of our need to grow but to make us aware of our need to grow.
“You have searched me, LORD, and you know me. You know when I sit and when I rise; you perceive my thoughts from afar. You discern my going out and my lying down; you are familiar with all my ways. Before a word is on my tongue you, LORD, know it completely. You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too lofty for me to attain.”        ~ Psalm 139:1-6 ~

When we are made aware of our need to grow we can either, choose to move forward with God, or stay where we are. I don’t know about you but I want to move forward with God and fulfill the purpose and calling he has for me. It’s kind of like spiritual boot camp. Though I have never been to a real boot camp like the military, thank you Jesus, I think this is how God gets us into shape and ready for our next journey with him.

“Consider it pure joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.
Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.”        ~ James 1:2-4 ~

“Consider him who endured such opposition from sinners, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.”        ~ Hebrews 12:3 ~

God allows the devil to put us through trials and temptations, like Job, but not with out God’s permission. The devil has to go to God to get permission to put us through trials and temptations. “One day the angles came to present themselves before the LORD, and Satan also came with them. The LORD said to Satan, “Where have you come from?” Satan answered the LORD, “From roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it.” Then the LORD said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.” “Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But now stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.” The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your power, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” Then Satan went out from the presence of the LORD.        ~ Job 1:6-12 ~

The devil is not all powerful like God so he can’t do everything he wants without first getting permission from God. Don’t you just love that? Me too! Knowing the devil has to go through God before he can get to me and even then he can only do what God allows him to do. But, even when we are going through trials and temptations God always provides us a way out, an escape route. 1 Corinthians 10:13 tells us that: “No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

This is all part of our growing process to become more like Christ and less like the world. All this has me thinking of a Christy Nockels song called “For Your Splendor” and the second verse goes like this. “Sometimes it’s hard to grow when everybody’s watching, To have your heart pruned by the one who knows best, And though I’m bare and cold I know my season’s coming, And I’ll spring up in your endless faithfulness.” And the chorus goes like this. “With my roots deep in you, I’ll grow the branch that bears the fruit, And though I’m small, I’ll still be standing in the storm, Cause I’m planted by the river by your streams of living water, And I’ll grow up strong and beautiful, All for your splendor, Lord.”

“The righteous will flourish like a palm tree, they will grow like a cedar of Lebanon; planted in the house of the LORD, they will flourish in the courts of our God. They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green, proclaiming, “The LORD is upright; he is my Rock, and there is no wickedness in him.”        ~ Psalm 92:12-15 ~

Once we’ve made it through our spiritual boot camp, God will close all the doors that need to be closed and he will open all the doors that need to be opened for our next journey with him. Will you move forward with God and tuff it out through the good and not so good or will you stay content with where you are in your relationship with God? I don’t know about you but I want to be a Jesus girl who moves forward to not just know about God, but to experience God.

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