I have so much to say about my frustrations in my spiritual and work lives. I am trying to express them without whining and with the understanding that I truly believe that Our Lord will provide.
Crisis of Spirit: Study Time.
I have been using Oswald Chambers book “My Utmost for His Highest” as a guide at the start of my devotional and study time. It is a collection of lectures given by Chambers in 1911-1917. The man’s work was blessed by the Lord. Each day I read and meditate on the material I have another profound breakthrough in prayer and obedience. This is both wonderful and horrible, inspiring and terrifying.
Each day I read and meditate … I have another profound breakthrough… This is both wonderful and horrible…
Why? I thought I was studying The Word and being obedient to His will already. As I then take that new appreciation into my study time I am overwhelmed by how much more I take away from the session. What does this mean for the studies I have done before? Should I go back and start over? The quick answer is YES.
The key to unlock this problem is the Holy Spirit and the Bible itself. The Holy Spirit is the key to understanding because all of Scripture was inspired through the Spirit. (2 Peter 1:20-21) As we read AND study Scripture, the Holy Spirit gifts us with insight and understanding. (Isaiah 11:2-3) As we delve deeper in understanding, we unlock more truth and thus gain more understanding. My obedience in study time, in prayer and meditation on the Word, has enabled me to see more value in the Scriptures as the Spirit provides me with more tools with which I may better understand the Bible. (1 Corinthians 2:10) It’s a wonder spiral staircase of knowledge.
Try to remember, we read the Bible to become familiar with the heart of our Creator. Just as with any other relationship, you will not get everything through on interaction, or even a series of interactions. How many times did I have to make a burger for my wife before I remembered she didn’t like tomatoes? I won’t give an answer or I might prove how dense I am. The reality is A LOT MORE than once a year, and definitely more than once in a lifetime. That is about how often the average professing Christian has read through a Bible. That says nothing about STUDYING the Scriptures. So I will re-read and study those passages again. Today, however, I will choose to continue to study where I am but I get to take the next step up in faith.
My finances are a mess. Basically I do not have enough income to pay many of my obligations. I have not had enough work to cover the tools I need in order to get or do work. I have made plans to market the companies with which I am associated, but I don’t have the finances to execute quite yet. Additionally, I am worried about car repairs, and other expenses that are piling up and I can’t yet pay this month. In theory, I have a lot of marketable skills and should be making a very nice salary, but the reality is that I am not seeing that pay-off. I am not really worried about it, but I see others worrying and I feel like I am causing them grief. I feel like I’m a burden.
Through all of this I have been doing a lot of work that is not for pay. I am trying to help others out who also have income problems and if my skill set can honor the Lord, then I will use it to help others when I can. I think it is also more important to me that others succeed. I feel I am trying to be a servant for the Lord and to bless others who need help. Tack this onto the time I spend studying or working on the websites that I do for good causes (Like Learn Differently and Redeemed-N-Delivered) and I have easily blown 30 plus hours a week and not getting any closer to paying bills.
My personal anguish comes from the question “What does my obedience to Our Lord cost others?”
Am I being faithful to my God? Then am I being faithful to my Family? Who wins? Jesus had similar ties (Luke 8:1-3) to others. Not only did he have his disciples, but there was a regular group of others who considered Him family-by-choice. His needs were taken care of by this family but I can’t claim that I am deserving of another to pay my way. I am not the Lord nor is my work that deserving, especially when my “work” does not directly benefit them. Paul is the opposite example. He worked as a tent maker during his ministry (Acts 18:1-3) AND he used it as a part of his ministry (Acts 20:33-35). That is where I know I need to be.(2 Thessalonians 3:11-12) I just don’t know how to get there from here.
But the Voice of Truth tells me that I have to continue to KNOW that the Lord will provide both the path and the income. (Matthew 6:26-34) He shall take care of my needs, that includes my need to work and be productive.(Ecclesiastes 5:18-20) After all the first commandment the Lord gave man was for work. (Genesis 2:15)
In that truth I have victory and again, I just need to take my next step up in faith.