Posts Tagged ‘wisdom’

Que Sera Sera

Jul 25

by Victoria Robinson

In the Alfred Hitchcock movie, The Man Who Knew Too Much, Doris Day sang her now infamous song, Que Sera Sera.  She sang these words to her son who at the time could never have imagined he would soon become the victim of a kidnapper. Her idyllic life would soon be transformed into a terrifying nightmare.

Que Sera, Sera,

Whatever will be, will be

The future’s not ours to see

 Que Sera, Sera,

What will be, will be. 

This song echoes the divine providence of the Lord in the truth that He is the One who is ultimately in charge and the only One who really knows our future. Our Lord and Savior made this perfectly clear to a man who was rich and was making his own plans. Jesus said to him, “You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?” The apostle James gave us this wisdom regarding our future, “Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” 

After Daniel’s prophecy to King Nebuchadnezzar came true this humbled king said of the Lord, “He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?”

While it is true that the Lord will do as He pleases, we as His children are in a wonderful position to approach Him with boldness and confidence and ask for His help. It is of the utmost importance that as we make requests to our heavenly Father, we do it in the same manner as our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.  When confronted with the horrendous reality of death on the cross He uttered these now famous words, “Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done.” This same attitude should be in our hearts as we boldly approach our heavenly Father. As was the case of Jesus, sometimes our Lord will not take the “cup” from us, but allow difficult things to happen in our life not only for our good, but the good of others. 

Then again, there are certainly times when our whole course of life will be altered because of a request we make to the Lord. In the book of James we see  the importance of making requests to the Lord. James said, “You do not have, because you do not ask God.” He further states that their motives should be right when asking our Lord for something. 

The infamous story of a lady named Hannah found in the book of First Samuel exemplifies how a godly lady boldly approached the Lord with her request. Hannah was so distressed after not being able to conceive that she came before the Lord in bitterness of soul weeping and praying to the LORD. The Lord not only gave her a son, but God rewarded Hannah’s piety and faithfulness with three more sons and two daughters. While we cannot know for certainty what Hannah’s future would have held had she not cried out to the Lord, perhaps she never would have received the blessing of children. 

So as we ponder the words of Doris Day, “Whatever will be will be, the future’s not ours, to see.” let us trust in the divine providence of the One who created us and has our best interests in mind. 

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would boldly approach the throne of God with our requests understanding that His answer is going to be perfect. 

And he told them this parable: “The ground of a certain rich man produced a good crop. He thought to himself, ‘What shall I do? I have no place to store my crops.’ “Then he said, ‘This is what I’ll do. I will tear down my barns and build bigger ones, and there I will store all my grain and my goods. And I’ll say to myself, “You have plenty of good things laid up for many years. Take life easy; eat, drink and be merry.”’ “But God said to him, ‘You fool! This very night your life will be demanded from you. Then who will get what you have prepared for yourself?’ ~ Luke 12:16-20 NIV 

At the end of that time, I, Nebuchadnezzar, raised my eyes toward heaven, and my sanity was restored. Then I praised the Most High; I honored and glorified him who lives forever. His dominion is an eternal dominion; his kingdom endures from generation to generation. All the peoples of the earth are regarded as nothing. He does as he pleases with the powers of heaven and the peoples of the earth. No one can hold back his hand or say to him: “What have you done?” At the same time that my sanity was restored, my honor and splendor were returned to me for the glory of my kingdom. My advisers and nobles sought me out, and I was restored to my throne and became even greater than before. Now I, Nebuchadnezzar, praise and exalt and glorify the King of heaven, because everything he does is right and all his ways are just. And those who walk in pride he is able to humble.  ~ Daniel 4:34-37 NIV 

Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has gone through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to the faith we profess. For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet was without sin. Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. ~ Hebrews 4:14-16 NIV

In him and through faith in him we may approach God with freedom and confidence. ~ Ephesians 3:12 NIV

Father, if you are willing, take this cup from me; yet not my will, but yours be done. ~ Luke 22:42 NIV

… You do not have, because you do not ask God. When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ~ James 4:2-3 NIV 

In bitterness of soul Hannah wept much and prayed to the LORD. And she made a vow, saying, “O LORD Almighty, if you will only look upon your servant’s misery and remember me, and not forget your servant but give her a son, then I will give him to the LORD for all the days of his life, and no razor will ever be used on his head.” As she kept on praying to the LORD, Eli observed her mouth. Hannah was praying in her heart, and her lips were moving but her voice was not heard. Eli thought she was drunk and said to her, “How long will you keep on getting drunk? Get rid of your wine.” “Not so, my lord,” Hannah replied, “I am a woman who is deeply troubled. I have not been drinking wine or beer; I was pouring out my soul to the LORD. Do not take your servant for a wicked woman; I have been praying here out of my great anguish and grief.” Eli answered, “Go in peace, and may the God of Israel grant you what you have asked of him.” She said, “May your servant find favor in your eyes.” Then she went her way and ate something, and her face was no longer downcast. Early the next morning they arose and worshiped before the LORD and then went back to their home at Ramah. Elkanah lay with Hannah his wife, and the LORD remembered her. So in the course of time Hannah conceived and gave birth to a son. She named him Samuel, saying, “Because I asked the LORD for him.” ~ 1 Samuel 1:10-20 NIV

Now listen, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will go to this or that city, spend a year there, carry on business and make money.” Why, you do not even know what will happen tomorrow. What is your life? You are a mist that appears for a little while and then vanishes. Instead, you ought to say, “If it is the Lord’s will, we will live and do this or that.” ~ James 4:13-15 NIV 

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15

A Polite Conversation With Him

Jan 07

A Polite Conversation With Him 010712 2by Victoria Robinson

What in the world does learning how to use etiquette in conversation and learning how to converse with our heavenly Father have in common? Actually, quite a bit. Conversations with Him are what we think of as prayer. In the 1896 etiquette book, The Secret of a Happy Home, Christian author, Marion Harland, speaks of the satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener.

“Undoubtedly there is a momentary satisfaction in telling one’s woes and sorrows to an interested listener. When the auditor is a friend, and a trusted friend, whose sympathy is genuine and whose discretion is vast, there is a comfort beyond description in unburdening one’s soul.”

Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Fortunately every one of us has a trusted friend we can unburden our souls to. King Solomon told us, “… there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” The friend  he is referring to is Christ, our Lord and Savior.

Our Lord and Savior gave us detailed instructions on having a polite conversation in prayer with our heavenly Father. He told us, “And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words.”

“Some people are always bored. May it not be because they look at everything animate and inanimate from a selfish standpoint, with the query in their minds, “How does that affect me?” The old definition of a bore as “a person who talks so much of himself that he gives you no chance to of yourself,” may apply not only to the bore, but to the bored. When you find yourself wearied and uninterested, be honest enough to examine yourself calmly, and see if the reason is not because your vis-a-vis is not talking about anything which interests you especially. Should he turn the conversation upon your favorite occupation or pastime, or even upon your personal likes and dislikes (which, by the way, might be an infinite bore to him), would he not at once become entertaining?”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

Listening to the other person is an important key to polite conversation. Nobody enjoys chatting with a boorish person who only is concerned with prattling on about themselves. Your heavenly Father is not interested in having a one-way conversation with you. Besides, if you are not listening during your prayer, you cannot possibly attain His wisdom for your requests. Conversing with our heavenly Father must always include listening. In her 1860 book, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette and Manual of Politeness, Florence Hartley gives us instruction on the importance of listening while conversing.

“It seems paradoxical to observe that the art of listening well forms a part of the duty of conversation. To give up the whole of your attention to the person who addresses himself to you, is sometimes a heavy tax, but it is one which we must pay for the privileges of social life, and an early practice will render it an almost involuntary act of good breeding; whilst consideration for others will give this little sacrifice a merit and a charm.”
Florence Hartley, The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness 1860

Genuine praise is another important aspect of good conversation. Marion Harland gives an excellent example of developing the habit of praising the one you are talking with.

“Ten girls whom I know formed a society for the repression of unkind criticism. The members themselves to try, as far as in them lay, to speak kindly of people when it was possible for them to do so, and when impossible to say nothing. At first it was hard, for self-conceit would intrude, and it is hard for one girl to praise another who dislikes her. Little by little the tiny seed of effort grew into a habit of kindly speech.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

This story is reminiscent of the hardness that can develop in our hearts and hinder us from praising our heavenly Father during prayer. The enemy of your soul will always point out why God is not worthy to be praised. A direct contradiction to the Scriptures! The psalmist tells us, “I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies.”

Just as Marion Harland reminds us that no true lady complains while conversing with others, neither should we bring our request to the Lord in a complaining manner.

“But if you do not feel this, for politeness’ sake refrain from making your listener supremely uncomfortable by your complaints. No true lady will so far forget her innate ladyhood as to be guilty of this rudeness.”
Marion Harland, The Secret of a Happy Home 1896

An extremely descriptive picture of the perils of complaining while praying are found in the book of Numbers. The Israelites were whining about not having meat and my oh my did they ever get their request granted! The Lord said, “The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’”

Polite conversation sometimes involves forgiveness. The person chatting with you may say something offensive and it is important for you to overlook the words that have wounded your heart. The Lord instructed us that prayer also involves forgiveness. In the book of Matthew, Jesus told us, “Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.” Our prayers will be hindered if we approach God and have unforgiveness towards others.

Dearest girlfriends, let us endeavor to develop polite conversation when we pray.

Give your burdens to the Lord, and he will take care of you. … ~ Psalm 55:22 NLT 

Give all your worries and cares to God, for he cares about what happens to you. ~ 1 Peter 5:7 NLT
 
If you are having trouble, you should pray. … ~ James 5:13 CEV
 
A man of many companions may come to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. ~ Proverbs 18:24 NIV
 
I will call upon the Lord, who is worthy to be praised; So shall I be saved from my enemies. ~ Psalm 18:3 NKJV
 
“Tell the people: ‘Consecrate yourselves in preparation for tomorrow, when you will eat meat. The LORD heard you when you wailed, “If only we had meat to eat! We were better off in Egypt!” Now the LORD will give you meat, and you will eat it. You will not eat it for just one day, or two days, or five, ten or twenty days, but for a whole month—until it comes out of your nostrils and you loathe it—because you have rejected the LORD, who is among you, and have wailed before him, saying, “Why did we ever leave Egypt?”’” ~ Numbers 11:18-20 NIV
 
A fool shows his annoyance at once, but a prudent man overlooks an insult. ~ Proverbs 12:16 NIV
 
And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. “This, then, is how you should pray: ”‘Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. Forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. ~ Matthew 6:7-13 NIV
You can read these antique etiquette books from the library of Girlfriend’s Café by clicking on the links below.
 The Secret of a Happy Home
The Ladies’ Book of Etiquette, and Manual of Politeness

At the End of the Day

Oct 11

by Victoria Robinson

Some days just don’t start out well at all … some weeks just don’t start out well … some years just don’t start out well. In our lives it is important to focus on the “end of the day”. Whether that is literally a twenty-four hour day, less than a day, or many days. In the midst of tumultuous times we can lose hope. Yet we must always stand on the scriptural truth that what is important is how we finish—not how we start, or even how long success takes. In the suspenseful saga of Queen Esther we see a wonderful ending to the Jews “day”, “Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews.”

This story had its beginnings years before the victorious ending. One could say the roots of this story began during the reign of King Saul. The villain in Queen Esther’s story, Haman, was a descendant of King Agag whom King Saul was told to annihilate. Instead of obeying God, Saul killed all the Amalekites, but allowed King Agag to live. Some theologians believe that this could be the reason Haman wanted to destroy the Jews. Saul’s obedience to God might have prevented what the Jews were facing in the days of Queen Esther. But alas, it is important to keep in mind that no matter what or who caused your “day” to start badly, the ending can turn out good as long as your trust is in God. Just like the Jews who fasted and prayed for God to deliver them from the hands of the evil Haman, so also you must seek God and place your trust in Him.

King Solomon gave us wise counsel when he said, “The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride.”

Better is the end of a thing than the beginning. Since a true appraisal of any enterprise can only be made from the vantage point of its completion, the end is, the Preacher of wisdom reminds us, better than the beginning. However, the end is frequently arrived at very slowly, and the man who would find profit in this life must be a patient man.
 KJV Bible Commentary

Girlfriends, how is your “day” going to end? No one except our Lord can truly answer that, but are you trusting Him for the outcome no matter what you are facing? The apostle Paul faced many difficult days and yet he knew what counted was how well his “day” ended. In the book of First Timothy he stated, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would hold firmly onto the hand of our heavenly Father and wait patiently for the “end of the day”.

Before the end of the day, King Xerxes gave Esther everything that had belonged to Haman, the enemy of the Jews. Esther told the king that Mordecai was her cousin. So the king made Mordecai one of his highest officials and gave him the royal ring that Haman had worn. Then Esther put Mordecai in charge of Haman’s property. ~ Esther 8:1-2 CEV
 
When Haman saw that Mordecai would not kneel down or pay him honor, he was enraged. Yet having learned who Mordecai’s people were, he scorned the idea of killing only Mordecai. Instead Haman looked for a way to destroy all Mordecai’s people, the Jews, throughout the whole kingdom of Xerxes. … Then Haman said to King Xerxes, “There is a certain people dispersed and scattered among the peoples in all the provinces of your kingdom whose customs are different from those of all other people and who do not obey the king’s laws; it is not in the king’s best interest to tolerate them. If it pleases the king, let a decree be issued to destroy them, and I will put ten thousand talents of silver into the royal treasury for the men who carry out this business.” So the king took his signet ring from his finger and gave it to Haman son of Hammedatha, the Agagite, the enemy of the Jews. “Keep the money,” the king said to Haman, “and do with the people as you please.” ~ Esther 3:5-6,8-11 NIV
 
Now go, attack the Amalekites and totally destroy everything that belongs to them. Do not spare them; put to death men and women, children and infants, cattle and sheep, camels and donkeys.’” … Then Saul attacked the Amalekites all the way from Havilah to Shur, to the east of Egypt. He took Agag king of the Amalekites alive, and all his people he totally destroyed with the sword. But Saul and the army spared Agag and the best of the sheep and cattle, the fat calves and lambs—everything that was good. These they were unwilling to destroy completely, but everything that was despised and weak they totally destroyed. Then the word of the LORD came to Samuel: “I am grieved that I have made Saul king, because he has turned away from me and has not carried out my instructions.” Samuel was troubled, and he cried out to the LORD all that night. ~ 1 Samuel 15:3,7-11 NIV
 
The end of a matter is better than its beginning, and patience is better than pride. ~ Ecclesiastes 7:8 NIV
 
For I am already being poured out like a drink offering, and the time has come for my departure. I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith. Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing. ~ 2 Timothy 4:6-8 NIV

When Enough Is Never Enough!

Sep 07

by Victoria Robinson

Three things that come to mind when I think of never having enough are … chocolate, chocolate, and chocolate!!! (Which might explain my hips! LOL) Unfortunately the number one thing most of us tend to think we never have enough of is money and possessions, which really equates to not trusting in our heavenly Father’s provision. King Solomon who was himself extremely rich, said, “Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless.”

King Solomon gave us a wonderful remedy when our hearts say, “I don’t have enough!” He said, “Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have.” Gratitude is so powerful in so many situations, but when it comes to dissatisfaction of our status in regards to wealth—it is a great cure. Another remedy is giving. No matter what the state of your possessions, giving even the smallest of your goods away will help set you free of being discontent. So girlfriends, look at the inventory of your possessions and start thanking and get busy giving!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would develop hearts of gratitude, giving, and contentement based on scriptural truths.

Whoever loves money never has money enough; whoever loves wealth is never satisfied with his income. This too is meaningless. ~ Ecclesiastes 5:10 NIV 

King Solomon was greater in riches and wisdom than all the other kings of the earth. ~ 1 Kings 10:23 NIV
 
Yet true religion with contentment is great wealth. After all, we didn’t bring anything with us when we came into the world, and we certainly cannot carry anything with us when we die. So if we have enough food and clothing, let us be content. But people who long to be rich fall into temptation and are trapped by many foolish and harmful desires that plunge them into ruin and destruction. For the love of money is at the root of all kinds of evil. And some people, craving money, have wandered from the faith and pierced themselves with many sorrows. ~ 1 Timothy 6:6-10 NLT 
 
I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~ Philippians 4:11-13 NIV
 
Enjoy what you have rather than desiring what you don’t have. Just dreaming about nice things is meaningless; it is like chasing the wind. ~ Ecclesiastes 6:9 NLT

Life Goes On

May 12

by Victoria Robinson

What can one do to overcome insurmountable obstacles and face going on in life? There comes a point when we must go on with life despite what we have been through. King David not only faced having to go on with life after the death of his child, but also had to live with the knowledge this precious child’s death was his fault. As soon as David’s child became ill, he fasted and pleaded with God to have mercy and heal his son. The Lord chose not to bring this about and one would think this king could not go on. Yet David knew this was not the end for him. He got up, washed, put on clean clothes and had food brought to him. Girlfriends, I do not know about you, but food is the last thing I want in times of grief.

It is interesting to note that following this tragic event, King David and his wife Bathsheba, who herself was not entirely blameless, gave birth to a son named Solomon. Solomon gives us this wisdom in the book if Ecclesiastes, “Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion!” Here is what we can take from this—if you are reading this, you are alive and therefore have hope!

Dearest girlfriends, whatever problems you are facing, please take heart that you have ultimate hope through our Lord.

On the seventh day the child died. David’s servants were afraid to tell him that the child was dead, for they thought, “While the child was still living, we spoke to David but he would not listen to us. How can we tell him the child is dead? He may do something desperate.” David noticed that his servants were whispering among themselves and he realized the child was dead. “Is the child dead?” he asked. “Yes,” they replied, “he is dead.” Then David got up from the ground. After he had washed, put on lotions and changed his clothes, he went into the house of the LORD and worshiped. Then he went to his own house, and at his request they served him food, and he ate. His servants asked him, “Why are you acting this way? While the child was alive, you fasted and wept, but now that the child is dead, you get up and eat!” He answered, “While the child was still alive, I fasted and wept. I thought, ‘Who knows? The LORD may be gracious to me and let the child live.’  But now that he is dead, why should I fast? Can I bring him back again? I will go to him, but he will not return to me. ~ 2 Samuel 12:18-23 NIV
 
Anyone who is among the living has hope—even a live dog is better off than a dead lion! ~ Ecclesiastes 9:14 NIV
  
I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the LORD in the land of the living. Wait for the LORD; be strong and take heart and wait for the LORD. ~ Psalm 27:13-14 NIV
 
But now, Lord, what do I look for? My hope is in you. ~ Psalm 39:7 NIV

Look Before You Leap

Mar 26

by Victoria Robinson

One of the tactics of the enemy is to get us to plunge ahead not using wisdom. Satan will try to trick us into believing we must be hasty and leap into something without knowing all the facts. His line is usually something like, “This is urgent and God needs you to do this immediately.” However, Proverbs has many warnings against such thinking such as, “A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences.” 

“The Christian who waits for God’s leading, and waits on God’s working, will not be disappointed or ashamed. True faith is not in a hurry until God opens the way. If you find yourself impatiently rushing ahead of the Lord, beware! You are sure to act in fleshly unbelief instead of in true spiritual faith.”
— Warren Wiersbe, The Strategy of Satan

While there are certainly times when we must act quickly, more often we have ample time to seek wisdom and knowledge on the decision. Dearest girlfriends, let us be ladies who look before we leap trusting our heavenly Father to guide us at the right time.

The wise are cautious and avoid danger; fools plunge ahead with great confidence. ~ Proverbs 14:18 NLT
 
A prudent person foresees the danger ahead and takes precautions; the simpleton goes blindly on and suffers the consequences. ~ Proverbs 22:3 NLT
 
It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. ~ Proverbs 19:2 NIV

Heavenly Control

Mar 16

by Victoria Robinson

God is my copilot. Really girlfriends, do we really want God in the passenger seat? I know when my life is soaring through the skies, (Which aren’t always so friendly!) I want God in the pilot’s seat! So why is it I insist on being the one with the controls in my hands? Pure foolishness! My attitude reminds me of Satan when he said, “I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High.” Hmmm … we can certainly see how well that turned out can’t we?

Jesus made it abundantly clear that EVERYTHING that happens to us has already been approved by our heavenly father. This can be both comforting and yet discomforting all at the same time. In our foolish sin nature we wish to have full control of what takes place in our lives not choosing to trust our creator’s wisdom. Job spoke wisely about the creator when he said, “Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do for me all he has planned. He controls my destiny.”

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would turn over the controls of our lives to the only One who can land us safely.

Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. … ~ Luke 22:31-32 NIV
 
… I will ascend to heaven; I will raise my throne above the stars of God; I will sit enthroned on the mount of assembly, on the utmost heights of the sacred mountain. I will ascend above the tops of the clouds; I will make myself like the Most High. ~ Isaiah 41:13-14 NIV
 
Nevertheless, his mind concerning me remains unchanged, and who can turn him from his purposes? Whatever he wants to do, he does. So he will do for me all he has planned. He controls my destiny. ~ Job 23:1-14 NLT

Why Have I Not Received?

Jan 29

by Victoria Robinson

This is certainly a perplexing question. All of us have known someone who appears to be godly and yet have not received what they have asked for. It could even be you are the one who has not received from God. We can never presume to know the motives of other’s hearts, but we should examine our own hearts. Not every request to our heavenly Father that has not been received is from an impure heart. Maybe the answer is simply no or maybe we just need to wait patiently as Abraham did.

If our request does stem from wrong motives, the apostle James tells us we will not receive. It is so easy to fall into the trap of wanting to receive just so we can use it for pleasure. Not at all meaning we cannot request of our heavenly Father some frivolous items. He does tell us He will give us the desire of our heart as long as we delight ourselves in Him. The book of Isaiah shows that as we do not focus on our own pleasure then we will, “ride on the high hills of the earth”.

Girlfriends, if you have requests to your heavenly Father that have gone unanswered, then seek Him for the reason. The apostle James also told us, “If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking.” He goes on to tell us we will only receive if we do not doubt, but expect an answer.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would examine our hearts when it comes to unanswered requests and either, wait patiently, realize He said no, or change the motives for asking.

When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with wrong motives, that you may spend what you get on your pleasures. ~ James 4:3 NIV
 
If you need wisdom—if you want to know what God wants you to do—ask him, and he will gladly tell you. He will not resent your asking. But when you ask him, be sure that you really expect him to answer, for a doubtful mind is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is driven and tossed by the wind. People like that should not expect to receive anything from the Lord. They can’t make up their minds. They waver back and forth in everything they do. ~ James 1:5-8 NLT
 
When God made his promise to Abraham, since there was no one greater for him to swear by, he swore by himself, saying, “I will surely bless you and give you many descendants.” And so after waiting patiently, Abraham received what was promised. ~ Hebrews 6:13-15 NIV
 
Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart. ~ Psalm 37:4 NIV
 
“If you turn away your foot from the Sabbath, From doing your pleasure on My holy day, And call the Sabbath a delight, The holy day of the Lord honorable, And shall honor Him, not doing your own ways, Nor finding your own pleasure, Nor speaking your own words, Then you shall delight yourself in the Lord; And I will cause you to ride on the high hills of the earth, And feed you with the heritage of Jacob your father. The mouth of the Lord has spoken.” ~ Isaiah 58:13-14 NIV

The Un-Ministry of an Ostrich

Jan 11

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, please do not imitate an ostrich when you minister. That is because an ostrich is not known for it’s love. The truth is, an ostrich has a downright horrible reputation when it comes to love. She does not even protect her own eggs and ignores her young as if they weren’t even hers. In the book of Job we see the reason for her terrible behavior. The Lord told us it is because He has deprived the ostrich of wisdom.

Not so, with you my sweet girlfriends! God’s will for your life is to fill you with wisdom. One of the aspects of wisdom is to understand that ministry without love is meaningless. There is a parallel found in the picture of an ostrich found in the book of Job and the correct way to minister found in the book of First Corinthians.

First we see the ostrich actually has great ability in being a swift runner, but this certainly does not overcome her lack of love. Then we see the apostle Paul warning us about what would appear to be an impressive ministry without love. The outcomes of ministry without love include: only making noise, not doing any good, being worth nothing, and is of no value.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would take our ministry cues from our loving heavenly Father and not the unloving ostrich.

“The ostrich flaps her wings grandly but has no true motherly love. She lays her eggs on top of the earth, to warm them in the dust. She forgets that someone may step on them and crush them, or the wild animals destroy them. She ignores her young as though they weren’t her own and is unconcerned though they die, for God has deprived her of wisdom. But whenever she jumps up to run, she passes the swiftest horse with its rider. ~ Job 39:13-18 TLB

If I had the gift of being able to speak in other languages without learning them and could speak in every language there is in all of heaven and earth, but didn’t love others, I would only be making noise. If I had the gift of prophecy and knew all about what is going to happen in the future, knew everything about everything, but didn’t love others, what good would it do? Even if I had the gift of faith so that I could speak to a mountain and make it move, I would still be worth nothing at all without love. If I gave everything I have to poor people, and if I were burned alive for preaching the Gospel but didn’t love others, it would be of no value whatever. Love is very patient and kind, never jealous or envious, never boastful or proud, never haughty or selfish or rude. Love does not demand its own way. It is not irritable or touchy. It does not hold grudges and will hardly even notice when others do it wrong. It is never glad about injustice, but rejoices whenever truth wins out. If you love someone, you will be loyal to him no matter what the cost. You will always believe in him, always expect the best of him, and always stand your ground in defending him. All the special gifts and powers from God will someday come to an end, but love goes on forever. ~ 1 Corinthians 13:1-8 TLB

For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. ~ Colossians 1:9 NIV

Our love for each other proves that we have gone from death to life. But if you don’t love each other, you are still under the power of death. ~ 1 John 3:14 CEV

See No Evil, Hear No Evil, Speak No Evil

Dec 07

by Victoria Robinson

Okay girlfriends, here is what I am going to need to purchase. An eye mask, ear plugs, and a lip zip. How else do you expect me to survive in this world knowing our heavenly father tells me not to look at evil, not to listen to evil, and not to speak evil. Or, I can simply guard what I see, what I hear, and what I speak. That would look so much prettier wouldn’t it?

Some of the greatest temptations in what I view are found on television, movies, the internet and in literature. This also crosses over to my ears, as some of the language is not what I should be listening to. Then I need to avoid those who gossip. As for not speaking evil, well that really stems from what is in my heart. Which actually ties into what I view and what I listen to. These are the things I am allowing to enter my heart and therefore will eventually make their way out of my mouth.

So are you guarding your eyes, ears, and lips? Or are you carelessly allowing these to be instruments used by Satan? Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would honor our heavenly Father by seeing no evil, hearing no evil and speaking no evil.

I will set before my eyes no vile thing. ~ Psalm 101:3 NIV
 
Turn my eyes away from worthless things; preserve my life according to your word. ~ Psalm 119:37 NIV
 
A discerning man keeps wisdom in view, but a fool’s eyes wander to the ends of the earth. ~ Proverbs 17:24 NIV
 
Anyone who refuses to slander others, does not listen to gossip, … and refuses to testify against the innocent despite the bribes offered him—such a man shall stand firm forever. ~ Psalm 15:3,5 TLB
  
Jesus called the crowd to him and said, “Listen and understand. What goes into a man’s mouth does not make him ‘unclean,’ but what comes out of his mouth, that is what makes him ‘unclean.’” ~ Matthew 15:10-11 NIV
 
But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these make a man ‘unclean.’ For out of the heart come evil thoughts, murder, adultery, sexual immorality, theft, false testimony, slander. ~ Matthew 15:18-19 NIV 
 
A wise man’s heart guides his mouth, and his lips promote instruction. ~ Proverbs 16:22 NIV 
 
For it is shameful even to mention what the disobedient do in secret. ~ Ephesians 5:12 NIV
 
Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips. ~ Proverbs 4:24 NIV