Wednesday, May 7, 2008

Unopened Gifts

While watching Joyce Meyer this morning she said something that made me cry. "I believe when we get to heaven we'll be shown a room of gifts with our name on it. Gifts God wanted to bless us with but we didn't receive. Favor, prosperity, talents to bless others, etc."

John 1: 16 NLT "From his abundance we have all received one gracious blessing after another."
Grace upon grace, mercy upon mercy, gift upon gift. You don't deserve anything. I don't deserve anything. Not one of us has done a thing to deserve all that Jesus has for us. But, we are freely given and blessed with what Jesus earned. We don't have to earn it. Joyce said it like this: "I have food in my fridge, my children eat it. When I'm out shopping, my children don't hesitate to ask me to buy them something. They ask, they receive." How many unopened gifts do you have in heaven because you are waiting until you feel like you've earned them?

John 5:5-10 NLT "One of the men lying there had been sick for thirty-eight years. When Jesus saw him and knew he had been ill for a long time, he asked him, "Would you like to get well?"
"I can't sir," the sick man said, "for I have no one to put me into the pool when the water bubbles up. Someone else always gets there ahead of me."
Jesus told him, "Stand up, pick up your mat, and walk!"
And immediately the man was well and he picked up his mat and walked."

First, Jesus asked the man if he wanted to be healed. Jesus, the Father, the Holy Spirit, is a gentleman. Jesus knows the desires of our heart but that doesn't mean he waves a wand over us and fulfills our desires. We must ask (pray) and we must receive!

Second, the man attempted to put Jesus in a box. The man could not see past his own circumstances, the physical that he could touch and see. In previous attempts to get to the healing pool he failed. He failed in his own attempts to get healed. But, because he did desire to be healed after Jesus asked, it allowed Jesus to heal him outside of his circumstances without having to get into the pool.

This principle doesn't only apply to healing. It stands for every prayer that you have muttered to heaven. My husband and I are rebuilding our financial future and it looks bleak at the moment. My attempts to accomplish this goal or that goal have failed. But, if I take my eyes off my circumstances, ask, and receive then Jesus is free and able to bless me beyond my own circumstances and comprehension. It isn't possible for us to fathom the ability God has to provide the desires of our heart. The level of love he has for us. The desire he has to bless us. The circumstances surrounding our home and our move are still bumpy and painful at times and I don't understand it all. But, I know that Jesus will carry us through the storm and open new doors, better doors. He will be exalted when we stand before men and give our testimony of how God rescued us and restored us. Don't get me wrong I still behave like a toddler at times and throw myself on the floor kicking and screaming and having tantrums. I still have times when I doubt why I serve Him, why I tithe, but He is still the same. He is Jehovah Jirah, my provider and he meets all my needs. He even forgives my immaturity and doubt.

We need to get Jesus out of the box of our circumstances.
We need to put our burdens at the foot of Jesus.
We need to ask! You have not because you ask not!
We have to quit toiling and worrying and trying to carry it or fix it ourselves.
We need to receive!
We need to stop chaining God's hands and trying to earn our reward when God wants to bless us freely.

As a parent do you require your children to be perfect, without fault? Do you require your children earn all that you bless them with? As a child were you required to earn all that was given to you and done for you? Jesus earned it all for us and he takes pleasure in blessing us, in our happiness.

It is my own prayer today, and mine for you as well, to lay my burdens down, quit carrying them on my own. Jesus help me. I don't ask that the burden be made shorter or that you speed me through it but ask that it be made lighter. The burden I carry is preparing me for the next dip in the road. My burden is the cross I carry that becomes a bridge over my next set of circumstances. I pray that I be broken so Jesus can be exalted. Less of me and more of you. Be the light upon my path so I stay the course. I thank you for open doors and pray your will be done in my life. Tune my eyes, ears, and spirit to that of your voice and follow with peace. I have prayed for a miracle and put my trust in you. I trust you know what is best for me. I expect you to keep your promises. I expect you to perform the impossible. Whether it takes a week, a year, or five years, all that we have lost will be restored and more. I realize now that all I've obtained in life up to this point, I took credit for earning. I realize that everything belongs to you, it's all on loan. I've learned to rely on you to supply my needs and give thanks and praise when you meet those needs. I don't achieve success on my own. I don't shelter my children, I don't feed my children, you do Father because you provide everything that is necessary for me to do so. Thank you Jesus for all that you are. Words cannot articulate all that my soul feels at this moment. Thank you for love, hope, grace, mercy, peace, promises kept, miracles, righteousness, anxiety that has been calmed, for rest, for freedom, forgiveness. Thank you my cup runneth over. My cup runneth over. I am but clay, mold me, change me. I appreciate my gifts. I love being a mom, wife, writing, photography, and blessing others but I want my deepest desire to be pleasing you. I can only be the best possible person by living for you and allowing my mind and life to be renewed. I can only be the best possible wife and mother by allowing change and allowing myself, my flesh to be broken so my spirit can be made stronger. I pray for brokenness, strength to endure, faith, and peace. I pray my self-centered focus change from how much pleasure am I getting out of life to how much pleasure is God getting out of my life. Thank you Jesus from the depth of my toes for the many blessings in my life. Amen.

God is standing before you today with a beautifully wrapped gift, will you reach out and take it? Will you say "thank you daddy, more please!" Or, will you walk away and try to earn it? I'm taking all he has to offer!

2 drops of sunshine:

Leslie said...

beautiful post Kari, beautiful....

Wendi said...

Really Great Kari! Good reminders.
My issue right now is having faith that God will be absolutely faithful with all he has promised - BUT, not exppecting Him to do things that he never promised. I am continually prompted to go to His word to see the truth. Lately he has pointed me so much to verses that show me how much he desires my holiness beyond my happiness...
Again, I really appreciate your writing. :) Happy Thursday!