November 7, 2011
Stir It Up
"[For] it is God who works in you to will and to act according to his good purpose." Philippians 2:13 (NIV 1984)
I took a sip of coffee and grimaced as I peered into the cup. Everything looked like it should, but the coffee wasn't sweet. Yet I remembered tearing open the little yellow packets and sprinkling the sweet crystals over the surface of the caramel colored liquid. Then I realized that—while I had added the sugar—I had never stirred it into the coffee. Without that stirring action, the sugar couldn't work all the way through.
I do this with my faith as well. I add all the necessary ingredients. I've got my Bible, my devotion subscription, my godly girlfriends, my church, my special quiet time journal, my praise and worship songs, my verses memorized. If you looked at me, you'd say it's all there.
But I'd rather avoid the stirring up part, truth be told. I'd tell you that I know it's good for me. I'd tell you that it's not good to stay in one place. I'd tell you that you should submit to God and let Him stir you up and that I'd be glad to pray for you during that process.
But me? No. Just leave me alone. Let me sit. I'd rather look okay and be comfortable than be stirred up and reach my full potential.
Have you ever had those feelings?
Maybe today you're feeling stirred up. Your finances or your job or your marriage or your children or your friendships or your dreams feel like a cyclone is swirling through them, leaving you unsettled and unstable. You might be wondering why God is letting this happen, why He's forgotten you. Not thinking that it just might be His hand doing the stirring. He's using those swirling forces to reach all the parts of you that He wants to get to. As today's verse reminds us, He works in you to accomplish His purpose for you.
Years ago a friend and I were making a big pot of spaghetti sauce. We left the pot on the stove and went off to join our families outside. But when we returned we smelled something burning. We pulled the lid off the pot to peer at the sauce. The sauce looked fine. All the elements were there: the red color, the thickness of the liquid, the chunks of meat and slivers of onions and spices. It was only as we took a long spoon and dug deep into the pot that we discovered that the sauce at the very bottom had become stuck because we hadn't been inside stirring it up, keeping it moving, not letting it settle. When things get settled, they become stuck.
As you are stirred up in life, thank God that He loves you enough to not let you get stuck, to not leave you bitter. The elements are there—and that's important—but it's in the stirring that we become all that He has in mind.
Dear Lord, when I am feeling stirred up, help me to think of it as You working Your sweetness into me, as You preventing me from becoming stuck. I want to move forward with You and become what You have in mind. In Jesus' Name, Amen.
Do You Know Him?
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Living Financially Free: Hard Earned Wisdom for Saving Your Money and Your Marriage by Marybeth and Curt Whalen
She Makes it Look Easy by Marybeth Whalen
Think about a time recently when you felt stirred up. Write down some good things that came out of that stirring up. Spend time thanking God for the way He works through you to accomplish His purposes for you.
When I'm feeling stirred up do I tend to resist it or submit to it? Am I afraid of being stirred up? Do I feel like God must not love me when that happens or do I see the stirring as just one more step in my faith process?
Hebrews 13:20-21, "May the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen." (NIV)
© 2011 by Marybeth Whalen. All rights reserved.
Proverbs 31 Ministries
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