Don’t be a Gimli

In the Lord of the Rings, a ranger, an elf, and a dwarf search through an enchanted forest, looking for answers as to their friends whereabouts. They are met by a powerful friend, who has miraculously come back from the dead. He tells them that their lost friends are doing well, and that a nearby country needs help.

Aragorn, the ranger, nods his head. Legolas, the elf, seems positive. Gimli, the dwarf, however . . . He exclaims:

“So we have come all this way for nothing!”

Think about this.

If you were searching for your friends you thought were dead, and found out they were alive and well, would that be nothing? If you found a friend who had come back from the dead, would that be nothing? If you knew exactly what direction you should move, would that be nothing?

Your friends are safe and one is miraculously alive. And you know what to do with your life.

According to Gimli, this was nothing.

In many ways, we can be a lot like Gimli. Sometimes our feet are set on a path that leads somewhere unexpected. Sometimes God wants us to move in a certain direction so He can show us another. Sometimes we set out to serve God in one way, and He directs us to serve in another.

I challenge you: Don’t be so focused on your short term goals, that you forget about God’s long term plans.

We rarely see God’s full purpose. He is unveiling His plans constantly as we live our lives. Our lives are not wasted no matter how unconventional they may look. Our time is not spent in vain if we find ourselves in God’s will.

God’s plans are so much grander than our goals or even our mistakes. He is working everything to our good! If you are in the service of the King, you have never, “come all this way for nothing!”

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28

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Is God directing? Or are you just uncomfortable?

Throughout our lives we will feel uncomfortable with the way things are. Seeing how something needs doing and nobody’s doing it can really wreak havoc in our minds. Tension can grow and we can find ourselves with the urge to act in a way that God is not leading us.

Such was the situation with King Saul in 1 Samuel 13. At this time the Israelites were in the middle of a military conflict with the Philistines. The people were scared and the prophet Samuel had not come to make an offering to God yet. The people literally scattered and were hiding.

The Bible tells us that they were hiding “in caves, and in thickets, and in rocks, and in high places, and in pits.” Literally anywhere they could hide, they were hiding.

Imagine King Saul. He’s King! He’s responsible for these people. He wants to lead them to victory to protect their homes, but Samuel needs to offer a sacrifice to God and ask God for direction.

Samuel isn’t there.

In verse 8 we find that Samuel said he would be there in 7 days, but he hadn’t come. In the end, Saul made the offering, and Samuel arrived as soon as he was done.

Saul didn’t wait for God’s timing or God’s direction. As a result he lost many opportunities to serve God and he found himself in disobedience.

Saul tried to do a good thing for a good reason, but he failed to trust God- the most important part. If Saul had walked in faith, he would have not been so anxious to make a sacrifice without the man of God.

I challenge you, if you find yourself uncomfortable because of a situation in your life, pray for God’s direction. God wants us to walk in faith. God wants us to trust Him! If we are reacting in fear, we are in sin. It doesn’t matter how “good” the thing is. It doesn’t matter how “good” our intentions are. What matters is our complete trust and total surrender to His will!

“Whatsoever is not of faith is sin.” Romans 14:23

Asking God for directions?

Do you ever make wrong decisions over, and over, and over again? Ever find it hard to get things right? It seems as if no matter where you turn, you’ve made a wrong one. You find yourself retracing your steps over and over throughout the day. You try to serve God, but it seems as if you can’t get things right. There’s a simple solution.

It’s found in Proverbs 3:6. Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct thy paths." I’m sure you have heard the verse before, but do you put the principle into practice. It’s easy to memorize scripture and recite it, or simply scan through some verses and call it "devotions," but that is not what we are called to do. We are called to allow scripture to make an impression on us. We are called to hide scripture in our heart.

Have you hidden this verse in your heart? Do you acknowledge God in all your ways?

I would like to encourage you, remember God in all of the situations in your life. Don’t separate your spiritual and your secular life. God is not restrained to your prayer life, devotions, and church time. God is in all and over all. Ask God to direct you in every decision you make. If you feel like you’ve lost your way, and you need help to get on the right track, ask God for directions. If you think you are alright and you got it from here, trust me, you’re lost. Ask God for directions. No matter where you are in life, if you go to God for guidance, you will find that He is more than willing to show you the way.

"Thus saith the LORD, thy Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel; I am the LORD thy God which teacheth thee to profit, which leadeth thee by the way that thou shouldest go" – Isaiah 48:17

R U led by the Spirit?

Have you ever known you had to do something, but didn’t know why? The Holy Spirit had been pressing something on your heart. You may have experienced a weight on your heart and been drawn to do something. I would submit to you that the weight on your heart may have been from the Holy Spirit. There are many times the Spirit leads us to do things.

Romans 8:14 tells us, "For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God." This scripture is talking about how we can live a victorious life and not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. But I would like to share another idea that we can learn from this scripture. We can learn that there is a leading of the Holy Spirit.

So if there is a leading of the Spirit, are there any instances of it in scripture? Well yes, in Luke 4:1 Jesus was led of the Spirit to go into the wilderness to be tempted. In Acts 8:29,39, we can observe Phillip being directed very clearly by the Spirit. I would like share with you that the Holy Spirit can still lead us today.

You might be thinking that Jesus was God, and Philip teleported in verse 39, but I would still say that the Holy Spirit leads people today. Have you ever heard of a pastor changing a message one day before he gave it. Have you heard of a Christian who knew they needed to witness to someone? Maybe you have heard of someone who absolutely had to pray for a friend, and later they found out that their friend was in serious danger at the time they were praying. The Spirit is still leading today. Are you listening?

I would like to encourage you, ask God to direct you through His Holy Spirit. Listen for His guidance. Take moments throughout the day and have some quiet time with the Lord. Ask Him to direct you on what you should or should not do. Prepare yourself to be directed and be in tune to His guidance. If you acknowledge the Holy Spirit, He will guide and direct you. If you are guided by the Holy Spirit, your life and ministry will be more effective than if you just did things on your own. Ask God to direct you, and He will.

"If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him?" – Luke 11:13

Decision time

Have you been faced with a decision and you just didn’t know what to do? Or perhaps you made a decision and later on you thought to yourself, "That was stupid." There is a way we can make confident decisions and not regret them later. I’d like to share something with you that may help you the next time you face a decision.

I would like to give you an illustration. Think of how Isaac got his wife. Abraham told his servant, "go . . . and take a wife unto my son Isaac." Abraham’s servant was probably unsure on how to choose a girl. The bible tells us that he went to the well and prayed. He asked God to direct him. You know the story; God honored the request of the servant and directed him. Just like that, God wants us to go to Him.

I would like to challenge you, seek God’s will in all the choices you face. Proverbs 3:6 says, "In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." It says all, not just a few. Are you leaning on your own understanding? Don’t be so foolish. God is waiting to direct your paths. He wants to guide you. Won’t you acknowledge Him in every situation? God is ready to direct, are you ready to listen?

"If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him." – James 1:5