Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Are you Asahel? Part II

4:43 p.m. Today's project was to keep going forward to the goal of picking up my new consultants for a meeting, despite a caregiver no-show and a serious lack of gas in my Jeep. The Lord was insistent on challenging me to get up at 5:30 instead of 6 a.m., because He knew the difficulties that would befall me this morning. Amazingly--and I use that word a lot when describing the Lord's interventions and rescues in my life--Steve got on the bus on time, all cleaned up and fed; my devotional time was spent with the Lord, prayer requests were exchanged with Cara by text because we'd see each other later in the morning; and my consultants and I arrived 4 minutes early! Only the Lord, only the Lord  saves and delivers!

Yesterday, we looked at Asahel, David's nephew, a member of his elite fighting force who was known for his swift running. Tragically, that very skill led to his death as he relentlessly chased a fierce, experienced enemy, Abner, who ran him through with a spear when Asahel caught up to him. Fleet feet can't beat the blunt end of a spear!The point the Holy Spirit raised in my mind was that we  believers have been given gifts (Romans 12:4-8) for specific use, ie., the Bible teacher for teaching. Our spiritual gifts are to be used as led by the Holy Spirit.

When I was writing the lesson for teaching Thursday, the original lesson I received from Asahel's death was quite different.  Asahel died because he was over-matched, certainly. But he would have lived to fight another day if he hadn't pursued, pursued and pursued when warned repeatedly to turn back by Abner. Hear Abner's words in II Samuel 2:22:

Turn aside from following me. Why should I strike you to the ground? How then could I face your brother Joab?

Are you Asahel? Are you pursuing and pursuing a goal or role that God doesn't have for you? Have you even heard God's warning voice, or have circumstances made it plain that you need to turn aside to the correct path for your life? We all have to look out for this pitfall, so you are not alone if you are just realizing that your prayed-for hope may not be God's will for you! And that doesn't mean that your hope, dream or goal is a bad one or unscriptural. It just is not God's best for you, for now. I John 5:14-15 says,

Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, 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 the petitions that we have asked of Him.

For an example from my life, I was educated, trained and groomed to become a principal in the Jurupa Unified School District, and had been on a few interviews. I had experience in administrative positions at the school level and in the District office running the activities and programs  for Jurupa's First 5 School Readiness grant. But I ended up retiring in 2009 as Steve's dementia began to affect our lives at home and in his career and I was not teaching at the level I normally would have been because of constant concern for Steve's joblessness and depression.  I met all of the criteria for a pension: over 55, and 10 years in the district.And 2009 was the year districts were offering a $25,000 "Golden Handshake" to encourage highly paid, long- tenured teachers to retire.

Retirement before 65 wasn't my plan, but it was God's! Not only did Steve and I spend two wonderful years together as a retired couple before he deteriorated too badly, but the Lord had me write, and Tate published, my first book, Galatians:An Exploration of Faith & Freedom! Would I have had time, with work, to write a book? Not very likely!

Remember to pray, even go on a fast, and seek the Lord concerning your goals and dreams. His plan for you is better than anything you could desire or implement for yourself! Psalm 40:5:

Many, O LORD, my God, are your
  wonderful works
Which You have done;
And Your thoughts toward us
Cannot be recounted to You in
If I would declare and speak of
They are more than can be numbered.

Trust in the Lord Jesus is trust well placed!

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