Wednesday, October 27, 2010

God is glancing at your heart and attitude...What does He see?

1 Samuel 16:7 - "The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart."

Do you have a "willing" heart?  To have a "willing" heart you sometimes must have a "want to" attitude.  I know that God has a calling on my life, but there are times that this calling requires me to press through a lot of negative things.  I have a heart that desires to serve and please God but during the hard times, it requires a lot of "want to" from me.  No matter what is going on around me in my life, I have to keep on keeping on! 

By observing myself and other people, I have come to the conclusion that we end up doing what we want to do.  If there is something we want to do strongly enough, somehow we will find a way to do it.  If we "want to" we can lose weight, save money, get a better job,  make it to a baseball or softball game, attend conferences, retreats, and even make it to church three times a week. How much 'want to' do you have right now?  Let me first say that my 'want to' well is not as full as it has been but I know God replenishes those who seek living water.  Sadly, I have seen many around me who have somehow allowed their 'want to' well to become almost dry.  We have a habit of blaming others around us for the depletion of our 'want to'. We give excuses like "Things just aren't the same at church" or "I always volunteer to work during vacation bible school and the fall festival so let someone else do it this time" or "It feels like everyone is going in different directions and we are not unified". 

I will boldly say that we can be going in different directions and still be unified.  We can all have the same goal and achieve it in different ways.  We can be in the same race for Christ but on different paths to reach the finish line.  We can obtain unity while traveling in different directions to serve God.  However, it will require a good bit of "want to" attitude from all of us! We need to sit down and do a 'want to' inventory in our lives.   What we really need to do is be completely honest and say "Lord, I didn't volunteer to work during vacation bible school because I really didn't want to.  I didn't go to bible study because I really didn't want to.  I didn't pray or read and meditate on Your Word today because I really didn't want to.  I didn't go to Sunday school or church on Sunday because I really didn't want to.  Instead, I sat around the house watching tv, went shopping, went to watch a ballgame, went hunting or whatever - because that is what I wanted to do."

Now, there is nothing wrong with rest and entertainment, in fact I will encourage you to take time out with your family but we need to get our "want to's" in order!  I am guilty of allowing my "want to" to get out of whack at times.  Thankfully, God will always pull me back to my first love, the number one "want to" in my life...Him!  If you and I are going to walk with and serve the Lord, then we must have willing hearts and 'want to' attitudes.  And when we see ourselves or someone else getting out of order in these areas, we must hold each other accountable.  Remember: God is not interested in our good works if we are not doing them with a willing heart!  There will be times that we have to exercise discipline because we may not feel like doing something but if we have the 'want to' we will do it in Jesus name!  It chills me to the bone and saddens me to think about how many times I have failed as a child of the King because I answered "I really don't want to." My hope and prayer for this message is that we would ALL be encouraged to get our 'want to' in line and get to moving for the Lord with willing hearts! 

Lord, forgive me for not being the leader that you have called me to be at times.  I pray that my 'want to' well would be filled until it overflows and affects others around me!  Lord, let your sleeping giant rise in us that we would 'want to' do your works and catch all the demons by surprise!  I pray that we would have willing hearts and want to attitudes that would become contagious to everyone around us.  I pray that Your church will arise!!!  Amen! 

With a 'want to' attitude,

Thursday, October 14, 2010

God is leading, Is anyone following?

The living room has mounted deer heads hanging on the wall.  You can find a turkey beard laying on a dresser in a bedroom.  There is black bear decor throughout.  Gun cabinets are filled with rifles, shotguns, ammunition, deer calls and bow with arrows.  And there is plenty of camouflage in any given closet (including mine). The Barnes' home is surely a country man's mansion, but our home is not a huge, extravagant living place with fancy furniture or lavish accessories.  However, it is our home and it reflects the people and personalities that live here. We truly are a south Georgia blessed family!

I describe who we are only to tell you a story, a God-lesson.  My dad was out hunting with his black powder gun this past weekend.  He made a shot on a deer and called us to bring our deer tracking beagle, Lucy.  Lucy has been tracking deer for about 2 years now.   She has tracked and found several deer but she is still learning the process. We arrived at the hunting land and began working Lucy to track the deer.  Lucy tracks from one point to the next, all the while, searching for something to lead her. Her nose is her tool for tracking and following after what she is hunting.   She constantly searches  for some sort of scent from the deer.  Sometimes she even has to back track to find the trail again if she gets off course.  As we were tracking through the woods, I began to ponder the thoughts of how we Christians have to continuously seek (track) God's will, direction and purpose in our lives.

Oh, what lessons we Christians can learn from something such as a dog!  God gives us all different abilities with a lot of the same tools to use in tracking His will in our lives.  God leads us on different trails of life.  Don't be afraid to start tracking your path.  If you have gotten lost on your trail, be bold and back track until you get the scent of His leading again.  He will never leave you in the wilderness with no direction or without simple clues for you to seek after.  But you must be obedient enough to seek, listen and TRUST His direction of leading whether it makes sense to you or not. 

As we were tracking the deer, so many times Lucy would try to go in a direction that didn't seem right to us. We would pull her away and try to get her to go in the direction we thought was correct.  She was on the right path and we kept trying to pull her away from it.  When we are tracking our path in Christ, there will be times when people or things will try to detour us.  They may not understand our decisions or why we are doing the things that we are.  Be bold..take a stand for who you are in Christ.  Stay strong and determined on your path!  Keep seeking until you find or reach the divine answer. 

This blog may sound a little crazy to you if you are not an outdoors kind of person.  God speaks to people in so many different ways and He speaks to me constantly through His creation.  Some of my most favorite conversations with God have been when I was sitting in a deer stand observing the land, trees and wildlife (His majestic creation). Remember to take time in the busyness of life to hear the quiet voice of the Lord.  He is always talking to is just a matter of if we are listening!  He is always leading us on our is just a matter of if we are seeking and tracking Him to reach our destination!  How hard are you seeking and tracking God's will in your life?  Are you allowing fear to put detours in your path?  Have you ventured off onto your own trail of life?  Do you need to back track and get back on God's trail?  Start today by asking Him to show you the way and surrender to His leading no matter where it takes you. 

For the Lord knows the plans He has for you....
Continue to seek Him and you will know them too!

Keep tracking Christ!
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