"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:4-7 (NIV)
I've been distracted in the past, but this tops the list of things that I should probably never admit I did.
One day, while I was chatting on the phone with my mom, I went to an ATM to get some money for dinner—there's this delicious Spanish restaurant by my house, but they have a card minimum.
When I went to pay for my food at the restaurant, my wallet was empty. What?
I was confused for a few moments, and then it hit me...
I was so distracted on the phone at the bank that I forgot to take the money dispensed from the ATM.
That situation made me think of the story in the Bible about Gideon.
Gideon asked God for a sign that would confirm he was going to rescue Israel. Read Judges 6 (it's a short read) to get the whole story.
In short, the Israelites were worshipping other gods and doing things that God didn't approve of. But because God heard Israel's prayers for help, He sent an angel to tell Gideon that He was using him to rescue the Israelites from their enemies.
Gideon wanted deliverance for God's people but lacked in faith. He chose to focus on his limitations instead of our limitless God.
So Gideon "fleeced" God. He put a wool fleece on the floor and asked God to prove Himself with a sign. God does not need to prove Himself to be true, but He did.
God did what Gideon asked Him to do, and you know what, Gideon still didn't believe Him.
So Gideon fleeced God again. God proved Himself to be true (again!), and Gideon went to defeat the Midianites.
What happened to me at the ATM made me think about how we often ask God for things, He gives them to us, but we are too distracted (or filled with unbelief) to recognize that it's Him.
"This can't be God," we say to ourselves because what we are given doesn't fit the mold or look like what we asked for. But God's ways are far above anything we can comprehend with our limited thinking.
Things aren't always going to make sense, but God knows what He's doing.
"Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." - Philippians 4:4-7
God offers His peace in place of our worrying.
There's this song that we used to sing when I was younger...
"Don't worry, be happy because the Lord our God is with you. I am not afraid (not me). I am not ashamed (not me, no) because I'm walking in faith and victory. Come on, let's walk in faith and victory because the Lord our God is with you."
Don't let the noise on the outside or distractions keep you from the blessings that God has in store for you. No amount of worrying will change a situation.
Focus on the plans that God has for you, and trust that He will guide you every step of the way.
Things won't always go the way you planned, but keep walking in faith and victory anyhow because God's plan is always better.
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Do great things with God.