I Can Only Imagine

"Please don't judge me...I was born to be awesome NOT PERFECT." Anon  

Job continued his discourse: “How I long for the months gone by, for the days when God watched over me, when his lamp shone on my head and by his light I walked through darkness! Oh, for the days when I was in my prime, when God’s intimate friendship blessed my house, when the Almighty was still with me and my children were around me, when my path was drenched with cream and the rock poured out for me streams of olive oil. (Job 29:1-6 NIV)  

Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (‭Ephesians‬ ‭3‬:‭20-21‬ NIV)

Our minds are amazing. One minute we can't remember where we put our car keys and the next minute we can remember things that happened years ago. We remember a person, by name, that was either mean to us or good to us. Stop right now! What are you thinking about? Why are you thinking about it? What is your desired outcome for that thought? Does that thought cause you pain or does it bring you joy? Will that thought change the course of your day?  

It's been said, "Change your thoughts, change your world."  

Job is having a "final moment" with his thoughts as he presents his "final defense". He's remembering, and reciting, the good old days. Are the old days really good or was God just good in those old days? If God is the giver of good days past will He not also be the giver of good in the days to come? Does the error of my weakness reduce the strength of His greatness? If so I control the power of the ONE who created me and I become the potter and He becomes the Clay.

No way is this possible. I must not, in my thinking, reduce God's force to the level of my fall.

With the same power that raised Christ, I shall be raised. I believe that our mental deliberations of incompetence should propel our thoughts toward His endless omnipotenceWhy should we limit God to one dispensation, or by one indiscretion, in our lives? God is good.  

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. (James 1:17 NIV)  

If all good things come from God can He, no, will He, do good things in the future? I once asked a friend of mine, who happens to be a multi-millionaire, if he ever lost sleep "thinking" about losing his fortune. He didn't even pause to think about his answer. He quickly replied, "No, I made it once, I know how to do it again."  Is God a "one shot" God? Did Job really believe that his best life was behind him? Was he recalling the good of the past because he thought that he would never experience good again? Or, was he recalling the good in order to remind himself that God is good? I sure hope it was the latter. 

Do we do the same?  Does what we think about God and good make a difference? I think so! Does God change just because we change? I know that, momentarily, my circumstances have changed but my God hasn't. Job and I are both innocent from the standpoint of the laws of the land. So, the only factors in both cases are God and our response. Will friends and believers respond biblically or personally to my failure? Will God be glorified by our response?  I'm guessing that there will be a variety of answers to many of these questions based on where you sit today.  If you, like me, sit in the seat of sin you are without a doubt focusing on grace.

If you, however, are comfortably settled in the chair of grace today you may be thinking about sin in hopes you can dodge its influence. If you sit in the darkness today, you are probably looking for light, therefore, your thoughts will regularly take you to the light. However, if you sit in the light, you may be afraid that darkness could fall on you at any moment, thus striking fearful thoughts in your heart. So now your fearful thoughts will lead you to preserving light instead of enjoying its bright glow. Will our circumstances, then, change how we think? Or, will our thinking change how our circumstances impact our future?

Maybe you are seated in the seat of the hungry today, if so your thoughts are set on food. If you are filled today you won't even cast a thought at food or hunger but you might have thoughts of famine, or in today's world thoughts of a food shortage. So, do we have a discipline of thinking? Or, is our thought life driven by our desperation? Even if positive thoughts don't change your circumstances, they will change you and how you respond to them. I am far better in faith than I am in fear. There are three types of people when it comes to thoughts:

Pessimist:  a person who habitually sees or anticipates the worst or is disposed to be gloomy.  

Realist: a person who tends to view or represent things as they really are.  

Optimist: a person who believes that goodness pervades reality.  

I try to NEVER wonder into the "pessimist zone". Why should I? And, when I'm hit with realism I always push to view the "real" in the light of the possible. I'm optimistic about the realistic. I think that I'm easily pulled to the possible. Because of a fairly overcast childhood I always try to find light in dim situations. With that said I'm reminded of story that always makes me laugh. 

Flying on a transatlantic flight in a 747 the captain came on the P.A. system and notified the passengers that the plane had lost power in one of its four engines. He assured them that this was not a problem since the plane could easily fly safely with the remaining three engines. In just a matter of moments the captain's voice is heard over the intercom and announces that the plane had lost power in a second engine, but not to worry, it could safely reach it's destination on the last two engines. Once again the captain came on the P.A. system to inform the passengers that the plane had lost the third of four engines but it would be okay, we still have one. Finally, one passenger had had enough. He spoke up and said, "I sure hope we don't lose the fourth engine or we will be up here all night."  

Dumb optimism? Nonetheless, optimism. I would rather have a dumb optimism than a smart pessimism. Our thoughts can guide us through tough times or they can make tough times tougher. The greatest battle for me has NOT been believing that I'm forgiven. I know that I’m forgiven. I have, however, battled thoughts about what my tomorrow looks like. Then I quickly remind myself that tomorrow is really only an illusion.

My realistic circumstances are pulled daily by pessimistic thoughts as well as optimistic faith. I've avoided "Googling" my name or having conversations that could lead me down pathways of doubt and darkness. I've guarded my mind and thoughts like a lioness guards her cubs. Thoughts are powerful and these negative meditations must be minimized as much as possible.  The founder of the university that I attended crafted theses thoughts.  

Something good is going to happen to you, TODAY.   And, Expect a miracle.  

What do I expect from God today? Better yet, what does God expect from me today? We all carry with us expectations. Unfortunately most of our expectations are measured by our finite thinking and past experiences. I serve a boundless God who has enormous plans for my life. God has voted for this life, my life, purchased by His Son, which offers me the promise of abundant blessing. Satan has cast his vote in favor of my fall and destruction. My vote is the tiebreaker. How will I vote today? Will my vote be influenced by my downfall or His uprising, which we see in His resurrection? Chances are how I think will determine how I vote.  The satanic agenda has always strived to make us believe, by using our thoughts, that God has limitations. Satan's goal is to steal, kill and destroy our positive thoughts. He is out to apprehend our hope since hope deferred makes our hearts sick. God is eternal. He is also limitless. I expect that my future will be brighter and better than my past. There has to be a reason for all this turmoil in my life. Will God take what the enemy meant for harm and turn it into something good? Yes. Yes He will. He has set before me today life and death. Blessing and cursing. I get to choose.

I choose, like the greats of the past, to look beyond the dark foyer of this moment and to set my faith on the lighted corridors of eternity.

By faith Abraham, when called to go to a place he would later receive as his inheritance, obeyed and went, even though he did not know where he was going. By faith he made his home in the promised land like a stranger in a foreign country; he lived in tents, as did Isaac and Jacob, who were heirs with him of the same promise. For he was looking forward to the city with foundations, whose architect and builder is God. And by faith even Sarah, who was past childbearing age, was enabled to bear children because she considered him faithful who had made the promise. And so from this one man, and he as good as dead, came descendants as numerous as the stars in the sky and as countless as the sand on the seashore. All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance, admitting that they were foreigners and strangers on earth. People who say such things show that they are looking for a country of their own. If they had been thinking of the country they had left, they would have had opportunity to return. Instead, they were longing for a better country—a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared a city for them. (Hebrews 11:8-16 NIV)
Let me sum up today's entry with this borrowed thought.

An arrow can only be shot by pulling it backward. When life is dragging you back with difficulties, it means it's going to launch you into something great. So just focus, and keep aiming.