Clean Hands

dirty hands

Thursday is usually Joseph day at the Benton house.   Each Thursday our grandson Joseph comes over to spend a significant part of the day with us.  It’s our time to play with Joseph, love on Joseph, laugh with Joseph and spoil Joseph.

Recently we went to the park on a Thursday morning, and Joseph loved it.  He was fascinated with the huge ducks and laughed at them when they “honked” at him, and at times he wanted to follow them right into the water.   The playground area brought many giggles as we pushed him high in the swing.  It was a fun day.

Joseph loves toys with wheels on them.  He likes to sit down and spin them over and over and over and over, yes and over. On our visit to the park,  Joseph walked over to our car, which sat by the playground, and tried to spin the wheels, but to no avail.  He finally gave up, but when we picked him up to go home, his hands were black.   Though he had not meant to, he had picked up dirt and filth, just because of where life took him that day.   By now he was tired and thirsty. Before we could even put him in the car seat, or quench his thirst, his hands had to be thoroughly cleaned.   We knew that if he kept the dirty hands, it would affect his well-being, and leave dirt everywhere he walked.   Joseph was not a happy camper!  He wanted his milk, yet the dirty hands were preventing him from having it.   All he needed to do was to surrender to a cleaning, and he would receive far more than he imagined.   Joseph did not know that not only did I have milk awaiting him, but goldfish crackers also.  His favorite!

Often in our walk in life, we get a little dirty.   Perhaps it is not intentional, but we are simply exposed to things that are ungodly – words, attitudes, coarse talk, wrong mindsets.  It happens because life exposes us to things.  I have found in my walk with God, that pulling aside for a cleansing on a daily basis is a wonderful thing.

As I sit with God and ask if there is anything in me that needs cleansing, it’s amazing what the Spirit of God brings to my remembrance.  There are times I am a bit resistant.  I want the power, prosperity and presence of God, without dealing with the things that need cleansing.  I want God to leave my attitude alone!  I want God to leave my angry spirit alone!  I don’t want God talking about my self-pity!  I just want what I want!   God has far more in store for my life than I can imagine, but there are times I miss some of what He has, because I need a cleansing.    The cleansing opens channels through which His fullness will flow.   He has more than milk awaiting us.

As Simon Peter said, “Lord, do not wash my feet only, but also my hands and my head.”

Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. – Psalms 51:10 

Put Your Feet Up!

chair and ottomanThis is what the Lord says: “Heaven is my throne, and the earth is my footstool.” – Isaiah 66:1

Most of us have that special place we sit in our homes.  We often call it “my” chair.   In my home, “my” chair is a nice comfortable arm chair with a matching ottoman.  As a matter of fact, the picture accompanying this article is almost my exact chair.  It is so relaxing to plop down in my chair, and put up my feet.  It’s a fact that I have been known to fall asleep in my chair a time or two, or three, or … okay a lot!   It has become a place of rest for me … rest from the tiredness that life can sometimes bring.

The scripture tells us that God has a chair and ottoman.  His throne is in heaven, and his footstool is here on earth! That is a big God who can stretch his legs all the way from His throne in heaven and rest his feet upon the earth!   That tells us that everything – the mountains, the rivers, the oceans, our homes are under His feet…but, more than that, our problems, our worries, our fears, our anxieties – they are all under His feet!

God invites you to sit in the chair with Him and experience rest, wonderful rest!  In the chair with God is a place of release – no longer worrying, fretting, or straining, but resting upon One who is wholly adequate in your life.

Relax, put your feet up – give those problems over to God.  Kick up your feet, and rest in Him, realizing that every issue you’re dealing with is under His feet, and that He never slumbers or sleeps!  He is always watching over His children.  Always!

Pride And Ego Are Not My Friend

prideAs “Lillian” approached me after a prayer meeting, I was excited by her question.  “I am an officer in an organization, and we were wondering if we could schedule you to speak for us next month.”  I was so ecstatic.  It was early in my days of travel ministry and each invitation thrilled my soul!  Then Lillian followed her question with explanation.  She said that they were disappointed that the speaker they wanted could not come and now they were desperate, and they thought of me.  I was their “desperation” choice!  I was their “second” choice!

After the conversation, I asked Lillian to give me that day to pray about it, and I would get back with her.  The truth is I wanted the day to seethe about being their desperation choice.  How dare they!  I wanted the day to beautifully craft my words to tell them, “NO!”   I was about to let my pride make my decision.  Ego had stepped up to be my walking partner that day.

As I complained to God, I mean prayed to God, He spoke these words to me, “Have you ever thought that you were my first choice to be there?  Have you given thought that I orchestrated it for you to be the speaker rather than their “first” choice?”  I was about to let pride make my decision.  Ego was quickly becoming my best friend.

How often does God have a plan, and we miss it, because we let pride and ego stand in the way?    Maybe it’s a speaking engagement.  Maybe it’s marriage enrichment.  Maybe it’s a relationship thing.  Maybe it’s … you fill in the blank.

I did speak at the event. God did move at the event.  Thank God that I did not let pride make the decision.  Ego and I parted ways that day.

Pride and ego are not my friend, and they are not your friend either!

“O people, the Lord has told you what is good, and this is what he requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.”  Micah 6:8