Thursday, February 10, 2011

Living The Spamless Life


Good morning, dear Readers!

I imagine someone may have already written about it ~ you know ~ living the spamless life. If they did, I missed the blog...and wish I'd read it years ago. Ah, well... Such is life! You know what I'm talking about. A life that doesn't include all the clutter that gets thrown in without permission from the recipient... One that consists of only those things each of us would like to receive and nothing that takes up space for no good reason. Well. What an interesting idea that is, huh? Unrealistic, but interesting...


I don't know about you, but it seems my life has been somewhat spammy most of the time I've been on this earth. Some of it has arrived in great big packages, threatening to smother me with all the stuff inside. Oftentimes it came when I had no idea there was a delivery on its way. Lasting for days or weeks or even years at a time, it seems, the spamminess would almost overwhelm me with depression, discouragement, frustration and/or anger. I would frequently complain about how unfair things were ~ how wrong it was to have to suffer the injustice of it all! I was a crybaby, moaning, murmuring and mumbling my way through my days ~ tucking praises to God in here and there ~ but definitely mumbling a good portion of the time. Out loud or just inside my head... It didn't matter. It all sounded lousy to God. I just didn't get it.



I don't remember when the Lord actually got my attention about all the complaining I was doing. It probably was over the course of time...you know, with little checks in my spirit about the words coming out of my mouth. I can be a very slow learner at times and am so grateful for our very loving and patient Father. How He puts up with all of His grumbling children without giving up on us is just more proof of how wonderful He really is.


Several years ago, I heard a sermon by Dr. Charles Stanley. I don't remember the whole sermon, but one thing he said really caught my attention. He spoke about being in his office one day, face down on the carpet if I remember correctly...and the Lord telling him that He wanted Charles to see everything that comes to him in life as being sent directly from God's own hand. It put things in perspective for Charles. Put everything ~ life included ~ in perspective for me, too. I needed very much to hear those words. And if you're struggling with all the 'spam' that pours into your life everyday, maybe you need to hear it, too. :)


Oh, I know that we may have a tendency to blame everything negative on the devil. I'm sure he would love to be able to take credit for it all, too. And before I get a bunch of comments from readers arguing the point, I would like to clarify so that no one misunderstands. After all, I don't want to be the cause of anyone murmuring!!! So please, allow me to explain...


We serve a sovereign God, as most of my readers know. That means that ultimately He is, always has been and always will be seated on the throne. It means that nothing will ever happen to us that He isn't already well aware of ~ in advance. It means that He could step in and make adjustments to circumstances or move in our lives in such a way that we wouldn't have to go through some of the things we endure. But He doesn't always do that. For that reason, many people consider Him to be a weak or uncaring or cruel...or even non-existent God. Some dismiss Him as being powerless ~ heartless ~ or just downright mean. Others turn away from Him, refusing to believe that He exists because they are sure they can manage their lives better than He can. All of those are vain and foolish thoughts. God is NOTHING of the sort. He is all powerful and more than capable of stepping in and changing the course of things on earth. One day He will do just that. And when He does, I pray that we're all on His good side!


Back to my point though. The trouble that many of God's people have fallen into is that they have become complainers...not satisfied because things are not the way they would like them to be. Instead of praising God for everything that happens, they/we start grumbling about how they/we think things should be...often missing the opportunities that these little 'spam' encounters present to us.


I have found that the Lord has let many things come into my life to teach me lessons that I've desperately needed to learn. For instance ~ and these are just a few things ~ PATIENCE! And... WISDOM! And the much needed growth in FAITH! All of which I was sorely lacking in. All of which I am still working on today. Every one of these three things are necessary ingredients in the life of a follower of Jesus Christ. His life exemplified a perfect walk of faith, wisdom and patience when He lived here. His Father ~ and yours and mine ~ is at work in each of us, tirelessly shaping and reshaping us into what we were made to be. We all want to be the best we can be. Only with the help, direction and wisdom of the Lord is that going to happen. And our very frugal Father in Heaven will use every means at His disposal to bring it into being.


We are works in progress. Throw a little spam in here and there to refine us, knocking off the rough edges ~ making the 'crooked paths straight', so to speak...that's what our Father will do. He lets satan try to trip us up. He lets the messiness of life get in our ways so that we learn how to traverse the rough roads and learn how to be refreshed in the parched places. He isn't an "I'll-give-you-a-neat-and-clean life" God. We just have to look at the life of His Only Begotten Son, Jesus Christ, to see that God allows spam...He allows messiness to make us grow...He works it all together for our own good. Yes, beloved. For our GOOD.


He does it because He loves us and He can't and won't have a lot of Prima donna's in His kingdom. Ask.com defines a Prima donna as "a temperamental person. Someone who takes adulation and privileged treatment as a right and reacts with petulance to criticism or inconvenience." Just imagine what it would have been like if Jesus had taken that attitude! We'd all be lost forever. And we are not the ones who should be receiving adulation anyway. Only the Lord deserves it. We are the created, NOT the Creator!!!


God gave satan so much power and so many wonderful things, but the stupid devil didn't appreciate it. God wants the humility and wisdom of Jesus to live in us. We will go through trials. We will have spam. We will suffer. And hopefully, we will grow as a result. So the spam stays, beloved. It stays...to bless us with more opportunities to grow in love, meekness, wisdom, faith, patience, gentleness, kindness, goodness and especially in humility. God wants a humble people. He wants a people who will gladly and gratefully bow the knee to Him throughout eternity...not another stupid devil filled with pride, dissatisfied with the wonderful gifts already given...complaining about what he/she lacks...demanding, demanding, demanding. No. He wants a people who are humble and wise enough to know that God is and always will be GOD. He wants a people who are thrilled to be called His children...who really do view the trials that we have gone through in life to be there for our own good...grateful that He would allow and even bring about circumstances that purify us in His Refiner's Fire. He wants people who will rejoice that He didn't spoil us rotten, but instead matured us so that we will always appreciate Who He is!


So, when you get that little spammy thing going today, praise God for it. Show Him that you are grateful for another opportunity to love Him. Bless His heart with your reactions to the bad stuff... Bless His heart by showing Him that you know He has all things in His loving, strong, safe hands and that He has allowed the spam to come to bless you somehow. I"m not saying that He always brings problems...but He will use the ones that come. Maybe sounds crazy to some people, but those are the same folks who don't understand why He would send His Son to die for each one of us. Jesus' life was spammy before 'spam' was even a word. The beatings were spam. The mockery and thorns and cross were spam... He knew they were coming and He endured them all.


Let's learn from His example. When they beat Him, He didn't open His mouth to complain. When they reviled Him, slapped Him, spit on Him and buried thorns into His pure flesh, He never said a word.. He knew God was allowing all of it for a reason. And the reason was you. And it was me. He took our sin, sickness, disease and separation from the Father. He took it all. Some would say it was 'spam'. But God says, 'Not so, beloved.' You were worth it. So was I. According to Him, we are worth the extreme price. And that is the wonder of it all. That He could love us so much!


Pray for strength. Pray for each of your brothers and sisters in Christ. Pray for the wisdom, faith and patience you need to go through every single trial. Then remember that you have all those things through Christ, because they are things He wants for you and by asking, you're in harmony with His will. 1 John 5:14,15...


"And this is the confidence we have in approaching God: 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 what we asked of him."


He wants us to grow in faith and wisdom...and in patience. He wants us to thank Him for everything that comes into our lives for whatever the reasons He has allowed those things to happen. He wants us to remember that HE IS SOVEREIGN...and that no weapon formed against us will prosper. He wants us to remember that His ultimate goal is to bring us into His kingdom in Heaven one day, and we have many things to learn on the journey. He wants us to remember that He never leaves nor forsakes us...that His ways are not our ways and our thoughts are not His thoughts....His ways are higher and His thoughts are higher than ours.


Oh, and one more thing, beloved. He wants us to remember that He loves us with a love that will never grow weary, never fail and never ever ever die. Have a fabulous day! Let's get together here again soon, okay?


Blessings!

Vicky