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2018 05p1We can believe that God is silent when often, it may be that we have not listened enough to what He has already said to us. If we are really honest with ourselves, we may often have heard God, but chosen not to obey. We have told ourselves that surely God didn’t mean me, when he said that; surely that verse in the Bible doesn’t apply to today? Surely, when I know that God provided this for me originally, He doesn’t want me to give it up now? We offer up excuses to ourselves as to why we don’t need to do whatever it is that God has asked of us or else, we make a lukewarm response to God’s request. We procrastinate; not obeying straight away or else we do not obey wholeheartedly burying ourselves in other seemingly good works that help us to justify our response and keep us from thinking too much of God’s original request. So it is for me at the moment…

Making Excuses…

Let me explain…Through the years, whilst I have been way too busy making excuses to God that I haven’t got time right now, my life has become over-complicated; overcrowded with the accumulation of roles I have gathered in my work and the things that I own to enable me to fulfil those roles. For as I have diversified, taking on more and more roles to survive financially, in taking those roles, I have not left behind the things that equipped me for former roles. The result? An over-complex lifestyle and a home and workplace that is too full of things that I hold on to that I no longer need, nor know quite what to do with! Worse, I have created attachments for too many things in my life that that I struggle to let go of…and these have built up over many years without me dealing properly with them.

Moving On…

In the past I have been blessed with a studio space large enough to store away all these things. Now, faced with the likely scenario of having to relocate my studio back home, I am filled with the anxiety of having to deal with the accumulated “stuff” to unburden myself of what has become an intolerable weight. I am ashamed to say, that I have persistently brushed aside God’s words to me…. the whispers to let the studio go… to reduce what I own. I have kept putting off what I know deep in my heart that I must do to find peace and in doing so, have not made way for God to do whatever it is he wants to do next. No wonder I am frustrated that God has not shown me what to do next! How can He, when I haven’t done the one thing He has already asked me to do? The studio had been a long-held dream, one in which I could not see how it could practically happen- and yet it did, as God brought to fruition the dream he had planted within me. So now I need to let go in obedience and look to what new thing God might be growing in me…

2018 05p2Lessons from Abraham

I am reading Abraham’s story at the moment and note (with some shame of my own), that unlike me, throughout his life he faithfully does whatever God asks of him. It is a poignant lesson for me right now.

“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…” Genesis 12:1-3

Go…

I wonder how you react to being told what to do? If I’m honest, I mostly like to question what I’m being asked…and that includes when God asks me to do something! You know how it is… we dig our heels in, comfortable with the familiar and finding any and every excuse to not obey straightaway; or else we obey with reluctance and unbelief…. “You want me to do what, Lord?” How unlike Abram I am, who when told to leave behind his native country “departed as the Lord had instructed.” He went unquestioningly, in abandoned faith and uncomplicated trust, willingly letting go of any plans that he may have had, along with the familiarity of his homeland and the safety of being amongst family, to travel to unknown lands simply because God commanded. Not only that, but he packed up his entire family and business too. Abram knew God as El Shaddai: God Almighty
Lord, help me to be as trusting as Abram; to accept You as God Almighty within my life.“…

I will show you.”

When God asks us to do something specific, I often forget that He doesn’t just ask us to get on with it by ourselves but supports us in providing everything that we will need for whatever change he is asking from us. If I attempt to make a change in my own strength, then my journey is bound to fail. If I look to God, He promises to show us the right way. However, for my part I must step out, trusting God to honour his word. How can I hear more from God, unless I have taken that first step of obedience and keep my eyes on Him, to show me the way?
Lord, keep my eyes on You so that I can learn from what you are showing me.

“I will make you…”

For Abram, God promised to make him into a great nation…for Abram yearned for a son and heir. I wonder what your dream is? What is it that you desire? What would you like God to do for you? How would you like God to finish the sentence for you?
Lord, make me into the person you created me to be as I learn to partner with you.

“I will bless you.”

Sometimes we long for God to bless us, yet do not appreciate the vastness of the blessings He has bestowed upon us already. Perhaps, I can pause today and each day hence to offer thanks and praise for the wonder of the blessings I already have.
Lord, forgive me when I take your blessings for granted.
Lord, I praise you for your countless blessings to me.

“I will make your name…”

God told Abram he would make his name great, and even in his own lifetime, Abram was well respected and held in good esteem by many. Today, we still look to his life and learn from him. I wonder how you would like to be perceived by others both during your life and beyond? What would you like to be known for?
Lord, You called me by name. Help me to be recognized as a child of the King.

“You will be a blessing…”

Both during his life and afterwards, Abram has been a blessing to many. I wonder if the same could be said about my life? I am wondering how I can change my outlook, so that whatever I do, wherever I am, I may be a blessing to others.
Lord, may my life be a blessing to others.

“All people will be blessed through you…”

Abram’s story is an exceptional one, in that he became the Father of all nations, a direct descendant to Jesus…and yet he was just a fallible man who throughout his journey, dedicated his life in obedience to the God of All. God transformed an ordinary life of obedience, weaving it into His extraordinary eternal story, to bless all people. We, too, can be a small part of God’s bigger picture, if in faith we yield to Him and go wherever He sends us. For it is in obedience to God, that others are blessed.

“So Abram went, as the Lord had told him…”

Lord, help me to say “yes” and then take action on whatever you have laid on my heart, even when I cannot see the way forward.
Lord, may we remember that your name is Yaweh- Yireh: God will provide.

2018 05p3Textile Explanations…

This piece depicts Abraham’s story and his faith in God. The background represents the terrain of the Middle East and it shows the journey Abraham took. The four corners contain quadrants of the earth to echo the promise of God to Abraham that he would be the father of a multitude of nations. The swathes of stars and the sandy coloured backgrounds show God’s promise to Abraham; that his descendants would be “like the stars in the sky and the sand on the seashore.”

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