Tuesday, July 18, 2017

God Never Hurries: And It Benefits Us

For still the vision awaits its appointed time; it hastens to the end—it will not lie. If it seems slow, wait for it; it will surely come; it will not delay. Habakkuk 2:3

By Carol McClain: @carol_mcclain

Have you ever known God to be in a rush for anything?

I'm not asking facetiously. Scripturally, He waited four days to go heal Lazarus. He let a storm rise on the Sea of Galilee before waking up to calm it. He didn't run to heal Jairus's daughter. Abraham and Sarah waited. Hannah, too. Always, He took His time.

And always it was perfect.

We've heard of people who get their answers almost instantly. They marry quickly, have kids easily, find a job, a home, success.

But don't despair if it takes time.

God is never in a rush. God is always on time.

This is especially true for me--a woman who had to get it done yesterday.

Effects of Waiting in My Life

  1. I waited twenty years as a divorced woman before I met my husband. Neil would never have been free to marry me any sooner. I remember one time, God sent me off on a mission trip to Romania. I think He had one purpose--so I wouldn't make a play for a man, new to our church fellowship, who ended up falling in love with one of my closest friends. He wasn't meant for me. Neil was. And he is God's perfect gift for me.
  2. I waited many years before I got published. Now, in a new home, I've found a devoted audience who loves my work and encourages me continually. Will I make it as an author? Read my works, especially The Poison We Drink and you'll see that I should. However, if not, God's perfect timing will allow my work to fall in the right hands at the right time, and He will receive the glory. 
  3. The first house we bought in Tennessee, fell through on the day we signed the papers. It was a divine place on five secluded acres in Fentress County. If we moved there, we wouldn't have the wonderful church family and friends we have here. Our home in Jacksoboro has all we need and want--and we're able to minister to family and friends in a way we never would have in the first home we tried to buy.
  4. Our ministry will bring us joy. Once more, I'm teaching Sunday school. Seems since the day I'd gotten saved, this is where I always end up. It took two years and a "trick" by God to get me back into kids' church--but at the right time, I was available. The same with our guest house. We tried to rent it seasonally to friends. I considered renting it to a young couple who needed a home. Instead, we waited. Then two dear friends, our new 40-year-old children, found themselves homeless--with four animals no landlord would ever allow in her rental. And we had a place for them.
In my life, by waiting on God, I never lost a thing. I only gained.

Be patient. Wait.

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Monday, July 10, 2017

Like It or Not, Some Sins Are Relative

For everything God created is good, and nothing is to be rejected if it is received with thanksgiving ... 1 Tim. 4:4

By Carol McClain: @carol_mcclain

A friend of mine hated  rock music. In his youth, the lyrics led him to drug use and immorality. As a Christian, God convicted him. This form of music drove him to sin, and he could not listen to it any longer. Being a godly man, he obeyed.

The only problem this created, though, was the idea that if rock music was sinful to him, it was sinful to everyone. 

We belonged to a church that believed 1 Cor. 8:9--that our liberty could never be a stumbling block to the weak. Ergo, if my friend could not listen to rock music, none of us could. Furthermore, none of us should ever disagree with him.

This became a problem for me. If he didn't like music, I couldn't. enjoy it or admit I did. 

Things snowballed. Another person thought dancing a sin. Therefore, no one danced. However, dancing before the Lord was mandated. If you didn't, you were sinful...

On and on it went.

These good-intentioned self-denials were another form of legalism. The only thing God asked of me was to not blare my Mariah Carey or Whitney Houston music in his presence. I could talk about it, admit going to the concerts, etc.

I come from a long line of alcoholics. God convicted me early about drinking, and I don't. It doesn't mean my Christian friends can't drink. The Bible forbids drunkenness, but not the consumption of wine or beer or a Cosmo. I have no right to demand everyone adhere to my conviction.

The truth is, some sins are relative. (click to tweet)

Some--like drunkenness or immorality are absolute, yes.

But long ago, I learned sin is sin for only two reasons:

 If a particular addiction hurts you or others--we must abstain.

Are there things you abstain from because of personal reasons?