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Knowing God’s Intentions Toward You

We have good days, we really do, and ever so slowly the good days are outnumbering the bad ones.

It’s when the bad days come along that I have to dig deep and draw upon truth. These days I ask her the simplest of things and she shuts down, pulls away, wonders what I really want from her.

I give the slightest instruction and she stares me down, draws a line in the sand, gears up to fight for control.

It pains me that after nearly three years, she still does not trust my intentions towards her.

It smacks me between the eyes, that insight. Because my LORD wants my full and complete surrender but how can I give it if I do not fully trust His intentions towards me?

Yes, I know about doubt. We adopted not because we wanted another child, not because we had some silly notion of “saving”  a “poor child,” but for the simple reason of obedience. We asked God how He wanted us to fulfill James 1:27. “Adopt,” He told us.

We did. So things should be okay, right? We are being obedient to God and are joyfully following the Lord…things surely won’t blow up in our face. Right?

Wrong.

It’s sort of like the Israelites leaving Egypt. They are tired and weak and the unknown hangs over their heads, presses them from all sides…and suddenly they are attacked. From behind, where the weakest ones lag. Dirty low down enemies. Surely they would at least fight fair. (See Exodus 17)

Wrong.

Where is God in all of this? Hello? God? We didn’t do this because we set out on our own and paved our own path. We are here because of You, God. We are following You by pillar and cloud. What gives? We aren’t supposed to get bindsided by a foe we didn’t even know existed right when we need rest the most.

Then when child #4 came along, the third one to arrive in a span of 23 months, I started asking even more of those questions. “Don’t you know I’m overwhelmed already, Lord? What are You thinking?”

Like in Exodus 17, God’s purpose for me was/is to train me how to do warfare. If we’re going to take our promised land, we’ve got to know how to fight.

But before we can fight, we’ve got to trust, because how can one willingly submit herself fully to God if there is even a trace of fear regarding His intent?

He wakes me one morning with the words, “Understand what the will of the Lord is,” and I know what His Spirit is getting at, how I historically define God’s will in terms of what He wants from me, what He wants me to do.

{And I’ve done this part well.}

There is something more. His will starts with His intentions.

This I have missed.

I’ve been taught to do the right thing, to please God, to obey His will…but I’ve never really understood the intentions of my Lord, the One who is supposed to be Master.

But isn’t that what faith is all about? Believing?

A word study on “will” leaves me in awe. Understanding His will means believing His heart.The same heart that birthed spoken eulogies and Word made flesh and still lives among us. The same heart who can’t help but be loving to all He has made and whose deeds are all done in faithfulness.

How have I missed this?

I’m saddened by all the grace I’ve missed.

But there are new graces for today and failing to embrace them by mourning those forfeited only compounds the loss.

In my study, I stumble upon the verse that grounds me when changing dirty diapers…when sick children keep me up all night…when I feel overwhelmed by the emotional demands from children whose hurt runs deep…when I wonder where God will send us next, and when…where the provisions will come from… the verse that I take up like a life raft and heave myself upon and calm myself with and rest and bring myself first to my knees and them, shaky, to my feet.

“Stand fully assured in all God’s will for you.”

Fully Assured. I can face each moment fully assured of God’s good will in all, and for me.

When the dirty rotten enemies come at me from behind when I’m just trying to follow God, I can stand fully assured. I don’t have to add God’s intentions to my list of problems.

“This is God’s best for me,” I tell myself. THIS moment. Right here, right now. With all the unknowns and the problems that don’t have answers yet and the inadequacy of me,

This is God’s best for me.

I can stand fully assured in all God’s will for me. There is not a moment that I have to flounder. There is not a season or a single half- second that I have to doubt His intentions towards me.

Fully Assured.

In All.

God’s Will.

For Me.

“For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord. Plans for your welfare, not for disaster; plans to give you a future and a hope.” Jeremiah 29:11

 

This month, we are learning the Habits of Love: How to be Rooted and Grounded in Love; How to Walk in God’s Eulogy; How to Really Know God Loves You. Join us next Monday for a wrap up and special printable for your fridge. {You can also find a printable bookmark of the 3 Love Habits I’m taking with me this year at the bottom of this post.}

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Comments

  1. Becky says:

    Your title of this entry stopped my breath for a moment. Here’s why:

    In my quiet time and space with Him this morning, I sat. Thinking. Identifying. Waiting. Listening. I needed to hear from Him. What, I did not know. But He knew.

    The story of Joseph came to mind. How Joseph had so many twists and turns in life’s unfolding. All the time while doing what was right, following God, He kept getting knocked down. Much of the time, seemingly forgotten. And then the climax came in Joseph’s own words:

    “What you intended for evil, God intended for good.”

    Well, wow. There it was. God’s intentions toward Joseph were for good. Were Good.

    And then whispering through my own heart, “God’s intentions toward me are good.”

    This was it. My lifeline. His truth for me to hold onto. This God, My God, is good. And not in some big generic sense, but specific, detailed, intimate, real. The God who painted the spots on the ladybug and florescents on the dragonfly, this is the God who is good toward me; toward my family.

    This is light and life and breath for today. And tomorrow. And the next.

    It seems He wanted me to doubly remember what I so easily forget…and He used YOU to do so. Thank you for sitting at His feet, listening, taking note, and sharing with generosity of heart, Arabah.

    Sweet, tangible blessings to you, this day!

  2. Richele says:

    Found your blog through Sarah Mae and Sally’s Webinar – I’m stumbling through parenting three (adopted) babies and navigating God’s best for them (and me) and your words are so encouraging to me! Just ordered your book.

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