Sunday, 28 April 2013

Just another pebble on the beach

Last Saturday, just after I awoke, something I had written long ago came into my mind.  It was an article I had put in a little booklet that I had entitled 'Days in my life', in which were accounts of occurrences in my life through which I have experienced the teachings of God, and some of the poetry that I have written as a result of those experiences. 



  The teacher that God has used,
   the One whom He uses with all
   who  believe on His Son Jesus
   Christ, is the Holy Spirit, and in
   a sense 'Days in my life' is yet
   another small portion of my own
   personal 'Book of Numbers',
   God speaking to me as I journey
   through my wilderness towards
   the promised land.
   After I had looked for, and found,
   the article in this booklet, I thought
   I would share it in a post



Just another pebble on the beach

I had been cleaning at the local college of further education for about six weeks.  The job required that I rose early in the morning to be in work for five, finishing at eight.  I had taken the job to earn extra money to buy a new computer, which I believed was much needed in order to produce the booklets, cards and laminated poetry wall hangings that I had started to make.  Two years earlier I had registered a small cottage industry which had never really got off the ground, and I thought the few hours work in the morning would provide me with the extra money needed, while also leaving me plenty of time to create the products, and the college was walking distance away from where we lived.   Everything seemed just right.

I had initially sought the Lord over whether I should try for the job or not, and had felt that He was saying 'no' through the scripture in Isaiah ch. 30 v.1 'Woe to those who go down to Egypt for help' being brought to my attention many times, 'Egypt' meaning the worldly way of doing things.  Part of me had felt that I should go and get the money for the equipment by looking for a job, at the same time realizing that I would have less time to spend on my writing, and part of me had been telling me to carry on doing what I was able to do with the equipment I already had, and that the Lord would provide the extra equipment at the time that He thought I needed it.   After some reasoning the 'go and get the money' part of me won and I took the job, not really wanting to believe that the Lord had actually spoken to me through the scriptures.

By now, after six weeks of working at the job, I had realized that the voice from the scriptures was by far the wisest.   I was so tired from rising at just after four in the morning that I found I was coming home, having a shower and sleeping for most of the morning, too worn out to do any of my writing. 

I had seen two things in the college that reminded me of the Lord and what He required of me.  One was a picture of 'The Light of the World' hanging on a wall, and the other was a sculpture called 'Rebirth by Fire'.  I believed I was being called as a witness for Jesus, through my writing, to be a light in this dark world and to tell of rebirth and salvation through Jesus Christ.  It was not about running a business.

There was also a photograph of pebbles on a beach.  One of the pebbles had an image of a very sad, sleeping face on it.  This photograph moved my heart in a strange way.  I imagined the face on the pebble was dreaming of what might have been, but that the tide would soon come in and wash away those dreams and it would remain 'just another pebble on the beach', never being able to get out from its rut.  I saw myself never being able to fulfil my purpose as a believer if I carried on trying to do things my own way.



The word 'procrastination' had also been brought to my attention several times and it caused me to think that procrastination and time, just like the tide in the pebble's situation, would wash away my dreams if I allowed them to.  I had become a hindrance to what God was trying to do through me and trying to get things done faster by my own methods was actually slowing things down.  My times are in God's hands and every day of my life is written in His book before even one of them was formed, and I am gradually coming to realize that what He requires me to do has to be done in His time, not mine.

I realized two things here, that to simply obey what the Lord is telling me to do without question was by far the wisest thing to do, but I also learned that God knows the way we  will take and that He is patient and long-suffering with us as He allows us to learn by our mistakes, thereby delivering us in our affliction.  Job ch.36 v.15.

Realizing my mistake I sought the Lord for advice, this time with the full intention of acting on it  That morning the reading in my 'Daily Bread' Christian booklet was from Exodus ch.18 vs.17,18 'This thing that you are doing is not good.  You will surely wear out'.  How appropriate!  I read from my Bible in the book of Ecclesiastes ch.4 v.13 'Better is a poor and wise youth than an old and foolish king who will no more be admonished.'  (That was me well and truly told.), and from the book of Ecclesiastes ch.5 v.13 'There is a grievous evil which I have seen under the sun, riches were kept by their owner to his hurt'.  These scriptures spoke straight into my situation.  I was definitely worn out, and was foolish for not taking the advice not to go after the job in the first place.  I was also being warned about keeping the spiritual riches, which I believed God wanted me to share through my writings, to myself.

The next day I bought some spaghetti that I noticed was called 'Seeds of change'.  That night I had a dream in which I was handing in my notice at work, and the following morning the daily reading in my devotional booklet was entitled 'Changed priorities', and the scripture was 'They immediately left their nets and followed Him.'  The message was loud and clear, I had to leave my own work and follow Jesus, thereby getting my priorities right.

Without hesitation I gave my notice in the next day.  Amazingly, the reading in another daily devotional that I received that very morning was 'He will perfect that which concerns me' and the next sentence said 'Don't get worked up about what may or may not happen tomorrow, God will help you deal with whatever things come up'.
Amen.

31 comments:

Laurie Collett said...

Beautiful, Brenda -- this really spoke to my heart today! Praise God that He speaks so clearly, directly, and personally to us when we commit to studying His Word, expectantly waiting for the Spirit to guide us. Love in Him,
Laurie

Brenda said...

Hi Laurie,
yes it is amazing how He can speak to us isn't it. There is nothing like it in this world, how wonderful that the God of all creation should communicate with His creation. I have always loved this as long as I have been a Christian, and the more I come to know Him the more I see His love for us and His desire to heal us spiritually. God bless you Laurie. Brenda

child of God said...

Hi Brenda,
I love how you are so sensitive to the Holy Spirit and how He talks to you so clearly in Scripture.

What a wonderful lesson on how to obey and listen to the Lord! Thank you for sharing this. I'm just wondering...did you disobey God or did you just question the fact that He actually told you through Scripture, to not take that job.

Blessings hon,
<><

Brenda said...

Hi child of God,
I believe it was more questioning whose voice it was. Then I realized it was the Lord and also realized that His way of teaching me was to allow what might look to me like a mistake but which was all part of my learning and understanding the ways in which He speaks to me. I was at a stage where I believed that all the poem pics and bookmarks, booklets etc. were given me to start a business and I was trying to get it off the ground. However, I was not sure as many of the poems had been put together with scripture and my friend and I had been instructed by the Lord to go our into the highways and the byways. I believe the 'business' bit was distracting me. If I had not gone into the job then I would not have been spoken to through the pictures as to what I am to be in Him and would not have had my deep feelings revealed to me through the pebble picture. It totally revealed priorities to me. God bless you.

Never Forsaken said...

Hi Brenda,

I can relate to this in a way. I took a job that was meant for me for a season. I was able to do the job quite easily, and learned how to communicate with people that I normally would not have outside of the job. I was able to share my faith as well. What I did however, was to let things like pride and dependence on money dictate when I was to leave the job instead of listening to when God's annointing left me as that was when I was to leave the position. (I was sorry I hadn't listened.)
I had worked another job years before when I got very clear signs from the Lord that He was with me in the workplace to help me get through the day (casino), and also that it was time to go now, as what He was teaching me was accomplished/finished there.
I still sometimes struggle with the fear of where will the money come from...even though God always provides(always); but I believe we all have those moments.
When we are in obedience to His calling on our lives, He will equip us. ~Seek ye first the Kingdom, and all these things will be added to you~
I do believe this with all my heart and mind!
The way that you are using your God-given talent to freely share the Word of God will be greatly rewarded in measures beyond what money can buy!
Thanks for your ministry Brenda...Your blog helps encourage and inspire so many!!!
Your experiences were given you to benefit not only your own faith, but many other Christians as well.
For one thing, you have taught me how to listen closer to those little everyday things that I might otherwise overlook...God is in it all, and He speaks through them sometimes.(Even things like word verification ;)
~God bless~ Lisa

Brenda said...

Oh Lisa,
as I read your comment I knew that you understand what is happening in my life, as it is happening in yours and many other Christians too. To become as a child and not lean on our own understanding is the best thing we can do to be able to come close to the Lord. The stories I could tell of the Lord's provision for us are amazing, as I am sure yours and many others are. As for moving on when the Lord tells us, I feel that if I did not do that now I would miss out. I don't know if I ever shared this on the blog but my friend and I were taken by the Lord into prison visiting on a 'lifer's' wing for eighteen months, it was a wonderful experience of sharing the gospel. The chaplain wanted us there because he said we were not exactly 'stained glass windows'. I laugh when I think about it but know that what he meant was that we would be acceptable to the prisoners. They even let us take the guitar in the cells too, and it was like we became mothers, sisters and friends to many lovely people there who had just been under the influence of the enemy that was too strong for them. The chaplain even came out into the street one day and handed out our leaflets with us, it was wonderful. After eighteen months we knew we were to come out and did just that. I would not want a life without Jesus in it. Do not worry about where tomorrow's provision will come from. If we trust in Him and, as you say, seek first His kingdom and righteousness, He will provide and bring us to be content with little and much. God bless you Lisa.(I love the way He has used the word verification with us), and by the way, your ministry and everyone else's are all used to build one another up in the Lord. I get a lot of encouragement from the 'on line' church.

child of God said...

Isn't it cool how God will work good things out of our mistakes?

Thanks Brenda, I have a lot to ponder on.

Blessings,
<><

Frank Blasi said...

Hi Brenda,
Thanks for being so honest in your testimony about choosing to take on a job instead of trusting in the Lord.
Lately I have been feeling very uncertain of the future, particularly with our finances. But through your blog I have been reassured that God has everything in his hands, including my future.
An excellent post.

Brenda said...

Hi Frank,
it is lovely to hear of the scriptures and one another's testimonies being used to encourage, I find this so much in my own life. If ever I feel worried about something I know I have to seek the Lord for advice because Jesus says 'In me you have peace.' I am realizing more and more that He is well able to provide for us when we seek His will in our lives. We often do things out of fears but gradually come to realize that those fears are a product of the carnal mind, not the Spiritual. God bless.

Brenda said...

Just a note to say to anyone who leaves a comment as 'anonymous'. The comments don't appear to come up on the blog, only in 'spam'. Thank you for your comments anyway.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Is the Jesus Christ you identify as being the Holy Spirit the same Jesus Christ, who offered Himself up to be crucified in order to pay for our sins in full?

Brenda said...

Hello Jerry,
yes, the Lord is the Spirit, the same Spirit that was in Jesus Christ who came in the form of man two thousand years ago. Why do you ask Jerry?

Just Be Real said...

Brenda, the Holy Spirit is so precious and the more I am realizing this and that He lives in my constantly the more beautiful He becomes. Thank you for sharing. Blessings.

Brenda said...

Hi JBRm
I say AMEN to everything you have said.I have always used the word 'beautiful' for the Lord. I used to use the term 'tune into radio Jesus' when I first used to speak to people about receiving the Holy Spirit. I didn't mean it in a disrespectful way at all, I just could not believe the power in the connection with the Lord. He becomes more real than anything else once we are connected through the enlightenment of the word to us by the Holy Spirit.
God bless you

Sateigdra L Knowles said...

I am so glad you share with us what God reveals to you Brenda, it is really encouraging for me. I don't know about everyone else, but it always gives me something to meditate on.

I remember when I first stopped working I was afraid. This was before I started following Jesus. A little later I began following Jesus and still I was worried that I would need a job to get the things that I need, but I was so confused with all of that because I read where God said He would provide all that I need. The Lord knew I was weary of working job to job from since I was 18 and it felt like that would be the pattern of my life, just stuck on the assembly line of the system, with no end in sight.

I prayed to God about it, asking Him if it is His will for me to get a job, stir my heart up and select the work for me, and if it is not His will then help me to stop worrying about it. Eventually I stopped worrying and realized God had answered my prayer. What I do now requires a great deal of the free time I have. I study and spend most of my time writing, something I never would have been able to do if I had been busy doing other things, and I would have been to tired to do anything else.

So, I am grateful God has set be free form the bondage I was in, and has made me aware of what my purpose may be. Great post Brenda.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

Thank you for replying, my dear Brenda, and I am sorry for taking so long to come back and attempt to answer why I asked you if the Jesus Christ you speak of as being the Holy Spirit is the Jesus Christ, who offered Himself up to be crucified in order to pay the price in full for our sins. I suppose I just missed it. For I have trying to pay close attention to my emails in the hope that you would offer an answer to my question, and I just now saw that you had replied.

Anyway, the reason why I keep asking you that question (I have asked before in another thread, and you did not answer) is because of being afraid of you falling into the Oneness trap, and your reply here was not reassuring. For Jesus Christ (in the form of the Holy Spirit) being in Jesus Christ (in the form of a man) is not the same as them being One and the Same.

Now, since it is not incorrect to think of Jesus Christ as being the Holy Spirit because the Holy Spirit is His Spirit in the same way as the Holy Spirit is our Heavenly Father's Spirit, let me ask you another question. Was the Jesus Christ, who offered Himself up to be crucified in order to pay the price in full for our sins just a man not so different from you or me in the flesh?

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Brenda said...

Hi Sateigdra,
it is so true that if we seek the Lord for wisdom and instruction, and stay close to Him, we will gradually learn to discern and be strengthened by what He answers. Just as each individual Israelite had to pick up their own manna in the wilderness, so too we must pick up our daily 'manna'. I am so glad that you seek Him in order to know what He wants you to do too, He is the best adviser we could have. God bless you Sateigdra, lovely to hear how you are.

Brenda said...

Hi Jerry, don't worry about when you answer a question I ask. I do not remember that I did not answer a question you asked me, I usually answer if someone asks me something. Anyway, in answer to your last question, I would say that Jesus Christ came in the likeness of a man but without human insemination. We are told that the Lord is the Spirit and that God has made Jesus both Lord and Christ. The Spirit is the Spirit of truth. Jesus said to Philip 'If you have seen me you have seen the Father'. There are things understood in the Spirit that cannot be understood with the carnal mind but God is Spirit and the only thing that would appear to come close in this world is the caterpillar that walks on earth until it becomes the chrysalis that appears dead until it becomes a butterfly, yet all are the same. I just accept what I believe I am taught by the Holy Spirit, yet realize that the secret things belong to God, those revealed belong to us, and try to be obedient to it as I learn. I hope in some way this answers your question.

T-Childs said...

Great post Brenda, and much food for thought. What's curious is that I feel God wants me to get a job, even though I want to be a published author. I guess God has a unique plan for all of us, and whatever He wills for us, He has a wonderful future planned for each of us, both in the present world and the great hereafter!

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

That was an excellent answer, my dear Brenda. I especially appreciated you saying that Christ Jesus came in the form of a man, which leaves no room for denying His Deity. Yet, I still have a very uneasy feeling about you saying one thing and actually believing something else. Be assured that I hope that the problem is just with me.

Ken said...

Hi Brenda,
What an awesome reminder that we must be listing for God's voice and obey His Word. It is an awesome thing to be tuned in to hear His voice. Thank you for sharing and may God bless,
Ken

Brenda said...

Hi Tim,
You just hit the nail on the head concerning what my post was about. 'I feel that God wants.....even though I want'. I had to carry down what I wanted before God really confirmed what He wanted. Strangely though, after I was shown this I realized it was really what I wanted. Sometimes fears can come from trying to provide the necessaries. It wasn't that I wanted to 'have a business' or 'become' anything. It was simply that I wanted to share with people what I felt very deeply about. I have to admit that the most important thing to me is being right with God, and not trying to live by my own strengths. I am finding that I couldn't choose a better road to go down than the one He sets before me and yes, His promise of good things is for this world and the next.

Brenda said...

Hi Ken,
yes I find it amazing how God can speak to us through the simplest of things, it is to me the word of God being alive. Lovely to hear from you and God bless you too.

Brenda said...

Hi Jerry,
yes Jesus came in the form of man, having the very nature of God, but was also sent into the world as God's Son. He was referred to as 'Son of Man' also. So there are many things of God that are foolishness to the carnal mind, but the more I seek God the more I come to understand these things. I can not help that you have an uneasy feeling that I say one thing and believe another, I am being as honest as I can be but admit that I am still learning. I don't believe there is one person on this earth that knows all there is to know about God. Please feel free to ask me about whatever is causing you bother concerning my beliefs any time.

Jerry E Beuterbaugh said...

I sure wish you would send me an email at FishHawk7@gmail.com, my dear Brenda. For I have been given some things that would be much better said in private.

In the meantime, it would seem that somewhere along the way you have been given the impression that I think I know everything that there is to know about our Heavenly Father and the righteousness of all of His most awesome ways. If this is my fault, please forgive me and accept that I do not believe this.

Brenda said...

Ah right Jerry,
I will send you an email, but I really don't mind what anyone says in the comments of my blog, as long as it not rude or disrespectful.

Laurie Collett said...

The mystery of the Trinity is one that I believe we will not fully comprehend until we reach glory and He explains it to us. Nonetheless, the Bible teaches that God the Father, Jesus Christ the Son, and the Holy Spirit are 3 aspects of 1 God -- each equally God, all united in their will, and yet different. Jerry, I invite you to visit my blog, Saved by Grace, where I have written about the attributes of the Trinity.
Brenda, thanks as always for lifting my spirits with your beautiful writing, and God bless,
Laurie

Brenda said...

Hello Laurie,
yes I too believe that there are things that we will not fully understand while on this earth. The secret things belong to God, those revealed belong to us. 1 Corinthians ch.13 vs.13 and 14 describe this fact beautifully don't they? 'For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known. And now abideth faith, hope, charity, these three; but the greatest of these is charity.' When I had my 'near death experience' I know that while in that beautiful place that I was taken to I had answers to many questions that I asked in this life, but that knowledge was taken away from me when I was sent back. Thank you Laurie for your kind words of encouragement. God bless you

Patrina's Pencil said...

dear Brenda,

as always...an awesome sharing of your personal walk with the LORD. Eyes to see and ears to hear....open to the very finite leading of the Holy Spirit. I love that about you. I can identify with everything you share..we are a precious work in progress ... aren't we?

I smiled with some of God's direct and to the point responses to your seeking His truth for your life.

I spent 2 week trying to talk myself out of my current job. I grilled myself with excuses...but felt deep in my spirit well..that the Lord had brought it to my window of opportunity for a reason. It is rewarding...it is stretching...it is ministry...it is very draining! So... I am being obedient...to the Lord and walking through this first leg of the journey. Nothing is set in stone.

It may be that the Lord has something specific to give me or download to me through my willing heart and spirit to follow Him in all circumstances. Time will tell if this it the position He ordained for me...or if it is just a stepping stone to another.

I did have a dream shortly after I started...in which there was a handwritten note from my mama at the end. I recognized her writing. The note simply said..." the next job is the ONE." I therefore am anticipating the Lord's guidance as I seek and pray for His NEXT! But for now...all my attention and energy is planted right where I feel He placed me...for this season...for His reasons.

Blessings to you, my dear friend
patrina <")>><

Brenda said...

Hi Patrina,
yes it is wonderful how the Lord speaks to us as individuals isn't it? How marvelous that a God so majestic comes down into our individual circumstances and, knowing fully our hearts and minds, is so patient and loving in bringing us closer to Him. The fact that He knew that I would go to the college (thinking that my actions would be enabling me to share what I believed I had to share in my writings quicker) and had already woven it in that there would be things there that would guide me,just emphasises to me how He understands that we are flesh and He knows the way we will take. It is through happenings like this over the years that I have and still are being taught by Him. It is an individual walk and each of us has to seek His will in our lives, and yet we are still one in Him. I too have dreams which speak to me, sometimes to encourage, sometimes to warn. It is part of how our God communicates with us. God bless you Patrina, it is a pleasure knowing you.