Waiting On The Lord by George Shafer, Founder/Program Director

"Ask and it will be given to you, seek and you will find, knock and the door will be taken off of its hinges and brought to you on the couch, so stay put and continue binging on Cheetos." Matt 7:7 NAV (Not Any Version)

Wait, is that not the verse?? Are you sure?? Because I have come across an overwhelming amount of people that believe this to be true. The masses must be right- right?

Here's what I've come across. Quite a few people as of late have come to me saying that they just don't know what God's will is for their lives, and have made the active decision to wait on the Lord. 

Which is good. I agree wholeheartedly that there are times that we need to get into our prayer closet, close the door and our minds, and let God do the talking. 

But I also firmly believe that God opens doors and closes them. In my mind's eye, I picture a hospital. Maybe it's because I've been called to minister to the lost and hurting, but it is what it is. So, as God is closing doors and strategically getting me down the hallway of the infirmary to the bedside of His choosing, I need to be aware of His voice calling the shots- because the door getting slammed in my face is quite painful if I can avoid it.

But I can't get to those who need me if I'm still in the lobby waiting for my number to be called- this ain't the DMV.

I have a light that needs to be shined in the darkness. I am ALWAYS on call. Switch from a medical metaphor to a military equivalency, I am (and I believe we all are) part of the Quick Reaction Force. Army Segway to my next point.

Some of these people whom I describe as the perpetual standby Christians, often quote this to me, "Be still and know that I am God..." Psalms 46:10a. And as I stated before, there is a time and a place for everything (Ecclesiastes 3). But sometimes I believe that people use the Word as an excuse- in this context an excuse for impotence derived from fear. 

If you look at the preceding verses in the text, "Come see what the Lord has done, the desolations he has brought on the earth. He makes wars cease, to the ends of the earth. He breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the shields with fire. Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalms 46:8-10.

There IS a war going on, the battle is ensuing, and the author is close enough to the battle to witness and attest to the armory to which he is being threatened with. He is ON the battlefield, not at basecamp. There has to be a war being waged in order for the Lord to make it cease- there must be a bow in use to be broken, and a spear in play to be shattered (both offensive weapons). 

The author is doing everything in his power in the natural- and God is telling him "Watch me make up where you are lacking." This is further confirmed in the New Testament "And He said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness" 2 Cor. 12:9.

If God has told you to wait- by all means, standby. But for me, I have to filter my thoughts and feelings through the Word of God and the lusts of my flesh. Am I simply afraid, looking for a scapegoat, grasping at straws? If so, I need to grab a fresh can of AMATS and take the battle to the enemy. God never called me to live a life of comfort, but rather...

"Then he said to them all: 'Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.'" Luke 9:23

#PxD #rakchazakamats #soulcon

 

 

Storm Tracker: Redefining Success

Redefining Success

 

George Shafer, Founder/Program Director

S.T.O.R.M., INC.

Expectations.

I find that I have high expectations for myself. I have high expectations of the people around me- because I have high expectations of myself. I'm learning that holding others to a standard that I create is a practice in insanity. I have not communicated my expectations of others. Why? Because that would be an awkward conversation for one. "Hey bro, I expect you to perform all of your duties in a military manner, as if you were doing them for God." I'm not sure that would go over well.

Secondly, I find that what I feel is important, may not necessarily be important to the next person. Which, in my logical brain, just doesn't compute. Why wouldn't you want to leave your desk at the end of the day with everything dress right dress at a right angle? (Yes, I'm seeing who I really am by reading this back to myself) To me, I get a certain satisfaction in the morning when I come in and my desk is ready for battle. But I'm starting to see that it's not that these things aren't important to others, it may be that they have other things going on in life that has a higher priority for now.

This is what I'm trying to employ in recovery ministry. In speaking with a number of experts in the field, we all have a few things in common. Most of us just want to slap a person into sobriety. We are on the other side, and now cannot imagine living in the empty shell of addiction. So, in our passion to alleviate this affliction in others, it's difficult to watch someone go back to their bondage time and time again. I don't feel as though we are negating the level of difficulty that is involved in recovery- but the value of being on the other side is complete and total freedom we have found in the Jesus.

"So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed." John 8:36

I believe that the Word of God is Spirit breathed and infallible- and this rings true whether we are discussing finances, marriage, parenthood, or addiction. When we are set free, we truly are free indeed. I believe that we are set free over and over. But most of the time we are quick to pick up the chains we were once bound with and secure them with a brand new locking mechanism. We walk right back into the prison doors, then cry out to God, shaking our fists, wondering how He could do this us yet again. Doubting the redemptive power of the Cross.

But here's the deal. God never called us to be stagnant or impotent in any facet of our walk here on earth. Matthew 7:7 says, "...knock, and the door will be opened." 

Nowhere did I see that God said he was going to take the door off of it's hinges and bring it to me on the couch. We at least have to make it to the front porch.

So, how am I redefining success today? Well, I'm not going to allow myself to get frustrated when people aren't ready to fully commit to a new life in recovery and/or Christ. I will help them take the next step. Maybe just a couple of inches closer. I have to remember that "progress by degrees" is what helped me eat this elephant of restoration.

We take one step closer to Christ each day- not one giant leap to the Cross.

-G