Friday, March 28, 2014

What About Me?

It was an early Friday afternoon that Maria had agreed to meet me for lunch.  At that time she was my closest friend and happened to be a teacher.

Eager to talk to my friend about some problems I was sure to get to the restaurant early. By the time Maria arrived I was already nestled in a booth with a cup of tea.

We said our hellos and informal chit-chat while waiting for the waitress.  A few minutes later our order was placed.  Not wanting to waste time or beat around the bush I started sharing my plight to my colleague.  Maria seemed a bit impatient, but that was her nature, so I didn’t give it much thought. 
Just as I was really getting into my problem she leaned forward looking straight into my eyes, and with an open palm, firmly slammed her hand on the table and said, 

"Yeah, but what about me!

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What about you?  What about me!
Frankly I was flabbergasted and didn’t have a clue as to what she meant by her statement. 
Maria knew I had asked her to lunch to discuss a matter I needed to work out, but something more important to her was about to be handed to me on a platter.
For the next hour I sat there listening to her story and we never talked about my dilemma.   When she was done using me as a sounding board (and I’m OK with that), Maria popped out of her seat and said she had to go. 

To this day she never asked what I needed to talk about at that luncheon, and I didn’t tell her either.  As a matter of fact, that lunch changed my life and I’m glad I never finished what I set out to in my conversation with my teammate.
I was quite shy about speaking my peace back then … funny how time changes that.  There were several things I learned about myself that day.  The first thing is that “me” was the focus of my life and I didn’t realize it.

Another thing I learned is that our conversation stirred up a gift the Lord gave me that wasn’t cultivated.  It changed my career.
Our first Daffodil of the season!
During my study time throughout the week, I had to be extremely still to hear from the Lord.  I mean more so than usual, because I was a little restless.

Last week’s "Language" lesson should have included a step of silence I think, at least that’s what I learned.  I don’t know how things were with you, but spring fever is trying to bud in me and I don’t want to do anything else. 

My Words, My Mouth

In order for me to quiet my spirit I need to purposely divert my attention.  It’s easy for me to do this in teaching a class or with a client, but doing it myself takes work.

I heard someone on the radio make mention of the verse Psalm 19:14 and decided to look it up for myself.   When I read the Bible I ask God to give me revelation of what He wants me to know about Him through that scripture and how it applies to me.
After reading it, I knew it was God who directed me to that scripture.  He was trying to lead me into tying all the things we’ve been studying together.

It’s a wonderful passage that helped me gain knowledge and wisdom for the week.  Let me share it with you and see if you don’t feel the same way as I did.
“May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (from Psalm 19:14 NLT)

My Words, My Heart
We can see that God wants us to know Him and have a revelation of who He is through His Word.  It comes to life here. 
Do you realize that if God didn’t reveal Himself to us in some way we couldn’t know Him. (from 3/14/14 post)
That’s why we have all creation demonstrating His Divine Being, power and awesomeness.  We would be without hope if God never showed Himself in some way.

Focusing on God confirms how precious salvation is and the power of the cross.  It shows that God cares for us when He answers prayers, delivers His children and bestows favor for faithfulness.

His presence is always there, willing to help, save and set the captive free.  Oh how we need to praise God for all He is and will always be yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8 NKJV)

Getting to know Jesus requires that I make a decision to let the “me” part, move behind God.  When I do that, Jesus becomes larger and my problems become very small.  The greater part that is in me, Jesus, takes over and is able to work things out the way God intended.  Peace comes as I wait for the goodness of the Lord to prevail in my circumstance. (1 John 4:4 NKJV)  Read (Ephesians 2:4, but read 1-10)

“For I (God) know the thoughts that I think toward you, says the LORD, thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope.” (Jeremiah 29:11 NKJV)
Sitting in that restaurant that day didn’t solve my problem, but when I left there I realized it wasn’t as big as I thought compared to all the stuff Maria was going through. 

She didn’t have the answers either, but looked to me for guidance in her time of need.  It wasn’t her intent to be rude or come across uncaring; she needed help right then and there.

Seriously, isn’t it about me? 
Have you ever heard the song, “It’s all about me, Jesus?” No, of course you haven't.  That’s not the way the song goes … "It's all about You, Jesus."

Our journey isn’t taking us to the cross, but beyond it – to the victory part of it.  Jesus had to go to the cross to conquer it, and He did … that’s what we need to remember. 

God allowed me to go through a type of Babylon so I could get to the Promised land.  Mediating on the Word of God gave me the strength to make the journey once I took my focus off of “me” and surrendered to His ways.

Getting rid of selfish thoughts and feelings kept me going round and round, casting down imaginations from my mind.  They weren’t all necessarily bad, but dwelling on “What about me?” interrupted my meditation on the Lord.

I know some of you have been dealing with the same thing and even as far as having awful nightmares and dreams.  Everything you are attempting to do in drawing close to God, satan is trying to undo.  We have to recognize this and not give in to those thoughts and lies that will sweep us off the pathway to purpose.
No one can have two thoughts at the same time, and trying to prepare for this week’s post would bring me through the testing field.  It always does if you really want to make changes in your life.  The main thing is to identify what they are early on so we don't get dragged into defeat by the devil.

Upside Down Thoughts
But I love my new pan!
In my writing I often do reviews of things such as recipes.  I make it a point to try them and formulate my own recipe.  There was one for pineapple upside down cake that I saw on Facebook and wanted to try.

To make a long story short, I made my recipe and all was going well … that is until I went to put the pan in the oven.  It didn’t fit.  The larger muffin tray was too big for my toaster oven. 
Now you may think it strange, but being a vegetarian doesn’t call for a lot of baking, so my oven is a large toaster oven.  I don’t think I’ve ever been without one actually.

The really ridiculous thing is that I measured my small toaster oven and knew it wouldn’t fit, but didn’t give the larger one a thought at all.  What was I going to do?
I'm not going to reveal the final product yet :)
We had a few choices:  Go ask the neighbors if we could use their oven, scrap the recipe (of course that wasn’t really an option) or go buy something else. 

My husband opted for the latter, but I told him we already had the largest one the store carried.

I could feel tension trying to mount and surprised myself on how I responded to the situation.  No big deal, it’s not going to cause me to focus on something else, like myself.  (Remember I’d been practicing what I was about to share with you.) You’d be surprised how quickly everything turns into a “you” or should I say “me” thing.
It might not seem like a big issue, but could have been if I let it and then that cake wouldn’t have been the only thing upside down.  I had a choice to make and it needed to be one that pleased God.

You see, the devil watches us get upset over the little things so when the big things come we’re already out of sorts.  He was waiting to see how I would react.
Although it took me a few extra hours, I started all over and made a new creation.  Actually, I think it was the better solution anyway and would make preparing this in the future a bit easier. (Don’t worry, I’ll get the recipe posted.)

Out of the first batch only two turned out looking nice, and we gave one of them away.  The messed up version became a tester’s recipe where my husband took it to work for all to try.  Come to think of it I never heard if they “liked it” as in “it was good” or they “loved it” meaning we want this again!  Hmm.

Say what? You need a lawyer!
Sure enough we came into a situation that stemmed back twenty plus years ago over a legal item for a deceased relative.  It was a mess, but instead of getting upset we prayed and believed God’s favor would shine on us to handle it. 

Throughout the night I prayed and reminded God of His Word, along with making a point that this was not our problem.
We were instructed to get a lawyer, but my husband insisted there was no need for one.  This was not a legal matter, but simple paperwork that had already gone through the courts. He went online and got information that satisfied everyone.  God’s Word prevailed as He changed the hearts of man to favor His child(ren).

What I’ve come to know is that “What about me?” isn’t always wrong, but focusing on “me” is where I can get off the path when it comes to following the Lord.
When we only think on self it keeps God’s favor from manifesting in our lives.  That is exactly the opposite of what we want or need, so how do we stop it from happening?

This Week’s Challenge:
Move from me to meditation.
Scripture points out that if we are to gain ground in anything we have to meditate on the Word of God to have success. (Joshua 1:1-9 NKJ) 

Our new approach (A.N.A.) is going to be, instead of indulging in self-pity, think on what God can do to change a situation.  That alone could keep us busy in wonder! Then see how you can apply that information.
Next, as soon as your mind tries to focus on destructive thoughts, think of a verse that will counteract it with a promise of God’s.  This is where your meditation comes into play.  Only you know what you are dealing with, so you are the one who has to do the research to meditate on good things and not the negative.

Last, stop living by your situation and live your revelation!  Read that again …
Stop living by your situation
and live your revelation! 

Mediation will bring revelation from the Lord in every area if you focus on God and not the problem.  In other words, He not me!
Remember, the larger you make Jesus, the smaller your problem seems to you. 

The greatest knowledge revelation I received this week was this (forgive the lack of correct grammar to make my point):
If I focus on “me” it will lead to a “mess.”

However, if I redirected the mess that “me” made into “meditation” of the Word, there is always a message at the end of the mess. 

That being, the mess – age will end. Isn’t that cool?

“May the words of my mouth and the mediation of my heart be pleasing to you, O LORD, my Rock and my Redeemer.” (Psalm 19:14 NLT)
When I meditate on the message, me is overtaken and becomes small – the least of these (only two little letters).  Then my heart is in the right place and it pleases the Lord.  That’s bound to bring results.
“What about me?” becomes “What about the message that I’ve meditated on” concerning the problem.  “Me” is still in there, but it’s a very small part of the Divine plan. 

That doesn't mean I'm not important, but that God's way will get me to where I want to be and that will certainly make "me" happy.

Message in the Mess
No matter what you may be experiencing, there is a message in the mess and the outcome will be to bring glory to the Lord. 

We can see what satan is doing by the mess, but Jesus is Rock over all the ages!

Don’t forget God is doing the invisible that will soon be manifested if you stay in faith. 

The Lord is allowing this brief “mess” so you may know and come to trust Him unconditionally. (Study Philippians chapter 3)
It’s all about Jesus and how much He loves you.  What about you? God knows all about you and is working things out for your good.  Meditate on that as you enjoy the goodness of His favor through His creation.

There’s a message in this mess and it’s not about me or you!
It’s all about You Jesus, the center of our focus and MEDITATION.

It's All About You (Jesus)

Until next time, there is favor beyond the mess.


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