If I ascend up into heaven, thou [art] there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou [art there].
Have you ever been stressed? Well, that is a silly question for most of you… of course you have from time to time. You have families to take care, you have schedules to keep, bills to pay, plans to make, etc. Stress is a part of your make up. But… is that from God? I think you know the answer, but just in case, "Stress is not from God."
Why do you think we have stress, anxiety, fear or worry?
Because we Departmentalize God.
Have you ever found yourself saying, "Boy, I've gotten off track somewhere." And you can't figure out what went wrong? You've been feeling "bad" and even guilty and not know why. I can tell you it's because you departmentalized God.
Let me share a story to explain what I mean.
I went on a 2 day trip with my mom and 3 sisters to Reno, Nevada for Hot August Nights. For those of you who don't know what that is, it's where old vehicles rally there for a big car show. It's set in a 50's environment with that old music, dance hop, etc. I've never been to one before and this was also a chance to visit with my family.
I took God everywhere I went, even when I sat down at a slot machine. I took Him in the bathroom with me and outside to look at the old cars. And do you know what I discovered even when I knew being in the casino wasn't the place I was supposed to be? I still took God with me. What happened was short of a miracle. Since I brought Him IN those areas, He let me see those things through His eyes. Instead of putting the money in the machines, I noticed hurting and sad people all around me. They're all looking for that big jackpot to end all their problems. But these were ordinary people. Many looked like they were spending their food money or bill money. I wandered around and even took time to say hello to a few that were alone and sad. Even though I knew that I wasn't to be in the casinos, I still took God with me. The Bible says that even though I make my bed in hell, He is there.
I used to think if I left God at the front door, that's where He stayed, and I would be okay to go in. But the truth was I became guilt ridden the whole time I was in there. But this time I noticed I wasn't feeling guilty or shameful at all. I went in there and took God with me, He let me see the situation through His eyes and when He did this, I found myself staying outside or in my room. I didn't feel any guilt at all, only His love, peace and His joy. He didn't judge me or condemn me, He loved me "through" it.
I used to departmentalize God based on what was going on. For instance, when I went to work, I left God outside the door. What I mean is that I wouldn't "think" of Him once during my work day. I would get so wrapped up in my work that I wouldn't even acknowledge Him in it. Then when I would leave to go home, I would pick back up with Him from the morning. Of course, you and I know, God was with me all the time, the issue was that I didn't "acknowledge" Him being there so to me He wasn't.
I just thought He was there waiting for me and we'd drive off together. I departmentalized God and now I know those times I didn't take Him into my job with me, things weren't so peaceful. The joy of the Lord wasn't there and I began disliking my job and what I was doing. I couldn't wait to get out of there every day, and looked forward to weekends, and dreaded Sunday's because work was just around the corner.
If I took God in my job with me "acknowledging Him in ALL my ways" I do believe things would have been better. I did take Him in the last few years before I retired because I finally saw what I was doing. Because you and I know, He was there all the time. It's that I didn't acknowledge He was there that my puny little mind assuming He wasn't. And the Bible says, "Whatever you believe, so let it be done to you." If I didn't believe God was there at my job, then He wasn't. If I believed God was there, then I would see things Him in everything I did.
Other areas that I departmentalized God in was in shopping. I would go shopping and need specific things, but found everything on my own. I would get so frustrated, exasperated with people, impatient, and angry realizing now it was those times I left God out of that moment. I would have Him in some moments, especially when I would spent time in my chair reading the Bible. But I now know I can have Him even if I'm not sitting in my chair; like ironing or cleaning my house. I would say, "When I get done with this laundry I'll read the Bible." But the truth is, I can spend time with God WHILE doing my laundry. If we don't departmentalize God, then we won't have that yo yo effect in life nor get off the beaten trail. The result would be developing a constancy that cannot be moved when something hard comes your way. You don't have to seek God for hours and hours to hear your prayer because you never let up praying. The Bible says to pray without ceasing. What does that mean? Simply acknowledging God in all your ways!
So next time you have a list of things to accomplish, put God after every item to remind you that He wants to go with you, no matter where you go! He's there any way, you might as well acknowledge Him. I found something even more amazing. I remember watching a move called "Armegeddon" with Bruce Willis. They were tasked to go to a meteor and plant an explosive device inside the center of it so that when it explodes it would destroy it into a million pieces. But if they didn't get it deep within the core of the comet, it wouldn't even phase it. The Lord showed me this same thing in my life. If I take Him into those places where I would normally not acknowledge Him, He is going to expose the truth to me from the inside out. And that's what we want. We want all those things we try to keep from God brought out into the light. He can only do this if we let Him in those areas we "think" He doesn't see or want to be; deep down inside.
If this describes your life, if you are hiding parts of your heart from God thinking it's too hard to face, too embarrassing or not important, or it's sin you cannot face, or if you leave God at the door when you go someplace you really shouldn't be, then I want to pray for you.
See, no matter what you think you have done that may have caused you to get off track a bit, remember, Jesus paid for it all. He is the restorer. But if you don't go to Him, how can He restore? Be restored dear Saints. Go to Him with everything, and in everything, and while doing everything, then and only then will you truly understand the relationship He wants with you. This relationship of "knowing God" is really "knowing His heart." That's what we all desire, and that's what we all yearn for. Knowing His heart means He loves you no matter what! You cannot earn it, you cannot even stop it, God is love, He can do no other.
If you want to get off the "rabbit trail" you may have been on, or running from something within your heart you don't want to see, I want to pray for you.
"Father, when we make our bed in hell you are there, when we live on this planet, you are there, no matter where we are, you are there. Help us to remember you IN ALL OUR WAYS, so that you can direct our paths. Let us not be afraid to take you with us even when we go where we shouldn't. I ask you to help us see our hearts clearly at these times and see what you see so that it will set us free and help us make good decisions where we go. Help us to run to you with our issues, or disappointments, our anger, our confusion, our questions, our relationships with others and be completely honest with you, after all, you are in there too. You see it, so why do we think we are hiding anything. Let everything be exposed Father that is not of you. Remove what is not of you and replace it with more of You. I confess all fear, dread, doubt and unbelief. I confess my sins of __________________ (name them) and ask for your forgiveness. I ask for you to heal my broken heart. I thank you for restoring me to you, myself and others as we continue to walk out this life time together. In Jesus name, Amen."
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