No! Don’t Pray For Patience!

I can remember in the 80’s being a part of an amazing small group ministry and one of the jokes was: you never pray for patience. The thought was that if you did, you were asking for trouble. I can remember times praying in a circle and someone would mention the P word and everyone would start saying, “NO! Don’t pray for patience. Anything but patience.!” We would all laugh and then go back into the seriousness of our prayer time totally avoiding that word at all costs.

Looking back on those times and the prayers of today, I think we do a disservice to those we don’t pray for patience for and ourselves. The definition of patience is the capacity to accept or tolerate delay, trouble, or suffering without getting angry or upset.

We’ve been looking at this all wrong. We aren’t exactly asking for troubles or trials to come or even for God to test us, we are preparing ourselves to be overcomers before they come. The scriptures are very clear that we are going to have trials and tribulations. We are preparing our hearts to accept the lessons we will be learning in the School of Hard Times. And we are asking God to help us accept these things without getting angry and upset. Could you imagine what being in traffic would look like if we applied this prayer to our life?

I don’t know about you but almost every time, and I am not kidding, that I go shopping, I pick the slowest line to stand in. I always tell those I am with that they might want to go stand in a different line because no matter where I go someone has a problem ahead of me. Getting angry doesn’t change things. It would just make me look like the foolish one. So I bring my phone and play a game in line lol. I have learned the art of patience at the School of Line Standing!

James 1:2-4Amplified Bible (AMP)

Consider it nothing but joy, my brothers and sisters, whenever you fall into various trials. Be assured that the testing of your faith [through experience] produces endurance [leading to spiritual maturity, and inner peace]. And let endurance have its perfect result and do a thorough work, so that you may be perfect and completely developed [in your faith], lacking in nothing.

I’m reading this book called 31 Days of Healing and the author says, “You see, tests and trials don’t perfect you. It what’s you do with them that counts.”

Maybe we need to rethink this a bit. If patience is going to mature me, give me peace and completely develop my faith, shouldn’t we be saying, “And you’re doing this why Lord?” The word says in other versions to count it all joy…..did you catch the word ALL? That one kind of hurts a little bit. The Lord knows we are going to have pain and sorrow but this scripture is telling us to look ahead and not to stay stuck in the pain.

One of the meanings of the word joy is calm delight. So we don’t have to jump up and down when we are experiencing hard times. But we can calmly delight in the fact that God’s plans are not to harm us but prosper us, to give us hope and a future. (Jer 29:11)

So the next time you hear someone say, “Don’t pray for patience!” Ask them if they would like to be angry and mad or calmly delighting in their next trial.

Puffy Knowledge

I’m sure we all know those people who have incredible knowledge and speak right over our heads. Sometimes I just want to say, “Hey can you speak more in a language I understand!” It drives me crazy. I want to have this great convo with this person and I only understand three or four words per sentence. I think we need an app for understanding brainiacs or a book called Conversations for Dummies.

If the knowledge we possess isn’t building up others. It’s time to check our motives. Knowing more is an opportunity to love more. Knowing God well should always translate into loving others well. Lisa Bevere, Adamant

1 Corinthians 8:1 English Standard Version  ……..we know that “all of us possess knowledge.” This “knowledge” puffs up, but love builds up.

In their defense, there are those who hang around with the same people who have that same level of knowledge, so that’s just their normal language and they forget to dummy down when they come around people who are normal like me. Ok, I just saw that look of surprise on your face. Don’t judge me……… especially if you think you’re normal.

But………………..then there are those who do it just for show so they can look like they are language gods. Those are the ones who make me crazy. Just saying.

But am I truly justified here in my thinking if I do the same thing with the superior knowledge I may have in a subject or with a gift God has given me? Do you? Do I make people look small so I can look big?

Our whole purpose in life is finding Jesus and when we find Him it’s to love and serve others. We love God so we can love people. Luke 10:27 The man answered, “‘You must love the LORD your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your strength, and all your mind.’ And, ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.'” NLT

Everything we say or do should be motivated by our love for God, ourselves and others. We glorify God and build up the ones we love or He loves….and even the ones hard to love.

My hope and goal is to not lord it over someone that I know more or am better than them. When I share with someone my whole motivation is to point them to God and show His love. I share my knowledge or passion because I want to give them something that propels them forward in their walk or journey with the Lord…………….or it should be!

I teach a 4 step class on Sunday mornings at our church and one of my favorite classes is the Spiritual Gifts and Temperament Class. I had 6+ years of training in Temperament Theory and Therapy so I absolutely love sharing the things I know with my students. Seeing the moment that light bulb comes on in someone’s mind and they start relating and when you see that incredible joy on their face, well. that is what drives me to do what I do.

One of the spiritual gifts that God seems to have permanently given to me (we all know that the Spirit gives as He wills.) is the gift of encouragement. So everything I do I do through that gift. But without loving those people who walk through that door, and I do, my words could fall on deaf ears. My gift is not teaching but when I am motivated by love and I teach with encouragement, I look like a teacher.

My encouraging words to you today are: use the gifts and knowledge that God has given you to change your sphere of influence whether it’s in your home, workplace, church, family or neighborhood and let everything be motivated by love.

 

The Dream

The very first morning of my fast, I had a dream. This dream was so intense for me that I woke up with a stiff neck and migraine. This happens quite often when I have those dreams that really stand out and I know it’s from the Lord, not the pain lol the dream.

The Dream: There was a battle going on between Christians and the world. I was looking at this mansion-like white house where people were being brought who had been injured in the world. Everything was white! The Christians were in white clothing and there was an injured person on a white stretcher in the middle of the floor and the injured person had a white sheet over them. The people in white were gathered around and helping this person. I knew that this place was set up to help the wounded.

I don’t remember going into the house but I found myself on a different level of that house. I was observing everything going on around me and all I could think of is why weren’t these people protecting themselves. It was like they were so busy taking in the wounded that they couldn’t see the open doors and windows they had left open. I was really disturbed by it. The house was completely open. As I was standing there a person in dark (I think it was brown with plaid) street clothes walked in and I knew immediately he was evil but he was just standing there and I was standing there staring at him and thinking: this is what I mean: this place is not protected and then I woke up.

I had forgotten the dream because the migraine had my full attention and like I said in the previous blog, I fell asleep and slept half my day away. It wasn’t until Greg and I were talking about life that I remembered this dream. And now it just sticks with me. Kind of like my dogs: stuck to me like glue. The only puzzling aspects of this dream was the brown and plaid. I usually see evil in my dreams as dark and wearing black.  So this was different. He reminded me of a mafia man.

I have no idea why the man was there but he had no weapon that I could see. The house I’m not sure of where this house is located but I think the dream speaks for itself. And that is where I have focused the praying part of this fasting and praying!!

Anyway that was my dream.

Day two of my fast. It seems that the Lord is inputting things into me in the wee hours of the morning. I read and pray all day but it’s not til like 1am that He gives me these amazing nuggets to think about. I’m reading a book called Adamant and it’s been hard to get into and several times I have just wanted to put it down and forget it but God kept prompting me to finish what I started. That’s a whole other story. I finally got to chapter five and the nuggets have been very thought-provoking. Let me leave you with one from the book:

Discernment begins with first tending the soil of our hearts. When we speak, we need to ask ourselves some hard questions, “Am I speaking out of a place of love, or do I want to be seen and heard?” Lisa Bevere

The Mountain In My Life

He’ll show us the way he works so we can live the way we’re made. Let me say that again more slowly He’ll   show   us   the   way   He   works   so   we   can   live   the   way  we’re   made.

At 1:00 this morning God reminded me of this scripture. I had been reading in 2 Kings and then I picked up a book I was reading and the author mentioned this scripture and it just stopped me in my tracks and I kept repeating it over and over as if it were the first time I was seeing it! I must have sat on my couch in the silence for an hour applying that scripture to everything that was going on in my life the last 4 or 5 months.

So let me backtrack a little. I think the word for me has been “loss”. I’ve been suffering a lot with that…loss of my dog, loss of my dreams and visions, lost of physical well-being, loss of weight……..oh wait that’s a good one...there are more but I don’t want to get into the woe is me trap.

A friend of mine told me that I would find intimacy with God through my suffering. That I was facing a mountain (of God) that I would either speak to, climb up or go around. My first inclination was to speak to it and tell it to go away. Sigh…that didn’t happen. Pretty sure God wasn’t gonna let me desire to go around it. He definitely would let me make the choice but I have chosen to climb it instead!

Isaiah 2 1-5 The Message Isaiah got regarding Judah and Jerusalem

There’s a day coming
    when the mountain of God’s House
Will be The Mountain—
    solid, towering over all mountains.
All nations will river toward it,
    people from all over set out for it.
They’ll say, “Come,
    let’s climb God’s Mountain,
    go to the House of the God of Jacob.
He’ll show us the way he works
    so we can live the way we’re made.”

With everything I have been going through, I’ve been dealing with a little depression but fortunately not living there. For about a week now I have been feeling God prompting me to fast and pray for everything and so yesterday was my first day and it didn’t quite start off the way I thought it would.

When I woke up I woke from a very intense dream When these dreams come, they are so intense that I wake up with a stiff neck and migraine. My whole focus was on the pain I was in that I forgot the dream til later that night. Hubby and I were discussing some issues we are dealing with and the dream popped back into my head. I will prolly share that dream in the next blog. But what I realized is that God was already honoring my fast and speaking to me. I just love when He does that! Just confirms that I was supposed to do this fast and even in my pain I am still hearing His voice.

I ended up taking some muscle relaxers because my neck was so stiff I couldn’t move and even swallowing was hard. I sat down on the couch ready to read, pray and worship and fell asleep. I couldn’t even keep my eyes open if I wanted to. I slept til 5:00. I lost my whole day but I go days with only 4 or 5 hours of sleep, so I guess my body really needed the rest. That’s why He spoke at 1 in the morning hahahahah.

I’ve moved from regretting the mountain to putting on my hiking gear and wanting to climb it. I want Him to show me how He works so I can live the way I was made. Fasting and prayer give me joy in the journey!! I am seeking to hear more from my father and with every step, I am asking, “What can I learn from what’s going on all around me.” I’m praying for wisdom to speak life into all the things that have felt like death and that He would help me to share what I have learned to help other’s deal with their mountains or at least to encourage them to want to climb it!!