Like a Glove

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Do you remember report card day? Oh my, how I feared that day. As a kid, I never really knew whether my teacher was going to write something on my report card that would damn me in the eyes of my parents. As I look back now, I realize this was a bit ridiculous because I was a good kid. But back then, I didn’t really know this fact. I tried to be good, but all would be revealed when I handed that report card to my parents at the end of the day.

As difficult as that was, it afforded me some comforts, receiving this piece of paper that listed, in black and white, how I was doing, not only in my academics but also in my social life. By the way, that social thing is what got me into trouble! You see, I liked to talk back then, and that got me into plenty of “discussions” as a child, not with my peers which I loved, but with my parents.

“If you don’t settle down and stop talking, your teacher and I are going to have a serious talk about what to do with you!” my father would threaten. It might have been easier if my fellow classmates didn’t think I was so funny! Yep, I was runner up for the funniest female in my high school class, a fact I thought was just wonderful. Unfortunately, my parents didn’t agree with this achievement of mine!

OK, so back to report cards. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if God handed out report cards periodically, reporting to us how we were doing in subjects such as evangelism, healing the sick, loving others, and so on? Some days I would welcome such reporting. Other days, it might be just as anxiety inducing as it was back in my childhood.

“What is it you want me to doLord? I’d love for you to tell me, unequivocally, what exactly it is you created me for.” I wanted to know about purpose, why I had been created in the first place. This question, this one question used to haunt me; what exactlydid God expect of me during this time on earth?

A few years ago, I heard a sermon about Gideon and a one-word definition completely changed how I looked at my question about purpose. It can all be summed up in Judges 6:34: “But the Spirit of the LORD came upon Gideon…” Came. The original word in the Hebrew is labesh, pronounced law-bash. That word, came, is repeated a number of times in the Bible. But it is only here (I did not do an exhaustive search of the term “came upon,” however I did follow quite a number of scripture references) that this term is used to describe what happened to Gideon.

Gideon had been learning a strong lesson about God, the God of the universe as opposed to the god of Baal. You can read about this in Judges 6. Gideon was instructed by an angel of the Lord and he responded by doing exactly as he was told. There was a submission described in this section of Scripture, whereby Gideon did what he was told and in doing so, something quite extraordinary occurred.

‘Came’ in this verse means to clothe. The Spirt of the Lord “clothed” Gideon, put him on like a garment. In the sermon I heard, this act was described as, “in other words, the Lord put Gideon on like a glove!” Wow! In an act of total obedience, Gideon allowed himself to be fully and completely used of God. There were no conditionals here; Gideon submitted himself completely over to God.

I don’t even remember when I heard this sermon, but it has forever changed how I view God and myself. “What do you want me to do Lord,” has changed to, “Lord, I want to be like a glove.” I believe, the Father is looking for those of us who want to do what He desires in any given situation. Do I always make it? Sadly, no. But I believe it is a thing to aspire to, to allow my Father in heaven to put me on like a glove and do as He would do.

My purpose? While I know God created me before the foundations of the world (see Ephesians 1) and He gave me unique looks, qualities, gifts and talents, I believe He wants me to beHis hands and feet in a world dying for meaning. He is God and I cannot pretend to know His purposes in and for this world. But I believe He needs our help. We are His hands and feet when we speak the truth of the Gospel, bringing others into Kingdom life. We are His hands and feet when we proclaim healing and other miracles of Kingdom in faith. We are His hands and feet…

I desire for my Father in heaven to be able to put me on like a glove. In doing so, I am blessed when someone else is blessed at His hand. I am blessed when He heals. I am blessed when He provides. I am blessed when He speaks. I am blessed when He brings about a miracle. I am blessed when I am obedient!

Lord, make me like a glove… Share in the comments how you are affected by this statement. Oh, and I’d love to hear your testimonies of moments when you allowed our Father to put you on like a glove. It’s a good thing, this being a glove!

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Through the Open Door

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Consider this photo. It’s a bit silly and whimsical, this door in the middle of a field. It is possible to completely avoid the door, to simply step around the post and continue walking into the expanse beyond.

There have been times in my past when presented with just such choices I would have gone around. An old rebellious nature in me would cause me to see constraints as suspicious and therefore to be avoided.

I recently came upon a piece I’d written about two years ago and it too was about open doors. At the time I was feeling frustrated because something in me sensed a new opportunity (an opening door) and yet it was stubbornly hiding itself or otherwise remaining closed to me. It’s a feeling I’m quite familiar with and it has caused me no end of grief.

You see, when faced with such blockades, these times often cause impatience (and impetuousness follows close behind), causing me to go around the doorpost and on into a future I felt quite capable of managing on my own. I’m positive God isn’t happy with this behavior.

The value in journaling or otherwise writing down your journey can show you important pieces of yourself. This old piece I’d written showed me, loud and clear, how I wasn’t waiting on God. Today, with a clearer eye, I see what He was doing. Unfortunately, we don’t have the benefit of hindsight when we’re faced with the decisions of life now.

“Behold, I am doing a new thing; now it springs forth, do you not perceive it? I will make a way in the wilderness and rivers in the desert.”  Isaiah 43:19 (ESV)

Many years ago, a friend gave me this verse as part of a prophetic word. It was so appropriate at that time, a much needed promise to give me hope for my future. I just looked up the root meanings of the main words in this verse and found a new revelation. I just love it when Papa gives me the gift of new meaning, fresh from His Word!

The root meaning of “spring forth” is samah. It means to sprout, to bring to bud. What I saw for the first time is this: bring to bud means to me that this is another of those “process” things. The verse doesn’t say the new thing is new now; it says, in the original language, that the new thing has begun, is set forth as a bud. Buds aren’t the finished product, it’s just the beginning of what will become a beautiful new flower. It must go through the process of growth to “finish” to maturity.

I see a new meaning to open doors in my life. Like this photo, they are placed there as a promise to me that something new is sprouting up, a new opportunity, perhaps  to grow into that which I’ve been hoping for. If it’s a open door from God it is an invitation to enter in. Funny, that once you go through the door, again just like this photograph, the field looks pretty much the same as if I’d walked around the doorpost. The only difference is one of submission and obedience; I’m choosing to go through the open door that God has placed in front of me and now I will patiently wait for Him to bring the bud to flower, allowing God to be in control and not me. Once through the doorway, things look pretty much like life as normal. It is only in the waiting patiently that things which originally looked familiar will transform into something new and amazing, sent from a loving Father! 

What about you? How do you handle those periods in your life when you are chomping to go forward and yet, everything today indicates you are to go nowhere any time soon? I’d love to hear how you keep from charging around the open door.

I want to encourage you to go through the open door! That bud is going to be beautiful…in its own way, in its own time!