“We seldom realize fully that we are sent to fulfill God-given tasks. We act as if we were simply dropped down in creation and have to decide to entertain ourselves until we die. But we were sent into the world by God, just as Jesus was. Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.”
Henri J.M. Nouwen
Do you know? Do I know? Is this true?
29 thoughts on “Quote to ponder”
In Jeremiah 29:11, there is a thrilling passage of Scripture that says, “For I know the thoughts and plans that I have for you, says the Lord, thoughts and plans for welfare and peace and not for evil, to give you hope in your final outcome.” (AMP)
God already has a plan and a purpose for every living soul on earth from the beginning of creation till time is no more.
But what is it, Sara asks. Some of us know through prayer, trial and error and reproof and recovery. Others are still seeking it. Moses felt the call of great leadership early in his life but tried to do it in his own strength and he sinned grievously. Thank God for His mercy.
Some of us feel the certain calling or anointing of the Lord but we don’t know how to effect it or how to implement it, or we go about it in the wrong way, in the wrong milieu or minister to the wrong segment of society. For example, we are called to feed the poor. But who will minister to the rich….those “CAMELS” who will not fit through the ‘eye of a needle.?’ Are some called to that ministry? It is thrilling to find your “sweet spot” as Bruce Wilkinson says. That’s the place where you know that you know that God has called you and you are a star for the Lord in that calling.
Read with me the footnotes for verse 26, in chapter 1 of Genesis. “”In what ways are we made in God’s image? God obviously did not create us exactly like himself because God has no physical body. Instead, we are reflections of God’s glory. Some feel that our reason, creativity, speech, or self-determination is the image of God. More likely, it is our entire self that reflects the image of God. We will never be totally like God because he is our supreme Creator. But we do have the ability to reflect his character in our love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness. Knowing that we are made in God’s image and thus share many of his characteristics provides a solid basis for self-worth. Human worth is not based on possessions, achievements, physical attractiveness, or public acclaim. Instead, it is based on being made in God’s image. Because we bear God’s image, we can feel positive about ourselves. Criticizing or downgrading ourselves is criticizing what God has made and the abilities he has given us. Knowing that you are a person of worth helps you love God, know him personally, and make a valuable contribution to those around you.”
“But we do have the ability to reflect his character in love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness.” I believe this sentence helps to instruct us on part of our “God-given tasks.”
Most interesting…I have the ability to reflect God’s character in love, patience, forgiveness, kindness, and faithfulness….this means I am capable. Now, maybe I just don’t take these virtues seriously. If I were to show these virtues at all times maybe I would know and understand any and all other gifts and sweet spots I might be looking for?????
I do believe we have the ability through the Lord Jesus Christ to manifest all these virtues. However, when soggy old flesh gets in the way it is a deterrent to what the Lord has for us if only we would just tell the flesh to bug off. But some of us don’t want to hurt or upset proud ol’ ego. My, My! What vanity robs us of is such a shame.
And we have discussed this before in our Bible sharing sessions about Adam and Eve’s eating of the fruit of the tree of good and evil because they had been tempted with the promise that they would be like GOD ,if they ate. They were already like God, as much as they could ever be. Needles wrote about this from her notes. They were made in His image, and satan sold them a bill of goods, promising them something they already had. And they did NOT use their spiritual gift of faithfulness but their human reasoning. It was a flesh thing, again.
In one of Beth Moore’s latest books on insecurity she writes “…gifts on a shelf to gather demonic dust.”page 141. I think both Rena and Debi have this book. Maybe the could read this page and shed more light on this subject.
Nouwen in our quote writes, “Once we start living our lives with that conviction, we will soon know what we were sent to do.”
This quote gives me the idea that we have worry, fear, etc.which would create insecurity or rendering us incapable, etc. We know that neither worry or fear is from God. God’s Word is clear that worry will do nothing of value for us. This leaves me to believe that schooling is the answer in most of our issues here. If we were to school ourselves and develop skills that would enable us to let go of negative thoughts and actions, BINGO! Nouwen said it, ‘conviction’, where is it?
“school OURSELVES”……UTTTT OHH!!! We are right back to the responsibility falls on whom??? ourself.
Sara, I’ll get back to you later on Beth Moore’s page once I read it.
Your statement above, ‘we have worry, fear, etc.which would create insecurity or rendering us incapable, etc’, reminded me that in your book “The Four Bees, Finding Your Spiritual Gifts”, Chapter 2, pg 2 of workpage, you asked the readers to: ‘note things that are blocking your gifts, creativity and your authentic self.’ Then you asked, ‘What are the blocks? Do you note any (fear, worry, stress, the unknown, etc?’ You quote Dr Schulze as saying, “Free the blockage and the healing begins immediately’on pg 4 workpage.
So then my understanding is that gifts can be there but laying unused and dormant.
Perhaps one way to ‘school ourselves’ can be found in Sara’s quote from pg 5, Ch 4 “The Four Bees”:
“When you read God’s Word and understand the Word you begin to infuse your mind with saline. You will clean out the unlovely and useless.”
Good thinking, Debi. But, I don’t think Needles like spiritual hospital. Well, who could blame her?
Somwhere in the origin of the word HOSPITAL is the word HOST (Wikipedia & MedTerms .com)
“Hospital” = an institution for health care providing patient treatment by specialized staff ( in earlier days called hosts) and equipment and often, but not always, providing for longer-term patient stays.
Spiritual Hospital might be defined in a similar manner where spiritual and soul health care is provided by a special STAFF, the Lord of Hosts.
Some of us would do well to have our soulish and spiritual problems attended to by the specialized administration of the Spirit of the living God Who has the solution to every spiritual and intellectual, psychological, physiological and biological problem.
Hey MG, do you think we could buy some insurance for this spiritual hospital? I have just been talking with someone going through treatment in a hospital and it is extremely high price. I am thinking how much we pay to have medical treatment for even minor issues. If we would stop and pause and think how much has been paid for our spiritual health we might be surprised.
Back to Sara’s question on pg 141 of Beth’s Moore’s book on insecurity. Although I haven’t read the book yet, I read the page and the context of the quote “…gifts on a shelf to gather demonic dust.” My understanding is that she is saying that insecurity robs you and keeps you from doing things and or using the gifts God gave you to use. The demonic dust part makes me think that it represents inactivity/passivity due to insecurity. If you don’t polish the gifts by using them, they collect dust. And dust is dirty and unhelathy just like the demons that want to keep you trapped and confined in that state while they rob you blind.
Yeah, Sara. I was thinking of that when you mentioned insurance. I think Spiritual Hospital’s is call ASSURANCE, Like in BLessed Assurance. The PRICE is PROHIBITIVE unheard of. it would even make our insurance companies drop their jaws. The price for Spiritual healing and deliverance cannot be assayed…….BUT~~ GOOD NEW> it has already been paid!! “Jesus paid it all. All to Him we owe. Sin had left a crimson stain, He washes white as snow. ” (HYMN)
Thanks Debi for looking up the quote from Beth’s book and giving us a overview of ‘demonic dust’. So, if I am understanding correctly, one must use their gifts to keep them healthy. Insecurity may keep one from using their God given gifts. Yet, from the quote and in general conversation with others and myself it may seem like we don’t have a clue what gifts we have, or even how and when to use them appropriately.
Nouwen says, ‘we seldom realize fully….’. Now that is a lot of blindness and deafness if we are partners with The Holy Spirit. Maybe, we like, businesses, need a merger for survival or advancement.
Maybe some of us need a Spiritual Stimulus package to get back in the swing of Kingdom biusiness?
Sara’s statement, “…if we are partners with the Holy Spirit” drew my attention. I thought about one of Sara’s books, “The Dance of Healing” and ask myself, are we keeping step with our dance partner, The Holy Spirit? He’s the skillful lead. Perhaps this quote from pg 20 will help us take a look.
“I hope we have come to the place that we can see the Harvest that is in our soul. For He is the Lord of the Harvest. (Matt 9:38). I’ll live in you, if you’ll live in Me; I am the Lord of the heart, said He…And I’ll lead you all wherever you may be, and I’ll lead you in the dance, said He.”
Thanks Debi…your comment gives me a mental picture of husband and wife makes a marriage. So does gratitude and attitude make a partnership with Spirit. And, He surely will lead us in the dance!
Glad you mentioned gratitude and attitude.
My understanding, according to your book “The Four Bees of Giftings”, are that these are key factors to getting our gifts up and moving off that shelf.
You speak of them in ‘Lesson Three – Doing Power’. I quote: “Your attitude is changed by the measure of thankfulness and gratefulness and faithfulness that you possess. Whatever measure of gratitude and thankfulness you have will be manifested in your attitude”. You further tell us how to enter into the power of activation: “Enter into power and authority with thanksgiving. The entrance of your thinking should be with thanksgiving.”
Borrowing and praying this prayer often from Beth Moore’s book on insecurity, I quote her p. 346 May you join in –
“My Father in heaven,
I thank You for breath this day to give You praise.
I thank You for a life where nothing is wasted,
a life where pain turns into purpose and Your providence assigns a person destiny
You will never allow anything in my path
that cannot bring You glory or me and those around me good.
No matter what this day holds.
I am clothed with strength and dignity
I have divine strength to overcome every obstacle and all oppression
because I belong to Jesus Christ, and His Spirit lives within me.
You, Lord, are my security
No one and nothing can take You from me
You will keep my foot from being caught in a trip.
I choose to turn my back on fear because You are right here with me.
I can smile over the days to come because Your plan for me is good and right.
My heart is steadfast, trusting in You, Lord
In the end, I will look in triumph on my foes,
Because of You,
I,__________________, am secure.
In Jesus’ triumphant name,
“Whatever measure of gratitude and thankfulness you have will be manifested in your attitude”. (quote__Sara)
Thanks for that wake-up (literally) call and reminder. That stirs up the joy of the Lord, (A SPIRITUAL STIMULUS PACKAGE…as a stimulus is a stirring)…that joy which is our strength, to remember that our attitude is on parade every day, every day. A grateful heart is manifested on our countenances, in our voices, in our body language and ‘majorly’ in our attitude.
This reminder will help me, greatly, this early morning, when I have to go out and stand on the street in the cold to help direct children safely through the snow, into the school.
I will remember and be thankful for my wonderful profession, my fine colleagues, my nice, warm friendly, supportive working conditions, the precious, darling, lively students put in my care to help enrich their lives, my loving church that helps me keep these things in mind and most of all, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ Who has made all these wonderful things possible for me. Thank YOU, Jesus
Love, love, love the quotes Debi, MG, and Rena have reminded us of. As I was reading MG’s list of ‘gratitudes’, I was gently reminded of some of my spiritual teachers that taught me to be grateful. One of the ways they taught would be to remind me of situations, like unto, Haiti, natural disasters that has caused so many humans such suffering. Or, at our dinner table, we, at times were not thankful for the food served. We would complain. We were gently reminded about the starving children in the world. Yet, my heart and fat belly were not prepared at the time to understand just how hungry humans were in God’s World. I would hear other ugly mouth adults say, how can my not eating feed another. So, we eat and got fat and eat and got lazy and eat and watched non-healthy TV programs. One mouthful of morsels led to many sins of neglect and ruin.
I have come to believe without any doubt that my behavior, in fact, can and does affect God’s Children throughout the world. God knew what He was saying when He said, “Go into all the World…”Mark 16:15. Yes, God knew, I didn’t but I can learn and hopefully, I am learning my having a heart of gratitude. “Whatever measure of gratitude and thankfulness you have will be manifested in your attitude” Sara…”I thank You for a life where nothing is wasted,…” Beth’s prayer from above….
Adding to my comment above….”Attitude, dictionary def. a settled way of thinking or feeling about someone or something, typically one that is reflected in a person’s behavior”
…”I thank You for a life where nothing is wasted,”… Here are three quotes from Sara’s book “The Four Bees of Giftings” which I think address the issue of waste and our use of our gifts and are well worth meditating on.
“Find your gift and use it. Leave it hidden and lose it”.
“Your gifts live and die with you. If you don’t develop them they will not be used.”
“You can accomplish much more than you think if you reframe your thinking.”
Sara, When you wrote to the effect that you have come to believe that our behavior (as God’s children) can and does affect God’s children throughout the world it made me think of that Scripture in 1Cor. 12:25-26 where Paul says, speaking about the Body Of Christ (God’s children), ” So there should be no dividion or discord or lack of adaptation of the parts of the BODY to each other, but the members all alike, should have a mutual interest in and care for one another. AND IF ONE MEMBER SUFFERS ALL THE PARTS SHARE IN THAT SUFFERING; IF ONE MEMBER IS HONORED, ALL MEMBERS SHARE IN THE HONOR.” (Amp)
So every member’s behavior affects the other members of the Body of Christ whether here in the United States or in Africa or China or India or wherever Christ’s Children are located…in whichever localities they are churched we are part of one another and members therein.
When there is persecution of Christ’s Body around the world we all sense it in the Spirit and pray. Where there are miraculous happenings around the earth we praise and give glory to God for His great mercy. When the news comes to the members that someone is gravely ill, we rally and intercede for them. And our physical behavior is witnessed everywhere and we are careful not to bring shame, reproach or contempt on the Body of Christ because it is Christ’s Body and we are resposible to one another as members in particular and in general.
I wholeheartedly agree. I think Stephen Hill did as well when he recently penned these words. Karen Peck has just been nominated for a Dove. Must be the hour of unity?
Heavenly Father, I pray that God’s church will be released from the bondage of legalism, Pharisaical convictions and embrace the freedom of a daily dose of The Holy Spirit that keeps conviction oiled and pliable to infuse the mind and heart for living, real living. The kind of living that makes the neck mobile and the brain moveable and the heart knocking out love home runs. Yes, get up convictions and jump over a wall and run through a troop. Dear God, help us to apply sports gel called’ faith alive’ to our knees if they keeping knocking with fear. Foot pads of Your Word to shave the rocks from tripping us up. Finish the race with gold in hand. Thank You, Our Heavenly Father for teaching and training us for Olympic God and Marathon knowledge for the finish.
“…gifts on a shelf to gather demonic dust” keeps playing in my mind. That must be just where Satan wants them. They are pushed down, in prison. Not able to help or be used in the body of Christ at all. Not even recognizable. Just this morning I picked up Joel Osteen’s book, IT’S YOUR TIME and he tells of a seed with much potential being left on a shelf never being planted. Sounds like a little of the same to me. Joel Osteen quotes the scripture John 12: 24 in which it says NIV John 12:24 (New International Version)
24I tell you the truth, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds.
He says of the seed: “Its potential will never be fully realized until it’s planted. As long as it’s up on the shelf where it’s comfortable, its potential lies dormant.
The same holds true with people facing hard times. You can stay on the shelf. You don’t have to stretch. You don’t have to deal with adversity. In the meantime, your potential will remain locked up on the inside, dormant. ”
“Only after your seed has been planted and it goes through the process of germination-the outer shell breaks off, the new growth springs forth-will it blossom and produce more fruit.”
He goes on to say the seed if asked probably doesn’t like this process with others walking on them and in the darkness of the soil – pushing in all directions the seed heads for the light knocking the soil off as it heads towards the light pressing and pressing and pressing forward. Joel says the seed says to the soil, “No, no, no, I know a secret,” …. “I’m not buried, I’m planted, I may be down right now, but it’s temporary. I’ve got the life of God in me. I’ve got comeback power. I will rise again.” Sure enough, one day that little seed breaks the surface of the earth. It smiles and says, “I told you I was coming out….new potential is being realized.”
May we get off the shelf and walk in security (Beth Moore’s book) of knowing our purpose God has given us to do and may these gifts be used to help others wherever you go. My it be our time to come forth (Joel Osteen’s book).
Great head knockers and/or reminders that Osteen and Moore has put out in their seed catalogues. Now we must purchase our seed and plan the right date to plant and care for and go for the goal of the fruit of the seed.
One of our beloved friends, a missionary, Ruth Catalano, says, as you go, you are healed, as you go you receive, as you go__________. Yes, as we go we will win the gold. When He has tried us we shall come forth as gold.
“But (H)he knows where I am going. And when he tests me, I will come out as pure as gold.” Job 23:12 NLT
This is one of the task we, as believers in Jesus Christ, as Savior, Messiah, Cross. have been put on earth to accomplish!!!!!!!!
2 Corinthians 10:3-5 (NIV) “For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.”
And, CEV says, “We live in this world, but we don’t act like its people or fight our battles with the weapons of this world. Instead, we use God’s power that can destroy fortresses. We destroy arguments 5and every bit of pride that keeps anyone from knowing God. We capture people’s thoughts and make them obey Christ.”
This is a very interesting quote. Not one person is born without a purpose. God has a purpose for every living being. If God didn’t have a purpose for one of us, then we wouldn’t be born. I’ve heard many say “He or She has to find themselves.” This quote is used when one is searching for their purpose in life. I say instead of finding themselves, they need to find God. They would be a whole lot happier, because they would find their true purpose. God is waiting for us, so He can let us know why we were born. God’s purpose brings fulfillment to our lives. We waste so much time looking in all the wrong places. We search day and night for the true meaning of life. The true life’s purpose. We are very stubborn and head strong at times. If we don’t get our purpose from our creator, then we will die a failure. Romans 8: 28-30 ” 28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. 29 For God knew his people in advance, and He chose them to become like His Son, so that His Son will be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters 30And having chosen them, He called them to come to Him. And having called them He gave them right standing with himself. And having given them right standing, He gave them His glory.” God allows us to choose between His purpose and self purpose. He already knows our choice before we chose it. If we chose his purpose, we chose life and truth. If we chose self purpose, we chose failure and death. “God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God…….” not who love self…. Instead of entertaining ourselves until we die, we better entertain God until we die. So, are we going go “find ourselves” or are we going to stop wasting time and “find God?” What is our purpose self or God? Time is running out………