Speed Governor On My Mind

speed

I don’t know if any of you have experienced the speed governors that they sometimes have on go-carts so as to control the maximum speed that go-carts can go, but sometimes I feel as if I have one on my mind. Yes, I know, that probably sounds a bit on the weird side but I’m just telling it like it is. I’ve been reading through the Gospel of Luke as of late and sometimes I run into something that I just don’t comprehend. There is much within God’s Word that I think I do understand and yet at the same time there is still much that I do not understand and it bothers me because I do really want to understand. And yet, I seem to sense and know that the not understanding part is necessary, so that faith, trust and reliance in God, is a reality.

It’s like the not understanding part or the distance between God and myself part is necessary and part of God’s plan. How is it that I can not understand and yet still understand? How is it that God can seem distant and yet close at the same time?

And God’s Word tells us that knowing or understanding in part is part of God’s plan because we are told in 1 Corinthians 13:12 NIV  “For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known.”

Many years ago I actually had the opportunity to be in Jerusalem for a few days and I am still able to recall the texture of the land and the smell of the air. Jerusalem is really special, it just breaths of God’s presence, in spite of the present commercialism and the loss of it’s grandeur. I try to bring those memories back to my mind as I read what transpired there, how Jesus taught in the Temple, how He entered the city riding on a donkey colt and what it signified. I also recall how in Luke we are told that Jesus wept when He looked over Jerusalem for what could have been and for what would happen to it later on. And I also remember that Jesus really died on a cross and really rose again from the dead there.

Luke 19:41-42 NIV  “As he approached Jerusalem and saw the city, he wept over it and said, “If you, even you, had only known on this day what would bring you peace—but now it is hidden from your eyes.”

It strikes me that there are a lot of things that are still hidden from my eyes. Things within myself and also without. I understand the need for utter dependency in Jesus but yet I so often go about doing things without even taking God’s will into consideration. Oh I try, at the start of each day in prayer, but the dividing line between where my will takes charge and God’s will is obeyed too often remains foggy or hardly evident. And I can’t help but think of how things must have been for Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden, prior to the fall, when God walked in the garden with them and their reliance on God was total. I long for that innocence and oneness with God again.

And when I pray, trying as hard as I can, to be real as I can, I wonder why there is that constant awareness of falling short in myself, knowing that in me is no good thing, and that my only hope is my faith in Jesus and what he has done for me. Yet that falling short bothers me, where I too often fail to show compassion or fail to speak as I ought, when I ought. The contrast between God’s holiness and myself really bothers me because even though I have experienced His love and He has proved Himself to me so many many times, I still groan in myself to be free of myself.

And the Apostle Paul reinforces this reality when he says in Romans 8:22-24 NIV  “We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?

So I do understand that not understanding is part of this walk and I do understand that not fully experiencing my completeness in Him, right here, right now, is also part of this walk that we are to walk in. Because it is only when we will stand face to face in the presence of Jesus that we are truly completed in Him. And that is yet to come. And that is why He is our hope.

I’ve never seen God our Father but Jesus told us that whoever has seen Him has seen the Father. (John 14:8-10 NIV) I understand what He means. Jesus personifies the Father, everything that Jesus did, everything that Jesus said. But I’ve never seen Jesus either. Not with my eyes, nor have I touched Him or knelt at His feet. But I want to. Yet Jesus tells us in John 20:29 NIV Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

So Jesus tells us that we are blessed. I believe Him. I’m pretty sure He knows about this better than I do. God has a reason and purpose for everything, literally. I trust in Him here too.

Do you, like me, ever wonder about the countless millions of believers who have gone before us and are now in His presence? Do you wonder, like me, how we stand in comparison to the faith that some of them have shown, that we know absolutely nothing about? Do you ever, like I do, consider how utterly insignificant we probably are? Yet Jesus tells us that we are definitely of worth, so much so that God our Father sent us His Son to redeem us back unto Himself. Because we are so loved.

In this self centered materialistic slanted world that we live in, how does one possibly fully comprehend this kind of promised reality? Hard to believe? Yes it is, until you actually look at everything around us, until you actually consider God’s testimony to Himself in the Holy Bible. God is real, Jesus is real and the life in Him that He promises us is real.

Worthy is the Lamb! Blessings!

 

 

 

 

 

17 Comments

  1. Bruce, I am with you in the wondering … Even when I try to comprehend the majestic and unending love of our Father, I quickly become overwhelmed. Yet, He has asked us to pray to bring incomprehensible love and grace down to earth. Let’s continue to pray, “On earth as it is in heaven…” Thanks, brother, for always pointing us to Jesus … the Worthy Lamb!

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  2. This is so beautiful, Bruce. I relate to every precious thought. There is so much that is incomprehensible, so much a mystery, and yet, like you, I believe God also opens our eyes as we open our hearts to receive more of His wisdom, more of Him each day. Why just this morning as I was reading the beautiful words about believers who have died (Thessalonians 4:12-18) which has always confused me, I found something new to consider. Paul talks about those who have fallen asleep in Him and this has always left me with the impression that our loved ones who have gone before us are sleeping. Which disturbed me. But might he be saying, that as they took their last breath on earth, and though it may appear they are asleep and out of reach to us, they woke to new life and are very much alive in Him. The dead in Christ he refers to are maybe those who have died without knowing Jesus? Even so, they too are in Him and will awaken before those still on earth when he comes…?
    We are to encourage one another with these words Paul says.
    May we be ever awakening to new life, whether here or in heaven.
    Thank you Bruce—
    Sending blessings,
    Deb

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    1. Hi Deb, I’m pretty sure those who have fallen asleep are present with the Lord, 2 Cor 5:8 refers and we also have the Luke 23:43 where Jesus says “today you will be with Me in Paradise”. The latter instance that you speak of, reference 1 Thessalonians 4:14-17 where those who have already passed come with Christ and receive their new resurrected bodies along with those who are alive at the time of His return. And as Paul states, this comes directly from the Lord. This link should also help: https://www.gotquestions.org/dead-in-Christ.html Blessings!

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  3. Hi Bruce. I don’t know if I’ve ever spoken with you before, but my wife Sue said you have been praying for me, so I must be somewhere on the radar. First, thanks for all your prayers. All of us need that every day. Second, I appreciated you article and identified with it, but to be honest I have a different mission in this response I’ve been putting off several days.

    You know my wife by her writings well enough to know she is deeply thoughtful and loving regardless of how she is treated, and she is honest and does not hand out praise unless it is warranted. Recently she has read some of your responses to me to some of her blogs. She’s also read others in the past when you two disagreed in some areas close to your heart, some that did not go so well. Without going there, I want to let you know how much my respect for you has recently increased, and how clearly she has seen God working in your heart to change some of those old rough Bruce spots into being more like Christ.

    My experience with you is mostly through her blogging experiences with your responses, so I cannot speak beyond that, but you have been a topic of discussion many times. I know of no one more loving and graceful and forgiving than her apart from Christ himself, so her praise of you was from that heart and gave me great hope for myself as well. You see, I myself have so much baggage, mostly self-inflicted, that turns my responses to her and others into anger and harshness, that I wondered if there was hope for me to change.

    I’ll get to the point – what did you do to make that heart change real? I know God did it, because we can’t – I’ve sure tried. What did you do – what was your part? I have all kinds of theories of what I need to do, but like in your article, I keep taking control instead of trusting God and acting by faith. Your changes, even if incremental, are real and noticeable. Mine are non-existent since they are not sustained for long. I can behave differently for a time, but that same old heart eventually trumps my alleged sincere intentions.

    How I want to be different – to be like Jesus. But, I keep ending up in the same ruts. Yes, I groan to be free from myself!

    I would appreciate any thoughts you have on this. I’ve accused Sue of not being able to see change if it is there – yes, a cheap shot. Now I know she can see it if it’s real and not some performance.

    Thanks, Rick Love

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    1. Hi Rick, thank you for your comment, your observations and question. I learned and am still learning, the hard way, that the love I have for God, my wife or children, as valid as it may be, IS NOT ENOUGH, because in spite of what I feel for each of them, my love of self, to please myself or vindicate myself, would too frequently, be greater. I knew that God was real, I knew that in truth, I loved my wife and I knew that when all was said and done, my response to my children’s needs, in all of their varied mixtures, was an expression of my love for them and ultimately how I could retain and enjoy my love for them, depended on my interaction with them and the VALUE that I placed on what I wanted to improve. Obviously my “ways” were not the answer and God’s “ways” are. You’re right about God being the source of our good objectives. It all starts with Him and His perceptions and His bringing it about. So faith is definitely there and trust and acceptance of that reality is paramount. You and I both worked in the IT profession, so I am assuming that you are analytical like I am. Knowing what the problem is, is vitally important but knowing what the solution is and how to pursue that solution successfully, to its conclusion, is also vitally important. I can give you one example but in reality, the process is the same for everything. Let’s pick porn. We both know what it feeds, we both know what it does to our minds and hearts and we both know it is a form of adultery, ultimately to God but also to our wives. No argument there. Do I have a choice? The answer is yes and no.

      “No” can apply to rejecting or moving away from porn whereas “yes” can apply to us feeding that which tears us down rather than building us up via porn. So we do have a choice but the outcome depends on what we view as an acceptable answer. It is what we apply the meaning of “yes” or “no” to that makes the difference. If we VALUE our relationship with God more than we VALUE meeting our own base needs, the acceptable answer can only be yes because we can and do make that choice. Conversely, if we VALUE our own base needs more than our relationship with God, then the answer is no because our own needs MUST take precedence. What we VALUE MORE determines if we have a choice and the outcome of that choice.

      Ultimately it comes down to WHAT we VALUE more, our relationship with God, our wife and children or feeding ourselves. I acknowledged my problem to God and committed myself to Him to change me. This is not a head decision, it is a heart decision. I had come to the realization that porn was destructive and that I could not maintain a GROWING and lasting relationship with God or my wife and feed my selfish need at the same time, one choice builds up, the other choice tears down. IMPROVEMENT was progressive and ultimately I claimed victory over looking at porn because AS TIME WENT ON, the value I had for God became GREATER THAN the value I placed on porn. Same thing with my relationship with my wife and my children. The basic common denominator is God because everything that is good flows from God. My greatest persistent enemy is me. Key word being “persistent”. Me follows me everywhere. But if I am walking with God, His Holy Spirit is also within me. Me needs to be plugged into God in a real way that changes things. Start EVERY day with heartfelt prayer, that is vitally important. Spend time EVERY day in God’s Word, respond to the leading of the Holy Spirit, when ever and where ever He breaks through to you. God heals everything together at the same time because sin actually affects everything. There will be set backs, but you do have to get up again. Admit them, ask for forgiveness and continue to move on. Eventually the failures dissipate, initially in the areas that will cause you the most harm but as time goes on, also in other areas, some of which you might not even be aware of. I don’t look at porn anymore at all, because I don’t want to lose what I have gained, with God, with my wife and with my children. I value what I have more than I value how I can feed the baser parts of me. I’ve learned to avoid triggers and you’ll recognize them as soon as you see them. Turn or walk away, don’t even think about it, just do it. Use prayer when you are tempted, immediately. Habits are formed by repeatedly doing the same thing over and over again. Same principle works with obeying God’s will for you. The more you do it, the easier it becomes. God’s ability to sustain us is always there but we have to WANT to move in His direction MORE THAN we want to feed our own natural tendencies. The value that we place on our relationship with God, our wife and family eventually becomes greater than the value we place on feeding ourselves. But make no mistake, it is always there and will be there until the day we die. BUT that union we have with God is greater than the union we have with ourselves, if we remind ourselves what it is that we value and who we are following. That union must have value and that value must be more real than our baser values.

      I have seen improvements in a lot of areas, yes God is still working on me. My interaction with your wife Sue, is a side benefit. God corrected me, showed me that my outlook didn’t have to be her outlook, that He had decided what her outlook was and that it was necessary. We’re not all the same but we are all His. I am not God, He is and He is fully capable of guiding His children who have given their heart to Him, like Sue has. And another side benefit is that I can now see that how I react to that which I may not necessarily agree with, is how, in essence, God deals with me, in areas of my life that He still does not agree with. I have to be willing to see and allow or accept the differences in others if I want Him to see and allow the differences in me, that He is still working on, in me. Removing the log from our own eyes before we begin to remove twigs from other people’s eyes comes to mind. This whole concept is a real biggie with God, it’s literally everywhere once you start noticing it. It’s really amazing how God can open our blind eyes.

      God has blessed me greatly with my relationship with my wife, big improvement from a few years ago, building now, not tearing down anymore. If I say a harsh word, which very infrequently happens, I know how to apologize and let her know how I value her. It shows in how I speak to her and how I demonstrate my love for her. I start every day with my wife by hugging her. Reinforcing how I value her and what she means to me. I can’t thank God enough. Honor the gift that God has given you in your wife.

      I’m just an ordinary guy like you are Rick. No magic bullets in my holster. If we humble ourselves, He will lift us up. If we open ourselves to Him, He will actually lead us. It’s so simple and profound that I have a hard time believing I was as stupid as I was. I was indeed totally lost but He is now my Shepherd. I don’t have all the answers, I don’t even know all of the questions, I just know that what I have is real and I wish I had seen it so much sooner than I began to.

      God can renew your mind. God can change your heart, He literally can. It is a path that we walk on with Him. I am yoked to Him, my part is relatively simple, go where He leads me, maintain via prayer, consistent time in His Word and following the leading of His Holy Spirit.

      We can’t change yesterday but God can change our tomorrows if we seek Him and follow His guidance. It’s as simple as that.

      Sue is not perfect, neither are you and neither am I. That is why God is God and we are not. But He has promised us through His Son that He loves us and will make us like He is. Day by day, hour by hour and minute by minute. I’m thinking that I’m just moving out of Kindergarten classes and moving into Primary. High School with God is way down the road. Doesn’t matter, He will bring to completion that which He has started in me and He will do the same thing for you, as long as you are breathing, it’s never too late to enroll in His school.

      Hope this helps Rick, I feel kind of foolish offering you advice because I’m still learning too. I’m here for you brother if you need me. My email address is bruce.planbsolutions@gmail.com if you ever want to go offline.

      God’s grace and blessings on you and yours my friend.

      – Bruce

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      1. Bruce, thank you for your reply. I will be munching on it a while. I appreciate your time and your honesty. God keeps showing me I am full of pride and deceit. Those keep stopping my changes. I keep looking for that magic bullet so I can check all this off my checklist, but as you said, it is a daily depending on God. It will never be checked off.
        Thanks for the invite to go private, but for now I need the accountability public offers to keep me honest. But this is what I need and most other men seem oblivious to the extent of our heart problems. Perhaps we can move it to a new thread on my site so yours is not hijacked. I’m writing something today so it may be up later.
        Again, thanks!

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      2. No problem with timing. God doesn’t wear a watch. This will unfold as it is meant to if you are open to God’s leading. And I’m not talking about me, it is one on one time with Jesus that counts. Blessings brother.

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  4. Good post. I was ministered reading what you shared, just what I needed to be reminded we don’t know why everything happened the way it did. Needed this in light of certain ministry trials right now

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  5. Bruce, I have been munching all week on your responses to my questions and need to tell you how much they mean to me. Overall, I don’t believe I’ve read many other things that were more helpful and pointed towards my situation and my condition.

    God spoke to me through your words several places, from the statement that your love [for God, wife, children] was real but not enough because of your love of self, to learning to place value in the right things and not the wrong, to not having a silver bullet in your holster, to your persistent enemy [I have one just like him – I now call him Sarx], to finally the statement I needed exactly the way you said it, “I acknowledged my problem to God and committed myself to Him to change me.”

    I can’t tell you how many times I tried to change me, how many human methods, how many verses I learned but tried to do in my own strength, how much reading and listening to sermons I did, but it was always about me trying (often halfheartedly) either from the beginning or eventually taking over for God. Or I would sit back and ask God to change me while I went about my day. Many, many times it came down to me not obeying something he gave me to do, thinking I knew better than God. Of course I wouldn’t say that or think that, but that was the bottom line by my actions or my inaction.

    I truly believe it will be my commitment to and cooperation with God and his Spirit, beginning with true repentance and continuing by faith with consistent obedience to his words and his plan while he changes me on the inside and cleanses me by his word and his power that will enroll me into kindergarten and his school “if [I] am open to his leading” (another good quote). I am now on this pathway in earnest and by faith, knowing I must depend upon him every step of the way.

    Please pray for me and keep an eye on me and feel free to share whatever God places on your heart for me or to ask me questions I need to hear. I intended to start a post on my site we could use for these discussions but got tied up with fixing kid’s dryers and other matters and frankly got tired. My plan this week is to start that post and to include these discussions to some degree as a foundation because I believe they are so critical to what I believe God wants on there and a part of my life. Please let me know if there is anything in our conversations so far that you do not want included on my site. I will send my email address to yours in case you want to discuss any of this offline.

    Thanks, Rick

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    1. Hi Rick, you are free to share anything that I shared with you. You’re already on my daily prayer list. You know your weaknesses better than I do. Sometimes all it takes is a quick prayer and then saying to yourself, not today (giving in). Common sense like not placing yourself in front of an area of weakness is another no brainer. If you were on a diet you would not sit in front of an open fridge so if porn is a weakness don’t put yourself in front of it. If you are tempted, change the thoughts in your head, sing a hymn, what ever it takes but do it. It will pass. And as you build the habit of resisting, it becomes easier. Keep concept is what you value at the forefront of achieving. Short story is you can’t have it both ways and ultimately the choice is yours. I am convinced that God will meet you and draw you to Himself if that is your earnest desire. I know it’s hard, but it DOES get easier and once you have the pattern of resisting in place, even that becomes valuable to you because it is a symbol of how you value your relationship with God. Reach out to me anytime Rick. Start every day with a sincere prayer and then give your wife a hug. God is faithful. Grace and blessings my friend.

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