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When God tells you 'NO'

1 Apr 2016

I am so sorry that I have been lacking in my blog updates lately. I have had quite a few people message me wondering what’s up and/or encouraging me by saying “looking forward to your next post!”. To be honest, it’s nothing in particular, so I thought. I figured I was just having a writers block month…

 

Here’s the thing. I feel like God sort of made me come to a halt and I’ve been trying to figure out why. I have attempted writing about 4-5 different posts and it seemed that the Holy Spirit was telling me “no”. 

… Right. 

… I spend all this time writing and editing and praying and bible reading, basically ready to post then suddenly I get a “No”. Obviously there is a reason why, and I just may never know why, but here is the one post you DO get to read. 

 

Galatians 6:9 “…let us not grow weary in doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up.”

 

 When I look back at all this time spent NOT posting, I realised it was during Lent. (Click here to read.)  My last post was about Lent and why I chose to give up sugar. It wasn’t just for the sake of fulfilling a resolution by giving it up and feeling healthier and making it about me. For me sugar is a weakness. I use sugar and sweets (and snacks) to fill voids in my emotional spots in my heart, when I should be filling God and His Word in those spots. So my reason to give up sugar was to do just this. To make the effort to read my bible more, get in to the word more, reflect more and pray more.

 

When I look back during the past 40+ days, I went through some hard and low moments emotionally and spiritually. I suddenly found it more difficult to actually pick up my bible to read and also pray. If you know me, I pray, a lot. But suddenly I was majorly lacking. I found myself about once a week praying and apologising for not praying all week, for not spending time with God when normally I would on a daily basis. And because of all this, I found that my emotions were more rattled, I lacked in “drive” with friendships more, and focused more on myself, rather than those around me. It was really strange. I was feeling unhappy, even though I honestly do live a wonderful life and have wonderful people in it and do fun and adventurous things, but WHY ALL THIS?

 

In Genesis 3 it tells the story of when Adam and Eve lived in the Garden of Eden, they were given everything they needed. They lived a shameless and pure life with God. But in that garden was a tree that God forbade them to eat the fruit or even touch. Everything else and all the fruit was theirs but this tree and it’s fruit was forbidden to them. They had no reason to question God’s motives until Satan slithered along and planted “seeds of doubt” in their minds. Telling them lies that it’s okay, just eat it anyway, no harm will come, it’s is the tastiest fruit you’ll ever enjoy. They were deceived

 

After believing what the serpent was telling Eve, they ate the forbidden fruit, even though God strictly said no. They chose to follow their temptations and they ate the fruit from the tree.

 

God was so angry and Adam and Eve became tremendously ashamed. They hid from God feeling utterly terrible for this mistake they made, but God gave them the freedom of choice, already knowing what was going to happen, but a choice still needed to be an option. 

 

Sin is tasty. It looks appealing and we become more drawn to it when being told “No” but becomes a temptation when we lack in trust in God.

 

In the same way that I chose not to consume sugars, they were still there and still tempting. I will be honest..I failed a few times, but I will say that I fully succeeded in having ZERO sugar in my coffee and tea for the full 40 days of lent. I had chocolate a couple times and I did some home made baking of muffins and loafs and actually forgot as I was taking my share…ugh. I didn’t eat any peanut butter, or jam, and if I wanted to have something sweet I had something that was naturally sweetened like a banana or an apple, or other fruits, etc. Although, I did notice a huge difference in my metabolism, my energy levels, and my skin became much more clear on my face, but I was building up a void. I found myself a couple times making excuses as to why I should eat this piece of chocolate, but then see it now that there were other areas I focused on; myself. I was being super selfish and cared more about what my hair and makeup looked like than what really matters. I spent more time on my mobile on Facebook and Instagram than sitting down with my kids and playing with them. I am not saying that these were sins, but they weren’t the greatest moments I was facing. Once I slipped once (having sweets), it become easier to slip again after. I found myself not telling my Husband about my sweets intake, who was keeping me accountable that I had failed. I hid it from him. I felt ashamed. 

 

See the connection? 

 

It seems harmless and silly, yes, but that’s just how easy it can be to be tempted into “sin” or selfishness…it becomes a layer upon layer of messes. Yes, they were simple and totally "harmless" but spiritually it made me really lack. I started to forget to pray…all the time. I suddenly would have a thought about my bible and I realised it had been so long that I opened it that I could not even find where it was. My patience became a little more thinned, and my connection with people around me was deprived. I felt unsettled and impatient with my children and my husband, and I felt myself pulling away from them. It just didn’t make sense.

 

What I have learned from this is that, I am so thankful that I actually am in a great place spiritually/emotionally and greatly connected with God that He was using some simple and seemingly harmless examples in my life that need to be rearranged and I was able to see that and see where I was going wrong. I was able to allow the veil to be removed and see my actions for what they really were. Sure it’s possible to do life “without God” because sadly for so many they don’t know who God is, but life really is complicated. We can’t reason with it, we can't control things to our own standards realistically and we can’t legitimately be happy, not in the way that God wants us to be happy. I feel as though I can fully understand both sides of the spectrum because I lived a life for a long time not serving God and tried leading my own life thinking I would be just fine, but then tried the whole “living life for God” thing and suddenly my life seemed to have more purpose and become more clear. 

 

I ended Lent feeling somewhat accomplished in some areas because I recognised what God was showing me, but then felt futile in most other areas. I couldn’t be authentically happy when I chose to focus on things other than Jesus. 

 

I want to authentically live an altruistic life, not self-serving. I want to first and foremost live my life for God because my life literally falls into it’s perfect pattern when I let HIM control it.

Jeremiah 29:11 For I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord. “They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope.

 

Learning from God can hurt sometimes and make zero sense half the time but His timing…oh His timing is impeccable. Doesn’t mean my life is perfect because whoa nelly it’s NOT. I struggle with things and suck at a lot of other things, but with Jesus, it’s just easier to move forward and face what life throws at me. Thank goodness I am NOT a control freak naturally. I am a follower. If we want to live a life worthy of being a leader (not controlling) then we have to let down everything else and be a follower. Follow God’s ways, not our own. Be teachable. Never stop learning. 

 

So when something in your life comes to a halt and you feel like life is saying 'No', trust that God knows what He is doing, even if it makes no sense to you.

 

Job 8:9 “For we were born but yesterday and we know nothing. Our days on earth are as fleeting as a shadow”

 

Thanks for reading!

      Bethany

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