Quality Control

QUALITY CONTROL

Coming from a place of transparency, I confess to you all that I am just stepping out of season of blind struggle. I had too much on my plate with no real path of direction. There were meaningless deadlines on my calendar to produce dead works of disaster. I found myself frustrated with my poor results and lukewarm receptions of what I felt drained me to produce. I mustered up fits of ‘why’ and came up with broken solutions that made things worse. I turned to the lowest of the low, which was a pity party and I screamed out to God asking why things were not working out in my favor. Then in turn, all this hard work for nothing was costing me time and effort, which was being taken away from my family. My passion for writing, and overall joy in spirit was turned into desolation. Then in study one day I was reminded: “For a good tree does not bear bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit. For every tree is known by its own fruit. For men do not gather figs from thorns, nor do they gather grapes from a bramble bush”. Luke 6:43-44; Holy Bible NKJV.

I began to wonder, what kind of fruit was I really producing these days? We should all come to ask ourselves that question; what kind of fruit do we bear? What are were working towards, and what results are we producing? Let’s think of this not just in regards to ministry but in daily life, period. What about our families, marriages, kids, friends, employment, and even personal time away from everyone? Are we sowing seeds in those areas that have blossomed into beautiful fruit or has it sprung up rotten to bring in a spoiled harvest of headache? Or have we really been doing a lot of talking and not sown anything at all and sitting with a naked tree? That is another area that cost me a lot of precious time. I spent time planning, talking, and dreaming, but never putting the proper foundation in action to accomplish a goal.

Believe me, the personal realization of accepting ownership of my faults, has changed my work ethic and prayer life. I realize that there is much to be done and in a proper order to receive great fruit from a hard labor. I haven’t gotten to a place of definitive achievement yet by any means, but I want to and I will bear good fruit in every season I’m given. Those areas that have blossomed rotten fruit I give it to the Father and ask Him to prune it away. Those areas that are still small buds, I give them time to mature and not despise the days of their small beginnings. Ultimately I ask God what fruit He would have me to bear and all this fertilizer I see around me will be used to make something beautiful for His Kingdom. He makes beautiful things out of us and through us, if we allow Him to guide us. So I ask you, what’s up with your fruit these days? How will you be known? Let’s feel empowered and encouraged, to walk this life out together.

S.D. Johnson

God: The Master Weaver

(C)Image Keerati/FDP

(C)Image Keerati/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Can you look at your life and call it a beautiful work of art? I believe many call their lives that–or at least see it that way–when everything seems to be working properly and life doesn’t look frail or full of unexpected turns. When we walk into a room or home we expect to see cleanliness and order. When we look at our lives we too expect order, but when at least one thing is out of place to us… all we see is a full blown mess. Filled with dread and annoyance, we try to fix the not-so-beautiful threads of our lives. When after tugging and pulling, that one thread doesn’t yield to us, we start pleading with God: “Father, please fix this. I’ve tried and nothing has changed. I need this ugly-doesn’t-fit-into-my-life thread removed right away.”

A Place for Ugly Threads
Odds are God didn’t remove that thread, no matter how much you prayed and pleaded. I’ve had some of my own ugly threads and God didn’t remove them all. I believe He kept most of those seemingly inconvenient-to-me threads. Why? I have been able to look back over my life at different times and was shown where those ugly threads played a role in God weaving my life into a beautiful work of art–His masterpiece. Though they didn’t look beautiful or seem to fit into my life, those ugly threads became building blocks; I gained understanding about God, myself, and my purpose.

The Master Weaver
God is all-knowing, He doesn’t make mistakes or miscalculate, and He formed each of us. Before He formed us in our mothers’ wombs, He knew us (Jeremiah 1:5). Nothing about us or our lives is a surprise to Him, only us. God told Jeremiah that before He formed him He ordained him as a prophet. God created Jeremiah based on the purpose He had already decided for him. Like Jeremiah, God created us based on the purpose He had already decided for each us to fulfill. Sometimes we get so tangled in our own desires or perspectives we fail to understand God’s desires for us and His perspective about everything.

The Master Pattern
Our personality, gifts, skills–everything about us–was strategically designed. Even our past sins, strongholds, and poor decisions were allowed by God. They all brought us pain, discomfort, or consequences. However, as He turns all things around for good to us, those ugly threads we fought to rip out of our lives become beautiful and take on new meaning for us. Those ugly threads become important lining in the tapestry of our lives that God is weaving. If we were allowed to pull all the ugly-it-has-to-go threads, I’m confident we’d have very little progress in our divine purpose, spiritual growth, and relationship with God. I also believe we appreciate God much more because of the thorns that come with the presence of those ugly threads. God is the Master Weaver and He has a custom pattern designed for your life. Everything about us, including our tests and trials are tied to our purpose and preparation for it. They are in the Master’s pattern.

Your Life’s Tapestry
What do you see when you look at your life’s tapestry? Do you see beautiful art or a brimming mess? If we look at every ugly thread with resentment, it’s likely what we are to gain from the experience won’t take root in us. Whatever doesn’t take root in us will never bear the fruit God has hedged us in and nurtured us to produce (Matthew 13:20-21, Isaiah 5:2). Let today be the start of a new outlook on the ugly threads of life. Don’t think of how you want those threads removed. Instead begin to envision all the beauty, love, and grace of God that will be reflected through your life to other people. Go ahead, let God weave the tapestry of life!

Prayer: Father, thank You for never leaving or forsaking me. I repent of my disbelief in Your perfect plans for my life. Order my steps in Your word and give me Your counsel as You weave all the threads of my life into a beautiful tapestry of Your love and grace. Amen.

Sources:
BibleGateway.com, KJV

(C) 2013 Shawntel Jefferson. All rights reserved.

You’re Winning!

“And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.” Romans 8:28 KJV

God is always victorious. He always accomplishes what He has purposed. Do you taste the sweetness of victory today? Or do you taste the bitterness of a proposed loss?

God’s Track Record
From the book of Genesis to the book of Revelation, God’s track record of victory is flawless. He succeeds and surpasses all limitations. Those who love Him and put their trust in Him, never have to fear losing. They are guaranteed to win! You’re perspective on your life or circumstances may not compel you to smile or rejoice. You may be looking at your life with disdain, thinking you might as well give up.

Christ Overcame the World
The Bible says, “God’s ways are not our ways nor His thoughts our thoughts (Isaiah 55:8-9).” God loves you and is excited about everything concerning you. He has you in the palm of His hand and keeps the adversary and troubles from overtaking you. I’m sure to onlookers, Jesus appeared to be losing. He was forsaken by His disciples, beaten, mocked, and crucified. His accusers were so delighted at the site of His degradation and harm. These people are like the circumstances which attempt to arise and flood our faith in Christ again and again, as if to say, “You have not won. You have not conquered me.”

Power Over the Enemy
In the end, Jesus’ accusers were left astounded and ashamed as the veil rent in two, the truth of who Jesus Christ is displayed before their very eyes. Their success was short-lived, overridden and buried by the victory wrought through Jesus’ submission to death on the cross and His resurrection soon after. This victory was for me and you. The same power that raised Jesus Christ from the dead is in you and is stronger than all the power the enemy can muster. (Thank You Lord!)

“And having spoiled principalities and powers, he made a shew of them openly, triumphing over them in it.” (Colossians 2:15)

Sweet, Sweet Victory
Today is not your day of defeat but rather your day of victory (Philippians 4:13, Romans 8:37). Choose to take your circumstances captivity and spoil them out rightly. How? By walking by faith in Jesus Christ! Believe His word! You are with the Lord and the Lord is with you. You are winning today and your victory is guaranteed!

Here’s a video for comfort and inspiration:Fred Hammond – All Things are Working