Whoa baby! Chapter nine is amazing. You definitely need to get this book. I must say, by far this is my favorite book. I am pumped to share what God placed into my heart to share with all of you wonderful people.
Let me start by sharing something I am not particularly proud of... I have been a major complainer in my life. Yup! One excuse after another has been the name of the game when it has come to failing to reach my goals in life. I'm working on this. But here's some good news for myself and anyone who may share in this way of thinking, doing and living. What we may consider to be a disadvantage, shortcoming, or liability in our lives, God sees it as an advantage. An opportunity for God's glory to be made known, seen and shared with others. Amen, Lord Jesus!
That's right! God never calls anyone who has it all figured out. He doesn't call someone who thinks they're the bombdiggity.com God doesn't call those who walk around thinking they're big and bad, all that and a bag of chips. No certainly not! God calls those who are humble at heart. Those who would be quick to say that they aren't the right man or woman for the job, the task or the challenge. In fact, God loves an underdog. God loves a challenge. God loves when the odds are stacked up. God, wants to move mountains before us, take down fierce lions that roar at us, and split the opposition in two right before our eyes. Yes! That is our great God! C'mon somebody...Can I get an Amen?!
The title of chapter nine is, "A No-Excuses Life" and the challenge is this! Will we as individuals gain a right perspective on our lives, on the shortcomings we have, and look to God to help us use it to the best of our ability to impact this world for the good? That's a challenge alright. A challenge, that will only get accomplished if we look to God to help us, inspire us, encourage us, and lead us to that very purpose and calling we all have.
Joel shares so many wonderful things in this chapter. It would be presumptuous of me to say that chapter nine is the best chapter thus far. Especially when there's 27 chapters in total. But I'll say this. This is a must read chapter.
Here's something that many of us get hung up on. I am not talented enough. If you are anything like me, the words highlighted here are a bold reality in our thought process. We see ourselves as not tall enough. Too short. having the wrong upbringing. lacking the intelligence, the strength, the ability, the courage, the know how to get anything accomplished. I know I have. But once again, here's the good news. God made you exactly as you are. God didn't form you and say, Man! I messed that one up, oh well. No! God created you exactly the way you are, specific for the life you would experience, and absolutely gifted you with everything you need to accomplish what He purposed you for. Isn't that reassuring?! But many of you are saying, 'That is good and all, but you don't know my situation.' That is true. I don't know your situation. But God does. If we all will look to God, he will awaken in us the very talents, gifts, and skill set we already have and sharpen them in order to be used to make a difference in this world. But first! You and I need to understand and be willing to thank God for who He is, what He's done and everything He will do in and through our lives. Even if that situation we're praying to be removed never gets answered. This is tough, but God is Sovereign, faithful and just. He will always make a way if we're willing to follow Him.
Joel shares a story of a man by the name of Tony Melendez. Joel writes, Tony was born without any arms. (Now there's a roadblock if any.) But Tony, as a little boy had a desire to play the guitar. Something inside said, You're supposed to sing and write music. Tony didn't know any better. He could have said, "Too bad for me. I'd love to play the guitar, but I don't have any arms." Instead, his attitude was, I may not have any arms, but I do have feet. I may not have any fingers, but I do have ten toes.
Tony learned to play the guitar with his feet. Joel goes on to share that Tony can play the guitar better with his feet than most people play with their hands. Something occurred to me as I was reading this chapter. God is in the business of amazingly using ordinary and seemingly handicap people to do extraordinary things. Joel goes on to share some other stories with people who had genuine handicaps, but those handicaps were used to their advantage, but I want to share one last story. This story took place thousands of years ago. We can read it in the Bible in Luke 19:1-10. It's a story of a man who seemingly had two handicaps working against him. His height and his reputation. This story is a friendly reminder that God notices our so-called "disadvantages" and wants to reward us, when we don't allow them to get in our way of having God very much a part of our lives. Amen.
When we're called to do something of significance; something extraordinary by God, although we're humbled and excited by it, we tend to respond with this attitude, 'how can lil' oh me accomplish this?' God responds, "With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible." I want to do myself a favor, and you're welcomed to do the same... Trust and allow God to show up and show out! He never fails to disappoint. Amen.
As always...YOU ARE LOVED.