Thursday, November 10, 2011

INDULGENCE -- Lesson 1

At the beginning of this fast, I have to admit I didn’t think anything about spiritual warfare. Hadn’t even crossed my mind. But on the third day, my accountability partner was verbally attacked on the local news where the public was given a forum to give their opinions based on their limited, one-sided knowledge. If you will pray a hedge of protection around her and her family, I’d greatly appreciate it. Then on the third day, I went to withdraw the Christmas Fund money to begin buying presents. The money and my driver’s license were in the envelope. I believe I put it in my purse, but it could have been in my lap. I went to Lifeway to look for a book for seminary, and when I got out of the truck, something hit the ground. I looked to see if my water bottle had fallen, and I saw nothing. So, I went on my way. It wasn’t until 5:30 PM that I began looking for the money and realized it was NOT in my bag. Patrick came home, so I could go back to Lifeway. On the drive all the way back to town, I was crying and praying because it was a lot of money. I rested in the fact that God knew exactly where it was, and if He so desired, He would restore me…one way or another. It still grieved me to no end.

It was then that I remembered the word that God had kept putting the word indulgence in my heart and mind. To be quite frank, I had never really thought about that word. It’s not one I use on a regular occasion. It isn’t part of my normal vernacular, so being the investigator that I am, I began to dig.

According to indulgence means the gratification of desire. In length the definition given is, “a pleasure, habit, etc, indulged in; extravagance” or “liberal or tolerant treatment,” “something granted as a favour or privilege.” In commerce indulgence is “an extension of time granted as a favour for payment of a debt or as fulfillment of some obligation.”

So, what is my desire? Last night, it was definitely to find that envelope. My desire is to have direction for women’s ministry. I’d like to have my house completely remodeled, so we can move into town. But most importantly, I want to be in God’s will, and I want to be in-line with the leadership He has given me. This reminds me of James 1:17 - 18, “Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. He chose to give us birth through all the word of truth, that we might be a kind of firstfruits of all he created”(NIV). He wants to bless us. He wants to indulge us as His children. Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart”(NIV). Does this mean God gives us everything we want?NO. He doesn’t want to spoil us. Do you like being around a spoiled child? Plus, these desires come after we delight in Him. If we are spending time with Him and communing with Him, then He is speaking to our hearts. He is putting those desires in our hearts, and then blessing us with providing it.

As Paul Harvey says, “Here’s the rest of the story.” I got up and ran a couple of errands after having gone to work this morning. I had to run home because we had forgotten to send Pearce’s snacks with him to school, so I ran all the way home to get them. When I returned to the truck, I noticed I had a missed call. It was a number I didn’t recognize, and there was a voice mail. A husband and wife had found my driver’s license in the parking lot at Lifeway. Would I please call her back? I immediately called her back with tears brimming on the edges of my eyes. I introduced myself and asked if she had found my driver’s license in an envelope full of money. Apparently, they had found my house phone number and had been trying to reach me but couldn’t because we use that line for a fax machine for Patrick’s business. Then her brother suggested googling my name. My name pulled up references to my leading women’s ministry at Calvary. She called Calvary, and they gave her my number.

God’s restoration is perfect. It’s like Pastor Rick said, God doesn’t use duct tape. His restoration is perfect. So today at three, I picked up my driver’s license and the envelope with all the Christmas money in it.

He indulged me with His favor to give me the desire of my heart. He got my attention.

1 comment:

  1. Wow! I mean wow! God is pretty dang sweet!

    So happy He taught you a lesson in such a gracious way.

    Love you.


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