by Pastor Tim Burt
Happy Thanksgiving from the Burt Family to yours! May we all thank God together for the many blessing He has blessed us with through Jesus Christ our Lord!
Do you know the old expression “Is your cup half empty or half full?” Well tell me this; how do you view your life for the most part? Are you waiting for your ship to pull in before you become excited about what God has done in your life or have you noticed and are you thankful for what God has blessed you with now?
In the 2nd chapter of Malachi, we read about those who could only see from the “half empty” perspective. They were God’s people but their heart, their attitude, and their personal lives before God were not right. Consequently, how they viewed and understood God and the way He treated them was contemplated from a distorted perspective. When you aren’t living right before God and yet you still expect His blessings, your perspective is off somewhere. If you read the book of Malachi, you would see that God’s people were doing their own thing, yet wanting God to bless them outside of obedience to His Word. Thus they developed a lousy and skewed perspective and attitude. They whined that God blessed evil doers while not blessing them. Malachi 2:17 (NIV) says, “You have wearied the LORD with your words.” How have we wearied him?” you ask. By saying, “All who do evil are good in the eyes of the LORD, and He is pleased with them” or “Where is the God of justice?”
In modern-day language, it might sound like this. “God always seems to bless them but we never get blessed.” “This blessing stuff doesn’t work. My brother Frank has enough money for the entire family and yet he lives like the devil.” “I don’t get it. I give God some money once in a while and my car breaks down and I don’t have enough for the bills. That’s it! I’ve had it. If this is how God is going to deal with me, I’m going to keep my money and live like the devil, maybe I’ll come out ahead.”
If you notice at the start of this verse, it says, “You have wearied the Lord with your words.” We know that the Bible teaches, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks.” If someone was speaking words that wearied God, then we know that this was what was in their heart and perspective.
In we see the “half full” perspective. We see someone who knows the Lord, who knows the Lord is their helper, and so consequently sets their face like flint. Isaiah 50:7 (NIV) “Because the Sovereign LORD helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore have I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” They know that God is there for them and that settles it. They are not going to be moved no matter what the negative circumstances seem to say. This is a heart attitude that emulates faith – that pleases God—that opens the door and creates the atmosphere for God to move mightily in.
In Matthew, we read about the woman with the issue of blood who had been sick for 12 years. She had finally set her face like flint toward God. She said to herself, “If I only touch his cloak, I will be healed.” This pleased the Lord because her words rightly reflected the heart and will of God. Jesus turned and saw her. “Take heart, daughter,” he said, “your faith has healed you.” And the woman was healed from that moment. Matthew 9:21-22 (NIV)
When we aren’t mindful of what God’s will is and have faith in it, we will become weary, then disappointed, and soon feel dead in side. This is the point when people pull back from God and quit meditating on His Word and quit praying. It is just a short time later that whining and complaining begin to spill out our mouth. From there our perception of God’s goodness deteriorates and becomes distorted. Just around the corner is Satan ready to convince us that having faith in God is a waste of time.
When we take the time to be ever mindful of the many blessings that God has bestowed and desires to bestow upon us then our eyes will be open to see more of what He is doing in our life. We are to be steadfast in faith—like flint—toward God’s promises. Flint is a variety of quartz that, due to its extreme hardness, is easily shaped by flaking. Known and used since very ancient times, flint was used by the Israelites for knives, ax heads, arrow heads, spear heads and starting fires. God wants us to be immovable by circumstances instead standing hard core like flint in His promises. He wants our words to be; “Father, I thank you that this is your promise for me and I’ll not be moved until I see it manifest in my life. I set my face like flint, and I know I will not be put to shame.” When we draw close to Him with that kind of tenacity, God will help us see the cup half-filled while He is filling it the rest of the way. Our face will be set like flint and our faith ignited.
Be blessed as you praise God for the abundance of goodness that He has touched your life with today! Speak your thanks out loud to Him. Watch it change you and your circumstances. Psalm 28:7 (NIV) “The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusts in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song.”
In His Love,
Pastor Tim Burt
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