The Word is My Life
Monday, December 11, 2017
My Words are life to those that find them . . . . Prov. 4:22

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August 2016 When Tides Turn, Adjust!

From My Life’s Journey                                                                               August, 2016

Topic: When Tides Turn, Adjust!

Routines can be boring, but they can also be comforting because we know what to expect, and we can do what we’ve always done.  Then one day on the road of routine, the tides turn, and something unexpected happens.  What then? 

This happened to me.  I was going about a regular day when God spoke to my spirit that I would need surgery.  As you know, in the past I spoke about a health issue and how God granted me grace to handle things naturally (that is, with homeopathic remedies, herbs, diet, and lifestyle changes).  Through it all, I’ve learned to listen to my body and discipline myself to live in a healthy way.  I’ve also shared basic health tips with those I counsel.  But the tide turned, and it was time for this issue to be dealt with more directly. God determined that my body would get a reset through surgery.  

What happens when the tide turns?  If you’re wise, you adjust.  You change your way of thinking and doing to align with what God says about the situation.  This happened with Saul.  In Acts 9, we learn that Saul was on the road to Damascus, preparing to kill Christians.  He felt he was doing the will of God.  But then in Acts 9:3-6, “A light shone around him from heaven.  Then he fell to the ground, and heard a voice saying to him, ‘Saul, Saul, why are you persecuting Me?’ And he said, ‘Who are You, Lord?’ Then the Lord said, ‘I am Jesus, whom you are persecuting’… So he, trembling and astonished, said, ‘Lord, what do You want me to do?’” Saul (later, Paul) understood that things had shifted in his life – the tide had turned.  After being certain it was God, he simply asked, “What do You want me to do?”  He was ready to make an adjustment.

The tides also turned for Mary, the mother of Jesus.  She was going about her way preparing for marriage when the angel of the Lord spoke to her, telling her she was highly favored of the Lord and would give birth to a son, Jesus (Luke 1: 31).  Although she did not fully understand the means by which she would become pregnant, she yielded to God’s plan: “Behold, I am the servant of the Lord; may it be done to me according to your word” (Luke 1:38).  The tide turned in Mary’s life, and she responded by adjusting herself to the plan of God: “May it be done to me according to your word.” 

 

Even Jesus had to make an adjustment.  In the Garden of Gethsemane, He prayed to His Father for He knew God's will required that His life be sacrificed.  After living only 33 years, the tides turned, and He addressed His Father: “O My Father, if it is possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will” (Matthew 26: 39).  He adjusted His will to God’s will. 


When the tides turn in your life, the first step is always to open your heart to God, ask Him to reveal Himself in the situation, and then ask Him to direct your steps.  Truly, “the steps of a good man (or woman) are ordered by the Lord” (Psalm 37:23).  Something that helps me tremendously in my Christian walk is having a God consciousness.  My thoughts continually turn to God.  For some, God is the last person considered when disruptive things happen.  Others just go into a shell and try to avoid dealing with the situation altogether.  Instead, the Bible clearly instructs us to “seek first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you” (Matthew 6:33).  If we seek God first and endeavor to line our lives up rightly with Him, we’ll receive the direction and help we need from God.

 

Now back to me.  When I received God’s instruction, I made a deliberate decision to walk with Him all the way. I followed His lead and I’m so glad I did.  He led me to a surgical specialist in Maryland who specializes in my female-related health challenge.  All the travel planning and the surgery itself – on August 4 – went off beautifully.  The presence of God was on me mightily throughout the entire experience.  Ladies, God was faithful to me!  If I ever knew God was Faithful and True (Revelation 19:11), I know it now.  I allowed Him to be my Shepherd, and I lacked for nothing, including a speedy recovery.  I was able to return to counseling at the outreach ministry the following Thursday – August 11.  I was also able to complete final grading of papers and close out a doctoral class I was teaching on the following Sunday.  God put me on the bench for a week, and then called my number to get back in the game. 

 

I am reading a book by Henry Blackaby and Claude King entitled Experiencing God.  The authors said something powerful that spoke to my spirit: “Salvation is a shift from being self-centered to God-centered.”  At some point on our Christian journey, we have to ask ourselves: “Am I in charge here or is God?”  I’m here to tell you: If God is truly in charge, you’ll know all things are working out for your good (Romans 8:28) because you'll experience it.

 

Being able to adjust and move in God’s leadership when tides turn is a mark of spiritual maturity.  Don’t stress out!  Gather yourself, arise in God consciousness, tune your heart to Him, and follow His guidance.  Romans 8:14 says, “For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, they are the sons of God.” I have found that God is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us” (Ephesians 3:20).  These words are true.  Think on them. 

 

Ever onward, ever forward~  

Dr. Iris Barrett

“The Word is My Life” Training Ministry