Saturday, November 3, 2012

3 a.m.

Oh how I wish I could turn my mind off at times. You know, like at 3 a.m. when I’m wide awake and thinking of something I need or want to do? That’s when I do wonder why Mr. Sandman doesn’t show up and sprinkle some of his little dust over me so that I might fall into a deep sleep for another three hours.

But it doesn’t happen that way. The harder I try to fall back to sleep, the wider awake I become.

This morning was yet another morning when I was wide awake at 3 a.m. and I just couldn’t stop my mind from doing what it’s designed to do. Think.

Since my acceptance of the two writing challenges during November, I’ve taken on two new projects that are media driven.

Now while I am pretty good with most secretarial skills, I’m most challenged by the media driven programs. Like PowerPoint. I love it, but since I don’t use it on a regular basis, I forget some of the features and it takes me longer to do anything because of that fact.

So not only was my mind thinking of what I might write this morning, I was also thinking of the two new projects, the presentation of the two new projects, the related details that go along with the two new projects, plus the two writing challenges that I have undertaken for November.

It’s no wonder I couldn’t sleep!

So here’s my question this morning. How can I possibly be effective today with only four and a half hours of sleep?

Well, if I rely on my own abilities, I know it is impossible. I don’t believe I can be effective on my own. But, I do believe with God’s Spirit working through me, I can be effective.

Here are some Scriptures to back up this statement.

Isaiah wrote a message long ago for us to consider. “The fruit of righteousness will be peace; the effect of righteousness will be quietness and confidence forever.” (Isaiah 32:17 – NIV) When I think of effectiveness in connection to righteousness (God’s righteousness upon me), the result will be quietness and confidence. Now with that combination, I can be effective.

Paul and Barnabas were pretty effective guys. But they also knew where their effectiveness came from. God. God’s Spirit at work in them caused a great awakening among the Jews and Gentiles. Look at Acts 14:1 (NIV) to see the results. “At Iconium Paul and Barnabas went as usual into the Jewish synagogue. There they spoke so effectively that a great number of Jews and Gentiles believed.”

Paul loved visiting with his Church people. And the Church at Corinth held a special place in his heart. He had a great desire to spend some quality time with this group, so at one point he opted to skip a visit so that he could stay longer the next time…and because of an effective work in Ephesus.

“Perhaps I will stay with you awhile, or even spend the winter, so that you can help me on my journey, wherever I go. I do not want to see you now and make only a passing visit; I hope to spend some time with you, if the Lord permits. But I will stay on at Ephesus until Pentecost because a great door for effective work has opened to me, and there are many who oppose me” (1 Corinthians 16:6-9 – NIV)

On another occasion, Paul wrote these words to Philemon. “I pray that your partnership with us in the faith may be effective in deepening your understanding of every good thing we share for the sake of Christ.” (Philemon 1:4 – NIV) Paul was and is pretty good at deepening our understanding of all we have through Jesus Christ.

And then there’s the message from James about prayer. I began with righteousness and will end with righteousness. “Therefore confess your sins to each other so that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective.” (James 5:16 – NIV) Now that is what I call effective!

So what can I take from these passages?

Through God’s righteousness, I can be effective.

Through God, I can speak effectively for Him.

Through God, great doors for effective work will open.

Through God, I can effectively deepen my understanding of His goodness.

Through God’s righteousness, my prayers are effective.

I am certain that I will not be of any use at some point this afternoon. I will more than likely need to take a short nap in order to be effective. But in those moments when I feel the least effective, I know that I can lean upon God and His righteousness and I will be effective.

How effective are you today?

Grace and peace be yours in abundance,


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