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Sunday, January 20, 2013

Living A Charmed Life

“If the LORD delights in a man’s way,
he makes his steps firm;
though he stumble,
he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.
Psalm 37:23-24 NIV

Today I am thinking about how nice it would be to be living a charmed life. You know the type of life I am talking about. Be happy, no worries. We all know people who seem to live a charmed life. They have excellent health, an amazing spouse, perfect children and grandchildren, and plenty of money. These folks travel and lay on sunny beaches. They eat in the best restaurants and shop and spend till they drop. They do not worry about the details of living because others are doing their work while they play. Realistically, this sounds a little bit like they live on “Fantasy Island”. Yet in the world we live in it seems that there are many who are chasing after all of the above. Many people pretend to have achieved the brass ring of the good life on the outside but on the inside there is pain, sadness, regrets, discontentment, disappointment, and a longing for the next thing to bring them happiness.
It is in the garden of my heart that Jesus speaks his truth. “Paula, this type of living is not the charmed life!” At his suggestion, I take off my rose colored glasses and instantly my vision begins to take in the beauty of God’s garden. This garden is real, vibrant, and beautiful no matter what season of life I find myself experiencing. The grape hyacinths bloom a beautiful deep blue announcing the peace of Jesus, the red geraniums flash bright colors of indescribable joy, the mums of autumn are warm and soothing, reminding me of the warmth of God’s everlasting love. When the winter of life comes to my garden, God covers life’s interruptions of sorrow with a white blanket of peace. Even in those times of sorrow, if I will choose to look, I will always find a ray of God’s glorious sunshine. Yes, this indeed is living the charmed life.
The charmed life is available to all who will believe in Jesus Christ and choose to follow him into the garden of personal growth. It is here those who have found Jesus experience his divine glory. God’s glory shines in the garden of our hearts and comforts us in our times of need. His glory is revealed when we experience the joy that is always the result of our gratitude. God’s love allows us to look into the mind of our Savior, Jesus Christ so we might leave the garden of prayer a person, who is filled with his love, mercy, and grace. God desires that we walk life’s journey in peace because we trust our Lord to make our steps firm. When we live this way God will take delight in us. Even though we may stumble, make mistakes, or fall Jesus is always holding us with his strong hand. He upholds us in all that concerns us. This is living the charmed life! As a follower of Jesus Christ we are privileged to walk daily in a warm and personal relationship with him. In this life it really never gets any better than that!

I am reminded that all our provisions and blessings come straight from the hand of God. Curiously, it is the believer that expresses gratitude to God. Still because of God’s great love he blesses even those who do not stop to offer him gratitude. They are spiritually bankrupt because they do not know the source of their provision and their many blessings. The reality of the true charmed life continues to elude them as they listen only to the voices of deception. This message fills the minds of these individuals and they become self-centered in their desires and prideful of all they achieve. They do not need God because they are their own source of blessing. But at the very least, the truth is, without God’s breath of life within them and the gifts and talents he has endowed them with, they could do nothing.

I am about to leave the garden but before I leave the Master Gardener gives me some words of warning. “Paula, remember life is meaningless without me. Satan is a roaring lion seeking to enter your mind and destroy all that is good in your garden. He wants you to have no part of God’s charmed life. Remember, in this world you will have trouble. Your life is a continual ebb and flow. Good times will wash out to sea and bad times will rush to your shore. There will be times of sickness and health, and times of plenty and times of need, and you will experience both joy and sorrow. Do not be deceived by Satan’s lie that says I do not care, because I care deeply. Do not become discontent with where you are in life. Remember I have your hand. Another word of warning, discontentment is a major tool of Satan. Chasing after what is not important can be fatal. Contentment with my daily provision and care for you will be strength to your bones. I know what you need physically, mentally, and spiritually. Do not believe that the grass is greener in your neighbor’s yard. Stop comparing yourself to others. Do not believe that others live a charmed life while you are faced with the real problems of life. Bear in mind you will have all that you need at the exact moment you need it, you must trust me. I have your back and all I have is yours. Do not fear the outcome of the black and white facts of life, rather trust me. In this life some things may not end well from an earthly perspective but I will never leave you or forsake you. Heaven’s gates are open wide and you have a seat at my table. Even during the times when life trips you up you may stumble but you will not fall. Under you are my everlasting arms. The “ultimate” charmed life will be revealed to you in eternity. Stay with me until then.”

  1. What do you believe the charmed life to be?
  2. Do you consider yourself at this moment to be content or discontent?
  3. What is your source of discontentment?
  4. Who is the source of your contentment?
  5. How does God describe the charmed life?
  6. What will you do this year to deepen your relationship with God so that you might recognize the charmed life God has for you each day?

Dear Heavenly Father,

I have so much to be thankful for. Even if the pay check doesn’t come or reports from the doctor are not good, still there is so much to be thankful for. Even if the winds of natural disaster blow over all I own, I will still find reason to praise and worship you. Rock bottom is never a place I want to go but if I find myself there help me to trust that you are holding my hand. Jesus, forgive me when I slip into the sin of discontentment that destroys my focus and cancels my hope. Help me to re-evaluate my priorities and then give them to you for arranging. Lord, I don’t want to overload myself with the trivial and insignificant things of life and as a result snuff out the charmed life you have planned for me. Help me to know that sometimes I must say no to good things so that I can have time to spend with you and the family you have given me. Father, I know that the charmed life is a life that cannot be earned, purchased, or achieved. The charmed life is in fact learning to recognize and enjoy the gifts that you freely and abundantly give to me as I walk daily in a relationship with you. I treasure my salvation. I am blessed to be the recipient of your love, joy, and peace. I rejoice in the hope I have of heaven. Jesus, I thank you for blessing me with your charmed life both now and eternally.

In your name I pray. Amen.