The Gospel According to a Shopaholic (part 2)

So once you’ve made out your order (see part 1), then what? Now comes the hard part – paying for it.  Unfortunately God doesn’t operate a buy now, pay later payment scheme.  He wants to know up front if you can afford what you have ordered from Him.  Now don’t get me wrong here, that salvation is free, but destiny will cost you everything you have.  Are you ready to pay that price?  He paid it for you…

What you order affects the price.  A run of-the-mill, off-the-shelf item isn’t going to cost the same as a bespoke designer item.  If you’re asking God for something fairly exclusive then you’d better be willing to fork out what it costs.

Also, some websites offer a premium delivery service where our item can be delivered to us if we are willing to pay a higher cost.  How desperate are you for your dream? I believe God can get us to our destiny quicker if we show him how focussed we are and how willing we can be to step up to the mark. The more earnestly we seek God’s face regarding our dream, the sooner we will have it.  What we focus on develops.

Once we have placed the order and paid for it then we have to wait for delivery.  This is the hard part!!  This is why I hate ordering anything my mail order or over the Internet.  I hate having to wait for it.  When you go shopping in town there’s nothing to beat the feel of a brand new plastic bag in your hand and walking away with your purchase.  You know exactly what you have bought and you know for sure that you have it.  There’s no room for doubt.  You just don’t get that feeling with online shopping.  When you order something online, you often wonder if they’ll have it in stock or if they’ll send the right item.  But you don’t go and place the same order with another company just because it doesn’t come the very next day.  You have enough faith in the company to wait until they deliver on their promise.  When we stand on promises from God and are waiting for a manifestation of those promises, during this time the enemy will tell us that we will never receive anything and that it is all a waste of time.  We must remind him and ourselves that our goods are bought and paid for and that they are on their way to us.

There are certain things we must do in the meantime whilst waiting for delivery.  If you order a new set of dining room furniture, you have to get rid of the old set first.  We must make room for what we have ordered from God by throwing out some old stuff.  That may mean throwing out old relationships, old habits, old mindsets.  Remember: what we make room for is what we will have.  Maybe one of the reasons you haven’t received from God what you have ordered is that he knows that there is no room in your life for it at this time to accommodate what you want from God.  If you want wisdom, make room for it – turn off the TV and read the word.  If you want the right connections, make room for them – stop hanging around negative people and come to church and fill your world with people who are full of faith and living their dream.  I you want finances, make room for it – start being a good steward of what you have and sow for what you don’t have.  Have a look at your life and see what needs to go.

This is one of the hardest things in the waiting process because once you throw out the old and are waiting on the new, you are just left with an empty space.  How we handle emptiness in out lives is often the hardest test God will bring us through – an empty nest, an empty bank account, an empty relationship.  God will bring us through season of emptiness to bring out what is in us.  He brought the Israelites through the wilderness before bringing them into the Promised Land.

Just a little side note here – God also has to make room for us. It says in the word that a man’s gift makes room for him but before God can make room for us he must make room in us.  This is often a slow and lonely process and difficult because we don’t see any connection between what is going on and the future dream.  But remember, every battle you face is over your future.  Bearing this in mind can help bring perspective to every struggle you face.

Finally, after this whole process, we must ensure that we are in when our goods are delivered.  Why does your parcel always arrive the very day that you are out of the house?!  Up until then you have waited patiently and nothing has come.  Then you go out and get on with your life only to find a delivery note when you come home saying, “We called to deliver your package today but you weren’t in.”  Aaaaaarrrrgggghhhh!!!!

We must always be available to receive the answer we have ordered.  We must always be expecting.  Heb 6:11-12: “And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.”  How many times in the bible does it say, “And suddenly…”?  Although we may wait a long time for our answer, it often comes in the form of a ‘suddenly’, and we must be ready to act when it comes.  We can’t allow impatience to rob us of our destiny.  Gal 6:9:  “Let us not grow weary in well-doing, for I due season we shall reap if we do not lose heart.”  We must be ready when our ‘due season’ comes.

I hope you’ve found some of these points helpful.  So go ahead, start shopping – you now have a biblical reason!!!

Purpose in process

Sometimes I look over my shoulder and say ‘what was the point of that? Why did I do that?’ For example, about 4 yrs ago I took myself back to full-time college to study media and design. It was one of the hardest things I ever did. Now I would love to say that I went through those two years with flying colours and was top of the class. But that is not the case. I struggled the whole time physically and academically and definitely felt I was the least talented in the class. And also the job I find myself now in has nothing to do with what I studied. So ‘why’ is what i ask? ‘Why put myself through that whole process?’ What was the purpose when the result was disappointing? But the purpose wasn’t to be found in the result but in the process itself. The process of stepping out, breaking out, confronting the thing I was most afraid of. That’s what changed me. Not the matter of whether I was successful or not. Looking for purpose in process is what sets you free from having to be perfect and achieve successful results.
It’s the process of writing these words that’s important, not whether I’m a terrific writer.

Thank God for that!

The Gospel According to a Shopaholic (part 1)

My name is Lisa McAuley and I’m a shopaholic.  There.  I said it.  They say the first step to healing is admitting you have a problem, so that is mine.  I love to shop.  It makes me happy.  I get a lovely warm feeling when I see something I love and hand over the money and get the item handed to you in a lovely new plastic bag.  You can’t beat it.  As if shopping couldn’t get any better, internet shopping came into our lives.  We can come home from work, get into our pjs, snuggle up on the sofa and shop! Heaven!!  I know I am not alone in this addiction, so ladies (and some men), you should identify with this post.

However, more than shopping I love the Word and how God speaks to us through it.  Even more, than that, I love how God uses everyday life to show us awesome principles from His word. Jesus did this when he walked this earth and brought truths to the crowds that followed him by using parables. Parables are basically everyday examples used to explain divine truths. You see, in Jesus’ day all the Jews had was the Torah read by the priests.  So when this guy came along talking about coins and sheep and seed and soil they were completely blown away. The scribes and Pharisees were so angered that they threw him out of the temple. However the ordinary man on the street got it. They saw truth that they had never seen before. The Word became real to them and it was something that they could work into their everyday lives.

God still speaks to us in parables. Not just the ones in the Bible but 21st century pictures to display ancient truths. A while ago God did that with me. He spoke to me using the parable of internet shopping!!
What can I say?  He speaks to us in a language we understand!!
So let me walk you through this.

First of all you have to establish what you’re buying. There’s no point logging on without a clue of what you want. There has to be purpose. Just like your life. You have to discover your purpose. Your dream. The reason god put you on planet earth. Realise you have one. Jer 29:11 says you have: “For I know the plans I have for you…plans to give you a future and a hope”. Once you discover your purpose you have to work out what you need to fulfil that purpose. This is when you make out your order. Imagine that the Word is your catalogue. Every promise in this book is there for you to purchase. It contains everything you need to fulfil your dream in God. Start to make out your order. Maybe you want to become a successful businessperson. Think logically about the practical steps you need to take in order to fulfil that dream. You will need the right qualifications, maybe that means you may need to take a course, you will need wisdom to know which course to take.

  • Item no 1 on the list: wisdom.

You will need finances.

  • Item no 2: provision.

Maybe in order to get that finance you will need extra employment. You will need favour to get that extra job.

  • Item no 3: favour.

Get the picture? For every item on this list there is a promise in the Word.  For example, regarding wisdom, Psa 51:6 says: “Behold you desire truth in the inward part and in the hidden part you will make me to know wisdom.” God can make you to know stuff that you don’t already know!!  Incredible!!!  The steps to your dream aren’t all ‘spiritual’. They are often times very practical and down to earth. All of these ‘goods’, wisdom, favour etc can be found in the Word. We make the order by finding the promises that pertain to these needs and praying and speaking them over our lives. Matt 21:22 says: “Whatever you ask in prayer, believing, you will receive.” There is a verse for every dream. If you need finance Phi 4:19 says “My God shall supply all your needs according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” If you need favour 1 Sam 2:26 says: “and the child Samuel grew in stature and in favour with the Lord and men.” If God can do that for Samuel, he will do it for you because one thing is for sure, in order to fulfil your dream you will need favour with God and man.

So go ahead and start making out your order.