Partners in Power

Ask, and it will be given to you; search and you will find; knock, and the door will be opened to you.  For the one who asks always receives; the one who searches always finds; the one who knocks will always have the door opened to him.

                                                                              Matthew 7:7

 

I was thinking about this Scripture after I drove down one of the busier streets in my town. Well, not really ‘drove down’. It was stop and go the whole way.

I’d been out doing errands all day. Almost done with my list, a building traffic tie-up was really cramping my style. Annoyance reached up and grabbed me. “What’s the holdup here? Why aren’t we moving?”

 

traffic-jam-007

 

At home finally, an hour later, I wondered why I was such a victim of my emotions. In the face of the traffic, why couldn’t I calm down and listen to the radio or something?

I asked: “Lord, I pray for your help all the time. Why didn’t you give me the grace to overcome?”

After a while, it came to me. When I first read the ‘seek, ask and knock’ Scripture passage, I thought God did all the work after I knocked. But that’s not quite true. Yes, if I ask, he’ll give me the grace to overcome my annoyance.

But he can’t use the grace for me. It’s up to me to find it and use it. We have to be partners in that power.

Sitting in the car on that busy street, I reacted like I was helpless. Anger was rising in me, and I let it take over. Anger was the enemy, but I led it right past the moat and into my castle. I didn’t offer any resistance at all.

Then this prayer came to me:

My Father, please give me the grace to recognize your grace. Then give me the grace to accept your grace. And finally, please give me the grace to use the grace you give me.

I had the tools to over come. God had given me the grace to rise above my irritation. I just didn’t take the time to summon that grace, and use it.

I tell you therefore: everything you ask and pray for, believe that you have it already, and it will be yours.        Mark 11:24

I can’t physically see grace to overcome, but Jesus says I have it already. And I trust Jesus’ word. When those crazy negative emotions come, I can stand firm, knowing that I have the power to keep them out.

Anger can’t mess with me. With grace in my soul, I’m in charge here. Anger isn’t.

God did his part, now it’s my turn. Time to rise above and conquer. Then, the peace of God, which no one understands, will reign in my heart.

Next time I feel that irritation growing, I know what to do. I’ll grab my grace, and tell that anger to get lost. With the Lord’s help, I’ll be the winner in this fight.

And I will be, every single time.

 

Linking today with Wanda at: The Friday Five

 

Come on over and visit my Facebook page. I’d love to see you there!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

64 thoughts on “Partners in Power

  1. Hello there, my dear friend…
    And I shall think of you the next time I need to ask for grace.
    I always enjoy my visits here, and come away feeling better.
    Soooo, job well done! : )
    Have an awesome weekend!

    • Good Morning Billie Jo! How nice to wake up and see your lovely comment 🙂

      Thank you for your always kind, supportive words for me. I really appreciate it. Isn’t grace amazing? And how silly that I thought the Lord did all the work…I matter! I need to step up and use the grace he gives.

      I know you will have a great weekend, and that you are a big football fan. May the best team win!
      Hugs,
      Ceil

    • Hi Cecelia! I’m glad I’m not the only one, let me tell you. So frustrating to not be able to stay calm.

      Please do borrow this method, I know it works! So I can endorse it 🙂
      We all have that grace. But we are required to move toward it. That’s what I’m going to remember.

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend!
      Ceil

  2. Ceil,

    What a great encouragement! It is so easy to get distracted by circumstance and let our emotions run amuck. I am continually trying to respond through prayer rather than react.
    I love 2 Corinthians 12:9: And He said, “My grace is sufficient for you, My strength is made perfect in weakness” Therefore most gladly I will rather boast in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

    And it will when we seek, knock and ask. Thanks so much for sharing Ceil and God bless you!

    Sharon

    • Hi Sharon! Thank you for visiting here at my new blog home.

      I am so glad you saw this post as encouragement. His grace is enough for us, and thank you for that perfect Scripture to go along with the theme. (Why didn’t I think of that???)

      So true that we don’t have to be the strong ones. We can just follow the One who is Strength, and share that strength too.

      Happy Friday 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Linda! Oh, I’m so sorry Linda. I can feel for you believe it.

      When my emotions take over, praying is seldom on my mind. I think giving into the feelings just sweeps that idea away. Prayer, or at least realizing what’s going on is a great start.

      I’ll pray that we both remember to put up that wall of peace with the grace the Lord has given us. We’ll make it Linda. We have the best help of all.
      Have a great weekend. Are you a football fan?
      Ceil

  3. Hi Ceil, what a beautiful and meaningful prayer! Great post! Thank you so much for your kind comments on my blog posts. I found your Facebook page and just clicked ‘like’. I am Linda Elliott there, you should see my name under the ones who have liked your page. I also allow followers on my page. My whole purpose there, as well as on my blog is to ‘hopefully’ bring some joy, smiles, a tranquil place where people can go and feel at peace and encouraged. God bless you…and thank you for all you do!

    • Hi Linda! Oh, thank you so much for joining me on Facebook! Its such a fun way to stay in touch. I look forward to seeing you there. I’ll scoot over and check out your page when I’m done here.
      I’ll be ‘Cecilia D’Acquisto’ if I can figure out how to join yours!

      Be sure you are on facebook.com/surroundedbythespirit. I tried to put up a FB page myself at first, but then abandoned it. It looks like it’s the one for here, but the above address is correct. If you connect through the link here, you’ll be fine.

      I look forward to getting to know you better, both on FB and our blogs!
      Ceil

      • Hi Ceil, so sorry, I just tried the link I gave you when I was logged out, but it isn’t working. It must be my privacy settings. It’s O.K., I am following your page now! 🙂

        • Hi Linda! I did try your link, and it didn’t work for me either. I’m so sorry. Thank you for ‘liking’ my FB page. I look forward to traveling 2014 with you!

          Have a good evening!
          Ceil

  4. My friend Ceil, I know this kind of situation. I’ve been struggling the same thing. First I got in this then I was just like you I couldnt conquer instead I asked “why did You do this for me. I know You easily calm this situation”. The second situation I got the same thing, I was mad and said “just do what You want to do, make me more anger”. The third times I was in the same situation, and I cried because I couldnt blame Him, I know He has another reason, at the time He showed me, that He did change situation but He was trying to change my heart in that situation. I let Him change, then I could conquered my ego, grumbles. Then day by day I know how to changed the situation for me.

    This post reminds me of what I just told you above. We wont ask Him but we keep finding our own strength. At the end there’s no way. 🙂

    I’m so glad that we have Sweet Father who teaches us everyday to always rely on Him more.

    Thank you Ceil for the comment and what you’ve told me there. Always encourages, and bless me 🙂

    Praying for you.

    • Hi Delvalina! Wow, it sounds like the Lord is working hard with you, doesn’t it? But you figured it out, and he knew you would.

      God is always looking to change our hearts to make them look more like him. Always love, always peace. I know I am often ruled by my negative emotions, which is against his way. But if I keep his face and life in my mind, I know I can do better. But it sure takes effort.

      You are so right, not by my own strength can I do anything good.
      I’m so glad you were encouraged by my comments Delvalina. I think that’s why we blog…to share and encourage each other on our way to hopefully becoming better people. I know you do that for me.

      Happy Friday 🙂
      Ceil

  5. I lnow exactly what you mean in this great post. It is very frustrating to be in a queue of slow moving traffic and there’s nothing you can do about it. The guy in front is so slow at moving his vehicle that by the time he got it in gear the lights have turned red again.

    And why does it always happen to me when I need to go to the toilet? Why can’t they have cars with built-in toilets?

    I like your opening quote from Matthew 7:7. It’s one of my favorites. Knowing my luck, if I knock at the door it will open outwards and hit me in the face.

    I’ve often asked God for patience. He’s taking His time about it.

    God bless you Ceil. This is really a wonderful post.

    • Hi Victor! I know! That ‘not making the light’ thing makes my husband so mad… And bathrooms in cars? Fabulous. I know I’d buy one.

      I am giggling at your comment about the open door. Somehow, I think the Lord is giggling too.

      Thank you for you blessings my friend. I am so glad you liked the post today. May God bless you with his peace, and a fun weekend too.
      Ceil

  6. Ah yes … our God is such a gentleman. He lavishly gives us all that we need, but doesn’t force it on us. He waits for us to respond …

    How soon we forget … how much we need to recall!

    • Hi Linda! What an interesting analogy… I have never thought of God as a ‘gentleman’, but Jesus certainly was. Thank you for that new insight!

      He does not force us, that’s true. Just those gentle nudges. I hope I’ll be quiet enough to feel them, and respond too.

      Have a wonderful weekend my friend!
      Ceil

    • Hi Monica! I’m so sorry about your stressful day. I had so many of those in my last job, I had to quit. Ugh. I hope today goes a lot better, and you use your grace to light up your place!

      Yes, and grace for those who don’t realize they are making life harder for someone else. May God cover your workplace with his peace and harmony.
      Let me know how it goes, ok?
      Ceil

  7. Ceil, I have had those moments when I have failed to see and live up to my part of in the partnership with God. Sometimes I’m guilty of running ahead without him and other times I’m sitting back waiting for Him to do something, when He has already graced me with what I need to meet the challenge. One thing I have prayed often is look help me to see and seize the way of escape or grace, etc. Thanks for joining me for The Friday Five Fellowship.

    • Hi Wanda! It’s always a pleasure to join your bloghop, Wanda. You are such a great encourager of bloggers!

      You are in good company. I also just skip right over my treasure of grace and run all over the place. Taking the time to connect with my spirit and grace…it will take time. But I’m up for the challenge, just like you.

      Have a restful weekend my friend,
      Ceil

  8. Whenever am I going to learn to come here first instead of blowing my stack like I did earlier? Thanks Ceil. You know..just a thought..next time when you find yourself in traffic and ready to blow..just think..maybe God wants me to be here for a reason..you never know when there is a accident or whatever..all is done on God’s time..even stuck in traffic..–on second thought..don’t listen to me..I am the one who blew my stack. lol (boy is it tough just being human & having emotions) Smiles

    • Hi Linda! You too, huh? But you have a great thought here, and I appreciate it very much. God is always thought-filled. So of course there is a reason for me to stand in that traffic.

      Maybe just to learn patience. Maybe to avoid something worse. Thank you for that wisdom!
      And yes, it is tough being human sometimes. But I get to know you, so somehow it all works out. Good thing we have each other!
      Have a good weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  9. You hit the nail on the head, Ceil–we don’t take up the weapons of our warfare (1 Corinthians 10:4) or put on the whole armor of God (Ephesians 6). And then we wonder why sin wins!!! 🙂

    • Hi Pam! I do like that ‘armor of God’ passage. If I had mine on, I wouldn’t have let that anger right into my castle!

      Thank you for that Scripture. It’s perfect.
      I hope you have a peaceful weekend Pam. Blessings!
      Ceil

  10. “He can’t use the grace for me. It’s up to me to find it and use it. We have to be partners in that power.”

    You know, I never thought of it that way, but it makes sense, Ceil. It’s not a lopsided relationship. We have to pull our weight. He’s always pulling His!

    Thanks for that fresh perspective, Ceil.

    • Hi Ali! Thank you for that thought about ‘pulling my own weight.’ Like any relationship, it takes two!

      Loved your post on spelling and grammar. I thought I was the only one! LOL!

      Have a good evening my friend 🙂
      Ceil

    • Hi Mindy! I will have a wonderful weekend Mindy! I’ll be glued to the Super Bowl :0 So much fun.

      How do we get through the day? Only grace. And it’s here for me. I have to remember just how graced I am. And use it!

      Happy Weekend to you!
      Ceil

  11. Good Afternoon Ceil! In answer to your question, no it’s not my birthday today. It’s actually on Valentine’s day. My mom in law is celebrating it all month long. 🙂 She’s commented a few times and ending them with a Happy Birthday at the bottom. Silly girl!

    I love this post. Our God is such a gentleman, isn’t he? I’m so thankful I have a bucket full of Grace to hand out at times. I wouldn’t want to be walking around this place with out it… if you know what I mean?! I love that scripture in Mark 24. He really does answer our prayers when the time and Grace is right.

    I hope you have a wonderful weekend!

    Hugs and Grace,
    Amy

    • Hi Amy! You are the second person to call God a ‘gentleman’. That is a new concept for me.

      I do know what you mean about grace. I shudder to think what my life would be without this powerful, free gift from the Lord.

      Thank you for your encouraging comments about the post today. It’s so nice to hear! You are such a supportive blog-friend. Talk about ‘grace’!
      Have a wonderful weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  12. Ceil, this is a wonderful post and one that bear repeating. I think all of us at one time or another have just wanted to pray and God do all the work for us…I know I have…Sometimes I just want Him to fix it for me…Truth is , as you said, He does give us the power but we do have to avail ourselves of the gift….Thank you for this wisdom…..

    • Hi Nancy! ( I really like your photo, you are a welcome smiling face!)

      I’m so happy you came to visit today, and thank you for your lovely comment about the post. You are not the only one who thought God would do everything. Kind of like a ‘full service’ bank.

      But he allows us to participate in our own salvation, just like a loving, generous Father. We are truly blessed!
      Hope you have a peaceful weekend. Any football in your plans?
      Blessings 🙂
      Ceil

  13. Oh Ceil…I need to remember this post when I am behind the wheel as well…that seems to be my weakest area! Oh, and maybe I better use this too at the check-out line at Walmart. A great message here!

    • Hi Debby! I smiled at the comment about WalMart. Just waiting anywhere can get the engines going for irritation. I am the same way, that’s why I could write about it!

      I am trying to take a step back, or think of why things are so slow. It helps!

      At least we can bond over our weaknesses, and praise the God who empowers us in spite of ourselves. How great is that?
      Have a peaceful evening, and a restful night,
      Ceil

  14. Wow, what a great message! I have frequently gotten a kick out of myself when I pray and think I ask for what I want and then later realize that I needed to pray a completely different prayer altogether. I love the way your phrased your grace prayer. I am actually saving that for future use. Another commonly used prayer in this house is the Serenity Prayer. I don’t know what I would do without it!

    • Hi Anne! That Serenity Prayer is really good. It’s those short ones that really stick with me. Thank you for reminding me about that powerful prayer.

      That’s so cool that you liked this prayer so much that you copied it! I hope you will pray it with the results of grace, as I hope in the Lord for me too. We’ll make it Anne. Slow and steady. Just like the tortoise!

      Have a restful night my friend,
      Ceil

  15. Ceil-This is a great post. I have never thought about his gifts in quite this way before, but I think you are right on target. He has given me grace, but he can’t make me use it. He gives us what we need every time, doesn’t he? Love it!
    Love the new look of your blog! I’m curious what prompted you to make the switch to your own domain. Maybe I should email you for some advice!

    • Hi Susan! Thank you for visiting me in my new blog home! I’m glad you like the ‘new look’. It is different than Evangelize, I do think it looks cleaner. I’m learning to navigate WordPress, and it hasn’t been too bad. The reason I switched is located in the “About” page. You can access it from my header.

      If you have any specific questions, just email me. (“Contact me”.) I’d be happy to answer any questions. I also asked WordPress people about their experiences. It’s a great way to get some feedback.

      I’m really glad you liked the post today! You have it exactly. We have what we need already. It’s a matter of realizing, getting and using. Easy to say, hard to do, at least for me. I’ll keep trying though!

      Have a good weekend Susan! Nice to see you again 🙂
      Ceil

  16. Good point, Ceil! We are partners with God when it comes to grace! “Anger can’t mess with me. With grace in my soul, I’m in charge here. Anger isn’t.” I like the way you put this – we so often act as if we aren’t in charge of ourselves, as if the grace isn’t waiting for us, when it just might be that we fail to grasp it. Great post!

    • Hi Mary! Thank you for ‘liking’ this on FB too. I appreciate your support like you have no idea 🙂

      Thank you for your kind words about the post. So true that I act like I’m some kind of defenseless infant. That is not true! But I have to make the decision to get out there and use what I have. It’s power in grace, and it’s all I need.

      Have a peaceful evening and a restful night my friend,
      Ceil

  17. Ohhhh I should have read this post yesterday before I got into a disagreement with my husband. I don’t like the way anger takes ahold of me. I need to learn to let go and put the things I cannot change in God’s hands. Looks like I need to grab some grace, too!

    • Hi Marsha! Oh yes, I hear you loud and clear. Anne mentioned the Serenity Prayer, and that’s kind of what you are paraphrasing here. Change what I can, be a peace with what I can’t. And there was no changing that traffic!

      We’ll go grab some grace together, ok?
      Have a great weekend! Who are you for in the Super Bowl??
      Ceil

  18. When I think of grace, I think of a debt owed that was erased because He loved me so. When I get angry (and I sure DO), He always reminds me what love really is, and it is changing how I react to outside pressures now. Love your neighbor….whew, this is not easy! I know “I” am not easy to love sometimes. But to love someone so much that you die in their place?! LOVE thy neighbor?! Oh Yah, I have so much more to learn so that I can be more like your only begooten Son!

    I missed you, Ceil! I love how you changed things up and I follow your fb page too. I changed things up as well. Blessings and cyber hugs!

    • Hi Kelly! Thank you for visiting me here in my new blog-home! I went to my FB page and didn’t see your ‘like’…I hope you are on the right page? If you went there through this link, you did it right. Maybe it’s a little late in letting me know. Thank you for your support, I appreciate it so much!!

      I did change things up! My Blogger blog had some issues, so I started this one. I hope you will like it here. I’ll check out your new home too!

      Love your neighbor is the challenge of a lifetime, isn’t it? Some days good, some days not-so-good. But I think if we keep trying, God will honor that. And give the grace to get to the goal!
      So nice to see you again!
      Ceil

  19. Hi Ceil,
    when I read your post I had to smile. We have not long come in from shopping and at one store the lady at the till said she was closing the till and asked us to go to another till. When we moved to the other till the lady who had said she was closing told the customers that she was staying open. My husband and another man in the queue were quite annoyed. I felt fine and I reminded my husband how delay had one saved me from being in a road accident. I believe that all things work together for us, and even my husband himself will admit that he has a little trouble with being patient. God is, I believe, through these trials trying to have us to stay calm no matter what the situation.
    God bless

    • Hi Brenda! That does sound like a complete set-up for annoyance! I love your attitude of staying calm, and being able to help your husband too.

      You have living proof of how delay can work for good. I’m so glad that the Lord kept you safe from a road accident. What a great event to remember when the situation calls for patience.

      God is the best teacher, isn’t he?
      Have a good weekend my friend,
      Ceil

  20. Ceil, that simple grace prayer is so powerful that I had to write it down! Also, when you stated the next time you feel irritation “I’ll grab my grace…”, I imagined me reaching up and grabbing hold of grace for myself. I pray I remember this while driving, because driving has always been a source of irritation for me. I’m a work in progress and God is slowly refining me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Hi Marilyn! I think about me grabbing that grace too. Sometimes having a physical visual for the divine is so helpful, isn’t it?

      So I am not the only one getting irritated by driving. Well, at least I don’t feel all alone out there. I like your thought about being ‘slowly refined’. I think that is very true. Slow and steady wins the race, so I guess we’ll be winners one day!
      Thank you for your visit today Marilyn. I always love seeing your smiling face 🙂
      Ceil

  21. Yes, we already have grace and then we need to use it! Amen, amen! Your post reminds me of a song by Disciple called, Dear X. He is basically singing a ballad against those sins like anger, hate, jealousy, etc. For example from the band’s song, “Dear Anger, you made me so high. You were faithful to show up on time. So amazed at the passion in your cries…I let you go, but your still chasing…Go ahead, put a target on my forehead, you can fire, but ya got no bullet. I was yours, I’m not yours anymore. You don’t own me!
    Yes, to have the freedom from sin and to be given grace-thank you Jesus!! Hope you have a wonderful weekend Ceil!

    • Hi Dionne! Wow, it’s been a long time since I’ve seen you! How did you find me? Well, maybe you were ‘forwarded’ from Evangelize…

      I have never heard of this song, but I love it already. I especially like the reference to the empty chamber. Try all you want, you won’t get to me. That’s my goal for sure. ‘You don’t own me.’ That’s what I want!!

      So nice to see you again, and I’ll come by to visit you too. I pray you will have a restful weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  22. Powerful lesson! I too fall to my emotion easily. The power that our Father has given us in our free will is so under estimated. We have a choice to make daily and to use the tools He’s given us. Thanks for the reminder. Very well said… and done!

    • Hi Floyd! Good point about the free will aspect. We have all these tools in our spiritual tool belts. Will we decide to use them? You’re so right that this gift of will is underestimated. Starting with me!

      Thank you for your kind words about the post Floyd! Have a blessed weekend 🙂
      Ceil

  23. How I can certainly relate Ceil! Sometimes my spontaneous outbursts of anger (or better yet…my occasional short fuse) makes me feel guilty, pretty embarrassed, and miserable! Very often, the harder I try not to be angry, the greater is my failure! However, one thing I know for sure, no one can make me angry without my own consent, and I Know I need God’s help to ensure I maintain a longer fuse. 🙂 🙂

    Blessings sweet sister; enjoy your Sunday!
    Denise

    • Hi Denise! You spoke a lot of truth for me here, Denise. I am the one who has the choice to be angry. I have to say ‘yes’ to it.

      If God were not in my life, I know I would struggling a lot more with negative emotions. Thanks be to him who strengthens me and you, and quietly weaves longer fuses on our little emotional time-bombs.

      Thank you for that image too. I like it!
      Happy Sunday to you too. Are you a football fan? I’ll be glued to the TV tonight 🙂
      Ceil

  24. The word “grace” stands out to me. Grace, “God’s unmerited favor”…even when we get angry and frustrated and impatient….and so on, and so on. Yes, I need that grace each day…for others who frustrate me…and I pray that others will have that same grace for me…when I frustrate them. And especially that God will continue to shower His grace on me, because I KNOW that I must frustrate Him!
    Thank you for this today. It was a good reminder for me before I head back to work tomorrow.

    • Hi Pam! “Unmerited favor”. Yes, definitely true.

      Where would be without God’s powerful help in grace? And a big challenge for me is reminding myself that I have that power, because he favors us all with it. I have to find it and use it!

      Have a good Monday at work Pam. And may his Grace be just pouring out of you, easy to find. Easy to recognize.
      Blessings!
      Ceil

  25. Praise God for His grace! It is amazing that as the Holy Spirit indwells believers, He gives us access to all of His wisdom, power and blessings, yet we often are hindered in that access because our sin nature grieves or quenches the Spirit. Thank you, Ceil, for this beautiful and truth-filled post.
    God bless,
    Laurie

    • Hi Laurie! One of my favorite passages from Scripture is “Do not grieve the Spirit.” Or said another way “Do not squelch the Spirit.”

      God is always encouraging, always empowering. You are so right that we are the ones who have the next move. Will what we do give grace flight, or grind it down? God gives us great power in our free will. And as we have hope in him, he has hope in us. It’s a beautiful circle.

      Thank you for your wise words today,
      Ceil

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