Exceeding Great Reward

Working with autistic children has definitely been interesting, and I am enjoying it for the most part. One thing that I have learned is that it’s important to have the right reinforcers or rewards in motivating the kids to want to work.  Trix cereal works great with one of my kids. I tell him “sit down”, he sits in his chair, and then I reward him with a few of those sweet, round morsels. Another boy I work with likes “surprise” reinforcers. I will bring something for him inside a brown paper bag and say “first tie shoes(or whatever skill we’re working on) and then, surprise.” He is usually very compliant in doing what I ask so that he can get his reward. These little reinforcers need to be changed up from time to time, because if they are not, most likely the child will come to the place of SATIATION.  He’s had his fill of Trix, talking books, paddle balls, peek a boo, etc. and therefore is no longer motivated to want to work.

I was thinking about these things and how they can apply to our relationship with God. Did you know that there are rewards in living for God? Psalm 103 mentions a few of them.

 

 

 

Psa 103:2

 

 

 

Bless the LORD, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits:

Psa 103:3

 

 

 

Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases;

Psa 103:4

 

 

 

Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies;

Psa 103:5

 

 

 

Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s.

In the book of Genesis, we can read the first time the word “reward” is mentioned.

Gen 15:1

 

 

 

After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.

God is not only the rewarder, but He is also the reward too! What a privilege it is to be able to have a relationship with Him, to be able to pray and worship and actually feel His presence! There is nothing else like it in the whole world. I wonder what would happen if every single time when we prayed we felt God’s presence? Could we get to the point where we grow so accustomed to feeling the presence of God when we pray or enter into the house of God that it suddenly doesn’t mean anything to us anymore – where we have reached spiritual satiation? We can just take it or leave it? I don’t know about you, but I’ve gone through seasons in my walk with God where I am worshipping Him with all my heart and trying to serve Him to the best of my ability, but I don’t feel a thing. It’s like the heaven’s are brass, and God is a million miles away.  Sometimes I wonder if God allows this to happen so that we will not take Him for granted.  Whatever the case, I don’t ever want to get to the place where serving God, praying, reading His Word, feeling His presence and just plain living for Him becomes “old hat.”

Isaiah 9:6 speaking of the coming Messiah(Jesus) tells us that His name would be called “wonderful”.

Wonderful………………..full of wonder.  May He be so full of wonder in our eyes that we can never, ever get enough of Him!

 

 

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9 thoughts on “Exceeding Great Reward

  1. That’s one of my favorite Psalms. I especially like the part about forgiving all our iniquities. You know how you can get so low, under condemnation. I memorized that Psalm during one of those times, to remind me that my “remorse” wasn’t needed beyond initial repentance–more than simply saying I’m sorry (and meaning it) and thank you (ditto) is just dead works.

    As for getting tired of feeling HIS presence? Ha! No way! He is too sweet, too wonderful, too surprising and delicious and . . . . well, you know. There are no words. 🙂 And besides, I had to wait soooo long!

    Love, Cindy

    Hi Cindy. I like Psalm 103 a lot too. Nobody can match God’s benefits package! It does seem hard to imagine tiring of feeling the presence of the Lord. I think there is more of a danger of that to those that have been raised in a godly home and church and have never known anything else. Sometimes the devil gets to whispering in their ears and suggesting that maybe there is something better out there in the world.

    I’m not sure what you mean when you say, “I had to wait so long.” Do you mean wait so long to be filled with the Holy Ghost and feel His presence?
    Thanks for stopping by, Cindy.

    1. Not everyone’s walk is the same. I hope that you’ve always felt God’s presence all your life, but I was raised in church (a good church), saved at a young age, spoke in tongues–the whole bit. I occasionally did sense His presence, so I shouldn’t say it was a total drought, but mostly, nothing. No guidance, no still small voice, no tangible support in times of trial or temptation. Why? No idea. I’m sure He had His reasons.

      Anyway, I’m delighted to be able to sense His presence now, and discern His voice. I really, really like it, and since I went through nearly 50 years of nothing, I’m hoping He thinks I’ve had enough. 😉

      Hi Cindy. I was not raised in an apostolic church, and I never felt the presence of God until I was 16. I’ve gone through some dry spells since that time, and although they are not pleasant, I think I do appreciate it more when I feel His presence. A couple of years ago, I was really struggling with anxiety, which in turn was affecting my health. I knew God was there, but it was hard to sense His presence. I’d wonder how I was going to be able to go to church and sing and lead worship when my heart was racing to the point where it felt like it would jump out of my chest. Somehow, God always helped me, but it seemed like when church would be over, I would go home and be enveloped in darkness again. I remember one day when I was home alone, I put on a CD with some worship music. I started listening to a song about praising the Lord for everything He has brought you through. I didn’t feel anything, but I got up off the couch and started walking back and forth in the living room lifting my hands and worshipping God. Suddenly, I felt His presence in a very powerful way. I was speaking in tongues, weeping and jumping up and down all at the same time. The darkness that I was battling with lifted, and I have not struggled with it since that time! I’m not sure why I just shared that, but I hope it helps. Have a great day, and thanks for stopping by again. 🙂

  2. Good evening. This is a great point. If we were overwhelmed by the presence of the Lord every time we entered into prayer, we would become accustomed to it and take it for granted. I was just thinking on how the children of Israel had manna from heaven every day and were still not content. I also like the passage in Psalm 63 that tells how “my soul followeth hard after thee.”

    As for autistic children, they can be really challenging. Our oldest son is autistic. He’s only 14 and he’s as big as I am. And if he really wanted to, he could “put the smack-down on me.” (He is unbelievably strong) By the grace of God, he has a happy disposition and is very obediant when he understands what’s expected of him. One standing prayer concerning Matthew is “Lord Jesus, I ask that your name will be glorified in his life.”

    Thanks for offering up this posting and the observations concerning the presence of the Lord. I remember someone once saying how, as we grow in Christ, we become less dependant on feelings; trusting always that he’s a very present help in trouble. Don’t get me wrong; I love the presence of the Lord manifested. But it’s important to be still and know that he is God; even when we’ve only gotten 4 hours of sleep in the past day and are juggling a plethura of obligations. Times when we may just not feel all that spiritual.

    Thanks again. Blessings always in Jesus name.

    timbob

    Hi Timbob. I do believe the Lord would like all of us to come to the place where we are not just serving Him for what we feel, but for what we know – that He is God. However, there is no better feeling in the world than to feel the presence of God, and while I know that’s not supposed to be the reason I serve Him, I do want Him to know that I’m very grateful for all the times He has allowed me to bask in His glory.
    I remember you talking before about your son with autism. We have a boy with autism that attends our church. He is 9 years old. A couple of weeks ago, one of the brothers from our church testified that this boy(who is 9)was really praying during the altar call at the close of children’s church. He had his hands lifted and was talking to God. I believe one day soon that God is going to fill him with the Holy Ghost. It will be awesome. Thanks so much for stopping by.

  3. Your thoughts really touched me this morning, Carol. I am pretty sure God our Father has thought about spiritual satiation and “changing up” our rewards. It is both humbling and reassuring to think He knows us this well and loves us this much.

    It sounds like you are enjoying your job and are right where God needed you to be. I’m glad.

    Hi Becky. I’m glad the Bible tells us that God is a rewarder of them that diligently seek Him. I am enjoying my job and praying that God will work through me to be a help to these kids and their families. Thanks for stopping by today.

  4. Such a great reminder. I never want to let His rewards to me be commonplace. May I always be thrilled with the wonders and goodness of our Lord. My, this was a great post!!!

    Hi Karen. I believe that we are a people that have been abundantly blessed, but it seems that sometimes abundance can breed a lack of appreciation and a “take it for granted” spirit. I’ve certainly been guilty of that before, but I definitely long for God to cultivate in me a heart that is more grateful. Thanks for stopping by today.

  5. Hi Carol,

    Psalm 103 is my favorite! I cling to those words often.

    I have heard it said before that we are to “hold on in the dark what we learned in the light.”

    It certainly is a test of our faith when we go through a dry spell where God feels a millions miles away. We can truly recognize and appreciate God’s presence as our reward once we have gone through a period of time without feeling Him near.

    Love to you in Jesus Name!
    Scotti

    Hi Scotti. I think I heard a saying that is very similar to what you had mentioned. “Do not doubt in the dark what God has shown you in the light.” We do need to walk by faith and not by our feelings, but I sure do appreciate all the times when I can feel His presence. Thanks for stopping by today.

  6. “May he be so wonderful in our eyes that we never, ever get enough of him.” Amen!

    I think this post also goes with receiving answers to prayer. If we always received an answer, we would become weak and would stop exercising faith.

    Hi Kweenmama. Good point about prayer. If we always received a positive answer to our prayers, we might just start treating God like some genie in a bottle that beckons to our every call and whim, which would not be good.

  7. Sis. Connell, Glad to hear your job is going so well. I understand what you mean about the little rewards and how they mean so much to the children. We use them for Caleb as well with him having the Sensory Disorder and Dyspraxia. We also have to change them often as he tires of the same thing very quickly and could care less about a reward and not respond to it if we don’t make it new and exciting for him. It doesn’t have to be anything big and major, just different to keep him guessing. Then after 6 months or so we can start repeating the rewards.

    Like Tim Bob’s son (though Caleb is very small, 53lbs) for an 8 yr old, he is extremely strong, especially when he goes into a shut down mode, which praise God, are getting less and less since Sis. Karen Harding came to our church and prayed for him. Miracles never cease. 🙂

    I believe that if we, received the same blessings of God over and over on a daily basis, like Caleb, we just might tire of them and we just might get to the point that we could care less whether or not we received them. Just like you said, we would take God for granted and not appreciate Him for who He is and be grateful for the many blessings that He bestows upon us. God, therefore, changes our rewards and blessings up too, just as we do Caleb’s and as you do the children’s you are working with so that we do not tire of them and the do not become old hat to us. He just goes a step farther. Sometimes He even holds back the blessings all together. A try spell every now and then really makes one appreciate a blessing when it comes. 🙂

    This post really made me stop and think and search my heart. With Thanksgiving coming up, I began to really thank God for all the blessings that He bestows upon us and also for the dry spells that come our way. If it wasn’t for those times and the trials we go through then we would not fully understand just who He really is and really appreciate the blessings of God when they fall upon us. GREAT POST! Thanks for sharing. Perfect Timing.

  8. I, too, am pleased, to see you are enjoying your job and finding its relevance in your own christian walk!

    I don’t ever remember NOT feeling his presence. He really is with me always, and I am so glad for that… I don’t need a return.

    It CAN be dangerous to package Jesus into a box of salvation that promises all the riches and rewards we can ever hope for. This is a very real world that men’s desires are interceded in our minds insteads of God’s Will.

    When reality crashes in and Jesus is still there, but a believer cannot sense Him, the believer is vulnerable. Our rewards should not overshadow our Faith. As the only true reward is the relationship with Christ itself.

    everything else is just the ‘fixins’.

    I somehow, sense, that your Faith walk will never become ‘old hat’. Complacency doesn’t seem to be your style!

    take care and peace~

    Hi Cindy. Thank you for your kind words. I agree that the true reward is God himself, and all the other things are the “benefits” of living for Him. I once heard someone say that the benefits of living for God are great, and His retirement plan is out of this world. I can attest to the benefits being great, and one day, by faith, I will be a partaker of His retirement plan! Thanks for stopping by today.

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