“For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven.” -Ecclesiastes 3:1
As we start fresh with this new year, I wanted to ask God with expectancy what His word or phrase for me for the year should be. And I am completely not surprised by His answer. If there’s one thing that I struggle with, it’s worry… and I worry a lot. I worry about the smallest, biggest, and everything in between. And I also have a hard time seeing beyond where I am… especially when it’s not where I want to be.
This year, I believe God is wanting to break me of both things. Instead of worrying – trust Him completely. And instead of feeling hopeless in any situation – trust the process. Know that every time has a season and every season comes to an end, whether good or bad. To look beyond the seasons and know that He is right there, constant in every one of them. I feel like worrying and feeling stuck are tied together with the commonality of keeping my eyes earth-focused when they should be heaven-focused. So this year, as I begin fresh and new, I want to be filled with hope and trust. I want to know without wavering that my God comes through. I want to be heaven-focused instead of tied-up in “civilian affairs.” What is your word or phrase? And if you haven’t asked, just do it! You won’t regret it.
While listening to a song the other day, it said, “I’ve got angels over my head.” This made me think: Yes, I really do, and I have the same Holy Spirit as the disciples and Jesus. So why do I have days filled with stress or feeling defeated? For me, I forget. I forget that I am a child of the King. I forget that this life is temporary and that I have 24/7 access to the Creator of the world. I forget that He wants me to come to Him and bring Him my thoughts, emotions, and worries. I forget that He wants to give me peace, joy, and love.
I forget that this life is temporary and that I have 24/7 access to the Creator of the world.
These last couple of weeks, I have been more intentional with my prayers. I’ve spent time telling God all my yuck and He keeps replacing it with good. I’ve been telling Him of individuals who are suffering right now with heartbreak due to sickness, disease and just being lied to. As I try and intercede for these and reach out to them with a text, dinner, or a phone call, my spirit is recharged and growing stronger and stronger. When we put others before ourselves and Christ before all, the same Holy Spirit grows even stronger. This encourages me more and more to become more sensitive to His promptings.
The world doesn’t want us to know who we belong to.
It is a daily thing to remember. We carry the same Spirit as Jesus. The world doesn’t want us to know who we belong to. God’s economy always blows me away. Everything is backward or upside down. Less of me is actually more like me than I ever could imagine. Less of me is when the Holy Spirit is allowed to use me more. I’m thankful for the persistent pursuit of the Holy Spirit. It changes me and keeps changing me for His good.
We’ve been blaming the devil since the beginning when Eve blamed the serpent for eating of the forbidden fruit. And just like Eve in the garden of Eden, we are looking for something more, and Satan simply plants a seed of disturbance in our head.
So then what? Well, the way I see it, I have a choice for the next step I take (we all do really). Will I go with my heart, or will I seek counsel and turn to Jesus’ words, like in 1 John 4:4?
“Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.”
There comes a time in our lives when we realize being a follower of Jesus isn’t the easy road. It’s tough and not some quick fix of “oh look how awesome everything is now.” No, that’s when Satan is going to throw whatever he can at you, and you are going to have to pick a team. It sounds odd to say but it’s true. If you’re not saying yes to God, you’re saying yes to Satan.
We make excuses all the time for ourselves or others. Yes, things do happen and we make mistakes. My heart breaks for marriages, children, parents and even the individual that is walking around with scales over their eyes, unwilling or incognizant to God’s love that restores us. I realize I make this sound far more simple than the months and years it may take to repair what is broken, but my main point is, as Christians we have to start realizing it is us sinning, not the devil. Yes, he is the tempter, but James 1:14 says:
“But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire.”
What drives you? What do you long after? Where do you spend your time and money? If God is not in these decisions, then we need to know someone else is guiding our influence. But at the end of the day, God has given us the freedom to chose. If you’re being tempted, stop and spend time with God, wise counsel and do anything not to make a foolish, selfish choice that will follow you for the rest of your life.
God makes a way of escape.
We’ve all heard it, bad things happen to good people. It’s also true the other way, good things happen to people that…well, aren’t so good. Right? As I read Jeremiah 33:6-9, God is telling Jeremiah how He is going to bring back Judah and Israel from captivity, rebuild them as they were before, and forgive them from their sins of rebellion. Just like these countries, I have rebelled. Did that rebellion cause bad to happen to me or others who have experienced something bad? I don’t have an answer to that question. Yet, what I see in these verses is God telling Jeremiah that even though these countries have strayed He is going to restore, and not just restore but in verse 9:
“Then this city will bring me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.” – Jeremiah 33:9
I don’t understand God’s ways, why things happen to “good” people, but I trust Him. I also believe these verses show that adverse situations happen, yet He is a God who restores to the point that others are in awe. Why would He do that? Maybe so the world will take notice, and when someone states, “Wow things sure have turned around for you,” you get to pour out a heart of gratitude for the One who has restored those things that were desolate, dark and seemed destroyed.
See, He never leaves us. On top of that He alone restores, and His idea of restoring will not look like your idea of restoring. Remember God is another level. He has a plan, and when He starts working and moving, He wants your praise and honor because this shows others His goodness. Be His mouthpiece of praise as He does things you didn’t think possible. Some people won’t understand it, and that’s not your problem. Be obedient to God, and He will take care of the rest.
I stepped on one of those patches of thistles that grow in the grass the other day. I immediately knew what I had done as the pain was intense even after I moved my foot from the evil plant.
Later, I was thinking about that experience and how in life we keep stepping on thorns. You know, you keep doing that thing over and over again. Until, one day we experience real pain from that choice or action or statement we made. Then we have another decision…what am I going to do to remove the pain of my action? Continue reading “Thorny Times Of Life”
Life is too short to live in constant concern of what might happen…
Give your heart to God and love others like crazy! That’s the way Jesus responds to the Pharisee in Matthew 22:36-39…well that’s paraphrased… this is what it actually says:
“When asked ‘Teacher, which is the greatest commandment in the Law?’
Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And second is like it: Love your neighbor as yourself.'”
I’m not sure how you go around in life but far too often the wheels in my head are in full amped mode. Like, what would happen if I did this or didn’t do that? What about that person at work? I’m not sure they like me. What if, what if, what if…??? Oh, what a vicious cycle.
What if, what if, what if…??? Oh, what a vicious cycle.
I’ve lived it, carried it and hung on to those things for dear life and in doing so paralyzed myself from loving, moving forward or enjoying this amazing life I’ve been given.
I’m learning to do more loving and a lot less ‘What if…?’. Yes, we must be wise but at the end of the day, I have to know in Whom I serve. And if I can’t trust God with my unknowns, why would I think keeping them to myself and analyzing them to death are going to make any difference?
So, if you’re missing out on the possible joys of this life because of ‘What if…?’, just try what Jesus said: Love God first and love others like we should be loving ourselves.
Life is short but it’s lovely if…we’ll release it to Him!
Have you ever given someone something and later decided you should have kept it? Yes, I have too. I get all hyped about cleaning out closets and other little areas of my home, and later have ‘givers remorse.’ But the one thing I’ve never done is to go and ask for it back. Well, except for that one time I gave God my doubt about the new job I had taken and wondered, “Could I learn it?” Oh yeah, or that time I told God I wanted to give Him my concerns over finances, the kids, moving, anxiety about what people think about me…blah, blah, blah…(wow the list is longer than I thought! Lol!) Continue reading “I Gave It To Jesus…Kinda”
So, the last couple of years have been difficult, to say the least. I’ve had numerous offers from friends and loved ones to help me with different tasks that have needed to be done, offers to listen and pray for me, even help me move. (Which nobody wants to do, yuck!) I have had a go-to phrase during this time as well, “Thanks, but I got this.”
See, overall I’m a pretty laid back, take things in stride kinda person. Okay, maybe “independent” is a little more accurate…until a few weeks ago when a loved one texted that they could help me with something. My response, “Yea, I got this.” Then, in a moment, they responded, “You’re prideful.” Continue reading “I Got This…”
So, I was an only child and grandchild until I was 10. Life was good! Then, one day my mom walks in smiling and asks, “Do you want a brother?” I barely took my eyes off the tv just long enough to respond, “No.” (And what would have made her assume otherwise?)
Needless to say, a few months later this baby made his arrival, and everybody gushed and oohed and awed over him…even MY friends! (The nerve!) I was not happy, everything had changed for me, and it was hard.
Continue reading “I Didn’t Like Him…”
I can’t begin to tell you how many mornings I’ve woken up in the last year to prayer and tears. Tears that were brought about by a foreshadowing loss, while trying to remain in Christ and His promises of strength and courage. The promise that God is greater.
Loss did occur and life was nothing as I had thought it would be, yet hope was not lost, somehow it has remained. I know it remains because of Christ, because only He can give real hope, peace and returning joy. Jesus never left me through any of the many trails, heartache and deep loss, a journey that I would never wish on anyone.
Continue reading “Loss & the Inconceivable Greatness of God”