Don’t let your heart be troubled…

Wow this seems simple, doesn’t it. Don’t be troubled … you already trust God, trust His Son, too. I recently read a beautifully articulated theory of something that really made me think about. The author spoke of their belief that God creates us, each of us, with an incompleteness, a yearning for Him. Think  of it as a “God-sized hole.”  I think everyone has a God-sized hole in the center of their life.  If we recognize the magnitude of it, and seek God to fill it … to take His rightful place in the center of our life … we have some hope of peace here. 

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“Do not let your hearts be troubled.  Trust in God; trust also in me.” John 14:1

God has left clues literally everywhere in our world that point to His majesty and to His dominion.  And, if we aren’t astute enough to pick up on the obvious visuals, He has a backup plan.  He instills each recipient of His Spirit with an insatiable desire to pass on the gift of hope in Him. Still, there are those who refuse to listen. They are doomed to a life of attempting to fill the hole with ill-fitting pieces.

When you’re stuffing substitutes for God into the hole, whether it’s money, or food, or cars, or worry, or whatever … your heart is troubled.  These false things can’t bring you  a lasting peace and never will.  They serve only to whet your appetite for more money, or food, or cars, or worry … or whatever.

Trusting in God, and in His Son Jesus Christ is the only remedy. If you will accept that, believe it, and trust it with your whole heart, and allow the Holy Spirit to lead you everyday … the missing puzzle piece that will seamlessly fill the hole and allow you to be complete. I love that!  Without the missing “piece,” we can have no “peace.” So think about that today.

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Will you wait on me?

Have you been doing everything you know to do, everything you could do, in order to get whatever you’re waiting for – and then came the Word of God: “Be still, cease striving… know that I am God.” If you are to walk in faith, if you are to live by faith, you have to cease striving. You and I have to shut your mouth and quit trying to teach, to instruct, to straighten out, and you are to know God. He sits as sovereign on His throne; He hasn’t moved. And you haven’t seen “the rest of the story.” Our part in this situation is simply “to be still” rather than “to do.”

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“Be still and know that I am God! Psalm 46:10

So many times I feel the Lord saying these words…  “Just wait my child…”  I would love for Him to finish that sentence lol.  Let me know what I’m waiting for and possibly who and how long should I wait, and when can I be done waiting!  I would assume waiting is not most of our strong suits. But this is where God has me and I’ve learned to welcome the wait as I know the wait will be so worth it and even though I continue to go to Him in prayer and the answer continues to be, “Just wait my child…”

Really, that’s it!  Just wait! I would love a little more information please, but it’s not coming. Not at this time! God has a plan and I’m know in my heart it’s going to be so incredible because I will have to wait, as only He knows what’s best.

I’m not sure where you are at in life right now, but I promise your period of waiting is just a season just like mine. This is another opportunity to lean on God and His Word. This is another opportunity to watch God do incredible things. Really all we have to do is wait. Maybe that’s not so bad in the context of all that God can do when we simply choose to wait on Him.

So here it is, I will be still. No matter how difficult it is! I will choose to pray, seek God and His Word. I will wait on Him, for the blessings He has in store for me  I want Him to be in control. If that means waiting, then waiting I must do!  Will you wait with me?  Will you allow God to come through in His timing and not yours?

God is our Strength!

If you look back at the rest of this Psalm, you’ll see Asaph wasn’t a spiritual powerhouse. He was an honest man who came to a point where the life of the wicked looked a lot better than the life of the godly. The grass really did look greener on the other side of the fence – and he was stuck on the fence! How many of us have teetered back and forth on that same fence? How many of us have wavered as we tried to balance the spirit and the flesh? The Psalmist realized this was a losing proposition because ultimately he couldn’t sustain it. Have a wonderful say relying on God as the strength of your heart. Love you all.

“My health may fail, and my spirit may grow weak, but God remains the strength of my heart.” Psalm 73:26

This verse is the prayer of a man who needs God. It is the heart of a soul thirsting and hungering for the presence of God. Too many times we muster up the spiritual intensity to actually need God only when our situation calls for it. Our perception is clouded as we look around at our success and look down from the mountaintop thinking we’ve finally made it past the need for desperation. When we ultimately come down (or fall) off the mountain, we tend to look around at those who stand above us and we become jealous or bitter because their lives appear more blessed than ours. Unfortunately, we don’t become needy for God until we crawl at the bottom of the dark valley looking for a lighted pathway out.

It is impossible to walk in faith and use God as a crutch. No, the walk of faith goes so far beyond that. God isn’t my crutch. He isn’t my “aid in walking.” He is my whole support. There is no part of me that has the power to walk this Christian life on its own. I am lead to the point of faith whereby I trust God completely without any reliance on my own strength. I am lead to the point of faith whereby I trust God completely not only with my future by He is my future. He is my strength and my portion.

Choose to Shine

There are so many people  who seem to think that their relationship with God is for them to know and for others to not worry about. And while I agree with them to a certain extent, the biblical text is clear that our relationships with God are called to be anything but private. Personal, yes. Private, no.

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One group of passages that I frequently refer to in regards to one’s call to a life of public faith is Matthew 5:14-16 which states the following,

“You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

The core message in these verses are quite clear; that in the same way one wouldn’t light a lamp and then cover it to dilute its sole purpose, a Christian isn’t to discover the hope of Jesus and never share nor keep it hidden from the public eye. The life and deeds of a Christ-follower should exude out of you. This would completely contradict the calling of the Great Commission; “to make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” It just doesn’t make any sense to stay quiet in a world that parades darkness and deceit. Our faith was made to be public. To be shared. To be discussed to those we come across. So what does this mean? It means that you’re called to be a shining example of a Christ-follower in all that you do, no matter what you do, no matter where you are, no matter who you come into contact with.

We’re called to live unashamed (#uncommon) to the fullest extent.

I guess I just have a hard time grasping the idea that someone can be fully devoted to Christ, yet hidden as it pertains to the public knowledge of that faith. I understand strategic evangelism as it pertains to countries where Christianity is illegal, but we as Americans really have no excuse to be silent when it comes to the existence of our relationships with God. I’m not saying you need to be on the street corner with a banner that says I Love Jesus!, but I am saying you should have no issue letting people know who you’ve given your life to. We’re called to live unashamed to the fullest extent.

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“For I am not ashamed of this Good News about Christ. It is the power of God at work, saving everyone who believes—the Jew first and also the Gentile”—Romans 1:16

When our lives get caught up in the beauty of The Gospel, we realize our existence is no longer about us but instead the many facets that make up the person of Christ. Our vocations as Christ-followers is to share The Gospel; the alluring and jaw-dropping beauty of The Gospel. Let your faith be known and your faith be strong. Don’t keep your relationship with God private, but instead outspoken and grace-filled.

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Believe God’s truth not the Lies of Satan!

All of life is a choice of who you will believe. Life is a battle between believing the truth or swallowing lies. And because the nature of our hearts is to doubt the truth and believe deceptions, it takes a deliberate effort to embrace God’s truth as non-negotiable. If we don’t keep our minds in the truth of the Scriptures on a daily basis, we become easy marks for our constant foe, the devil, who is both “an angel of light” (2 Corinthians 11:14) and “the father of lies.” Deception. It is the devil’s specialty. The Bible says, “He deceives the whole world” (Revelation 12:19). And he deceives the whole world through lies. Has he deceived you? “He is a liar, and the father of lies.” John 8:4.

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I hear from people often who have been deceived by the devil into thinking that (1) God is not good, (2) God does not really love them, and (3) God cannot really be trusted.  Those are perhaps Satan’s three greatest lies … and so many people, Christians included, subconsciously believe them, to one degree or another. Why is that?

All of us have a strong tendency to evaluate God’s goodness, love, and plan for our lives based on current circumstances. If things are going well for us, we tend to see God in a positive, biblical light. But, if things suddenly go south (we encounter job loss, health loss, marriage and family trouble, or a myriad of other things), we start to question the goodness of God and the promises in His Word.

Circumstances are a faulty means for evaluating God and His character. Job’s wife fell into that trap. As she viewed all of the tragedy that had befallen her and Job, she surmised that God wasn’t good, He didn’t love them, and He was not worthy of their trust. Her circumstance-driven response to Job was “curse God and die” (Job 2:9). Sadly, many follow her advice as they cannot seem to reconcile their trials and hardships on one hand with a good and loving God on the other. The devil steps in at that moment to say, “The reason this equation doesn’t compute in your mind is because God is not good, loving and kind. The pain of your trials is real and undeniable, but the goodness of God is obviously a cruel, sadistic joke. Better to just curse God and die.”  

The truth of the matter is this: God is good, regardless of bad circumstances. God loves you and me, regardless of the storms that may pour into our lives. God has a good plan for us, regardless of what it might look like right now. God knows what He is doing,  quit judging the product before it is finished. Trust God and His Word. The cross of Jesus Christ is God’s permanent reminder to you and me that He is good, He loves us, and He can be trusted. The devil’s lies or God’s truth: which one will you choose to believe today?

Have a wonderful as you trust in God and not the lies of the devil. Love you all. 

Do Not Worry about Tomorrow!

Do you realize how much time you spend thinking about things that you cannot change? How much time do you spend worrying about what might happen? Christ is teaching us in this passage that we are not to have our focus upon tomorrow. If you are constantly worried about tomorrow and what tomorrow will bring, you will miss the blessings that God has for you today. When you are focused on today, you can praise God for all the things that HE brings your way.

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” Matthew 6:34

The Lord wants us to live this day abundantly, seeing all there is to see, doing all there is to do. Don’t be distracted by future concerns. Leave them to Him! Each day of life is a glorious gift, but so few people know how to live within the confines of today. Much of their energy for abundant living spills over the time line into tomorrow’s worries or past regrets. Their remaining energy is sufficient only for limping through the day, not for living it to the full. He is training us to keep our focus on His presence in the present. This is how to receive abundant life, which flows freely from His throne of grace.

It is too easy to focus on the problems of tomorrow. God is able to direct you, protect you, and provide for your every need. If you are focused upon that which is out of your control, then you will not be looking to God and how HE might take care of your need. In order to change your focus, you need to stop relying upon your own strength and start relying upon God and what HE can do for you.

If you follow the commands of Christ and focus your attention upon the things of God, you will soon realize just how strong God is and how HE can deliver you from all of your problems.

Have a wonderful day as you cast your cares and worries on the Lord. Love you all.

Obedience-The Key to Knowing God’s Will!

Good day everyone! I was led to passage and message to share with you and one that we all want to know the answer to this question of knowing God’s will for our lives. It’s so simple (I said simple, not easy). But all we need to do is fully surrender our lives completely to the Lordship of Christ, live a life of total obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit, and maintain our first love for our Lord and we will be in the will of God. If you can say to yourself you’re doing these 3 things you have your answer that you’re living in God’s will if you can’t say this, let me encourage you to get there because it’s safest and most peaceful place to be.

Have you ever wondered what God’s will is for your life? Have you needed to make a difficult decision and wondered what God wanted you to do in that situation? We all struggle with questions about our future. Questions like: How can I know God’s plan for my life? Which job should I take? Is this the person God wants me to marry? Is this a good investment to make? Should I share the gospel with my boss? You probably have questions you could add to that list.

Like I mentioned in the beginning the greatest discovery I have ever made concerning how to know the will of God involves these following three things.

* Fully surrendering my life to the Lordship of Christ

* Living a life of obedience in the power of the Holy Spirit

* Maintaining my first love for our Lord

Many Christians are trying so hard to discover the will of God that they lose the joy of the Lord and leave their first love for Him. But all we need to do is abide in Christ, maintain our first love for Him, and walk in the power of the Holy Spirit, and we will be in the will of God. So as you continue to walk in the Spirit, He will guide you in making the most important decisions of life. He will also guide you in the daily, moment-by-moment decisions and actions of your life. So the key to knowing God’s will is to be obedient to the guidance of the Holy Spirit of truth. If you are willing to trust and obey God and live a holy life, God will reveal Himself to you and direct your steps as a way of life.

Satan is the enemy of our soul. His mission is to keep us from being effective and fruitful in our witness. But although he wields great power, Satan can never defeat us if we are completely yielded and obedient to Christ. Some people are reluctant to trust God completely with their lives, fearing that He may want to make a change in their plans. Yes, He will change our plans. His plans are infinitely better than the very best we could ever conceive.

Is it not logical that the One who created us knows better than we the purpose for which we were created? And since He loves us enough to die for us, is it not logical to believe that His way is best (Romans 8:32)? Obedience is the true test of our love for Christ and the secret to discovering God’s will for our life.

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Have a wonderful day as you remain in His presence. Love you all!

I Trust in God with all my Heart!

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My pray for each and everyone of you is that you can get to the point where you cry out to the Lord and say in faith “I trust in the Lord with all my heart” and you rejoice because you know God is your strength. You don’t have to try to make it through difficult situations by yourself. Trust God with all your heart and He will support you.

“The LORD is my strength, my shield from every danger. I trust in him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.” Psalm 28:7

Life can throw us for a loop sometimes. One day we wake and our world has crumbled. We may certainly be caught off guard, but God is not. When we get to the point where we are exasperated and at our wits end, we are then in the exact place we need to be, for God to step in and do great things in our situation. When we finally realize that we are unable, we will begin to see just how able God is. When we step aside and place the situation in His hands, we can expect to see great things happen.

The true test of our faith, is being able to say “I trust You Lord”, when all hope seems gone and our ability has been exhausted, when our circumstance screams our defeat. God is not unaware of our circumstance; in fact He knew what would take place, long before we became aware there was even a problem. Regardless of what we may see, we can know beyond doubt, that we can trust in Him and He is more than able to see us through.

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If we put our faith in God, He will see us through the tough times, and we will emerge from our experiences renewed and wiser. He truly is our shield and strength. Rejoice in His great love for us, and lift your voice in praise.

Have a wonderful day as you Trust God with all your heart. Love you all in Christ.

“Are You Leaving, Too?”

Jesus asked the twelve apostles, “Do you want to leave too?” Simon Peter answered Jesus, “Lord, where would we go? You have the things that give life forever. We believe in you. We know that you are the Holy One from God.” ~ John 6:67-69

We come to many crucial decision points in our lives. None is more important than this one. What do you do with Jesus? He has been pressing us to decide about him all week. Most of the world will turn away from him. Even though God’s grace has prepared the way, the path is too narrow and the demands too difficult for most people. Most don’t want to have to give up control. Most want a messiah whom they can tame and manipulate and make into their servant. Jesus would be our King—not prince or prophet, not rabbi or ruler, but King. So will we turn away? Will we leave? No, for he is King. Only he has the words of life.