Obedience 

​Obedience Is a Lonely Place!

Mary responded, “I am the Lord’s servant, and I am willing to accept whatever he wants. May everything you have said come true.”And then the angel left. – Luke 1:38

Now why ever did the angel just leave Mary? Wouldn’t you have thought the angel would have stayed? After telling her what was going to happen to her, the very least he could have done was to stick around and see her through.

Mary must have wondered how she was ever going to manage. But the fact of the matter was that the angel departed and left her to face the grave consequences of her submission. Where was the angel when she had to try to explain the situation to Joseph? If only the angel had appeared by her side as she struggled to relate her incredible experience, Joseph might have believed her! She had to explain herself to her parents. Where was the angel then?

Mary discovered that obedience can be a lonely place. To say yes to God when an angel is talking to you is one thing, but to go on saying yes when the angel has left is another thing altogether! But God wants to see if we will walk on in the dark.
If we can come to that point, we may have the privilege of having the angel slip back and whisper in our ear, “God has decided to bless you” (Luke 1:30), and that should be enough! What is God asking you to do? Will you do it? More importantly, will you do it without the angel?

All Things are Possible to those who Believe! 

God has promised us that He would withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him. This requires that you and I walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. As we walk by faith, we gather the confidence that God is, indeed, with us because our carnal mind is being destroyed. The carnal mind is dominated by thoughts of condemnation and guilt, which tend to isolate the believer from experiencing the presence of God. When we feel separated from God’s presence, it will greatly diminish our confidence to believe God to carry out His Word on our behalf. Consequently, our lack of confidence will give place to discouragement and unbelief. 



Today, you may be facing what looks like impossible situations in the physical as well in the spirit. However, you don’t have to struggle with a lack of confidence and assume that you’re always going to have to live with limitations that seem to hold you back in your walk. The Apostle John tells us in his epistle, if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart.  

As a born-again believer God lives in your heart through the Holy Spirit, so God is with you. If you don’t have the confidence that God is with you, and you tend to assume that things are never going to change for the better, then you must step out in faith and ignore your feelings. Feelings will deceive us into believing that the Lord isn’t with us, and if we fall prey to the feelings of our flesh nature, we will begin to believe that God isn’t with us when, in reality, He is. 

If we believe anything that is contrary to God’s Word, we are acting in unbelief. If you’re faced with situations that seem to be insurmountable, then align your heart with God’s promises from His Word in obedience and watch the power of God destroy the weaknesses of the flesh. 

Once you overcome the feelings and step out in faith, you will realize that God was with you all along. However, Satan was preventing you from knowing it through the veil of your flesh nature. Go beyond the veil, enter into the Holy Place, and see the salvation of the Lord today. This is your day to seize what God has promised, but Satan has been prevented from occurring in your life and on your behalf. Remember All things are possible to those who believe.

Allow God to be God and trust in His decisions and oversight! 

We often see difficult circumstances through a narrow lens that doesn’t let in all the light or the complete image. We often have tunnel vision that robs us of the entire picture that surrounds us. When I think of suffering, pain, tragedy and loss, I try to remind myself that what I can understand is entirely limited by the mere fact of my humanity. I’m not God, I don’t know all, cannot see all, cannot understand all that is involved in every situation, but I must try to allow God to be God and trust in His decisions and oversight. 

“Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity, All that I know is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything complete, just as God knows me complete.”  ~1 Corinthians 13:12

When we trust God to bring a good ending to the story, even while the portion we see looks very grim, when all is said and done we will better understand the temporary painful episodes in our lives. Life can deliver us very painful blows, striking us so hard that we fall to our knees. Afflictions of all sorts and sizes can disable us, cripple us, and make us feel very small compared to our trying circumstances.

When the dark night of trials and tribulations surround us, when depression crushes us with its mountainous weight, it is then that we must look to God, perhaps even in anger and frustration, and ask for His intervention in our lives and in our terrible circumstances. Perhaps our frustration is with God, the answer is still to go to Him, tell Him how we feel, and pour the pain of our lives into His hands. Even that is an act of faith that I believe God will honor.

Our lives are very short on this earth, and sometimes God trusts us with pain and misery, with loss and separation of the things we love and cherish. The Lord may not give us good answers to the losses we feel deep in our hearts, but I think, if we will look up, if we will cling to a shred of hope, we can get through today, and perhaps tomorrow as well. God gives us our daily bread, and it is day by day that we must carry our burdens and face our hardships trusting that each day His grace and mercy will pull us through.

You may be facing the challenge of your life right now, and despair may be knocking on your door, you may be so angry at God that you would rather curse, than bless His name. This is called “being human”, and our fellowship of suffering is what brings us together.

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


As I meditated on this verse, I saw that “be still” could be translated “cease striving” or “let go, relax.” 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 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.” You part in this situation is simply “to be still” rather than “to do.” 


So how many times have you felt the Lord saying these words…  “Just wait…”  We would love for Him to finish that sentence. Let us know what we’re waiting for and possible who and how long should we wait, and when can we be done waiting! I would assume waiting is not most of our strong suits. But this is where God has you, let me encourage you like I do myself to welcome the wait as I know the wait will be so worth it and even though you continue to go to Him in prayer and the answer continues to be, “Just wait…” 

I’m not sure where you are at in life right now, but I promise your period of waiting is just a season. 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,just be still. No matter how difficult it is! Choose to pray, seek God and His Word, and wait on Him, for the blessing He has in store for you. Let Him be in control. If that means waiting, then waiting you must do! Will you wait with me?  Will you allow God to come through in His timing and not yours?
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Have a wonderful day in the Lord’s Presence.


All Things are Possible to those who Believe!

God has promised us that He would withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly before Him. This requires that you and I walk in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. As we walk by faith, we gather the confidence that God is, indeed, with us because our carnal mind is being destroyed. The carnal mind is dominated by thoughts of condemnation and guilt, which tend to isolate the believer from experiencing the presence of God. When we feel separated from God’s presence, it will greatly diminish our confidence to believe God to carry out His Word on our behalf. Consequently, our lack of confidence will give place to discouragement and unbelief. Have a wonderful day remembering all things are possible to those who believe!  

Today, you may be facing what looks like impossible situations in the physical as well in the spirit. However, you don’t have to struggle with a lack of confidence and assume that you’re always going to have to live with limitations that seem to hold you back in your walk. The Apostle John tells us in his epistle, if our hearts condemn us, God is greater than our heart. 

As a born-again believer God lives in your heart through the Holy Spirit, so God is with you. If you don’t have the confidence that God is with you, and you tend to assume that things are never going to change for the better, then you must step out in faith and ignore your feelings. Feelings will deceive us into believing that the Lord isn’t with us, and if we fall prey to the feelings of our flesh nature, we will begin to believe that God isn’t with us when, in reality, He is.

If we believe anything that is contrary to God’s Word, we are acting in unbelief. If you’re faced with situations that seem to be insurmountable, then align your heart with God’s promises from His Word in obedience and watch the power of God destroy the weaknesses of the flesh. 

Once you overcome the feelings and step out in faith, you will realize that God was with you all along. However, Satan was preventing you from knowing it through the veil of your flesh nature. Go beyond the veil, enter into the Holy Place, and see the salvation of the Lord today. This is your day to seize what God has promised, but Satan has been prevented from occurring in your life and on your behalf. Remember All things are possible to those who believe.

Trust in God’s Name!

We have to remember God’s promise does not mean that if we trust Him we will escape loss or suffering. It means that God Himself will never leave us no matter what we face. We need to constantly voice our trust in Him frequently. This simple act of faith will keep us walking along straight paths with Him. 

“Those who know your name will trust in you, for you, O LORD, do not abandon those who search for you.” Psalm 9:10 

Forsaken! Forgotten! Abandoned! These are the feelings so many believers encounter from time to time, especially during periods of increased pain, bad reports from the doctors, friends who don’t understand, and family who seems to suffer from helplessness and myriad of things. These feelings are real, and they seem to overwhelm us like an ocean’s waves, rising and receding in some form of unearthly, unmetered tempo.  

There are two keys unlocking the door to security and assurance even during the seasons of attack: Knowing God and Trusting God. 

Knowing God is more than merely acknowledging His existence—it’s a very personal knowledge and pursuit of an intimate relationship through prayer and time in God’s Word. Knowing God is learning His character and understanding who He is and the depth of His love and faithfulness toward us. 

Trusting God is more than merely acknowledging that He is in control—nearly everyone will tell you, “God is in control.” But, knowing God is in control by laying down our desires and allowing His plan and purpose to be developed and fulfilled in us is the form of trust to which the Psalmist is referring.

When we seek the Lord, we begin to understand the character of God and His unfailing love in a deeper way. When we seek the Lord, we begin to understand that our lives are secure in His most capable hands regardless of how we feel. When we seek the Lord, we learn to rest in the assurance that we will never be forsaken, forgotten, or abandoned.

Blessed is the Man who Trusts in the LORD!

Do our actions and thoughts tell the Lord that we do not trust God? Ask yourself am I genuinely trusting the Lord or am I relying upon my own abilities and strengths? Do I find myself anxious when trouble comes or am I resting in Christ’s greater ability and superintending Lordship? I hope and pray this messages encourages you to continue to put your complete trust in the Lord. 

“But blessed are those who trust in the LORD and have made the LORD their hope and confidence.” Jeremiah 17:7

Trusting in God is one of the hardest things to do as a Christian. Trusting in God is vital to our spiritual lives. When we open up to our Lord in belief we will experience the amazing ways that He opens up to us. The more we trust Him the more He rewards us and reveals Himself to us. When we trust in God to come and make our life new, we need to be ready for Him to come and do just that. If we want to see miracles, we need to believe in miracles.

If we want to see God move in our life, we have to trust Him to move in our life. When we truly trust the Lord with all our hearts, we finally give Him the freedom to minister to us without getting in His way. We are retaining control over our situations by not trusting Him.

God asks the hardest thing from us; to abandon our common sense, close our eyes to everything around us, put aside our knowledge of earthly reality and logic, and trust Him. He is trying to help us grow in our faith, and in order to do that He continues to raise the bar a little bit at a time. As we grow spiritually, He asks us to believe more. God wants us to trust Him and continue trusting Him. We need to continue trusting regardless of what is going on around us, even if things seem hopeless.

God’s desire is that we take that one leap of faith to trust Him with our life. When we take that leap, He is finally able to wrap His arms around us. We need to go back to that place where we have unquestioning faith and believe as a child. God wants to give us a full and abundant life, but He only asks for us to believe in Him.

Hope or Hopelessness? It’s a choice!

The one thing that I can’t even fathom is what it would be like to go through the issues of life without having faith in the hope of the world – Jesus Christ. Because through Christ – all things are possible. Hopelessness just doesn’t exist when you know how important you are to God. After all, we were created in God’s own image and the Scripture is full of passages that affirm that we are important to Him. That means that when your life is less than you wish it to be; and you are scared, or terrified, or lonely, or worried, or stressed, or unable to meet the bills, or just lost your job, or a myriad of other things… Remember to look up. Because that is where you will find hope. 

Somehow, things just look a little different when you bury yourself in God’s Word and start to think about all the times in your life that God has shown up at just the right moment. That doesn’t mean that you aren’t going to wonder, in your humanity, whether God will let you down the next time or not – but He won’t. He knows your need – even better than you do; and certainly before you do. 

Now if you have trouble finding a way to hope, you might try thinking about the times in your life when you needed help – and God delivered. Or if you think that you have lost your way and don’t know how to re-connect with God, then my suggestion is to think about the last time you remember connecting with Him – He will be there, waiting for you – after all, we serve a patient God. 

Hebrew 10:23 “Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep his promise.” That means when times are tough, try to stay the course. God is faithful and your hope in Him is well founded. My encouragement this day is that God wants you to have hope as well. I know that at times life can seem overwhelming, and the situation seems hopeless, but it doesn’t have to be that way. My prayer is that God will miraculously show you how important you are to Him. Close your eyes and just feel Him. You won’t believe how loved and safe you will feel when that happens. In the meantime, have a great day in the Lord, grace and peace! 

Why Should I Pray? 

After pondering the perfect sovereignty of God, many have asked the question “Why should I even bother praying then? If God is always going to do His will, and His will is always perfect, then why should we ever pray? The Christian’s most powerful resource is communion with God through prayer. The results are often greater than we thought were possible. Prayer should always comes first, not as a last result, because God’s power is always infinitely greater than ours.

 “The prayer of a righteous man is powerful and effective” James 5:16.

 

The answer, it is important to recognize, comes from the same God Who tells us that He “works all things after the counsel of His own will.” This very same God informs us that effectual, fervent prayer on the part of His people avails — not just a little bit, or for a little while, but much.

How can this be? How can an immutable, all-knowing, eternal God listen to our prayers and allow them to influence the outcome of events great and small? Frankly, we may never know or understand. But this we do know: God tells us that our prayers make a tremendous impact.

So then, how should you respond to temptation or trial? Pray. What should you do on behalf of sick, or wayward, or feeble loved ones? Pray. What is your responsibility toward those that have authority over you? Pray for them. How can you make a difference in the world around you? Pray.

Let me encourage you to take God up on His word. I can attest to the incredible power of prayer as I have witnessed God’s unmerited favor in my walk with Him. Not because I deserve it; but simply because I went before His throne and keep, asking, seeking, and knocking (Matthew 7:7). I come to tell you that God still answers prayer; that there is power in prayer. Just be diligent; consistent and have faith.

Listen to the Birds

Every week I talk with people of all kinds trying to make their way through life. Most of them struggle with worry!!!! They stress over their problems and strategize how to solve them or they busy themselves with many activities, rushing from thing to thing, trying to do more than they have time for. Or they fear disappointing people and walk on eggshells trying to avoid conflict.
They may go weeks without being still in God’s presence. I used to live that way too.

The voice of God comes to you and to I: “Be still and know that I am God” (Psalm 46:10).


Be Still

If it’s hard for you to be still and to enter into soul rest then I urge you to find out why. What is causing you to be anxious? Why do you stay so busy? What is all the noise and activity in your life helping you to avoid? Where is the love, joy, and peace that you long for? And that others need from you?

Years ago I found freedom from my own anxiety-driven life. (Thank you Jesus) For myself I’ve discovered that learning to be still and know the Lord is the most powerful antidote to anxiety.

Blaise Pascal, the great French mathematician, scientist, and Christian theologian of the 17th Century, poignantly described our problem with restless living three centuries ago: “All the unhappiness of people arises from one single fact, that they cannot stay quietly in their own room” (Pensées).

Lie down in Good Shepherd’s green pastures and you’ll find out why you worry…

Whatever is troubling you will rise to the surface. This is your opportunity to pray about your emotional distress, physical restlessness, and wandering thoughts. With practice making the Lord your Shepherd, lying down in his green pastures, and going to his still waters then you can discover with David the wonderful truth: “He restores my soul” (Psalm 23:1-2).


Listen to the Birds!!!

Apparently, even the birds know about our problem with worry! Have you heard about the conversation between the Robin and the Sparrow? Listen in and it just might change how you live your life – as it is has done for me:

Said the Robin to the Sparrow:
“I should really like to know
Why these anxious human beings
Rush about and worry so.”

Said the Sparrow to the Robin:
“Friend, I think that it must be
That they have no Heavenly Father
Such as cares for you and me.”

This bit of poetic rhyme reminds me of Jesus’ own wonderful words: “Don’t worry. Look at the birds… Your Heavenly Father cares for them. Aren’t you much more valuable than them?” (Matthew 6:25-26 paraphased).


Hardly a day goes by that I don’t notice the birds. They make me smile. They invite me to pause and breathe in God’s beauty. Their cheerful songs remind me that angels are all around us singing praise to the Father and ministering his loving care and protection to us. The birds inspire me not to worry, but instead to listen to Jesus and to place myself in his kingdom of the heavens as I go about my day. The birds inspire me to sing praise to my Heavenly Father.

Try Listening to what the Birds are Singing

I love to follow Jesus into a quiet place to listen and to share my heart with him. I leave my worries with him and he gives me such peace. Sometimes as part of my time with my Lord we do some bird watching.

Right now, somewhere near you, birds are singing: “Be still and know that the Father cares for you.” Smile and sing along!

~

One day as I watched and listened to the birds above my head Jesus spoke to my heart in a special way. I invite you to smile and sing along: Don’t Worry – Listen to the Birds!