In my prayer time, I sometimes find myself discussing with God my plans and how He can work in my life. You see, God doesn't need my help to work anything out. As a matter of fact, God is and has always been working.
In Genesis 1, when God had created a man and was creating Eve, He put the man in a deep sleep. Also in Matthew 26, while Jesus was in the garden of Gethsemane sweating blood and pleading with God for His will to be done, His prayer warriors, John, James, and Peter were sleeping, not once but three times.
One of the important lessons that we see here is that God took us out of the picture during the biggest moments of the world. He loves us, but doesn't need us to control, manipulate, or discuss with Him. In both of those stories, we see that man had absolutely nothing to do with God's will.
It's actually very freeing to know that our Heavenly Father cares for us so much that He watches over us, even while we sleep. His love never changes with human emotions or works. We have the freedom to live in complete acceptance and trust His Will for us is perfect and will be perfect in time.
My Prayer: God, thank you for reminding us that you've got it all under control. You have a perfect plan for me. Thank you for knitting me together in my mother's womb (Psalm 139) for such a time as this. I choose to live in the freedom of your love. In Jesus' name!
As I write this post, it is Sunday morning. Before I start preparing to get ready for church, I was reflecting on the week's activity. I am so full of thanksgiving, praise, and gratitude to my God. He is so good to me. Psalm 34 and Psalm 150 are two of my favorite scriptures on praise.
I will extol the Lord at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 I will glory in the Lord;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.
3 Glorify the Lord with me;
let us exalt his name together.
1 Praise the Lord.[a]
Praise God in his sanctuary;
praise him in his mighty heavens.
2 Praise him for his acts of power;
praise him for his surpassing greatness.
3 Praise him with the sounding of the trumpet,
praise him with the harp and lyre,
4 praise him with timbrel and dancing,
praise him with the strings and pipe,
5 praise him with the clash of cymbals,
praise him with resounding cymbals.
6 Let everything that has breath praise the Lord.
Praise the Lord.
Praise is acknowledging God for what he's done. Psalm 103:1-5 tell us not to forget the benefits.
1 Praise the Lord, my soul;
all my inmost being, praise his holy name.
2 Praise the Lord, my soul,
and forget not all his benefits—
3 who forgives all your sins
and heals all your diseases,
4 who redeems your life from the pit
and crowns you with love and compassion,
5 who satisfies your desires with good things
so that your youth is renewed like the eagle’s.
This week I arrived at some major mile stones in my life. We closed on the sale of our house! Woo Hoo! I wrote about the faith lessons I learned from that.
Additionally, my business hit two major milestones. I am so excited about God's provision. But before I begin to bask in the gifts, I had to take time to acknowledge the gift giver.
James 1:17 tells us that every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Throughout the Old testament (Joshua 4:1-9) the children of Israel would buid alters of stones to memorialize the great ways God provided for them. Think about that. They would literally say, "this is so important that we must build a memorial for future generations."
I think this is a lovely illustration to us about how we should take time to acknowledge the great things God has done in our lives. Put it on the calendar. Plant a tree. Give an offering. Find ways to remember what has done.
What great things has be done recently that you want to memorialize?
Father, THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU! For all the many blessings you have given us. Some of those blessing are daily and then some are really significant. Let us always remember to give thanks and celebrate. Amen!
Distractions show up in many different forms. They can be physical, emotional, or spiritual and they can be self-initiated or they can from an outside force. The truth is that it doesn't matter where the distraction is coming from, it must go. Distractions don't really have a purpose other than to keep us from doing what we should be doing.
Are there distractions at work that prevent you from getting your work done? Flirty co-worker. Stress overload. Social media.
Are there distractions at home that prevent you from spending time with your family? TV. Clutter. Social media. Video games. Personal projects. Work.
Are there distractions in your life that prevent you from getting healthy? Junk food in the house. Temptations to eat fast food. Emotional barriers. Cobwebs on your workout equipment.
Are there distractions in your spiritual life? Busyness. The enemy's voice. Bad company. A church that entertains rather than speaks the Word.
What's keeping you from focusing on what God has called you to do? God is calling us back to focus, to get rid of the distractions that are keeping our blessings hostage.
In a world that has to have our attention 24/7, you and I are losing the ability to focus on what's really important in this one, precious life ... and it shows. Jobs are being lost, families are broken, disease and illness is becoming the norm, people are turning away from the Lord ... we are not free from worldly things because we are distracted by them.
But ... God wants us FREE. He wants you to be free from the distractions so that you can be healthy in every area of your life. Blessings are right around the corner and you shouldn't have to find your way to them through all the distractions.
Let's focus this week on clearing the path to God and His blessings. Pray about what is distracting you so that Jesus can help you be free. Because the enemy will use every distraction that stands in your way as a tool against you. It's time to claim truth.
Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.—Colossians 3:2
Lord, there is freedom in You. Help me to see what is distracting me from the blessings you want to give me. I desire to be free from anything that is not of or from You. I want to focus so that I don't miss out on this one, precious life. In Jesus name. Amen.
This is the last week we are blogging here, on this site. We are moving to a new website and we couldn't be more excited!!! Please "like" our new Facebook page so you can join us and stay updated on new posts. You are going to LOVE our new space :)
I recently mentioned that we are moving to a new website. Same great content, but new look, better functionality, and a fresh start. I am almost finished designing it, so it's looking like we'll launch the site in about two weeks.
If you are a subscriber to this blog, we would love it if you would come with us to the new site. Please head on over and give our new Facebook page a "like". We want to continue interacting with you on a daily basis :)
This move was put on my heart by the Lord and I am so very excited about it. Thanks for sticking with us.
Lately the Lord has really impressed onto my heart the need to pray for others. I have several people in my life who are literally going through deep trials and tough seasons that seem to continue on and on. I listen to their hearts, but my job is to go one step further and pray.
Prayer really does change things. It is very common for us to listen to others and say that we'll pray, but I believe the Lord really wants us to follow through: for their burdens to break our hearts.
Ephesians 6:18 says,
I wasted a lot of years letting past relationships play into how I dealt with things in present relationships. Who knew that a bad relationship with a parent could bring bad patterns into every relationship you develop in your adult life, for instance? A relationship with anyone from a teacher, spouse, pastor, employer, and child can suffer from the way you learned to react to issues with parents, for example. It is for this reason, that we can take a good long look at the issues that come up in our relationships over and over, and identify when we have the same old reactions each time things begin to fall apart. Then we can search scripture to see the way God would have us deal with those repetitive issues.
I don't know that everyone feels at some point like they are in a revolving door, stuck with the same old things going wrong each time they attempt to have a close friend, intimacy with a loved one, or a conversation with a child. Does every job end up with an employer who takes advantage of you. Maybe you have had more than one job where other employees succeeded in putting a large share of the work load off on you. Whatever it is that seems to happen again and again, may require a "Heavenly Father" intervention. And it starts with praying for the other person. It ends with finding the image of God that best describes how we should choose to develop our relationship, not what our heart says.
If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts unto your children: how much more shall your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to them that ask him? Luke 11:13.
When I look back and think about how I fell into letting old feelings of abuse, cause me to mistrust people, or react to someone as if they were my father when he was mean, when actually the situations might not have merited the same fear or mistrust....I just wonder how feelings had so much power over me. I have said before that the Lord spoke to me when I was driving down the road feeling sorry for myself, and saying, "God how could you...." To which God replied to my heart, "I AM NOT YOUR (earthly) FATHER." It came from out of nowhere, because I hadn't thought of my father recently, at the time. I had expectations that it was God taking things back from me, when my car broke down, or I lost a job. Where did that sense of having things taken away come from? My Father of course. God wanted me to know that he isn't like that. It was a wake up call to know God didn't want me to build my vision of a loving father on anyone but him. That day turned my relationship building completely around. I realized for the first time, that God is the only one upon which I can honestly build any concept of relationships.
When I have counseled through the years, I have discovered others who never stopped to see that repeated failures can come out of false concepts. If you journal, a great journaling project is to alot several pages to listing the charcter of God, as Heavenly Father. A good place to start is with the statements of Jesus concerning his Father. And secondly, when scriptures speak of God wooing the nation of Israel. Changing my expectations of relationships, definitely changed my relationship disapointments.
And not the God that "religion" often teaches - the condemning, out to get you, God. Rather, the one who is actually in the scriptures. The one who gives unconditional love. If I can reject the feelings, and choose to pray that God will help me be more like him, I can expect that some unique things may happen that heals the breaks in my relationships.
Dear Father, mold me ever more in your image, that I might always bring healing to the relationships in my life. Help me give more grace to all who are around me. May your gift of the Holy Spirit open my eyes to the way you desire me to act, rather than react out of feelings, and misconceptions. AMEN