Friday, October 30, 2009
Crappyville unfortunately just does not want to let the family out of it's grasp. Sickness, ill attitudes & MONEY all pull on us. Actually the ill attitudes all stem from the money thing so.......
This is where I remind myself to stay in an attitude of praise, even though. Even though the finances are killing me, I will praise Him.
Even though nobody can be well for more than a day, I will praise Him.
Even though some kind gestures were made & they were turned around for evil, I will praise Him.
Even though every time things seem to turn around for good, they turn right back around to bad, I will praise Him.
Even though, I will praise Him.
God has spent a lot of time teaching me about praising Him even though. That is not an easy thing to do when even though is pounding at your door. Very loudly, house shaking, he pounds.
I will have to stay in this attitude today or I may just fall over from the pressure. But I know that God is with me & I know he inhabits the praises of his people. His word says so, so when I need Him, I need to praise Him. I will trust in you Lord, with all my heart. I need a straight path and the word says that if I trust in the Lord with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding, he will make straight paths for me. Yes, today I will have to practice what I have learned, practice what I preach.
We have been experiencing snipets of joy & for that I am so grateful. But I have to say, with my whole heart, that I really really desire a season of joy. Really, I do. I would love people to stop taking advantage of my hubby, really I would. Mean, greedy & ungrateful people stink. You give someone a loaf of bread & when you turn around they took everything in the pantry too. Or someone promises you a loaf of bread and they give you a crumb instead. Well, back into a season of struggle we go, maybe.
We have an even though pounding at the door but I have a BUT GOD inside with me. This is my circumstance but God can change everything. This is what I walk through but God is with me. I have the Lord God Almighty on my side, so even though can just go bite himself.
Already I can see you working Lord, but for you it would all be too much. Even though wants to kill, steal & destroy. BUT GOD's word is my sword and I will speak it & praise Him.
So when even though comes knocking, don't forget to pull out your but God.
Tough day today but this too shall pass. It won't kill me & I will stay strong in the joy of the Lord.
Any prayers you may want to throw my family's way would be greatly appreciated.
I hope you all have a happy weekend,
Wednesday, October 28, 2009
5 Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
1. To have or place reliance on the integrity, ability, or character of a person or thing.
2. Custody; care.
3. Something committed into the care of another; charge.
4. a. The condition and resulting obligation of having confidence placed in one: violated a public trust.
b. One in which confidence is placed.
5. Reliance on something in the future; hope.
6. Reliance on the intention and ability of a purchaser to pay in the future; credit.
v. trust·ed, trust·ing, trusts
1. To have or place reliance; depend: Trust in the Lord. Trust to destiny.
2. To be confident; hope.
3. To sell on credit.
1. To have or place confidence in; depend on.
2. To expect with assurance; assume: I trust that you will be on time.
3. To believe: I trust what you say.
4. To place in the care of another; entrust.
5. To grant discretion to confidently: Can I trust them with the boat?
Let's have some fun today shall we? Who knew trust could have so many definitions huh? Let's do some word replacement today.
Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
I will rely on the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding;
I put myself in your custody LORD with all my heart and will lean not on my own understanding;
I place my confidence & hope in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding;
I have assured expectancy in the LORD with all my heart and lean not on my own understanding;
This is my life verse. I first learned of a life verse when I was reading Wendy Blight's book Hidden Joy in A Dark Corner. AWESOME BOOK!!!
She also helped me understand how important it is to know all the definitions of a word. I can't begin to tell you how many times a day I have had to cling to this verse in days past and what a comfort it has been to me. It still is, & I like to personalize it and make it into statement form sometimes. Do you ever do that with a special scripture?
Have a great day,
Monday, October 26, 2009
But, I quickly decided that although my salvation story in itself was not spectacular, my life since salvation has been quite spectacular. God has done many many spectacular things in my life and the things that he has taken the time to show me are the most incredible things about my testimony.
I began to look back in time at the spectacular moments.
First grade on the playground. I was tired of the school bully being mean to all of us, he was so mean!! One day I decided to have a chat with him on the swings. I began to talk to him about God and the devil and what they were like and how they could influence how we acted. I told him all about how God loved him and Jesus loved him and they wanted him to be nice to people. I told him that when he was being mean and beating people up he was making the devil happy and God sad. We talked some more about God and Jesus and about giving our lives to God. He did just that on the swings of that playground and you know what? He never bullied anyone ever again either & his life was changed. That was spectacular!! If God wants to call someone to him & there is a willing vessel, yes even a little girl in the first grade, he will use that willing vessel to change a life & draw someone to him. Never underestimate what God can do through you.
I watched God save my baby Amber. That was nothing short of spectacular!!!
God has done many spectacular things with me, the most amazing of all was in 2008 and 2009. Wow. So many things, I wrote them all down from the beginning of the blog. He took a happy, successful lady & emptied her so she could be truly filled with Him. What seemed like a punishment has been the most incredible blessing I have ever received from the Lord! Giving up my life & the rights I perceived as mine was a truly spectacular experience.
I remember driving in my van in 2003 and praying and somehow the subject of loving God came up, of loving Jesus came up. I had a tough moment when I realized that although God was moving in my life mightily and I was seeking him and had worshiped him for decades, I realized that I could not say I loved God or Jesus. I worshiped them, I knew all about them but I would have been a liar if I said I loved them. Do you have any idea how hard it is to tell God that you kinda love Him but you definitely have no feelings of love toward His son? Yeah. I asked God to help me love Him and His Son. I had no idea how. Goosebumps crept up all over me as I remembered that moment in my van when I asked God to help me love Him and Jesus. God spoke very clearly in my mind and he told me to read his word. I don't know how, I had studied the Bible bazillions of times, but God revealed Himself to me in spectacular ways and for the first time I realized what this scripture meant.
Hebrews 4:12For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.
You know what? The Bible that you have parked somewhere in your house is alive. It judges the thoughts and attitudes of your heart. I read it in pieces and studied it for decades and did what it said 'cause that is what good girls do. And I wanted to please God 'cause that is what I should do. But, when I went to the word with the desire to love God, with the desire to let it transform me inside & prayed about it, I tell you with every bit of honesty, everything changed, in a spectacular way. The scriptures I read affected me deeply inside, they had never done that before. The word was alive in me!!
Now, that was spectacular. It wasn't long into a year and a half time frame that it took me to read the entire Bible front to back that I felt like I really knew God and His Son, and I loved them both. I really believe that scripture and God showed me how real it was. It was the attitude that I came to him with that effected how much power his word had over me. It was my faith and desires that were blocking his word. Lest you think it was because I asked God to help me learn to love him and it was all in my mind because I decided to do it, I was able to do it. Um, no. I had no clue how to love God. How do you love someone you can't even see or touch? Much less Jesus, He didn't mean much to me at all to be honest. He was a great story and I knew I should love him but I didn't have an ounce of "love feelings" for him. I was extremely grateful to him, but nothing more. I didn't think reading the bible front to back like God asked me to do was going to do any good at all because I knew pretty much every thing in it, so I thought. There were giggles in heaven when I thought that, I am quite sure of it.
It was God and Jesus that did all of that for me and His word, which was fully able to judge the attitude of my heart when I opened it that led me to love them.
Do you love God? Do you love Jesus? If you happen upon this post and do not believe in God, I want to share with you that God is very real. You can feel free to email me and I can tell you many stories of what he has done in my life that were completely impossible but he did them. The truth is in His word, all of the proof you ask for is in His word. The catch? You will have to seek him with the attitude that you want to know him. Pray about it, tell him that you don't love him or that you are not sure if he even exists but that you want to love him. If you truly want to know God & Jesus, if you truly want to love them, God will show up and when you pick up your Bible to read it, get ready. Because those scriptures will cut deep into your soul. It is the greatest book I have ever read.
I wonder how long it was that God was just waiting for me to realize that He does not need people obeying His rules because that is what we are supposed to do. I wonder how long He was just waiting for me to come and tell him that I wanted to love him back and His Son because they had already been loving me all along. When I asked, I received. I knocked and the door was opened. I sought Him and I found Him. Truly spectacular!!
Genesis 17:1 (New International Version)
1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, "I am God Almighty; walk before me and be blameless.
In doing the 6 part Bible study on "How to Discover God's Will for Our Lives" located on the sidebar, it became glaringly obvious that doing the will of God is just as much as about who we are as what we do.
This became even more evident that God truly desires our character to be in line with His when he asks Abram to walk before him and be blameless.
One of the important things I learned from Wendy Blight's book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner was that it is really important to know the proper definition of a word. Knowing the proper definition of a word can set a scripture on fire in my heart I have discovered. So I looked up blameless.
blameless - free of guilt; not subject to blame; "has lived a blameless life"; "of irreproachable character"; "an unimpeachable reputation"
This is a different definition that my I would have placed on blameless. I never would have attached "of irreproachable character" to it. Truly knowing the meaning of the words we are reading can really bring the scriptures alive.
God is telling us how he wants us to walk with him. Blameless. This Sunday our pastor taught on how if we will just truly seek the Lord and seek to be like Him then God will move in all the areas of our life and all things will fall into place. Just seek Him & seek to be like Him. This is a theme that just seems to be popping up all over for me. Nothing like a confirmation huh?
While we are on the topic of definitions I'd like to bring up a few that had way different meanings that I thought they did and they really brought life to the scriptures for me.
Rich- possessing great material wealth OR having an abundant supply.
Many times we see the word rich or riches and immediately insert the first meaning. However, if we use the second meaning a great deal of the time then it makes a lot more sense.
Romans 2:4Or do you show contempt for the riches of his kindness, tolerance and patience, not realizing that God's kindness leads you toward repentance?
Revelation 2:9I know your afflictions and your poverty—yet you are rich! I know the slander of those who say they are Jews and are not, but are a synagogue of Satan.
Let's change scripture number 2 shall we? I know your afflictions and your poverty- yet you are abundantly supplied! They are abundantly supplied but yet they are in poverty. Being rich does not always include money. We can be abundantly supplied in mercy, grace, thankfulness, love, etc. When we truly learn all the meanings of a word it can make understanding the scriptures a whole lot easier.
One more..... ignoble & noble.
Noble- possessing outstanding qualities
Ignoble- Not noble in quality, character, or purpose; base or mean.
2. Not of the nobility; common. Okay, now watch this new revelation to the definition bring this scripture to life.
2 Timothy 2:20-21 20In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. 21If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
Once I looked up the definitions I finally understood these scriptures. Paul is telling Timothy that some of us possess outstanding qualities and some of us possess low quality character. If we will cleanse ourselves of the "lowly character traits" we will be instruments for high quality purposes, made holy and useful to God so we can do the great works He has prepared for us.
It is amazing what a trip to the dictionary can do!
Have a great day,
Saturday, October 24, 2009
As if this new deck project wasn't beautiful enough look at what else they had Stonecrest Homes & Renovations put in?
Yeah, uh huh. Complete with matching stone bench seating all the way around. Gorgeous!!!!
Thursday, October 22, 2009
I would say it was a huge thing to remember for us all.
Joyce was saying that we do need to release our faith just like we talked about yesterday. But, she also said that we can release it all we want but if we do not have a "love walk" it won't do us any good. In fact, not much of what we do will have the results we are desiring if we are not walking in love.
Now, walking in love is not taught nearly enough. I would imagine you could poll every person in your church what it means to walk in love and the results would be all over the board. Why is that? We just use the term "walking in love" as a vague term. Do unto others rule and such. Americans don't seem to do very well with vague words. We need to be told with an exactness, do we not?
We think we are a good person so we must be walking in love. Wrong. Walking in love also would refer to how we conduct ourselves in our home, squirming in my seat. I have been very snappy with my kids this week, they have been quite disrespectful to me and each other this week & I am just about done with it. So I have been snappy and when Joyce started talking about how not having a love walk will basically neutralize releasing our faith the conviction fell all over me. Hate that but thank God for it!! No more snapping for me. I think my hormones are a little out of whack 'cause even my hubby was asking me if I was okay. Yep, I have been snappy this week. Sometimes stay at home moms just need there to be no kids in the house..... not that I am sick of my kids, but I am sick of listening to my kids. All this to say that I have to admit, my love walk has stunk some because of my tone of voice and sharp words. Excuses why don't matter, I have been wrong & I believe God let me know it. Normally, I never come down at the time I did & I always turn it to CNN. This morning I felt like I should go downstairs early & I scanned the channels & wanted to see what was on the 35 to 30 channels. Why? No clue. I always go to CNN. On channel 30, there was my Joyce. A divine appointment perhaps? Remember, our God is such a personal God. He cares for us so individually and he will absolutely make a way for us to hear/see what we need. If you need a homecoming dress for your kid God will absolutely direct you to the clearance rack at Macy's only to find the most gorgeous dress for $8.
Do you like our $8 dress? We went out shopping even though we had no $$. I just said God will help us find a deal, (note I said it?) and look what God did. I was also in a time of seeking God in ways I never had before & focusing mainly on walking in love. So, my love walk was in line with God's word, I had faith and released it and for something which in this economy is maybe trivial, God provided.
Why use the dress for an example? Because it may seem small to some people although it was huge for us at that time, if God cares about even our most minimal desires then how much more will God care and provide for our large ones? I want to use the dress example to remind you to keep God in every circumstance. How many times has something happened & way into the situation we realize that we haven't even prayed about it? God doesn't check out when we go to the mall ladies to supply our children with what they need. Yes, even that small thing. Imagine what could happen to our marriages if we would release our faith & God into those marriages!
Joyce is so right, whatever we are doing, if we are out of line in our life with walking in love we may not see the results the Bible tells us we should. Unforgiveness the bible tells us will keep us in the dark & cause us to stumble also. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE.
I just thought I should add that in, y'all.
Tuesday, October 20, 2009
The "Saying" part of Faith. The Bible has a lot to say about what we speak, the words we speak have power. The bible says if we confess with our tongues and believe....... So, do you find it interesting that it was not enough to just believe? Why is it necessary to speak what we believe?
I heard, in a four part sermon on the importance of what we speak, something truly fascinating. We can't see gravity, but we know it exists. We know gravity has power and we even call it the law of gravity. It is an invisible force that we cannot see but it has clear power over all of us and the planets. The book of James tells us the tongue is the rudder of our ship. In other words, what we speak controls/steers where we are going, like the rudder of a ship. Could it be, that when we speak, those words have spiritual laws that they operate under? Could it be that every word that comes out of our mouths must be obedient to a spiritual law governing what we say?
The more I dug into the subject the more fascinating the power of what we speak became to me.
Mark 11:23 (King James Version)
23For verily I say unto you, That whosoever shall say unto this mountain, Be thou removed, and be thou cast into the sea; and shall not doubt in his heart, but shall believe that those things which he saith shall come to pass; he shall have whatsoever he saith.
Three times Jesus says we have to "say" something. He said say, not believe or know. Kenneth Hagin says it beautifully, I would love to take an excerpt from his book. "You see, for the word of God to work for you, it's got to be both in your mouth and in your heart. It can't just be in your mouth. Folks can say things, but if they don't really mean them-if their heart doesn't agree with what they are saying-it won't work.
Or they can believe something in their heart, but if they don't vocalize it - if they don't say it - it won't come to pass. Faith that receives the promises of God will only work by believing and saying.
The Scripture also said, "We HAVING the same spirit of faith, according as it is written, I BELIEVED, and therefore have I SPOKEN; we also BELIEVE, and therefore SPEAK" (2 Cor. 4:13).
End of book quote.
I could take this many ways, but I would like to focus in on something. We first had to have faith that God was who he says he is and have faith that Jesus is the son of God. We had to then release our faith in prayer and by testifying about it. We had to release our faith. I think we mess up here. That is the only place we sometimes release that faith and vocalize it. We need to stop a moment sometimes and release our faith in other areas of our life.
We need to verbalize what we have faith in. Especially if we are focusing in on something new in our lives that we are trying to put on or shake off. We need to verbalize who we are in Christ. Wendy Blight in her book wisely says the power in prayer comes from praying God's word back to him. You don't have to pray aloud every time, I am not saying that. But, the word of God places great importance on what we speak. What we speak also has to line up with the word of God to work in our benefit of course. I cannot speak a new corvette into my driveway! The scriptures that say who we are in Christ are in the sidebar in statement form. My children and I read these out loud and let me tell you, it has dramatically changed the way I view myself and how I relate to God and my Savior. I highly recommend printing them! I also am not implying the word of God is like a magic spell that we can speak and what we ask magically appears. But, it is very important that we are careful about what we speak and that what we speak should line up with God's word. I am saying God's word says that we should not only believe God at his word but also that we speak it. It is by God's word that we defeat Satan. It is by God's word & His power that we find victory! Speak it, believe it and speak it and release your faith into your life and you will see great benefits. God's word says the praises of God should always be on our lips. Why? Why doesn't it say the praises of God should always be in our thoughts? Or thoughts and lips? It is important to speak what we believe.
In respect to real life. "God, I want more of you and I want to live in the perfect plan that you have ordained for my life. I am not sure exactly what lies before me but I have faith in what your word says. I believe that you have planned good works for me and prepared them in advance. I believe that anything I do will be rooted in you and your power, not mine. I believe you when you say that you will be working in me and with me as I go out to do your will."
"God, your word says that if we seek you then we will find you. It says that God is with those who fear him. I am facing a tough situation and I believe you at you word when you say that you work all things for the good of those who love you. I know you are with me and will never leave me and I will place my trust in you. I will not worry but I will trust in you. You are my provider, my way maker, my hope lies in you."
In a situation, whatever you are trusting God for, wherever your faith is focusing in on, verbalize it also. Release your faith. Verbally release your faith. The very word of God is your spiritual sword. USE IT.
" When we believe and confess in line with God's word we are able to appropriate what belongs to us in Christ."-Kenneth Hagin
To simplify, my shampoo is there in the shower with me but it doesn't wash my hair on it's own. I have to pick it up and use it. I have 4 tubes of toothpaste in my house but if I don't squeeze it onto my toothbrush well, you wouldn't want to get too close to me. The word of God is there for us but if we don't "USE IT" then it is just a good word in a book. God's word has power, it is active and alive and it is there for us to tap into and let it change us and transform us.
Release your faith, use your spiritual sword. I would love to hear your thoughts.
I have thought about that for days and days. I gathered some scriptures and read and I would like to share my thoughts on why God would bother with any of us. Who the heck are we anyway?
Would you please read Psalm 8? (If you click the link it takes you to a Christianity.com Bible. All you have to do is type Psalm 8 in the Jump To Search Box, I promise this is worth it) This psalm is only 9 verses long, please click over and read it. It directly address the question, who are we that God is mindful of us? God created us and he cares for us. He has clothed us with glory and honor. This privilege is not for some, it is for all. All of us.
Psalm 100 (only 5 verses, please read it!!) Is an invitation to enter joyfully into God's presence. This invitation is for all of creation, all his people. Part of verse 3 says "It is he who made us, and we are his; we are his people, the sheep of his pasture. We are his sheep. Now, who am I, just a little sheep? What can I possibly mean to God when he has so many other obedient sheep following him? Jesus said there is more rejoicing in heaven over the one lost sheep who is found than for the others who were with him all along. Will the shepherd not leave the sheep in the flock to go out and find one lost sheep? Jesus said He would. Yes, I believe that this verse extends to more than salvation. He wants us to be with him, to have relationship with Him. Each and every one of us are special to God. He longs for every single person on this earth.
Psalm 103 says the Lord is with those who fear him. God is looking for people who just want him. Just him. To reverently fear him, who are humble, kind, compassionate, loving and willing to reflect His character. He is not looking for talented people, gifted speakers or people that have the most potential to reach the masses. Nope. He just wants someone who wants him. That is the person who will be filled with the power of God in ways that make things happen. That is the person who will see God. God will fill that person with the abilities needed to achieve His plan for their life.
Psalm 139 is a power packed psalm. What does it say? Please read it and let's break it down. God searches us and he knows us in verse one. Can you please get ahold of that scripture? God knows YOU. He knows you. He knows every single thing about you. God knows you better than you know you. God is very personal. He is very personal with us in how he leads us. We do not have cookie cutter walks with God. Each of us has unique walks, unique relationships & He leads us in unique, personal ways tailored for who we are. Can you even grasp the awesomeness of that?
It says he knows our thoughts, when we lay down, when we go out, before a word is on our tongue, God knows it completely. God knows each day of your life, each moment, each thought, every single word and he knows the intent of your heart. God is a very personal God. He doesn't have to know these things and yet He has taken the time to do so. He has bothered himself to know so. He is mindful of us. It does not say for some, it says that about all of creation. Each person, God is mindful of and wants to us to want to know him. He already knows us, the invitation is extended and all we have to do is show up looking for Him. To let him in, to empty us of what we desire but to know that instead God knows us so well that it is okay to trust him with our life paths and decisions.
Verse 5 says he hems us in, behind and before. Why worry about the future? God has already gone ahead of you, you are hemmed in. You will be given the provision needed for what may come. Only God knows what is ahead, let's just trust that whatever is happening to us is for our long range good like the bible says. That does not mean that everything that happens to us is good, but that everything that happens, God can turn around for us for our long range good. Sometimes God has to get our attention too. He does that because he is trying to say, "Here I am! Come to me!"
It says we are fearfully and wonderfully made. We were made, that implies intent. Something is not made unless there is an intent for it, a need, a purpose. You were made with an intent, a purpose. Please know that, please know that deep inside you. And God is not a God of circumstance, He does not need us to tell him where we are in life. He knows and he still wants us anyway. If you do not believe that then I challenge you to find scriptures that define at what point a person has done "too much" and God lays out when someone is no longer wanted and cannot come to him. You will not find a single place where God says to someone "Nah, not you. You have done too much." I really love this psalm, it truly brings home how personal of a God we have.
Now, for my thoughts. God really appreciates an underdog, doesn't he? He loves to use the weak and foolish things of the world to confound the wise. His word says so. I think God gets a real kick out of taking someone who "shouldn't be" by worldly standards and raising them up to do wonderful things. I can just picture him up there just laughing at the reactions of the proud and haughty when he raises up a humble vessel that nobody gave much thought to. God loves the underdog. What does that mean exactly? It means that if you don't feel like you are very particularly special, if you feel like anything God could ask you to do is so beyond you and that so many more people are much better equipped to do his works then watch out!!! YOU are the kind of person God loves to use. Because you will be fully relying on His strength, His power and knowing that anything that you do is because of HIM! YES, a humble, willing heart. Lookout baby, God will use a person like you.
Some examples you say? Okay, I've got a few. But only a few or we will be here all day. I did say God loves an underdog.......In no particular order.
1. Moses. Moses had a speech problem. Many say it was a stuttering problem. Moses told God he could not do what God asked because of his poor speaking ability. Moses did not realize he was not born special, but God set him aside anyway to end up at Pharoah's home to be someone who could save God's people. Remember, God knows your intentions and your heart. God knew that Moses was someone would obey him. God had already made great plans for Moses as a young baby because God already knew Moses. God did not care about Moses's speech impediment. God does not care about any of our impediments. It was his willingness and obedience that God desired and God provided the means to get the message across.
2. King David. David's father Jesse thought so little of David's prospects to be great and mighty that when Sammuel came to anoint the next king of Israel Jesse did not bother to include David in the line up. Remember, Jesse was told to bring out all his sons so God could tell Sammuel who to anoint. Jesse left David out in the field with the flocks. Obviously, nobody thought David was very special or talented or gifted in any spectacular way. But who was the anointed one? Why David? Because of the intent of his heart, that is why. Because God already knew David. Before you were born, God has already searched your heart.
3. Disciples of Jesus. Can you say tax collector? Nobody liked those tax collectors but God saw something inside of Matthew. Yes, God knows what he can accomplish with us once we give him control of us. Can you say stinky fishermen? Not upstanding well spoken Rabbis, stinky fishermen.
4. Mary, mother of Jesus. Who was Mary? What great things was Mary doing in the realm of ministry? God knew her heart.
5. Joseph, the earthly daddy of Jesus. A man who would listen and obey. A carpenter. A construction worker was the earthly daddy to Jesus. Really? God picked a construction worker to be the earthly dad to Jesus? Yep, he did. Nobody special right?
6. Esther. Just a girl, she was just doing her thing when she was suddenly taken into the King's palace. Suddenly Esther is in a place to save the Israelites from being completely slaughtered. Just a girl, why Esther? God knew she would be obedient. He knew her heart once again.
It is the condition of the heart God is most concerned with. The desire to let him use us, not to use what we have to serve Him. That roots our service in what we can do. No, let's root our service in what God can do with us. Without him we are all nothing. I used to think that God couldn't do much with me because I am a housewife and I do not come into contact with very many people on a daily basis. What can he do with me? You know what? Since I have gone through the whole process of the 6 part study on "How To Discover God's Will for Our Lives" located on the sidebar, God has done plenty with me. Oh, he will make a way just fine for someone who needs a word that you have in you to find their way to you or vice versa. Yes he will. I don't worry one single thing about what God can do with me anymore. I just root myself now in wanting Him. Just Him. Nothing more, nothing less. I know that God will take care of everything else. All that is required is that I just want Him and want to be like Him. That is it. We don't have to be anything other than willing.
I love you and God loves you!!!
Friday, October 16, 2009
1. 2 Timothy 2:15 Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth.
a. King James translation: Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.
b. We need to study the word of God so that we can understand what it means so that we can handle it correctly. Know the context also of scriptures, the story going on around the scriptures. Many times we think we are solid in our knowledge only to discover years later that we did not know all we needed to know. Concordance studies are a great way to study God's word & make us more knowledgeable.
2. 2 Timothy 2: 20-21 In a large house there are articles not only of gold and silver, but also of wood and clay; some are for noble purposes and some for ignoble. If a man cleanses himself from the latter, he will be an instrument for noble purposes, made holy, useful to the Master and prepared to do any good work.
a. Paul is urging Timothy to be someone that could be used by God to do the noblest work. He did not want him to settle for less than the best. Paul says to cleanse ourselves of the latter, the ignoble. What does ignoble mean? It means as an adjective to be of lowly character. Noble as an adjective means to posses outstanding qualities. Paul is saying that the person of high character & outstanding qualities is useful to God and prepared to do any good work.
b. Shed the gunk that is displeasing to God and let him use you. If you are not sure what needs to be cleansed from your life then try to take God and Jesus around with you for a week of your life. Mentally picture them working, driving, sitting, eating, watching TV, surfing the net, and talking with you each moment of the day for a week. Ask yourself “Would I really be having this conversation if Jesus was physically standing here with me? Would I be watching this show if God was physically sitting down in my living room? Would I yell at my kids like that if Jesus was standing right beside me?” We would all be surprised at how much we need to cleanse if we could just imagine God and Jesus physically and visibly standing with us as we live instead of hiding their presence inside us and only pulling them out when we are cleaned up and ready. Cleansing is a process, it takes time. Some things take longer than others to cleanse, the point is to just not be frustrated with our progress and keep transforming into His image.
3. 2 Peter 1:5-8 For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, brotherly kindness; and to brotherly kindness, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
a. The L.A.B. explains this beautifully: “Faith must be more than belief in certain facts; it must result in action, growth in Christian character, and the practice of moral discipline, or it will die away (James 2:14-17). Peter lists several of faith’s actions: learning to know God better, developing perseverance, doing God’s will, loving others. These actions do not come automatically; they require hard work. They are not optional; all of them must be a continual part of the Christian life. We don’t finish one and start on the next, but we work on them all together. God empowers and enables us, but he also gives us the responsibility to learn and grow. We should not be surprised at or resentful of the process.
4. Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your understanding in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight.
a. If I asked you to lean on me what would I be doing? I would be supporting you, if I dropped you then you would fall but if I stayed still and firm then you would be supported. Who would you rather lean on, yourself or God? Trust him fully and He will guide you and your paths, the decisions you must make, He will make them straight for you.
b. Acknowledge Him and look to God for guidance. He knows us better than we do and when God asks us to do something it does not always make sense to us and we question him. But God’s ways are not our ways and He has a purpose for what He asks you to do. Just trust in Him to lead the way. How many times in the past can you look back and say “Oh, that all makes sense now.”
5. 1 Corinthians 4:2 Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.
a. Faith is an action, it is not passive. We must prove ourselves faithful (doers) of what God has entrusted us to do.
b. If God can’t count on us to be faithful (do) the small things He asks, how can we expect him to give us the big things?
c. Often God starts with small tasks for us. He will reveal more for you as you prove faithful (do) all that He asks of you. If we are waiting on some grand and wonderful ministry to be given to us because we just know that’s what we are called to do without being willing to be faithful to even the smallest beginnings then we need to do a reality check.
d. Be faithful to do what God asks you to do. We need to seek His will daily and be faithful to it.
6. Romans 12:1-2 Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God – this is your spiritual act of worship. Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is – his good, pleasing and perfect will.
a. Paul is urging them, not asking or suggesting. This points to the importance of what he is saying.
b. Because we have been redeemed by the mercy of God by the blood of Jesus we should want to lay down our desires each day to live fully for Christ who lives in us.
c. How do we worship spiritually? By offering up our lives as living sacrifices is how we worship God in our spirit. This is pleasing to God.
When we do this we daily say “Lord, I am in your hands. Where are we going and what are we doing today?” You become a vessel that God can use and accomplish His work through. Daily you are tuning in and waiting for direction, for promptings from His Holy Spirit. You are studying God’s word and transforming into His likeness. That is how you worship in spirit. Take a moment and think about the part of this scripture that talks about what our spiritual act of worship is and consider how you are living your life right now and how it fits in to this scripture. If you are truly seeking God’s will for you and desire to live out His good and perfect plans then this is something that you are going to have to do. Daily offer Him a willing, obedient vessel and desire more of Him. It sounds scary but it is what God created you for, to worship Him, to love others and to spread the gospel.
d. We should be transforming our minds daily. We should seek to become more like Jesus and want less of the old sinful things. The Word will change you. A personal relationship with God will change you. Listening to the Holy Spirit inside you will change you.
e. This verse is your road map! If you are seeking His will and truly want to live the life that God has planned for you then these two verses are your road map. What does the last sentence say? Yes, that’s right it said if you offer up your life as a living sacrifice (willing to lay down your desires but to live for God’s plans instead) and you come not wanting to be conformed any longer to this world but instead to be transformed by the renewing of your mind and you actually do it (not just say you want to do it and then go back to the normal day to day life but actually do it) then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is for you.
f. Notice it says approve also, you will be able to test (meaning you get to do His will) and then approve of it. The approve part of this should help to calm any fears that we have about truly surrendering our lives to God. It’s not about us, but God does love us and He does want us to be joyful. If we are miserable while serving Him then what good can we do? If God wants to take you in a new direction then He will place that desire in your heart also. We may be asked sometimes to do things that make us uncomfortable to test us or to grow us but God does not want to make your life miserable. You will find that God’s will is good, pleasing and perfect.
Now you have your road map to discovering God’s will for your life. It is a choice where you go from here that you alone can make.
From the book Gracewalk- Steve McVey
“I give God permission to do anything He wishes to me, with me, in me, or through me that would glorify Him. I once claimed these rights as mine, but now they belong to God and are under His control. He can do with them anything He pleases.”
Consider praying this to your Father. If you truly mean it and desire this God will answer this prayer and your life will never be the same.
I would just like to add once again that these are my teacher notes for the study and of course during our physical meeting we have much more indepth conversations on the scriptures & bullet points. I know it is a lot of information, our class lasts about an hour and 15 minutes. Please can I enourage you to copy and paste the entire study to a Word document so that you can come back and look at it at your leisure? It will always be there for you. I would love for all six parts of this study to just permeate inside of all of us and hear back from you about all the wonderful things that God is doing in all of you!
You might ask why a study on discovering God's will for our lives has so much to do with our character and how we live our life. I like what Lysa TerKeurst has to say about that. She says that God's will for your life is not so much as what we do but it is more about who God desires us to be. And once we become who it is that we should be, then what God desires for us to do will naturally unfold before us. We cannot escape the fact that if we want to live in God's perfect will then we will be required to transform into His likeness.
1. 1 John 5:3 This is love for God; to obey his commands.
a. And what are his commands?
b. 1 John 3:23-24 And this is his command: to believe in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and to love one another as he commanded us. Those who obey his commands live in him, and he in them. And this is how we know that he lives in us; we know it by the Spirit he gave us.
2. Hebrews 11:6 And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.
a. God is pleased with us when we seek him. He wants us to know him.
b. How can you love someone you don’t know?
c. Do you know God or do you just know about him? Try saying out loud “God, I love you.” How did that feel? Was it comfortable to say or was it awkward? If it felt a little awkward, that’s okay! This exercise is just meant to get you thinking…. “Do I really love God?” And how comfortable am I expressing my love for Him? Try this again telling Jesus you love him. If it was awkward or you felt like it wasn’t honest, it just means that you have now identified that maybe you know about God and that it is time to invest in a personal relationship with God and Jesus. Pray to God and tell him that you want to love him. Ask him to help you love him as you seek him in his word and in prayer and He will do it.
3. Romans 8:28 And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, and have been called according to his purpose.
a. The L.A.B. explains this beautifully.
“ God works in “all things” – not just isolated incidents – for our good. This does not mean that all that happens to us is good. Evil is prevalent in our fallen world, but God is able to turn every circumstance around for our long-range good. Note that God is not working to make us happy, but to fulfill his purpose. Those who are “called” are those the Holy Spirit convinces and enables to receive Christ. Such people have a new perspective, a new mind-set on life. They trust in God, not life’s treasures; they look for their security in heaven, not on earth; they learn to accept, not resent, pain and persecution because God is with them.”
b. Romans 8:29 For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.
Once again, the L.A.B. explains this verse very well.
“God’s ultimate goal for us is to make us like Christ ( 1 John 3:2 ). As we become more and more like him, we discover our true selves, the persons we were created to be. How can we be conformed to Christ’s likeness? By reading and heeding the word, by studying his life on earth through the Gospels, by being filled with his Spirit, and by doing his work in the world.
- If we want to discover what our purpose is, if we want to discover what God’s plans are for us we will find all of the answers as we become more like Jesus.
- God is working in all things for our long range good to fulfill His purposes!
- God has always known us, before we were born He knew us. We are predestined
to become like Jesus. We need to embrace the characteristics of Jesus and walk as he did. We must not fight any process that is going to shake off the things that hinder us from being like Jesus.
- We show God we love him by believing that Jesus Christ was His Son and by loving others.
- If you earnestly seek God, he will reward you by showing up! If you truly want to know God personally and love Him, if you are desiring His plans for you then He will be there to guide you and He will show up.
This concludes our study on How To Discover God's Will For Your Life, thank you so much for joining me. Please come back and share with me anything that you learned from this study or your thoughts. I would love to know your thoughts.
Wednesday, October 14, 2009
Good gravy, not to keep harping on Lysa TerKeurst's video link but WOW, what she talked about just popped out of me yesterday. If you watched it....... remember the part where she says to just say "Well if this is the worst thing that happens to me today, then I've still had a pretty good day." No matter what that thing is, just say that and then focus on the positive and praise & thank God. Well, I guess some things just slip into our subconscious.
I was on the phone last night doing the thing I hate the most (cooking dinner) while I was talking to my mommy. She asked how my foot appt. went. So I gave her the results. I still have to wear the boot for another week at least and wear arch supports. I still have ligament damage on the heel, etc. Basically it was not the news I was looking for and when he pushed on my heel it hurt pretty bad. I was looking forward to being not only my old self again, but better. Being on your butt for awhile can be convicting........ But, he did tell me to start walking on it again. No more walking on the toes. So that was good news! He also did not charge me a single penny!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Can you believe that? Not a penny. I should have had to pay $70 for the visit and $30 for the 2 X rays and then $$$ for the arch supports he gave me. This is the same doctor who only charged me $70 for my first visit only. He did not charge me for the X rays, the big heavy boot or crutches. PRAISE GOD! Anyhoo, back to the Lysa moment. I was a little sad about dragging around that 15lb boot some more and mom says to me that she is sorry. So I say "Well, if that is the worst thing that happens to me, then I've still had a pretty good day."
It just came out without me even thinking about it! I was smiling as I finished my words and you know what? I realized just how true those words are! Some days are tough, of all the people in the world I feel quite qualified to be able to vouch for that..... but I have learned and still continue to learn that as long as I have Jesus as my Savior, it's still a good day. As long as the Holy Spirit lives in me, it's still a good day. As long as I will go home to my heavenly Father one day and spend eternity with him, it's still a good day. I enjoyed saying it, I think I need to say that more often.
You know what else I thought of last night? I know that God placed the memory of the foot doctor in my husband's head when we were scrambling to make that first arrangement when I broke the heel. I forgot all about him, that is for sure. I know for certain God directed us there to him. But, I just could not for the life of me think of why he would not charge me anything at all for yesterday's visit. It was just so nice of him, not that he isn't nice, his whole family is very nice!! Very great people. But, why nothing yesterday or so little at all. Then it hit me as I was cooking dinner that years and years ago, maybe 6 or 7, he had a beautiful home built not far from us and his builder was taking his sweet time and charging him WAY too much money. He wanted to move in and get the house finished but the builder was not cooperating. I have this vague memory of my hubby who is a home builder/remodeler helping to finish the doctor's house. I want to say as this memory is very vague that Mike went over there a few times and had called in his subcontractors to do work for him & he paid the subs directly and Mike I want to say made sure the house got finished quickly and Mike did not charge him anything for his help. Why would you charge a friend anyway Mike said. So I wondered if he had remembered about that and knew we were having a hard financial year & had no health insurance so he repayed a favor or if he forgot just like Mike & I both did & he was just doing a wonderful godly favor to a family he knew that was just hurting at the time. Hmmm, I shall never know but God sure does and I am so happy he reminded my hubby of the foot doctor for sure!! Isn't that awesome? God does provide, whatever your need, He is our provider. We just need to look to Him and daily focus on Him. He doesn't want to be just our provider though, a mistake I once made. God is not JUST our provider and when I started spending time daily in the bible I began to really come to know God and his character and it was very interesting how He reveals himself to us through his word in unique ways.
Have a great day,
Tuesday, October 13, 2009
On the other hand, I was wondering if anyone watched the link I put up yesterday to Lysa TerKeurst's blog? The one about the most powerful two word prayer? Specifically the first 3 minutes where she speaks about God's will for us. We have been doing the study on "How To Discover God's Will For Your Life" and by the way, the final 2 parts will post this Friday!!! But in going through the whole process myself (and seeing it work!) and studying every scripture that the Bible has in it concerning God's discovering God's will for us it shows very clearly that in order to be in God's will we must also line up our lives in His will also. I have been trying to figure out how to reconcile this in words that make sense and don't send people running. What I am saying is that in order to do God's will we have to get ourselves lined up to be willing to be conformed into His likeness. If we are going to do His will then we will have to surrender all and be willing to start a transformation of ourselves. That sends people running!
I really liked the way Lysa put it yesterday. She said without quoting her exactly, we like to think of God's will as something we do, some task or calling. But what if God's will wasn't so much about what we do as it is who we become. (Did you get that?) Once we line ourselves up with who we are supposed to be, then what we are supposed to do will naturally and gently unfold before us. YES!!! That is it exactly and she worded it so beautifully that I don't think people would go running for the hills. I sure do love me some Lysa! Why couldn't I have thought of that? Well, she has a lot more years under her belt of writing and speaking than I sure do so I guess it makes sense that someone more eloquent could find the right words, ha ha. God bless her sweet anointed soul.
If you have been reading the study it is just pack full of attitudes we should be putting on and attitudes we should be shaking off. The study about finding God's will if you look at it hard seems more like a study on how to transform yourself into the likeness of Christ, of God the Father. It truly does, but I could see from the scriptures and from God taking me through this whole process all of 2008 and half of 2009 that it was imperative that the transformation take place before He would use me. Of course there were times that being a willing vessel that He used me in the past and I did as I was asked. But, to seek out truly living in His will daily, daily I say, He clearly presented to me that a great transformation was going to be needed. Honestly, it was a difficult thing for me to accept that there was that much work in me to do. I am a really nice person! I am funny!!!! I have a compassionate heart that just aches to help people and I do. I had no idea there was so much to work on in me, ha ha. SHEW!!!!! It was a tremendously humbling experience, let me tell ya. But one I treasure.
I was just wondering if anyone watched the link and what you thought of it. God did take me through a season of having to learn to praise him and thank him no matter what. Trusting in Him. That was a HUGE part of the work I had to do last year and I can tell you from one who has gone through it that just thanking God and praising God in every circumstance, yes every circumstance is crucial. How can I say that you may ask? Well, I can say it because God sure let know I needed to do it and I did learn to do it though the years. I did it through a rape, I did it through a child who was sexually molested, I did it through a baby who was dying in the hospital (she survived yes!!), yes I have done it and God came each and every time he heard me praising him and thanking him for his love for us, for guiding us. I had a hard time doing it when it was a money issue and we were losing everything we had & God laid it hard on me to still be happy before the situation got better and to praise him and thank him no matter what. Lysa has a great sermon to preach on that through the link yesterday. If you haven't watched it, please do! If you want to come closer to God, it is something you will need to get rooted deep in you. Trusting, praising, thanking. Easy to do lightly when you don't have to so please, please get it deep in you before something awful comes along and you really need it only to discover those roots didn't run all that deep.
Have a great day,
Monday, October 12, 2009
Yesterday was Workers Appreciation Day at church and I was asked to teach the 5 to 8 year old class so the regular worker could have the day off. So really, I had no choice but to go and I quickly just asked God to get me through church "unsick" so I would not infect anyone there. It was really neat how God answered that prayer. As my daughter drove us to church (the rest of the family stayed home, Mike stayed with a flu ridden Brandon) I started really feeling it coming on. As we sat in the church during praise & worship I really started feeling poorly and my eyes began to water. Children's church does not start until the singing is over so I just prayed to God to get me through that 35 to 45 minutes unsick. I washed my hands real good during the last song so I would be germ free & tried not to touch anything that touched the kids. Not easy, but it went fine and God bless children's church workers 'cause that is so not my thing, like EVER.
As soon as church was over I went downhill immediately and by the time we got home I was full blown sick. It was as though God just held it all back until I had fulfilled my duties to the church and then I could be sick. Funny huh? I was really frustrated last night that I go through sickly periods where it just seems that I cannot be well for more than a week. It is so hard on my family when I am sick or in bed with yet another head and neck thing (long story). I seem to have these seasons of sickness. But, instead of choosing to feel down in the dumps I am choosing to be thankful instead. I am thankful that it is only a head cold and will be gone by tomorrow. I am thankful that I had a bunch of fresh veggies in the fridge and roast already thawed so I could make a crock pot meal for dinner. Thankful that the crock pot is full of vitamin packed veggies that we need. Thankful that I am sick in my home and not sick and homeless. I have spent the last hour or so just being thankful before God. I wish he would just make me well, these last four weeks have been so difficult for me being down with a broken foot and all. I want to get up and do so many things and yet I can't. So, I will just choose to be thankful for where I am.
I was excited this morning "in my thankful attitude" to go over to http://www.lysaterkeurst.blogspot.com/ to Lysa TerKeurst's blog and see that she has a link up to watch her 37 min. video on the most powerful two word prayer. I watched it of course and it blessed my soul! I think I need to put this link up on my favorites and watch it over and over.
As I am typing Braxton has just pulled off his diaper and is running around the living room yelling "naked" and "wiener" laughing wildly. He thinks this is perfectly normal behavior! Brandon is running from him with his head in his hands. I guess I need to get up and diaper my boy who refuses to potty train. He will be 3 next month! But, I refuse to get upset. At least I can get up off my tail and diaper my child. A thankful heart, boy God sure has done a work in me and for that, how can I be anything but grateful?
Have a wonderful and well day guys,
Friday, October 9, 2009
Have you ever had an experience with God that was so magnificent that you just couldn't wait to go out and tell everyone about it? Did you just know what God had taken you through and shown you would just bless their socks off too and you just couldn't wait to share this wonderful revelation with those around you? Has that ever happened to you? It just happened to me and to my astonishment hardly anybody could give a hoot! The other night I just had to laugh, and laugh and laugh about it. Hardly anybody cares, ha ha. What a hoot. I don't know what I was thinking, I guess I just assumed that because my life is all wrapped up in serving God and becoming more like Him that everyone else felt the same way. Call me crazy.
You know, God really did a work in me from last April to oh, I'd say June of this year. He really transformed me, a radical change I would dare to say. His power was just so physically real and if an atheist would read every single blog post from the beginning of this blog to this past June I just simply don't know how that atheist could deny the existence of God after that. I could have never done on my own what God did for me. Karma couldn't have done it, coincidence, nope. Only God, only Jesus. I have been so excited about the things I have learned and God showed me how to discover what His will is for all of us and I wanted so desperately to show others.
I have done everything and am in the process still of doing every single thing in the study we have been going through on "How to Discover God's Will for Your Life". We still have to do part 5 & 6 next Friday. But, guess what, it worked!! I did what was in the study and it worked!!! I have very clear direction, my path is straight and well lit. I have confirmations all around me of what is to come in the future and I know to prepare for that also. IT WORKED!! How powerful is that? Years of praying and wondering what was God's will for me and now, I know what it is. I know what is to come and I know what I am supposed to be doing! I want everyone to enjoy this knowledge and you know, if someone had offered up this information for me to hear I would have been the first to sign up. Unfortunately, that has not been the response and I am sad about that. I honestly thought people would be clamoring for a clear path to God's will. It is not an easy path by any means, nope it is not. It takes some work. Putting on things, shedding off things and such but wow, so worth it. I have never been happier in my life! I have never had more peace in my life! All of it came through what was in the study. I have to say also that I highly recommend Lysa Ter Keurst's book What Happens When Women Say Yes to God (this book is just as wonderful for men) and Wendy Blight's book Hidden Joy in a Dark Corner. These books are just completely anointed life changing books that will take you down real life journey's of discovering just how truly real God is in our lives and how to discover God for yourself in powerful ways. Did you know Amazon sells used books? I know at least one of these books sells for around $4 used on Amazon. Get the books.
I am still more than a little perplexed about the fact that not many people are concerned or want to know about how to discover God's will for their lives considering that is the number one complaint I always hear from Christians, that they don't know His will for them. I really thought this was going to be well received and those that listen or come to our study seem to be enjoying it although we do not have steady attendance in our ladies bible group. I will keep on speaking about it though, even one life changed is worth speaking to a hundred who tell me no thanks.
Edited in: I just wanted to make it clear that the "no thanks" people are not bloggy friends. I was referring to people I am physically in front of trying to talk to and I would never presume to say anything like that about blog land. Many blog readers are silent readers but still absorb what is read. I was just discussing people that I see and want to talk to and they won't let me.
Have a great weekend,
Monday, October 5, 2009
First, I cannot even begin to imagine what my family's life and my own personal life would be like right now if I gave up on God. It would have been so easy to do it, to just give up and say forget you. Many people give up on God because things don't turn around quick enough, we had to go through 2 years of complete uncertainty. 2 years is a LONG time. I am so glad He kept us.
Second, do I trust now? How am I doing with that? I know there are higher levels I must attain but my ability to first trust God has been greatly amplified. How you may ask? Well, a good ole fashioned concordance study in the back of the bible on trust is always an excellent place to start. It is always incredible how much we can learn about a subject by doing a concordance study on it and writing down what the scriptures say into note form and then studying them by note form and by scripture. Amazing. Second, God just plainly spoke to me that I was going to have to learn to trust him and be happy before things got better so I knew I was going to have to do this quickly and do it right and mean it. Thirdly, I just had to stand on who I am in Christ. I have all the scriptures that say who we are in Christ in my sidebar by the way in statement form. I just would read these aloud every day and began to be able to memorize them. When I would get upset I would say to myself and/or aloud who I am in Christ. I would also pray a lot or just talk to God many times throughout the day. I built a better friendship with God. Isn't it just much easier to trust someone you really really know? Fourthly I just had to begin to practice what I was learning & rely on His strength to do it.
It really hit me hard when I heard Beth Moore say that wherever your mind is spewing worry, that is where you do not trust God. So, knowing that God directly told me that I needed to trust him, I was not going to be able to let myself worry anymore. Very difficult to do when you are in the middle of complete chaos I might say. But, when I would begin to worry, I cast my cares upon him and prayed like no body's business and stood on who he said I was. I knew from studying trust what it meant, why we needed to do it and all that it entails. I just had to do it.
Did those four things work for me? Absolutely YES!!!! It totally worked and I do trust God. I do not always understand God, but I trust him. I used to wonder sometimes what it meant to have the peace of God that surpasses all understanding. I think I have learned much of what that means. It is amazing! God is amazing and if we would just let him love us like he wants to...... oh how wonderful it would all be if we could all just surrender all to Him.
Well, Mr. Braxton needs my attention & so does the laundry. I have to take lots of breaks with my foot or it hurts from hobbling around so I am playing Farmville on Facebook now and Farkle. They are lots of fun and keep me from losing my mind with this dumb broken foot.....Hope all of you are well also. Isn't this Fall weather amazing??? LOVE IT.
Friday, October 2, 2009
-Let’s look at the scriptures-
1John 2: 9-11 Anyone who claims to be in the light but hates his brother is still in the darkness. Whoever loves his brother lives in the light, and there is nothing in him to make him stumble. But whoever hates his brother is in the darkness and walks around in the darkness; he does not know where he is going, because the darkness has blinded him.
- Unforgiveness & anger keeps you in the dark. If you can’t see where you are in the dark, how can you know where you are going? Keeping anger inside you and not forgiving those who have hurt you will cause you to stumble. Your paths are no longer clear to you. We are out of His will when we do this.
- Unforgiveness is very displeasing to God. We are called to be the light of the world. Anger and an unforgiving heart will take us out of the light.
- We are to walk as Jesus walked. Walking in anger and unforgiveness is the complete opposite of how Jesus walked. Jesus came in love & forgiveness of our sins. Get rid of all anger & unforgiveness or you may be blinded to the great plans God has for you.
- Are you stumbling in your walk with God? Do you hit roadblocks?
Are your paths straight and clear? Could anger or unforgiveness for someone or a situation be causing you to be unsure of your path?
- Personal Note: In my personal journey of discovering why the will of the Lord was not clear to me God showed me that I did indeed have issues with anger and unforgiveness in my heart for certain people. If you had asked me I would have honestly answered to you that no, I did not have issues with unforgiveness. So of course, I debated with God that I was fine on that topic. God, being much more infinitely wise than I, began to impress upon me to pray blessings and good things only for every person that had ever hurt me. I have to be honest here; I didn’t want to do it. There were people in my life that had hurt me deeply and at this particular time in my life I was in a time of trial and refinement. My life was not very good at all and God wanted me to pray blessings for people who had been cruel to me and I believed that whatever I prayed over them, God was going to do. All I can say is that is what God impressed upon me.
I was obedient though and one tough day I began to pray solely for every person who came to mind that had ever hurt me. I can remember very clearly how shocked I was at just how hard it was to pray good things and blessings over each and every one of these people that first time. I knew then, that of course God was right, and I did have unforgiveness in my heart. That first prayer was tough and I mean real tough but I did it and I began to do it regularly. It wasn’t long before I actually enjoyed praying blessings and no longer good things but great things for each and every one of these people. God broke that anger and unforgiveness off of me by having me do what? Love them. When God says we are to walk in love, the sum of his commandments, He isn’t kidding!!
Can I encourage you to pray for every person you can think of that has ever hurt you? The catch? Only pray good things for them, blessings, all positive, no negative. If your first thought is that you don’t want to do this, then please let me impress upon you that you may indeed have unforgiveness and anger in your heart. This was one of the best things that God has ever led me to do, please don’t be stumbling around in the dark, unsure of where to go. This is not God’s plan for you. Bitterness, whether you know you have it or not, will choke your root. Please pray this prayer so that you may truly begin this journey walking in love.
Now, are you ready? Forgive yourself too. We will beat up on ourselves all day long won’t we? We will say, “I’ve done too much.” We need to be able to not walk in shame, we need to forgive ourselves of past transgressions and for the future ones also. When you mess up, and you will, ask God to forgive you. Learn from the transgression, don’t live in it. Try doing the same exercise as above but about yourself this time. Pray and ask God to forgive you for any stinky things you can think of that you have done. Yes, this includes how we treat our family. Then tell God that you forgive yourself too and that you are releasing any power that the transgression had on your life. Say to yourself, “I am free from ______________ and I will not let it have any more power over how I see myself or live my life. I will identify myself by who I am in Christ and not by the stinky things I have done. Sometimes before we can move on we need to be able to deal with and reconcile the past. Let it go. It is who you are becoming that is most important, not who you were in the past.
2. Ephesians 5: 15-17 Be very careful, then, how you live – not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord’s will is.
- Are we wise and seek to understand God’s plans for us or are we unwise and live for our own comfort.
3. James 2:26 As the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without deeds is dead.
- Faith without deeds (works) is dead. What is the fruit of your faith?
- The Bible says without faith it is impossible to please God. Is your faith active or passive?
- Have you ever felt compelled to do something that you may have felt was from God but for one reason or another failed to do it?
- Have you been faithful to what was asked of you in the past?
- How does this verse tie in with Ephesians 2:10? For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. What works are we supposed to be doing? His works or our own good deeds that we so desire to do?
- Does this verse tie in with Matthew 7:21-23? (The first verse we studied) Only those who do the will of my Father will enter the kingdom of Heaven. Clearly there are those who know God, who know Jesus but Jesus says he never knew them? Why? God has deeds/works for us to do. If we ignore them or never seek them out, what effect does that have on our faith?
4. 1John 2:3-6 We know that we have come to know him if we obey his commands. The man who says, I know him but does not do what he commands is a liar, and the truth is not in him. But if anyone obeys his word, God’s love is truly made complete in him. This is how we know we are in him: Whoever claims to live in him must walk as Jesus did.
- “If you want to walk in the perfect will of God then you have to do the perfect will of God. This requires the commitment of honoring & obeying God and His word.” - Kenneth Hagin.
- It is not enough to just know about God. We must also obey his commandments. This is how we come to know him more also.
- If you want God’s love truly made complete in you then you must obey his commands.
- We are to model ourselves after Jesus.
What keeps us from being used?
1. Titus 1:16 They claim to know God, but by their actions they deny him. They are detestable, disobedient and unfit for doing anything good.
- The things we do should line up with the things we say.
- If we deny God by our actions (or inaction) we are unfit for doing anything good for Him.
2. 2 Timothy 2:24 And the Lord’s servant must not quarrel; instead he must be kind to everyone, able to teach, not resentful.
- The servant of the Lord is able to walk in love.
- The servant of the Lord does not have unforgiveness in his heart.
3. 2 Timothy 2:16 Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
- The Bible teaches us in many places that it is good to think and speak of what is good, positive and uplifting. We can get ourselves into trouble and easily become a stumbling block to others when we engage in certain types of conversations.
- Can you think of a conversation you had with someone that ended up causing more harm than good?
- God does not like gossipers. We are meant to spread love, not rumors.
Are you enjoying the study? I hope so. It has blessed me greatly! Please leave me a comment and let me know if anything has spoken to you or blessed you in any way. I would love to hear your thoughts! As you know we do this study every other Friday because our ladies Bible Study meets every other Thursday and I want to post these studies after our ladies meet. We had a wonderful time last night and we really stayed parked for a long time in the Preparation category on 1 Peter 1:13-16 where we discussed how crucial it is to reflect God.
Next time we will discuss A Workman Approved By God and Loving God, parts 5 & 6 and that will be the end of our study. Please leave me a comment and tell me what you think.
Have a great day,
The time between asking for His will & His will coming to fruition is for preparation.
Has God given you a word but it’s not coming to pass? Ask yourself if you have been actively preparing for that word given. If you feel like God has plans for you to teach then start storing up God’s Word inside of you. Study His Word more. Know what God has to say. If you feel like God wants you to share the gospel but you aren’t sure yet in what way, study and learn all about the salvation process. Why did Jesus have to come? Why was Jesus not accepted by the Jewish leaders? Why did Jesus have to die? Why couldn’t Jesus just come and reign forever right then and there? What was accomplished on the cross? How does that effect someone right here and now who is unsaved? Prove yourself faithful by learning and studying and praying about what you feel God is moving you towards. That act of obedience alone shows God you are serious about His kingdom and His plans for you. This is a place where many of us drop the ball. We pray & then we just wait. We need to be preparing while we wait.
What do the scriptures say about preparation?
1. 1 Peter 1:13-16 Therefore, prepare your minds for action; be self-controlled; set your hope fully on the grace to be given you when Jesus Christ is revealed. As obedient children, do not conform to the evil desires you had when you lived in ignorance. But just as he who called you is holy, so be holy in all you do; for it is written: “Be holy, because I am holy.”
What does all of that mean in simple terms?
a. If you had to hire someone to work on a project, would you want to do it with someone who was half heartedly into the work or someone who wanted to give it their best? Wouldn’t you want to hire someone who exemplified the qualities your company stood for? Your local grocery store doesn’t hire just anyone; no they want to hire people who exemplify cleanliness and a friendly attitude. Shouldn’t we exemplify the characteristics of God if we want to work for him?
1. Ouch, that might sting a little. We know we are supposed to be conforming ourselves into the image of Christ but what does that have to do with being in the will of God? Well, when you begin to represent yourself as a Christian then you represent God. People look at your life, the way you live every day, the way you talk, everything you do. If you are talking about God but your life does not reflect Him in you, then most people really don’t want to hear what you have to say.
2. How many times have we heard someone say “I don’t need to go to Church with
a bunch of hypocrites!” Why do so many people say that about Christians? It is
because we are called to be holy & separate from the world and the world knows
this & yet they see us fitting right in with them, living not much differently than
they do. This makes our testimomy & the gospel we preach ineffective. They don’t
see it working in our own lives so why should they give it a try? Also, for many
people they do not make clear distinctions between the actions of the person and
God. When a Christian commits an offense often times you will hear them say
Something like “And you call yourself a Christian!” They carry the negative feel-
ings over to God. They call us hypocrites because we speak one thing and do
another. If you are to be effective for God then you need to exemplify who God is.
3. This is a now command, not a past tense command. Do not be worried about
how you come to God, as long as you are serious about reflecting Him then He
will help transform you. God knows the motives of our hearts. Do not worry about
the past, ask forgiveness of your sins, repent from them and present yourself to
God as a vessel who desires to be transformed into His likeness.
b. What are we preparing for action? We must prepare our minds for action. If you don’t know what to prepare for then simply begin by praying for guidance and just study the word. Store it up in you so God has something to pull up out of you. We need to know the word so that God’s Holy Spirit can direct us in what to say, to move us to the right scriptures and answers to questions we are asked. We do not become zombies when we are speaking for God. You can’t pull money out of a bank if you haven’t made deposits. Deposit the word of God in you so that when the time comes God has the ability to pull up out of you the word He needs you to speak at the appropriate time.
c. Be self-controlled. We are called to action as believers to tell others about the gospel, to love each other and conform ourselves to the image of Christ. We need to be able to control ourselves and our desires. We need to control our thoughts and our actions. What areas do lose control over? Take those things to God and study them in your Bible’s concordance. Study self control and see what you can learn about it. More often than not, God is not a problem zapper. Oh, you know the prayer “Lord, please take this thing from me. I have tried and I just can’t stop, please take it, you could just zap it away Lord.”
1. Do you have a problem area? Anger, jealousy, yell at your kids too much? Study
Romans 7&8 then hop over to Galations 5:22. The very last word you will read
says self control. Joyce Meyer tells a great story about this. She had an issue with
losing control of her temper and yelling in her house about various grievances. She
had been praying for God to just take that away from her so she could stop doing
it. God told her you can control yourlself. She said “I can’t Lord”, he said “You
can”. God immediately gave her a vision of sorts. In her vision she was in her
home upset and yelling about her frustrations once more. There was a knock at the
door so she stops to answer it. It is her pastor and instantly she is calm and happy.
She smiles as she greets her pastor and invites him in. “Oh pastor, so nice to see
you. How wonderful that you have come to visit.” She is speaking softly now and
is in perfect control of her emotions. At that moment she knew that she could
indeed control herself, it was a choice.
d. We are not asked to sit and wait. We are called to prepare ourselves in advance for the work we are going to do. We need to ask ourselves these questions “Have I really been preparing to be a worker for the Lord?” “Can God count on me?”
2. Colossians 4:6 let your conversation be always full of grace, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how to answer everyone.
a. Be kind when you speak, be respectful.
b. We need to be knowledgeable about what we are speaking to people about. We
need to be able to talk with people in such a way that they want to know more about
God and the story of Jesus. We need to talk about a personal relationship with the
Lord in such a way that would make someone say to themselves “I want what they
c. Speak as you would like to be spoken to.
3. James 1:22 Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.
a. Are you recognizing a theme yet? God is looking for people who reflect His
character and are willing to be conformed into His likeness. You don’t have to be
perfect before God can use you but you need to come willing to be like Him.
We need to come willing to submit ourselves completely to Him and be willing to be
doers of the word. You don’t have to come already a “Christian superstar” to be a part
of God’s plan. Heaven’s no! Just be willing to let him transform you. Do you want to
reflect God’s character and do His will? Do you earnestly want to seek Him and live
out His plans for you? Because that is all you need.
b. If we simply read and study the Word of God but never put into practice what we
study then we are deceiving ourselves.
4. 1 Thessalonians 5:16 Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus.
a. It isn’t always easy but we should remain joyful, pray always and be thankful
no matter our circumstances. If you can’t find it in you to be joyful where you are now
then be joyful about where you were in the past. Read the Psalms and you will find
joy in those. Read them aloud to God if need be and stand on His word. If you are in
some kind of trial it will not be there forever. Why is being joyful important to being
in the will of God? The joy of the Lord is our strength. When you are full of the joy
of the Lord you feel like you can do anything! Who wants you to be weak? The devil!
When we feel weak and sorrowful we don’t feel like we can do much of anything and
that is right where Satan wants you! He wants you ineffective for God. If need be then
be joyful in the fact that one day you will live in perfect peace with God and Jesus.
b. The more you tune into God the more He can tune into you. You can’t receive if
you are not paying attention to Him.
Okay, we have established that you have a special purpose, each one of us. We have talked about how God will be working in us as we are in His will. We know to seek Him daily and stay tuned in to the Holy Spirit daily and we talked about how to begin preparing our minds. Now, let's talk some more about what keeps Christians from knowing God's will for their lives. Please read What Keeps Us from Knowing His Will (Part 4)