Forget Me Not – A Devotion

myosotis

Psalm 103:1-4 (NLT)

Let all that I am praise the Lord; with my whole heart, I will praise his holy name. Let all that I am praise the Lord; may I never forget the good things he does for me. He forgives all my sins and heals all my diseases. He redeems me from death and crowns me with love and tender mercies.

 

To be totally honest, I just want to forget the sorrow, hardship and grieve the last three years of our life. I don’t want to talk about it anymore. Most days I try desperately to push it to the farthest recesses of my mind. But the moment I see his picture sitting across my desk or on my dresser, it all comes flooding back. When I try to remember something I should know, only to realize I wasn’t here when it happened it is clear. Dates on the calendar like a wave building in the sea, I stand on the shore watching and waiting for it to crash over me. I know how to swim. I have figured out how to float to the surface when the current is too strong. It is not a matter of survival. Why is this anniversary proving to be so difficult? The only thing that I can think of is that it is the first one passing that our son is not in active treatment. It will be the first time since he was diagnosed with cancer that I will not be Christmas shopping with the infusion nurses while he gets chemo. Praise God! But it does not change the fact that as each day moves closer to the three-year mark, I feel such a heaviness in my heart. Why can’t I forget Lord and just move on? Why does it have to continuously play in my mind or minimally distracted by life? I don’t want to be in this place any longer. We survived this ordeal. Can we please just move on?

Lamentations 3:19-23 (NLT)

The thought of my suffering and homelessness is bitter beyond words. I will never forget this awful time, as I grieve over my loss. Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: the faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

 

Each day as I reflect on the status updates posted on Facebook, I cannot help but remembering the suffering. Our son was so sick, but never ever did I think or imagine that it would turn out to be something as horrible as cancer. This is not what God meant when He promised to do more than I could ever think or imagine, and the enemy was quick to question my beliefs in that moment. Believing has not been the issue. Though quite small, my trust had potential that God knew that was there. The thought of suffering is bitter for sure. I will never forget this awful time but I want to desperately. When I was young, my parents divorced. They were just children themselves. My brother and I endured some very difficult thing while in the care of others that have all been erased from my memory. Some surfaced later in my life, but for the most part I only remember bits and pieces of my elementary years. The fog clears giving way to clarity somewhere around junior high and high school when things began to settle down and change for the better. I believe it was the Holy Spirit and a buffer that God put around me so I would survive those years with my faith intact. So many situations that could have turned out terribly, when God delivered us. I know that He saved us but I cannot remember the details vividly just abstractly. The trauma of our son having cancer seems to have left an indelible mark on my heart, mind and spirit. I have asked the Lord to use His Grace to remove it, but it still remains vivid and quite clear. I still grieve the loss of my so-called normal life. YET! I kind of like that conjunction. It is my constant reminder. Yet means at the present time. It also means up to that time AND in the time still remaining. Before this happened, while it was happening and long after it is over…yet (though, still and nevertheless) I still have hope…when I remember this… There is purpose in my remembrance and a reason that the Lord will not let me forget. His Faithful Love remains forever. His Faithfulness is forever. His Mercies never cease. I must remember so that I will not forget.

Isaiah 43:18-20 (NLT)

“But forget all that—it is nothing compared to what I am going to do. For I am about to do something new. See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? I will make a pathway through the wilderness. I will create rivers in the dry wasteland.  The wild animals in the fields will thank me, the jackals and owls, too, for giving them water in the desert. Yes, I will make rivers in the dry wasteland so my chosen people can be refreshed.”

 

When I read this verse, it begins by saying forget all that. Doesn’t that mean to move on, get over, go past it, and press on because that is exactly what I am trying to do Lord. I want to survive this situation and just get on with my life. There are no hard feelings. I am not upset. I give glory, praise and admiration for you have indeed heal and delivered our son. I am thankful that you provided everything that we needed along the way to make it. You are a good God. You are faithful, loving and true. Surely these are not words from a hard heart or devastated soul, just a thankful servant. But the Lord did not create me, call me or save me to just survive. I was made to prosper and succeed. Is there something that I am missing in my hurry to get through? Something so impressive that only God can do but I must still pick up on.

The Children of Israel are reminded frequently not to forget all that happened in the wilderness. God led them through the wilderness with all its poisonous snakes and scorpions yet they were not harmed. He provided manna (a food they had never eaten also called angel food) that just fell from the sky all around them as God began to change their hunger so they would crave a relationship with the Lord. (Deuteronomy 8:15-16) How could they forget the Lord their God in all His Goodness? Oh don’t worry they did. God was showing them His Mercy. He wanted them to see that He would never abandon them even in the wilderness. (Deuteronomy 4:31) The purpose – so that each generation would set their hope anew in God. (Psalm 78:1-4) I get it. I do have faith that has born confident hope. I do believe. I know that God is good and His Faithfulness is forever … but Lord can I please just forget this awful time.

Isaiah 54:9-10 (NLT)

“Just as I swore in the time of Noah that I would never again let a flood cover the earth, so now I swear that I will never again be angry and punish you. For the mountains may move and the hills disappear, but even then my faithful love for you will remain. My covenant of blessing will never be broken,” says the Lord, who has mercy on you.

 

God’s Mercy has allowed me to enter a covenant of blessing with Him. In that covenant, He has promised to make good out of every detail of my life. (Romans 8:28) Rushing out of this season or erasing if from my memory could prevent me from having all that God has purposed to give me after the storm. We survived. That is enough for my soul who knows all of its faults and imperfections that humbly accepts what the Lord has done because I know me. But the Lord says, “Forget the past…all that mess that was washed into the Sea of Forgetfulness and focus on me today.” I am not finished yet. My Mercy is not done. The Covenant of Blessing not satisfied. My son died for you to have it…

Mercy is God’s Kindness, Compassion and Favor. Not just any favor, but Divine Favor that can only be imparted by our Creator. It means Divine Blessing. His Compassionate and kind forbearance of all my sin allows me to be satisfied according to the Covenant of Blessing. While I focus on surviving the Lord presses for me to thrive. Though I long to forget the past, as I want to press toward the mark of the High Calling of God. The Lord is reminding me today that I must finish the race to receive the prize. (Philippians 3:12-14) I want to be all that He purposed and planned for me to be and that includes accepting His Mercy, Kindness and Favor. I am a Child of God who chooses to serve Him. Not a child forced into servitude. I know me and have a hard time accepting more when He has done so very much. I want to forget and just move on but God wants to bless me. Rather than moving away from the mirror and forgetting, He invites me to step a little closer and see what He is doing in me so I can reflect His Love to all. (James 1:24-25) I may never forget all that has transpired as much as I think it would be a relief. There is purpose and meaning here yet to be discovered as painful as it may be.

Psalm 116:4-9 (NLT)
Then I called on the name of the
 Lord: “Please, Lord, save me!” How kind the Lord is! How good he is! So merciful, this God of ours! The Lord protects those of childlike faith; I was facing death, and he saved me. Let my soul be at rest again, for the Lord has been good to me. He has saved me from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling. And so I walk in the Lord’s presence as I live here on earth!

As I continue to reflect all that has happened in the last three years, it still is difficult. I know now there is a reason why I cannot make myself forget. Rather than struggling to do so, I must strive to know Him more and be receptive to all that He is showing me through this painful process. My life will never be the same. I have come through the wilderness and now live on the other side. I must learn to prosper in this place although it seems unnatural and a bit foreign at times. God is changing me each day to live in His Presence forever. It may be uncomfortable. Some days it even produces tears. But it will be worth it to live and never forget all that He has done for me and accepting all that He wants to do because of it. I will never deserve all that God has done for me. But I am so very thankful that His New Mercy meets me in each morning. It was there before trouble came. It stayed with us in the darkness. Now it gives way to new light! God is good all that time and all the time He is good. Today He is whispering – “Forget Me Not!”

Psalm 28:6-7 (NLT)

Praise the Lord! For he has heard my cry for mercy. The Lord is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Psalm 123:1-2 (NLT)

I lift my eyes to you, O God, enthroned in heaven. We keep looking to the Lord our God for his mercy, just as servants keep their eyes on their master, as a slave girl watches her mistress for the slightest signal.

Live for the Moment – A Devotion

Live for the Moment

Job 7:17-18 (NLT)

“What are people that you should make so much of us that you should think of us so often?  For you examine us every morning and test us every moment.”

 

There are many people who I have looked to for advice in the Bible as I have walked the journey of trials and testing over the last few years. For some reason, this year has been exceptionally telling probably because for the first time in that time our son is not undergoing chemotherapy. For the last couple of weeks, it has been as thought the Lord has taken me down memory lane slowly strolling along as not to miss a single detail of the ordeal through which we have traversed. Some days it is difficult to realize just how close we came to death and yet he is still here thanks to the Goodness of our God. Other days it is easy to celebrate his victory especially when another milestone is reached or I find him digging in my refrigerator. Last night riding home from the gym, one of my favorite songs through it all came on the radio. Chills crept up my arms until every hair on the back of my neck stood to attention, whispering the words and fighting back tears I recall with sweet affirmation that “not for a moment will you forsake me” only I cannot sing “will you” but “did you”. It is the moments like these I am humbled to think of my God who despite all my faults and failures still thinks of me so sweetly. He cares for me completely. He examines me each morning applying His Mercy where I need it. He tests me each moment. Every moment of every day has divine potential and Kingdom Purpose. Every single one without exception contains the opportunity to see the Glory of God if we choose not to miss it. Even those times we think one day we will want to forget are gladly welcomed in knowing that God’s Love for me is so vast and secure. I must live every moment looking for the Lord in each one.

Psalm 39:4-5 (NLT)

Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.”

 

My entire lifetime is just a moment to you. Each of us is but a breath. To fully comprehend this statement gives us revelation as the urgency of God. He sees each moment of our life knowing the outcome before it is lived. His Purpose is for me to know Him. He wants me to love Him wholeheartedly enough to trust Him stepping into righteousness before it is too late. In Divine Desperation, God takes the moments that I have relentlessly working through them to reveal His Love to me. Life changes when we see its limitations. When the reality that we cannot stop death from approaching, so must learn to overcome it before it gets here will change how we live. At least, this is how it happened for me. The fight waged against cancer has changed my life forever. Do not feel sorry for us because that is not how we feel. I am empowered by the discovery that there really is more to life than this and that God wants me to live it with Him. My time on this earth is brief as is the life of each of my children. I must use my time wisely to make a good investment in forever. Lord, thank you for reminding me of that today so that I will make faith count and hope a priority in each moment.

 

Psalm 139:15-18 (NLT)

You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion, as I was woven together in the dark of the womb. You saw me before I was born. Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out before a single day had passed. How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered! I can’t even count them; they outnumber the grains of sand! And when I wake up, you are still with me!

The first time I ever read this verse I was blown away to discover that the Lord was so concerned with my life. A difficult childhood filled with struggle culminated in a blended family that would discover God’s Grace and Mercy yet personally I count not rest still struggling to survive. I needed to know the Love of God firsthand, up close and personally. The kind of love displayed in a story written by His Hand for His Glory so that I would know that His Love for me is not only corporate but more importantly intimate and one-on-one. It was discovered the moment that I realized no one and nothing could satisfy my heart, quiet my soul and heal my heart like Jesus. It took all this just to understand that every moment of my life is infused with God’s Love for my immediate discovery and use. If I will only look to Him, I can see that His Thoughts of me are so precious that He leaves not a single detail to chance but fills each one with His Goodness, Grace and Love. (Romans 8:28) I know that even when life is too much for me to handle that He has it all under control. His Plan so complex that it knows the end from the beginning and works best in my weakness to show me the way.

Daniel 9:22-23 (NLT)

He explained to me, “Daniel, I have come here to give you insight and understanding. The moment you began praying, a command was given. And now I am here to tell you what it was, for you are very precious to God. Listen carefully so that you can understand the meaning of your vision.

 

I am precious to God. No really, I am His Beloved. He cherishes me more than any other person could ever see my value and worth. “The moment you began praying, a command was given.” God was just waiting for me to make the connection. Think about the first time you cried out to Jesus in desperation. It wasn’t pretty but pathetic. You needed Him to survive. It was a cry of devastation in a vain attempt to save your life – you lost it altogether. At least, this is the case for most of us. We had to come to the end of ourselves to seek God for real. Why? Why did the Lord tell Daniel that the command was given? You are precious to God. Sometimes it takes complete devastation of life as we know it to discover just how wide, long, high and deep His Love really is when it comes to you. (Ephesians 3:18) Now I know when I pray that He hears me, moves on my behalf, answers me and even sits silently to keep me still and in place. But more importantly than what the Lord tells me in that moment is the revelation that He loves me and I am precious to the Lord. It is such a place that insight and understanding flow freely in the Knowledge of God. His Wisdom helps us to see His Goodness in each moment even those that are difficult to get through.

Psalm 84:10-12 (NLT)

A single day in your courts is better than a thousand anywhere else! I would rather be a gatekeeper in the house of my God than live the good life in the homes of the wicked. For the Lord God is our sun and our shield. He gives us grace and glory. The Lord will withhold no good thing from those who do what is right. O Lord of Heaven’s Armies, what joy for those who trust in you.

 

In this moment of recollection, I am reminded today to live for the moment. A single day lived in the Presence of God is better than a thousand anywhere else. Do you mean that today? You cannot crave what you have never known. In that moment when all I could do was trust God, life became simple. Then I came back to “regular” life wandering out of His Constant Abiding Presence and now am desperate to find my way back. “Normal” life is not as rewarding as a dedicated life. Sometimes we must be desperate to survive. This is why in our weakness that we discover God’s Strength. When pride falls to humility, we come to Him and He is able to fill us up again. This new life is a work in progress and each moment carries great potential to lead us back to His Presence so we can have His Goodness in our life.

Matthew 6:26-30 (NLT)

 Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don’t work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith?

 

One final thought on this journey down memory lane and probably the most profound to me today. I have spent much of my life worrying. I shudder to think what it will be like when the Lord shows me all the time wasted on stress when I meet Him. My weak faith would not allow me to trust Him in every single moment. However, at this point in my life, after all that we have been through I am compelled to change gears and seek new direction. I want a simple life. How can I call this life simple with so many burdens? When I could not do anything to save our son, the Lord stepped in to show me His Great Love. I would never have experienced such complete and divine intervention that would completely change my mind about the Lord had we not gone through this past season. What I have discovered is the potential in a mustard seed of faith sown in one second of my life? Now my desires are changing, I am trying to walk the way that I used to, do things like we did and work to regain a normal life – but it does not satisfy me like it did before. Everything has changed and now I want the simplicity of knowing God is with me in each moment. His Goodness is ready to overflow and overtake my life so I feel myself pushing against those things that keep it from moving. As I learn to trust Him more, my prayer is to live in His Presence. I am now discovering it was His Plan all along to make me release my mediocre life to take hold of a supernatural existence in the Knowledge of His Great Love. The Lord wants to take care of me in each moment. I am learning to surrender them before it becomes urgent and He must wrestle them from my doubt and fear to do what I am asking Him to do. My life of contradiction is finally being settled. Each fine hair is split that keeps me from knowing Him more. I want those moments back once sacrificed to worry, fear, regret to be surrendered to the Lord so He can fill them with the Love, Trust and Faith that He has for me so my hope will be confident in Him every single second of every day.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (NLT)

Yet God has made everything beautiful for its own time. He has planted eternity in the human heart, but even so, people cannot see the whole scope of God’s work from beginning to end.

Well enough about me, let’s talk about you. God has made everything beautiful in its own time. We will soon pass the three-year mark of our son’s battle, how long has the war lasted waged in your life? I know that it seems like forever. I can feel your exhaustion today. I want to encourage you from the other side. Today our son is cancer-free. I celebrate that even though the enemy wants me to worry that it will one day come back claiming his life. I refuse and hope you will do the same. The Truth is that God loves you. He has written out each minute of your life with divine purpose filling it with His Goodness. His Unfailing Love is right behind you just waiting to overtake you. God is desperate for you because although this awful times seems like it will last forever. I will not but God’s Care and Concern for His Children will and so you have eternity in your heart. Today is but a moment. You can use it to discover His Great Love for you. Are you broken today? The Lord is ready to heal you. Call on Him, and immediately a command is released in Heaven on your behalf. Do not look at tomorrow, it will be here soon enough. Do not look back because such a person is not fit for the Kingdom of God. Live out this moment. Look for His Love in this second. Do not let the enemy rob you of the blessing that came with His Mercy for today. We cannot see the scope of God’s Work from beginning to end that is why He leaves us blessings in each moment even if it is the solace that we are never alone. Take a deep breath. Live for the moment. You will see God!

And every step every breath you are there

Every tear every cry every prayer

In my heart at my worst

When my world falls down

Not for a moment will You forsake me

Even in the dark

Even when it’s hard

You will never leave me after all…

Not for a moment will you forsake me.
(Meredith Andrews – Not For a Moment)

This Too Shall Pass – A Devotion

This Too Shall Pass

2 Corinthians 4:17-18 (NLT)

For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

 

“This is too shall pass” is a popular phrase used in our culture to encourage and empower. It simply means that whatever the circumstance or situation, it has an end whether we can actually see it or not is another thing entirely. You might be surprised to know that this statement is found nowhere in the Bible. It was authored by a Persian poet. The wisdom in his words do support the Word of God in that life is temporary. The things in life are temporary. Whatever you are facing today is but a moment of time that in a grand scheme much greater and broader than humanity could ever comprehend contains goodness that will one day be revealed. God’s Glory is expressed by the pressure that weighs us down promoting human weakness which usually results in greater dependency on God. Three things last forever – faith, hope and love. Outside of these three things, nothing is certain. Solomon discovered the brevity of life and also the futility of the things that life produces. He had everything. Yet, even King Solomon was not satisfied. How does one balance life that is constantly changing? Where does it fit? If the things in this life are temporary, why does it matter how I live? Oh friend, it matters. Jesus said, “Those who endure to the end will be saved.” We just have to figure out how to get there from here.

1 Corinthians 13:12-13 (NLT)

Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. Three things will last forever—faith, hope, and love—and the greatest of these is love.

Three things last forever – faith, hope and love. The greatest of these is love. The description seems so simple yet in life it can be so complex. Faith is not easy. Hope elusive. Love has grown cold. No longer fashionable it is not the popular so it has been put away by many. Yet in the darkness groping to find the Light, no one seems to grasp that anything in our life minus Jesus Christ has lost all purpose and potential. Faith is given to us to begin our new life. Hope allows us to see past this moment or tomorrow’s trouble to the future glory that is given. Love is the primary catalyst that pulls it all together. To know that nothing can separate us from God’s Love and live like it are two very different things. We must learn to respond accordingly rather than reacting to all the stress and pressure we feel. This comes from knowing the Lord more and more each day. Before these two verses in I Corinthians 13 it says, “Now our knowledge is partial and incomplete, and even the gift of prophecy reveals only part of the whole picture! But when the time of perfection comes, these partial things will become useless. When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things.” Striving for spiritual maturity allows us to see the end from the beginning which firmly establishes our faith producing confident hope as we learn of God’s Great Love for us.

2 Timothy 2:3-4 (NLT)

Endure suffering along with me, as a good soldier of Christ Jesus. Soldiers don’t get tied up in the affairs of civilian life, for then they cannot please the officer who enlisted them.

Soldiers do not get tied up in the affairs of civilian life. When the order is given to go, they go. Without hesitation, they leave behind family, friends and careers to fulfill the calling in their life. We are to be the same way. When encountering those who are unlovable, our orders are to love. We must look past our pride and sense of entitlement to love them anyway. We must treat those who wrong us the right way. We are not given the luxury of operating in the flesh any longer as we have answered the call to be something greater than ourselves. What we do reflects our allegiance to the Kingdom of God, are you a good soldier? Or do you go AWOL when faced with a fight? Do you abandon ship when it might be sinking? Every man or woman who enlists in the service to the United States of America has made the decision to lay down their life for their country. They all must go through rigorous basic training to prepare them should they engage in battle one day. Their mind, body and spirit is pushed to the limit to be sure that they are truly ready to stand behind their commitment. Those who are successful will be the ones who protect the freedom of many and answer the call to be more than they imagined. God has called us to live a life of holy service. This is not donning a robe, wearing a priestly collar or putting on a fancy suit to address a congregation for weekly services. God dresses us in armor for battle to get in the trenches of life, fight for our faith and secure confident hope. But who wants to endure suffering…even if it only lasts for a night?

I Peter 2:11-12 (NLT)

Dear friends, I warn you as “temporary residents and foreigners” to keep away from worldly desires that wage war against your very souls. Be careful to live properly among your unbelieving neighbors. Then even if they accuse you of doing wrong, they will see your honorable behavior, and they will give honor to God when he judges the world.

 

Temporary residents and foreigners is who we are. We are visitors here with intentions to move on when given the opportunity to join Jesus. We cannot change the world. It’s fate is sealed because of sin. The only impact Christians can have is to offer others the opportunity to be saved and leave this world for a better place. Many times I forget that this too shall pass and that the day to day matters of life really don’t matter – it’s the people that do. I get fed up just like the next person and consider throwing in the towel when the next trial comes on the heels of the last great test we have endured. Worldly desires wage war against our souls. Those things in life that really don’t matter but tempt us to treat them as they do. If we can just see past that moment into the next, we may see the end is in sight. Hope is not for today but forever. It allows us by faith to step out of our circumstances into the knowledge that this life is temporary and I will live forever. What impacts forever is what really counts, not that I got the respect that I deserved, or that people treated me the right way, or that every slight was settled. We are not of this world, but must live in it as temporary residents. We must be sure to do just that and stop holding on to society norms in exchange for Kingdom benefits.

2 Corinthians 5:17 (NKJV)

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

 

I forget this valuable passage sometimes and do not apply it to my life. Old things have passed away. My past is gone. My failures accounted for. My shame and guilt washed away in His Blood. I can live as a new creation now before I ever enter His Kingdom. It is a mindset that allows the Holy Spirit to change my heart, renew my spirit and satisfy my soul. When others do not meet my expectations, they are fulfilled in Christ. Why? He is making all things new. I want Him to. I expect Him too. I live as though I believe this to be true while gives me all the benefits of His Kingdom now while I live this temporary life as a foreigner in another place. Are you hoarding the past today? Are you living for this day rather than forever? You do not have to but choose do. Do you invest your time and energy in people or put all your expectation in Jesus Christ so you are free to love those same people expecting nothing in return? This is not the way the world things, but it is the way true believers live. When we have trouble making it through the day, or wonder if tomorrow will ever come – it is time to re-evaluate our life and what we believe. We must take the time to know God so we will trust Him. We must study His Word and apply it to our life so it will be wisdom. We must take that small measure or mustard seed of faith that we have been given and cultivate confident hope with it rather than just gripping it in our clenched palms. You have the potential to live beyond your means in this life by the Power of God and to His Glory. However, you cannot be a resident of the world to have the Treasures of Heaven.

Hebrews 13:14-16 (NLT)

For this world is not our permanent home; we are looking forward to a home yet to come. Therefore, let us offer through Jesus a continual sacrifice of praise to God, proclaiming our allegiance to his name. And don’t forget to do good and to share with those in need. These are the sacrifices that please God.

Our family has not had a vacation in the last three years due to the health issues of our son. I plan to change that in the coming year now that God has healed him. As I begin to look at different places and plan, I am excited. It makes me smile to see past the crazy schedule that we have been on to days of rest and relaxation with our family. As I plan and prepare for this, it takes my mind off the worries and stresses of today. It gives me hope that rest is on the way. I am looking forward to spending quality time with our family. “Looking forward” is important in the life of a believer to endure the not so fun days that come our way labeled “trial, test or temptation.” It allows us to see past light and momentary burdens to the better days ahead. But imagine if we lived each day with an image of God’s Kingdom in our mind. What if we decided to demonstrate full allegiance to Jesus Christ what would happen? “Then he asked them, “But who do you say I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Messiah, the Son of the living God.” Jesus replied, “You are blessed, Simon son of John because my Father in heaven has revealed this to you. You did not learn this from any human being. Now I say to you that you are Peter (which means ‘rock’), and upon this rock I will build my church, and all the powers of hell will not conquer it. And I will give you the keys of the Kingdom of Heaven. Whatever you forbid on earth will be forbidden in heaven, and whatever you permit on earth will be permitted in heaven.” (Matthew 16:15-19) To proclaim allegiance to the Name of Jesus on the earth, will change our life now and forever. It will enable us to endure to the end. It is our victory and gives us the power to overcome any situation before it overtakes us. You have this power living inside of you. You just have to remember this too shall pass, but Jesus Christ will never pass away. In His Name, we have the power to overcome any situation and live forever with God.

2 Peter 3:9-12 (NLT)

The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to be destroyed, but wants everyone to repent. But the day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Then the heavens will pass away with a terrible noise, and the very elements themselves will disappear in fire, and the earth and everything on it will be found to deserve judgment. Since everything around us is going to be destroyed like this, what holy and godly lives you should live, looking forward to the day of God and hurrying it along. On that day, he will set the heavens on fire, and the elements will melt away in the flames.

The Lord is never slow concerning His Promise. I have to remind myself of this over and over sometimes especially when it seems like life is one trial after another. If you are in the midst of a fiery trail today be encouraged this too shall pass revealing His Glory in your life. If you are under what seems to be unbearable pressure, I promise this too shall pass. Sorrow lasts for the night but joy comes in the morning along with a fresh batch of new mercy to get you through another day. As long as we hold on to faith, hope and love – we can look forward to forever. I lose sight of forever sometimes…maybe a lot of times. Forgetting what lies ahead, I stay focused on what is passed or what is seems to be surrounding me. I choose to live without His Power that is demonstrated best in my weakness. Lord, today remind me that I belong to you. The most important thing about this day is that I am your Child and demonstrate my allegiance to Jesus Christ. My life has a purpose and I intend to live it. Shake me God until I let go of the worthless things. Give me the wisdom to reach for eternal things. The Persian poet had the right idea. I will live for forever today and ask you Holy Spirit to remind me when I hold on to the situation or try to pull out with my own strength that “this too shall pass.” I want to be ready when you come for me, but first I must make it through this day. Thank you for your patience, grace, mercy and love – teach me to live the same way.

Hebrews 13:8 (NLT) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

Good Common Sense – A Devotion

Good Common Sense

Proverbs 2:6-8 (NLT)

For the Lord grants wisdom! From his mouth come knowledge and understanding. He grants a treasure of common sense to the honest. He is a shield to those who walk with integrity. He guards the paths of the just and protects those who are faithful to him.

 

Read a post on Facebook that made me chuckle. “Common sense is so rare these days it should be considered a super power.” Kudos to the author of such a statement, but isn’t sad that it is true. Good common sense seems to be a thing of the past. People live recklessly on many levels. We shake our head at the news and wonder what this world has come to. Love has grown cold. Sin has grown rampant. False prophets are a dime a dozen who live in million dollar houses flying around in private jets. (Matthew 24:11-13) I have bad new but I also have good news. Jesus told us it would be like this. The bad news is that is not going to get any better. The good news is we have the power to overcome a lack of judgment and stop making poor choices. We have been granted wisdom. It comes in a tiny package called faith. The Lord has granted us a treasure of common sense which we must learn to cultivate in our life. He will guard us in our efforts to find our way home. He protects those who are faithful to Him.

When I was having my children, breastfeeding was making a comeback. For years, society shunned the natural to embrace a more decent way to feed our babies ignoring the way God designed the human body. Culturally it became an action embraced only by lower class or impoverished women who could not afford to purchase baby formula. Mothers began to bottle feed their babies and teach their daughters to do the same until breastfeeding was unheard of. So when it was discovered that breast milk is better for our babies, society had to make a change. News flooded the media disclosing the scientific discovery. Soon it became a topic of conversation among new mothers who were expecting and the trend began to change. Mothers began to teach their sons and daughters that feeding their children naturally was the best choice and so now it has become popular again. What does this have to do with common sense? Well, families used to worship God. Those who did not were the outcast in society and would be the topic of town gossip. People cared for one another because it was the Christian way not to mention one of the foundation truths this country was founded on. People went to church on Sunday to be taught the Word of God. Families prayed together. There was a good moral foundation that was the code by which people lived. It was shameful to commit a crime. People were embarrassed to be arrested and spend one night in jail because they were taught to respect authority beginning with God. When people decided to divide church and state, it somehow infiltrated our families. Now look what is left of families, it is hard to find one left intact. We lack good common sense because we have no knowledge of God. We do not know who He is, what He requires of us, or the vast plethora of wisdom, understanding and discernment that the Lord gives those who call Him Lord and Savior. We do not know because we have not been taught. We do not know because no one told us…until now.

Proverbs 3:21-26 (NLT)

My child, don’t lose sight of common sense and discernment. Hang on to them, for they will refresh your soul. They are like jewels on a necklace. They keep you safe on your way, and your feet will not stumble. You can go to bed without fear; you will lie down and sleep soundly. You need not be afraid of sudden disaster or the destruction that comes upon the wicked, for the Lord is your security. He will keep your foot from being caught in a trap.

 

What will common sense and discernment add to our life? Glad that you asked, because the Lord has given us insight. It is refreshing to our soul. It keeps us safe. It keeps us from falling. It makes me fearless. It gives me rest. Frees me from become bound to destruction and disaster byproducts of doubt so I can hold firmly to the Truth that I will overcome them all in Jesus Name. The Lord will become my confident hope and security as I learn to know and trust Him more. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God. (Romans 10:17) Why is that important? Faith is the confidence that what we hope for will actually happen; it gives us assurance about things we cannot see.” (Hebrews 11:1) We are born with common sense. First of all, common sense is one’s ability to take the perceptions of all five senses and produce good judgment based on these impressions. Now we know that because of sin, we are not easily persuaded to selflessness or goodness but prefer selfishness and sinful desires so without God our judgment is perverted. We need to be washed in the Word of God to find the Way of God so we can do His Will. This is good common sense. We have all the pieces but Jesus is the One who ties them all together. We are born with our natural senses and given a measure of faith. When we invest that seed of faith in Jesus Christ, He gives us His Spirit who takes everything we see in the natural and He gives us a new and better understanding so we will be successful and prosper right where we are in this normal life. It will go from ordinary to extraordinary when given the supernatural understanding, discernment and wisdom offered only by God through Jesus Christ given to His Spirit.

Proverbs 10:21-25 (NLT)

The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense. The blessing of the Lord makes a person rich and he adds no sorrow with it. Doing wrong is fun for a fool, but living wisely brings pleasure to the sensible. The fears of the wicked will be fulfilled; the hopes of the godly will be granted. When the storms of life come, the wicked are whirled away, but the godly have a lasting foundation.

Who doesn’t want to be successful in life? Who doesn’t want to be blessed? We all want the same thing from the Lord but do not understand that there is only one way to get it. The Plan of God for our life is a good one with a future and hope. It is to be successful in everything we do according to His Word. We do not know His Word, so we do not know His Way. We can want to go to visit Hawaii for the rest of our life, but until we discover how to get there we will only be wandering. Why would it be any different with the Lord? If He is the Way, why wouldn’t we follow Him to be where He is and obtain His Promises? We must learn to be logical about our faith. We must seek to know God so that truth and righteousness come together and become active in our life. (Psalm 85:10-13) Until we get back to foundational Biblical knowledge, meditating and studying His Word, and putting what we know into action in our life it would be foolish to expect godly results. It is just not practical to think otherwise. God is not a fictional character. Salvation is not a fairytale. Jesus is not Prince Charming coming to whisk us a way to some fake kingdom with unrealistic potential. No God is real. Jesus is alive. His Word is the Truth. No one will enter His Kingdom until they discover righteousness that is in Christ alone.

Proverbs 30:1-3 (NLT)

The sayings of Agur son of Jakeh contain this message. I am weary, O God; I am weary and worn out, O God. I am too stupid to be human, and I lack common sense. I have not mastered human wisdom, nor do I know the Holy One.

During our fight to obtain approval for our son’s bone marrow transplant, we exhausted everything we knew to do, all the things people recommended that we do, talked to everyone, researched everything, prayed without ceasing and believed by faith. When we had done everything we knew to do, I found myself diving deep in the Word of God and digging to find the Truth. Surely we missed something, made a wrong turn or were not listening completely. Nothing. I remember thinking to myself “Lord, if we missed you give me the sense to do the right thing or the peace to wait on you.” Silence. My mind was blank. Not a single thought in my head. Just silence. So I closed the Bible, got up and went about my day. The very next day our son was approved for a clinical trial and went on to receive a bone marrow transplant. I understand the discourse of Agur when he felt too stupid to be human and felt as though he had no common sense. I also know that people perish from a lack of knowledge. (Hosea 4:6) I don’t want that to be me or my family. We are given a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3) It is to be planted in the Word of God so that we grow in righteousness and reap the benefits of confident hope. We must know God. We must trust God. We must understand who He is and what His Intentions are for us incorporating it in our daily life to make better choices and finally see some success. Apart from Jesus we can do nothing. Without wisdom, we have no good common sense.

Philippians 4:6-9 (NLT)

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done. Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand. His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus. And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.

Paul addressed the people in Acts 17 concerning their worship of the “unknown god”. The people had erected temples and shrines to a number of gods including the one called unknown. I believe we do the very same thing today. We worship all the “gods” hoping one of them is the right one worthy of our life. We live for people, things, and philosophies trying to add a little “God” to it. You will never experience the Peace of God until you discern and decide that He is the One True God worthy of your whole life and all the pieces of our broken heart. He will guard our hearts and mind as we live in agreement with Jesus Christ. We cannot do this outside of the Wisdom of God’s Word. We must know Him. We must be understanding. We must take our common sense and wrap it in the Truth of Who He is and how very much Jesus loves us to make our way straight into His Kingdom forever. We must learn to cultivate such common sense in our life. By doing so, we will find peace like never before.

Proverbs 2:1-5 (NLT)

My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the Lord, and you will gain knowledge of God.

Common sense can be our super power today. His Spirit gives us the understanding to know God’s Thoughts. It helps us discern and make better decisions in this life that lead to success and prosperity. We can know what to do and when to do it so that supernatural outcomes become common place in our life. Who doesn’t want that? Ask the Lord today to give you common sense. He will wrap you up in the Truth of His Love and whisk you away from uncertainty. Wisdom is a treasure that should not be wasted but handed down to our children. We can change the world with just a little common sense infused with the Word of God grounded by faith and anchored in confident hope. A little goes a long way. Those who endure to the end will be saved.

Psalm 119:33-35 (NLT)

Teach me your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end. Give me understanding and I will obey your instructions; I will put them into practice with all my heart. Make me walk along the path of your commands, for that is where my happiness is found.

What If I Fly – A Devotion

What If I Fly

Isaiah 43:18-21 (Message)

This is what God says,  the God who builds a road right through the ocean,    who carves a path through pounding waves, The God who summons horses and chariots and armies— they lie down and then can’t get up;  they’re snuffed out like so many candles: “Forget about what’s happened;  don’t keep going over old history. Be alert, be present. I’m about to do something brand-new.  It’s bursting out! Don’t you see it? There it is! I’m making a road through the desert, in rivers the badlands. Wild animals will say ‘Thank you!’  —the coyotes and the buzzards—Because I provided water in the desert,     rivers through the sun-baked earth,
Drinking water for the people I chose,
   the people I made especially for myself,  a people custom-made to praise me.

 

My life is currently under construction so please pardon the mess. I am dissatisfied with the way things are and ready for a change. Yet, I am tired and overwhelmed in all of the chaos all around me. I am ready to move but seem too tired and weary to go anywhere fast. This life that I am living seems warmed over, too nuked, and well past the expiration date. My faith is not fresh but entirely too repackaged and self-preserved. I am in a rut but fighting my way out. Is there anyone reading this who feels the same way? When monotony overtakes us and the thought of this moment, day or season representative of the rest of our life seems to disappointing for words. God has promised me a new life. He calls me to attention with His Words that “I’m about to do something brand-new.” I want it. I crave it. I desire it. But am I ready for it? When we allow the Lord to fully take over our life, it is with hope which is nothing more than pure speculation based on our faith and what we believe to be true. There is always that little voice that whispers in our ear, “What if…” But with God all things are possible…”but what if it’s not.” He is making good out of every detail of our life, “but what if He’s not.” God loves me, of course He is doing more than I could even think to ask, “but what if He doesn’t.” The enemy is relentless in trying to give us a lie in exchange for the Truth. If he can make us accept a single spore of doubt, we forfeit that mustard seed of faith. Like mold such a thought will overtake what we know about God that is the foundation of our faith, and kill the potential and purpose in our life as we live far below God’s Glorious Standard.

Like any other construction endeavor, there is no difference when it comes to our new life in Jesus Christ. The landowner must commit their property to the project. If they are remodeling an older home, they must decide if they will live there during renovation. There is a commitment to time, energy and resources to the project. If our heart’s desire to have all that God has promised us then we are going to have to invest something. The greater the investment the greater the change. This is only logical. The only difference is that anything given to the Lord has the potential for supernatural increase and complete prosperity. I needed to be reminded of this today. Our life is moving very fast right now. Things are constantly changing and it seems like I cannot catch my breath. Yesterday for the first time in over five years despite having an awesome quiet time and writing for a good hour, I did not post on Pure Devotion for the first time ever. I was disappointed and overcome with emotion. This month marks three years since our son was diagnosed with cancer and he is still fighting the good fight albeit winning – it is still of concern. Our oldest daughter is getting married in less than a month so another one is leaving the nest. With two girls left in middle school and high school, every parent of a teenager knows the changes it brings. With no downtime in sight and living on high alert, when the computer shut down unexpectedly and did not “autosave” the devotion I was over it all. Professionally I am tired. Personally I am drained. Physically I am exhausted. In my weakness, I believe spiritually I am about to prosper. Why? He promised that in my weakness, I find new strength in Him.

Deuteronomy 30:8-10 (Message)

And you will make a new start, listening obediently to God, keeping all his commandments that I’m commanding you today. God, your God, will outdo himself in making things go well for you: you’ll have babies, get calves, grow crops, and enjoy an all-around good life. Yes, God will start enjoying you again, making things go well for you just as he enjoyed doing it for your ancestors. But only if you listen obediently to God, your God, and keep the commandments and regulations written in this Book of Revelation. Nothing halfhearted here; you must return to God, your God, totally, heart and soul, holding nothing back.

When I got in my car to head to the office yesterday, I was made. Everything I had written was gone. An hour of my life wasted or so I thought. Why? I got up early to spend time with Jesus. I read the Word, studied it and mediated on it. Then as I began to write became lost in His Presence all together. So why would I lose it all like that? To teach me a lesson. Things may not turn out as I planned. The Lord is still doing that new thing in my life. The new thing is all about Him. It begins in Him. Finds its way through God. Culminating in total surrender of my life every single minute to the Glory of His Name. My time with the Lord each day is not to enrich others although I am thankful if it does. It is to change me from the inside out to be all that God has planned and purposed for me to become. If I do not blog, would I still get up two hours early to get lost in Him? You will make a new start. From the moment that I completely turned my life over to Christ, God set out to “outdo himself in making things go well” for me. God began to enjoy me (His Creation) once again. For righteousness sake, He began “making things go well for” me. All I have to do is maintain a right relationship with the Lord to have all that He promised. It is very easy to get distracted. Total dependency on God is difficult to maintain as our flesh is constantly trying to find something to do to “work” out our own salvation rather than depending on Him. I love that the Lord speaks directly to my heart. I value and appreciate that when I sit and listen that He whispers in my ear. What I do with such knowledge is important to Him and will impact that outcomes in my life, if I continue to strive for right standing with my God wholeheartedly and continually return my wandering heart and rebellious thoughts to Him.

Romans 8:9-11 (Message)

But if God himself has taken up residence in your life, you can hardly be thinking more of yourself than of him. Anyone, of course, who has not welcomed this invisible but clearly present God, the Spirit of Christ, won’t know what we’re talking about. But for you who welcome him, in whom he dwells—even though you still experience all the limitations of sin—you yourself experience life on God’s terms. It stands to reason, doesn’t it, that if the alive-and-present God who raised Jesus from the dead moves into your life, he’ll do the same thing in you that he did in Jesus, bringing you alive to himself? When God lives and breathes in you (and he does, as surely as he did in Jesus), you are delivered from that dead life. With his Spirit living in you, your body will be as alive as Christ’s!

 

This pressure that I am feeling must be Christ in me trying to enlarge my life so that I can be filled with more of Him. I see the Holy Spirit inside of me with His Back against one side of me pushing with His Arms and Legs to make my stubborn heart give way and allow His Will, Way and Word to flow freely through my life. Such an event allows God to enlarge my life to accept the full capacity of what He has for me. I like to be comfort. I am not a fan of change. But to cry out to the Lord for more of Him, to have His Way and do His Will requires such an occurrence no matter how uncomfortable it makes us. God has taken up residence in our life. He created the universe and everything in it. No one can imagine the size and full force of our Creator who only has to breathe to create new life. When such awesomeness chooses a holy inhabitation of its creation, there must be a change. It requires renovation. We had a shower for our bride a week ago. The days leading up to the event were spent cleaning up, cleaning out, preparing and planning for our guests. We wanted them to feel welcome. We wanted them to be fed. We wanted them to enjoy their time with us. What if we spent the same amount of time we do preparing for parties and holidays preparing our life for God? Imagine the potential when we make room for Him in our everyday life. What an awesome thought? Sin limits our capacity for God. It restricts access to His Presence. But when we decide to give Him some room to work – what a work He does! God had the Power to raise Jesus from the dead and He did. Jesus Christ had the same power as He raised Lazarus from the dead. Jesus promised that we would do even greater works in His Name. The Power and Potential is there, now what?

John 11:12-15 (Message)

The disciples said, “Master, if he’s gone to sleep, he’ll get a good rest and wake up feeling fine.” Jesus was talking about death, while his disciples thought he was talking about taking a nap. Then Jesus became explicit: “Lazarus died. And I am glad for your sakes that I wasn’t there. You’re about to be given new grounds for believing. Now let’s go to him.”

 

The disciples thought Lazarus was asleep, but Jesus cleared that up by giving them the terrible news that their friend had died. Then He told them, “You’re about to be given new grounds for believing.” What they were about to witness would change them forever AND prepare them for the death, burial and resurrection of Jesus Christ. They had no idea of what was coming, but God was preparing them for it. To cry out to the Lord for more faith will require great change. It will come with great challenges as we embark to know the Lord better than before. There will be some things we know and many more things that are unknown. If you are crying out to God to be your confident hope, it will require testing of your faith. Are you ready for that? We must consider what we are asking for. If you want more faith, greater knowledge of God and confident hope, you will need to come closer to the Lord. It will be our undoing and project us into a life under construction. It will require many changes. It will be uncomfortable. It will require a commitment. Are you ready for all that?

2 Corinthians 5:16-20 (Message)

Because of this decision we don’t evaluate people by what they have or how they look. We looked at the Messiah that way once and got it all wrong, as you know. We certainly don’t look at him that way anymore. Now we look inside, and what we see is that anyone united with the Messiah gets a fresh start, is created new. The old life is gone; a new life burgeons! Look at it! All this comes from the God who settled the relationship between us and him, and then called us to settle our relationships with each other. God put the world square with himself through the Messiah, giving the world a fresh start by offering forgiveness of sins. God has given us the task of telling everyone what he is doing. We’re Christ’s representatives. God uses us to persuade men and women to drop their differences and enter into God’s work of making things right between them. We’re speaking for Christ himself now: Become friends with God; he’s already a friend with you.

 

I know that the faith that has been required walking this journey with our son has changed me forever. I am well aware that I will never be able to settle for the life that I lived before. I think I want it because it was comfortable with few cares and worries. I know that the normalcy of my life has been effected and that is why I am no longer satisfied with the former status quo. I need to stop looking around so much and start looking inside of my heart for clear direction. God has given me His Spirit so that I may know which way to go but my fickle heart protests as my weak mind wants to give up. This is hard. This is not easy. But He keeps telling me it will be worth it. I am intrigued. I have to know. I cannot live my life wondering what if I had taken the step of faith. I love a short poem by Erin Hansen that is quite popular –

There is freedom waiting for you,

On the breezes of the sky.

What if I fall?

But, oh my darling, what if you fly?

I want to live in the freedom that Christ died for me to have. I want to be a brave and courageous Christian. I want to believe beyond my boundaries and human limitation. I do. I want to be God’s Friend. It begins by settling things for myself. Who do I believe? What will I do with its potential? Will I allow the Lord to wreck my old life and give me a brand new life in Him?

2 Kings 5:9-14 (Message)

So Naaman with his horses and chariots arrived in style and stopped at Elisha’s door.

Elisha sent out a servant to meet him with this message: “Go to the River Jordan and immerse yourself seven times. Your skin will be healed and you’ll be as good as new.” Naaman lost his temper. He turned on his heel saying, “I thought he’d personally come out and meet me, call on the name of God, wave his hand over the diseased spot, and get rid of the disease. The Damascus rivers, Abana and Pharpar, are cleaner by far than any of the rivers in Israel. Why not bathe in them? I’d at least get clean.” He stomped off, mad as a hornet. But his servants caught up with him and said, “Father, if the prophet had asked you to do something hard and heroic, wouldn’t you have done it? So why not this simple ‘wash and be clean’?” So he did it. He went down and immersed himself in the Jordan seven times, following the orders of the Holy Man. His skin was healed; it was like the skin of a little baby. He was as good as new.

What if the life that God has planned and prepared for me is nothing as I expected? We all wonder but dare not ask such a question lest others would perceive it as faithlessness. It is not a lack of faith but rather an honest response from the depths of our humanity. Naaman knew that God would heal him. He believed in the Power of God and in His Servant, Elisha. But when the man would not come to Naaman as he expected, he became infuriated. “Mad as a hornet” might adequately describe my emotions yesterday. What if God is looking to do something totally out of the ordinary in our life, will we be willing to do what He says by faith? Will I miss it when my human expectation is not met? Scary to think of all the times, God was about to do something great but in our pride and ignorance we have settled for less. The only expectations that will ever lead to complete and total satisfaction are those left in God’s Hands for fulfillment. I can put them in people but must assume I will be let down. I can put them in things but I must be aware they will rot and decay if not taken from me beforehand. I can live for today never giving a thought to forever, but I must expect to reap what I have sown. The only expectation every truly met is that hidden in the Lord.

Romans 4:1-3 (Message)

So how do we fit what we know of Abraham, our first father in the faith, into this new way of looking at things? If Abraham, by what he did for God, got God to approve him, he could certainly have taken credit for it. But the story we’re given is a God-story, not an Abraham-story. What we read in Scripture is, “Abraham entered into what God was doing for him, and that was the turning point. He trusted God to set him right instead of trying to be right on his own.”

 

“Abraham entered into what God was doing for him and that was the turning point. I love this statement. It is my newfound hope. I must enter into what God is doing for me rather than trying to pull God into everything that I am doing. This is His Project. I am His Work. I must trust God alone. I must put all of my faith in Jesus Christ…all of it. I must let His Spirit lead me step by step and breath by breath so I continue to walk with Him. My life is under construction. Am I working with God or allowing Him to work in me? Change is coming. I can feel the wind on my face. He is doing something new. It is a good thing, I know it but will I wait for it. Can I commit to this life of change and remain in confident hope? But what if I fall? But, oh my child, what if I made you fly? (God)

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 (Message)

So we’re not giving up. How could we! Even though on the outside it often looks like things are falling apart on us, on the inside, where God is making new life, not a day goes by without his unfolding grace. These hard times are small potatoes compared to the coming good times, the lavish celebration prepared for us. There’s far more here than meets the eye. The things we see now are here today, gone tomorrow. But the things we can’t see now will last forever.

Needed: More Grace – A Devotion

Needed More Grace

Ephesians 2:8-9 (NLT)

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.

 

I need more grace. Apparently, I do not always have enough to extend to other people or so I am being convicted of as we speak. God saved me by His Grace. His Great Grace is sufficient for me, but I am not to keep it for myself but rather allow it to overflow into the life of other people no matter how unworthy they may be. I am not worthy of His Grace but from time to time I forget that altogether. Every time I fail to extend the loving kindness of Jesus Christ including His Graciousness to another person, I am taking credit for this gift that I have been given. Salvation has nothing to do with the “things” I do but the great thing that Jesus has done for me. What is grace? Grace is the unmerited favor and goodwill of God to mankind in a Biblical sense. In practical life, it is every time that we extend the same goodwill and favor to others including, not limited to and ESPECIALLY those who do not deserve it in the slightest. We need grace, grace and more grace today. If we could grab hold of this Gift of Grace and begin re-gifting it to others, what a different world this would be!

Romans 5:20-21 (NLT)

God’s law was given so that all people could see how sinful they were. But as people sinned more and more, God’s wonderful grace became more abundant. So just as sin ruled over all people and brought them to death, now God’s wonderful grace rules instead, giving us right standing with God and resulting in eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.

 

God’s Law is impossible for mankind to abide by. It came after the first person disobeyed God so it is after the fact. Put in place as a mirror, the Word of God shows us His Way and allows us to reflect on how much we need our Savior. If this is true, than the more we read God’s Word, study His Way and seek to know His Will the more grace that we will find and the more ways that we will endeavor to extend it to others. God’s Grace is abundant. It just keeps flowing and flowing. God has given us everything that we need to prosper in life beginning with His Grace that gave way to His Mercy and Love. We are set for life. However, grace is a river that runs through us. Otherwise, we become stagnant. If we do not tap in to a fresh supply and allow His Living Water to continue filter through us than grace is not grace anymore. Why? Sin pollutes the tank. There are many sins. Some that we willingly commit and others that are unknowingly perpetrated. The Holy Spirit works inside of us to remove every sin that comes between us and the Love of God so that we can experience just how wide, how long, how high, and how deep his love is.” (Ephesians 3:18) Sin will always lead to death. Salvation is the given by the grace, goodwill and favor of God to deliver us from our sin so we can live. When we take that gift and use it for something other than it was intended, we are now rebelling against God again and it becomes useless. We must allow God’s Wonderful Grace to rule in our life. It is the very thing that gives us right standing with God resulting in Eternal Life. We need more grace today.

Romans 6:1-4 (NLT)

Well then, should we keep on sinning so that God can show us more and more of his wonderful grace? Of course not! Since we have died to sin, how can we continue to live in it? Or have you forgotten that when we were joined with Christ Jesus in baptism, we joined him in his death? For we died and were buried with Christ by baptism. And just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glorious power of the Father, now we also may live new lives.

 

“You catch more flies with honey than vinegar” is an English proverb that I remember from my childhood. It simply means that anything you want to achieve in life is obtained in our sweetness more so than in aggression. Honey is sweet. Vinegar is acidic. You add nothing to honey to make it palatable but must mix vinegar with other things to get it down. For a while, my oldest daughter and I were drinking a concoction we found on the Internet to supposedly reduce fat. It was vinegar, honey and orange juice. Talk about burn all the way down. I will go on record to say that I did not find any benefit in it other than I now know how disgusting vinegar tastes even apple cider vinegar. People are attracted to sweetness.

Salt is another element used to describe the Christian life. As a believer, we are to be the salt of the earth. Jesus said that believers are the salt of the earth but goes on to ask what good is salt that has lost its flavor. (Matthew 5:13) It becomes worthless. So let’s talk about salt for a minute, salt obviously is used in the kitchen as a spice. But when I was in Africa many years ago, I found that they locals used it for a lot more than just seasoning. While doing laundry, they would take salt and sprinkle it on stains and then take half a lemon and rub it in really well. The soiled and treated fabric would be laid in the sun while they worked on hand washing the other items. Finally, they would wash the salt and lemon combination away to reveal pristine clean beneath it. When I wash clothes here in America, I just dump them in the washing machine pour in detergent, stain remover, bleach and/or fabric softener to get the job done. I cannot see the process and I do not hand wash the clothing so I am not familiar with what actually transpires – it is very impersonal. Welcome to the Body of Christ today! We dump the Blood of Jesus on people, wash them with some Godly Words, and send them right back into the vicious cycle from which they came. Grace was hand delivered to us when they nailed our Lord and Savior to the Cross. It is to be hand delivered from each believer into the lives of another no matter if they are lost, saved or searching. It is our mission. We must learn to do it in His Love. The church is too salty and people have lost their taste from Christians. The Word of God without the Love of God is condemnation which is acidic to the soul. We must spend some time evaluating our salt to be certain it is useful. We must learn to make our life palatable to the watching and waiting world. We will not compromise on quality but definitely learn to make our life flavorful to others. “Taste and see that the Lord is good” becomes a credible statement when His Goodness and Grace overflow in our life. The best way to get people to buy food is to give them a sample.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10(NLT)

Each time he said, “My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness.” So now I am glad to boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ can work through me. That’s why I take pleasure in my weaknesses, and in the insults, hardships, persecutions, and troubles that I suffer for Christ. For when I am weak, then I am strong.”

 

My grace is all you need. My power works best in weakness. I have relied heavily on these verses in the last few years. Now that things are slowing down, I find that I am right back here again. Humility is the essential quality in fully accepting the Grace of God and His Power in our life. I have grown frustrated yet again with ordinary things in this life rather than allowing the Grace of God and His Power to see past other people and the circumstances of life. The Grace of God is limited when my selfish sinful nature erects a wall of pride that once was laid flat before Jesus Christ. I become agitated. I cannot get over simple things that do not concern me. I become judgmental. Right now, I am being transparent. I compare my lot in life with other people and cannot see the forest for the trees. The inheritance of others is not my concern, it is my inheritance and portion that I must live on. I had a bad day at work. It coincidentally was a Monday. My frustration level began to grow and grow until I began to lash out at other people. I fussed. I fumed. I vented. By the end of the day, I was just waiting for the person who would push “that button” so I could explode. It was not a stellar day and needless to say I did not win any lost souls to Jesus Christ in my attitude and actions. So on Tuesday, I spent some time with Jesus that morning and knew that I had some work to do. When I lose myself, I find His Grace is all that I ever really needed. The enemy traps us with a sense of entitlement that is clearly not the case. He tries to convince us that we do not “deserve” certain treatment and “don’t have to take it” anymore. He is right. We do not have to take it anymore. The moment that we stop laying down our life for other people is the moment that we take our cross back up in this life and decide to become self-reliant. Fatal error. When I came across those people from the day before, I had to apologize for my behavior. They were quite perplexed. But what I discovered is that as I did this, they took a seat and actually engaged in a conversation in my office. Is it true? Yes, it is that we do attract more people with grace, love and mercy than when we put ourselves first. As the day went on, I humbled myself before many people and what I discovered is that in humility that wrecks self-confidence I felt free again. No longer filled with bitterness and pent up hostility, the events of the day no longer weighed me down. His Grace is all that I need. It always works better in my total weakness, submission, humility and undoing.

2 Corinthians 4:15-18 (NLT)

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are[b] being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever! So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

The person who rubs you the wrong way is for your benefit. The situation that frustrates you beyond words is for your benefit. The problem that perpetually pops us in your life – yep it’s for your benefit. Why all do we have to endure all these things? Friend, they are temporary. God is using everything including every detail to allow His Goodness to flow through your life. (Romans 8:28) It is all about His Grace making it to you and then through you. This is the state of a believer. This is what defines us as Children of God. In our total weakness and annihilation, we discover His Strength. Perhaps if learned how to tap into God’s Grace, turn on the faucet that is His Word, and seek to become connected to the Source, we would stop facing so many streams, storms and hurricanes as God tries to remove that which is keeping us from His Goodwill and Favor that is all details of His Grace. In Sunday school as a child, I was told that GRACE was God’s Riches At Christ’s Expense. Grace is indeed free, but it is not useless, worthless or invaluable in our life. Grace has become an excuse in the modern day church. Trampled by those who believe you can just walk in and out of God’s Presence and it will hold your sin for you. Grace is a gift from God for you and I so we can experience His Power in our life. It is our strength. It is our Source for every good thing that He has promised. It must flow to us, in us and through us to be effective. Is God’s Power working in your life today? Stagnant? Stifled? Frustrated? Overwhelmed? All that you need is more grace. God is faithful to give us what we ask for in the Name of His Son – Jesus. Why not ask for more grace today?

2 Peter 1:2-3 (NLT)

May God give you more and more grace and peace as you grow in your knowledge of God and Jesus our Lord. By his divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know him, the one who called us to himself by means of his marvelous glory and excellence.

 

The Other Side of the Mountain – A Devotion

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Isaiah 40:28-31 (NLT)

Have you never heard? Have you never understood? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of all the earth. He never grows weak or weary. No one can measure the depths of his understanding. He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.

 

I don’t really know what my expectation was or how life would be after our son had his transplant. I am not sure why this leg of his journey would be the hardest of them all. Life has returned to a somewhat normal state as I go to work, take care of children, prepare for a wedding and realize that Christmas is just after that. My list seems doable. Yet life feels so overwhelming right now. I rejoice in the fact that the Lord has healed and delivered our son once again. One might assume that coming down the mountain might be just a bit easier than the climb, but this is not what I am feeling or seem to be experiencing. There is no eminent danger of which I am aware. Everyone seems to be doing well but I am not. I am unsettled and stirred up from the inside out. Did I think that this fight would not change me? I guess I thought things might be somewhat normal when we were on the other side of this mountain. Have I heard? Yes, He is our healer. The One who is ready to renew and restore the joy of my salvation day after day as I live and breathe in Him. I know this is true. Do I understand? Yes, I know that He is turning every detail in my life to reflect His Goodness, Mercy and Love. I understand this completely and am confident in it. I trust the Lord. I do. He gives me power in my weakness and strength when I am powerless. Could it be as I leave this mountaintop experience that I am being reminded that the journey not about overcoming a mountain but rather overcoming me?

Psalm 51:10-11 (NLT)

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a loyal spirit within me. Do not banish me from your presence, and don’t take your Holy Spirit from me.

 

The pursuit of healing for our son forced me to become fully reliant and dependent on the Lord. I had to wrap myself in His Righteousness and get lost in His Presence to make any sense out of the situation that we were facing. Now on the other side of the mountain, I believe that as I begin to walk in my own strength and power at the end of desperation that I find this is not the life that I want any longer. The life when my disloyal spirit wandered in and out of the Power of God assuming that I could successfully accomplish anything myself. I am struggling beneath the burden of life and human expectation. Could it be that as a person who has been dependent on a respirator to breath struggles without assistance that as I try to do things myself it is my body struggling to breathe without His Spirit that is perplexing me? I do not want our son to face another round of treatment or any of my children to be in danger, but I do want to live in His Presence maybe that is why I struggle in finding my way back to normal life. My life doesn’t have to be normal unless I choose to allow it. I do not have to lower my expectations from supernatural to natural. I can live in the overwhelming power of my awesome God no matter where I walk in life.

Isaiah 38:15-19 (NLT)

But what could I say? For He himself sent this sickness. Now I will walk humbly throughout my years because of this anguish I have felt. Lord, your discipline is good, for it leads to life and health. You restore my health and allow me to live! Yes, this anguish was good for me, for you have rescued me from death and forgiven all my sins. For the dead cannot praise you; they cannot raise their voices in praise. Those who go down to the grave can no longer hope in your faithfulness. Only the living can praise you as I do today. Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.

 

I am only human and the Plan governing my life is by God whose understanding and oversight is far superior to mine. He knows the end from the beginning making Him an authority when it comes to my life. I have studied His Word for years now, yet I am still no Bible scholar as each day I learn something new and intriguing about the God I love and serve. There are some who will understand what I am about to share. There are those who will refute it and become contrary. God sent sickness and disease to the earth. It is the consequence of sin. We chose sin and therefore, sickness and disease is the ramifications of disobedience. I do not believe that God reached down and handed our child cancer. I believe a generation of people dating back to the Garden of Eden are the reason. God sent the Law to show mankind our need for Him. Sickness is a complication that comes from our inability to follow His Way. Rebellion caused such a thing to happen. But Jesus! Jesus came to die on the Cross and become our Healer. We would not need a HEALER if there was no sickness or disease in the world but only a Savior to take away our sin. This becomes logical if you really think about the Word of God, His Will and His Way. Now with all that being said, “Is it possible that God allowed our son to become ill to lead us to life and health?” Absolutely. I cannot explain to you the difference that the faith found in this journey has made in our life. The impact of our victory is such a reinforcement of confident hope. How can God not be at the bottom of such a profound revelation and awesome change? The anguish was good for me because as He rescued our son from death – I found new life in Him. No one will ever change my mind or make me believe that God is not real. They cannot convince me that the Lord does not love me. His Faithfulness is unquestionable because I know that He lives now. God, Jesus and His Spirit now impact my life like never before so there is a change. This entire situation has transformed me on the inside so now my outside is struggling to survive.

Joel 2:25-27 (NLT)

The Lord says, “I will give you back what you lost to the swarming locusts, the hopping locusts, the stripping locusts, and the cutting locusts. It was I who sent this great destroying army against you. Once again you will have all the food you want, and you will praise the Lord your God, who does these miracles for you. Never again will my people be disgraced. Then you will know that I am among my people Israel that I am the Lord your God, and there is no other. Never again will my people be disgraced.

 

I realized this morning that I am on the other side of the mountain that once seemed so tall and foreboding. I am now trying to put my life back together now. God doesn’t want my life to ever be the same as it was but wants to restore and renew our life. He will return everything the enemy has taken from us that is of any value or worth. Sunday morning waiting for the service to begin a woman came to sit with me. She had a sense of urgency. Her son has had a lifelong illness and the doctors want to do surgery before he gets sick again while he is still in good shape. She feels like this is the best option. But the boy’s father who is not a believer is terrified that his son might not make it. She looked me straight in the eyes, taking my hand in hers, said, “I am so afraid.” I encouraged her and am praying for her even today but in that moment the Lord confirmed yet again that this journey has not been meaningless. However, in the midst of an upturned life sometimes it is hard to see the purpose and meaning in the aftermath of tragedy no matter how triumphant. God has promised to renew and restore us. The end of the test is the place where restoration begins when the battle is over. I believe that each test and trial that we face in our life is about repentance. (Joel 2:12-14) True repentance is turning our life over to the Lord day by day and moment by moment. I said I was sorry for my sin when I called on the Name of Jesus but how I live shows the Lord if I really meant it or not. When my children were little and would begin to fight, I would make them apologize to each and hug each other. They would do it in obedience to me but I could tell right away if they meant it or not. Once they got out of my sight, I could hear them fighting all over again if their repentance was just to get out of trouble. Don’t make me explain the parallel just suffice to say that God sees our heart. He knows exactly what it will take to turn this life around. He will stop at nothing to have us with Him forever. When we repent, God begins to restore what we have given up with His Goodness, Grace and Love. You will not have them if you do not make room for them. Sometimes humans need a little help emptying their life of worthless things to make room for what really matters. God’s Spirit restores and renews us from the inside out. When God pours more of His Spirit, His Person, His Breath in our life – we are refreshed. If you feel stale today, maybe you just need a fresh does of His Spirit to fill you back up. Perhaps you need to reconnect with His Kingdom and step back in His Presence from which have wandered. It could be that you are also on the other side of the mountain and just need more of Him to make it through this process. Job made it. Everything that he lost was restored and he received double for his trouble. (Job 42:10-12) But note that God did not bless Job just because he made it through that awful time, God blessed Job because he had a change of heart.

2 Corinthians 4:15-17 (NLT)

All of this is for your benefit. And as God’s grace reaches more and more people, there will be great thanksgiving, and God will receive more and more glory. That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!

 

Everything that God allows to happen in our life good or bad is for our benefit. He wants to bless us. The Lord is ready to heal us, renew us and fully restore each one of His Children. Remember the prodigal son, face down in a pig pen eating the slop made of leftover garbage he came to the realization to serve his own father would mean a better life than this. In humility, he returned home to be greeted by his waiting dad who was so excited to see him that the master threw a grand party. His brother did not feel the same way. He was mad that his sibling was not punished for his rebellion and became bitter. Too often we expect climbing the mountain to be the tough part, but I challenge that today in that I have found the other side to be much harder. I do not want to get mixed up in the world again even if it is to share the Truth with other. I want to remain on the mountain but it is not where I belong. The message written on my heart is to be shared with a watching, waiting and desperate world when all I want to do is get lost in His Presence and never leave there again. This process of planting was watered with tears. (Psalm 126:4-6) Now that there is nothing to see and life has become uneventful, I am now trying to depend on me again but there is nothing left. When His Grace became sufficient to me, I lost my strength and power to move on without the Lord. So here I am on the other side of the mountain only to realize I need Him more now than ever before. I need Him. I cannot live and breathe without Jesus in my life. The mountain forced out all my breath and I am now filled with His Spirit. The inner conflict is my flesh trying to overtake God’s Spirit, but I must overthrow my flesh by throwing off my sinful nature and working hard to remain faithful even after the danger has past, and healing has come. Why wouldn’t I? Because I am human.

Romans 15:13 (NLT)

I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.

During the race of faith, the great cloud of witness shout and encourage us to keep going and never give up. After the race, they are silent and this is when truth is revealed. Did you run to get by or did you run to win? I believe it is here after you cross the finish line of a trial or test that in the silence we discover what we learned, how we benefited and if our faith is real. Confident hope is all the evidence we need to keep chasing after God. His Spirit gives us total confidence in the Lord as He packs us with as much faith as our hard human heart will allow. God is the Source of my hope. Human nature tries to find it somewhere else. On the other side of the mountain, I find that my life is no longer intact. It will require rebuilding, renewal, and restoration. Now that I have finally figured out that He is all I need, I breathe deep in His Spirit and find I am refreshed. I will figure this out as I am committed to discover His Word, Will and Way for my life. I will not be discouraged for now I remember what I learned on the journey up and understand I can take it with me. I do not have to leave my faith behind for I did not throw it away but planted it so now I have the opportunity to see the harvest of hope that comes with it. I will be renewed by the Power of His Love over and over again as I give more and more of my life to Him. I don’t have to be strong just relentless in my pursuit of the Lord. God wants to renew my life day by day, step by step until nothing remains between us not even that mountain.

I Peter 5:10-11 (NLT)

In his kindness God called you to share in his eternal glory by means of Christ Jesus. So after you have suffered a little while, he will restore, support, and strengthen you, and he will place you on a firm foundation. All power to him forever! Amen.

Secret Life – A Devotion

Close up of woman shushing

Matthew 13:11-12 (NLT)

He replied, “You are permitted to understand the secrets of the Kingdom of Heaven, but others are not. To those who listen to my teaching, more understanding will be given, and they will have an abundance of knowledge. But for those who are not listening, even what little understanding they have will be taken away from them.

 

I have a secret life. It is a place that I go to be by myself to spend time all alone. The door is closed and the place is quiet. I listen and watch wondering if he will come. This is personal. A place of intimacy so sweet that no one else is welcome in but the One who loves me most. My heart becomes soft at His Gentle Whisper as I invite Him to spend time with me. I ask Him to share with me all that He knows and am sad when our time together must end. I used to think I could share these moments with the world. I would try to speak to Him in the midst of the crowd but sadly could not hear His Voice or feel His Breath close to me. In pure exhaustion, I would collapse when my eyes were heavy and ears worn from the many conversations of the day and ask Him to speak to me as I drifted off to sleep missing that precious time when He tells me all that He knows and wants to share with me. My secret life is my own. My family knows about it and accepts that I am a better person for it. My husband is not jealous but encourages me to go. My secret life is the time I spend in the Presence of the Lord. It is valuable and worthwhile leaving a void if it is missed or forgotten. God has secrets that are meant just for me. To know these Kingdom secrets will give me the understanding that I need and abundance of knowledge that I desire to prosper my life in the Presence of God. For those who do listen, or avoid understanding it will all be taken away from them.

Deuteronomy 29:29 (NLT)

“The Lord our God has secrets known to no one. We are not accountable for them, but we and our children are accountable forever for all that he has revealed to us, so that we may obey all the terms of these instructions.”

 

God has secrets that no one knows. We are not accountable for those things. But as Children of God, once we know something about Him, then we become accountable. God gave us the law to show us that we could not live in right standing with Him. It proves that we are sinful from the inside out and incapable of a relationship with Him outside of His Son – Jesus Christ. God is not ruled by His Emotions. He does not act according to impulse. His Word is firm. It does not change nor does He ever change His Mind. (Numbers 23:19) While in most cases this is quite comforting, especially when it comes to His Unfailing Love, without full working knowledge of the Grace of God it can also be a very scary thing. The Law is overwhelming. It condemns us before we fully realize its full ramifications. God offers us a covenant in exchange for the Law that is His Free Gift of Salvation through His Son. When Jesus died on the Cross, He gave us full access to the Kingdom of God along with all its secrets. Once revealed, it is now our responsibility as we continue in covenant to be accountable as the Lord reveals His Word, Will and Way to us. It is important to know God’s Secret. It is equally important to constantly seek to expand our knowledge of God and develop wisdom where He is concerned. But it is that little thing called accountability that holds us back from experiencing God’s Glory in our life. Because now our life is held to a much higher standard that requires an inward and outward change to have all He promised. Out of sight out of mind is a much more comfortable position.

Jeremiah 33:2-3 (NLT)

“This is what the Lord says—the Lord who made the earth, who formed and established it, whose name is the Lord: Ask me and I will tell you remarkable secrets you do not know about things to come.”

 

If Deuteronomy 29:29 is true, and it is, then once we ask God to reveal something to us and He does than we are instantly accountable to do what He says. The trouble is many times we ask God to tell us His Secrets without knowing the true ramifications of such a request. The moment God reveals a new truth to us, there is instant accountability to do what He says. If we don’t ask, then we are not obligated. If I come boldly to the Throne of God, I am able to ask for anything and it will be given in the Name of Jesus. Hold that thought! When I do, I become instantly accountable to do what He says when He reveals His Will and Way to me. This is not a trick or some way God lures us in. But this is the way that the terms of our covenant work. He told us so in Deuteronomy 29:29, so maybe it is important to really seek God’s Face and know what we are asking for before we make our request to the Lord. He will answer us when we call every time. By faith, the Lord gives what we ask for. (John 14:14) Ignorance is not bliss. It can be dangerous. There is responsibility that comes with knowing God’s Word, Will and Way. It would seem important to know God and what you are asking for before you ask Him for it.

In Matthew 13:11, Jesus plainly tells us that His People are permitted to know the secrets of the Kingdom. We must know what we are asking for ahead of time and be willing to do what He say when the Lord shares them with us to remain in obedience to Christ. When our prayers seem to go unanswered, could it be that when God reveals His Secrets that we are not willing to do what is required to experience what He has shared?

Daniel 2:17-19 (NLT)

Then Daniel went home and told his friends Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah what had happened. He urged them to ask the God of heaven to show them his mercy by telling them the secret, so they would not be executed along with the other wise men of Babylon. That night the secret was revealed to Daniel in a vision. Then Daniel praised the God of heaven.

 

God shared His Secrets with Daniel. The Lord God was speaking to the king in his dreams. He had grown frustrated because he did not know God so he was not permitted to find meaning in these visions. He had sent out a decree to kill all of the wise men in his fury and frustration. When the commander of the king’s guard came to kill Daniel, he went directly to the king to ask for more time to discover the meaning of his dream and it was granted. Daniel and his friends asked the Lord to show him mercy by telling them the secret meaning of the king’s dream. God revealed the secret to Daniel that night which he went on to share with the king.

I have had my God mail read by people more than once. It is quite unsettling when it happens but fills me with overwhelming wonder and joy that the Lord loves me so much to send one of His “Mail” men and women to me. I have one woman in particular that comes at just the right time. Although she is a dear friend who I love very much, we do not have the opportunity to spend much time together. I believe this is by God’s Design. Because we do talk every day or stay on top of each other’s comings and goings when she sends me a timely message with things only the Lord knows – I am consistently blown away. God has sent me secret messages through many people who were completely oblivious of the hidden meaning of our conversation but inside me I knew with deep satisfaction that the Lord was speaking directly to me in that moment. Why? How? Because I have a secret life. The time I spend in deep conversation and contemplation of God, His Word, His Will and His Way allow me to see things in the natural that can only be perceived spiritually. Why all the secrets?

John 10:10 (NLT)

The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.

 

When our house was burglarized several years ago, I was walking through with the detective to determine what was missing. As we went from room to room, thankfully our house had not been ransacked. But there was a deliberate pattern in their search throughout, I asked the officer why only certain things were moved. He indicated that this was no petty thief but a professional one. The perpetrator knew exactly what they were looking for and where people kept their valuables and weapons so that is where they looked. This would not allow them to find what they were looking for but not waste time or risk getting caught plundering through worthless items. The thief in our life comes to steal, kill and destroy us. Jesus came to give us a rich and satisfying life. He is the gatekeeper (John 10:9) who only allows His Own People to come and go as they desire. The Lord keeps the enemy from touching our inheritance and blessing in Him. God keeps His Secrets until we are ready to receive and able to hold on to that which He has promised. I want to know all of God’s Secrets but I must be ready to receive them.

Colossians 1:26-27 (NLT)

This message was kept secret for centuries and generations past, but now it has been revealed to God’s people. For God wanted them to know that the riches and glory of Christ are for you Gentiles, too. And this is the secret: Christ lives in you. This gives you assurance of sharing his glory.

 

How do I discover God’s Secrets? It is not as hard as one might think because Christ lives in you. That’s right, all you must do is ask and it will be revealed to you. It is at that point that we must do whatever is required in our request. How am I supposed to know all this? God gave us His Spirit which is the living breath of Jesus Christ. We are given the Mind of Christ. (I Corinthians 2:16) However, our sinful nature requires us to spend time with God to know Him more. We must learn to build our relationship with the Lord so that we recognize His Voice. God is speaking to us every day but if we do not listen how will we know. If we do not spend time with Him, there will be no relationship. Without a relationship, there is no intimacy. Without intimacy, we will never know His Secret or the abundance they bring to our life. The Spirit of God that lives inside of every believer is ready to reveal all of God’s Secrets to us. (I Corinthians 2:9-11) God’s Spirit also examines the human heart preparing us to receive these precious promises that have been given to us. (I Corinthians 4:4-5) Examining our motives and intentions towards the Lord, the Spirit of God molds us and shapes us for more of Him. We are being transformed into God’s Secret Keepers and Message Deliverers day by day by His Spirit living inside of us. (I Corinthians 15:51-52) So now what?

Habakkuk 2:1-3 (NLT)

I will climb up to my watchtower and stand at my guard post. There I will wait to see what the Lord says and how he will answer my complaint. Then the Lord said to me, “Write my answer plainly on tablets, so that a runner can carry the correct message to others. This vision is for a future time. It describes the end, and it will be fulfilled. If it seems slow in coming, wait patiently, for it will surely take place. It will not be delayed.

 

God’s Plan for our life is firmly established. It is a good plan with a future and hope. We must listen and obey the Lord to fulfill His Plan for our life. He give us all the grace and mercy that we need to have all that He has promised. The Spirit of God gives us the Mind of Christ along with peace and patience to fully discover the Will of God for our life. It may come in visions or dreams by way of messengers – God is working overtime to share His Inner Most Thoughts with us. We must be prepared to receive. The Word of God tells us that our secret life will one day be revealed. (Mark 4:21-23) Everything will be brought before the Light of this world. We will be judged according to our secret life. Not just the life we lived when no one else is watching, but all the times God shared His Heart with us and we chose to ignore His Voice. (Romans 2:16) If you are asking the Lord to speak to you today, you are in essence asking for Him to share His Secrets with you. This is our divine privilege through our covenant with Christ. Once we hear His Voice, we must do what He says. It is my secret life.

Matthew 10:26-27 (NLT)

“But don’t be afraid of those who threaten you. For the time is coming when everything that is covered will be revealed, and all that is secret will be made known to all. What I tell you now in the darkness, shout abroad when daybreak comes. What I whisper in your ear, shout from the housetops for all to hear!”

To Be Still – A Devotion

Eager Stillness Broods Over the Realm of Boyhood Dreams

Psalm 46:10-11 (NLT)

“Be still, and know that I am God! I will be honored by every nation. I will be honored throughout the world.” The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

To be still is a wonderful and horrifying thing all at the same time. It is an act of faith in God so profound that you must risk it all to be completely sure. We are never sure if you think about it. People are constantly moving and the world seems to keep the momentum on high all of the time. Movers and shakers get the job done but sitters and waiters are the demise of well-intentioned plans. I am just as guilty as the next. If I could find a way to physically cram one more hour into every day, I would to get the long list of things done that I feel compelled to do. I am not apt to sitting at the feet of the Lord but running ahead of Him. Thank Jesus for His Amazing Grace that not only covers my indiscretion, but gently pulls me back into His Way. Many times we do to cover what we don’t. If I can be impressive in this endeavor, maybe others will not notice that I am not as impressive in this area. Solomon understood how meaningless it all really is when we know the God. (Ecclesiastes 1:13-14) Sometimes I don’t think we should call it “right standing” with God because most Christians are trying to “right run” the race of faith rather than accepting as the Gift of God through the sacrifice of Jesus Christ. I am not saying that we should all not be serving in our church and in the community to share the Love of Jesus. What I am saying is that it might be a whole lot easier to walk the walk and talk the talk if we took some time to be still and know that He is God.

God is constant. (Malachi 3:6 & Hebrews 6:17) Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today and forever. (Hebrews 13:8) His Spirit LIVES in us. (Ephesians 1:14) All of these triune qualities point to consistency and forever. God has created a plan for our life that is good with a future and hope. (Jeremiah 29:11) His Only Requirement to have this wonder life is that we seek Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:13) His Grace is sufficient enough to cover every sin that ever separated us from God and strengthen us despite our human weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10) His Mercies are new for us each morning because God knew ahead of time everything we need to get through this day (Lamentations 3:23) and Jesus Christ already bore every burden on the Cross. (Psalm 103) Why have I included all of these promises and scriptures like this? Because I am just as guilty as the next person of coming to the Lord like a field of fruit and picking what I want to have rather than allowing the Lord to be who He is and do what He has planned which is better than I could even think to ask for. (Ephesians 3:20) His Goodness and Grace is unfathomable to my finite human mind (Isaiah 55:9) so I scurry about trying to fill in the voids left by doubt and ignorance. I must be still and take the time to KNOW that He is God and what all that entails to have the joy and peace that comes from such knowledge and the power produced by faith that comes from hearing the Word of God and believing it to be true.

Psalm 39:10-5 (NLT)

I said to myself, “I will watch what I do and not sin in what I say. I will hold my tongue when the ungodly are around me.” But as I stood there in silence—not even speaking of good things—the turmoil within me grew worse. The more I thought about it, the hotter I got, igniting a fire of words:  Lord, remind me how brief my time on earth will be. Remind me that my days are numbered—how fleeting my life is. You have made my life no longer than the width of my hand. My entire lifetime is just a moment to you; at best, each of us is but a breath.” 

 

I can relate to the words of David acting as the psalmist. When we try to orchestrate our own righteousness, we are destined to fail. “I will watch what I do, I will not sin in what I say, I will hold my tongue” all of these statements hold manmade good intentions, but the change for the man came the moment that he “stood there in silence”. “Lord, remind me” are the very words that can and will change our life. I understand what it means to get wrapped up in my tasks with good intentions forgetting that I am on a God-given mission. Love is drowned out by my to-do list repeating in my head. I expect people to be as overworked and stressed out as I am or at the very least notice that I am spinning out of control. I get agitated and snappy lashing out at loved ones who are oblivious to my plight. “Lord remind me” when the inner turmoil grows to the point of spilling over in my life that you are God. My days are numbered. (Psalm 139:16) My life is fleeting. (2 Peter 3:8) My entire life is a just a moment to you and each of us but a breath. (Job 33:4) To be still is to realize that this life is short, tomorrow is not promised so it is important to live each moment to its fullest. When we try to make more out of life, we fail miserably but when by faith we give God each moment we experience the joy that runs through His Kingdom giving us access to peace that is the partner of joy. Our heart was created to know God and experience a life of consistency found only in our Creator. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) When we allow the world to rule and reign in our mind, soul and body it takes over our life bit by bit until we forget that we were made for forever not to live for the day. God has made everything beautiful in its time, our time is now to discover the beauty that can only be found when we choose to be still and see what the Lord is doing rather than rushing around to do it for Him in doubt.

Luke 10:38-42 (NLT)

 As Jesus and the disciples continued on their way to Jerusalem, they came to a certain village where a woman named Martha welcomed him into her home. Her sister, Mary, sat at the Lord’s feet, listening to what he taught. But Martha was distracted by the big dinner she was preparing. She came to Jesus and said, “Lord, doesn’t it seem unfair to you that my sister just sits here while I do all the work? Tell her to come and help me.” But the Lord said to her, “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details! There is only one thing worth being concerned about. Mary has discovered it, and it will not be taken away from her.”

I am a “Martha” who must work to be like “Mary”. These two personalities combined are the people we should strive to be. There is a careful balance that can only achieved by knowledge of God and faith in Jesus Christ. Religion walks a fine line between believing and doing which sometimes gets crossed over. We cannot do anything to be saved, but can do all things in His Name. So do we do or not do? We must achieve a balance in the Body of Christ. We must know and then do. We must be still before we move. Martha was a worker. She was comfortable in her tasks as head homemaker and family orchestrator. Definitely a Type A personality, she was a take charge girl with her mind on the next ten things she must do. I hear you girl and am right there with you. Mary on the other hand was a heart sensitive person. She was fine sitting at the feet of Jesus listening to His Words and allowing them to soak into her mind and penetrate her heart. Some may think she was lazy and truth be told maybe she was but in this instance her vulnerability made her obedient in doing the right thing at the right time. When she came to Jesus complaining that her sister was not helping her and finally fed up with working so hard while Mary just sat still, Martha learned a valuable life lesson. “My dear Martha, you are worried and upset over all these details!” What are you worried about today? What is consuming your thoughts and commandeering your time? It is the thief that is stealing your faith and robbing you of victory today. It may seem like a well-thought out plan but is it God’s Plan for you! Have you consulted with Christ about your daily agenda or are you just going with the flow? The Lord told Martha, “There is only ONE THING to be concerned about.” To be still and know God means we must stop moving about, worrying, and planning to spend time with the Lord and know what He wants for us today.

Psalm 27:4-5(NLT)

The one thing I ask of the Lord—the thing I seek most—is to live in the House of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His Temple. For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in his sanctuary. He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

 

This is one of my famous passages in the Word of God and the most convicting at the same time. I have often shared that when our son was diagnosed with cancer my whole changed in an instant. Like a giant sheet full of wrinkles, it was shaken in the Son and smoothed out. All those things that I thought were important did not matter anymore. The schedule that I continuously kept along with its rigid routine were erased in a second and my calendar cleared. I could see clearly now what I could not see in the rush. It was a tragic and triumphant moment all wrapped in one. As the enemy tried to destroy me, Christ caught me in my decent. He gathered all the pieces of my shattered heart and changed me. Now as my flesh tries to shift back into “Martha” mode, I hear the Voice of the One who I love saying, “Are you sure you want to do that?” My running feet are slowing down. This pursuit all of a sudden seems so pointless. Where was I again? That’s right I was running the race of faith not the rat race of life. You can get turned around in a second. The devil loves to use distraction to delay us and detour us from doing the Will of God, meditating on the Word of God and choosing a way other than God’s!

When I was in the seventh grade, my physical education class was on the other side of the school from my geography classroom. It was difficult to change clothes and get from one place to the other with limited time. The rules of the school did not permit running in the breezeway but you could run in the grassy area that ran parallel. This was my routine most days in an attempt to make my very ancient instructor happy with me. One day as I took off running to avoid being tardy, I was suddenly snatched back as my sweater caught on a fence. They were building a new media center and a worker had knocked a portion of the chain link fence over. As I was running to class worrying about being late, I failed to notice that it was in my path. It had not only snagged my clothing, but also sliced a cut so deep in my neck that I did not even feel it. The horrific look on my friend’s face was the only reason I sought immediate help. As it turns out, I missed my jugular vein by less than a quarter of an inch. The doctors told my mom I was a lucky kid. I believe that it was the Lord who saved me that day and many more along the way when I was running and not paying attention to what I was doing intent on where “I” wanted to go!

Psalm 37:3-7 (NLT)

Trust in the Lord and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you your heart’s desires. Commit everything you do to the Lord. Trust him, and he will help you. He will make your innocence radiate like the dawn, and the justice of your cause will shine like the noonday sun. Be still in the presence of the Lord, and wait patiently for him to act.

Trust the Lord today. You will never trust who you do not know. To know God means that we must learn to be still in His Presence. This is not an excuse to do nothing but rather to make every move we make count for His Kingdom where it is meaningful and worthwhile. To live safely and prosper means that we remain steadfast in the Presence of God. The Lord will not rush ahead to keep up with you but He is constant. He remains true to His Word so we must know His Word to understand our current situation especially if it is not what we expected. Those who delight in the Lord will have their heart’s desire. When my husband and I were dating many years ago, we each had a thirty minute lunch break working on opposite sides of town. On the days that I could not wait to see him after work, I would drive all the way to his office to take him lunch only to spend five minutes with him and head back to the office. I would give up my lunch break or eat while driving just to be with him. I loved him. I wanted to spend every second with him. We have been married now for more than a decade. I still cannot wait to come home after work to be with him. My marriage to my husband should be no more important than my relationship to Jesus Christ. Each morning I get up two hours early to spend time in His Presence, and then share this time with you. I had no idea how valuable this time really was until a doctor looked at me to say, “I’m sorry but it’s cancer.” No one could help me but Jesus in that moment. He was my only comfort. He became my peace. If I had not known Him or meditated on His Promises before such heartbreak, I am not sure that I would have ever survived it. I do not share this to scare you, but rather prepare you for the greatest love affair you will ever know! He loves you more than you could ever love another. The Lord is ready to help you. He is ready to change every single detail of your current situation or circumstance for His Good. I do not get up each day in the right frame of mind, but somehow the Lord changes it. When I think I cannot make it through another day, He dumps a fresh load of grace, mercy and love right in my lap. I feel so foolish when everything I have worried about and stressed over comes together flawlessly just as He planned. So I dig deeper in the Word of God to find the faith I am obviously lacking so the next day will be better than the last. I know that the best is yet to come if I will choose to be still in the Presence of the Lord!

Psalm27:13-14 (NLT)

Yet I am confident I will see the Lord’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living. Wait patiently for the Lord. Be brave and courageous. Yes, wait patiently for the Lord.

 

Shake Me – A Devotion

Shake Me

Psalm 62:1-2 (NLT)

I wait quietly before God, for my victory comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation, my fortress where I will never be shaken.

 

There is a vivid image in my mind’s eye of a small robust little plant in a pot. It is thriving with green leaves and several buds on many of its stems. Suddenly, a giant hand comes out of nowhere to scoop up the little seedling. It is carrying it to another place. The lush garden is beautiful and quite a sight to behold. It is breathtaking with the sun shining and many thriving plants. There is a hole in the ground in the midst of it. Suddenly, the little plant begins to be violently shaken as one hand firmly holds the small container and it is unceremoniously ripped out roots and all with dirt flying everywhere. Once freed from its lifetime home its leaves wilt a bit from the stress of it all and the buds close tightly against the intrusion. It continues to be shaken until all the roots are free and unencumbered. Rocks are picked from the soil and every weed is removed. Then without warning it is dumped in the hole and in its frailty fresh soiled is pressed around its violated roots and then water poured all over it. It is then that the tiny plant realizes its purpose as it is a tree that cannot grow in a tiny pot but only in the open field where it has been placed. Where did this image come from? I am definitely not a gardener as I possess two “black” thumbs. I am the “black widow” plant killer whose own flowerbeds shy away from my shadow. I woke up this morning feeling shaken. Violated in my place by the circumstances of life. I am irritated and uncomfortable. Human weakness is exposed and I feel vulnerable. I want to shake it off. But it is in this moment that I realize in the Presence of my God that I am being shaken. How do we find the patience to wait quietly in God when things don’t turn out as we expected? How do we claim victory when defeat seems so obvious? He is my rock. He is my salvation. He is my fortress that I run to. I will never be shaken in that place. However, I must find my purpose and place in the Presence of God and according to His Plan to stop the rearranging of my existence which causes such unease.

Psalm 1:1-3 (NLT)

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked, or stand around with sinners, or join in with mockers. But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.

 

Comfort closes our eyes to the reality of God’s Plan for our life. We become complacent in that place where we find temporary rest from the challenges of becoming more and more like our Lord and reflecting the image of our God. I love our home. It has become a place of solace for me. After a long day at work or a trip to visit our son’s doctor, I love to walk in the door and smell the familiar aroma of home. I love to hear the voices that fill it and see the people I share it with. It is where I am at ease sheltered from the world and people in it. But when we moved here I did not feel that way. In fact, this house was too big and seemed like more than I could handle. There were empty rooms that needed to be filled. The square footage put my children far away from me at night. There was more to clean and maintain but over time I became familiar with each space. Our life expanded to fill this home and now as our children are growing up and moving on – again it is getting bigger and now I am faced with be shaken once again. Since returning from caring for our son after his bone marrow transplant, I have tried to restore my life to its normal state. The way it was before I left, maybe even before the last relapse, or could it be before his diagnosis. I am not sure what normal is anymore and this morning for some reason the agitation of transition was a bit more than my attitude could adjust to leaving me with a horrible temperament until now. I see that I am that tiny seedling with great potential. I now know that I must stop trying to build new roots into old foundations that were comfortable. God is shaking our life because I am not who I am supposed to be yet. Perhaps I am not even where I am destined to live and grow. I am to be like a tree planted by the living water. However, I must go where He goes and do what He has called me to do. Comfort and complacency must be sacrificed for greater growth and fulfillment. It is uncomfortable and uncertain to my flesh. But I can be confident in my heart that the Lord will not allow me to ever be destroyed in this process just prepared to fill my destiny as He planned it. To have the future of goodness and hope just as He promised.

2 Corinthians 4:7-10 (NLT)

We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure. This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves. We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

The pressure we feel has purpose. The perplexity will provide understanding. The enemy is in constant pursuit but the Lord goes before and stands behind us. We get knocked down but will not ever be held there. Why? We have “this light shining in our hearts” that would never come out unless we are shaken. We are fragile clay jars. Clay is heavy. The ground just beneath a thin layer of soil in our yard is red clay. It is dense and hard. Not easily broken by a shovel, it takes a great deal of pressure and force to break it apart and move it. But if you take that same clay and begin to work it in your hands, it begins to become pliant and you can mold it shaping it into something else. I remember in elementary school when the art teacher would give us new clay. It was really, really hard so you would have to really work it to make it useful. We would stretch it, roll it on the table and use other violent movements to make it serve our purpose. Hello? This is what God is doing when you experience discomfort and disease with our life of righteousness – He is stretching us, molding us, and moving us to the place of blessing that we have cried out for. When we ask Him to come closer, it actually is an invitation to be changed because the Lord wants to be close to us. When we make room for Jesus, He does not wait for us to call but fills every open space with His Goodness, Mercy and Love. We are the ones that must be moved and shaken from our place. The Great Power of God lives in us and wants to spill out over our life. We must be broken in order for this to occur. To be broken is uncomfortable. It is a violent interruption of life as we know it to expose the Great Power and Potential of God hidden in us. Lord, shake me today.

Psalm 33:10-18 (NLT)

The Lord frustrates the plans of the nations and thwarts all their schemes. But the Lord’s plans stand firm forever; His Intentions can never be shaken. What joy for the nation whose God is the Lord, whose people he has chosen as his inheritance. The Lord looks down from heaven and sees the whole human race. From his throne he observes all who live on the earth. He made their hearts, so he understands everything they do. The best-equipped army cannot save a king, nor is great strength enough to save a warrior. Don’t count on your warhorse to give you victory—for all its strength, it cannot save you. But the Lord watches over those who fear him, those who rely on his unfailing love.

When calling on the Lord to do something in our life, it is important to know what you are asking for. You must know the character of the one whom which you ask it from. There are some people you know in your life who are reliable and will do what you ask. There may be others who you only ask for certain things from because they are not reliable. You only ask what they are capable of doing. I am going to ask my mechanic to bake my daughter’s wedding cake. When we ask for God’s Will in our life, but assume it will be what we want, how we want it and when we want it – we will be completely confused when His Will is done the way He planned to do it, exactly how He prescribed it to be done, on His Timetable. The Lord’s Plans stand firm forever. God wrote a plan designated for our life before we were born. (Psalm 139:16) He has a good plan with a future and hope that is ours for the asking when we pursue Him wholeheartedly. (Jeremiah 29:11-13) The fatal flaw for most believers today is that somehow they expect their life to become instant utopia when committed to Jesus Christ. That is not what the Word of God says. There will be trials. You will be tested. God will do whatever it takes to turn every single detail of our life for good which means shaking us free of that sinful nature with all of its own wants and desires that have molded our will to want what we want when we want it and call it God’s. Once you taste and see that the Lord is good, you will want more of Him. More of God means that our life must be expanded because our current condition will not allow His Prosperity to be abundant in our life. If you resist the shaking of your life or run to any other foundation, you will not have it. The Lord watches over those who rely on His Unfailing Love. You will never fully fall in love with Jesus Christ as long as you have other lovers. Any time we rely on someone or something other than the Lord to be the center of our life, we will not prosper the way that God intended instead we will become comfortable and complacent in temporary blessing or less than His Very Best. God’s Intentions can never be shaken so we must be shaken to have them.

Hebrews 12:26-29 (NLT)

When God spoke from Mount Sinai his voice shook the earth, but now he makes another promise: “Once again I will shake not only the earth but the heavens also.” This means that all of creation will be shaken and removed, so that only unshakable things will remain. Since we are receiving a Kingdom that is unshakable, let us be thankful and please God by worshiping him with holy fear and awe. For our God is a devouring fire.”

 

Shake me, Lord. I see now why I am unsettled and I welcome it today. I do not want to be so attached to temporary comforts and momentary complacency that I miss God’s Plan and Purpose for my life. I want it and I need it. You do, too! When Jesus died on the Cross, the world of His Followers was turned upside down. They did not know which way to go or what to do. Things had not turned out the way that they expected. When everything was shaken up and the apostles were being hunted down and killed for preaching the truth, they thought that they return of Christ was imminent (Matthew 24:29-30) but they were quickly sent word via the Holy Spirit to hold tight that there would be even more shaking to come. (2 Thessalonians 2:1-4) However, we are now that church. We are the Body of Christ who witnessed the fulfillment of prophecy every day. We cannot take that for granted looking at our little life and whining to the Lord to make it better. Our life is supposed to make a difference. Remember the parable of the talents when the master came back each servant had to give an account of what was done with the “talents” that he was given watch over. (Matthew 25:14-30) When the master returned, he asked each one to give an account. Those who did something with what they were given were rewarded. The one who did nothing was punished. Our life is our talent. What we do with it matters when Jesus Christ returns? He is not looking at our stuff but the “stuff” we are made of. What was important to us? What did we become in our heart that poured out in our life? Jesus does not value a financially prosperous life. He does not love a philanthropist that gives from his abundance. The Lord is looking for servants who gave up their whole life to follow Him and multiple His Kingdom. His Kingdom values faith, hope and love. Anything else is worthless. You will never experience the prosperity of God outside those three things. To be all He promised means that our roots must be grounded in Jesus Christ alone. So like I said before go ahead and shake me, Lord!

Colossians 2:6-10 (NLT)

And now, just as you accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord, you must continue to follow him. Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness. Don’t let anyone capture you with empty philosophies and high-sounding nonsense that come from human thinking and from the spiritual powers of this world, rather than from Christ. For in Christ lives all the fullness of God in a human body. So you also are complete through your union with Christ, who is the head over every ruler and authority.