Little Faith

little faith

Matthew 17:20 (ESV) He said to them, “Because of your little faith. For truly, I say to you, if you have faith like a grain of mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move, and nothing will be impossible for you.”

Dynamite was invented in 1867 by Alfred Nobel. The same Nobel who is responsible for Nobel Prizes for scientific and cultural achievements and awards. His invention of dynamite is what gave him the wealth to fund what is historically one of the most prestigious awards in the world. Before dynamite, the strongest explosive was gunpowder. Gunpowder did not have the power needed for many needs as it was very dangerous to handle especially in larger quantities. Dynamite met this need and was much safer to use.

Dynamite consists of a few common elements. Nitroglycerin, which already existed though extremely dangerous and quite unstable, is the primary potent ingredient that causes the massive explosion. Nobel took nitroglycerin and packed it in diatomaceous earth which is soft, chalky stone made nitroglycerin safer to handle. A wick and blasting cap are the final two components needed to create a stick of dynamite. Once placed in the desired location – the wick is lit and when it ignites the blasting cap causes a small explosion that triggers a much larger destructive explosion.

The Greek “dunamis” is used 120 times in the New Testament. The word refers to strength, power or ability. Yes, it is the root word for dynamite, dynamo, and dynamic. In Matthew 17, the disciples have tried to release the power of God by casting out a demon from a possessed person. It did not work. They are perplexed. When they ask Jesus, he responds “because of your little faith.” I often have read this thinking that the faith of these men too small to get the job done but I do not think that is the case at all. How much smaller can faith be than a mustard seed? What if Jesus was not talking about the size or quantity of faith but rather its handling and placement?

Mark 4:30-32 (ESV) And he said, “With what can we compare the kingdom of God, or what parable shall we use for it? It is like a grain of mustard seed, which, when sown on the ground, is the smallest of all the seeds on earth, yet when it is sown it grows up and becomes larger than all the garden plants and puts out large branches, so that the birds of the air can make nests in its shade.”

Faith is given to us. God assigns us a measure of faith. (Romans 12:3) We have the proper amount of faith but it must be properly handled to release God’s Power and Glory in our life. The Purpose and Plan of God for us is released as faith is planted then grows, matures and develops into a fruitful and abundant life. The seed must be buried to give way to its present form and release its divine purpose. Seeds of faith must be sown into the fertile heart in order to produce the dunamis power inside each one. Maybe when the Power of God and His Glory are not evident in our life is not because of a lack of potential or purpose but maybe abandonment of process. Unless we truly believe in the potential of each tiny seed of faith, there will be no energy expended in cultivating them. Funny that even with dynamite the powerful nitroglycerin must be enveloped in earthen material in order to be properly handled. The death of self is in living a life of faith not futility by trusting and believing God at His Word, planting it deep in our heart, lighting it with the Power of His Love, and allowing the Holy Spirit to explode inside of us until the Light reaches the world.

It only takes a stick of dynamite to release an explosion capable of great destruction. You have dunamis power inside of you in the person of Jesus Christ. We connect with His Power by faith. Faith comes in the form of seeds to be planted in a soft and fertile heart. It must grow into the confident hope. This is accomplished outside of our five senses. Faith is not logical unless it is supported by the Word of God. Quite simply – faith can only become powerful when properly handled until just the right time. God has given us a purpose and plan that is far beyond our expectation. It is not to be found in our present form but the Glorious Power that He has hidden on the inside of us just waiting to find its way out. You have faith. It must be handled properly. Thank you God for giving me the right amount of faith. Teach me to use it properly. I have Christ in me. He is enough. The Power and Glory of God is hidden inside of me. Lord, I ask that Your Power becomes the energy and drive of my life. In Jesus Name!

2 Peter 1:3-8 (ESV) His divine power has granted to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of him who called us to his own glory and excellence, by which he has granted to us his precious and very great promises, so that through them you may become partakers of the divine nature, having escaped from the corruption that is in the world because of sinful desire. For this very reason, make every effort to supplement your faith with virtue, and virtue with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with steadfastness, and steadfastness with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love. For if these qualities are yours and are increasing, they keep you from being ineffective or unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

Advertisements

Faithful to the End

Faithful to the End 2

Psalm 145:13-18 (ESV) Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and your dominion endures throughout all generations. [The Lord is faithful in all his words and kind in all his works.] The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. The Lord is righteous in all his ways and kind in all his works. The Lord is near to all who call on him, to all who call on him in truth.

The faithfulness of God has been heavy on my heart. To consider that He is always faithful. Faithful in all His Words and kind in all His Works. Every good thing in our life is a product of the Father’s Love that somehow whether consciously or unconsciously has made its way to us. The great thing about God’s Faithfulness to us is that it is not contingent on my faithfulness to Him. When my best effort results in complete and utter failure, God takes that detail and still makes good on His Promise to complete the masterpiece of my life from all the broken pieces. His Kingdom is everlasting. It is without end. There is a place for me in it which belongs to me. My heavenly real estate is given to me as an inheritance of faith in the Living God who have supplied a sufficiency of grace to overcome my every weakness with His Loving Kindness. God is faithful and His Unconditional Love for me is secure.

The Lord is faithful in all His Words and kind in all His Works. I love this promise. It is precious to the believer. To consider all the broken promises that have tainted one’s ability to trust and then somehow believe that the Lord is not capable of ever going back on His Word – it is life changing. Too often the human heart is tempted to take hold of unmet expectation and the offenses of this world including other people and form negating thoughts that change our confession over our life. It is always going to be this way. Why does God hate me? I can’t change. The list goes on and on.

His Words

Isaiah 55:8-11 (ESV) For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, declares the Lord. For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. For as the rain and the snow come down from heaven and do not return there but water the earth, making it bring forth and sprout, giving seed to the sower and bread to the eater, so shall my word be that goes out from my mouth; it shall not return to me empty, but it shall accomplish that which I purpose, and shall succeed in the thing for which I sent it.

Every word spoken by God for our life comes with a purpose. Those words cannot and will not return to Him void or empty of accomplishment. His Word for our life will always produce exactly what He promised it would. The trouble comes in our inability or unwillingness to trust God at His Word. Jesus Christ is the Word of God who came wrapped in flesh to fulfill the promise of salvation and redemption. Jesus released His Spirit to take God’s Word inside of us and by faith those words prosper into God’s Promise, His Purpose and His Plan for us. We must only receive Him by faith and live in the confidence of new hope. It is easier said than done.

God’s Thoughts are more numerous than the sand on the beach or stars in the sky. His Thoughts are higher than our thoughts. His Ways so complex that finite human logic cannot comprehend what God is doing from beginning to end. God is a planner. His Plan is quite detailed and prerecorded before our life ever began. His Word waters the faith in us to make it bear the true potential of its fruit. We must only trust the Word of the Lord and believe that it will come to pass enough to endure. Why? God is faithful.

His Works

Ephesians 2:8-10 (ESV) For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God, not a result of works, so that no one may boast. For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God is faithful to complete the work in us. The primary purpose of our life is to seek out the Love of God and learn to live in love with Him. I know what doctrine and religion has told you all these years. Those who love God will avoid sin as much as possible. There are convictions based on one’s desires to please God and remain in right standing with Him. Jesus is the Way, the Truth and the Life. To seek the Lord wholeheartedly will always move us farther from the worthless endeavors and fruitless works to a common place of mutual affection found only in His Presence. You will begin to love and live differently not because the Law says so but it is part of the covenant of relationship.

As we align our life to love God and remain a faithful partner to Him, suddenly our life agrees with God’s Plan. Purpose rises up from the broken heart that is so in love with God it cannot stay hard. The Grace of God that saves us begins to soften us – molding and shaping us into sons and daughters of God who live in close proximity to Him. Such a life encounters the blessings of God already set forth and planned for us because one cannot help but encounter God’s Goodness in His Presence. For example, I can send a text message invitation out to my children that we will have family dinner on Saturday night at 7:00 PM. We will be grilling steaks and all are welcome. At 7:00 PM when the steaks are ready cooked to perfection by dad and the twice baked cheese potatoes slightly browned covered in melted cheese hit the table with some fresh bread and we sit down to eat, those who attend will be blessed with a full belly and probably a tasty dessert. Those who choose to go have a burger at the local dive with their friends will miss the gathering and then pay the bill for their greasy food. Can that child complain that they did not get to eat the wonderful meal that was completely free? We do it all the time. The Lord offers us a place at His Table to partake of all His Goodness but we choose something else and have the audacity to complain about it.

Philippians 2:12-13 (ESV)  Therefore, my beloved, as you have always obeyed, so now, not only as in my presence but much more in my absence, work out your own salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you, both to will and to work for his good pleasure.

Psalm 145 offers the promise that the Lord will open His Hand to satisfy the desire of every living thing. God has a plan that is fully operational in our life regardless of our ability or willingness to trust Him. Why? God is faithful. He is faithful to the end. He is faithful to His Word. He is faithful in His Works. Our obligation in this covenant is to have faith and trust the Lord at His Word. The promise has a due date. Premature delivery produces miscarriage or abortion in most cases. Prematurity causes hardship because that which was created is not sustainable yet. It is out of season. It has not accomplished the proper stages of preparation. The Lord promises that the Plan and Purpose of our life will bring fulfillment. It requires faith in God even when it is not logical to even believe that which is hoped for could ever be possible. Sometimes it means reminding ourselves that it is not the end yet.

Lord, I call to my heart and mind every faithful experience and encounter that has come to pass in my life so far. I remind myself that You are faithful. You have always been faithful. You will always be faithful. You will complete the Word spoken over me and the Work begun inside of me. I choose to believe. Thank you God for your faithfulness even in my fears and doubts. Forgive me for all the times I lack trust. Help my unbelief! Thank You Lord that You are faithful to the end. Help me to endure! In Jesus Name! Amen

 

Chaos

Chaos

I Corinthians 1:9 (ESV) God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of his Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

Chaos! Utter chaos! The words scribbled in my journal this morning. The last few weeks have been a runaway train. Today our fourth child graduates from high school – breathe mama breathe! Time is flying by and the winds of change are clearly stirring up my heart and soul. With a mind fully of memories, thoughts and a to-do list that keeps on growing – I am seeking peace this morning. I need rest for my mind. Rest for my body. I am looking for the Peace of God and calling on the internal comforter – His Spirit inside of me.

The words that come next are from a place of deep reserve. The reservoir of hope filled each morning in this quiet time begins to spill forth from my mouth even though my head and heart may not agree right this second – God is faithful. The faithfulness of God is not surprised by circumstances or shaken in our disbelief. He is faithful always. Let that sink in for just a moment as I have this morning. Even though I have lost control – God is still sovereignly in absolute control of my life. My world is in His Hands because I have placed it there and refuse to take it back. It is in this passage I find new breath on a morning of absolute stress, worry and well…chaos.

Our little fur baby, Izzy, is asleep in the chair next to me. Our giant fur baby, Scout, resting at my feet. Both are completely passed out and intermittently snoring. They are resting after an early morning breakfast and frolic in the yard. They do not worry about their next meal. They are not concerned with the details of the day. The rain is of little to no concern to them in the shelter of the home provide. They trust me to take care of them. They follow me from room to room plopping down right where I am working, sitting or even sleeping if possible. I wonder today if that is the lesson in the busyness of life – a gentle loving reminder of the faithfulness of God that is for us and the rest found in Him. I must only trust Him. Believe Him. Take Him at His Word. Love Him. Desire Him. Seek Him. Serve Him. Follow Him…and all these other worries, concerns and details fall into place. Lord, let me find my way back into your Presence today.

Deuteronomy 7:9 (ESV) Know therefore that the Lord your God is God, the faithful God who keeps covenant and steadfast love with those who love him and keep his commandments, to a thousand generations…

Do you know that God loves you with steadfast love today? It is not performance based but a covenant promise to you, His Beloved Child. God keeps His Covenant with us because He is faithful. My ability to keep my covenant with Him was irrevocably broken by sin. So His Faithfulness provided a sacrifice for my sin to pay the debt owed and rescue me from certain death – He has apprehended me with love not by force. His Love set me free to choose who I love and serve in this life. I choose You, God! I have decided to follow Jesus and accept the grace that I have been given. God only desires our love. Not just any love, but a committed love. A love that tries to be faithful and is remorseful in our failures. We have made a very structured idea of church and set mandates for the Body of Christ never detailed by God. He asks only that we love Him enough to seek Him, follow Him and trust Him.

Deuteronomy 32:4 (ESV) “The Rock, his work is perfect, for all his ways are justice. A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and upright is he.”

The firm foundation of our life, faith and confident hope is the unchangeable, all-powerful, fully authoritative, all-knowing, and ever present Rock who is the Lord. He is incapable of lying or changing His Mind without altering His Perfection. If something is perfect, it has no need to change. It is our imperfection that calls for change. God promises to be the Rock. Our shelter. Our refuge. The hiding place of the righteous who come boldly before Him. He is a Good God who is faithful and without iniquity. He offers divine disciple but thanks to grace there is no punishment involved. When faced with challenging seasons or long processes, it is the faithfulness of God that is our hope. We must look above the wind and waves to see that He is still right where He has always been and perfecting all that concerns us according to His Word. (Psalm 138:8)

Hebrews 3:3-6 (ESV) For Jesus has been counted worthy of more glory than Moses—as much more glory as the builder of a house has more honor than the house itself. (For every house is built by someone, but the builder of all things is God.) Now Moses was faithful in all God’s house as a servant, to testify to the things that were to be spoken later, but Christ is faithful over God’s house as a son. And we are his house, if indeed we hold fast our confidence and our boasting in our hope.

God’s faithfulness was demonstrated in Jesus Christ. Though tempted by the enemy, Jesus overcame him by simple telling him what God said. The enemy fled. Christ lives in us. The resurrection power and life that overcomes is in you and me. Moses built a tabernacle for God’s Presence in the wilderness. God revealed His Glory to the people. Forty long years of wandering and there were few who would ever enter the promise of rest. King Solomon built a beautiful temple. God was pleased. He went on to waste his life indulging in sinful conquests. God had a better plan and a more glorious thought – He sent His Son to inhabit those who would be His People. We are His House. Christ lives in us. He gives us the desire and drive to be faithful to God so it is no surprise that the enemy comes to tempt us. He reminds us of our past. He sows regret, remorse and shame to choke out new life and hope. He tells us that God is mad at us. He says that He is punishing us. He tells us that the Lord has forgotten us. Or maybe just that we deserve the consequences of our choices. He is a liar. The Word says that God has other plans for “His House”. Christ is building a strong “Body”.

I Corinthians 10:13 (ESV) No temptation has overtaken you that is not common to man. God is faithful, and he will not let you be tempted beyond your ability, but with the temptation he will also provide the way of escape, that you may be able to endure it.

The greatest temptation commonly faced by believers each day is to abandon trust. To believe something other than the Word God has given us. To pursue lesser things hoping to achieve some other kind of glory. We have been given the Glory of God for our broken vessels. He resides in us and wants to shine through us. I don’t know what you are facing today – I only know the insufficiencies of my own heart. What I do know is that God is faithful! Some days, like today, I must remind myself that He is faithful. He is always faithful. His Faithfulness is unreserved when it comes to me. He is relentless in His Passionate Pursuit of me. I must learn to run to His Refuge and seek His Shelter when tempted not to trust Him. To seek His Peace that passes all understanding to pull in my rebellious thoughts. I must only call out His Name and He always rushes to my aid. He will leave the 99 just to carry me back. He is faithful today. He has already provided everything I need to overcome temptation and achieve my purpose today and every day. I must remind my heart, mind and soul – God is faithful every day even today!

Psalm 62:8 (ESV) Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah

God of Gifts, Grace & Glory

God's Gifts, Grace & Glory

Romans 11:28-29 (ESV) As regards the gospel, they are enemies for your sake. But as regards election, they are beloved for the sake of their forefathers. For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. 

The Gift of God to us in His Son Jesus Christ is threefold. He gives us His Gifts, Grace and Glory all in one neat and tidy package called you. If you are like me, there are days I look in the mirror wondering how the Lord will ever turn this mess into a message or the test into a testimony. I cannot see the full potential hidden inside me. The purpose of my design or the prerecorded details of my existence. All I do know and believe with any certainty is that God has a plan for me and has called me to be someone other than I am.

For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable. We are so use to the fickleness of human hearts that when presented with unconditional love – it is difficult to comprehend and far more difficult to accept. To believe and live by the Truth that God’s Love is unfailing. It is constant. Standing the test of time, it has the endless mercy and fathomless grace that no one could ever contain except an all-consuming God. You have been given an inheritance. It is familial and secured in the righteousness given to us by Jesus Christ. The Holy Spirit is the guarantor that it will be given to us. The word “irrevocable” means it cannot be revoked, recalled, repealed, annulled and must remain unaltered. The perfection of God is precise. He predestined our life before our first cry and it is clearly defined until our last breath. Do you believe that God’s Plan and Purpose is irrevocable today?

God’s Gifts and Giftings

Malachi 3:6 (ESV) “For I the Lord do not change; therefore you, O children of Jacob, are not consumed.

Numbers 23:19 (ESV) God is not man, that he should lie, or a son of man, that he should change his mind. Has he said, and will he not do it? Or has he spoken, and will he not fulfill it?

God will always be consistent and true to His Word. Trust is the essential that makes our belief a reality. When we trust God taking Him at His Word, our faith grows in confident hope that is willing to wait on the Lord. God does not change. Jesus is the same yesterday, today and forever. Jesus is the Word of God who came in the form of a man to be our example. He died to be the sacrifice for our sin and open up the heavens for us. He accomplished this fully on the Cross when the Lord spoke, “It is finished.” He released His Spirit to us to identify us as His Beloved. The Father now calls us His Children. Who would change their mind about a son or daughter? We love them no matter what.

If we choose to ignore God’s Gifts, to live outside of our giftings, to ignore His Calling, it will never change God or what He already has planned for us. Disobedience may create detours, delays and consequences but God promises to make good of those details produced by doubt. We must choose to believe that God is who He says that He is and will do exactly as He has promised to do. The purpose in us is activated by faith. Faith exercises trust which will become a relationship. This relationship produces confident hope that becomes our conviction. The conviction is that nothing is impossible with God!

God’s Grace

Romans 11:30-32 (ESV) For just as you were at one time disobedient to God but now have received mercy because of their disobedience, so they too have now been disobedient in order that by the mercy shown to you they also may now receive mercy. For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

Through one man’s sin, all of human became guilty. Through the sacrifice of Jesus, all humanity was saved. The abundance of God’s Grace is the essential component that turns our fears, faults and failures into a future that is filled with God’s Goodness and confident hope. The impartation of God’s Grace is absolutely vital to accepting His Gifts and answering His Call. The Word demonstrates our need for God’s Mercy and Grace called the Law. The Law was not to condemn us but that through it people would see their need for Jesus. Everyone falls short of God’s Glorious Standard. Everyone needs the sufficiency of His Grace. It is not a performance based assumption but a complete and perfect surrender to the Cross. Religion makes it exclusive. Relationship gives itself to everyone. The Word of God is all about love. The love of God for us. The love of God in us. Our love in the same capacity for everyone else. It is all about love because the Law was satisfied by Jesus. There are no fatal errors with God just divine opportunity to take another broken piece of a stubborn, hard heart and lay it at the feet of Jesus to become the masterpiece God promised.

God’s Glory

Romans 11:33-36 (ESV) Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways! “For who has known the mind of the Lord, or who has been his counselor?” “Or who has given a gift to him that he might be repaid?” For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.

True story. Years ago as a teenager, our family went to a restaurant for dinner. As customary in many establishments, the young waitress offered my parents something from the bar. My dad looked at her and said, “In the Name of our Lord Jesus, I do not partake of alcohol” or something very close. Her face turned red with shame and she took the beverage card quickly departing to find some sweet tea. My sister and I melted under the table in embarrassment with her. While the conviction of my dad was pure and honest in demonstrating his love and acceptance of Christ, the public display of his conviction turned the waitress off immediately. Our new life in Christ is not a demonstration of perfection or a public display of professing our faith and commitment to Christ in such a way to drive others away. When the Light of His Love is burning within us, it is attractive. People want the love, joy and peace that is given off by the faithful and confident believer. The opportunity to share our faith is practical. It begins with relationship. The Purpose of God for us is to encounter His Love and choose to live in it. The Plan of God is one opportunity after another to experience God’s Love. The overflow of His Mercy and Grace in our life gives us something to offer others.

We live for the Glory of God. Our life should always point to the unfailing love, grace and kindness of God offered in His Son – Jesus. We do that when our faith and confidence is in the unchangeable character of God which produces unconditional love and acceptance of all mankind. It is the kind of confidence that is not based on circumstances or conditions but calls for logical faith demonstrated by practical wisdom. Simply put – we obey God’s Word because we love and trust Him more than what we are feeling – physically or emotionally. In every storm, Jesus is our anchor. In every shakable matter, Christ is our foundation. In every mistake, He demonstrates magnificent grace that will not allow us to be removed from our election and calling in God.

Romans 4:16-17 (ESV) That is why it depends on faith, in order that the promise may rest on grace and be guaranteed to all his offspring—not only to the adherent of the law but also to the one who shares the faith of Abraham, who is the father of us all, as it is written, “I have made you the father of many nations”—in the presence of the God in whom he believed, who gives life to the dead and calls into existence the things that do not exist. 

The Promise of God including His Purpose and Plan all depend on faith. It rests on His Grace alone because we can never earn or deserve the good things God has in store for us. We have already proven that adherence to the Law in our personal life is impossible. Sin happens. No one is sinless. Every droplet of the Blood of Jesus Christ is absolutely necessary to save, heal and deliver every single one of us. It is all inclusive. The power of purpose is to believe. The moment our faith becomes planted in confident hope and the possibilities set forth by the Living God seem attainable – passion of purpose kicks in and we will press for the mark of His High Calling. The belief that Jesus gives life to the dead and calls into existence things that do not exist is the beginning of miracles. God has already predestined us for supernatural living. His Gifts and Call deemed irrevocable. There is nothing that can separate us from God’s Love. God will always be true to His Word. His Word will always be truth to us. Our disobedience does not create impossibility only shows us our need for more of Him. You have a gift. You possess giftings placed in you by the Living God designed for His Glory. His Grace is all you need to achieve a glorious life – so live it!

Luke 1:37 (ESV) For nothing will be impossible with God.

 

Living a Kingdom Life

Living a Kingdom Life

Luke 12:31-34 (ESV) “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you. Fear not, little flock, for it is your Father’s good pleasure to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions, and give to the needy. Provide yourselves with moneybags that do not grow old, with a treasure in the heavens that does not fail, where no thief approaches and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

“But seek first the Kingdom of God and His Righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” The Kingdom of God belongs to the righteous. Our righteousness is founded and established in Christ alone. If Jesus Christ lives in us, then the Kingdom belongs to us equally. Do we live a Kingdom life? Do I live a Kingdom life? What is such an existence? It is Your Father’s good pleasure to give you and me His Kingdom? God wants us to live a rich and satisfied life. In fact, it is the reason that Jesus Christ came to give His Life and reestablish a right relationship between God and His People. We must seek that which is given to us. We must make it our passionate pursuit to receive the fullness of God given to us in His Kingdom. But how? Where? God’s Kingdom is not a house or inhabitable dwelling. God’s Kingdom begins in the human heart, overtaking the soul, changing our mind and engaging in a lifestyle of faith and confident hope not in what we see but completely in Who we believe.

Ephesians 3:14-19 (ESV) For this reason I bow my knees before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth is named, that according to the riches of his glory he may grant you to be strengthened with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith—that you, being rooted and grounded in love, may have strength to comprehend with all the saints what is the breadth and length and height and depth, and to know the love of Christ that surpasses knowledge, that you may be filled with all the fullness of God.

The fullness of God is His Love. He is our First Love. The Father loves us in our unlovable condition and consumes us with His Love. He does not give us a portion of His Extravagant Love. He gives us all of the all-consuming and completeness of His Love through His Son, Jesus Christ. We are the fickle hearts and wavering minds that choose to love Him one day and leave Him the next. It is never God’s Will or Way to abandon us to our own devices but He continually pursues us with unfailing love and goodness. (Psalm 23:6) It is His Desire to live in relationship with us so even on our worst days new mercy is waiting for us. (Lamentations 3:22-23) His Grace is enough. It is sufficient. The power within us is the Holy Spirit who is the guarantor of God’s Faithfulness to us. He identifies us as God’s Children. He establishes Kingdom power and authority in us.

To be rooted and grounded in the Love of God is the starting point of a miraculous and prosperous life. To allow Christ to dwell in our heart and mind to the point that through faith nothing is ever impossible again because we are overtaken and consumed by His Love for us. Nothing can ever separate us from the Love of God again. Do you believe that today? You will never establish a Kingdom lifestyle outside of the complete confidence that God’s Love for you is complete and all-consuming. “Therefore let us be grateful for receiving a kingdom that cannot be shaken, and thus let us offer to God acceptable worship, with reverence and awe, for our God is a consuming fire.” (Hebrews 12:28-29)

Matthew 16:18-19 (ESV) ”And I tell you, you are Peter, and on this rock I will build my church, and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys of the kingdom of heaven, and whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.”

The revelation of Jesus Christ is life changing. It is the moment – that we decide that Christ is who He said that He is in our heart and mind the keys to the Kingdom are obtained. It is not anything we do but completely based on what we believe. Do you believe? Jesus asked Peter, “But who do you say that I am?” When Peter announced with heartfelt conviction, “You are the Christ, the Son of the Living God”, everything changed. Peter would go on to make many mistakes but that did not limit the Kingdom power bestowed in that moment. Jesus did build His Church on Peter – His Rock. The firm foundation of faith that believes that God is for us. The cornerstone of faith – Jesus – provided everything we need as a perfect sacrifice who gave us access to all of God the Father and fills us with His Spirit. The moment of reconciliation when our mind, soul and body agree that He is Christ. Christ in us. This is the point when everything changes for those who believe…truly believe.

“Truly, I say to you, whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven, and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.

 Again I say to you, if two of you agree on earth about anything they ask, it will be done for them by my Father in heaven. For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.” (Matthew 18:18-20) When the Body of Christ begins to believe with complete confidence that we have Kingdom power, no longer will there be separation. The revelation of Christ is personal. We own it. No one can take it or apportion our faith, blessing or promise for themselves. It belongs to us. It is our inheritance. God’s Investment in us is to be used for us and others. It cannot be taken. Therefore the need for comparison and competition fades in the shadow of complete confidence in Jesus Christ. Agreement brings unity and produces miracles, signs and wonders as Christ is in our midst.

Romans 14:17 (ESV) For the kingdom of God is not a matter of eating and drinking but of righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Every kingdom has a king, ruler or authority in command. Ours is Christ Jesus. Sometimes one must evaluate the heart and mind to resolve conflict. The enemy wants us to unseat Jesus from His Throne inside of us and allow pride to climb back up. There is nothing God wants or needs us to do. He simply wants us. He consumed with passionate love for us that is all-consuming. The conflict of confidence is created by doubt. To disbelieve that God’s Love is complete and His Kingdom within us. We must believe that the Word of God will not fail. We must plant our feet in the foundation of Jesus Christ and take a stand. He must remain on the Throne of our life to be the King of our kingdoms. Will you allow the Holy Spirit to clean house today? To remove the lesser things held on to in fear of the Power and Preeminence of Jesus Christ – our King. To sow seeds in the void left behind and pour healing oil over battle scars and wounds of the past. Let him wash away all fear, stress and anxiety to replace it with confidence in God’s Love and Power today. Speak the Word of God over yourself and situation today. I agree with you in Jesus Name that His Kingdom come – His Will be done on earth as it is in Heaven.

Psalm 16:11 (ESV)You make known to me the path of life; in your presence there is fullness of joy; at your right hand are pleasures forevermore.

 

The Journey

The Journey

Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)  For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. 

It’s that time of year again. Graduations are in full swing. We are no exception. Next week, our fourth child will cross the stage of honor to receive her high school diploma. Our family will cheer her on to the next leg of her journey in life. She is filled with mixed emotions. Elation at completing high school and a bit of hesitation at the idea of adulthood. Celebrating her accomplishment, I find my nest is almost empty. With only one child left, it is hard to imagine what life will look like in a few short years when she follows her siblings in following her dreams. I cannot imagine not being a full-time mom. Though I know the blessings of adult children, it is still hard to fathom after almost 30 years entering this new season of life.

“For I know the plans I have for you…” I have seen this verse on graduation announcements, gifts and many other celebratory items. What is graduation? To bask in the laurels of accomplishment and boldly step into a new adventure. Life is a journey. God has a plan for us. Every detail of our life is important. I know when all the children were young, there was no time to consider the coming of this day. Buried in laundry, homework, and all the other responsibilities – it was hard to see past those days to a time when they would move into their purpose and achieve adulthood. Perhaps, you are there today. Or maybe with me in the nostalgia of days gone by wondering what tomorrow holds. The Plan of God for us is complete. It is not captured in a moment but discovered in a lifetime. Whether you are about to graduate from high school or college or maybe graduating from parenthood to becoming a grandparent, it is important to embrace the journey.

Proverbs 20:24 (NIV) A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. How then can anyone understand their own way?

When our son was diagnosed with cancer, it changed everything. My life was not as I planned and recovering a normal life seemed impossible. On the first anniversary of his diagnosis, I decided to get a tattoo on my wrist. When I look at it, it reads, “Faith” but if I show it to you, it reads “Hope”. It is called an “ambigram”. I do not mean to undermine anyone’s heartfelt convictions, but I do believe that the Lord led me to get this reminder permanently marked on my arm. What I didn’t know was that soon after that our son would go on to have several relapses, halt treatment due to denials by the insurance company, and enter the fight of his young life. My motive in having it was to embrace the journey not the end. There were some days I tried to scrub it from my arm. On those particularly rough days watching my child suffer, and trying to hold on to dwindling faith – I felt like a hypocrite. It seemed that those were the days when someone would ask about it. What does it say? What did it mean? To have faith and offer hope to others. Who was I kidding?

A person’s steps are directed by the Lord. In Jeremiah 29, the small morsel of truth captured in the few verses most often offered are but a glimpse of a much bigger picture. The Children of Israel were in exile for 70 years before the Redeemer would come. A lifetime to us. It speaks of future redemption not an escape from the trials and temptations of life. Psalm 34:19 tells us that a righteous person may have many troubles, but the Lord delivers them from them all. Those who endure to the end are saved. (Matthew 24:13) Life is a journey. Your current season may seem barren but there is always good fruit for those who love God. They will see His Goodness and Glory if they do not faint but wait on the Lord.

In Matthew 4, the Holy Spirit led Jesus into the wilderness to be tempted by the enemy. It was a divine destination not a wandering moment. He went to the wilderness fasting 40 days. He was praying. Yet the purpose of his mission was to give us an example of power and authority in life. To know the Word (Jesus) and experience freedom that allows us to keep moving on this journey with faith and hope when the enemy offers counterfeits, substitutions, half-truths, and lies. The Father has already handwritten and prerecorded every single moment before our first breath. (Psalm 139) We are fearfully and wonderfully made declared wonderful by God the Father. The potential in us is faith. Our faith must be planted in the firm foundation of Christ beginning with a broken heart that gives up pride to fully embrace with passion the plan of God for us. He promised to make good of every detail. He said that nothing can separate us from His Love. (Roman 8) For every sin, mistake, fault, failure and more – the Lord tells us that His Grace is enough. Sufficient to keep us on course for the future and hope that He promised.

Ephesians 1:11-14 (NIV)  In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will, in order that we, who were the first to put our hope in Christ, might be for the praise of his glory. And you also were included in Christ when you heard the message of truth, the gospel of your salvation. When you believed, you were marked in him with a seal, the promised Holy Spirit, who is a deposit guaranteeing our inheritance until the redemption of those who are God’s possession—to the praise of his glory.

It would take several cups of coffee and several hours to outline my journey with Christ. There have been some momentous mountaintop encounters, supernatural experiences and then some pretty dark patches along the way. It has definitely been a long and arduous journey. My heart has been crushed beyond repair yet somehow filled with inexpressible joy and confident hope all at the same time. How can something so broken carry anything of worth? Because God created this vessel for a purpose, Jesus died to guarantee that I can achieve fulfillment in the land of the living before I enter eternity. I must but embrace the journey. The Lord has chosen me. He chose you, too. He made a plan for you from here to eternity. It is worthwhile containing a future and hope. The prosperity of life begins with a prospering soul given completely to Jesus Christ. There is nothing of worth in this world outside of knowing Christ. To die with Him and be raised to new life. If I choose to believe this, it means not a moment in my life is wasted but fully redeemed by the Lord. It may take seven minutes or 70 years but my hope is not on a timeline but eternal. Rest assured, friend – everything is going as planned. Embrace the journey – there are good things ahead.

Psalm 107:28-31 (NLT) “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble, and he saved them from their distress. He calmed the storm to a whisper and stilled the waves. What a blessing was that stillness as he brought them safely into harbor! Let them praise the Lord for his great love and for the wonderful things he has done for them.

In Good Time

In the Timing

Ecclesiastes 3:1 (ESV) For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven…

Living in Florida, there are not always clearly defined seasons. Winters are often unseasonably warm and the sweltering summer may begin in spring. Life can be like that for us, too. Trusting God is tough when the season does not yield the kind of fruit expected or it is taking longer than originally thought. As I study to share with the women of our church for Mother’s Day, I am struck by the words of Solomon. For EVERYTHING there is a season. Everything is an all-inclusive term leaving nothing out. To consider this means to accept that all the details of our life have something productive within them. There is time for EVERY matter under Heaven. It is easy to praise God when things turn out as expected but how one responds when a world falls apart, plan fails or loss is inevitable reveals the contents of our heart. It is in brokenness the seed gives life to its potential and so it is with the measure of faith that the Lord has invested in our hearts.

Psalm 145:14-16 (ESV) The Lord upholds all who are falling and raises up all who are bowed down. The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing.

It has taken the Lord more than 52 years to break through my hard heart and captivate my thoughts with the idea that every season has purpose. It has taken a long and arduous journey to realize that all things are possible with God and that His Word will not return to Him void. Youth comes with the missive that everything has to happen right now. You only live once. Make it count. Fifteen minutes represents years to those who are young and impatient. With such an impetuous nature, experience teaches many hard lessons that only one encounter with the Living God can change from disaster to destiny. When I was a child, my grandmother with great love and affection would say to me, “You must have patience.” Now that I am a grandmother – I am only beginning to understand the true potential of waiting and trusting God. I am quite sure that I will one day say these words to my little grandson as he already exhibits a lack of patience and willfulness as a little baby.

In church as children, we are taught, “He’s got the whole world in His Hands.” One worship song declares, “You hold my every moment.” And goes on to proclaim, “You hold my world in Your Hands.” The confession is there but do we actually believe what we are speaking in our life. To trust that the Lord will make good of every detail of our life (Romans 8:28) and believe that He supplies food in due season and satisfies the desire of every living thing. The Lord has promised that for EVERYTHING there is a season, but do we leave the field when it takes too long? He also says that there is time for EVERY matter under heaven. We serve an intentional God. A God who started from the beginning and has made it to the end. The details are clearly defined as destiny. The promise has purpose marked out specifically by a plan that contains a future and hope. He has set it forth in His Word. He has placed the Word in our heart. Jesus makes all things possible for those who believe. It comes down to this season. It is all about this moment. The current process has fruit that will nourish and satisfy our soul and yield true contentment and abundance. We must only believe.

Proverbs 16:4 (ESV) The Lord has made everything for its purpose, even the wicked for the day of trouble.

To believe that there is godly purpose in every detail of our life takes practice. It is an intentional mindset to trust God no matter how long it takes or how close to disaster it seems. To wait beyond our patience simply because He said to. To do exactly what He said even when it is not logical, rational, comfortable, convenient or controlled. To live abandoned to God’s Purpose takes us far beyond the ordinary into the extraordinary. Walking by faith and not by sight is not something others may understand and embrace. I guess it depends what you are after in this life. Do you desire what comes naturally or that which is derived supernaturally? Do you want a mediocre life or to live in the miraculous? Who the Son sets free is truly free. The Lord will not make you take His Blessings. He will not force His Promises on you. He will not make you prosper if you decide to do something else. But for those who believe and pursue Him – God is faithful. He will do exactly as He promised at the appointed time and not a moment sooner.

Purpose is aborted outside of patience. To end the process before the product is complete is a miscarriage. The Lord has promised life exceedingly abundantly more than one can think, ask or imagine which means that there is preparation in order to produce it. Did you know that most lottery millionaires are penniless in just three short years? They receive an increase but have a heart of famine. They do not know how to manage money and invest wisely so they live recklessly. Without good counsel, many will be in deeper debt than before the windfall came. New wine will burst old wineskins causing it to spill out. (Matthew 9) So the Lord must prepare you for the promise that He has for you so that when it comes you will be ready for it.

Ecclesiastes 3:11 (ESV) He has made everything beautiful in its time. Also, he has put eternity into man’s heart, yet so that he cannot find out what God has done from the beginning to the end.

The Lord promises that He has made everything beautiful in its time. EVERYTHING. I cannot stress this enough today as I read the Word and feel compelled by His Spirit. God knows your life from beginning to end. He recorded it before you took your first breath. (Psalm 139) He didn’t write a fairytale. He wrote a future and hope for this life you are living. There is nothing you can do to separate yourself from the Love of God. He loves you. He pursues you with unfailing love and goodness every single day. His Mercy is new every morning. His Grace is always enough. To decide that God has a plan that does not carefully planned and recorded including our faults and failures is ridiculous. He knows. He had to. Christ finished His Work on the Cross and provided the payment for our every sin bearing the weight of each one – past, present and future – in that moment. God is omnipresent. He is omniscient. He is Sovereign. What does that mean? Everywhere. All knowing. Completely in control including all power and authority. This is the God who promises that EVERYTHING is made beautiful in its time. He put eternity in our heart so we know the goal and what to strive for. He does have the whole world in His Hands. God does hold every moment. He is exactly who He says He is and will do exactly as He promised.

I have been a mother for 28 years raising five children. My season of parenting is down to just one child and three more years before she graduates from high school. I have been a mom the majority of my life. I have lived long enough to see broken things become beautiful. I have planted fields yet to bear fruit. As the nest becomes empty, I am not sure what comes next. I don’t remember my life before I was responsible for little people. Holding my little grandson, I look at him differently. I love him with all of my heart but know that he is not my responsibility. What’s next?

The changing of seasons in life is not always easy. In fact, leaving one place for another is often a challenge as humans given to comfort, convenience and control. As I wait on the Lord for direction, I know that He makes EVERYTHING for a season. I must trust His Timing. The Lord promises a time for EVERY matter so those unresolved issues will be made right. He doesn’t just promise us resolution but says that He makes EVERYTHING beautiful in its time. There is beauty in the broken things. There is life for those dead dreams. We must only speak the Word by faith and dry bones will come to life. Timing is everything, right. God’s Timing is perfect. Every promise will be yours in good time. Will you trust the Lord of the harvest today? Will you dare to believe that His Word will not fail? Will you be there when the harvest of your heartache, the fruitfulness of your tears gives way to the beauty of His Plan and Purpose when it comes to pass? It will happen all in good time – God’s Time!

Isaiah 40:28-31 (ESV) Have you not known? Have you not heard? The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth. He does not faint or grow weary; his understanding is unsearchable. He gives power to the faint, and to him who has no might he increases strength. Even youths shall faint and be weary, and young men shall fall exhausted; but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles; they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.

 

Life in the Fold

Life in the Fold

Psalm 23:1-3 (NIV) The Lord is my shepherd, I lack nothing. He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters, he refreshes my soul. He guides me along the right paths for his name’s sake.

I lack nothing. The word “lack” means deficiency or absence of something needed, desirable or customary. To lack also means to fall short. The statement “I lack nothing” can be a powerful game changer in the mindset of a believer. To know and understand that the Lord is my shepherd and I lack nothing creates a shift of responsibility that will alleviate the load most of us carry on a daily basis. As believers, followers of Christ, and so-called Christians, there is no reason for us to live in poverty. We have all that is needed. However, if we do not access it then we live in a state other than offered by Jesus Christ.

The perception of lack comes from the enemies lie that God doesn’t love you and does not provide for you. The father of all lies wants to convince you that God is not a good father and is unaware or unconcerned by your present state. Alignment with the Lord and His Word produces the satisfying fruit of His Spirit that will prosper our life as He prospers our heart. The land of lack is cultivated by doubt, fear and insecurity that God may not be exactly who He says He is or might not do what His Word promises to do.

Psalm 34:8-10 (NIV) Taste and see that the Lord is good; blessed is the one who takes refuge in him. Fear the Lord, you his holy people, for those who fear him lack nothing. The lions may grow weak and hungry, but those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.

Perception is everything. Do you believe that today? Those who find contentment through thankfulness choose to live there. To attain contentment one must fill the deepest void within our heart and soul. I do not believe that our life truly lacks anything of value and worth when lived for Christ. However, our perception tells us otherwise. Our pride reminds us of those things that are not rather than in humble gratitude appreciating that which is given to us. The lack in our life is produced by deficient faith not a deficient God.

My recent guilty pleasure is online grocery shopping. I make my list, fill my cart, and go pick them up at a designated time each week. My original thought was that I would save a couple of hours each week wandering through the grocery store. After a month of using the service, I am hooked. The blessing is not just in my time but finances. I do not wander aimlessly through the store picking up impulse buys or wondering if I need something. I walk through my pantry scanning bar codes and checking supplies. Before I tried it, I was almost talked out of it by a friend. What if they forget something? What if the fruit is bruised? What if your bread is hard? What if it did not meet my expectation? I was skeptical and fearful with my first pickup. A little concerned the second time. However, now I am sold on it. I have discovered an organized pantry not filled with an abundance of items that I bought fearing I might need. I have found that I save an average of $50 a week. How many times are our lives overflowing with a surplus of things when our heart’s desire is just contentment?

Those who fear, respect, and live in reverential awe of God lack nothing. Those who trust the Lord and His Goodness will seek Him and therefore lack no good thing. Have you tasted the Goodness of God? Do you know and understand that He pursues you with unfailing love AND goodness every single day? It’s time to turn around. Stop rushing to and from trying to make things happen and find success. Success is upon you. His Name is Jesus. He is all you need to move from lack to abundance. It begins in our soul moving through our heart until it makes it to our head. We must make up our mind that we lack nothing and no good thing.

Psalm 23:4-5 (NIV) Even though I walk through the darkest valley, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.

We have nothing to fear in this life. The Lord is our Shepherd. When He came to find us, leaving the 99 just to find us the one who was lost, all of Heaven rejoiced with Him in our return! It was not a sad return but a triumphant entry. The only weapon formed against us is the lie. The enemy must keep our thoughts wrapped up in the past. He continually shows us with guilt, shame and regret hoping that someone will take hold of it. The thought that God will not do good in our life because we know who we were and what we did. Well, His Grace is enough. It is more than enough to cover every sin, fault, failure, mistake and indiscretion including every intentional thing that led to negative consequences. There is nothing that can or will ever separate us from the Love of God. The anointing of God is in you. When you returned He gave you His Spirit because of His Son – Jesus. Now you are His Son or Daughter who has an inheritance, what father does not feed and clothe his child or care for them when they are sick or injured body, mind and spirit? Not my Heavenly Father – He cares for us. He covers us. Jesus promised us a rich and satisfying life. The Lord promised to do more than we could think, ask or imagine. Where is it? Inside of you – looking for a way out.

Psalm 27:13-14 (NIV) I remain confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.

Do you believe that God loves you today? Really loves you like a father or mother loves their own child? We must build our confidence in the character of God the Father. Maybe that begins by seeing the Lord as our Shepherd. The one who guides us with an unwavering commitment of care. As our relationship grows from simple obedience becoming total trust, our perception of God will move from Shepherd to Father. His Goodness is undeniable. His Unfailing Love unfathomable in its graciousness. We must become confident that God’s Goodness is for us in the land of the living. Martha believed Jesus to be the Resurrection and Life for eternity. The day that He raised Lazarus from the dead – He became the Resurrection Power and Life for the land of the living.

The Grace of God given to us in Christ is always enough to restore a right relationship with Him. Nothing to be added or taken away. Our life will prosper in His Love and Care when we decide He is for us today – not just forever. It is God’s Will for you to prosper in all things – enjoy success – and live in abundance IN ALL THINGS. Will you wait for Him today? Stop rushing off to make it in this world and hope for a place in eternity. Tell the Lord today – You are my confidence. I lack nothing and no good thing. Keep saying it until your heart and mind agree that Jesus is always enough! When you find contentment sheep in God’s Fold – you will experience the blessings and benefits of becoming part of God’s Family.

Psalm 23:6 (NIV) Surely your goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.

Purpose

purpose

Ecclesiastes 3:11-14 (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. So I concluded there is nothing better than to be happy and enjoy ourselves as long as we can. And people should eat and drink and enjoy the fruits of their labor, for these are gifts from God. And I know that whatever God does is final. Nothing can be added to it or taken from it. God’s purpose is that people should fear him.

This morning has gotten away from me. Too many things and not enough morning. Over the years, I have become very disciplined almost religious in my morning routine. When the alarm went off at 4:30 AM, as it has every morning for the last several years, I still moan and groan but get up to face the day. Some say that making your bed every morning leads to success. To discipline ourselves to clean a little bit each day will make for a clean house. The people who have experienced such a life obviously do not have teenagers or animals roaming about sabotaging all their hard work. If achieving one’s purpose were a work of the hands alone, I believe that people would find such a life easier than it is. The real achievement of purpose comes from the contents of our heart. God placed eternity in our heart. He also put faith in us to begin the process. Only God sees our life from beginning to end and knows exactly what it will take for our soul to prosper into the purpose that brings full satisfaction and abundant life. There is no satisfaction in life apart from Jesus Christ. He is the starting point of everything that brings us abundance in our life. His Spirit starts within us weeding out all the worthless things taking the place of the worthy things that the Lord is doing in us and through us. Oh if we could learn to discipline our heart like we do our habits. To pursue the purpose of God and allow Him to produce the prosperity that we have yet to only dream about. His Promise to those who do is that He makes everything beautiful for its own time.

Romans 8:28 (NLT) And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.

Our youngest son works in my office. He is an engineering major who is learning the insurance business. He is great at math. It is his second language. I work with the regulatory side of the process. Presented with a complex issue in rating, and already knee deep in a project. I asked him to run through the algorithms and spreadsheets as the company had a question. I knew this project would take me hours to figure out. I am not a math wizard. I really only was hoping that he could at least explain it to me. Within minutes, he returned to my office and explained the confusing and complex issue. Math and science are second nature to this kid. The two subjects have always been very easy for him. All I did was give him a simple task, and within minutes his purpose was confirmed yet again. His worth to our company revealed in simple obedience. In that moment, my kid became the answer to a problem. His purpose came out in living color and his place in our workplace secure. See you never know when what God put in you will coming pouring out into purpose and prosperity.

We KNOW…God has a purpose for us. The problem is how you extricate that divine deposit from the inside of our heart to fruitfulness in life. It is way easier than we make it. We do it. Simple obedience releases purpose in our life. God has worked out all the details for us. We pursue purpose through Jesus Christ. He came to give us a rich and satisfying life. An abundant life. On the Cross, He deemed His Work finished. Coming out of the grave, He proclaimed victory over sin, death, fear, doubt, and insecurity. He released His Spirit to us to be our guide, teacher, mentor and more. We have all the components of success within us. They fill the human heart from our first cry to final breath. Christ commands our destiny. So why do I feel like a failure?

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.

The purpose will die within us if not cultivated by faith and trust in the Lord. There is a thief. He sows weeds called lies in order to choke out God’s Word which waters our faith and grows into confidence. He compares us to other people when there is no comparison. God has no favorites. He created us individually to live corporately as a Kingdom. Each has their own place and purpose which is designed to work for unity and prosperity of the Kingdom. You have no rivals. God has created you fearfully, wonderfully and marvelously to achieve your divine destiny. The only way to lose is to give up, give in or forfeit. How do I know God has purpose and it will prevail? Well…

Proverbs 19:21 (NLT) You can make many plans, but the Lord’s purpose will prevail.

God’s Word does not return to Him void. It will accomplish exactly what it set out to do. I believe that, do you? The word “prevail” means to prove superior in strength and power. It means to succeed, dominate and win out. To achieve the purpose set forth in me by God and given power and authority by Christ means all I have to do is rely on grace, trust the Lord and do what He says. Just do it! It works for Nike. It works for athletes. What about you? Have you considered simple obedience? You have wasted most of your life worrying about things that never happened. Fearing something that was just a thought. Carefully planning for the future, but not living in today. What would happen if you lived on purpose for God today?

I Corinthians 9:25-27 (NLT) All athletes are disciplined in their training. They do it to win a prize that will fade away, but we do it for an eternal prize.  So I run with purpose in every step. I am not just shadowboxing. I discipline my body like an athlete, training it to do what it should. Otherwise, I fear that after preaching to others I myself might be disqualified.

What if for one day? One set of 24 hours – you dared to believe! To trust the Lord with your life for a day. To discipline your mind to believe that He is faithful and will do exactly what He promised. To not complain about the conditions and circumstances surrounding your mundane routine and decided to praise Him confidently that every detail is handled by His Hands according to His Will. To begin to dream again if only for a day. To weed out doubt and speak life into the dead things given up in the name of foolishness and folly that really were God’s Destiny for your life. You are never too old. Too lost. Too broken. Too whatever to step into the fullness of what God has planned for you. You just have to discipline your heart and mind to accept that God isn’t finished with you yet. In fact, every detail of your life led you to this moment to read this word and say, “What if she’s right?” What if God’s Word is true? What if God really does have something planned for me? What if I can win? What if I really do have potential and purpose hidden in this hard heart? Would it be worth breaking your routine and interrupting your schedule for? Life interrupted is when God has time to work and His Spirit space to move.

Isaiah 49:3-4 (NLT) He said to me, “You are my servant, Israel, and you will bring me glory.” I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in the Lord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”

We belong to a Mighty God. His Kingdom is vast. It is easy to compare our gifts, talents and abilities with other people, but that is not God’s Plan. You have a purpose. You have eternity in your heart to start the pursuit. You have faith to prosper in it. You just have to believe. Believing leads to trust which produces confidence as the Lord continually shows that He is faithful. Simple obedience. Radical change begins in a single step. To decide that you have worth to God and His Purpose will bring full satisfaction will make it your worthwhile pursuit. You are not useless. You were made for God’s Glory. You are His Treasure. The Lord is with you. Living inside of you and working on you to complete the masterpiece that He created you to be! You were made on purpose, for a purpose, and with purpose! God’s Purpose!

Proverbs 16:4 (NLT) The Lord has made everything for his own purposes, even the wicked for a day of disaster.

Quiet Place

Quiet Place

I Peter 3:10-12 (ESV)  For whoever desires to love life and see good days, let him keep his tongue from evil and his lips from speaking deceit; let him turn away from evil and do good; let him seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

Faith is a quiet place. Once the battle of our heart and mind are won, faith takes the place of fear, anxiety and worry when our confidence is in the foundation of Christ alone. Few will ever find such a place because the enemy works day and not to uproot us with circumstances, conditions and concerns in that natural that keeps us from supernatural revelation that with God all things are possible for those who simple and fully believe. To say one has faith and continue to strive is inconsistent. The Lord offers us peace that passes all understanding. It is up to us to make up our mind who we believe and even more important who to serve. We do not lean on faith when our confidence is secure because it is our hope that sustains us. Trust and believing begins with seeds of faith planted in the Kingdom. Over time, it becomes confident hope that quiets every storm and keeps us in the waiting. Faith is a peaceful and quiet place of dwelling in the Presence of God no matter what the conditions of your life may be.

I don’t know anyone who doesn’t want to love life and see good days. Do you? There are simple instructions in this passage beginning with our conversation and communication. We must keep our tongue from speaking evil and our lips from speaking deceit. What does this mean? Our heart and mind must agree to produce words that affirm our faith and trust in the Lord rather than the current situation. We must learn to speak of His Goodness to us. It is important that our mouth speaks His Word not the way it is. Rebellion is anything contrary to God’s Word, Will and Way including what we say. To say, “I believe” and then express doubt marked by complaining, grumbling and malice is to refute our previous claim. Faith is in God alone and His Careful Concern for us that gives us confidence no matter what life looks like that He works every detail for our good.

We must turn away from evil and do good. We must stop allowing evil to penetrate our heart and mind. It is imperative to the growth and maturity of faith that we carefully filter what we feed our heart and mind on a regular basis. Like a diet counts caloric intake or carb monitoring, it is the same with our soul. To read the Word of God and study its way, but then not carefully examine what we see, hear and engage in is contradictory living. We become frustrated because those things attributed to faith are not producing good fruit when the problem is that in our fertile heart are seeds of faith and weeds of sin. We must challenge ourselves in every moment of every day to do good. Regardless of how we are treated or what we face that our character resembles that of our Savior and Lord – Jesus Christ.

I must seek peace and pursue it. Peace doesn’t find us – we must pursue it. Peace that passes understanding is offered but one must decide to accept it before it takes over. The meek inherit the land and delight themselves in abundant peace. (Psalm 37) Meekness is humility. A peaceful and quiet nature not governed by pride. Humility is exactly what God is looking for in His People to given them an abundance of peace. Peace that comes from knowing He is fighting our battles and we must only be still. Faith is quiet and gives way to thresholds of peace in God’s People. The Lord promises us peace that passes all understanding and that peace guards our hearts and minds in Christ. Do you need peace today? You must pursue it. The weapons of our warfare are not carnal but it is the tearing down of strongholds in our mind. To think like God thinks and respond per His Instructions. The battle is won in the natural. We must win the war in our heart and mind to stand victorious.

I Peter 3:4 (ESV) But let your adorning be the hidden person of the heart with the imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which in God’s sight is very precious.

This treasure of a verse is tucked in between careful instruction regarding submissiveness. Submission is the duty of every wife to her husband. There is power in submission to authority found only by the humble. We are ALL the Bride of Christ which is the submissive role in the relationship…woman or man. Our place in our covenant relationship with Jesus requires us to submit to His Authority and Power in all things. Our heart is thereby covered in the “imperishable beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit” deemed precious in God’s Sight. We do not fight for the Lord. He fights for us. If we are still, we win. It is when our flesh tells us to do more than what God has instructed that we overstep boundaries of faith into a place that we are not called to be. We do not argue the Word of God for it is truth and therefore verified all by itself. We are not in conflict with people because that would be like our right arm trying to subdue the left arm. Faith is quiet when our heart is submitted and secure in Christ alone.

Isaiah 32:17-18 (ESV) And the effect of righteousness will be peace, and the result of righteousness, quietness and trust forever. My people will abide in a peaceful habitation, in secure dwellings, and in quiet resting places.

Righteousness will produce peace in our life. Right standing with God is not based on performance but acceptance. Crazy I know and often times difficult to fully comprehend so it is human nature to throw ourselves into serving God as though it somehow is repayment of our debt to Him. The truth is that the purest form of worship is to do so by living a peaceful life. The result of righteousness is a quiet life wrapped in trust. It means trusting God in all matters and at all times simply because He is God. He loves us unconditionally. His Grace is always enough. He pursues us with His Goodness. We are His Delight. There is nothing we can do to ever change that even when living in the depths of darkness. His Love never fails us though we constantly fail Him. God’s People, those who live by faith, will abide, dwell, and live in peaceful habitation. The Holy Inhabitation of Jesus is the Holy Spirit. Peace is one of the fruits that He is cultivating in us with seeds of faith. Are you living in perfect peace today? Is your dwelling place secure? Is your existence a quiet resting place that draws others to it? If not, it can be.

Psalm 46:10 (ESV) “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Be still. Know that I am God. Faith is not logical. I say it all the time. Faith is not a practical form of living widely accepted by the average person. It doesn’t make sense at all most of the time. In fact, faith is usually developed when faced with the impossible. In other words, in situations where there is no other choice. God wants you and I to have faith. He desires to give us peace of mind and soul security so we can prosper in every area of life. It’s definitely not a “God” problem. God will do exactly as He promised that He would do. His Word cannot and will not return to Him void. We must be still and wait for the Lord. Stop fighting for every lost cause and with every person who doesn’t agree with you and be still in the Presence of the Lord who fights for you and gives you victory time and time again. You can only do this when you KNOW that He is God. When that knowing becomes living in confident hope.

Zephaniah 3:17 (ESV) The Lord your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

When our oldest son was overseas serving our country, I had this verse on my refrigerator. I prayed this over him every time I was in the kitchen. He was in a foreign land unwanted and in the enemy’s territory but God was with him. I prayed that the Presence of God would surround him especially in his sleep. I wanted him to have peace and rest each night though far from home and in constant danger. The Lord brought him back safely. Reading this today, I wonder if we are all not facing battles every day. Battles of our heart and mind without absolute confidence in the hope we have so our striving becomes strife. We begin to fight for something that already belongs to us simply for the asking. God will give us His Peace. We can rest in the stillness of the quiet place of faith. The Lord is in our midst. He is the Mighty One who will save, heal and deliver us. He rejoices over us with gladness because He loves us. He quiets us, soothes us and revives us in His Love. He signs over us as a mother to their sleeping child out of an overflowing love from the innermost depths of their heart as only a parent could understand. God loves us. We can trust that love in all circumstances and craziness of this life. We must only step over the boundaries of fear, doubt and insecurity into the quiet place called faith.

Isaiah 26:3 (ESV) You keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you.