No More Resolutions

No More Resolutions

2 Peter 1:4-5 (NLT) And because of his glory and excellence, he has given us great and precious promises. These are the promises that enable you to share his divine nature and escape the world’s corruption caused by human desires. In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. 

Renew. Restore. Revive. Radical. Reckless. To respond. The “R”’s of my rambling for 2018. Tonight at sundown or a little after, our family will begin our annual fast for the New Year. For eleven days, through fasting and prayer, as a body of believers (yes, just the four of us), we will seek the Face of God for many areas of our life. To focus our family and life in one direction. The Way. To turn away from the worthless things that so easily captivate our attention and rob us of time. As I began to write in my journal today, I found these words forming from the ink of the pen. I am asking the Lord to renew me from the inside out. To restore me after a month of minor illness and inconvenience. To revive my passion and desire to pursue Him wholeheartedly leaving behind the distractions from 2017. To make my love for others radical in recognition of His Love for me. To be reckless in my pursuit of Christ making faith seem the only option. To respond to all of God’s Promises. To believe that God is doing exactly what He said and to let His Spirit fortify my fickle heart. I can make a list of habits to change, budgets to follow, and schedules to keep but if Christ is not the priority in all of them – what’s the point?

No more resolutions. The power to change is the Christ in me. It is not something I do but what He does in me. I am giving up on resolutions and instead this year I choose to respond to God’s Promises instead. Why? Because of His Glory and Excellence, He has given (me) great and precious promises. These promises enable (me) to share in His Divine Nature. A resolution is a firm decision on my part to do or not to do something any longer. It is the action of solving a problem, dispute or contentious matter. It is me. A resolution is self-resolve to fix something that appears to be broken or dysfunctional. Well…I have come to the conclusion after fifty-one years of life – I can’t fix it. I cannot make “me” a better person. I am going to fail. I will mess up. I will fall short. I will give up, give in and give out depending on the situation. The only good thing in me is Jesus Christ. The Power of Christ is manifested in my weakness. So this year, I no longer resolve to make me a better person but let Christ transform me into a new creation. (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Titus 3:4-7 (NLT) But—When God our Savior revealed his kindness and love, he saved us, not because of the righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He washed away our sins, giving us a new birth and new life through the Holy Spirit. He generously poured out the Spirit upon us through Jesus Christ our Savior. Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life.

Jesus Christ revealed God’s Kindness and Love for us. When He saved us, it was finished. The process of redemption complete. The renewal process made available to all mankind. He washed our sin away. Gave us a new birth and new life through His Spirit. Generously His Spirit is on us identifying us as God’s Precious Children. It is said that you do not pick your parents which is absolutely true. In this case specifically, God chose you. He chose me. God, the Father, decided that He loved us and wanted us. His Reckless Love would stop at nothing to have us. I wonder what would happen if for just a moment, a single solitary second, we could completely wrap our head around the Truth that the entire process of salvation and redemption is a direct result of the Love of God. He had no other intention but to pour out unfailing love and unfathomable goodness on His Beloved. Would we respond differently? Absolutely. Religion would be crushed beneath the heaviness of unconditional love in the church and “whosoever come” would be plastered over the doors and altars while those who want to be loved would come pouring in.

Because of his grace he made us right in his sight and gave us confidence that we will inherit eternal life. Grace is the reason that God loves me and is for me. It is the essence of relationship that if we could just wrap our heads tightly around it – faith would not be so hard and confident hope the common sense of our life. We can go into the world and try to share the love of Jesus Christ but until we understand that His Love, Grace and Kindness are for us and there is nothing further that we can do but receive it – our message is in vain. Perfect love casts out all fear. Fearless faith comes from a heart that comes to know God’s Unfailing Love and accepts it as a way of life. This will enable us to “respond” to God’s Promises rather than trying to earn them or deserve them which cannot be done.

Proverbs 3:3-4 (ESV) Let not steadfast love and faithfulness forsake you; bind them around your neck; write them on the tablet of your heart. So you will find favor and good success in the sight of God and man.

This year it is my deepest desire to live in God’s Steadfast Love and Faithfulness to the fullest. I must bind His Promises around my neck and continually inscribe them on my heart. My love is imperfect. It tends to be conditional. It has flaws and faults that the Lord continually works on. I will never love like Jesus unless I love through Jesus. The Christ in me must be given wide open space. The Spirit in me must be the ruler of my heart, mind, soul and body at all times. The Favor of God and Good Success that I believe God has promised us is not in my ability to do everything right this year, but to continually seek the Lord wholeheartedly. I must decrease so that He can increase.

I wonder what would happen in our natural life if we lived as though supernatural promises were inevitable. What if we decided that God is good, His Love unfailing, His Grace enough, and His Faithfulness forever? Would it change the potential of our life? Would it change us? We must invest our mind, soul, body and spirit into obtaining the promises of God which begins by believing that they actually exist and are obtainable rather than living a diversified life with one foot in the world and the other in the Kingdom. It is impossible to establish dual residency with God. He is not a wishy washy – halfhearted God. You love Him or you hate Him. There is no coexistence in the Kingdom. You embrace Christ or idols. See we live in a world of moving lines and shifting sand – it makes a completely constant God who is always good and always loving and always kind very hard to believe so we must not lean on our own understanding. (Proverbs 3:5)

2 Peter 1:5-7 (NLT) In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone.

Responding to the Promises of God. This is my resolve for this New Year. This is the year that I will allow God to be God and simply cling to Him. I must supplement faith with qualities and characteristics produced by God’s Spirit inside of me. I must embrace and acknowledge the Holy Spirit as He is my teacher, guide, counselor and even comforter in the process of becoming a new creation. Transformation is not comfortable. It is inconvenient. It is uncontrollable. It takes time that I don’t think I have. Yet, in the end, it will all be worth it. Forever is the past, present and future wrapped neatly into a package called life. God knows the beginning from the end. It is His Unfailing Love and Faithfulness that has brought you this far and will carry you through. You have done nothing to facilitate the process other than present your worthless life to Jesus Christ. Rather than making any more resolutions. This year I am changing my resolve. I want all that God has for me. I must submit my life to Christ all over again. All of it. Holding nothing back, making the decision that this life is not about me – nevertheless Christ is for me. His Promises are real. His Love is true. His Word lasts forever. He is faithful. To this I will respond…

Proverbs 3:5-6 (ESV) Trust in the Lord with all your heart, and do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make straight your paths.

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A Time to Reflect

A Time to Reflect

Philippians 4:8 (NLT)  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.

This morning writing the date in my journal, I still cannot believe it is the last day of 2017. Where did this year go? It flew by in an instant. I love the New Year…every year. It is always a new beginning. A fresh start when gym memberships flourish, new habits are formed, and so many good intentions are set forth. Looking back over the past year, how many were successful? What about the unexpected things that happened? Did you lose someone close to you? The seasons of life go by and without time to reflect one becomes another until our life is nothing but a course of events.

The last couple of weeks have been challenging as our family has been hit by a nasty virus that I have labeled the “plague”. Sickness and exhaustion have kept us homebound. It has been a quiet time. The usual hustle and bustle stilled to a snail’s pace. My husband actually went to Target with us yesterday desperate to get out of the house. Ironically, it is in this sickness when activity grinds to a stop and best intentions turn into a long winter’s nap that I have time to reflect.

The highlights of the past year far outweigh my disappointments. God is good. He is always good. His Faithfulness is evident in my life. We have many things to look forward to in the coming year. However, human nature often discards those good things to focus on what didn’t happen. Reflection will often lead to regret if not redirected. Perception is driven by perspective. I must align my perspective with God’s Promises and by faith accept them as the inevitable. Faith believes all that confident hope offers as a definitive in our life or at least, it should. Fear tells us to give up on faith when it doesn’t produce what we want in our timeline. God has placed eternity in our hearts and we are eternal beings. The Grace of God offered through His Son, Jesus Christ, gives us access to the Kingdom and every blessing God has for us. His Promises become the premise of our life.

Fix your thoughts on what is true, honorable, right, pure, lovely and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise. God will do exactly what He has promised to do in you and through you. He will prosper you as your soul prospers right where you are. The effort that releases such things in our life is faith. We must fix our heart and mind on faith for 2018 to experience the life God promised for us. It is important to reflect on the past year but to leave regret in 2017. God’s Grace is always enough. It is completely sufficient and will make a way where there is no way. It opens doors that no one can shut. All you have to do is believe. There is no need to carry regret, disappointment or sadness into the coming year. It is not the lifestyle of the believer. Repentance offers things like refinement, renewal, restoration and revival which are all good and life-giving qualities. The enemy can take nothing from you or the Hand of God in safekeeping for you. God is all-powerful, all-knowing and everywhere. He is protecting your promises and potential until the time comes for fulfillment.

I Corinthians 13:11-13 (NLT) When I was a child, I spoke and thought and reasoned as a child. But when I grew up, I put away childish things. 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.

All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely. I am reminded in my reflection that I cannot see things with the clarity of God. At least not yet, there are things that exist in my life that create uncertainty. Not because God is not completely confident in His Way, but because like everyone else I struggle with believing sometimes. When God speaks to my heart, I grab hold of His Words a paint an elaborate portrait in vivid detail of what it will look like creating a master plan of my own. When He has only given me of a glimpse of the greatness of the work that He is doing in my life. When it does work out the way that I planned, I am often humbled at the feet of my Lord in the realization that He didn’t let me down. I let myself down. If I can do it, it’s not God. This year, I want to be mature in childlike faith. When God speaks listening, but not assuming.

Three things will last forever – if the thought, attitude or action is not representative of faith, hope and especially love then I must let it go. Rebellious thoughts that come disguised as good intentions, motivation or even hard work that are really just pride trying to get a leg up – they must also be subject to God’s Word and His Three Essentials – faith, hope and love. It sounds simplistic. It is. We have so complicated the gospel of Jesus Christ that no one seems to be finding their way to Him. I don’t want to be that person. My hope for 2018 is for my life to reflect Jesus Christ to all mankind. I must fight my flesh to make this a reality.

2 Peter 1:5-8 (NLT) In view of all this, make every effort to respond to God’s promises. Supplement your faith with a generous provision of moral excellence, and moral excellence with knowledge, and knowledge with self-control, and self-control with patient endurance, and patient endurance with godliness, and godliness with brotherly affection, and brotherly affection with love for everyone. The more you grow like this, the more productive and useful you will be in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.

In 2018, it is my goal to make every effort to respond to God’s Promises and NOT REACT to everything and everyone else. This is going to require a disciplined life. It is a character change from humanity to Godly Identity. To live in the spiritual and supernatural realm yet function in the natural. I can do it. But it will mean a great deal of self-control which is a fruit of God’s Spirit in me and not human nature. I must strive to allow God to build my character to acquire every promise set forth for my life. I must grow, mature and develop in order to be more productive and useful for Christ.

2 Corinthians 3:17-18 (NLT) For the Lord is the Spirit, and wherever the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. So all of us who have had that veil removed can see and reflect the glory of the Lord. And the Lord—who is the Spirit—makes us more and more like him as we are changed into his glorious image.

In 2018, I will live in freedom. Free from fear, worry, anxiety and doubt that will restrict and inhibit the freedom given to me by Christ. I ask the Lord to help my unbelief. My relationship with Jesus Christ is defined by freedom. To live, love and laugh. To pursue the dreams and aspirations that He has given me. To live a limitless life unrestricted so the Lord can change our ordinary existence to extraordinary abundance as I am changed into His Image. God has not given me the spirit of fear so I must strive daily not to accept it in my life. Whom the Son sets free is free indeed. It is in this freedom that God can complete the good work that He began in us.

Ecclesiastes 5:19-20 (NLT) And it is a good thing to receive wealth from God and the good health to enjoy it. To enjoy your work and accept your lot in life—this is indeed a gift from God. God keeps such people so busy enjoying life that they take no time to brood over the past.

In 2018, I will enjoy the gift of life that God has given me. Are you happy? Are you content? Are you at peace? What is missing? There is an attitude of gratitude that can overcome many of these problems. God’s Goodness is for us in the land of the living. Too often – we get so busy living that we lose sight of the goodness evident in our everyday existence. I have a good life. Thankfulness for this gift that I have been given and His Goodness all around me will change my life. As my soul prospers, so will everything else. To a life aligned with the Lord is to acknowledge the good things that He has already done for us. Thankfulness overcomes discontentment. It will change our sadness into joy turning our face from the clock marked “waiting” to all the answered prayers around us. Every good thing in my life came straight from God.

2 Peter 3:8-9 (NLT) But you must not forget this one thing, dear friends: A day is like a thousand years to the Lord, and a thousand years is like a day. The Lord isn’t really being slow about his promise, as some people think. No, he is being patient for your sake.

Looking ahead to 2018, I carry the hopeful expectation of God’s Word that has not yet come to pass in my life. I will leave behind regrets and disappointments because they are all just lies of the enemy. Worthless weight better left in the past. Lord, I will enter the New Year full of expectation. As I reflect on 2017, all I can say is “Thank You!” You are awesome as usual. Moving ahead, I will continue to trust your Plan for my life because “a day is like a thousand years to (You) and a thousand years is like a day.” You are not in a hurry because time is not an issue for you because you have made a time for everything already. Moving into the next year, I realize that there are things from this year that will bloom, blossom and reproduce there that would have been aborted if risen up too soon. Thank you Lord that Your Promises are my reality. Keep me close in 2018 – it will be another good year – of this I am quite sure! Let my life and everything in it be a true reflection of Your Love and Faithfulness and the fact that You are always good!

Proverbs 27:19 (NIV) As water reflects the face, so one’s life reflects the heart.

The Unexpected

The Unexpected

2 Peter 3:10-11 (NLT) 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,

The unexpected can bring joy and distress. An unexpected gift or act of random kindness can fill us with excitement. An unexpected diagnosis can shatter a good life in mere seconds. People choose the known rather than unknown because fear cannot allow hope to shine through. The Light of God’s Love that chases away darkness even in our darkest hour. The day of the Lord will come as unexpectedly as a thief. Sin has made the world unstable at the return of the Lord. His Perfection will melt the earth and only those who choose holy and godly lives will live through it. Daunting I know. Yet on a daily basis, do we truly consider the unexpected arrival of Jesus Christ or live in fear of the timeline of life. Unmet expectation placed in a dying place rather than investing in a reproductive heaven. When Jesus returns for us, there will be great judgment. There are only two sides – light and darkness. The Light drives out all darkness even that hidden in human, fickle hearts. Our focus on this life overshadows our constant and ongoing awareness that the Lord will return unexpectedly.

Regret and remorse are terrible baggage not meant for us to carry once Christ inhabits our life. The permeation of His Spirit gives us constant access to the Father where it is possible to release those things that once kept us bound in our past and present. He gives us a sense of our future and hope that allows us to live bravely and fearlessly. If the perspective of our life could change to that of expectancy, it would impact how we live and the choices made in any given moment. Repentance would be the prayer language of God’s People. The Holy Spirit would be released and His Glory would surround us because we know He is coming for us and desire to be ready. There is more to the Kingdom than simple salvation. Salvation is the handle that opens a door to a storehouse of blessings, promises and the unexpected with the potential to always change our life for the better. We must access it by faith and belief that the Lord is coming like a thief to carry us away.

Matthew 25:10-13 (NLT) “But while they were gone to buy oil, the bridegroom came. Then those who were ready went in with him to the marriage feast, and the door was locked. Later, when the other five bridesmaids returned, they stood outside, calling, ‘Lord! Lord! Open the door for us!’ “But he called back, ‘Believe me, I don’t know you!’ “So you, too, must keep watch! For you do not know the day or hour of my return.

The Parable of the Ten Virgins is a warning. A careful indication of those who know the Lord but do not live in expectancy. Expectancy requires preparation. It is a life of endurance that maintains a state of readiness until the end. Five of these young ladies were ready. They were prepared. When the bridegroom, representative of Jesus Christ, came they were ready and waiting on him. Are we? The others got carried away with life. Rushing out to get more oil as they were not properly prepared or perhaps wasted it on lesser things. While they were wandering and searching for oil, their groom arrived but they were not there. Jesus used this parable to explain the Kingdom and proper preparation for His Unexpected Arrival. Oil is used to represent anointing in many narratives. The anointing in us is the Holy Spirit. He creates desire and discipline to become one with Jesus. His Presence in us should create expectancy that overflows into the life lived each day.

“Believe me, I don’t know you!” It is the certainty of expectancy that initiates preparation. If we believed that Christ is returning with a Kingdom prepared for us, it would impact how we live. What difference would it make? One might think that those who await Christ must be religiously prepared living a life of perfection and absolute adherence to His Commands. Our flesh will not allow it. At constant odds with our spirit, outside of His Grace there is no perfection. So it is in profound humility that absorbs God’s Grace every day that allows us to properly prepare for the return of Christ. To get our house in order is to focus on the Temple of His Spirit and wait in hopeful expectation each day. It means reserving ourselves for Christ, retrieving all the pieces of our life given to lesser things and returning them to Jesus as a careful offering of submission and surrender to His Word, Will and Way. Jesus isn’t come for religious people but those He calls “beloved” and lives in an ongoing relationship with.

I Thessalonians 5:4-11 (NLT) But you aren’t in the dark about these things, dear brothers and sisters, and you won’t be surprised when the day of the Lord comes like a thief. For you are all children of the light and of the day; we don’t belong to darkness and night. So be on your guard, not asleep like the others. Stay alert and be clearheaded. Night is the time when people sleep and drinkers get drunk. But let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation. For God chose to save us through our Lord Jesus Christ, not to pour out his anger on us. Christ died for us so that, whether we are dead or alive when he returns, we can live with him forever. So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Be on your guard, not asleep as others.

When the Lord comes for you, will He know you? Marriages fall apart and couples break up in the shadow of unmet expectation. Relationships taken for granted and starved for attention suddenly crumble under the weight of ignorance. Busyness steals the attention once given to love. Selfishness devours that once surrendered heart. Pride determines it deserves better than this and goes on the hunt for yet another conquest to feed its need. We must guard our heart. It holds our greatest treasure. The very thing that draws us close to the Lord. The flames of our passion for Christ – to know Him and make Him known – cannot be left untended or it will end in divorce. Nothing can ever separate us from the Love of God. However, we can choose other loves and commit adultery with idols given a greater place in our heart than Jesus.

…Let us who live in the light be clearheaded, protected by the armor of faith and love, and wearing as our helmet the confidence of our salvation.

Believers who choose to live in the Light of His Love must be clearheaded. Our minds must be washed in His Word. Our hearts covered in His Blood. Christ who is the Author and Finisher of faith must be our focus with the rest of our life falling carefully beneath Him into place. When our priorities are out of order, the trap for rebellion and failure are set. The enemy uses many distractions to draw us into an unsafe place. He offers compromises, substitutions and settlements designed to lure us from the place of waiting expectantly for Christ. The urgency of this world is not what we think. It is not in the rat race or chasing the American Dream. The urgent expectancy is the return of Christ. Where will you be when He comes for you? At work, but you left Him at home. Living your life the way you desire, leaving your desire for Him behind. Chasing after lesser things for immediate gratification rather basking in confident hope at His Arrival. Will He even know you? When was the last time you talked to Jesus? Walked with Him? Repented? Desired His Grace? Longed for a closer proximity to your First Love? Do you spend any time with Him at all? How much of your life is given to Christ today? It is an important question to ask if your desire is His Kingdom.

So encourage each other and build each other up, just as you are already doing.

Finally, our purpose in life is to build the Kingdom. Be light in the dark. Be salt. Our life a beacon like a lighthouse on the shore or city on a hill drawing others to the Lord. Encourage each other. To build each other up. We miss this sometimes. Human nature is to focus on self. The Fruit of God’s Spirit that is cultivated within us is for more than meeting our needs, wants and desires. They become our offering to a world starved for attention and affirmation. They are looking for love in a world where it has grown cold. Are we building the Kingdom with love or destroying it with selfish ambition and prideful conquests? Jesus is coming again. He expects us to be prepared living expectant lives of complete confidence that produces humility, honor and absolutely fearless love. To give our lives away in His Name expecting nothing from this world but awaiting His Return. We didn’t bring anything with us and cannot take it with us so why not live completely generous lives in the Name of Jesus. Emulating His Character, sharing His Word, spreading His Love all around, and not worrying about the everyday cares that might keep us from Him in the end.

Revelation 3:2-3 (NLT) Wake up! Strengthen what little remains, for even what is left is almost dead. I find that your actions do not meet the requirements of my God. Go back to what you heard and believed at first; hold to it firmly. Repent and turn to me again. If you don’t wake up, I will come to you suddenly, as unexpected as a thief.

The unexpected doesn’t have to be so scary. It doesn’t have to be fearful at all. In fact, expectancy in Jesus Christ is ALWAYS a good thing. His Love is for us. He has given us His Peace that should create confidence even in the most diverse situation or circumstances. There is always a reason for hope when the Name of Jesus is evident. We must wake up as believers that just because plans, schedules and routines do not add an ounce of certainty to our lives. The inspiration of God’s Spirit and His Leading cannot be ignored – where Jesus comes for us individually or corporately it will be unexpected. We must pay attention to the details of our life. We must surrender our hearts and minds to Him daily. Living moment by moment by the Word of God and for the Glory of God – not religiously but continuing to abide in a deep, loving and committed marriage and partnership with Jesus Christ.

Revelation 3:20-21 (NLT) “Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends. Those who are victorious will sit with me on my throne, just as I was victorious and sat with my Father on his throne.

 

To Be Immovable

To Be Immovable

I Corinthians 15:58 (NIV) Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

The world is full of distractions. Detours are at just about every turn. Delays drain our patience. Doubt fills the void. Discouragement overshadows confidence. Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. The current is swift and is always moving. Yet believers are called to be steadfast and immoveable. Feelings and emotions get the best of us sometimes and pride tells us there is no turning back. How does one become immovable? Is it possible that within our humanness there is enough character to become fully confident and totally trusting of a God who cannot be seen? To walk by faith and not by sight. It is our calling. It is the purpose of all who follow Christ. To find the diligence in discipleship that allows us to submit our life fully and completely until established in our faith and moved by nothing but the Lord. I desire to be a disciple of Jesus Christ, therefore; I must find such a place.

Leaving a party, I was following my husband through the winding roads of an unfamiliar place. A warning light came on indicating the tailgate of my vehicle was not fully closed. I pulled over to secure it and realized that he had continued on his way. He did not see that I had fallen behind. I took out my phone and used the app for directions. It took it a little while for it to load my location due to poor service. I waited. Once it completed the operation, it rerouted my route so I had to turn around. Finally, I was on my way again. I have lived long enough and been lost more than once so I know that the last thing I needed to do was keep driving looking trying to find my way. I had everything I needed to make it to my destination. I have confidence in the little tracking device as it has taken me many places. The hardest part is the waiting. Waiting will always be a part of our process. It is the part where trust is testing and confidence established.

Faith enables us to believe and receive. Trust is the vehicle of faith that takes us to our destination marked abundance. Human logic immediately translates the Favor of God in financial or monetary aspects. Truly the abundance of the heart and soul are love, joy and peace found only in a relationship with God through His Son, Jesus Christ. As our soul prospers so will our natural life. Proper order and priority is the key to prosperity. By faith, believers walk in God’s Fullness beginning with the Fruit of His Spirit. Love, joy and peace are only the beginning of all God has for us. He continues with “forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control.” These are the key ingredients of a steadfast and immovable life in Christ. Each one nourishing a part of our mind, soul and body otherwise left to the deterioration of sin and ignorance. That’s right…ignorance. God clearly defines ignorance as a killer. (Hosea 4:6) To serve the Lord properly is to know His Word and apply it to our life effectively.

Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.

Confidence in God’s Word, His Power, His Authority and His Goodness will promote faithfulness. It must become a priority in our life that overcomes pride, selfishness and even busyness. To serve the Lord with persistence and diligence even when the way is unclear, uncertain, or even impossible. How do we remain unwavering, steadfast and immovable in the Lord despite hardship, hurt feelings, and overwhelming circumstances? It is a state of constant giving. To give ourselves fully to the Lord means bit by bit and piece by piece of our life is surrendering and submitted to God and His Word until all of us is fully invested in all of Him. The same verse, I Corinthians 15:58 in the New King James Versions calls brothers and sisters “beloved”. I am the one who Christ calls beloved. Like a groom to his soon-to-be bride whispered in the intimate embrace full of expectant exhilaration of the future that is at hand. I wonder how our effort and determination might change if our mind could fully conceive the capacity of God’s Love for us and His Commitment to our fulfillment as His Beloved.

I Peter 3:8-9 (NIV) But, beloved, do not forget this one thing, that with the Lord one day is as a thousand years, and a thousand years as one day. The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

I Peter 3:14 (NKJV) Therefore, beloved, looking forward to these things, be diligent to be found by Him in peace, without spot and blameless…

In the popular worship song, How He Loves, my favorite verse and constant reminder is that “We are His Portion and He is our Prize, drawn to redemption by the grace in His Eyes, if grace is an ocean, we’re all sinking. And Heaven meets earth like an unforeseen kiss, and my heart turns violently inside of my chest. I don’t have time to maintain these regrets when I think about the way that He loves us.” The greatest hindrance in our life as a believer is doubt and disbelief. To know Christ and His Love any other way than fully is an injustice of His Grace. The Grace of God leads to righteousness through Jesus Christ to the fulfillment of every individual who fully engages in pursuing His Love completely trusting and fully faithful. Diligence comes when doubt and disbelief are eradicated.

I wonder what might happen if one fully realized the kind of love that Jesus has for us. The kind of fathomless grace offered in finding our way and fully realizing the potential of new life. Marriage always needs a whole lot of love, grace and forgiveness to successfully overcome statistics. Jesus has such grace for us. He wants to live a love story with us. We must accept His Love and grow in the relationship to find the persistence, perseverance and diligence to become steadfast and immovable. Such a realization allows us to put all expectation in the Lord and stop expecting perfection from people. It slays our pride and opens our heart to love freely and generously.

Hebrews 6:17-20 (NKJV) Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us.  This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

God is constantly promoting and producing abundance for our life. What is abundance? It means to superabound, have in excess, greatly surpass and excel. The word shows the generosity of God’s Grace giving assurance that faithful use of one’s talents and gifts set the stage for one’s advancement. This is our hope in Him. New life. New creation. New things. New possibilities. However, without hope, we cannot attain such things. Hope is the anchor of our soul that keeps us persistent and patient in the testing, temptation and trials of life. When presented with an alternative, substitution, settlement or counterfeit, it is easily identifiable given our knowledge of His Character and Intentions for us so we are able to endure and remain steadfast and immovable as we await with expectation fulfillment according to His Word. Jesus did not die for us to live status quo or so-so existences. It is our disbelief and doubt that hinder due diligence.

The surety and steadfast of salvation is God’s Word. Jesus came in the flesh to live out God’s Love for us. He left with the promise to return for a bride spotless and blameless. His Grace is enough to fully transform us but it is our weakness that allows us to claim it fully and completely. Those who believe that by grace they are saved through faith and not of themselves must come to this realization to live God’s Revelation for their life.

Psalm 51:10-11 (NKJV) Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your Presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me.

This is my prayer today. I want a steadfast heart. One that is not easily distracted by the detours and delays in life but fully trusting in God’s Word, His Promise and Purpose for my life. It will require an immovable heart fully trusting Him at His Word. Walking by faith and not by sight. Waiting until He speaks, moves and leads. This is not my natural character and the very thing pride is always trying to stop. Submission to the Lord and living in full surrender will always come at the sacrifice of self. The freedom found is indescribable. The moment persistence is born of patience and one is able to wait out the process and receive the promise will change us forever.

What is stopping you today? Feed it the fruit of God’s Spirit. He gives us everything we need to overcome. In every situation, we win. It is confidence in the hope given to us that allows us to obtain the victory described in God’s Word. Jesus is our champion. We must trust the Lord to do all He has promised and allow Him to be our portion. He is our prize. Grace gives us every opportunity to live a life of fulfillment and abundance by offering the paltry sum of self for the perfection of God. Ask the Lord to give you eagerness in your pursuit of Him today. Eagerness will combine thinking and acting. It will partner planning and producing. It is inception and action that leads to follow through in our natural life for a spiritual fulfillment. To exert ourselves, make every effort, make haste, be zealous and strain every nerve to further the cause of Christ in us, through us and all around us. God is good! I believe that wholeheartedly. Am I willing to invest in it is the question? Are you immovable? Are you steadfast? Do you believe? God is good all the time. He is patient, loving and kind. He will never let us down. The Lord is our hope and salvation. He gives enough grace to overcome every weakness with power. I will be unstoppable when I become immovable because Christ is in me.

Psalm 112:6-8 (NKJV) Surely he will never be shaken; the righteous will be in everlasting remembrance. He will not be afraid of evil tidings; his heart is steadfast, trusting in the Lord. His heart is established; he will not be afraid, until he sees his desire upon his enemies.

All in the Waiting

All in the Waiting

Ecclesiastes 7:8 (NKJV) The end of a thing is better than its beginning; the patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit.

The end of a thing is better than its beginning. The conclusion reveals a concept fully conceived and completed. The destination is the end of the journey. When our children were younger, trip planning and preparation was essential. The word “spontaneity” was not in the vocabulary when accompanied by almost a half dozen children. I would begin the process months before our trip. I would reserve condos or homes rather than hotel rooms. Plan activities that would be kid-friendly and parent approved. The day before would be endless checklists of everything one might need for the family and a printed map to the nearest Wal-Mart close to our accommodations. But when we finally arrived at the desired location, unloaded the car, and began our vacation – the end was definitely better than the beginning while enjoying our family and making memories. May I encourage you just a little today? The place that God has promised to take you – He is now preparing you for. The end will be better than the beginning if you choose to allow Him the time to prepare you for it and prepare it for you.

The patient in spirit is better than the proud in spirit. Having five children is the product of multiple pregnancies. A tiny egg inside the body that becomes a living breathing person. It is nothing short of miraculous. Pregnancy is the process to the promise. Just ask Abraham, who for his entire lifetime desired a child. When it finally came to pass, he was in his nineties. I cannot even imagine such a thing. Once the process of pregnancy begins so does the waiting. It takes nine months or 40 weeks on average from start to finish. In my case, I tend to gestate for 42 weeks which means I had to wait two extra weeks to meet my children. Our last child was a scheduled induction. She was due to be born on Christmas, and due to my readiness to be done, the doctor picked a day to induce the labor process. After three completely natural childbirth experiences, I was not ready for what was in store. Tweaking the natural process of childbirth does not always work with our body or timing. My other children were delivered in about two hours. It took more than 12 hours to see her beautiful face. She had trouble along the way due to the fact she was not fully in position. God’s Timing is an essential part of His Plan and Process. You are pregnant with promises today that the Lord planned for you and is preparing for you. Waiting is an important part of that process to have the desired result of God’s Very Best. Just as interrupting my body’s birth plan made the delivery much harder than before, so it is when we do not endure God’s Process. If you want God’s Promises, there is always a process that goes with it. The promise has a time and place for its arrival. We must wait for it.

Proverbs 14:29 (NKJV) He who is slow to wrath has great understanding, but he who is impulsive exalts folly.

The literal translation of the word “impulsive” in this verse means “short of spirit.” Impulsivity is characteristic of human nature and can only be overcome by self-control. Our will can overcome many things by changing habits or applying knowledge to become wisdom in our life and essentially making better choices. However, to become the person God has called you to be and do what He has commissioned you to do requires the Spirit’s self-control that overpowers our flesh giving way to God’s Plan. To be impulsive is to be swayed by emotional or involuntary impulses. It is the opposite of steadfast and immovable qualities which are essential to growing our faith into hopeful confidence and the ability to trust the Lord even in His Timing. Impulse is the influence of our feelings, emotions or mental state so it is subject to change with our condition. We must learn to be patient in our faith. Patience is developed and matured by the art of waiting. We must learn to be patient and faithful in the waiting.

Hebrews 6:11-12 (NKJV)  And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

When a pregnancy ends too soon, there is an abortion, miscarriage, or prematurity. Abortion is when someone chooses to end the process. Miscarriage is failure to attain the just, right or desired result. Prematurity means occurring, coming or done before maturity or proper timing. Babies who are born prematurely are not fully developed and ready to sustain life on their own in many cases. A promise aborted, miscarried, or prematurely released will never reach its full potential because it is out of God’s Timing. God’s Promises are made beautiful in His Timing. We must wait for God to complete the good work that He begins in us rather than forcing a counterfeit or substitution by accepting less than God’s Very Best. We must show the “same diligence to full assurance of hope until the end.” We must endure to the end to be saved. Do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises.

Hebrews 6:15 (NKJV) And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

Abraham had to wait until he was over 90 years old to receive his promise. How long have you been waiting? Does it feel like a lifetime? Does every old season just give way to a new season of preparation rather than the prospering harvest of God’s Promise? Faith and patience inherit the promise. Nothing less and nothing more. Our willingness to wait on the Lord and trust Him until He delivers is essential in obtaining every spiritual blessing and fulfilling every high calling in our life planned by God and promised in Christ.

Psalm 37:3-7 (NKJV) Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, and He shall give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. He shall bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday. Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him; do not fret because of him who prospers in his way, because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass.

The prosperity of patient and faith is God’s Promises. Trust takes dedication to doing good, dwelling where God placed you, and dining on His Faithfulness. It is to delight in the Lord while He plans, prepares and promotes His Promises for you. To make the commit to see this thing out to the very end and trust Him UNTIL He brings it to pass. Trusting God’s Timing is one of the biggest challenges because walking by faith and not by sight is tough. His Timing usually leads us to the impossible so that by faith the impossible becomes our promise. He is bringing forth His Righteousness and Faithfulness so your life will resonate His Glory all around so others can experience His Goodness and Love. Rest in this season of waiting friend as I try to do the very same thing. Wait patiently for Him and do not compare your life to other Christians but accept your calling in Jesus Christ. He is preparing you for something more than you can think to ask for or even imagine. (Ephesians 3:20)

Zechariah 4:10 (NKJV) For who has despised the day of small things? For these seven rejoice to see the plumb line in the hand of Zerubbabel. They are the eyes of the Lord, which scan to and fro throughout the whole earth.”

Do not despise small beginnings. Israel faithfully completed the second temple but to them it seemed small. They became discouraged. The temple was only a tiny step in God’s Great Big Plan. God is still building His Church, His Kingdom, and completing the Body of Christ. We must celebrate new beginnings, patiently wait through each process, and endure to the end to receive every promise ordained in our life. The bigger the promise the greater the preparation. Patience is born in the waiting rooms of life. It is the place where tiny seeds of faith sprout and blossom into trees of life with leaves that do not wither and bearing fruit in every season. Abraham carried the tiny, single seed that would become Isaac inside of him for almost a century. Faith is the size of a mustard seed but has the potential to become life everlasting. It takes time to grow. It is not an overnight sensation but a lifelong legend. God is doing something in you and through you far greater than human comprehension understands. You will need to invest your faith and time into waiting so His Spirit can produce the characteristics and qualities necessary to have all that He promised because honestly right now you couldn’t handle it. Do not resent small begins. Do not vacate waiting on the things of God. Give yourself wholeheartedly to do all that He is asking you to do. Jeremiah 29:11-13 expresses the connection between wholehearted obedience and God’s Plan. Read it. Trust becomes confidence when exercised properly. Faithfulness in the smallest things will produce more as God increases us in our ability to have faith, trust Him and wait while He works all things together for our good and His Glory. It is all in the waiting friend. I must choose to wait.

Philippians 1:6 (NKJV) Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ…

 

Dig a Little Deeper

Gardening shovel in the soil

Luke 6:47-49 (NLT) I will show you what it’s like when someone comes to me, listens to my teaching, and then follows it. It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock. When the floodwaters rise and break against that house, it stands firm because it is well built. But anyone who hears and doesn’t obey is like a person who builds a house right on the ground, without a foundation. When the floods sweep down against that house, it will collapse into a heap of ruins.”

Discouragement and desperation are both driving forces that can lead to a desire or defeat depending on how a person responds to them. Human desire is never satisfied. I believe that but what if that natural state of discontentment is a hidden plan by God to move us from complacency, compromise, and conflict into a state of total confidence founded on faith that builds the rich, satisfying life that Jesus promised to us. I once worked with a young man who shared some sage advice. Though it may not sound godly or very Christ-like, I believe that there is a bit of truth to it. Ringing close to the old saying, “Give somebody enough rope to hang themselves”, he said, “Give them everything they need to succeed.” Seems kind of like a cup half full or half empty type of thing to me. But it’s true, I have been in situations where people do not want to listen. I raised three very competent and independent people who what I call stubbornness – they call drive. They come by it honestly. They are not “tell me” kind of people but “show me”. I wonder if the Lord gives us opportunities sometimes that maybe are viewed as problems, trials and tests or even impossible situations not to “discipline” us in the way one might think but create a desire by discontentment that leads us to the “rich and satisfying” life that He promised. If we could see these unfavorable events, desperate situations or even disputes for what they are rather than slinging rope at people, it would be seen as empowerment that moves us from the pace of complacency, compromise and conflict to achieve our true purpose in life and to prosper.

I don’t know what you’re facing today. I can only see the challenges in my life. As I look all around me, I see that God is good and He has been faithful to our family. However, lately I have felt a stirring for more. The potential in me is pushing the self-imposed limitations. Comfort is compromised by an inner motivation of what if there is more in Christ. Friend, there is always more to this life than we see, feel or think and the Lord is desperately trying to move us from where we are into His Promise and Purpose so we will find true satisfaction and bring Glory to His Name. Who wants a careless, worthless deadbeat dad who doesn’t look after his children? It is the promise that God is Good and that He is an excellent father who blesses His Children not according to their ability to be perfect but simply because we are His Most Prized Possession.

It is like a person building a house who digs deep and lays the foundation on solid rock.” If your life seems mundane, mediocre, ordinary and lack luster – there is more for you in Jesus Christ today. It is up to you to find it. We must dig a little deeper today. God did not hand you a rope but rather a shovel along with His Word. Jesus is the Word of God. He is the firm foundation in which our faith anchors us in confident hope so that wind, rain and storms cannot harm us much less destroy us. However, if you are not established before the atmosphere and environment changes or ill-prepared for the next season, it will be too late to thrive in it but you will be lucky to merely survive. It is with an outlook for the future that today prepares us for that yet to come.

Genesis 26:12-15 (NLT) When Isaac planted his crops that year, he harvested a hundred times more grain than he planted, for the Lord blessed him. He became a very rich man, and his wealth continued to grow. He acquired so many flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and servants that the Philistines became jealous of him. So the Philistines filled up all of Isaac’s wells with dirt. These were the wells that had been dug by the servants of his father, Abraham.

The story of Isaac and the conflict over water rights demonstrates three areas of life that keep us from digging deeper into the firm foundation of faith. It is important to note that Jesus promised a rich and satisfied life to those who come to Him, live in Him, move and exist in Him. He called you a new creation. However, if left to our own devices it is easy to settle in the land of complacency. In my Christian life of more than a few years or decades, I have found that even in my wandering or wondering about the Lord that He has remained faithful in His Passionate Pursuit of my with love and goodness. He has always responded to my desperate cry for help and rushed in even when I was nowhere I thought He would come – the Lord came to meet me, comfort me and lead me from that place to a better place. The enemy of completion is called complacency. We stop in process because of comfort. My life today is better than I ever imagined it might be, but I serve a God who promises to do more than I can think, ask or imagine. If I trust Him, it will come to pass. The trouble is when life is good – people settle. It is discontentment that drives us from complacency causing us to dig a little deeper. When Isaac began to prosper, his power was a perceived threat to the Philistines so they filled his wells with dirt. Isaac had to move on.

Genesis 26:17-20 (NLT) So Isaac moved away to the Gerar Valley, where he set up their tents and settled down. He reopened the wells his father had dug, which the Philistines had filled in after Abraham’s death. Isaac also restored the names Abraham had given them. Isaac’s servants also dug in the Gerar Valley and discovered a well of fresh water. But then the shepherds from Gerar came and claimed the spring. “This is our water,” they said, and they argued over it with Isaac’s herdsmen. So Isaac named the well Esek (which means “argument”).

Driven from his comfort zone, Isaac moves into a new area. He reopens his father, Abraham’s wells and digs some new ones. In the new wells, fresh water is found. This is the land of compromise. God had a plan and purpose for Isaac that was his very own. He was a product and promise to Abraham, but Isaac was not just a byproduct to God. He was a prized possession all his own. It was not God’s Plan for Isaac to compromise. He reopened his father’s wells. Tradition and religion can often keep us in the land of compromise because we try to do it like those before us rather than venturing off to the new place, position or purpose that God has for us. We settle in the land of compromise because its easy. Total trust in the Lord means leaving this place, too. We must find God’s Plan and Purpose with our name on it to acquire the rich and satisfying life that is within it. Complacency and compromise are weaknesses that once left behind are where we find grace. Grace that is sufficient to carry us into the great unknowns and hidden places where the Lord has placed the inheritance of those who dare to come that way. The narrow road is less traveled because it requires trusting an unseen God with an unknown plan. It will be worth it for those who move on, shovel in hand, and dig a little deeper.

Genesis 26:21-22 (NLT) Isaac’s men then dug another well, but again there was a dispute over it. So Isaac named it Sitnah (which means “hostility”). Abandoning that one, Isaac moved on and dug another well. This time there was no dispute over it, so Isaac named the place Rehoboth (which means “open space”), for he said, “At last the Lord has created enough space for us to prosper in this land.”

Most people would have thrown up their hands and quit after all this moving. But not Isaac, now moved from complacency, compromise and even comfort found in these two places. He tried again and failed. Isaac left the land of conflict. He was not fighting old battles but forging his way to victory. He was desperate to find a place to live in freedom with his family. His heart’s desire was set on the Lord so he focused on digging. He dug until there was no more complacency, compromise or even conflict. Where did he end up? Glad you asked.

Genesis 26:23-25 (NLT) From there Isaac moved to Beersheba, where the Lord appeared to him on the night of his arrival. “I am the God of your father, Abraham,” he said. “Do not be afraid, for I am with you and will bless you. I will multiply your descendants, and they will become a great nation. I will do this because of my promise to Abraham, my servant.” Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped the Lord. He set up his camp at that place, and his servants dug another well.

Isaac had dug his way to his promise. Abraham’s promise received his promise. So often looking in the mirror, we estimate our worth and potential by what we see, the words spoken over us and the worth of our life evaluated by a world that is dying. God has given us a promise. Jesus died to give us a rich and satisfied life. If that is not the land in which you are living, it is time to start digging again. Rather than doing, it is time to dig in God’s Word and dig up your life. The enemy will throw dirt and debris in your well to produce doubt and disbelief. Truth is the filtration system that removes the lies from our existence. Those things that the enemy offers in the place of God’s Best. The subtle substitutions that produce an ordinary, mediocre, and naturally comfortable life. This is all good, but not the “complete lacking nothing” life that has been offered to us. God will not force you to build a firm foundation. He will not bind the shovel to your hand and command you to dig. He just calls to us and invites to a deeper place. Where fresh water will rise up and wash away the film of complacency, compromise, comfort and even conflict so all we see is the Goodness of God that will produce His Glory in our life.

I Corinthians 3:11-14 (NLT) For no one can lay any foundation other than the one we already have—Jesus Christ. Anyone who builds on that foundation may use a variety of materials—gold, silver, jewels, wood, hay, or straw. But on the judgment day, fire will reveal what kind of work each builder has done. The fire will show if a person’s work has any value. If the work survives, that builder will receive a reward.

Jesus died for you and I with good reason. He would break down the barrier between God and His Children so that according to His Riches in Glory an opportunity is provided for a rich and satisfied life. Are you satisfied? Are you rich? Do you feel complete and content with your life today just as it? If not, then I am handing you a shovel and inviting you to dig with me. Plowing up the hard places in our heart so fresh water can flow through it. To make room for the roots of His Love to go deeper. It may mean leaving complacency, compromise and comfort behind. It may mean offering forgiveness to end conflict and moving on. Nothing planted in His Presence and the energy it takes to humble ourselves is wasted or worthless.

God’s Promise is better than you can ever do, think, ask or imagine, so if your life is anything less there is more to it. If you decide to have all God has promised – be prepared. The fight is on between flesh and spirit. It is the very moment that His Grace and Power overtake our mundane life so we can magnify His Glory. Preparation for the inclement weather of change occurs before the first drop of rain. God uses all things to work together for our good and His Glory. He fans the wind of change to begin to blow on us so we will prepare now for what is coming. Storms reveal the insufficiencies of faith and places where hope is not holding so we are given the grace to fortify our life. Don’t give up. Dig deeper. Faith creates a firm foundation for God’s Productivity conducive to His Promise. He will never let you down. He is building you up. He wants Heaven to touch the earth where you are standing. Your foundation of faith must be sound and your heart ready to receive which all comes from digging a little deeper.

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.

To Achieve Impossible

Hebrews 11:1-3 (NKJV)

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. For by it the elders obtained a good testimony. By faith we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which are visible.

Here I stand on the edge of faith again. Looking up at the mountain, wondering if I have the faith to move it. Thinking it may be better just to turn back. It is not a matter of life or death so should I truly invest all my time and energy pursing the Promise of God when it is not fatal. God has spoken to my heart so now I have to go to cease the endless what if possibilities held captive in my thoughts. I know the stirring of hope when I feel it. I can see the realm of hope inviting me to come in. I smell the impossible simmering somewhere in the distance causing a hunger to rise up in me and a desire for fulfillment. My flesh quakes inside me not again. Every time this happens my natural belief and body die just a little more as the Resurrection Power of Living God rise within me. God give me the strength to move this mountain. Lord order my steps before I move. Jesus give me your mind in the process. “Spirit lead me where my trust is without borders and let me walk upon the water wherever You would call me. Take me deeper than my feet could ever wander and my faith will be made stronger in the Presence of My Savior.” (Oceans by Hillsong)

I stopped singing along with the song, Oceans, for a long time. Not interested in the pressure, pain and persistence required to move me from everlasting to everlasting. I was tired. Worn out. Empty. Who would have known that the very moment that I decided that it would immediately lead me straight out of my comfort zone to another test of faith? I should’ve know. God wants His Promises to manifest in my life. He is Good Father. Constantly pursuing us with unfailing love that produces goodness and mercy for each day not just occasionally, the Lord invites us to continue in the process of faith that gives confident hope. Faith is the substance of things hoped for and the evidence of this not seen. Well, I certainly cannot see how this will all come together. Yet I still believe…

Faith begins when we believe in the Sovereign and Almighty Power of the Living God enough to base our entire life on the Word of God. We must begin to invest our life in what we see through spiritual eyes fixed on Jesus even when it is not naturally occurring. To surrender every bit of fear and doubt from our heart, soul and mind to pursue wholeheartedly as He also comes after us wholeheartedly.

Luke 1:37 (NKJV) Nothing is impossible with God.

Matthew 17:20-21 (NKJV)

Then the disciples came to Jesus privately and said, “Why could we not cast it out?” So Jesus said to them, “Because of your unbelief; for assuredly, I say to you, if you have faith as a mustard seed, you will say to this mountain, ‘Move from here to there,’ and it will move; and nothing will be impossible for you. However, this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.”

Faith begins by believing that nothing is impossible with God. Note that it does not say that nothing is impossible for God which is absolutely true but the secret to the impossible is to know, understand and live with God fully believing that nothing is impossible if you remain with the Lord God. The disciples walked with Jesus. They witness miracle after miracle. They heard His Teaching. Knew God’s Word. Yet, when it came time to use all of these things to the Glory of God, they could not cast out the demon due to unbelief. Our belief in the Lord, His Intentions for us, His Ability to do that which He promised and bring about exactly what He said that He would do is essential for mountains to move. We must believe to see souls saved, sick healed, captives freed, and revival come as Heaven touches earth once more before the coming of Christ.

Jesus overcame the world. (John 16:33) We can live, breathe, and sleep fully confident and full of good cheer knowing that no weapon formed against us will prosper….if we believe it is true. Though we may know the Word of God, without faith it will not become active in our life. We may be obedient adhering strictly to the guidelines of obedience and submission to God. Without faith, it will only lead to fruitless endeavors. Faith allows us to go past what we know and can see into the Presence of the Living God who promised to withhold no good thing from those who walk uprightly. Righteousness begins by believing in God’s Love and His Son. We accept right standing with God by believing in Him and trusting Him fully.

Mark 9:21-24 (NKJV)

So He asked his father, “How long has this been happening to him?” And he said, “From childhood. And often he has thrown him both into the fire and into the water to destroy him. But if You can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”

To achieve the impossible means letting go of reality to embrace the supernatural with both hands, both eyes and your whole heart. When the man asked Jesus to deliver his son, he said, “But if you can do anything, have compassion on us and help us.” Jesus’ plan was to deliver the child and heal him. Dad’s unbelief was evident when he asked the Lord, “But if you can…” How many times do we do the very same thing? God lays a dream in our heart. Places a vision before our eyes. Rather than taking hold of it, running with it, or waiting on it, we stay put in the reality of our natural circumstances focused on the problem begging for hand-me-downs from God feasting on the scraps under His Table rather than taking our seat at the table which Jesus has prepared just for us.

Jesus said, “If you can believe, all things are possible for Him who believes…” Can you believe today? I can. I have chosen to look beyond the natural and lay claim to the Promise the Lord has etched in my mind and placed inside my heart. He has confirmed it many times which reveals my inadequate to believe completely the first time around. With each test and trial of my faith, I find that I can reach a little farther into the realm of hope. I can edge one step closer to completely abandoning my way to His Way. It is worth it every time yet painful in the revelation that despite how far that I go that He will always call me deeper still. Today, I am asking the Lord to help my unbelief. Anything that would keep me from entering the depths of His Love more, any barriers or hindrances in my heart keeping me from fully surrendering, and to give me just a little more faith to achieve the impossible.

Hebrews 6:16-20 (NKJV)

For men indeed swear by the greater, and an oath for confirmation is for them an end of all dispute. Thus God, determining to show more abundantly to the heirs of promise the immutability of His counsel, confirmed it by an oath, that by two immutable things, in which it is impossible for God to lie, we might have strong consolation, who have fled for refuge to lay hold of the hope set before us. This hope we have as an anchor of the soul, both sure and steadfast, and which enters the Presence behind the veil, where the forerunner has entered for us, even Jesus, having become High Priest forever according to the order of Melchizedek.

God is bound by His Word because it is impossible for Him to lie or change His Mind. Grace will not allow the Lord to take back a single promise for it He could than it would not be sufficient for us. Instead, God places hope before us and encourages us to enter into it by faith. Throughout our natural life, He invites to enter into the supernatural where He takes the ordinary and does extraordinary things. We must believe God at His Word to enter into the realm of hope because it is the birthplace of impossible. Blessed are those you believe without seeing. His Presence permeates the earth. It is evident in natural creation, human reproduction, cycling of seasons and supernaturally it is experienced in communion with the Holy Spirit as we move farther past the veil of reality into the Presence of our King. I want to go there. I want to do the impossible. Only those who are anchored by hope that keeps our soul sure and steadfast believing God as Word no matter how things look or the way that we feel.

 

Hebrews 11:6 (NKJV)

But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. 

Knowing who I am without Christ makes it easier to accept the trials, testing and trouble in my life more so than the triumph that I am promised. I find myself accepting certain things that are less than God’s Best because I do not deserve all that He is doing in my life. I know me. I know how many times that I fail Him. I realize that I am nothing apart from Him. I do not always expect the supernatural outcomes that He promises simply because I know my own heart and mind in all its weakness and wanderings. But God…

Faith is not in myself but that Love and Grace of a Great God who wants to open the windows of Heaven and pour His Goodness into my life for His Glory. It is not about me. He wants to do this for me whether I decide to live by faith and confident hope or not. It is all about Jesus. He desires my heart more than anything else. Faithfulness is wholeheartedness. What do I believe? There you will find my heart. I must believe without a shadow of doubt that without faith I cannot please Him. I must believe that God rewards those who seek, surrender, and submit to His Beautiful Way and Perfect Will no matter how ugly and imperfect things seem right now.

I glanced through the Faith Hall of Fame or Hebrews 11 today. Asking the Lord to help my unbelief, He began to point out His Champions of faith and the example set by each one of them in claiming God’s Promise and obtaining the impossible. Here is what I found:

  • We must submit our life to Christ living in full obedience to His Word, Will and Way. (Hebrews 11:4)
  • We must be committed to pleasing the Lord before others and even ourselves. (Hebrews 11:5-6)
  • We must operate in the supernatural by obtaining God’s Perspective and on His Word alone. (Hebrews 11:7)
  • We must be willing to leave our comfort zone to enter the Promise of God. (Hebrews 11:8-10)
  • We must believe past our natural ability relying and trusting in God’s Total Capability to perform miracles in and through us today. (Hebrews 11:11-12)
  • Valid hope desires something better and believes it to be possible. It allows God to motivate change in us to impact our surroundings. (Hebrews 11:13-16)
  • True faith in God holds nothing sacred and is willing to surrender what we have to obtain His Perfect Will. (Hebrews 11:17-19)
  • Faith believes Romans 8:28 is true. God works all things together for the good of those who love Him. (Hebrews 11:23-29)
  • Faith believes there is no barrier too high or obstacle too great for our God. Faith knows that He does not need our help to accomplish that which is for His Glory. He will flatten every wall whether manmade or enemy produced in our life so that we can lay hold of our promise in Him. (Hebrews 11::30)
  • Faith lives and breathes by believing that God always good and that He always has something better for us than we could think or ask. We will be willing to wait for His Perfection when we choose to live by faith. (Psalm 138:8)

All these thoughts about faith come back to His Love for us. The greatness of it. The validity of it. The truth about it. The fact that it is unconditional and unchanging alone makes it worthy of our faith. He absolutely must live in full assurance of His Love to fully understand and totally trust the fact that He rewards those who seek Him diligently.

Hebrews 6:9-15 (NKJV)

But, beloved, we are confident of better things concerning you, yes, things that accompany salvation, though we speak in this manner. For God is not unjust to forget your work and labor of love which you have shown toward His name, in that you have ministered to the saints, and do minister. And we desire that each one of you show the same diligence to the full assurance of hope until the end, that you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promises. For when God made a promise to Abraham, because He could swear by no one greater, He swore by Himself, saying, “Surely blessing I will bless you, and multiplying I will multiply you.” And so, after he had patiently endured, he obtained the promise.

God wants to do the impossible for you and me today. He invites to take a step closer to move just a bit deeper into His Presence so He can remind us of His Love and Faithfulness hoping that we will become secure in faith and confident hope. I believe. It is my unbelief that hinders me from moving. Fear, doubt and anxiety must give way to more faith and hope to have all He has promised being confident of Jesus’ Absolute, Complete and Unconditional Love for me. This is the motivation of His Heart for me and not based on my performance but solely on His Performance on the Cross for me. The miracle of His Resurrection unlocked the door to the Kingdom for which He handed me the keys. He tore the veil and invested His Spirit in me. I have full power and authority over every demon in the Name of Jesus. God’s Power is churning within me. Living water gurgles inside looking for an escape. I must believe to release God’s Power in my life. I must open my mouth to let the living water flow out of me. I must live by faith and not by sight to see the impossible become my reality. Lord, today I ask you to help my unbelief so my heart will come closer, my foot step forward as I am immersed in the deep from which you call!

Psalm 71:14-16 (NKJV)

But I will hope continually, and will praise You yet more and more. My mouth shall tell of Your Righteousness and Your Salvation all the day, for I do not know their limits. I will go in the strength of the Lord GOD; I will make mention of Your Righteousness, of Yours only.

Overtaken

Overtaken

I Samuel 30:7-8 (NKJV)

Then David said to Abiathar the priest, Ahimelech’s son, “Please bring the ephod here to me.” And Abiathar brought the ephod to David. So David inquired of the Lord, saying, “Shall I pursue this troop? Shall I overtake them?” And He answered him, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.

The pursuits of life are marked with various meaning and purpose. The desires of our heart promote that which is pursued in life. It is by faith that a person is motivated to pursue that which is not evident in their life. The greater the desire the more someone will go after that which motivates the heart and mind. Often one’s challenges or difficulties will form and shape from our youth and grow into a passion to overcome as a person grows and matures into adulthood. My biological mother struggled her whole life as a person. She loved us but could not overcome the addictions in her life to properly care for her children. The Lord sent me a mother to bridge the gap who loves me as her own, but I have struggled most of life to be completely opposite. Her struggles in nurturing pushed me to over compensate with my own children. I had to be the perfect mom. Knowing from the beginning that it would be impossible, I could not stop trying to do everything right. The things we do and how we live has deeper meaning then what we realize most of the time. It is very important that as Christians, believers and followers of Christ that we evaluate our motivations and intentions at all times. It was only after many years of trying not to be like my mother that I realized I was supposed to be imitating God and striving to be like Jesus that I stopped my fruitless pursuit to be overtaken by His Love.

I was thinking about my life this morning. My pursuits in life have dramatically changed in the course of just six months. I am excited. I am focused. I am a bit fearful. When we step out to follow the Lord by faith, I think there is always a twinge of anticipation mixed with anxiousness. To go deeper than we have gone before in trust and live in confident hope must always challenge our mind, will and emotions or is it really of God? It must defy human logic and go beyond what I can see and understand to be that which the Lord has for me which is always exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think according to His Power at work in us. (Ephesians 3:20) What is your passion today? What are you pursuing? As in all things, there is a process to godly pursuits. I think it will challenge you as it has challenged my heart today to examine each one.

David and his men returned to find their city, Ziklag, attacked, raided, and burned to the ground. Their families had been taken captive. David’s wives Ahinoam and Abigail were among the captives. David and his men wept until they could weep no more. His own men turned on him threatening to stone him in their grief. But David “strengthened himself in the Lord his God.” (I Samuel 30:1-6) It is a natural human response to look for someone to blame when things go terribly wrong in life. In fact, pursuit is driven by passion. Passion can be driven by any emotion possible in the human mind and heart. In this case, grief drove them to look for someone to take out their anger and pain upon. When an emotion becomes too great to contain it, we look for someone else to alleviate the pressure and dump the load. The men chose David. But David chose the Lord.

David told the priest to bring the ephod, his mantle of worship. David would take his cause before the Lord to see what He had to say on the matter. Just two simple questions, nothing more or less. David inquired of the Lord – 1) Do I pursue this? and 2) Will I overtake it? If only we took the time in all our pursuits to go before the Lord transparent and honest with an open heart to ask Him is this worth pursing and will I win? The Lord answered David, “Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all.”

I Peter 3:10-12 (NKJV)

For “He who would love life and see good days, let him refrain 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 prayers; but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.”

David took six hundred men to pursue the Amalekites who raided their village and took their families. Part way through their journey, two hundred men were just too weak to continue and were left behind as the continued their pursuit. The men came upon an Egyptian slave left behind in the desert to die who confirmed that he was with the group who destroyed their city. David feed him and gave him water caring for the man until he regained his strength. The slave promised to take David to them if he would not kill him or return him to his master. David agreed. They found the Amalekites and recovered everything that was taken from them. “And nothing of theirs was lacking, either small or great, sons or daughters, spoil or anything which they had taken from them.” God delivered as promised.

When the men were grieving they wanted to kill David for the violation of their home and family. Now they came across someone who was with the people who committed the heinous crime against them, David showed the man compassion. This is so important in our pursuits in life. I believe that when the Lord puts people in our path no matter how driven to succeed that they are treated with love and compassion. They easily could have mistreated this man, tortured him, used him and abused him just like everyone else and gotten the information needed to find the others. David’s heart would not do such a thing but responded to his need instead. He fed him. He satisfied his thirst. He earned his trust and took him with him. How many times even in godly pursuits do we lose sight of what our overall mission is in the first place? To follow the Lord. Walk in His Ways. Love others as He loves us. How we pursue is just as important as what we pursue. Are we after vindication or vengeance?

Psalm 26:1-3 (NKJV)

Vindicate me, O Lord, for I have walked in my integrity. I have also trusted in the Lord; I shall not slip. Examine me, O Lord, and prove me; try my mind and my heart. For Your lovingkindness is before my eyes, and I have walked in Your truth.

Psalm 43:1-4 (NKJV)

Vindicate me, O God, and plead my cause against an ungodly nation; Oh, deliver me from the deceitful and unjust man! For You are the God of my strength; Why do You cast me off? Why do I go mourning because of the oppression of the enemy? Oh, send out Your light and Your truth! Let them lead me; Let them bring me to Your holy hill and to Your tabernacle. Then I will go to the altar of God, to God my exceeding joy; and on the harp I will praise You, O God, my God.

Romans 12:19 (NKJV)

Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” says the Lord.

As we read the Psalms, the heart of David is revealed. He cries out to the Lord for vindication. This is important and evidenced in his response to the violation of I Samuel 30. His immediate reaction was for vindication while the others wanted vengeance. This is so important and not just a play on words but points directly to the motivation of our heart. Every worthwhile pursuit in life should be born of faith and trust in God’s Worth resulting in His Glory. Just as God promised, they did “without fail recover all.” We want perfect outcomes so therefore we must perfect our pursuits beginning with the people who are along the way. They met the Egyptian and David cared for him. They were reunited with the 200 men who were just too weary to continue and fight. The Word of God tells us that the “wicked and worthless men” among the 400 told David not to give them back what belonged to them just their families. They even went so far as to tell David to “make them depart” from us. But David again arising from a heart after God’s Heart told them, “My brethren, you shall not do so with what the Lord has given us, who has preserved us and delivered into our hand the troop that came against us.  For who will heed you in this matter? But as his part is who goes down to the battle, so shall his part be who stays by the supplies; they shall share alike.” (I Samuel 30:21-25)

Vindication is to assert, maintain or defend a right or cause against opposition. To justify which means to show to be just or right. To regain possession. However when our pursuit becomes tinged with bitterness, it can quickly turn into vengeance. Vengeance is to inflict injury, harm, humiliation or the like on a person by another who has been harmed by that person. Bitterness is always the root of vengeance. God has reserved vengeance for himself. We cannot be vengeful because we have been justified by faith which is given by God’s Grace. (Romans 3:21-26) Therefore we must afford the same grace to others in the midst of pursuit. The Lord has clearly identified the enemy. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12) The Lord has promised us many things. We pursue those promises. Success or failure depends on the motive of our heart. We can seek imperfect justice or have complete vindication. It is up to those in pursuit.

Hebrews 12:14-16 (NKJV)

Pursue peace with all people, and holiness, without which no one will see the Lord: looking carefully lest anyone fall short of the grace of God; lest any root of bitterness springing up cause trouble, and by this many become defiled; lest there be any fornicator or profane person like Esau, who for one morsel of food sold his birthright.

As Children of the Living God, we are promised victory after victory and to live from Glory to Glory. This is achieved by keeping our eyes fixed on Jesus the author and finisher of faith. But sometimes let’s face it, the people that oppose us, offend us, battle us and seem to be the bane of human existence take on the appearance of the adversary. Jesus died for them too. We are to love even our enemies. These are not my words but a reminder from the Lord today. We must not forsake people in our passionate pursuit for Him. In fact, to do so changes our mission complete and impacts the outcome greatly. When you think of “that” person, the one who is constantly causing problems, getting in your business, trying to mess up your plans, and overall just drives you crazy – that is the Egyptian in the desert, or the 200 hundred too weak to make it, and they are the ones that test the purity of our pursuit. The ones who once opposed us or offended us or even abandoned the cause. The Lord is testing the motives of our heart because to pursue Him fully and completely above all other things is demonstrated in our response to these people. To have all that God promised requires all of our heart.

Pursue peace with all people. Live a holy life. Today in the midst of my pursuit, I am challenged to inspect my heart for any bitterness linked to my past keeping me from my future. It must be dealt with swiftly and completely if my goal is to “without fail recover all.” I have clear direction. I have been promised much. I cannot fully pursue this unless it is wholeheartedly so I must take back any part of my heart yielded to offense, bitterness and anger in the Name of Jesus Christ. I will not be overtaken by such things, if I want to be overtaken by His Love.

Psalm 51:10-13 (NKJV)

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Do not cast me away from Your presence, and do not take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and uphold me by Your generous Spirit. Then I will teach transgressors Your ways, and sinners shall be converted to You.

 

Copyrighted

Copyrighted

2 Corinthians 3:2-3 (TLB)

The only letter I need is you yourselves! By looking at the good change in your hearts, everyone can see that we have done a good work among you. They can see that you are a letter from Christ, written by us. It is not a letter written with pen and ink, but by the Spirit of the living God; not one carved on stone, but in human hearts.

 

When I began writing six years ago, I didn’t really think much about it other than online journaling as an accountability partner. Each day as I sit and study, I really just talk to the Lord and share whatever comes of it. If you add up the numbers, there are over 2,000 of these entries circling the Internet. It is amazing that God has that much to say to us. Overwhelming to consider a book so small could contain such insight. In that time, I have received emails from people around the world asking for permission to share the content in various ways. I always respond absolutely. The things that are written here do not belong to me. It is not of any credit to me the transcriber. The Author and Finisher of Faith is simply sharing His Love. He wants us to know that His Grace is sufficient for us. (2 Corinthians 12:9) He wants us to take full advantage of the new mercy offered each morning. (Lamentations 3:22-23) The Lord wants us to live in the Refuge of His Presence. He is showing us the way step by step and day by day. I have not copyrighted any of the content because it is not my words. It is not my wisdom. It is not my creativity. I literally just open God’s Word. I read it. I ask the Lord to tell me something new and “bam” it happens. Your life is a love letter. It was not written in a book for publication but on each human heart created by God. He put Eternity there so we could find our way home. (Ecclesiastes 3:11) Nothing can every separate us from the Love of God. (Romans 8:38-39) Save ignorance of the hope we have in Him. People literally die because they do not know the treasure hidden in their heart. The Word of God tells us who we are. Our life is copyrighted by God. He wrote every day of our existence before we were ever born. (Psalm 139:16) We are fearfully and wonderfully made. (Psalm139:14) I was born with a future and hope – it is God’s Plan for my life. (Jeremiah 29:11) He has provided everything that I need to have a god-like life. (2 Peter 1:3) He provides everything we need with enough to share with others. (2 Corinthians 9:8) He works every detail of our life for good. (Romans 8:28) He perfects that which concerns us. (Psalm 138:8) If God has designed our life to be so, why isn’t it? Why are so many people struggling with the idea of faith and confident hope?

Our lives have been copyrighted by God. We are His Masterpiece. (Ephesians 2:10) The Spirit of the Living God lives inside every person who calls on Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord. His Spirit enables us to become who we were created to be. He is the One who takes the broken person left behind when sin is removed and chains are broken to make them into a new creation. A copyright is legal protection over a published work. No one can use the content for personal gain other than the one who owns the copyright. A copyright is transferrable to another. However, it implies the expressed ownership by someone. Your life is copyrighted by God. Love demands a choice. God would not force love because it would not be love at all. So He gave us our life allowing a choice between life and death. Who would choose death? Those who do not believe that their life is worth more than what they can see and experience firsthand. Anyone who does not know the Truth or have a relationship with the Holy Spirit. Our connection to Christ depends on faith that becomes confident hope. We can make a better life by making better choices but we cannot have the best life until we connect with the Source of Life.

Ephesians 2:8-10 (TLB)

Because of his kindness, you have been saved through trusting Christ. And even trusting is not of yourselves; it too is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good we have done, so none of us can take any credit for it.  It is God himself who has made us what we are and given us new lives from Christ Jesus; and long ages ago he planned that we should spend these lives in helping others.

Going to the Lord each morning, I do not go to write a blog or journal entry. I go to find out more about who I am and what I am supposed to do. I look for answers to my questions. I carry my problems in to the Presence of God and try to leave them there. It is not about anyone else but me in that moment. I share that to say that we must go to God in search of ourselves. We must ask the Lord to show us who we are in Him to have all that He promised. Every man and woman in every makeshift pulpit of the world is a work in progress who needs a daily dose of the King of Kings and Lord of Lords. Nothing they will say or do can ever make the difference like a personal encounter with Jesus Christ. BUT! When we decide to live in His Presence, coming boldly before His Throne on a regular basis, and then doing something with what we are given – lives will be changed. First, God changes us. Then He changes how we think which changes our attitude and impacts our actions. The first thing you will discover in the daily presence of God is unfailing love and never-ending kindness. I may browbeat myself all the way in but His Grace and Mercy bind my wounds and heal my broken heart filling me to overflowing with joy and peace that comes from unconditional love.

2 Corinthians 1:21-22 (TLB)

It is this God who has made you and me into faithful Christians and commissioned us apostles to preach the Good News. He has put his brand upon us—his mark of ownership—and given us his Holy Spirit in our hearts as guarantee that we belong to him and as the first installment of all that he is going to give us.

 

A few years back, I got a tattoo. Now I know that many people have differing opinions on whether or not Christians should mark their bodies. I will let you debate that amongst yourselves. It was shortly after our son’s first bout of cancer. Another family that I knew lost their son to cancer. Mom and siblings all got a remembrance ribbons tattooed in his honor. Many of the nurses that work in the oncology unit where are son has undergone treatment have them to remember loved ones lost in the fight. I didn’t want a remembrance ribbon. I didn’t want to ever mark a potential loss but remember the journey. I have an ambigram on my right wrist. When I look at it, it says, “Faith.” But to others, it says, “Hope.” My faith should bring hope to others. I remember as it was being done thinking that there would be days it would remind me who I am and others I would try to scrub it off. Both have occurred. I am aware of it when I raise my hands in worship. I see it when I am ready to bless someone out at Walmart. It was there when I was washing my hands after my son’s last round of vomit thinking Lord not again. When I reached out to touch his arm wondering if the nightmare would ever end. I saw it the day I waved goodbye to the moving truck carrying our daughter far away. Good times and not so good times, I am reminded that faith and hope are what I have to get me through life. Without them, I would have died in my soul a long, long time ago. I share this with you not to encourage a tattoo but to remind you that deep in your heart is a mark that cannot be removed. He is as permanent as God’s Love for you. He is the Holy Spirit.

The Holy Spirit is God’s Guarantee that there is more to life than this. He is our Helper. He knows every weakness so best suited to meet our need. Life is hard. It is uncertain what each new day will bring…to us anyway. God wrote a plan for our life that leads us from victory to victory and glory to glory. We can have everything that He promised but He holds the copyright to our life. Our way will not get the job done. His Way is the Only Way to have the best live ever.

2 Timothy 2:11-13 (TLB)

I am comforted by this truth, that when we suffer and die for Christ it only means that we will begin living with him in heaven. And if we think that our present service for him is hard, just remember that someday we are going to sit with him and rule with him. But if we give up when we suffer, and turn against Christ, then he must turn against us. Even when we are too weak to have any faith left, he remains faithful to us and will help us, for he cannot disown us who are part of himself, and he will always carry out his promises to us.

 

My life has great potential. Yours does, too. It is copyrighted by God. He did not choose sin – people did. He made a way for us to live whole and complete without blemish, spot or disease. We can have that life today if we choose to live as God’s Children. Life will still be hard – but somehow always end up worth it. There will be mountains and valleys as we journey through life to find Eternity but with all the ups and downs is the promise that His Goodness and Unfailing Love are constantly pursuing us every step of the way. Each step surrendered to His Way is a step in the right direction. Faith is based on the Word of God. It is not something self-produced but spirit-motivated. Those who dare to trust God accepting His Word as true and His Son as Savior and Lord will have every single promise. Every need will be met. His Spirit will lead them from win to win. We will be more than conquerors. He will be our refuge and strength. Our very present help in the time of need will get us through the tough spots. He has all power and authority in our life once we give our life to Him again. We are Children of God. We are His Most Prized Possession. He will never let the righteous fall. Be encouraged today. You are a Masterpiece. The Eternity in your heart is not only possible but makes the impossible probable. I am comforted by this truth…how about you?

Psalm 139 (TLB)

(1-6) O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me. You know when I sit or stand. When far away you know my every thought. You chart the path ahead of me and tell me where to stop and rest. Every moment you know where I am. You know what I am going to say before I even say it. You both precede and follow me and place your hand of blessing on my head. This is too glorious, too wonderful to believe! 

 

(17-18)How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly! I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn toward me.  And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!

 

(23-24) Search me, O God, and know my heart; test my thoughts. Point out anything you find in me that makes you sad, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.