Tag Archive | trusting

Order

James 4:7 – “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”

Let me first just say that I’m sorry. I haven’t been faithful to my blog in a really long time. God is the God of second chances and I’m claiming that one!

Now then, about this verse –

This verse was mentioned in our BTC lesson last night at church. (Side note – Man! Was the sermon given last night ever a blessing! We left church at 9 last night!  Not one time did I even want to look at my watch! God had me captivated! The message was thought provoking and heart wrenching. God is so good!)   I wanted to take a closer to look at it today. Think for a moment about the order of this verse. 

First, “Submit yourselves therefore to God.” The part about the devil comes second. You see, we think we need to flee from the devil to draw closer to God. We get it backwards. We are supposed to FIRST submit ourself to God. That means, we need to give Him control. We need to be willing to follow after Him and do what He says to do, without complaining. Submitting, to me, means giving over control in regards to decision making. I can get things done. There are days I feel like I get more done before I leave the house than most people do in an entire day. But I don’t like making decisions. I will defer that duty as much as possible. I think part of it is the responsibility aspect of it. Like most people, I want as little responsibility as possible. God is wanting me to turn that over to Him. The key is, however, that I have to be willing to follow when He leads. 

And then there is the second part of this verse – “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  Does this mean that I have some sort of power over the devil? Only when I do the first part first. When I am submitted to God, the devil doesn’t seem so difficult to walk away from. His temptation and taunting doesn’t seem quite so overwhelming when I’m walking with and submitting to God. 

So I want to encourage you today to make the choice to submit to God first. Do it now. Ask Him to be in your day. Allow Him to show you in His word how to draw closer to Him. Listen to Him when you pray and hear Him as you go through your day. And then, when the devil rears his ugly head, it won’t seem so tough to turn away. With God, things are purer, brighter and more desirable, even when it seems tough. Happy Monday. 

Be a blessing

Proverbs 3:5,6 – “Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.”

Yesterday, I went with my daughter and her class to an amusement park. The girls had a great time together laughing and making memories.

As they were out having fun, it gave me the chance to get to know some of the moms a little bit better. One, I had never really been around and the other, our daughters had been to several birthday parties together.

The great thing about being involved with a Christian school is that the opportunity for you to interact with believers is that much greater. And these two ladies were definitely believers. It was awesome to hear the stories they told that were examples of Jesus in their lives. How He had worked out this problem or that problem by doing this and how that prepared them for something else. And they faithfully recognized that without the valleys and the hard times, they would not be able to appreciate and understand where they are today. Aahh, how refreshing!

And in amongst our day, one of the ladies gets a phone call from her husband telling her that their son had fallen in gym and broken his wrist. And when I say “broke his wrist”, I mean that it was shaped like a “s”! Not good. So silent prayers begin to go up. She is trying to figure out what to do because she doesn’t want to ruin her daughter’s day but she needs to figure out if she should go to the hospital or not. Anyway, to make a long story short, she ended up staying because he didn’t need surgery. But she did make this statement: “I don’t know how people without Jesus make it through something like this. I know He has it all under control. How do they do it without that assurance?”

I don’t have an answer to that one. I know in my own life, God has moved me here and there and everywhere and I’ve always known that He had it under control. I’m not real sure how those without Jesus do it.

So today, princess, let your light shine. Let others know about Jesus’ work in your life. It just may be the blessing someone else needs to get through today.

Don’t be afraid

Judges 6:12,14,15 – “And the angel of he LORD appeared unto him, and said unto him, The LORD is with thee, thou mighty man of valour. And the LORD looked upon him, and said, Go in this thy might, and thou shalt save Israel from the hand of the Midianites: have I note spent thee? And he said unto him, Oh my Lord, wherewith shall I save Israel? behold, my family is poor in Manasseh, and I am the least in my father’s house.”

Here is Gideon. The “mighty man of valor”. Doesn’t look very mighty or valiant does he? He is afraid of the calling of God. He is scared to do what God is asking him to do. He is coming up with every excuse in the book. And he has a big book.

Have you ever been scared to do what God is calling you to do? I have and I think we all have at some point or another. For me, it is fear of the unknown. I like to know what is going to happen and when. I really like to know the how, but that is negotiable.  When we follow God, sometimes we don’t get the answers to these questions. He just says “do this” and we are supposed to do it. No need to ask questions. He’s got it all under control. But if you are like me, that is way beyond your comfort zone. And that is a big step.

But God is able. And He is okay with you testing Him to know you are doing exactly what He wants you to do. Gideon was very proficient in that area. Check out some more of Judges and see how Gideon tested God. It’s kinda funny, actually. I’m surprised God didn’t get frustrated with him and thump him on the head. I know I would have. But this story is a great example of God’s long-suffering.

Anyway, today princess, don’t be afraid to ask God what he wants you to do. Then don’t be afraid to jump in with both feet. It will be scary. You may not have a clue how it will turn out. But go ahead and jump. It will totally be worth the initial discomfort.

Distractions

John 4:11-19

I don’t have a key verse for you, at least not yet. We will see where the Lord leads in all this.

But go there and read these verses. Really read them. Don’t skim them. Don’t casually glance at them. But truly read them.

At the beginning, this woman is confused. She doesn’t understand the truth that Jesus is presenting to her. She doesn’t get it. But then, He offers her eternal life. But she confuses eternal life with an easy life. And she definitely wants an easier life. Who doesn’t? Jesus needs to explain further but something is standing in the way – her sin. So He calls her out on it. And she admits it, somewhat. And when Jesus calls her sin out even more, she tries distraction. She doesn’t want to dive into her failures.

When I read these verses, conviction set in. What sins am I trying to distract the Savior from? We all do it, you know. We all think that we can outsmart God by doing good things to show we love Him and try to keep Him from seeing our tainted sin. Ouch! That one hurts!

Jesus was ready to do what He came to do – share eternal life with someone in need. But He needed her to allow Him to cleanse her from her sin before that blessing could be poured out. How many blessings are we missing or delaying because of our sin? When was the last time you stopped, asked Him to reveal your sin to you and then confessed it? You have to stop and listen. You can’t do it while driving or talking or doing anything, really. You have to be at the place where you can listen with your heart.

Jesus is ready and willing to pour out blessings on those who love and seek Him. But He won’t do it with sin in your life. Now, I know, you can’t be perfect. But sometimes sin keeps you from truly living for Him. It may allow you to serve Him and love Him but it keeps the sweetness away. Are you missing the sweetness?

This is a hard thing, princess. It requires you to honestly look at your life. It makes you admit that you have messed up. It makes you face the fact that you can be better. Princess, take this plunge. Accept this challenge. And let God lead you into a sweetness that far outweighs the sin.

Patience please

Psalm 37:5-7 – “Commit your way to the LORD; trust in him and he will do this: He will make our righteousness shine like the dawn, the justice of your cause like the noonday sun. Be still before the LORD and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes.”

Today I want to talk about the fact that trusting The Lord requires patience.

What does trusting The Lord mean? In my mind it means that you relinquish control over what you are doing to the One who has it all under control. It means choosing to follow after Him. I know I have hammered this several times over and may sound like a broken record. I just feel that in our society today that we are so caught up in trusting in ourselves that we have lost sight of the benefits of truly trusting in The Lord. In times past when we were primarily an agrarian society, that was all we could do – trust that The Lord would give us the crops we needed to survive. Today we are trusting in ourselves to get what we think that we need and want. He has promised us abundantly blessings if we will seek after Him. Just look at the verse mentioned today. He has promised to make our cause, His cause, shine like the sun. But that promise comes with a request.

He asks us to “be still”. What does that mean? We are not capable of being still on our own. We are never good at being patient for Him. We see others around us doing this and that and we want to do this and that too. We want to have fun and be carefree. Sorry, sister, that is not the way the world works. Oh, that is the way the world wants you to think things happen, but in reality, sometimes you have to wait. Delayed gratification is not our strong suit.

David encourages us in this psalm to “not fret”. Now, what does that have to do with trusting The Lord? Well, let me tell you, when you are waiting on The Lord, and waiting, and waiting, you may find yourself fretting. Getting anxious about what is going to happen and when it is going to happen. Things don’t always follow your timeline. It is hard to give up that control.

This week, princess, let’s purpose in our hearts to relinquish control and to let Him lead. Let’s see what happens when we decide to let Him take the reins. Let’s see how much our hearts and minds become more like Him when we get out of the way and let Him do His thing.

It’s not the end

Matthew 24:36 – “No one knows about that day or hour, not even the angels in heaven, nor the Son, but only the Father.”
Well, as of 5:53 in the morning EST, the world has not yet ended. The day is just getting started.
This whole Mayan calendar thing has gotten some people really stirred up. Makes me laugh, actually. Here they are believing in a man made calendar by some loin cloth wearing Indians when they really should be listening to the creator of those Indians – God.
Jesus said here in Matthew that no one knows when the day will be. The Bible is full of prophecies of what will happen between now and then, all we have to do is look.
It is our job, princess, to be ready – Matthew 24:44 – “So you also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.” We are not to be storing up treasures on this earth but rather in Heaven. We have to get the Good News about Jesus out to everyone. And today is the perfect day to show others that God is in control of each and every day He gives us. Regardless of the Mayan calendar.

Help! I’m broken!

Broken. Have you ever been broken?  I have experienced my first broken bone. I am healing great but being broken was a whole new thing for me. I had to learn how to allow others to help me.

The same is true when you are broken in spirit. You have to let God help you out of the mess you are in. There will come a time when you will have to let go of the need to be in control. Oh my, is that hard to do! We don’t like to relinquish that all-powerful feeling. But being broken in spirit demands it.

Psalm 51:16,17 – “You do not delight in sacrifice, or I would bring it; you do not take pleasure in burnt offerings. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit; a broken and contrite heart, O God, you will not despise.”

God will not leave you in your darkest hour. He is the Light that you see burning when everything around you is black and dark. This is where He can do His greatest work.

When things look bleak and you are broken, princess, look for the Light and let Him make you into something new.