God’s will

“So understand and be confident in God’s will, and don’t live thoughtlessly.” Ephesians 5:17 TV

Ever wondered what God’s will is for you?

If you are like I am, when someone seems to have an answer on what God’s will is for me I perk up, ready to listen. I am hoping that someone will tell me what I need to be doing specifically with regard to what career I should be in, or who I should marry, or some other big decision I need to make. Let me let you down easy. I don’t know what job you should take, or who you should marry, or what big decision you should make. The truth is we spend way too much time, energy and effort on things like this that hold some value only in this life but matter little, if at all, for eternity. God is way more concerned with who you are regardless of what job you take or who you marry. Whatever job you decide to take, He is more concerned with who you will be in that job. Whoever you decide to marry, He is more concerned with you will be in that marriage. Whatever big decision you are about to make, the real question is who will you be?

A Different Perspective

So if you’re serious about living this new resurrection life with Christ, act like it. Pursue the things over which Christ presides. Don’t shuffle along, eyes to the ground, absorbed with the things right in front of you. Look up, and be alert to what is going on around Christ—that’s where the action is. See things from his perspective.” Colossians 3:1-2 TM

Jesus has secured a place in eternity for us yet we get too caught up in what happened today or might happen tomorrow. What causes us to get bogged down by life here on Earth so much? Maybe our view of eternity is off. Maybe the reason we don’t yearn for Heaven is that our view of it is way too limited and small. Maybe our view of God is too limited and small. In Heaven, we will encounter the One who created us face to face.

I came across this quote from Max Lucado that I hope you find helpful…

“John says someday God will wipe away your tears. The same hands that stretched the heavens will touch your face. The same hands who formed the mountains will caress your face. The same hands tht curled in agony as the Roman spike cut through will someday cup your face and brush away your tears. Forever.”

Friends, if we are going to make it through these end times which will get harder, we have to develop our heavenly perspective. We need to train our eyes to look beyond what is right in front of us and see through to what really matters. If we are going to develop an eternal perspective, we have to be able go beyond what we have experienced in our small, short lives and open ourselves up to the wonders of what the supernatural might be like in Heaven.

Spend some time asking the Lord to help expand your view of Heaven. Ask Him to give you a glimpse of the life to come. Take a minute to listen and watch where He might take you in your mind. It might even be helpful to write down whatever comes to mind.

Love Actually

“So now I live with the confidence that there is nothing in the universe with the power to separate us from God’s love. I’m convinced that his love will triumph over death, life’s troubles, fallen angels, or dark rulers in the heavens. There is nothing in our present or future circumstances that can weaken his love. There is no power above us or beneath us—no power that could ever be found in the universe that can distance us from God’s passionate love, which is lavished upon us through our Lord Jesus, the Anointed One!” Romans 8:38-39 TPT

What a great comfort! No matter how much you feel you’ve blown it, no matter how grim of circumstances you find yourself in, you cannot be separated from God’s extravagant love. Jesus expressed the depths of God’s love for us when he layed down His life for us, even while we were still rebelling against Him.

Do you know God’s love? Maybe you can see it in others, but do you know His love for you personally?

For me, I have had to pray His love into me over and over. I had to open myself up to His love, actually open my heart to receive His love. I had some traumatic things in my past that kept me from receiving any love, much less the love of God Himself, and I let Jesus come in and heal me in those places. Today, I feel more loved than I ever have from the Lord; yet I long for more and I know there is more.

If you are honest with your yourself, to what degree have you received the love of God? Spend a minute asking Him what is keeping you from receiving His love. Then take some time to pray His love into your life. There is more!

The Heart of the Matter

The LORD your God is with you,
he is mighty to save.
He will take great delight in you,
he will quiet you with his love,
he will rejoice over you with singing.” Zepahniah 3:17

If you’ve ever wondered what the heart of God was, this is one of the best verses to look at.

“The LORD your God is with you” – God is not absent in your life. You may be absent to God but he is present with you. You need the rid yourself of the numbness and doubt and wake up to His presence.

“He is mighty to save” – There is no sin that is more powerful than the cross. Whatever your’e struggling with, even if you’ve struggled with it for years, the Lord is strong enough to save you from yourself. Maybe you feel like the enemy has been owning you. He is also strong enough to save you from the enemy and, in fact, has already defeated him. The enemy is powerless against the might of our God.

“He will take great delight in you” – God not only loves you but He also likes you. He sees the best in you and enjoys who you are.

“He will quiet you with His love” – God can calm all your fears. Will you let Him?

“He will rejoice over you with singing” – What an amazing thought. God not only delights in us, calms us with His love, saves us, and is present with us but He sings over us. Can you hear the song He is singing over you right now? Have you ever stopped and listened?

This is God’s heart for us. Thanks be to God! He doesn’t do any of these things out of obligation or constraint, but he freely and willingly pours out His heart on us. Yet even though it’s free, we still have to receive it.

Spend some time reading over this verse a few times letting each line sink in. Then spend a full minute listening. Picture Him delighting in you, let Him quiet you with His love, and tune in to the song He is singing over you.

Step Out of The Traffic!

“Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
loving look at me, your High God,
above politics, above everything.” Psalms 46:10
TM

There are a lot of things that are competing for your attention. Your heart is under assault. Everytime you turn on the TV, browse through social media, listen to the radio, or surf the internet, there is a lot of bad news. It’s easy to give way to despair, but we have to protect our hearts and not let the fear and anxiety in.

We need to remind our hearts that the Lord in still on His throne, and He is still God.

Stop right where you are. Take a few deep breaths:

  • Inhale – “The Lord is still on His throne”
    • Exhale – “I breathe out despair.”
  • Inhale – “Lord you have my heart”
    • Exhale – “I cast out anxiety and fear.”
  • Inhale – “He is still God.”
    • Exhale – “I rid myself of fear.”

Try this throughout the day. When you’re at home or at the office or stuck in traffic, stop and quietly speak these truths over yourself. Don’t let the enemy get a foothold in your life; resist him and expel the fear, anxiety, and depression. Fill you heart up with the truth. With all that’s coming at you, you might need to do this re-centering multiple times a day.

Sacrifice?

“Beloved friends, what should be our proper response to God’s marvelous mercies? I encourage you to surrender yourselves to God to be his sacred, living sacrifices. And live in holiness, experiencing all that delights his heart. For this becomes your genuine expression of worship.” Romans 12:1 TPT

Sacrifice. The definition is, “the act of giving something valued for the sake of something else regarded as mor important or worthy. When you think of your Christian faith, would you categorize it by sacrifice?

I confess that I have realized that I have made my life way too comfortable. I may do a good job of attending Church most Sundays when I can and helping on the worship team and occasionally leading a Bible study, but I still find this verse to be convicting. I even spend some time in prayer and reading everyday, but I still don’t believe my life is a living sacrifice. I can hear Inigo Montoya from the Prince’s Bride saying, “I don’t think that word means what you think it means.”

Not that this is a point system, or anything like it, but I do believe we were made to be set apart and living sacrifices for Him. And if I’m honest, I feel more like I just do the “easy” things for God, maybe taking a couple hours out of a Sunday or 30 minutes a day meditating on His word and prayng. When it comes to sacrificing my time to help someone out who may be hard to love, or sacrificing my status or pride by sharing my faith with others, or sacrificing my money to give to those in need, I feel like I’ve got some work to do.

When I think of sacrifice, I think of the disciples who literally risked their lives daily to preach the good news. I think of the community of believers in Acts who sold all their possessions to give to those who were in need, and I think of Jesus Christ who gave his very life, enduring the cross so that we might live through Him.

Maybe it’s time for us to rethink what it means to be a “living sacrifice.” Spend some time with the Lord and ask Him to show you what it means to be a living sacrifice. Take a minute to listen to what he says to you. Maybe take a day to meditate on sacrifice as you go about your day today.

RSVP

“Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received!” 2 Peter 1:3 TM

How are you holding up? Do you feel like no matter what you do you can’t live the life God has for you? Many people feel this way. They blow it; then begin to believe they don’t have what it takes, so what’s the point in trying?

But the truth is that our ability to live the life that was meant for us does not come from ourselves; it comes from knowing Jesus intimately. Because of Him, you have what it takes!

I’m not sure where you are at today. Maybe you have drifted from from your faith and are aimlessly hacking your way through your life. The invitation for real life still stands. Don’t let your ability or previous failures keep you from pursuing it.

Accept the invitation. Spend some time in prayer, and ask the Lord to open your eyes and your heart to know Him more.

You Have a Choice

“Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me.” – Jesus (John 14:1)

Something just dawned on me, that what Jesus is saying here is that you have a choice. You have a choice in the matter of whether you let your heart be troubled or not. I don’t know how I’ve missed this!

There is quite a bit right now in our world that could potentially cause you to despair. There is so much uncertainty that you could easily let your heart falter. I probably don’t even need to give you examples, but suffice to say, we are in troubled times; however, you don’t need to let it get you down. Jesus is offering a couple great solutions:

First, Jesus is calling you to make the decision to not let your heart be troubled by whatever it is, even if you’ve got a seemingly overwhelming amount of things stacked against you. He’s saying to make the decision to not give those things a place in your heart–don’t give any creedence to them. You don’t have to play the victim anymore, rebuke those thoughts.

He then goes on to tell us to trust in the Father and also in Him. How easily and quickly we forget that “He’s got the whole world in His hands.” Trust in Him to work things out for good (Romans 8:28). He has already overcome the enemy and the world! Just a few verses later in Romans, Paul poses a great question, “If God is for us, who can be against us?”

Spend some time with the Lord, and ask Him to show you where your heart might be troubled. Confess those things to Him and ask Him to rid you of those thoughts.

Remember, you have a choice in the matter.

Together

“May our dependably steady and warmly personal God develop maturity in you so that you get along with each other as well as Jesus gets along with us all. Then we’ll be a choir—not our voices only, but our very lives singing in harmony in a stunning anthem to the God and Father of our Master Jesus!” Romans 15:5-6 TM

There is nothing that unites better than a relationship with Christ. I have been in many different countries, some even speaking different languages, and I love how easy it is to connect with people solely because of our unity in Christ.

It is a beautiful thing to come together in our faith, and forget about our differences, and worship together. We are all God’s creation, and we were made to worship. When you worship the Lord, you’re not thinking about your differences, you are focused on the One who made us all.

Maybe instead of focusing on our differences, let’s unite under the supreme cause that our God loves us despite our mistakes. I want to point out that I am not just saying that you should focus just on your own relationship with Christ, although that is vitally important; it was never meant to be the sole thing. We were not only made to worship, but we were made to worship together.

I realize that our current circumstances make worshiping together a challenge, but even though it looks different, it doesn’t mean it’s any less important. You may have to get creative. You may have to put in a little more effort to make it happen. You may have to have worship over Zoom with friends. You might even have to pick up the phone. Regardless of the format, have intentional conversation with others about the Lord and worship Him together.

“So reach out and welcome one another to God’s glory. Jesus did it; now you do it!” vs 7

How Can I Help?

“Those of us who are strong and able in the faith need to step in and lend a hand to those who falter, and not just do what is most convenient for us. Strength is for service, not status. Each one of us needs to look after the good of the people around us, asking ourselves, ‘How can I help?'” Romans 15:1-2

Our world is hurting. Things have spun out of control and people are freaking out. Many people who many of us might’ve thought were Christians have either turned from the faith or adopted beliefs that don’t gel with Scripture. What should we do? How should we handle all this unrest and all these friends seriously doubting their faith?

Unfortunately many well-meaning Christians have resorted to pointing fingers and making a spectacle of someone’s sin. Some have even stooped to name calling. “You’re doing it wrong!” That does not seem like the right reponse to a someone who is struggling or straying.

We’ve got to love each other, and not with a hippy, groovy kind of love, but with the love that comes from the Source of love that now dwells in us. If you know someone who is struggling, listen to him. Hear what he is really saying and ask good questions. Remember it’s not up to you to convict, but to lead him back to the feet of Jesus.

Do you know someone who is struggling in his faith? Pray for him and then reach out to him. Maybe you are the one who is having doubts. Reach out to someone you know who is solid in his faith. If you don’t know anyone, message me, I’d be happy to pray for you and help you navigate through your trouble if I can.