Archive | October 2013

Will God Supply My Needs?

Photo Courtesy Flickr Creative Commons

For most of my life I’ve struggled to take care of myself. Beginning at age 2 ½ or 3 years old I occupied myself often. My father worked night shift and my mom worked day shift and they were unable to afford a caregiver for me. Being responsible at this young age gave me the false belief I was taking care of myself and this bled into every area of my life. The phrase, “God helps those who helps themselves”, was my mantra. It was a very twisted view of life and it held me back from receiving the love and guidance of my Heavenly Father.

During my childhood I attended church and a Christian school, but never heard a message about complete dependency on God. Rules and regulations were highlighted, but not the message of being God’s beloved child. We have our part and God has His, but too many people either expect God to drop blessings on them or believe they must earn them by good behavior. God’s view is very different.

It’s God’s desire we seek Him first and foremost. Matthew 6:33 “But seek first His Kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Many of us quote this verse without really understanding it. We like the part about all these things being added unto us, but we forget the seek ye first part. What does it mean to seek God first? It means we put Him on our schedule first and schedule the rest of our life around Him, not ask Him to join our life.

This is what was missing for a very long time. I sought God only when it was convenient or when my life had spiraled out of control and like Peter, I would say, “Save me Lord!” I held onto the promises in the Bible as if they were my right, but forgot the part God asked me to do. Many of God’s promises require action on our part. Our part is to seek God and ask His will and direction for our life. Proverbs 3:5-6 “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 your paths straight.” God’s ways are very different from ours and when we trust in our reasoning we miss out on some of the blessings God has for us. He doesn’t withhold them from us to punish us, but to guide us. We need to position ourselves to be more sensitive to Him, so we hear Him clearly.

The story of Nehemiah comes to mind. When He had the heavy burden for Jerusalem, He sought God through prayer and fasting and then received God’s special favor to do the impossible. The key is He sought God first. The disciples were given authority through Christ to do mighty miracles, but they became complacent and couldn’t cast the demon out of a little boy. After Jesus had cast the demon out, they came to Him asking why they couldn’t perform this miracle. Jesus replied in Matthew 17:21 “But this kind does not go out except by prayer and fasting.” Prayer and fasting when done with the proper motive does not earn us special favor, but positions us to receive His power.

Prayer and fasting alone are not enough; we must be willing to be obedient. God is looking for our hearts to be broken and turned toward Him; to understand our desperate need for Him and to know we are nothing without Him. When we walk in constant dependence on Him in this way, He will reward us with revelation of His Plan. When we take time to be alone with God, He has the opportunity to convict us of hidden sin in our lives and empower us to obey Him more fully.

The Sermon on the Mount is the blueprint of how to live the abundant life Jesus died to give us. I encourage you to study it in detail and asked God to give you revelation to understand it more fully.

Are you seeking God’s face today?


Here a Cause, There a Cause

Photo by Courtney Dirks courtesy of Flickr

Lately, I’ve been plagued by doubts I’m not doing enough. There is so much need around me and I don’t want to be selfish by not helping those in need, but there are simply not enough hours in the day to help with every cause. There are political causes, save the Indian River Lagoon, YWAM students needing support, sick, poor, and people without insurance who have serious health issues. There are an endless number of causes you can adopt, but how can we be effective if we try to spread our energy over all of them?

God gives each of us a passion for the mission He has created us for. Some of my friends are very passionate about politics and political causes, some are passionate for children, some are passionate for young mothers, and some are passionate for those who are sick, etc. Are any of these causes wrong? No, they’re just not the cause God has laid on my heart. God has laid the broken-hearted on my heart. The people who have lost hope, those who believe God can’t possibly love them or care about them.

As I was studying in Matthew chapter 8 this week God spoke to me. He used the illustration of the disciple asking Jesus if he could temporarily step away from following Jesus to bury his father. This man wasn’t asking Jesus if he could to do something wrong, after all, it is written in Exodus 20:12 “Honor your Father and Mother…” Jesus was asking this man to choose following him rather than doing the thing society expected of him. I’m not saying we should shirk our responsibility, but following Jesus comes first. He comes first, before our comfort, before what others think of us, before anything in this life.

This is where being spirit lead is very important. God will prompt us to follow Him and sometimes He may call us to come out from doing something good so He can use us for something better. Here’s an example from my life. God called me out from my church group and my family to attend a group called Celebrate Recovery for a season of my life. There were those who didn’t understand at the time, and to tell you the truth, neither did I. It was just something God was telling me to do and He made it perfectly clear it was what He wanted even though it didn’t make sense to me at the time. Now, I look back and see it makes sense and it was just for a season and now that season is over.

This is just one example of how God called me to follow Him. Let me make it clear, He didn’t call me to leave my husband, just step away one evening a week for a few hours to work on me with a group of people who loved on me and steered me toward further healing in my life.

God doesn’t use the burning bush anymore like He did with Moses. He gently guides us through people and circumstances around us and through His word and Holy Spirit within us. If we get so caught up in every cause around us, we will not be able to hear His voice clearly. We have to take time to step away alone with him and be clear where He wants us to go.

My challenge to you this week is to take time to pull back from all the busyness in your life and ask Jesus where He wants you to go.

Has Jesus been trying to get your attention?

Do you have an example of a time when God led you down a path that just didn’t make sense?

Please share so we all can learn.

This entry was posted on October 16, 2013. 2 Comments

Are You Struggling To Hold On To Faith?

holding on

Photo by Erik Charlton courtesy of Flickr

In our world it’s very easy to lose hope. There is so much heartache around us on a daily basis and if we choose to focus our attention on our circumstances we will lose our faith. God knows this and gave us a prescription for overcoming the despair we can sometimes succumb to if we’re not careful.

Philippians 4:6-9 “6 Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise dwell on these things. 9 The things you have learned and received and heard and seen in me, practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.”

This is a promise from God. We will have peace when we do what God tells us to do here. Easier said than done you may say. God never promised us easy; He promised us this life would be hard. Many Christians have lost sight of that one simple truth. This life God has designed for us is meant to teach us and to train us for the next life. If we choose the easy way out, we lose.

This week I’ve seen two women go through deep disappointment on their journey.

One is a woman who has become my mentor. She doesn’t know it, but she has inspired me to step in deeper with God. Last week while training for a bicycle marathon to raise money for the mission God has lain on her heart, she had an accident. She broke her thumb a couple ribs and she is unable to participate in this event which she has been working toward for some time. My heart broke for her. I know that place, when the dream dies. The place where you wonder, “Why God? Did I hear you wrong?”. Instead of having a pity party, she dug into God’s Word while she was bed ridden. She shared how God was encouraging her. This woman understands how to overcome disappointment.

The second is a woman who lost her young child to cancer. Thousands of people or more have been praying for her little girl to be healed. In the midst of this journey she has been writing a blog inspiring others. She was real about her pain but, never faltered in her faith or blamed God. She trusted his sovereignty the entire time. She looked for the blessings in the midst of her trial. Her journey convicted me of my own struggle to remain faithful in far less traumatic circumstances.

This is what true faith looks like and what God is calling us to move towards. I am so grateful God gives us living examples of faith through the people around us. They are all around if we will get our eyes off of ourselves long enough to look for them.

This week, I was not a good example of faith. I had a huge pity party for myself in the midst of my circumstances. I allowed my focus to stray from the truth and went into the pit of despair for awhile. I’m so thankful for the people God has placed around me to remind me of the truth when I stray.

Who do you have in your life to hold you accountable? Do you allow others to hold you accountable to move forward?