Archive | November 2013

Does God Want Persistence?

Photo courtesy of flickr creative commons


Many times we bring our requests to God only to give up when we don’t see an immediate result. How many times have we given up just short of having our request granted?

In our society, immediate gratification is prevalent. We don’t like having to wait for anything. We can treat God like He’s our personal genie and needs to give us whatever we ask.

Our society is also driven by shame, especially in the Christian community. We decide we are not worthy to ask God to meet our needs, because we’ve be told this is selfish. We are told this life is about suffering and God has much more serious things to be concerned about. So we give up asking, but in our soul we start to secretly resent the God who is withholding from us. It may be unknown to us, but eventually what is growing in our hearts comes out in our actions and words.

God wants us to ask Him to meet our needs. We must acknowledge Him first, but He cares deeply about what affects us.

This morning I came across Mark 10:46-52. Jesus was returning to Jerusalem with His disciples and a large crowd. Bartimaeus was a blind beggar and when he realized Jesus was in the crowd, he began to shout out for his healing.

In verse 48, it says “Many were sternly telling him to be quiet, but he kept crying out all the more, Son of David, have mercy on me.”

Bartimaeus identified who Jesus was. He knew Jesus was the Messiah, and he knew this was his opportunity to be healed. He refused to give up. The scripture doesn’t indicate that Jesus acknowledged him in the least until he refused to listen to those around him.

Many times we have people around us telling us to give up and we don’t see God appearing to acknowledge us. It is in those times we are being tested to see if we will trust God regardless of what we see or hear.

God expects us to be persistent to receive from Him. We need to keep seeking until we get an answer.

In Bartimaeus’ case, Jesus stopped and called him out when He saw his persistence. He asked him what he wanted and granted his request. Jesus told him his faith had made him well.

If Bartimaeus had listened to the crowd and given up, he wouldn’t have received his healing that day.

What have you been asking God for? Are you listening to the crowd?

It’s Ok To Ask For Help; Jesus Did!

Here’s a post I published some time ago. God has been reminding me again that asking for help is a sign of strength and not weakness. Enjoy; hope it resonates with you today!

 

Most of us have been taught through our life’s experiences that we have to be self-sufficient. This is one of the biggest lies in the enemy’s arsenal. If he can keep us isolated and  in fear of reaching out to others he gains more power over our thoughts. The more power he gains over our thoughts the more control he can maintain in our lives.

As a child, I often felt that I had no one to depend on but me. Recently, as I began to write my story, it became apparent to me that there were many people placed in my life who had helped me along the way. When I began to look at things from a new perspective it became apparent that I had never really been alone, but had chosen to feel that way. It was so much easier to focus on all the evidence that proved me right about feeling like it was all up to me, rather than focus on all the good people in my life who had helped me along the way.

A few years ago, my husband and I were in a situation where we had no choice, but to depend on others. This was one of the most uncomfortable places I have ever been in my life, but also the place that produced the most growth in my life. In the beginning, I despised our circumstances and thought that God had abandoned us. I couldn’t wait until the day our circumstances changed and we could give back everything we owed to everyone who was helping us. Slowly, God began to show me that He was teaching me an important lesson; that we are supposed to learn how to trust others and ask for help. Asking for help is not showing weakness, but great strength. When we become willing to make ourselves vulnerable to others we begin to truly live. Becoming vulnerable makes us powerful, because that’s when we learn to allow others to bring their strengths into our life.

A couple of weeks ago I was reading in Mark and came across the passage where Jesus asked the disciples to watch and pray with Him. It dawned on me that here was Jesus, the Son of God, asking for the help of His followers. What a revelation! God showed us how He wanted us to live our lives through Christ’s example, and in this instance, Jesus was asking for help. This is so profound, because most of us think we have to put up that brave front and stand strong, but we can’t be strong unless we allow others into our lives to help us. If Jesus, the Son of God, can ask for help, why can’t we?

We were not created to walk this road alone, but to stay connected with those around us and learn from each other so that together we can step into the greatness we were created for. We might just be surprised at what we can accomplish when we work together and remain open to receiving from others.

Who can you ask for help from today?

5 Things God Taught Me When I Admitted I Was Broken

photo courtesy of flickr creative commons by quotes everlasting

2010 was a major turning point in my life. It was the year I gave up trying to change myself and gave God the reigns. I can see it so clearly, kneeling by my bed with tears streaming down my face and a heavy pain in my chest crying out to God. “Okay You can have my mess, see what You can do with it!” Little did I know, it was merely the beginning of my journey of surrender.

In the beginning, it didn’t seem to make much of a difference. I didn’t have a sudden revelation of God’s Plan, didn’t see a burning bush or hear a booming voice tell me what to do next, just silence. The silence lasted for the next few months until a small voice told me to go to Celebrate Recovery. It was painful to go and be vulnerable to a group of women. “Women God, but I’ve always gotten along better with men?” It didn’t make sense to me, but God is still showing me things He taught me during that time.

He taught me to trust Him and not people.

He taught me listening is important.

He taught me to realize I didn’t know as much as I thought.

He taught me we are all the same, but different.

He taught me the beginning is surrender to His will, not mine.

He began to show me when I become vulnerable to others He can use me in unimaginable ways. We don’t need to trust people, because God will take care of us, but He gives us people we can share with. It’s not our job to protect ourselves, and when we try we will fail every time.

He began to show me listening to others is a gift for them and me. I’ve learned more about God by listening to the pain of others. It wasn’t just me who was suffering in this life.

He began to show me how little I knew about Him, others and myself. He humbled me and gave me the ability to become a student again.

He began to show me we are all in this together and while we have all suffered differently we have all suffered. We are all on the same playing field with God. He meets each one of us where we are and helps us in the way we need it. No one is any better than anyone else. We are all sinners saved by grace if we choose to receive it.

He began to show me how to surrender. This has been the hardest lesson to learn and I am still struggling to master this one. We fight surrender and once we finally let go and stop struggling we always wonder what took us so long.

This was the beginning and as I look back and see how far I’ve come with God, it gives me hope and faith for the future. He is always there.

Hebrews 13:5 “Keep your life free from love of money, and be content with what you have, for He has said, “I will never leave you nor forsake you.”

What has God taught you? Where are you struggling to surrender?