Are you worried about the wrong things?

WORRIED ABOUT THE WRONG THINGS!
 

Martha and Mary

As Jesus and his disciples were on their way, he came to a village where a woman named Martha opened her home to him. She had a sister called Mary, who sat at the Lord’s feet listening to what he said. But Martha was distracted by all the preparations that had to be made. She came to him and asked, “Lord, don’t you care that my sister has left me to do the work by myself? Tell her to help me!” “Martha, Martha,” the Lord answered, “you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one. Mary has chosen what is better, and it will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:38-42

This passage speaks volumes, it truly does! There is so much to learn here. Jesus came into Martha’s home. Upon His arrival, it seems that Mary, Martha’s sister was in awe of Jesus’s presence and wanted to spend every second soaking Him up. While Martha worried about making everything perfect for Jesus while He was there, and she soon became overwhelmed. If Jesus came to your home now what would you do? Would you be trying to clean, cook and get everything right? Or would you be sitting at His feet focused on Him? If you’re a neat freak like me always cleaning before you have company, and like to have everything things in order for your guest, these questions could be hard to answer.I reflected on these verses, and I could see how this story reflected different areas and seasons of my life. At times, we feel as though we have to get things right and in order before we can come to God and sit in his presence. For example, we may feel like we strayed from the path God had set for us; now things have fallen apart, and we feel obligated to put things back together before going to God.  The fact is things are in such disorder because we worry about the wrong things!

Come to God with all of your mess; especially when you’ve strayed. God knows that we will stumble. We can’t be fruitful in life without Him! He takes joy in being our restorer. Don’t let the enemy play with your mind and have you feeling like you can’t come to God ANYTIME, ANY HOUR! I like to think of being overwhelmed or upset as God using my frustration as an opportunity to say: “Tomasa, Tomasa, you are worried and upset about many things, but few things are needed—or indeed only one.” The truth is things don’t become right or fall into place until we submit to God’s will for our life. God wants us to come as we are so He can perfect us! We are mere humans, and nothing we do alone will be good enough for our God! (Isaiah 55:8-9, John 4)

Have a lot on your mind? Are you confused about your purpose or identity? Are things just not going as you would have hoped? Do you feel overbooked with tasks? Or maybe you can’t put your finger on what’s wrong but know things aren’t right?  If so stop and sit at the Lords’ feet in silence and relax. Let Him renew you and make you whole! Let Him declutter your life and organize your comings and goings. If we stay consistent and focus on Him, He will supply and take care of our needs!(Matthew 11:28-29) The Lord loves you, and if you chase after Him with all your heart, he will not leave you with a need or worry!

Prayer: Lord God, let me not worry about the wrong things. Let me come to you wholeheartedly and put You first in all I do. Comfort me in knowing that if you are my center, you will protect me. If I place you first in all things, you will bless the rest. I am nothing without you, Lord. In Jesus precious name I pray, Amen.

Some Related Scriptures: 2 Peter 1:4, Jeremiah 29:11-14, Matthew 11:28-29,John 14:27, Proverbs 1:33, Romans 10:9

While I’m Waiting

While I wait

Waiting is hard. I know that you know that, we can all agree on that. No one wants to wait. In fact, we live in an “I want it now” society where they tell us we don’t have to wait. You want food fast? Plenty of restaurants are willing to accommodate you.  Do you want a relationship? Plenty of fish in the pond, boo!

Unfortunately, that’s where the world gets it wrong. Half the journey is experienced in the waiting. That’s why I’ve decided to explain to you, today, why I have chosen to wait instead of date.

Let me show you a few things I’ve been learning from scripture before we delve into that particular sore subject.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”

Isaiah 40:31a

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the souls who seek Him.”

Lamentations 3:25

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

All these have come up in the past week during my regular devotional time with God. I’m a firm believer that the entire Bible is God’s word to me, and if He keeps bringing up the same thing over and over again, you’d better believe I’m going to stand up and listen to what He’s trying to tell me.

Did you know that in over half the scriptures that tell us to wait, or be patient, or let God’s timing prevail, that they tell us to “be brave and have courage”? Even God knows that waiting is hard.

So, with that in mind, let me show you a few more things that helped me decide to wait, not date. I hope they’ll help you make a decision one way or another, too.

First off, let me start by pointing out God’s original design for man and woman. Eve didn’t go searching for a man. God created her specifically for one man, and he brought her straight to him. Genesis says that God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him.” He didn’t “try out” fifteen women before he landed on Eve. God brought them together, and they stayed that way.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Proverbs 18:22

“But he who finds a WIFE finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord.”

(emphasis, my own)

First, let me point out that it isn’t the woman finding a man here. It’s the man finding a woman. And, yeah, that might seem like an outdated concept to you, but I firmly believe God is still in the business of bringing the right people together.

Secondly, I would like to point out that it doesn’t say “he who finds a girlfriend.” In fact, the Hebrew doesn’t even have a word for “girlfriend”. God’s original design for relationships was for them to last forever. “Casual dating” only teaches people that they can back out of a relationship if they have to work too hard.

So, yes, waiting is hard. The good stuff always is. Think about when you were a kid, and you had to wait for a batch of cookies. Didn’t they taste that much better because you waited?

Who cares if it’s not the norm? We left normal in the dust the instant we turned to Christ. Isn’t it better to wait and not have all that emotional baggage when you find THE ONE? (Or, rather, when he finds you?)

I still believe in true love. I still believe God will bring me the perfect mate. Yes, I am still waiting and yes, it is still so hard. I’m human. I have wants, desires, and urges that only get stronger as I get older.

Guys, I’m going, to be honest here. I’ve never even been kissed. I want so badly to know what that feels like. But I’m going to wait on God’s timing. I’m going to wait for that one guy that I will spend the rest of my life with. You know why?

Because…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:13-14

* Re-blogged Content originally posted on Sep 5, 2016 9:49 AM

Hands Off

 

Hands Off (1)

There are times in life when you want something so badly it hurts, keeps you up at night, and pervades most of your thoughts, actions, and purposeful direction. I’m at that stage in life right now, aching for several things. Things I’ve been working toward for years and still seem no closer to achieving.

This morning, I opened my current devotional book and found:

“The LORD said to Abram, ‘Leave your country, your people, and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you’.”

Genesis 12:1

At first, it didn’t seem like this has much to do with this deep, aching, all-consuming desire within me. Until I looked past the surface and saw what God was really asking Abram to do.

Leave your country. The people you’re loyal to, the ones who influence your personal culture and tell you what is acceptable. Your people… The ones you’ve grown up with and value their opinions. And your father’s household… Your family, the ones who put expectations on you and advise you. Go to the land I will show you. 

God looked at Abram and told him; “Take your hands off this situation and let me handle it. Do what I say and trust Me to know what’s best for you.”

Girls, that’s hard. Sometimes it’s the hardest when we want something the most because a nagging little voice asks us “but what if God doesn’t want this for me?”

Let me tell you something. God is good. He wants what’s best for you, and he placed those desires in your heart. If it’s a Godly desire, he wants it for you! He wants you to have the best, and He’s willing to give it to you. Don’t doubt that He will give you the absolute best of everything. If what you’re wanting lines up with His word, there’s no reason for Him to say no.

“Whom have I in heaven but you? I desire you more than anything on earth.”

Psalm 73:25

You see, the trick is to get so lost in God that you don’t care if you get those earthly things! He wants what is best for you, so why would you need anything but to love him? If my eyes are so focused on God that I don’t look around me, it seems so much shorter a wait when his plan finally unfolds before my eyes.

Girls, we don’t have to fret, because God has this! Throw your hands up and let it go, let him take it off your shoulders. There’s no need to fret and there’s no need to stress. Take your hands off and let the hands of the sovereign, beautiful God crush you to His chest. Get lost in Jesus and watch God bring you blessing after blessing, even things you never thought would happen!

I love you all, and I want only the best for you, just like your Jesus. Stick with me, girls! Hold on and keep the faith. I promise you everything will be so worth it in the end.

When Your Dreams Are Big

Big Dreams

Do you feel it?  A stirring in your heart to do something others may think is crazy? Do you find yourself staring into space and dreaming a dream that is so big you are terrified?  Yet, no matter how scared you are or intimidating it seems… you just can’t shake it.  How do we know when these desires are what God wants for us versus our fleshly desires?

What does God’s word say about it?

If you were to search the scriptures would you find any verses where the Lord clearly speaks against whatever this desire is?  Or, would any of the steps along the way require you to compromise His clear directions?

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. Colossians 3:16

Do you need to justify your choices not only to others but to yourself?

Does your spirit seem unsettled about the decisions you are making or the steps you are taking?  Are you having to convince yourself that you are doing the right thing, over and over again?  Are you feeling any conviction over your actions, guilt or shame?  Are you unwilling to listen to others or God’s Word, because you know it will speak against your choices?

But they, our fathers, acted arrogantly; They became stubborn and would not listen to Your commandments.  Nehemiah 9:16

Have you spoken about your desires with trusted, godly, men and women in your life?

Are you afraid to talk to those who are closest to you about your dreams and your actions steps to get there?  Are you hiding any part of the process from them because you know they will disapprove?  Have you invited your prayer warriors to intercede on your behalf?

The way of a fool is right in his own eyes, But a wise man is he who listens to counsel. Proverbs 12:15

Have you laid your desires at the throne?

Have you taken your dreams and placed them at the foot of the cross, surrendering them to the Lord?  Do you pray for clarity and direction?  Have you invited the Holy Spirit to guide your dreams?   Do your prayers include requests for affirmation to assure you are in His will?

Therefore, brothers, be all the more diligent to make your calling and election sure, for if you practice these qualities you will never fall.  2 Peter 1:10

Do you trust the Lord with your dreams?

Are the reservations you are having about your dreams due to a lack of confidence in the Lord to be faithful to His promises?  When we trust in God, that means that we believe in His plans for us… even when they don’t make sense or seem too big.  It means that we are going to lean into Him during each and every step of the way.  A decision made daily to do what He asks of us for that day, and not to worry about tomorrow.  Commitment to walking with Him in prayer and through His word, clinging to our Shepherd to lead the way.

And they that know your name will put their trust in you: for you, LORD, have not forsaken them that seek you.  Psalm 9:10

The scriptures reveal many stories of people who the Lord cast big dreams for their lives.  In each story, we see individuals who called out for His guiding hand and provision.  A dependency on His protection, and the expectation of His miracles.

When your dreams are big, remember your God is bigger.

While I’m Waiting

While I wait

 

Waiting is hard. I know that you know that, we can all agree on that. No one wants to wait. In fact, we live in an “I want it now” society where they tell us we don’t have to wait. You want food fast? Plenty of restaurants are willing to accommodate you.  Do you want a relationship? Plenty of fish in the pond, boo!

Unfortunately, that’s where the world gets it wrong. Half the journey is experienced in the waiting. That’s why I’ve decided to explain to you, today, why I have chosen to wait instead of date.

Let me show you a few things I’ve been learning from scripture before we delve into that particular sore subject.

“But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength…”

Isaiah 40:31a

“The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the souls who seek Him.”

Lamentations 3:25

“Wait for the Lord, be strong and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:14

All these have come up in the past week during my regular devotional time with God. I’m a firm believer that the entire Bible is God’s word to me, and if He keeps bringing up the same thing over and over again, you’d better believe I’m going to stand up and listen to what He’s trying to tell me.

Did you know that in over half the scriptures that tell us to wait, or be patient, or let God’s timing prevail, that they tell us to “be brave and have courage”? Even God knows that waiting is hard.

So, with that in mind, let me show you a few more things that helped me decide to wait, not date. I hope they’ll help you make a decision one way or another, too.

First off, let me start by pointing out God’s original design for man and woman. Eve didn’t go searching for a man. God created her specifically for one man, and he brought her straight to him. Genesis says that God looked at Adam and said, “It is not good for man to be alone, I will make him a helper comparable to him.” He didn’t “try out” fifteen women before he landed on Eve. God brought them together, and they stayed that way.

Next, I’d like to introduce you to Proverbs 18:22

“But he who finds a WIFE finds a good thing, and receives favor from the Lord.”

(emphasis, my own)

First, let me point out that it isn’t the woman finding a man here. It’s the man finding a woman. And, yeah, that might seem like an outdated concept to you, but I firmly believe God is still in the business of bringing the right people together.

Secondly, I would like to point out that it doesn’t say “he who finds a girlfriend.” In fact, the Hebrew doesn’t even have a word for “girlfriend”. God’s original design for relationships was for them to last forever. “Casual dating” only teaches people that they can back out of a relationship if they have to work too hard.

So, yes, waiting is hard. The good stuff always is. Think about when you were a kid, and you had to wait for a batch of cookies. Didn’t they taste that much better because you waited?

Who cares if it’s not the norm? We left normal in the dust the instant we turned to Christ. Isn’t it better to wait and not have all that emotional baggage when you find THE ONE? (Or, rather, when he finds you?)

I still believe in true love. I still believe God will bring me the perfect mate. Yes, I am still waiting and yes, it is still so hard. I’m human. I have wants, desires, and urges that only get stronger as I get older.

Guys, I’m going, to be honest here. I’ve never even been kissed. I want so badly to know what that feels like. But I’m going to wait on God’s timing. I’m going to wait for that one guy that I will spend the rest of my life with. You know why?

Because…

“I believe that I shall look upon the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living! Wait for the Lord; be strong, and let your heart take courage; wait for the Lord!”

Psalm 27:13-14

 

 

 

To Be Seen, To Be Known

ToBeSeen

Have you ever felt invisible, as if no one can see you?  A few weeks ago, I sat with a woman who was lamenting about being overlooked.  Her heart wanted desperately to be seen as valuable, worthy, capable, and a blessing.  As we dug deeper through our conversation, she shared that she had been overlooked her whole life.  Then she said these words.

I think this is why I am fat.  I am making myself seen.  You can’t help but see me.

At first, I was stunned to hear this woman speak these words.  I have known her for years, and I would hardly consider her a woman who was invisible.  She was one of the first women I was drawn to at our church, because of her beautiful heart for God. Her infectious sense of humor and her wisdom.  I sought her out, and yet she feels invisible.

Then I began to reflect on women in my circle. Including myself.  There is the woman who incredibly loud, The woman who dresses over the top for all occasions.  There is the woman who is always up for anything, the life of the part.  The woman who posts a million photos on Facebook and Instagram.  The woman who always has something to say in every conversation.  The woman who is quick to raise her hand, volunteering on every committee and project.

I wondered, how many of these women were just trying to be seen, to be known.

I thought about all of the times when I have cried out to God, and it seemed like He didn’t hear me.  I thought about the number of occasions I was waving my arms at God saying “pick me, use me” and felt He had passed me by.

Have you ever felt invisible to God?

But whoever loves God is known by God.

1 Corinthians 8:3

His word tells us that He knew us as we were being stitched together in our mother’s womb, that he knows our voice, He knows those who belong to Him, he calls us by name.

Last week, I stood in line at the Deli section of the grocery store waiting for my number to cue.  I watched the people working behind the counter rushing to serve each customer efficiently but quickly.  When it was my turn, I used all the manners I had been raised with.  Please.  May I have…?  Then, as she handed me my last package, I glanced down at her name tag.  “Thank you, Linda.  Have a great weekend.”

I was no different than the customers before me, with one exception.  I called her by name.  I saw her.  She was known.  I watched the stress lift from her face, her eyes light up, and the corners of her lips turn up into a smile.  I made eye contact with her, smiled back, and went about my day.

She gave this name to the LORD who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Genesis 16:13

The Lord knows you, by name.  You are His, and the Lord is the Good Shepherd, who tends to the needs of His flock.  We may not always understand where our Shepherd is leading us, or why He asked us to wait.  But, he has not forgotten us.  He is the Shepherd, who seeks the one lost sheep.  The Creator who provides for the sparrows of the field.  The Lamb, who was slain for my sins, … your sins.  He gave His life for you that you would be covered by the blood and saved FOR eternity with Him.

When the road is weary, the wait is tiring, and your strength seems to fade, remember His promises.  Wait on Him.

Isaiah 40:28-31

 28Do you not know? Have you not heard?
The Everlasting God, the LORD, the Creator of the ends of the earth
Does not become weary or tired.
His understanding is inscrutable.

      29He gives strength to the weary,
And to him who lacks might He increases power.

      30Though youths grow weary and tired,
And vigorous young men stumble badly,

      31Yet those who wait for the LORD
Will gain new strength;
They will mount up with wings like eagles,
They will run and not get tired,
They will walk and not become weary.

Conflict, Attack and Situations That Seem Impossible to Overcome

conflict and attack

Conflict is something a lot of people struggle with, including me. I use to be a person who did not deal with conflict well at all. I was either way too emotional and blowing up or I shut completely down and cut the situation off (even though I may have been rightfully upset). First, I praise God that I have come a long way and am no longer the person I use to be. I have gone from those two extremes to a better balance somewhere in the middle, and I can manage conflict better. However though I was responding differently on the outside, on the inside it was still taking an emotional toll on me. I was still holding the weight of situations in my hands having yet to release them over fully to God. I got to the point where the build up was too much, and I cried out to God, and He told me He wanted my FULL surrender in these situations.

Yes, I had made progress, and it was awesome.  However, God wanted to continue to develop me and train me to release my hold on my situations and hand them over to Him. He wanted me to seek and acknowledge Him; He wanted me to trust Him and believe in His Word. That I can do all things and overcome all things through Christ who strengthens me. He wanted to show me the changes I had made and needed to make would develop our relationship.

So with this new-found knowledge, it was only a matter of time before I was faced with a test a chance to gauge my comprehension of the lesson He taught me. Recently, I found myself at odds with my rental management company. This situation hit all my previous triggers anyone who knows me knows injustice and disrespect are big ones. This case included those and then some. I was too tired to fight and didn’t want to deal with this situation physically or emotionally, and I wanted to run, but I had to have a place to live. So I trusted God and waited for His guidance. Casting my burdens upon Him. I sought Him in prayer and allowed the Holy Spirit to move me to action. I activated my faith over the situation, and  I believed God could fix it. I SURRENDERED knowing that regardless of the results I would STILL trust Him and allow Him to guide me through this conflict.

In the end, the Lord delivered well beyond any expectation I could have had. I had a face to face meeting with the property manager and assistant property manager shortly after a lengthy email exchange with regarding them being unwilling to uphold their promises and honor my request. After our meeting, I ended up with more than they initially promised. Not because I asked for it, but because I trusted God, and I choose not fight in the flesh but to fight against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. He allowed me to gain skills to handle conflict without blowing up or shutting down and instead of holding all of my emotions within I can release them to Him, trusting Him.

When dealing with conflict, attack or a situation that seems impossible to overcome keep  these Scriptures close:

Trust God: we have to believe God before we can expect from God.

Trust in the LORD with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding.Proverbs 3:5 NASB

Remind Yourself Who God Is: tell yourself who God is, in the midst of your situation never lose sight of who God is.

fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Hebrews 12:2 NASB

Tell Yourself Who You Are: Remember the authority that He has given to you.

But in all these things we overwhelmingly conquer through Him who loved us. Romans 8:37 NASB

I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me. Galatians 2:20 NASB

Behold, I have given you authority to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing will injure you. Luke 10:19 NASB

Stay Alert: Be quick to listen  slow to speak and slow to get angry, don’t lose your cool, a hot head is a jumbled mind

everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger  James 1:19 NASB

Never Forget God Is With You: We have a tendency to forget God is with us. So it is important to REMEMBER God is always with you, He will never leave us.

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the LORD your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6 NASB

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Healer, Redeemer. Lord, I need you.

Healer, Redeemer. Lord, I need you.

I remember once, as a child, I was goofing around in the house, and I broke a figurine that belonged to my mother.  I knew that I was going to be in ALOT of trouble.  She was at work, and I used the time to my advantage.  I carefully matched up the pieces, applied some fast drying glue, and held the pieces in place.  Crisis averted.  You couldn’t even see the crack; as if the piece was never broken.  Within a matter of months, I had knocked the figurine over a second time.  Unfortunately on this occasion repair was impossible.

There are some instances from my past that have left me broken, and I thought I was beyond repair.  In fact, I believed that there was no saving me.  Surely these mistakes and poor choices collectively were too much for God to see me as worthy.  In my brokenness, I had lost all hope and continued making mistakes.  Finally, someone was able to bring me to that place where I understood God’s mercy and grace.  I understood forgiveness; I learned that Christ died on the cross for not only the sins I knowingly committed… but even the ones I didn’t know were on the horizon.  He died for them all.

I was so desperate to walk forward in that freedom. Freedom from the mantle of grief and shame.  I had forgiven those whom others would deem as unforgivable.  I even forgave myself, which is sometimes harder than forgiving others.  I was trying to walk in victory. I stumbled often.  There was this one thing that kept haunting me, this one moment in a sea of others that I couldn’t seem to shake.  This one event that had such a hold of me that I would find myself crouched in a corner crying out:

LORD, take this from me!

I wanted so much to be like the figurine that I broke.  I wanted God to fix me to the point where the trauma was invisible.  However, the Lord didn’t heal me.

A few years ago, at a Women’s Retreat, a speaker shared that sometimes we hold onto a trauma as if it is too big for God to redeem.  She stated that by holding on to it we were in sin, and God couldn’t bless us until we stopped hanging on to it.  In retrospection after the retreat, I believed this must be my situation.  I confessed to the Lord about holding onto this trauma; I wanted to heal from my brokenness; and I prayed that He would give me the strength, courage, and peace to let it go.

It continued to haunt me. I cried out:

LORD, take this from me!

The Lord didn’t take it; I was becoming discouraged.  I convinced myself that it was Satan trying to hurt and distract me.  He was whispering memories of this in my ear.  It was his attempt to make me doubt myself, disqualify myself as worthy, and hold me back from the good work the Lord would have for me.  I rebuked Satan’s hold on me and waited for the freedom of healing.

The Lord didn’t heal me.  I cried out:

LORD, take this from me!

I just couldn’t take it anymore.  I felt defeated.  Terrified that this trauma was going to hold on to me for the rest of my life.  I wasn’t the entirely pieced together figurine, held together by God’s strength.  I was in pieces all over the ground, shattered.  Or, so I thought.

Last week, I attended a Women’s Event hosted by Authentic Intimacy.  It was at this event Dr. Juli Slattery shared a revelation that would rock me to the core. She shared that some women are healed of their past trauma.  These women are fully recovered and restored, living out their lives as if the trauma was wiped from history and their memory.  These healings are MIRACLES and miracles are RARE.  For the majority of us, God instead chooses to REDEEM our trauma. The process takes time, and for some of us we will not see full victory this side of Heaven.  Victory, however, is still ours because as the Lord redeems us, He will make beauty from ashes.  Our redemption becomes His story of hope to others just like us.

The Lord uses our redemption from our trauma and past to say to others who are broken…

Look to me, the Lord your God, for I can heal and redeem you.  I will make you a new creation, marking you as my own, and your testimony is the seal of my covenant with you.  I am the Lord who hears, sees, heals, restores, and redeems those who seek me with all of their mind, heart, and soul.  This child is not who she once was, and the same is the gift I gave to you on the Cross. 

An enormous weight was lifted off my shoulders that day.  I was no longer carrying a mantle of shame or guilt but instead burdened with a purpose, unlike anything I had ever experienced.  Instead of weight that pushed me down, this difficulty pushes me forward on the path He has set before me.  Each step I take, He walks ahead of me. A Good Shepherd leading the way to green pastures.

The Lord heard my cries, and he answered them by gifting me a purpose from my pain.

The Japanese have an art form known as Kintsugi. In Kintsugi, an artist takes a broken object and repairs the pieces with a lacquer mixed with gold, silver, and even platinum.  The point behind this art form is that the repairs are visible, indicating that the object had a past or history.  It honors the trauma that happened to the piece, honoring the brokenness as part of the object’s history instead of trying to hide it.  The piece is considered more beautiful because of these veins of precious metal that run throughout it, holding it together.

There are times the Lord chooses to heal completely and restore our brokenness, however for most of us the Lord instead pieces us back together with Himself.  We do have a past or history. However when others look upon us, they will see the blood of Christ holding us together.  He binds my broken pieces with the blood He shed for me.  Blood that is more valuable than gold or silver.  We are more beautiful because of Christ in us, on display for all to see.

For you know that you were not redeemed with perishable things like silver or gold from your futile way of life inherited from your forefathers, but with precious blood, as of a lamb unblemished and spotless, the blood of Christ.

1 Peter 1:18-19

At His Feet

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Don’t be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what is the good, well-pleasing, and perfect will of God. – Romans 12:2

With our lives growing and practically consumed with busyness, it’s important that we make time for God. He is the lamp to our feet, and He lights our path. But how can we know where He is telling us to go if we never step out of our mundane tasks and into the Most Highs presence? Are we willing to come under God’s discipline and learn what He wants to teach? We can do this by sitting at His feet.

But seek first God’s Kingdom, and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. – Matthew 6:33

We can be tired, weary and emotionally distraught, but after spending time alone with God, we find that He injects into our bodies energy, power, and strength. – Charles Stanley

Spending time with God is what cleanses us from our worries and replenishes our strength for what lies ahead. Christ renews us; He is our guide through life. Ever felt like nothing you do is working? Maybe you feel stuck, like everything around you is moving and you’re not.  Or even find yourself going backward. We won’t make it on our efforts alone as Christians Christ is our power supply and a lot of Christians are running on E because after they take off, they never come back to the power supply (Christ) to stay filled.

Early in the night, he rose up and went out, and departed into a deserted place, and prayed there. – Mark 1:35

Sitting at His feet is challenging at first but as you make it a habit you will see your appetite and awareness of His presence grow.

Here are some tips to help you spending time at His feet:

Invite God into your day as soon as you wake up and close your day with God. Spending at least 15 minutes in the morning and at night in God’s presence.

  • Praying– Tell God what you have planned and then surrender your plans to Him. Then telling Him about your day and how it went.
  • Reading His Word- I recommend a verse of the day that you meditate on throughout the day.
  • Silence- After you have prayed let Him do the talking. Let Him speak to you. I find that my most memorable times with God are times when I haven’t said a word. BE SURE TO WRITE DOWN THE THINGS GOD REVEALS TO YOU!

Being at His feet is a place of comfort and renewing. God wants to speak to us, but often we are too busy to hear what He has to say. For the next 7 days, I challenge us to spend at least 30 minutes at His feet at day. I believe at the end of these 7 days God will have revealed some amazing things to us. I also believe that we will experience God in a new way. Be sure to come back after you have completed the challenge and share your testimony in the comments below!

Related reading: Luke 10:38-42

Prayer: Father you are the creator of all things, we thank you for another day and the desire to hear from you. Help us not to be conformed to the ways of this world but to be transformed by the renewing of our mind. Help us to first seek the Kingdom of God and let us find comfort in knowing that you will provide everything we need. Lord let us not worry about the wrong things, help us to focus our sights on you. In Jesus name we pray, Amen!

 

Praying knowing the Power of God

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Peter Freed from Prison

But while Peter was in prison, the church prayed very earnestly for him. 13 He knocked at the door in the gate, and a servant girl named Rhoda came to open it.14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, she was so overjoyed that, instead of opening the door, she ran back inside and told everyone, “Peter is standing at the door!” 15 “You’re out of your mind!” they said. When she insisted, they decided, “It must be his angel.” 

Acts 12:5,13-15 NLT

This story of Peter is great encouragement on why we should keep praying regardless of what the situation may look like. Herod had just killed James, the brother of John. When Herod saw that killing James made the Jews happy he arrested Peter with the intentions of putting Peter to death too. Peter got arrested during Passover, so he was held in prison. They kept Peter in what we would call a maximum security prison. He also was under heavy guard so escaping was not an option. The Church knew that Herod’s plan was to kill Peter. They began to intercede on Peter’s behalf praying earnestly for him.

It’s important to understand what earnestly means because this is essential in prayer. According to Dictionary.com earnestly means:

  1. serious in intention, purpose, or effort; sincerely zealous
  2. showing depth and sincerity of feeling
  3. seriously important; demanding or receiving serious attention

This means that they were praying for a purpose, sincerity, and serious intention. They were pleading for a move of God to set Peter free. They knew that this was a situation in which only God had the power to provide a resolution. 

While they were praying, an angel of the Lord came to free Peter. Peter thought it was a vision then he realized that the Lord had sent an angel and saved him from Herod. Peter then went to the home of Mary, the same place where the Church gathered to pray for Peter. Peter knocked on the door, and Rhoda was amazed. How could Peter be at the door? Instead of opening the door Rhoda ran with excitement to tell everyone that Peter was there. They were all in disbelief and thought she was crazy because they were praying for Peter. Peter kept knocking, and they finally opened the door, and they were overjoyed and amazed at how God answered their prayer.

Peter’s story shows us the power of prayer. No matter what your situation looks like nothing is too hard for the Lord. I urge you to keep asking, keep praying and believe that God is able! As in Acts 12 literally, while you’re praying the answer may show up at your front door, and you too will bask in the incredible power of our Lord. What a mighty God we serve!

Prayer: Lord you’re mighty and worthy of all the praise. Father, we ask that you increase our prayer life that we may pray earnestly. Allow us to pray with expecting hearts. Let us not limit you Father God. We know that you are a God, who can do all things. I pray that we open the door when you answer our prayers. Let us continually lift the body of Christ in prayer by interceding for one another. It’s in the precious name of Jesus that we pray and give thanks, Amen.