God is working friends. Right here among us! Everyday I see it more and more….here in the hard, the complicated, the stuff I don’t understand, the disappointments, the weariness…..He’s here and working. His ways are not our ways. What He does is supernatural and so much better than what we could muster up in our own human efforts. He’s here friends. Right here in the midst of our daily coming and goings. Our conversations…our decisions…our work…our families. He’s here and he wants to do more than we ask or imagine. Right in the middle of our mess that may look like a curse. There is so much more going on than what meets the eye. Are you listening and watching for Him?
Everyday I’m thankful for a new start. Everyday I blow it, one way or another. I fall short. I mess up. I sin. Far too often I fail to get it right. That’s just part of being human. We are imperfect. Do I like to mess up? No. I can be so hard on myself, and I’m still in the process of learning to lean in hard to my Heavenly Father when those times come and let Him speak Truth over me. That’s God… He is a good Father- when we come to Him with a repentant heart- willing to be honest about who we are and how we fail to do what He says…He wraps us up in His arms. He forgives and restores us….to start over and trust in His power to help us do what we can’t do on our own.
Friend, condemnation is from the enemy. Conviction is from God. That’s the good news of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Forgiveness. We realize we are utterly rotten inside and have no hope without Jesus. We can freely confess the darkness of our hearts, the critical thoughts, the hurtful words, the prideful self promotion, the lies we told, the disobedience we chose, the unbelief ruling our hearts, the selfishness in our motives, the lack of grace shown…
Through confession and repentance we are set free. The enemy loses power and God can being to really work in and through us. But only when we take the brave step of admitting who we really are and how much we need God’s life and power in us to do what we can’t. As we face the things that threaten to overwhelm us in our day to day life- humility and dependence on God is what will keep us from losing our way. No matter what we are going through. That is how we overcome in Christ. It’s through dependence and an honest evaluation of who we are and who God is.
When we hide sin in our lives, it grows…..it hurts not only ourselves, but it hurts other people. It separates us from God. Never think a hidden sin is only your problem. When we chose to cherish sin in our hearts, it is going to affect the the people in our lives. Before I move on, I have to say…. don’t just read this and think about that other person and THEIR sin. It’s so easy to see other peoples shortcomings and be blind to our own, so stop and take an honest look at yourself. Sometimes God uses the sandpaper people in our own lives to bring to light our own issues. While that can be hard to realize about ourselves, it’s a big step in our growth when we can acknowledge this and admit our weakness. Ask God to reveal areas of your heart that are not surrendered and are hindering Him from doing something great inside of you. Yes, this is uncomfortable and it can be painful for these things to be brought to light. But friend, this is the way to life and freedom.
What might God be wanting to do in and through you once that area of your life is brought under submission to God. Once that sin issue is brought to light and no longer controls you. Once you are walking in freedom and full of His life and power- no hinderances- real and true and brave…..trusting God enough to be honest with Him and other people. No longer hiding behind a facade of perfection or intellect or self-reliance. No longer religious, but knowing the freedom and intimacy with God that comes from confession and repentance. Walking in the power of God, yielded to His way…..His timing….His wisdom. Friend, what might life be like for us….what might we see God do in and among us…if only we do what He says and trust His ways and not mans.
The past few months I had not written…well, to be honest, I had not completed a post. I have maybe 16 post that are started and yet to finish. Life has been full and I was personally working through some areas of obedience and trust in my own life. Part of the process has been admitting some weaknesses and the need for change. I have been taking faith steps in a direction I felt the Lord was leading me, but it felt scary. I was, also, swimming in some disappoints that just plain hurt and I wanted to make sense of it all. I’ve been wrestling my way through to trusting God and believing Him for this new year – even when everywhere I turned there was disappointment and hard stuff. But I’ve pressed on and I think a lot of my writing will come from what God is teaching me. Through life. Through His Word. Through His Spirit. Even through my readers. Yes, God teaches me through those of you who read this then at the right time, in the right way…share with me what God is doing and speaking into your life. That’s the supernatural part. His Spirit working in our lives doing what we can’t do apart from Him.
This place is always on my heart and mind because I believe this is what I am suppose to do. Write…the things He’s teaching me. Share… how He’s speaking. Worship…as I marvel at all He has done and is doing through the hard, which I call good.
Hard is really so good for us. Without it we had no idea what it is to know God through His peace, provision, strength, and unconditional love…. Somehow hard is where we learn about the abundant life. It’s where the glory of God is revealed, because in most of the hard we can only look to God for help. We can’t do it. It’s where we learn contentment, joy and how to be grateful for all things.
I began asking God, throughout the Christmas holiday, what verse did He have for me to live out as I prepared to head into a new year…my 50th year. I asked what did He want from me and what did He want to teach me?
He gave me Hebrews 11:6 and these two words:
FRUITFUL and FAITHFUL
I want this year to count…I want to follow God with Reckless abandon. I want to trust Him….I want to KNOW Him! Maybe you feel that same way. But everyday, somehow, I find ways to procrastinate or waste the time I’ve been given on selfish, self-seeking activities.
Sometimes the days are just full, and I long to sit longer with Him, just to be still and hear from Him……but I failed to get out of bed when He woke me at 4am…knowing I needed to just BE with Him longer so that I would be fully equipped for the day before me (but I thought I needed the extra sleep). God might have been moving me to sit with Him and write what He was speaking, but instead I chose to listen to myself and sleep, rather than move as His Spirit led. Maybe there were people He was leading me to pray for in those early moments of the day…and I chose to hit snooze rather than get up and head into war to pray for the ones He brought to mind. OH that grieves my heart when I am that disobedient. It cause me to fear because I want to be trustworthy, faithful, and fruitful. And that doesn’t come by listening to my flesh and not following the voice of God. It comes from seeking His presence above all else.
All of that above is pure disobedience. It’s allowing self to rule instead of submitting to the Spirit of God that calls to me each morning!
Do I really mean business when I say I want to KNOW Him?
If I do, then I am going to take action and discipline my body to follow Jesus! To BE with Jesus.
New Mercies Everyday!
He’s there, waiting….ready to speak into our lives which transforms the way we live, think, and love.
EVERYDAY…there is a choice to be made. We choose what matters to us most.
When we sit with God, in His word, seeking Him in Scripture and prayer…. Truth is spoken. That is where we get all the weapons we need to stand firm against the enemy of our soul. That is where we receive all we need to live each day as we should for God’s glory and not our own. It’s where we overcome all the defeating thoughts threatening to take us down.
And the enemy hates it.
Just this morning God reminded me of another thing that results from allowing Him to be the first voice into my life each day…..He truly supplies EVERYTHING I need for the day.
You have to get up early to get it and it won’t last for the rest of week….you have to go daily and He provides through His presence. Everyday it’s fresh! It’s New and full of His mercy and love.
Another thing God revealed to me this morning is how He uses that time to give me what I need for other people. I was reminded of a conversation I had with a friend who was in the midst of a move and I had gone over one morning to help her unload some boxes. We probably talked more than work that morning, but really the ENTIRE conversation was so purposeful. As we talked and shared I was able to share some scripture God had given me that morning. EVERYTHING He had spoken to me through His word was what my friend needed to hear that day! It was amazing how He was preparing me to speak life into my friend through my time with Him. If I had gone over there without being filled up with His word and wisdom, I would have had NOTHING to offer my friend but my empty words. I didn’t go over there with some self righteous intent to share what God had shown me. We just talked and He led the conversation. As she shared with me, I shared what God had spoken through His word that very morning, it was natural, not forced…. it was RIGHT and TIMELY. I had no idea until my friend marveled at how much she needed exactly what I had shared with her. Then I marveled. How wonderful of God. I had no idea our morning would be about more than unpacking boxes.
How often God does this. He direct our conversations. He speak life through us….and most of the time we have no idea how God is using us through it all. That is how important it is that we allow Him to fill us early in the day so that we are prepared and useful throughout the day. You can’t muster that up in human strength. Trust me. It comes off without power and will not be effective because if flows from our flesh and human ways of doing things. It has to be a work of the Holy Spirit, full of His power.
There’s a difference in us when we’ve been with Him. How I love the conversations I have with spirit filled friends that have been with God. Friends, this is how God designed it to be. Life giving, alive, fruitful, challenging, equipping…..full of His power and love.
So as we head into today, are we filled up with the daily manna that comes from spending time in the presence of God? The world will notice if you are only religious (meaning you talk the talk, but lack His power) or filled with His life that comes from being with Jesus. I pray we will walk with purpose today and trust not in ourselves, but the power and spirit of God.
Wherever you are friend today. He sees you. He knows what you are facing and He wants to be the one who upholds you. Trust Him. Listen to His voice and then do what He says. I promise you He is at work all around you. Who might God want you to connect with today to share your burden? Do you need to open up to a safe person who walks with God? Who might need you to be there for them today, to listen…to comfort…to pray? Keep your eyes and your spirit open to what He’s doing and join in. It’s truly supernatural and amazing when we step into God’s purposes and ways, and stop striving in our human strength and effort. Learn His ways and learn to submit. Find your people by praying about who God would have you build relationships with. And if God has given you a good friend who listens without judgement, who prays for you faithfully, and loves you without conditions….then be thankful. A friend like that is a gift from God and makes the journey through this life so much sweeter.
New Mercies for today friend. It’s a new day. Let’s start over….. I am praying for you!
And I am posting this without my faithful editor reading it because I want to do what God has given me to do….and not shrink back and be unfaithful. So even with typos and such…..I’m showing up this morning friends. To God be the Glory….Great things HE has done.