I haven't updated this in a while so this might be a tad short, but I need to express what the Lord has laid on my heart recently.
The Lord has plans for you. He has made plans to help you prosper and not to harm you.The Bible says, "Trust in the Lord with all your heart; and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, and he shall make your paths straight." (Proverbs 3:5-6). This means that the Lord can control your life if you let Him. He can show you where you need to go.
What's interesting is in this passage, the Greek words are much more expressive than the English translation could ever hope to be (as is usually the case). See it says "He shall make your paths straight." That's not just saying that he will guide you and help you move toward His direction, in the Greek, it means he will level everything in your way. He will literally make a clearing so prominent it would be almost impossible to miss it. He will literally come in and wipe everything out so that you can go in His direction and toward Him.
We think about the majesty of this and the wonder. And we simply praise God for the many things he has done in our lives, for good reason. We know "all things work together for good for those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose." (Romans 8:28). However, we must not forget that everything has two sides. As much as we pray and give thanks and song to the Lord, we must realize that Satan is more than readily lurking behind every corner.
See, as many plans as God has for us to prosper, Satan has tenfold to makes us fail. To drop us off of God's path for us. While God comes and levels what's in front of us, to make it clear what path is meant to be taken, Satan not only clears the immediate path, he entices toward his path. He coaxes us onto his side so that he can trap us in negative thoughts, in distrust, in an overwhelming depression that's like Hell to get out of.
Through all of this, God is watching us. He is with, He will help us. God doesn't want us to fail, but he allows it. How many times have you failed at a task? Each attempt to try again becomes more and more fervent at succeeding. Without failing, we don't learn what if feels like to lose sight of God. As humans, we need to be reminded that we will fail, and that we must try again. It is this free will, this undeniable loss that compels us to becomes increasingly more fervent toward God.
God doesn't want harm to come to us, and each day we stray from the path He has leveled for us, becomes a day we fall closer to Satan's harmful track. Robert Frost says, "I took the road less traveled, and that has made all the difference." I use this here, in this context, to say that we must understand that God's road for us may not necessarily be easy - there will be days full of trouble - but we must overcome these days and reach toward a dawn of possible impossibilities with the Lord.
For, God's plans aren't to harm, but to allow the chance to prosper. So, please, look for God's guidance in everyday situations. When they don't turn out the way you want, don't lose sight of what may be the bigger picture.
For all of life's problems, ask God.
26 January 2011
Today someone came up and said, "I didn't know you were a Christian." My response was simply, "Yes, I am." But, after I thought about it I realized how sad this was that He didn't know I was a Christian, that he couldn't tell that I was a Christian. I started to think, why didn't he know? How could he not tell? And the only clear answer was that I wasn't living the way I should be. I wasn't living my life in a Christian manner. Now, I don't mean that I need to change the way I walk, or necessarily the way I talk in everyday life. However, I do need to learn to proclaim Jesus everyday. I need to learn to witness for Him all the time! After all, Matthew 5:14-16 says:
You are the light of the world, a city on a hill cannot be hidden. Men do not light a candle and put it under a bowl, instead they put it on its stand and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way let your light shine before men so that they may see your good deeds and worship your father in Heaven!
23 January 2011
God calls us all to be followers. He intends for all of us to follow His guidance. In John 21, we hear the story of Peter and 6 other disciples fishing. The have cast their nets time and time again and have caught no fish. Jesus appeared to them and said, "Throw your net on the right side of the boat and you will find some." When they obey Christ, they bring in a bountiful catch.
Jesus shows us over and over that He will always help us. He will always guide us. He is there for us. However, we must take the time to follow Him; to obey Him. Later in the chapter, it goes on to say that Jesus asked Peter, 3 times if Peter loved Him. Every time Peter said, Yes, Lord you know that I love you." Jesus tells Peter follow Him. To tend His flock. Look after them.
All of us are meant to follow Christ. However, the Lord does call some of those followers to lead. But, what can we lead what we have not followed ourselves? Do schools hire teachers that haven't had to follow education? Do businesses hire managers that haven't had to follow the path to supervisor? No. It is meant for us to follow Christ. And, from that He will lead us to our purpose.
For years, I've known that I'm meant for something big. I meant to do something. And, for years, I've been searching for it. If I'm meant to do it, surely I'll find it. But, no. I'm meant to follow Christ. I'm meant to follow. He will lead me to what I'm meant to do. Whatever that may be.
So, I will follow Christ. He will lead me, and help me. He will guide me, and protect me. I will follow.
25 November 2010
What an original title, I know. But, that's what today is - Thanksgiving! A time when we sit back, eat, and think about the problems we'll have paying for everything we just ate, as well as the stuff we'll be trying to afford next month.
I've always found something simplistic in the notion of Thanksgiving. A time when we actually try and forget all of the woes we complain about every other day. It's a fantastic thing to think about. A day when nothing matters except for the good things. It's the one day of the year when we look past the storm to try and find the rainbows. The enumerated wonders that God provides in our life. Happiness is all around us!
This is a passage from the book eat pray love by Elizabeth Gilbert:
...people universally tend to think that happiness is a stroke of luck, somthing that will maybe descend upon you like fine weather if you're fortunate enough. But that's not how happiness works. Happiness is the consequence of personal effort. You fight for it, strive for it, insist upon it, and sometimes even travel around the world looking for it. You have to participate relentlessly in the manifestations of your own blessings. And once you have achieved a state of happiness, you must never become lax about maintaining it, you must make a mighty effort to keep swimming upward into that happiness forever, to stay afloat on top of it. If you don't, you will leak away your innate contentment. It's easy enough to pray when you're in distress but continuing to pray even when your crisis has passed is like a sealing process, helping your soul hold tight to its good attainment.
Thanksgiving is the one time of year when we extend that challenge to ourselves. The challenge of finding that happiness. Happiness is a challenge withing each of us. This involves many steps.
First, we must make the conscience decision to be happy. We must make an agreement with ourselves that we will seek happiness.
Secondly, we must have the ability to do so. We must understand that we need to seek happiness as a perpetual journey. We must take the road to happiness - direction determines destination.
Lastly, we must surround ourselves with happiness. Happiness is very dependent on your surroundings. It is very dependent on what kind of person you are - and who you surround yourself with.
Try and take the road to happiness. Robert Frost once wrote
It makes all the difference on which path you take, the path to happiness or a different one. All you have to do is "Think of all the beauty still left around you, and be happy" as Anne Frank would say.
So, today, I'm thankful for happiness. For the struggle it takes, and the journey it provides. I pray that each of you can be happy!
For all of life's problems, ask God.
18 January 2010
Have you ever heard that song, "You and I must make a pact, we must bring salvation back"? Lately I've thinking about this simple line. This simple promise to each other. We will take our time to share God's word - to allow God to overwhelm us in such a way that we want nothing more than to bring back His word and salvation.
I've been having dreams - almost nightmares. One was about computer viruses on someone's computer. One was about me getting a speeding ticket for a semi-truck that I wasn't allowed to even drive. These seem very random and off-the-wall. However, I've grasped the meaning of these dreams - as far as I can tell. It seems that my carelessness is what brought about these seeming horrific events. It was because of me that these things happened. I don't mean in a way that's hard on myself - I simply mean that this was the message of these dreams. If I don't watch out and be careful Satan may take over my mind and soul. I must see him lurking around every corner and take action to ensure that the Lord fills my heart so that there in no room for Satan to even try to get in. I must make a pact with the Lord to bring salvation back! Not only in the world - but in my life!
I've also noticed that every time I feel sinful. Every time I feel like I'm not worthy, I always end up doing something really specific. I take a bath. While this doesn't seem like I've realized it's not because sitting in the warm water is soothing - though it is. I've noticed that it's because I feel the need to watch the sin away. To wash Satan off. To allow my guilt to soak out of my life. I've realized that this does nothing without asking God for forgiveness. Without making the pact with Him to bring the salvation back!
So, you and I must make a pact! You and God must make a pact! To bring salvation back!
08 January 2010
This has nothing to do with the song. On the contrary, it has to do with nothing else but the sheer power, and might of God. Lately, I've been having these feelings. I just feel immense guilt anytime I think about me sinning. My heart becomes heavy to the point where I can't seem to shake the feeling that I don't deserve anything but the wrath of God. After all, what have I done to deserve salvation? I didn't die. Or did I?
God calls us to live for Him. Do His will and cherish his word! Why would we want less than to share his almighty purpose? Where would the hope be if we were destined to live a life of sin with no chance at resurrection? Without the hope of one day meeting the one who placed where we are?
Through these feelings I've discovered that I want nothing more than to share the word of God. Be His follower, and have him guide me where I belong. I don't think I've fought this for many years, however, I do feel I've tried to delay this incomparable destiny. I think that I've spent many years allowing myself to tread the waters of the earth without ever finding the life preserver of the Lord. Now, I don't mean to contradict myself. I knew who God was, I loved him and held Him close. Well, not close, but - inside. I didn't allow his light to touch those around me, however, I allowed the light to touch them while putting Jesus in the shadow and taking the credit. I spent my life wondering why no one was congratulating me, why no one treated me like I've done something good, why no one felt proud of me. I didn't realize that Jesus has done that. And in return I must show him the same good fortune and favor He has given me. Knowing this simple thing enlightened my world more than anything I ever discovered in the Bible - though I'm sure that's in there.
I understand now that my life is meant for Him. My life is no longer to be controlled by my weak choices. I rise from what was once a feeble human, and venture in a dark forest where few tread. A place that fills many with so much fear that they dare not journey into this land. It is not a desert. It is just beyond the clearing where God's salvation is given. The forest is filled with those who took the risk to live for him. It is rich with a soil so fertile that if you were to plant something it would spring up and yield ten-fold. However, it does not come without work. This is a place where God's children can spread His word. They can plant the seeds of the Lord and nurture each seed with gentle kindness and a subtle hand. This forest poses a threat to Satan which can't be contained. He will lash out against anyone who dares enter into the trees. But, God will shower His few precious followers with the ability to banish him to his desert, to the place that yields nothing but hate, anger, revenge, and lust. The forest which I will choose to travel into will have a perpetual tempest of Satan. But with the Lord hovering over to ensure that His crops produce a fruit sweet enough for anyone to taste with no regret I know I will succeed.
Recently, I traveled to a friend's church. I went to watch a performance of a prophetic dance team ('trEd dance' www.treddance.com). The show was amazing and the result it produced in me was what I believe first had me thinking about this step I want to take. Without going into too much detail I will tell that I knew what they were doing was for the Lord. I knew that they were succeeding in their mission to share His word. I understood this very simply. I cried. Not just at the beautiful performance, but because I could feel the Spirit of God in the place. Not just God, but Satan trying to overtake some of the feeble ones who might allow him in while thinking that it is God. I don't understand many of these things that I feel. I have some sort of connection with the Spirit that I can't explain. Maybe I don't even know what it is myself - yet. But then, I suppose we all do.
I know that I was Born to be Wild for the Spirit of the Lord. Taking bold choices to support Him, and allowing risks to be that may alter how people see Him. And I don't mean wild like "Where the Wild Things Are" but a different form. Not dangerous, but carefree. A truly beautiful sight to anyone who might behold it - and especially to the Lord!
I pray for everyone reading, and everyone who's not. I hope that you can pray for me as I venture into the shadow to raise a new generation of followers. I hope some of you may even follow me. But most importantly, I pray that you are learning, listening, and loving the Lord. It may take some time, but you'll get it! Hang in there!
Have a blessed day! I'll talk to you soon!
18 September 2009
This is something I wrote a couple of years ago. I love it, and I would like to share it with all of you who read this blog. Thank you for reading, and I hope to have many more updates in the future.
Ah! The stars. You know, I have the most beautiful view of the stars from my yard. Sometimes, I'll just sit there and look up at them and think, this is what God must look like, so vast, immense, and wondrous. And then I realize that it IS God. Watching me, protecting me. Perfect; without a single blemish. Yet, no matter how hard you try you'll never find out everything you'll need to know about it. But you're okay with that. You're happy just simply sitting there and thinking, Wow! Thank you! For everything! And you look up and realize that God is not only watching you, protecting you, but He's living in you. And you want to share that with the world. The glory of God living in you is so incomparable to any other feeling you have ever had, or any feeling you have yet to experience. You realize that the beautiful world was painted by God so that you can see His beauty and glory in your everyday life. You walk around with a smile. You know that God will may your day great! You know that He has plans for this day and every day after that one. You praise God all day long and when you go home you think about what He did today. And, when the night comes, you look at the stars. The giant sky. And you shed a tear. The greatness of God is so overwhelming you begin to cry at all he has done for you. And you cry even more at the thought that God has even bigger plans for your life. Then you wake up and begin the process over again. And it was all because of the beautiful night sky.