If you don’t feel you have it in you to deal with that person another day remember…

annoying.jpg

You can, and I can, because we are not alone!

If your life is like mine, the days fly by so fast that it can be easy to get so to caught up in just living that you forget that “to live is Christ” (Philippians 1:21).

And while that is a fact that we may think we know as Christians, Is it really? Do our lives reflect a life that is lived for and with Christ, even when dealing with “that” person?

The thing is, we are not just supposed to be just surviving our lives. But, if we are really honest with ourselves, there are some people who make us feel like that is all we can presently do. Just getting through the day, without too much interaction with “that person” is our goal.

That mindset causes us to forget that God has ordered our lives. That there is a reason “that person” is in it. Now, maybe that reason is for them, for them to see a light in a dark world. Or maybe it is for us, for God to strengthen and refine our character, the person we really are at our core.  Whatever the case, remember Jesus said…

“…I’m telling you to love your enemies. Let them bring out the best in you, not the worst. When someone gives you a hard time, respond with the energies of prayer, for then you are working out of your true selves, your God-created selves. This is what God does. He gives his best—the sun to warm and the rain to nourish—to everyone, regardless: the good and bad, the nice and nasty. If all you do is love the lovable, do you expect a bonus? Anybody can do that. If you simply say hello to those who greet you, do you expect a medal? Any run-of-the-mill sinner does that. “In a word, what I’m saying is, Grow up. You’re kingdom subjects. Now live like it. Live out your God-created identity. Live generously and graciously toward others, the way God lives toward you.”” (Matthew 5:44–48, The Message, Emphisis mine)

Remember that as a believer in Christ you have everything you need to not just survive but to thrive in the face of adversity.  For  “the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you” (Romans 8:1 ESV). 

We are not alone, and our life is not our own.

May we both remember to live like it!

 

 

Three things that never change

three

  • God is Good

          How awesome is it that we worship a God who is good “all the time.” There is nothing that we can do to cause God to change. This gives us freedom from the fear that our actions will cause God to become a tyrant. 

  • God Loves us

          God loves us regardless of how we feel about him, or how we act. His love for us is a solid foundation on which we can build our lives. While we may choose wrong things and face the consequences of those choices, we can never do anything that will cause God to stop loving us.

  • God has a plan 

          God has a plan for each of our lives. This can be easy to forget during the hustle and bustle of living. So when things do not go as “we” planned it is easy to feel as if the ground beneath us is going to give way.  Yet, as we follow after God we can rest assured that he will make a way for he is in control, and we will see good in the land of the living.

Repeat as necessary 

          God is good, he loves me, and has a good plan for my life!

 

Freefalling

 

Trust

 

When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. – Psalm 56:3

          I don’t think there is anything harder than standing strong in your faith when your knees are shaking, It is not easy to be resolved to “wait and see what the Lord has done for you” when all you may want to do is hide under the covers.

          This approach of hiding my head in the sand is one I often took before realizing that running to God and not away from him was the key to putting things right.

          Being a Christian is not about always having it all together. It is about knowing who to turn to when things are falling apart. This world is rough sometimes and as a result, you may feel as if you are freefalling to your doom.

          When this happens, instead of sinking into depression, look up and keep your eyes fixed on God and freefall into the arms of the one who knows and loves you best.

         He loves you and has not left you. He has a hope and plan for your life. If you want to see those plans come to fruition then you must trust him.

          When fear comes banging on your door, get alone with God and pour out your heart to him. Then get in the word and allow him to pour out his heart to you. 

          Trusting God does not come easy at first but as you begin to continually see his faithfulness it will soon become as easy as falling off a log:)

Back in the Saddle Again

horse

Imagine that you are riding atop a beautiful, strong, trustworthy, and brave horse that is carrying you to parts unknown. Try and picture your hands, as you sit atop the horse.

What are they doing? Holding the reins, right? Now imagine that they are folded in your lap as the horse has no reins but is controlled instead by an unseen force.

If you are like me, the thought of riding such a horse makes you more than a bit uncomfortable.

Yet, as a Christian, you will occasionally have the opportunity to ride on such a horse.

Wait, scratch that.

As a Christian, you are always traveling on such a horse as you journey through this life. Yet, that fact is easy to forget because life has a way of lulling you into this false sense of security in believing that you are walking a path of your own choosing, with God as kind of your sidekick.

Yet we know the opposite is true. For the Bible says that.

The heart of man plans his way, but the LORD establishes his steps. 

(Proverbs 16:9)

 Or in other words…God is in control.

So when you next find yourself startled into the realization that you are sitting atop a horse with no reins, don’t panic. Instead look around and enjoy the view. And know that though you may not know exactly what the future has in store, you can be assured that God does and will lead you to exactly where you need to be.

cloud

I am the Lord your God.

(Ezekiel 20:7 ESV)

     It should be simple right? Give your life to God and then float along on a cloud until you depart this earth to be with Him in heaven. And it makes sense. God, after all, lead his people with a cloud (Exodus 13:21) so why wouldn’t he allow us to ride on one while he blows it, and us, across the finish line.

     It should be simple, yet winds of change can often, and sometimes too easily, (and violently)  knock us off our clouds and cause us to become disillusioned with God.

     But here is the thing, we were never meant to become cloud-sitters. We were called to be cloud-followers.

     Yet this is not always easy. Take for instance God’s own chosen people. He chose them and yet

While living in Egypt, the Jews began secretly to worship the gods of the Egyptians… When God opened the way for Israel to leave Egypt, some of the Jews took their Egyptian gods with them! God had sworn by an oath (“lifted up my hand”)7 that He was Israel’s God (v. 5) and that He would set them free and give them the Promised Land (v. 6). The true God set them free, but they carried false gods with them!1

     He chose them, swearing an oath to them,  and they, in turn, chose to trust in false Gods.

Who will you choose to follow today?

God says,

“STOP putting all your trust in your friends, your bank account, your abilities, your plans and your schemes, or even your newspaper and START trusting me, for I alone am able to make your path straight. It is NOT about what you see in front of you. Look up and trust that I, the God of the Universe, who sees the end from the beginning, know what doors need to be opened for you and which doors need to remain tightly shut. You are here for such a short time, make the most of it by putting fully your faith in me alone and see what I will do through you. I will not fail you!”

     Choosing to trust God when it is hard is not, by definition, easy, but as you make the choice every day to follow him it will get easier and easier, until the day it almost seems as easy as floating on a cloud.

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1. Warren W. Wiersbe, Be Reverent, “Be” Commentary Series (Colorado Springs, CO: Chariot Victor/Cook Communications, 2000), 93.

Trusting God in the Void

     

     Void

 

     Yesterday, after over nine years in school, I completed my last course requirement for my Master’s Degree.  For over nine years I juggled (though not always successfully) kids, work, cleaning, etc. And now that I am finished, I feel a bit strange.  I suppose that this is because there is now a question mark where there once was a plan in place.

     And though most of my previous classmates (as discussion posts point out) are already full into their careers, or are about to start one, I am kind of in limbo. While I do know that God has called me to a specific place but have no specifics I do believe that God has given me my next step. So after nine years of schooling, I will spend this next season soaking in the time with my grandson and getting closer to God.

     Though I am not going to lie, this season is not what I envisioned. I always thought that at the end of all of my schooling there would be a big shiny door open for me.

     I imagine that Ittai the Gittite felt, if only for a second, a bit like I am feeling,

     You see, Ittai was a guy that had dreams, big dreams. He wanted to work for the King. Yet, He no doubt had (as there usually are) plenty of neigh sayers. I would imagine that he heard things like, “What? You, working for a king?” “But you are a foreigner!”  “Why would you dream such a thing?”

     But against all odds ole Ittai the Gittite got the job and traveled far away. No easy task in those days. He then started his brand-new job, only to find that it looked nothing like he imagined it to be.

     For only one day after his arrival his boss, King David (along with his staff) had to flee for his life.  We see this in 2 Samuel 15:19–21.

 “Then the king said to Ittai the Gittite, “Why do you also go with us? Go back and stay with the king, for you are a foreigner and also an exile from your home. You came only yesterday, and shall I today make you wander about with us, since I go I know not where? Go back and take your brothers with you, and may the Lord show steadfast love and faithfulness to you.”

     He just got there, and his plans have turned to dust. He could have done as suggested and went home, the day after he came. It would have been easier, and for sure safer. But look how he responds;

But Ittai answered the king, “As the Lord lives, and as my lord, the king lives, wherever my lord the king shall be, whether for death or for life, there also will your servant be.”

Forget Mike, I want to be like Ittai!

     He knew what was important. It was not about his dream! It was about his king!

     Yes, my plans are not as I have imagined. Yes, I, like Ittai, have no idea what is coming next, but, like him, I do have a Boss. I do have a King that I will stick to. For,  “wherever my lord [my] king shall be, whether for death or for life!”

     As with a lot of Biblical people this could have been all there was to say about Ittai And frankly, for me, it would have been enough. But God was not done with Ittia. For in the very battle that would but David back on the thrown we see that even though it may not have looked like it, God had a plan after all.

     “And David sent out the army, one third under the command of Joab, one third under the command of Abishai the son of Zeruiah, Joab’s brother, and one third under the command of Ittai the Gittite.”” (2 Samuel 18:2, ESV)

     I do not know all that you are facing today, maybe it is a job loss, or the loss of a loved one, maybe it is a financial problem or maybe, like me, you have graduated with no real doors for your future opening up. You may be feeling a deep void in your life and may not even know why.  If so the best thing that you can do it be like Ittai, stick close to God and He will open the right door for you when it is the right time.

     Know that I am praying for all who read this post.