Verses

Ask, Seek, Knock

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“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” (Matthew 7:7)

I love when God shows up and finds ways to get my attention. Matthew 7:7 has been a verse that has shown itself a few times this week and it’s only Tuesday. There are plans on my heart and I know only the Lord’s plans will ultimately prevail.  To know the direction He wants me to move in, I have to ask and seek Him in everything.

God will make His way known if the desires of my heart are in His will.

Time and time again, especially lately, He has proven Himself faithful. I’ve been attentive but I get impatient in the waiting.  When I sit at His feet daily, He reminds me to trust Him in this time of waiting and preparation.

God’s ways will always be higher than ours and He wants us to ask and seek Him daily before making big decisions. 

Ask.

Seek.

Knock.

What a timely reminder.

Lord, you know the desires of my heart. Help me to ask and seek You in everything. Don’t let me move unless You tell me to first. In Jesus name, amen.

Are you asking and seeking the Lord daily before making big decisions? 

#heartcheck

Always Pray and Never Give Up

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“One day Jesus told his disciples a story to show that they should always pray and never give up. “– Luke 18:1

This is the second time I’ve been led to this verse and I really needed the reminder today. I’ve been ready to throw in the towel and each time I’m ready to quit, God reminds me to seek, trust, and wait for Him. He doesn’t want me to quit, He wants me to see whatever He’s doing through to the end.

I’ll be honest though, it’s hard. In my mind, I can already see the outcome and I don’t want to go through it again.  I went through seasons of dry spells in my prayer life when God and I weren’t on the best of terms. My prayer life has been active a lot more over the past few months because I know in my heart I need His words to comfort me.

God wants us pray continually, repeatedly, and not give up meeting with Him when things get hard. He tells us in scripture anything is possible if we believe. 

I want the kind of faith that doesn’t quit.

How’s your prayer life lately?

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Show Us How To Increase Our Faith

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“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks forgiveness, you must forgive. The apostles said to the Lord, “Show us how to increase our faith.” – Luke 17:4-5

Days like today I wonder how I can sit with doubt or question God’s hand in current situations. Each time I ask for a sign, He provides. Loud and clear. He has yet to fail me in this area, but I still waiver in faith.

In this morning’s reading, the disciples knew they needed more faith. Why? Because they were conflicted in the area of forgiveness. And right now, so am I.

The past month or so has been a whirlwind. My life is changing and so is my heart. But I still have issues in trusting and believing. In February, I was deceived and lied to by someone I thought would be a long-time friend.  Not soon after, I was confronted with an area of my past I thought had been long gone and buried. These things prevent me from trusting the Lord completely because in the back of my mind, I’m wondering when the ball will drop and trust will be broken again.

Forgiving others for repeated hurt is hard but it’s the only way faith can work. When people are genuinely sorry for the way they’ve hurt us, scripture tells us we must forgive them. 

I want to walk in the freedom of forgiveness and obey scripture. I spent a lot of time being bitter, resentful, and angry between 2014-2015. Thankfully, God has worked in my heart and life to correct me in this area.

As we learn to forgive our faith in God increases.  If there’s a person in your life who needs your forgiveness, obey scripture and forgive them. This doesn’t mean what they’ve done to you didn’t happen or you’re forced to forget. Forgiveness isn’t about them, it’s about you. 

Lord, show us how to increase our faith. 

Has your faith been weakened lately because of unforgiveness?

Being A Proverbs 31 Woman

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“She brings him good, not harm, all the days of her life.”Proverbs 31:12

The Proverbs 31 woman has always intimidated me. Each time I’m led to read these verses, I’m only reminded of how I fall short in being this kind of woman. This of course is due in part to my issues with insecurity and not feeling good or worthy enough.

As women, it’s difficult navigating through life without a reality check. It’s especially difficult when following the Lord and He convicts us of areas that need improvement. This morning’s reading is only a reminder to me that I will encounter difficult people in my life and have difficult relationships, it’s a part of life. But I want to learn to be helpful, not hurtful with my words and above all, my actions.

I want to be the kind of woman men brag about to their family and friends. I want to be the kind of woman who is gentle with the hearts of the ones God brings into my life. I want to be the kind of person people can look back and say I made a difference in some area of their life.  I want to be a wife my husband is proud to have at his side.  I want my husband to know he can count on me to lift him up not put him down. That he’s appreciated, loved, and no matter what, I’ll always do my best to protect his life and heart.

This is what Jesus does and it’s only right we do too.

I’m not perfect and those close to me know how often I struggle with being kind and patient. But the more time I spend with the Lord, He softens those hard places and reminds me of the kind of woman I need to be.

Women play a vital role in the lives of others, especially men. How we treat other people matters and it’s especially true in our relationships.  Ask God to help you honor them with your words, thoughts, and actions.  This pleases God and it will make a world of difference.

Ladies, is there someone in your life you need to treat better?  Start now.

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The Problem With Procrastination

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“This is what the Lord Almighty says: “These people say, ‘The time has not yet come to rebuild the Lord’s house.’”

 Then the word of the Lord came through the prophet Haggai: “Is it a time for you yourselves to be living in your paneled houses, while this house remains a ruin?”

 Now this is what the Lord Almighty says: “Give careful thought to your ways.  You have planted much, but harvested little. You eat, but never have enough. You drink, but never have your fill. You put on clothes, but are not warm. You earn wages, only to put them in a purse with holes in it.” – Haggai 1:1-6

What are you waiting for?

This is the question I ask myself as I read this morning’s verses.  No one likes to admit they’re lazy in their faith. I know I don’t. But most of our lives are spent waiting for God to move when He’s been waiting for us to do what He’s already asked us to.

When we procrastinate doing God’s Work, we need to re-prioritize. Things in our life need to be shifted or dropped in order to put God first. 

If we’re spending time with God each day, He tells us what to do. It’s getting from the knowing to doing that most of us have a hard time with. Many things in our life can prevent us from doing God’s will. Situations from my past kept me from moving forward for over a year and I became spiritually apathetic.

When procrastination becomes a pattern of life, it puts limits on our faith.  God tells us what we should be doing but like the Israelites, we keep putting it off.

I wish I could say each time God speaks to me, I jump at the opportunity to obey but I don’t.  This morning’s reading is a reminder and warning. When God tells us to do something, we must not delay.  We make time for the things that matter most to us. If God matters to us, we’ll do what He tells us to without stalling. God wants us to be proactive in our faith. He wants us to live the life He’s called us to but we need to do our part.

Today, make God a priority and stop procrastinating. 

What are you waiting for?

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Where Are You Putting Your Trust?

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“Don’t put your trust in mere humans.
    They are as frail as breath.
    What good are they?” – Isaiah 2:22 (NLT)

In most areas of our life, we need to trust the Lord, not people. 

I’ve been hurt a lot so trusting people lately is difficult.  I’ve said this repeatedly over the past few weeks as I’ve been having a difficult time trusting not only the Lord, but also questioning whether or not some things are in alignment with His will or if I’m leaning on my own understanding instead of His. I think it’s a mixture of all these things.

This morning’s verse reminded me not only do I need to trust in the Lord and Him alone, but I also need to pay attention to how much I’m relying on other people to do what only God can. 

I know God is working in my life, it’s pretty obvious. I won’t sit here and deny it, I can’t.  But, God wants me to trust Him and Him only.  People are limited and unreliable. God is faithful, and is the same yesterday, today, and forever; unchanging.

Today, I’m choosing to trust Him above everything and everyone else.

Will you?

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How Stubborn Are You?

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“So I gave them over to their stubborn hearts to follow their own devices.” – Psalm 81:12

On a scale of 1-10, how stubborn are you? I’m somewhere between a 5 and 6.

2015 was spent doing things my own way without God’s direction. I built relationships with other people thinking it was His will and though I saw Him move in those brief moments, the foundation wasn’t there.  I decided I was tired of disappointment so I continued on my own path until a moment of crisis halted my plans and He intervened.

I remember several times throughout the year when I was angry with God and how my life wasn’t going. I was mentally, physically, emotionally, and spiritually tired. I did things my own way for about a year until I got a reality check. I realize now how stubborn I was.

Sometimes God allows us to continue in our disobedience and run our own race. God could have intervened any time in those moments even before my moment of crisis, but He allowed my plans to fall apart to bring me to repentance. This was His plan all along.

I don’t like to admit how stubborn I really am. Any woman who wants to follow the Lord in all her ways doesn’t like to admit failure. I’ve failed plenty. It’s a moment by moment decision in my everyday life to either follow the Lord or continue in my stubbornness and do life my way. I already know the end result so there’s no point in going down that road any more.

God wants to turn our stubbornness into steadfastness. 

Today, will you let Him?

#heartcheck

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What Voice Are You Listening To?

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“So, as the Holy Spirit says:

Today, if you hear his voice, do not harden your hearts” – Hebrews 3:7-8

Many voices are competing for my attention. All the wrong voices. I’ve been kind of discouraged lately. Scared, doubtful, and having difficulty trusting God. I see Him working in my life, I feel Him with me, and the inner voice in me tells me to trust. Yet, other voices remind me of my past, make me worry about things I can’t change, without wanting to listen to the truth of God’s voice.

I deal with rejection a lot in my personal life and in the past year it spilled into my professional life too. Two almost three years ago, I identified the root of my issues as rejection and I’ve been trying to hand over those wounds to the Lord daily. The problem though is when those wounds harden my heart to the voice of truth.

God told me this morning to trust Him, not lean on my own understanding, and don’t worry about tomorrow. Basically, reminded me of what I already know deep down. In those moments, I knew it was the Spirit.

When the Holy Spirit speaks, we must listen, trust, and believe.

Today, I’m choosing to follow and listen to the Spirit.

Today, what voice are you listening to?

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Will You Respond & Act?

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 “Do not merely listen to the word, and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says.” – James 1:22

Again, this morning’s reading hit the gut. I was led to Obadiah 1:3 but was immediately brought to the attention of this verse in James.  I’ll be honest, I don’t always follow through in responding to God’s Word.  I rationalize, analyze, and try to figure things out before taking action. I know this is disobedience and I know the longer I walk in disobedience, I’m not only deceiving myself, but blowing off the Lord.

Lately, I’ve been less eager to obey. I haven’t wanted to take any action because of fear. Fear of the unknown, fear of failure, fear of disappointment, and the list continues. My life is slowly being altered behind the scenes and so is my heart. I feel it and yet, I’m not responsive. It’s like there’s a part in me who wants the light but on the same hand, pushes it away.

When God speaks to us, we have a choice. A choice to respond or reject His message. When we respond in faith, stuff happens beyond our understanding. 

Honestly, this is easier for me to write than act. I’ve been lazy in my faith for a while now. I’ve done things on my own and watched it fall apart. I’ve been obedient to God’s call in the past and saw things fall apart. Now, I just don’t want to put forth any more effort into anything that will inevitably come to ruin.

I know there are things I need to sort out between me and God. I’m working through those things as I type. In the mean time, God wants my obedience more than my excuses.  Today, I’m ready to do whatever He asks of me.

God’s commands aren’t optional. He wants us to respond and act on what we hear. 

Will you respond and act today?

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Don’t Look Back

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” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.” – Luke 9:62

Back in February I wrote a post about How Looking Back Helps Us Heal and I still believe those words two months later. However, the way God has gotten my attention lately, I can’t ignore His reminder any more.

Yes, looking back helps us heal. We have to confront those hurtful places of our past to see how far we’ve come and how God brought us through it. But we can’t live or remain there, we have to keep moving forward. 

I’m amazed at how much of my life has changed in only a couple of weeks. I’m reminded today how very little I understand God and His ways. I will probably always be naive to His will because I’m not Him.

This morning’s reading is a reminder to me I can’t continue living in the wounds of my past. It hurts, a lot of will always hurt but I can’t use it as an excuse any more. I need to move forward in whatever God asks and wants from me.

If I’m honest, I feel stuck. There’s a will inside me to go on this adventure God is calling me to and yet, another part of me wants to remain still. My hands are ready, but my heart’s not and I’m torn.

This is probably the most vulnerable thing I’m putting out there.  I’ve never been this way before. Whenever God moved, I stood ready. There was very little hesitation only obedience. Yet, today all I can think about is how my past has significantly defined my present inactivity.

God needs me ready now and this means laying down the hurt from my past and moving forward in His will.

Lord, please guide me.

Is your past keeping you from moving forward in God’s will?

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Risk It All

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“Jesus answered, “If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”  When the young man heard this, he went away sad, because he had great wealth.” – Matthew 19:21-22

This morning’s reading is confirmation. Three times now I’ve heard or been led to the story of the rich young ruler. This time though, this story means something different. The rich young ruler valued the comfort of keeping things in his life the way they were more than responding to Jesus’ invitation to follow Him. I resonate with this story well.

I’m scared.

I don’t like to admit it, but I am. I’m scared of the unknown. I’m comfortable with the way my life is going at the moment without wanting to take any more risks.  I want things to stay exactly as they are because I don’t feel ready. I don’t want to screw up and importantly, I can’t handle any more disappointment.

Man, the enemy really has a grip on me.

This is my reality right now. I wake up every morning with a feeling inside me God is up to something huge and there’s a part of me who wants to get excited, scream from the rooftops of the way He’s working in my life, and yet, I sit here this morning afraid.

I have found myself attached to the wrong things, wrong motives, and wrong assumptions about things in my life, whether past or present. These things have held me back and still do from embracing the path God is paving for me now. While sometimes the vision blurry, I’m seeing things clearly now. At least I’m trying to.

Anything God asks of us requires risk. Risk to walk in the unknown, risk of trusting Him when nothing He does make sense, risk of putting everything in our life on the line to accept His invitation/call to follow Him. And if we aren’t willing to risk it all for the cause of Christ, we’ll pay for it. Maybe not now, but eventually.

I don’t want to be like the rich young ruler who couldn’t give up the things he cherished more over following Christ. I want to follow the Lord in everything I do, wherever He leads.  Though I’m scared, I know if I continue to walk in fear, I’ll never live the life I was created for.

God wants us to let go of anything holding us back and risk it all for Him.

Are you ready to risk it all for the Lord?

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Trust Those Who Are Trustworthy

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“Beware of your friends;
    do not trust anyone in your clan.
For every one of them is a deceiver,
    and every friend a slanderer” – Jeremiah 9:4

Do you have a hard time trusting people?  I do and often.

Now that I’m older, the circle I keep is smaller. I’ve learned through a lot of hurtful experiences, not everyone can be trusted.  I only have 2-3 people I can pretty much tell anything to and know they’ll be there for me.

Strength and help come from real friendships. Friends who are in our lives because they genuinely want to be and unconditionally love us as we are. This kind of friendship is rare. Not everyone in our life is there for the right reasons and it’s up to us to discern who gets to stay and who needs to go.

This morning’s verse is a warning. There are a few areas I need to make adjustments. I think I’m more careful of who I try and bond with on a deeper level and those I choose to keep at surface level. I don’t enjoy or want shallow friendships in my life, but not everyone in our life needs full access to our vulnerabilities.

We should trust people who prove to be trustworthy. 

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