Verses

Finding Peace In Obedience

19590509571_08a9587afa_b“Glory to God in the highest heaven,
    and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests.” – Luke 2:14

“Why do you call me, ‘Lord, Lord,’ and do not do what I say?” – Luke 6:46

I was led to these two verses this morning. I was unsure of which verse to write on so I decided to write on both.  I saw Luke 6:46 in two places this morning so I knew it was significant. Luke 2:14 also spoke to me. It made me think of how often lately I’ve prayed for peace in my life and heart.

I realized true peace can only come from pleasing the Lord by being obedient.

Obedience.  Honestly, I hate the word. It’s not a word I prefer using in conversations with other people because obedience in my mind means “control.”  I always equate it to something negative when really, following the Lord and obeying His word is less about control and more about living a life that honors and pleases Him. When we do this, we find peace. At least from my experience.

If we’re not at peace, we’re trying to live our own way instead of God’s way. 

I’ve had days this week when I haven’t been at peace. I read scripture every day but lately having the correct truth in my heart hasn’t translated into obedience.  I want to know Jesus personally in every area of my life and where I lack peace, there’s a problem.

 We can’t quote scripture and still live an ungodly life.  God wants our whole life and hearts in His will, living His ways.

Is there an area of your life where you lack peace? If so, let’s talk about it.

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Don’t Deny The Holy Spirit’s Power

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“but whoever blasphemes against the Holy Spirit and His power [by attributing the miracles done by Me to Satan] never has forgiveness, but is guilty of an everlasting sin [a sin which is unforgivable in this present age as well as in the age to come]” – Mark 3:29

My most recent experience with the Holy Spirit was this past weekend. I’ve had difficulty putting most of it in words, but I know when I try, I’m met with backlash. Most people outside our lives don’t understand the movement of the Spirit because those experiences are deeply personal and often, hard to describe.

I wish everyone could experience the Spirit the way I was able to in those moments. It’s completely overwhelming, because in those moments the presence of the Lord is felt. It’s real. It’s tangible. It’s powerful.

It’s not a random encounter left to chance. There are no coincidences with the Lord and how He works and I know beyond a shadow of doubt, He is real. Most of the time when other people aren’t a part of an experience or have never encountered the Spirit, they’ll make others feel bad for theirs. Worse, they’ll call the experience a distraction or work by the enemy.

We should never deny the power of the Holy Spirit in our life because of someone else’s lack of understanding.

Have you experienced the Holy Spirit’s power lately? Tell me about it.

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The Author of Our Words

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“I am the Lord your God,
    who brought you up out of Egypt.
Open wide your mouth and I will fill it.” – Psalm 81:10

Something y’all don’t know about me is when I’m irritable, I get angry. And when I’m angry, I’ll pop off at the mouth. Sometimes it’s within a few moments after reading scripture, sometimes hours later. Either way, it’s like whatever God told me goes out the window the moment I’m upset.  Yesterday for some reason I was irritated. I think I’m tired and need to slow down. I’m also hormonal so every frustration heightens.

This morning’s reading reminded me I should think before opening my mouth.

My thoughts and words are often careless and I’m not exactly the best person to be around in those moments. I let things bottle up too long and without thinking about it, I explode and hurt those close to me. I know how God wants me to act and live, but I have a hard time controlling my tongue and temper.

This is not an easy thing to admit, especially as a woman who wants to follow the Lord in all her ways.  But, I mess up.  I want God to fill my mouth with His words and exhibit more self-control if He’s not.

God should be the author of our words. 

Is He the author of yours?

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Does Your Life Match Your Lips?

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 “They came to him and said, “Teacher, we know that you are a man of integrity. You aren’t swayed by others, because you pay no attention to who they are; but you teach the way of God in accordance with the truth.” Mark 12:14

Integrity.

There’s that word again. I don’t think it’s coincidence I was led to this verse.  Let me just say, recently, and really for most of the time I’ve been a Christian I try to live an authentic life. Though there have been  many times I’ve failed in this area, I’m learning how important it is to live honestly … in every area of my life, not just publicly, but privately.

Sexual temptation, caring what other people think, and insecurity are still lingering struggles. It helps me to be around the right people, stay in the Word, and keep my feet grounded in truth, not swayed by other people.  I’ll admit at times this is difficult.

Reputation, commitment to truth, and a consistent lifestyle summed up Jesus’ life. He is the standard and it’s a standard we’ll always fall short to because He was the only perfect person who ever walked this Earth. Living this way seems impossible.

Thankfully, Jesus left us a helper, the Holy Spirit. I know without it, I’d be a hot mess.  I don’t leave any area of my life out of the public eye, unless it’s a sensitive area only a few close people know about. But most of my life is out there. It’s on this blog, it’s on social media, it’s within my circle of friends. They know me, all of me and still accept me. I’m not going to get on any platform and tell other people how to live their life, period. All I can do is speak from my own experiences.

No acting.

No hypocrisy.

Just authenticity.

Our life should match our lips.

Does yours?

 

Be Ready

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“The Lord had said to Abram, “Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you.” – Genesis 12:1

The story of Abraham has been on my heart a lot lately. People I know are moving forward in faith and being obedient to His call on their life. I’m not sure what God is trying to reveal here in my own life, but I know whatever it is, I need to be attentive.

A few things have sprung up in the past two weeks and I know it’s God, not me. I don’t actively seek opportunities any more unless I know God is specifically directing me towards it. Abraham’s story has always fascinated me for the fact he didn’t know where he was going but went anyway because God told him to.  His obedience meant saying goodbye to the familiar and stepping into the unknown.

Abraham stepped out in faith, even when he didn’t understand the reason. God wants the same from us.

I’ll be honest, stepping into the unknown scares me. I’ve been very comfortable for most of my life and content in my own bubble, but God wants more for my life. He wants us to forfeit our comfort so we can really live the life He’s called us to.

Will you be ready when He calls you?

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If It Doesn’t Grow You, Let It Go

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“So the Twelve gathered all the disciples together and said, “It would not be right for us to neglect the ministry of the word of God in order to wait on tables.  Brothers and sisters, choose seven men from among you who are known to be full of the Spirit and wisdom. We will turn this responsibility over to them and will give our attention to prayer and the ministry of the word ” – Acts 6:2-4

All of us have different gifts. Whether it’s to serve, lead, preach, we have each been given special abilities by God.

Every gift God give us is important, but not everyone is gifted in areas other people are. 

This morning’s reading made me ask myself, “What in your life is currently distracting you from God’s gift to you?” Hmm, good question. I guess the real question is, do I even know my gift? Do you? I mean I think we each have an idea of what we’re good at, have a knack for, but do we really know?

The best way to know our gifts is by allowing ourselves to be used where we are.  Where we see a need, we fulfill it if it’s in God’s will. To grow and give God glory, He will purposefully place us in positions and equip us for His work. However, not everything will grow us and if it doesn’t grow us, it needs to go. 

 We shouldn’t neglect God’s assignment for temporal opportunities. Not every opportunity is from God, most are distractions. In the past year, I’ve limited things I say “yes” to. This is so I can stay focused. Staying focused is important to me because I know I’m easily distracted.

Don’t get distracted from the primary thing God wants from you. If necessary, release those things to people who are more gifted in those areas so you can focus on God’s specific task and purpose for you.

If it doesn’t grow you, let it go.

What in your life needs to go so you can grow?

He is With Us

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She will give birth to a son,
and they will call him Immanuel,
    which means ‘God is with us‘ ” – Matthew 1:23

I’ve experienced moments of loneliness throughout my life. Alone and abandoned summed up 2014-2015 for me. It was a difficult year and I remember feeling incredibly alone. Thankfully, I don’t feel this way as often as I used to but I won’t lie and tell you I don’t still feel lonely at times.

I’m surrounded by good people. I have a loving family and people who I know will be there for me. However, there are still times I feel lonely. We can be surrounded by all the right things and people but still feel like no one’s there.

I, wholeheartedly believe we need other people in life to thrive and to provide comfort in times of darkness. I wouldn’t be where I am now without the people in my life who spur me forward. But the truth is, they can’t always be there for me when I need them to be.  This is why this morning’s verse is so important.

God is in every trial, affliction, moment, and detail of our life. He is with us when other people can’t be.

Do you have a difficult time believing God is with you? Be encouraged, He is with you always.

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Dear Leaders, We’re Watching You

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“They sow the wind and reap the whirlwind” – Hosea 8:7

 If someone wants to lead other people, they should be honest. In my mind this is a no brainer. I hold people in leadership in high regard.  Here’s the thing though, not every leader is honest. Not everyone is authentic or transparent. These are all things in the past few years, God has really convicted me about.  Specifically, in the area of integrity.

Opening up to Hosea 8 this morning, I was reminded of the following truth:

The power which many abuse will soon fail them.

I watch people in leadership very closely because the way they carry out their leadership matters. How they live behind closed doors matters too. I, too was convicted of this about two years ago when I stepped into ministry leading other women who struggled with sexual addiction and temptation. Behind closed doors, I was struggling too. Moving ahead to now, I don’t struggle in this area as often but when I do struggle, I’m honest about it.

When I turned my life over to Christ, it’s like my whole life was under a microscope. The more I put my life out there, people noticed. Though I was judged for most of it, I don’t regret it. I’m a pretty honest person regardless of the circumstances and I don’t live my life through the lens of any one but God. What He thinks about me matters and He wants me to live honestly. God knows my heart and intentions. He knows I’m remorseful of my poor choices. I take full responsibility for the areas I fall short.

I want to sow the right things in life. As a leader, you should too.

Leaders, God is watching you and we are too. What are you sowing? 

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When People Fail You

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“Cursed is the man who trusts in and relies on mankind,
Making [weak, faulty human] flesh his strength,
And whose mind and heart turn away from the Lord. – Jeremiah 17:5

I rely on people more than I should. I want them to be there for me, care about me, and understand me. But most people are fickle, faulty, and will disappoint.

Sometimes we rely on others so much we make them our God. We place our trust, confidence, and hope in people instead of Him. 

I’ve thought about my relationships with others and my relationship with God. I realize my error in judgement and how my expectations of those people inevitably pushed them away. The people in our life are only meant to fill a specific need, not our empty places.

My reliance on others only led to disappointment. Worse, I blamed God when they failed me and walked out of my life.

I didn’t understand how God could bring certain people in my life and then without warning remove them. In hindsight though, I realize those people weren’t pushing me closer to the Lord, they were pulling me away because my heart wasn’t in the right place. I didn’t realize any of it was happening until those people were gone from my life.

Only God knows our needs and desires of our hearts. I know He knows mine and I know He did me a favor by removing the people from my life He has. Honestly, it was hard at first but I know if those people would have remained in my life my relationship with God would have suffered. Unknowingly, when the wrong people were in my life they lead me into sin and were a stumbling block. I lost focus and though I take full responsibility for my actions, I know the people we allow into our life matters.

The Lord is against those who do harm to his people, and still more against those who lead them into sin.” – Matthew Henry

It’s been three years since I’ve had time to heal from the broken relationships in my life and restore my relationship with God to the point I trust and depend on Him and only Him. I don’t rely on people any more or expect them to fix or save me.

When people fail you, who will you trust?

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Wait Patiently

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“For the vision is yet for the appointed [future] time
It hurries toward the goal [of fulfillment]; it will not fail.
Even though it delays, wait [patiently] for it,
Because it will certainly come; it will not delay.” – Habakkuk 2:3

 I’ve been waiting for this verse to show up, I even prayed for it.

This morning’s reading is an answered prayer. 

Most of my life feels like one big long wait. I can’t tell you how many times in the past month I’ve wanted to seek my own way instead of God’s. I’ve had a dream on my heart for two months. I don’t know how it will come to fruition but it’s there. I haven’t told any one my dream because I want God to lead me in obedience, though I’m impatient.

In my life, God has answered the desires of my heart in three ways.

“Yes.”

“No.

“Not now, wait.”

The last response is the hardest for me because I suck at waiting. I know anything I do on my own it will inevitably fall apart. Everything in our life is best left in God’s hands, not ours. I’ve been in many seasons of want and waiting. I’m in a season of waiting now.

Waiting on our terms feels like an eternity. God is never in a hurry, even when we are. This truth is difficult to navigate in the unknown.

Are you waiting for the desires of your heart to manifest like me? Be encouraged, God doesn’t do things on our timetable and His timing is perfect. I promise, the wait will be worth it.

How patient in the wait are you?

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I Will Find Joy

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  “I will truly find joy in God, who saves me.” – Habakkuk 3:18

When I think about the past few years and how God has walked me through difficulty and struggle, I’m in awe. I can’t tell you how many times in the past three years I’ve wanted to throw in the towel and give up.

It’s my heart’s desire to find joy in every circumstance.

Happiness has always been a fleeting aspect of my life so finding joy is a challenge for me.  Most things in life are. I’ve seen people go through the most horrible situations and still maintain a positive perspective.

Their joy is found in God, not their circumstances.

I’m a pretty upbeat person most of the time, but I had to read this morning’s verse several times in different translations to make it more palpable in my own life. On days like today, I needed the reminder.

When life throws a curve ball, I will find joy.

When I feel discouraged, I will find joy.

When I’m ready to give up, I will find joy.

I will truly find joy in God.

Do you have a hard time finding joy in every circumstance? If so, repeat after me, “I will find joy.”

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Deeply Rooted

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“They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.” – Jeremiah 17:8

“No worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit.”

Ouch.

I struggle often even though I spend time in God’s Word daily. Something will happen and the next thing I know it’s all downhill from there. It’s frustrating how easily discouraged I become.

It happened Friday afternoon when I was out running errands. I was having a good day until I saw someone I wasn’t expecting to see. In a single moment I became disheartened. I wish things didn’t affect me the way they do, but I’m reminded moment to moment how I need God’s promises poured in my life.

I want to be like the tree in this morning’s verse. No matter the situation or season, it bears fruit and thrives. 

Life will throw many things our way when we least expect it. In those times, we must remain stable. This is a lot easier to type than to live out but I know God provides comfort when my emotions are all over the place.

Strong.

Immovable.

Rooted.

Let these words define your life now, today, and forever.

How deeply rooted are you?

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