Shelly's Spot

The Words That Tumble Onto The Page

Category: Devotions (page 1 of 3)

Faith Fuels Faith

Faith fuels faith, in good times the faithful thank God for their blessings, in hard times the faithful lean on God to pull them through. The faithful learn that they are never truly in control, that it is God who sets the stars in the sky, and puts them in motion, and it is God who sees my days unfold and knows where I am going.
The Faithful know that we are small and helpless without God; we know that it is through His glory, through the blessings poured out by Jesus Christ, it is the Holy Spirit in us; that makes us what we are. We don’t earn the blessings, we can’t. We can’t prepare for the journey, because we can’t know where we are going, but we move forward in faith. We gain nothing without the loving grace of God.
The purpose of our life is to humbly seek Christ in all we do. People spend so much time trying to follow rules or looking for signs that they miss the signs while breaking the rules. Instead of looking for signs, look for Christ, instead of following a bunch of rules, just follow the one command: love one another. If we love one another, the rest of the rules will fall into place.
I have been spending a lot of time working on meditation, learning to turn off my mind and just be silent and still with the Spirit, it is an amazing and difficult journey, but one I am joyfully undertaking. I want to grow spiritually, I want to experience all that God wants me to experience, so I endeavor each day to connect with the Spirit who is in me, and to remember that Christ is in me and I am in Christ.
Matthew 24:42 reminds us to be aware in the moment.  “Therefore keep watch, because you do not know on what day your Lord will come.”
The Kingdom of Heaven is more precious than anything else we can acquire in this life, once found we can only fully enter if we let go of those “things” that hold us here, and instead devote and invest ourselves in our relationship with God. (Matthew 13:44-46) The Parables of the Hidden Treasure and the Pearl
 “The kingdom of heaven is like treasure hidden in a field. When a man found it, he hid it again, and then in his joy went and sold all he had and bought that field.  Again, the kingdom of heaven is like a merchant looking for fine pearls.  When he found one of great value, he went away and sold everything he had and bought it.”
When we try to hold on to the things of this world, we sacrifice the things that really matter, the eternal gifts of God. This world, this life is fleeting, but if we spend all of our time dwelling on/in the past or fretting/dreaming about the future, then we never truly live in the present. When we cling to things that don’t matter, we lose sight of the things that do. (Matthew 16:24-26)  Then Jesus said to his disciples, “Whoever wants to be my disciple must deny themselves and take up their cross and follow me.  For whoever wants to save their life will lose it, but whoever loses their life for me will find it.  What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, yet forfeit their soul? Or what can anyone give in exchange for their soul?”
So, what have I been doing lately? Trying to work on being in the moment with the Spirit, and now I think I am ready to start writing more about the things that occur to me through the process, as this practice is opening scripture up to me in new ways. In faith, I will continue forward, believing that this is the path that the Lord has set my feet on. Blessings to all –

Where I Am On This Journey Of Faith

I am in a good place in my faith journey, when I wake up in the morning I feel the peace of the Lord surrounding me, calming me and strengthening me for the day ahead. My personal relationship with Jesus Christ is such that I do not feel compelled to convince others that I am right, to convert others to my way of thinking, or to condemn those who disagree, on the contrary I feel driven to be more caring, more supportive, more accepting and more loving to all of God’s children without regard to the path they follow. Today I read from 1John chapter 4 and it spoke to me about love, and how we are supposed to be loving and are loved and I realized that we all too often get so hung up on being right before other people that we forget about being right before God.

How quick we are to make excuses for why we cannot do God’s will, cannot follow God’s path. How quick we are to excuse our own failings and condemn others for theirs. How quick we are to believe that we alone have the wisdom to know right from wrong, to judge rightly the sins of others, to be more holy – we are not supposed to be the judges, we are no more holy than another, we are never wise enough. As long as we wander through our own egos, we will continue to stumble.

The Church in the book of Acts must have been amazing, the perpetual threat of pain or death and yet the promise of the Holy Spirit. Watching miracles happen daily, seeing people come to a relationship with Christ in large numbers. Speaking in languages never learned. What an amazing journey and process. In that time, as the Church was being born, formed and imagined, all members of the Church helped as they could the group as a whole. Those who had much, gave much, so that those who had nothing could grow closer to God, could develop a deeper relationship with Christ, could answer the call and become more fully faithful.

I still find it amazing, that a story told so long ago, that it reaches through history, through today and on into the future. God has seen each day of my life, of all life, He is present in each moment. His will is the only will that matters. He created the world, told the story, our story, for all time. Everything we do, every step we take, every word we speak, every breath, every heartbeat, every joy or sorrow, the Lord is there, here and with us through it all. He sees us, knows us, loves us, saves us, carries us and blesses us. It is amazing and still people don’t, can’t, or will not see the truth, that is amazing as well.

Is it fear? Is it fear of the Lord or fear of the truth? Do they fear punishment or fear that they deserve punishment? All of our days are spent deciding what kind of person we will be, each new day. Will we stick to the path we are on, or wander away? Will we rely on God or on man? Will we be strong or weak? We pray for forgiveness, strength, blessings, but do we have them, do we admit the truth of our own minds? All of our lives we begin each day with a choice, what path shall I travel today?

Christ does not wander away when we do, He does not lose interest, or forget His promises, or lose sight of us, we lose interest, forget our promises and lose sight. Today, I will be more loving, I will endeavor to be more faithful, I will strive to be better, not because I fell short yesterday, but because all of life should be spent striving for better, striving to be stronger in my faith, to be closer to Christ, and in accepting the fact that it isn’t to measure up, or to deserve something, it isn’t to earn anything, it is to show my gratitude, to celebrate my salvation, to rejoice in the blessings given to me, so many years ago. Each day is a new day, a new chance, not to get it right, but to experience the fullness of His love and to be grateful for the gift. I will not judge others, but invite them to be loved, I will not condemn others, but invite them to live forgiven, I will not turn my back on another child of God, because we are all children of God and only God knows the heart, only God sees the days of each of His children, and only God knows what will happen from each of my encounters, each of my conversations. I will not try to do anything for God, but rather be open to God doing things through me, and that is all I can hope for, all I can be, is a child of God, willing to receive His love and to share that gift just as it is given to me, freely.

Bless Me

Dear Lord,

I know that there are blessings too many to count that You would love to give me, and I know that I fail to come to You and ask for them because I limit myself. Please forgive me this day my weakness and fear and please shower on me the blessings I have not had the wisdom or courage to ask for, the blessings that You created just for me.

I know that You created me in Your image and that You have prepared for me a wonderful life and a personal destiny, I know too, Lord, that my weakness and my fear keeps me from that life, from the fullness of Your will. Forgive me, today, for staying in my small little world, for limiting myself and in so doing limiting Your glory. I pray for Your will in my life, to reflect You in all I do.

Please open Your heart to me this day, please be gracious to me, please use me, today, to carry Your blessings into the world I live in. Please expand my world to include all that You would have me see, please use me, mold me and strengthen me to be Your true disciple. Please bless me, Lord, so fully, that I can see Your hand as clearly as my own. Please bless me, and grant me confidence and assurance that You are with me, that the path I follow is the path You have laid out for me. Please use me and bless me in this journey, so that I can be called Your child. Please forgive me my hesitations, my doubts, my fears.

Bless me, expand my influence in Your service and bring me to a place where my faith can flourish and I can be a better servant, for I am Your child, Your servant and Your disciple.

Here I am, Lord…

Your humble servant, through prayer and petition, awaiting Your call, please bless me with the wisdom to know, the ability to see and hear Your call and the faith to answer.

Amen

New Year, New Promise

When the clock strikes twelve and a new year begins a lot of people have grand ideas about how this year will be their year. They will write that novel, lose that weight, find that love, cut those strings, leave behind their bad habits and poor choices and pick up good habits, make good choices. But, why, what is so magical about the stroke of midnight that makes people believe that every bad thing will be set aside and life will instantly be better? Or to go further, why then do we wake up on January 1 and expect all the things we promised ourselves the night before to have suddenly come to pass with no effort or attention on our part. New Years sets us up for failure all too often, as we see it as a line in the sand, here I am, tomorrow I will be on that side of the line and I will find the courage, strength, drive, ambition, whatever it is I need to make my dreams come true. Then we sleep in on January first, often sleeping off a night of drinking and we wake up groggy and wondering why our lives haven’t changed.

This year can be different, this year can see those promises made to ourselves come into being, but only if we do them. Only if in faith we step forward and do what needs to be done. We can lose the weight, maybe write the novel, it is harder than some people think, we can leave behind the things that we know are no good for us, we can improve our relationships, we can be better people. We have to really want it though. We have to spend the time and energy, and we have to have the faith that with Christ all things are possible. We have to accept that we might need a little divine intervention on occasion, we need to pray, and pray some more and rely on God and the people who God places in our lives.

Jesus told us to ask, seek, knock. So, maybe we should be doing that. This year I will daily knock on the door and invite Jesus to join me on the journey, to come along with me, to be beside me, to go before me, to surround me and strengthen me, to keep me on the right path. This year I will seek out the opportunities He places in my life to serve Him and His people, I will seek out the path He would have me walk, I will seek His will for my life, and in seeking, I will find and I just might write that novel or book, if that is His plan for my life. This year I will be bolder, I will ask for what I want, I will ask for guidance, I will ask for blessings, I will ask for help, I will ask. When the clock strikes twelve every night, a new day begins, and this year I will see each new day as a new chance to be who I am meant to be, and I will not worry about yesterday, and I will not worry about tomorrow, and I will not worry, because I will once again knock and invite Christ to walk with me, each day. I do not have a New Year’s resolution, I have a daily resolution, a new day resolve, a new view of life, each day is a blessing, and I will walk through this year in that knowledge.

 

Dear Lord, 

Please bless me today and every new day with renewed faith and hope, with renewed focus and ambition to be Yours. Bless me with the gifts necessary to do Your will, to follow the path You have placed before me. Remind me daily to knock, and invite you to come along with me, to seek Your will, to ask for your blessings. Remind me that each day is a new day, a new chance, a new moment, and bless me in those days, in those moments, in the path, so that I will be who You want me to be, who You are making me into. In the name of Jesus Christ, my Savior and Your blessed Son –

Amen

Is, Was And Will Be

It is far too easy when going about our daily lives, when mired in the minutia of our overstuffed calendar, while trying to multi-task to such a degree that we lose sight of what is important, to easily forget what matters most. Time is not our god, in fact, time does not even come into the equation. Our God is, was and will be, our God is constant and beyond the constraints of time. In the span of eternity, our lifetime is barely a blink of an eye. We lose sight of this because we prioritize based on our own desire, our own schedule, our own clock, but our time is not the same as God’s time. When we ask for something in prayer, we want the answer to be now, the direction to be clear now, not tomorrow and certainly not next week, month or year. The danger is when we look for the signs or answers in artificial places because we are in such a hurry that waiting can seem daunting, but waiting on the Lord is part of what we are working on. Learning to rely fully on God means waiting, patiently, for those answers, those nudges, those signs. God is not always in a hurry, and by His standard even being in a hurry might be a long time for us. Our lives are spent waiting, and yet we are not very good at it. Whether you are waiting for a good thing, the long anticipated arrival of a new child, the airplane to land and your loved one to walk through that door and into your arms, the walk down the aisle or the wait at the altar as she walks slower than you thought humanly possible. Maybe you are waiting for the results of a test that will determine the course your life will take. You might be waiting to hear from someone far away or to see someone in person, you might be waiting in line behind someone who has never seen the card reader at a grocery store and doesn’t know how to use it. Waiting for the phone to ring, for the other shoe to drop, for the letter in the mail, or the text to come through. Let’s face it, we spend a lot of time waiting, we should be great at it, and yet, when it matters most, in matters of faith we lose patience, we want the answer now, and so often when we get the answer we are not paying attention to the details and so miss the signs. We are so busy filling every moment of our lives with stuff that we forget to focus on what is important. God has all the time in the universe, but we do not, and He not only understands but knows all too well how limited our time is, but He will not be rushed for our convenience, His plans are set and they will unfold in His time.

God is, was and will be, He is eternal, He is limitless, He is not bound to our rules of time, but He still wants our time, He still wants us to give to Him quality and quantity time, He still wants to be important enough to us to make our schedules, to be our focus, to be worth waiting for. We are heading into Christmas week, anyone who has ever had a child, or waited for one to be born should understand the anticipation, the excitement, the overwhelming urge to see the baby now, but we must wait, a baby will be born when it is time, even with the convenience of modern medicine, a baby cannot be rushed and can always surprise you and change your plans. We are about to celebrate the birth of our Savior, the birth of a baby who was born just to save us, just to bridge the gap, just to answer our prayers, so shouldn’t we focus on Him a little more and on our “other stuff” a little less? Can we make this Christmas about Christ, can we turn to God in patience and celebration and await the birth of His Son with Him? God is, was and will be, He is eternal, His time is not our time, but for a short time, the span of a young man’s life, God did limit His time to match ours, He did walk the days away serving us, protecting us, teaching us, promising us, working miracles and saving us. For a time, a brief time when you measure it, God did walk in our shoes, He did live within the confines of time as we understand, so He does understand us, He does know how hard it is for us to wait, for us to see the signs when we are so hurried, so stressed. God is, was and will be, we just have to be patient.

Dear Lord, 

Thank You so much for being patient with me, even as I often forget to be patient for Your will to express itself in my life. I know that You are eternal, that You are good and will work all things to Your will, and yet I lose focus and fail to listen, to see, to wait. I pray Lord that You will continue to bless me, that You will continue to guide me, that You will continue as you have from the beginning, I know that You are a God who loves me, that You have always been a God who loves me, and that You will always be a God who loves me, I am so thankful for that love, for that eternal promise, that gift that knows no end. As I look forward to celebrating Christmas Lord, I pray that you continue to bless me, continue to walk with me and continue to join me in the waiting. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, Your precious Son and my Savior, I praise and thank You – Amen

Forgiven and Forgiving

The Bible regularly reminds us to be prepared, to stand ready… Luke 12:35-40

Watchfulness

35 “Be dressed ready for service and keep your lamps burning, like servants waiting for their master to return from a wedding banquet, so that when he comes and knocks they can immediately open the door for him. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them watching when he comes. Truly I tell you, he will dress himself to serve, will have them recline at the table and will come and wait on them. It will be good for those servants whose master finds them ready, even if he comes in the middle of the night or toward daybreak. But understand this: If the owner of the house had known at what hour the thief was coming, he would not have let his house be broken into. You also must be ready, because the Son of Man will come at an hour when you do not expect him.”

How we prepare is important, while we prepare ourselves physically, we must also prepare ourselves emotionally and spiritually. On the idea of preparing spiritually I have decided to clean out some of the cobwebs in my spiritual life and get things cleaned up and ready this year as I prepare to celebrate the birth of Jesus Christ. In preparing for the coming of the Lord, whether I am preparing to celebrate His birthday or preparing for His Second Coming, I need to let go of the things that distract me. So, I will live a forgiven life, and I will be a forgiving person. Forgiving someone is as much, if not more, for my benefit as it is for theirs. Forgiving someone releases the negatives and frees me to focus on my faith and my family, unrestricted by anger. I can forgive someone, but that does not mean that I need to forget and thus put myself in a position to be hurt again. If I forgive someone who is truly sorry for a transgression and we move on together, rebuilding our injured relationship that is good. What about those relationships that can’t be repaired? What about those people who are not sorry, who do not recognize the hurt they caused and don’t own their portion of the problem? I can still forgive them, because holding on to my hurt probably does nothing to them, if they are so blind to my initial pain, they will not see the continuation of my pain. No, I will forgive them, pray for them to be blessed, (not pray for them to see the error of their ways, that is making it all about me)I can and will pray for them to feel peace and to find their way on the path the Lord has placed before them. I do not have to enter back into the lion’s den and place myself at their mercy, I do not have to list for them the ways in which I believe they wronged me and wait for their sincere apology, I do not have to open myself up to more pain or risk future heartache, I can forgive them and move on. I am free to forgive because I am forgiven. God knows what I have done, and I am forgiven, the Lord does not forget my transgressions, He forgives them. So, in preparation for Christmas this year, as part of my getting ready and as part of my faith journey I choose to forgive, to let go of any and all baggage I am carrying around packed by someone else and weighing me down needlessly. I am clearing my head and heart and preparing myself, I hope that anyone who I have wronged can do the same, can let go and forgive, not for my sake but for their own.

Dear Lord,

Please let me live a forgiven and forgiving life, a life filled with love and not anger, a life filled with peace and joy and not resentment and regret. Please help me to be mindful of the traps that exist that would lead me to hold on to negative feelings, please keep me on the path You would have me walk, so that I don’t get mixed up in the situations that You would have me avoid.

In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Savior

Amen

Looking Forward

Where do you dwell? Where does your mind linger? Where are you going? Are you looking forward or constantly looking back? Is it regret, or a wonderful memory that you can’t let go? Is it joy or sorrow? Is it fear?

In the book of Luke, chapter 9, Jesus talked about the cost of following Him.

Luke 9:57-62Living Bible (TLB)

57 As they were walking along someone said to Jesus, “I will always follow you no matter where you go.”

58 But Jesus replied, “Remember, I don’t even own a place to lay my head. Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Messiah, have no earthly home at all.”

59 Another time, when he invited a man to come with him and to be his disciple, the man agreed—but wanted to wait until his father’s death.

60 Jesus replied, “Let those without eternal life concern themselves with things like that. Your duty is to come and preach the coming of the Kingdom of God to all the world.”

61 Another said, “Yes, Lord, I will come, but first let me ask permission of those at home.”

62 But Jesus told him, “Anyone who lets himself be distracted from the work I plan for him is not fit for the Kingdom of God.”

You can’t move forward if you are constantly looking back. This is true of all aspects of our lives, we should hold on to good memories, but we should never dwell in the past. Too often we carry with us luggage packed by people who are no longer with us on our journey. A relationship ends badly and for some reason we continue to drag behind us the over stuffed bag that was packed for us by a person who never wanted us to keep moving forward. If the bag is nice, at the very least empty it at the side of the road and move on, stop dragging it into every new relationship and situation expecting to find someone who can help you carry it. If we are not moving forward we are not moving, because in reality we can’t go back. Not all those things that hold us rooted in the past are bad things, some are such wonderful memories that we are afraid if we move too far from them they will fade, but they will always be there, and you can pull them out once in a while and look at them and let those emotions flow through you and wash over you, but you can’t dwell there.

I loved being a mom of little people, the days or bedtimes spent snuggling up with a good book, (Grandfather Twilight, if you are looking for a great bedtime read), the days spent learning new things, when everything was new, those sights and smells, there is nothing like the smell of a clean baby, or a young child when they cuddle in your arms, those days when I could make a boo-boo go away with mommy magic. I loved those days, and I remember fondly every one of those moments, but I am not that young mommy any more and my children are not those little ones any more, to be sure they are still my babies and always will be, but… for one thing they do not smell the same any more. My children have grown, and I remember each milestone and each year with such a fondness and love, I would not have kept them little, even if I could have, because the path we are on doesn’t work that way. I had one child who seemingly didn’t grow up, even at the end, just days before turning 22 she was still like a baby, but she wasn’t and it would have been a disservice to her and the struggles she had faced to pretend she was.

Where do you dwell? Where are you headed? If you are always looking back, you will not see the future that lies ahead of you. If you hold on to who you once were, you will never become who you should be. We are always changing, we have a whole life ahead, no matter how long that might be, to grow and learn and spread our wings, and if we dwell in the past we rob not just ourselves but the world of who we could be. We each have a calling, and we can answer that call and go out into the world and find out who we are, or we can hold back, wait until we are ready, wait for the next bus, and stay where we are, and one day we will discover that we stayed in the past, because time keeps moving, people keep going, and we may find that time left us behind while we waited.

Are you afraid of tomorrow? It is going to come anyway. Are you afraid of failure? Everyone fails, everyone falters. Are you standing at a cross roads, wondering which path you should take, well, don’t stand too long and don’t assume the wider, more worn path is the right one for you, maybe you can wander a little way down, before going back and choosing the other if you want, but choose one, and see where it leads you. Keep moving, allowing yourself to hold onto the good memories, allowing yourself to pull them out and visit with old friends and loved ones, but then… keep going. We are each one of us called to something greater, we need to be moving forward and growing to get there. Even the bad experiences of our lives are part of the tapestry, even those moments we would rather forget but continue to bring out when our fears and doubts surface, those moments are part of who we are becoming, the trick is to learn from them without dwelling on them, to grow from them and then beyond them. To never stop moving forward and looking forward, because the path is narrow, and you could wander off if you aren’t looking where you are going.

Dear Lord,

Thank You for this life, thank You for calling me to serve You and Your people. Please keep me mindful on the future, on where I am going, on where You are leading me. Please help me to discern the path You have placed before me, please keep me from wandering too far away, or from standing still too long. Please help me to make a difference, to go forward without dwelling in fear or hanging on to the things I should be letting go. Please remind me of Your will for my life, please keep me surrounded by others who also seek Your truth, not just the ones who yell the loudest or posture the most, but by those who truly seek You, those who truly listen for Your whisper, those who spend their time moving forward and looking for ways to answer Your call. I live in a world that is noisy and chaotic, and it is sometimes difficult to know if I am moving in the right direction, or if I am hearing Your voice over the din, please give me the patience to seek Your will, the courage to leave the pack and find the narrow path and the faith to step out there and keep moving forward. 

In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Lord and Savior, I pray  – Amen

Holding On To Hope

Lamentations 3:21-26 talks about hope, keeping hope, through all things.

Yet this I call to mind

and therefore I have hope:

Because of the Lord’s great love

we are not consumed,

for His compassions never fail.

They are new every morning;

Great is Your faithfulness.

I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion;

Therefore I will wait for Him.”

The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him,

to the one who seeks Him;

it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.

My faith is strong, and yet I am not so good at the waiting patiently thing. Sometimes things can seem so bleak, that we forget that we always have hope. Sometimes we react so quickly that we forget that God works in His own time. The Lord loves us, and His mercies are new everyday, that means that we start anew everyday as well. The Lord is on our side, but His will may take time to come to pass, but even in bad times, He is working, using all things, even the bad, for His good. It is so easy to lose sight of that, when we are in the trenches of this world.

When the world seems to be falling apart, and we know that things are going to get worse, and we can’t imagine a way out or through, we forget that God is in control, that He does and will use the bad for his purpose, that sometimes we must stand in the furnace, sometimes we must wait in the lion’s den, sometimes we must wander lost. Joseph was sold into slavery by his older brothers, taken away from his father and homeland, thrown into jail, and still he had faith, still he believed in the goodness of God, and then he was lifted up, put in a place of power and eventually saved not just the Egyptians, but his own people, his own family, the very brothers who had sold him in the first place. Yet, when we are faced with hardship, we forget or lose sight, or can’t imagine how God could possibly use this circumstance for His good, His will. Is our faith so small, or weak, that we can doubt Him. God is not limited by our imaginations, He can see things we cannot see, He can do things we cannot do, and He will do what must be done, in His time, not in our own. Yes, it is frustrating to be so human, but the trials we must face are our fires, the dangers and fears are our lions. We need to have our faith in ourselves shaken, so that we will place our faith in God. God is faithful, He has not forgotten us, He has not turned His back on us, He is always working, everyday, in so many ways to save us, when times are darkest we need to not lose sight of that truth.

We have a choice to make, every day, whether the world we live in is calm or in turmoil, will we hold on to hope, or will we let go? Will we keep our eyes on the Lord, or will we lose sight of Him and look to one another? If we want to make it through, then we need to be as faithful to the Lord as He is to us.

Dear Lord,

Please keep me strong, keep me faithful, keep me mindful of You. Remind me, Lord, that my time is not Your time, that my will is not Your will, and while my will can be wrong, Your will is perfect. Remind me, Lord, that we are all Your children, even the ones I don’t agree with, and to remember that I don’t see others the way You see them. I can’t, and I shouldn’t judge, even when I am convinced that I am right. Please help Your people to return to You, every morning, every afternoon, every evening. Please lead us to pray to You, to meditate on Your word, to seek first Your will in all we do. In the name of Jesus Christ, Your Son and my Loving Savior –

Amen

Forgiven To Forgive

We are so loved by God!

From before we were born He came up with a plan to save us, to redeem us. Long before we thought of Him, He thought of us and sacrificed His only son so that we could be saved. He allowed His son to suffer pain, true anguish, so that we could be forgiven of our sin. When we wonder why God lets bad things happen to good people, remember Christ.

Pause, reflect and respond. God uses all people and situations for his purpose. When dealing with impossible people, even if it is just annoying, when dealing with negative situations, even minor ones, before you let a negative response take over, remember to pause a moment, to be quiet and reflect on God’s will. What would He have you learn from the encounter, then respond in Christ. Often we only see the major events as opportunities to grow in our faith, but what if that line in the store, or that guy sitting at the green light is just as important to your spiritual growth? Try to see what you can learn from each situation, and try to respond with that lesson in mind.

John 14:15 “If you love me, you will obey what I command.”

1John 4:21 And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.

2Corinthians 5:14-16a For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that One died for all, and therefore all died. And He died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died for them and was raised again. So from now on we regard no one from a worldly point of view.

When we truly love Christ, when we pursue a true personal relationship with Him, we are changed. We begin to see the world as a place worth saving, we are better prepared to share His love with others. We cannot truly love Christ without surrender, we must put ourselves aside, our egos and ambitions must not get in the way of our walk with the Lord. To discern the will of God, to reach our true destination, we must be looking for Him in our daily walk. We cannot dwell on our failures, our sins, we must place those at the foot of the cross and let them go, so that we can be the person Christ died to save.

Forgive me Lord,

for Jesus’ sake.

There is nothing I can do to earn it, nothing I can say to erase my sins, but this one thing is true, I am forgiven through the blood of Christ, and so, broken, I kneel at the foot of the cross and say once more;

Forgive me Lord,

for Jesus’ sake.

Amen

Waiting on the Will of God

The Bible is full of stories about the will of God playing out in the lives of individuals, and almost every one of them takes years to come to fruition. The will of God is perfect, and He takes bad things and creates good from them, but His time frame can sometimes leave us frustrated, or confused, or convinced that this bad time is not going to be turned to good, but is just us adrift in our hardship.

Look at Joseph, sold into slavery by his own brothers, taken to Egypt far from his father, alone and frightened, he surely must have wondered what the will of God was that would bring him to this place. Certainly the Lord could have saved him, but the Lord did. Throughout his story we can see the Lord directing from the wings, even through what seemed horrible hardship, the Lord had blessed Joseph and continued to guide his life. When famine came, when all would be lost, it was Joseph, in the right place at the right time, to not only save Egypt, but to save his own family when they came looking, starving and broken, for help. Joseph could see the truth of his plight, God had sent him ahead, given him the gifts that uniquely prepared him for what he would do, and had elevated him within the house of Pharaoh. Read Genesis 45 to see how what had been a dark act by his brothers was turned to blessing by God.

Look at Moses, doomed to die in infancy, but spared to live and be used as the instrument that would free the Israelites from slavery. How could the Lord use such a dark decree, killing all of the Israelite baby boys, to save the people? Because His will really is perfect and He can and will carry out His will through and even within the darkest times.

How long did Abraham wait for his first son to be born? How long did he wait for the promise made to be fulfilled? Once fulfilled, his trials weren’t over, Abraham was faced with a number of challenges, and he faced each one in faith, in trusting the will of God, the promise was fulfilled.

The time line of God is not our time line, often when we face hardships we are ready for God to show us the good that will come from it. Often we want the lesson to be learned immediately, the plan to be revealed instantly, the perfect will of God to come to fruition in the blink of an eye. We have faith, but it can falter, we have faith, but we are fragile. We are human and cannot imagine spending time in our hardships, we look to God and pray that He will fix things and forget that He is always fixing things, in His own way in His own time. The Lord never rests, He never takes a day off, and He is always working for the good, which means that when we are waiting for Him to answer our prayers, He already is. Waiting on the will of God can be a daunting experience, the will of God will not always line up with our own, the will of God may require more than our bending but might require our being broken, so that He can build us back up. The will of God can take a lifetime to work out, it can carry on well past the point of giving up, if we are relying on human strength and not on the strength of God.

The will of God is perfect, but we live in a broken world, and too often we become so much a part of this broken world that the only way to bring us back to God is to break us, to break down the barriers that our culture and society have put in the way, so that all we are left with is our prayers, cried out in the night, tears streaming down our cheeks. This leads to people often complaining about God, as if He should never allow us to suffer, if He loves us, if He truly wants us to be reconciled with Him and calls us His children then why would He allow us to suffer…but He gave us free will, it isn’t His will that causes the bad things in this world, it is because we live in a broken world. He is not punishing us, He is not dragging us through difficulty after difficulty to teach us a lesson, or to test us, He is lifting us up and over each difficult situation to bring us closer to Him. Sometimes we struggle, sometimes we resist, and so we end up clamoring half out of His grip, to do things our own way, and that is when we are stuck in the mire of a broken world. The hardships of this world are often made harder by our pride, by our willfulness, by our stubborn determination to not need help, even help from the One who created this world, who placed all life into motion, who knows the way through. Relying on the Lord will always help, but it will not always end the challenges you have to face. Relying on God is a great first step, but it is one step in many, it is the beginning of the walk, not the end.

The will of God is perfect, He wants us to follow His will, to seek His hand, to commit ourselves to being better than we were, and He continues to work constantly, but He has given us the freedom to choose, the freedom to exert our own will, and so we often struggle through. The world we live in is broken, but the love of God, the will of God, the plans of God are not broken, and He will use every bad thing for good.

Dear Lord, 

Please bless me with patience, please let me know the peace that flows from you, so that I don’t lose sight of Your Will for my life. Please keep me mindful that all things are used by You for good, and that even when I am stuck here in hardship, or in struggle, that You are working, on my behalf, that even when I feel I am standing still, You are not. Thank You Lord, for loving me, for strengthening me, for equipping me for the path ahead, for the task at hand, for the calling You place on my life, please let me never lose sight of You.  In the name of Your Son, my Savior, Jesus Christ

Amen

Older posts

© 2021 Shelly's Spot

Theme by Anders NorenUp ↑