Delayed Obedience {VOTD}

Occasionally, I get the tremendous opportunity to sit and write with a “Verse-of-the-Day”. Today’s “VOTD” is brought to us by BibleGateway. The blessing is – we are actually walking through Psalm 119 right now, through our Facebook page.

When I read today’s “VOTD,” it just really stood out to me. The Voice uses the word “procrastinate” versus “hesitating (CSB)”. Both involve some kind of delayed obedience, so keep that in mind as you read through this post.

I hurried, not hesitating to keep your commands (Ps. 119:60, CSB).

For one of my phone apps, I have a Bible reading alarm. While I have it set to remind me everyday to read my Bible, I wasn’t expecting its persistence. This alarm will not cease until I have successfully stopped and taken the time to read my Bible. It is deliberate and continues to notify me, unless I get right to the task and responsibility of drawing near to God and Bible reading.

If I was as faithful in living out God’s truths as the alarms on my phone, I would be in a far better place spiritually. I would have the heart’s desire to hurry toward our risen Lord Jesus and living out His truths – rather than dancing around my obedience to God.

We all would be in better spiritual shape, if we practiced immediate obedience.

When we delay in living out God’s Word, we need to look and see what is going on. Why aren’t we obeying God? Is it unwillingness, or the influence of something else – possibly sin?

As I consider my own delayed response, friend, I invite you to consider how you have fallen prey to a “delayed response” heart. Delaying to obey our great God in what He has taught us – which is a big deal, to be absolutely honest with you.

What is God calling you to do, but you have delayed in doing?

Maybe, it is obeying God’s calling you to write a book, write a friend a note, in tithing when you are barely making ends meet, how you view a specific circumstance you are in, or something else entirely.

“As soon as he was sensible of his duty, he immediately complied with it; he consulted not with flesh and blood, but at once yielded a cheerful obedience to the commands of God (John Gill).”

“So what has God told you to do that you haven’t started doing yet? What are you waiting for? God has your best interests at heart. Go ahead and do what he’s told you to do (Rick Warren Devotional).”

I have a writing project on my heart, to which I need to give myself. I need to find moments of wellness, but more importantly the room in my heart to be willing to do this “God thing”. It is a project God obviously has me working on – for a reason. I just need to honor God in this, even when it might be a difficult task. What about you, my friend?

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Fearing Bad News (Summer ’17)

Tonight’s verse is written out to meet me where I am. This is not to exclude the men who stumble upon my little blog. Remember: God wants to meet each of us where we are.


[She] does not fear bad news; [She] confidently trusts the Lord to care for [her]. [She is] confident and fearless and can face [her] foes triumphantly (Ps. 112:7-8, NLT).

In our lives, we will face difficult days. All of us will, no exemption allowed. We will face difficult days, even more so as people who want to follow our risen Lord Jesus Christ.

In the Gospel of John (ch. 14-15), I am reminded of this message: Because I follow Jesus Christ, I can expect difficult days. Also, I can experience the Holy Spirit and His peace in every season of life.

“If you love me, you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you (John 14:15-17, ESV)

Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid (vv. 27).”

This is why I can experience difficult days, yet not fear those same difficult days (or worse days). Jesus Christ, our Risen Lord, is the One with whom we have allowed our souls to be intertwined with. It is none other than King Jesus. We have allowed Jesus Christ, the King of the world, to enter our souls and to be one with.

For the follower of Jesus Christ, we have joined ourselves with our Creator in an unbreakable bond that lasts for eternity.

I have chosen to follow Jesus Christ, and allow Him into the deepest parts of my life. Although life is unpredictable, I can rest in knowing He doesn’t change. Although my health and relationships may greatly change from one season to the next, my God never changes His mind about me. He has chosen me to be His very own!

What have I to fear? I have Jesus Christ on my side. He is standing with me, giving me the strength to fight my Goliath’s.

While I may battle anxiety and fear, I have nothing to fear with God on my stand. Through this special relationship, I know Him and that He continues to hold me close through life’s difficulties.

This world may shake me to my core, but it cannot take away my faith in Jesus Christ. My foundation in Jesus Christ is essential. When I allow my life to be built upon Jesus Christ, I will be never find myself in “the wrong place” like I will – when I allow my choices and relationships to be built upon my own heart’s desires that often lead me astray.

In Christ’s grace I stand,

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Through Him we also have access by faith into this [remarkable state of] grace in which we [firmly and safely and securely] stand (Rom. 5:2a, AMP).

Facing All Conditions {VOTD}

Today’s Scripture is the YouVersion‘s Verse of the Day –

I have the strength to face all conditions by the power that Christ gives me (Phil. 4:13, GNT).

This Scripture declares that – my circumstances aren’t too much for God to handle. If we were sitting face-to-face in a “bare your true heart” setting, I would have to ‘fess up that I feel overwhelmed by my circumstances.

Weight of Circumstances

. . . And, I am absolutely tired of feeling this way. I am weary in my mountain of circumstances, and ready for “almost any” vacation to spend a few days away. The only problem with the “need-a-vacation” way of thinking is – the eventual return to life as it is now. It doesn’t solve my problems.

As I write and think of my own circumstances weighing me down, I read a message from a former professor regarding a dear friend’s life-giving praise report of being cancer free. Like in hers, God is working mightily in many people’s lives – including mine. 

Focus

Though this life may seem long, I know it isn’t as long as we’d like to believe. Our lives are described as “no longer than the width of my hand. . . just a moment to [God]; at best, each of us is but a breath (Ps. 39:5, NLT).”

My focus needs to be on eternity. If my focus is found glancing around at my temporary life, then, obviously discouragement will surely find me.

As human beings, we need to focus on our Eternal God who is our Creator and the One in whom we find our purpose in life. God is the One who will supply us with life, guidance, and strength.

The “break” we need when life gets difficult isn’t found in a few days “away from it all,” but found in Jesus Christ. Our needed supernatural strength comes only from our Lord God.

Where Do We Turn?

I look to the hills! Where will I find help? It will come from the Lord, who created heaven and earth (Ps. 121:1-2, CEV).

We can seek answers in things, other than the Lord. Just because we have that freedom, it doesn’t mean they will meet our desperate needs. The psalmist is in active pursuit of real help. The pursuit is a deliberate one, and so should ours.

“How are we choosing to make Jesus Christ our Helpmate?” He is the One who will give us the answers we need, as we draw near and ask. He will either give us the answers or give us His peace along with contentment in the waiting.

Application

To whomever is reading this: Let’s draw near to the Lord our God and depend upon His strength.

This Scripture (Phil. 3:13) doesn’t guarantee that the conditions will subside. It says, we will have the strength to face all conditions. Choose today to –

  1. Focus on our great God and the power He holds in His hand.
  2. Realize He is the One Thing we need more than anything else. This relationship of trust through Jesus Christ is based on what God has done for us.

The Ring I Wear {On This Mother’s Day}

I began this Mother’s Day, with a choice. And, I have thought about it – as I continue to walk through this day.

I wear a ring. It is a special kind of ring. I don’t wear it for fashion or accessory purposes, but as a specific reminder. It is a reminder that I allow my faith to be of greater importance than anything else.

Just as people of other faiths allow their appearance to alert others that they are of this or that religion, this is my reminder that God is greater than my desire for other things.

While I may not be a mother at this specific point in my life, I am someone who is choosing to put God above her own human nature. I am choosing Jesus and allowing my faith to impact the kind of friends I pick, whom (or if) I date, and how I allow my body to be used.

I wear a “True Love Waits” ring on my left hand, as a reminder that I am pursuing something and it is for God. I am reminded that I am choosing to walk faithfully with my God (which is something Enoch did). I am choosing to walk closely with my God – instead of the world.

On Mother’s Day, it is easy to feel like I don’t measure up. On Mother’s Day, there are a lot of greetings geared toward women that come with an expectation. An expectation that every woman is a mother. In those moments, it is rather easy to feel defective. It’s then that we are reminded of what we are not.

. . . But, that is not my story today.

I am more rooted in Jesus Christ, as my Anchor and Hope. I spend more moments engaging in the struggle, versus trying to “size up”. In the past, I struggled immensely with this day – because of such expectations.

Today, I am a different person than I was – last year.

A year can change a person in a lot of ways.

I firmly believe God can do a great transformative work, which isn’t limited by any time frame.

This time last year, I was without a couple diagnoses. The biggest one is PCOS, which is the number one cause of infertility. Last year, I wasn’t aware I had it. While there has been a great amount of wrestling with it, I am becoming more secure in who God has made me to be.

Yes my ovaries (and various other parts of my body) don’t work as though they should, but I am still wholeheartedly approved and loved by God. I am growing secure in my identity as a woman who is intensely loved by God.

This awareness and growing process is aided particularly through our “Inspiring Women” Bible study (which I need to try and be more faithful to, which will become easier after Wednesday)

Let’s celebrate who we are as women dearly loved and celebrated by our great God. We are dearly loved so fiercely, and our womb doesn’t have any effect on who we are as women or how loved we are by God!

The Lord your God is in the midst of you, a Mighty One, a Savior [Who saves]! He will rejoice over you with joy; He will rest [in silent satisfaction] and in His love He will be silent and make no mention [of past sins, or even recall them]; He will exult over you with singing (Zephaniah 3:17; AMPC).

We know that God has chosen you, dear brothers, much beloved of God. For when we brought you the Good News, it was not just meaningless chatter to you; no, you listened with great interest. What we told you produced a powerful effect upon you, for the Holy Spirit gave you great and full assurance that what we said was true. And you know how our very lives were further proof to you of the truth of our message (1 Thessalonians 1:4-5, TLB).

Following Perfection Versus Jesus

I have been feeling led to study 1 Timothy for quite a while. As I study, I generally blog about whatever it is – that I am studying. The Timothy study is tugging at my soul frequently these days, reminding me of where I need to be.

Why haven’t I committed to this study? I have perfectionist tendencies and set lofty expectations I cannot realistically meet. My heart and physical abilities are in two separate places, and must be able to meet.

Developing Courage

We miss so much when we put everything on hold – in case we can’t follow through as planned. Our expectations cannot be more important than God and relationships.

Here is the thing: Perfectionist level expectations can strain those relationships and hold us back, to the point where we won’t immerse in our friendships or read our Bibles without the promise of expectations being met.

The Real Question

How willing are we – to step out in faith, where we trust Jesus Christ to make us courageous people?

We have been called to be strong and courageous. Every little bit we give to God is a worship offering. Just because we miss our own expectations, does not mean that we somehow miss His or those of loved ones. We have to be willing to lay down our own expectations, and exchange it for time with Jesus and those we care about.

Allowing Ourselves to Worship

It goes back to the truth of being a living sacrifice. When we give ourselves to God, we become an acceptable offering.

Jesus Christ is the key ingredient. We need Jesus to be the One leading us, even in our expectations. He is the One who enables us to set reasonable expectations for ourselves and those around us. So, let’s make our lives about our relationship with Jesus Christ.

While my best efforts aren’t enough, I have a Father whose resources are unlimited. This Father of mine is willing to help out His sons and daughters in any and every way – as we call upon His name. We may not meet our own expectations, but this is the place where we meet the grace and amazing love of our great God.

Choosing Wisely

Standing in this place of  God’s love and grace is where we can allow ourselves to make a trade. We can trade in our high expectations, for the opportunity to stand in awe and worship God – as we trust Him to make a way.

I hereby command you: Be strong and courageous; do not be frightened or dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go (Joshua 1:9, NRSV).

Friends, we must choose whether we want to follow our perfectionist tendencies or Jesus Christ – the Living God. Our lives are messy and out-of-control, which may lead the perfectionist march, but Jesus Christ is more than enough. He doesn’t have to try to be, for He is perfect!

As for God, His way is perfect: The Lord’s word is flawless; He shields all who take refuge in Him. For who is God besides the Lord? And who is the Rock except our God? It is God who arms me with strength and keeps my way secure (Ps. 18:30-32, NIV).

Until next time,

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