It’s Easy to Stay Humble When the Pressure is On

The leaders of Israel and the king humbled themselves and said, “The Lord is just.”… (2 Ch 12:6).

It’s easy to be humble when the pressure is on, isn’t it?  Life comes tumbling down upon us and our circumstances put us in a low position of humility.  Yes, it’s true we can try to stand tall and in our pride, never actually humble ourselves, but, at least for me, it’s much easier for me to stay humble and contrite in Spirit when the pressure is on.

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I think that’s why the Lord is constantly putting me in these situations where my pride is pressed so that I’ll keep myself low and humble before Him.  Truth be told, I can easily start to puff myself up, thinking much too highly of myself.  Much like King Rehoboam did.

In 2nd Chronicles 13 we see that King Rehoboam finally humbles himself and seeks the Lord after he realizes that without God, he’s going to lose an impending battle.  Charles Spurgeon comments about King Rehoboam, he says, “There was not anything real and permanent in his religion; it did not hold him. He held it sometimes, but it never held him.”

What does it mean for us to be held by God?  To have our faith in Christ be what holds us, instead of us attempting to only hold our faith when needed?  I think it means just that.  It means we stay put in our Father’s embrace when we start to feel afraid.  It means we don’t run from His grip out of fear, insecurity or control.  It means we stay humble only moving at His command.

Maybe for me, life become a lot more complicated because I kept trying to run my own show.  Maybe it got the point it did because I didn’t allow Jesus to hold me, but instead tried to hold Him with all my plans and ideas of what He should be for me.

Father, forgive us for such an unrighteous attitude.  Change our hearts, so that we grow into your likeness.  May we stay humble with you, even when the pressure isn’t on, in Jesus name, Amen.  

 

His Grace is Knocking

For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all….(2 Cor 4:17).

Beloved, there is hope.  It comes in a new song from your Father into your heart.  I get it, the journey you’ve walked has come with its fair share of troubles, but your Heavenly Father meets you, daily to offer you the joy of His presence.  Until we are surrounded with the joy of His presence, we will become encapsulated by all our burdens.

His grace comes knocking to every heart that wishes to receive mercy.  It’s not that His grace is only available for those who get it right every time.  No, it is free and available for everyone who would daily call on His name.  You see, it’s the name of Jesus that fills our hearts to overflowing and when we are bubbling over with His love, we are the aroma of Christ to everyone we meet.

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I’ve allowed the enemy to suck out my joy and fill me instead with anger, bitterness and resentment.  All of these make for an unhealthy dose of sin in my heart and mind.  Yet, there is joy, often found by walking in obedience with God as we pursue reconciliation and right thinking.

I think I’m finding that our joy with God often parallels the joy that we have in life towards other people.  Especially towards those who have hurt us.  Maybe my life is lacking joy with God because my heart is lacking in joy towards people?  Yep, I think that’s true.  I see it at work, because I see how quickly my heart can run towards hurt feelings or anger towards those who have slighted me.  Yet, there is joy for me today, at the Lord’s fingertips as I seek to reconcile offenses and restore relationships.  This is the call of God, not to wait for others to move towards us, but instead, to be peacemaker in His name.

Father, I want to live in your joy.  It is available for me today.  Help me now to walk in the fulness of grace and mercy for my life.  I want to be led by your hand.  May my heart be filled with the joy of seeking reconciliation, in Jesus name, Amen.  

 

I Have Learned The Value of Taking Life Day by Day

The first daughter he named Jemimah…(Job 42:14). 

Job named his first daughter, “Jemimah” which means, “day by day.”  She was the first daughter born to him after the Lord restored his life.  Before her birth, Job lost everything and I mean everything.  He lost all of his children, his possessions and everything in between.  I wonder if he named her Jemimah because he learned the value of taking life day by day.  Not dwelling on the past, nor fretting about the future, but learning how to praise God for today and be thankful for the mercies that are new every morning.

I also wondered if he named her day by day because he still was grieving over the deep loss in his life.  I’m sure he thought often of his children who died some unexpectadly.  I’m certain that if Job were here, he would say how he learned to take life day by day because some days were harder than others as he continually grieved the loss of his children.

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Grief is a hard reality, isn’t it?  It can come in waves, being triggered when we least expect it.  The funny thing about grief is that although we feel like we should be over it, I’m learning that grief, especially over those deep, deep losses in our lives never really goes away.  It just gets better, but there are little parts of me that still grieve when something is triggered in my heart.  It’s the faces of people, the depth of love that I held within my heart that was snatched away that comes bubbling to the surface when grief comes knocking.

Therefore, the value of taking life day by day is so paramount for our own personal healing and restoration.  It’s not that God expects us to just move on and never grieve the pain of our loss.  He simply asks us to trust Him for today.  That we might know that we do not grieve without hope.  Truly, we have a Heavenly Father who sees us, and our pain.  Therefore, we can simply trust Him for today.  When we do, we find that we have just what we need for today as our Lord sits with us in our grief so that we might be found in His love.

Lord, loss is so hard.  I never understood the depth of it until I walked through it.  I miss those moments, those people, those days.  Simply because my heart, in everyday was with them.  Thank you for healing my heart.  For filling my life with your joy and for your grace in my time of need.  Help me now to live not in the past, nor for the future, but simply for today that I might be found in your love, in Jesus name, Amen.  

 

Take a Risk

 the reason I came baptizing with water was that he might be revealed to Israel.”… (John 1:31). 

We all have a role to play in the Kingdom of God.  A special calling from God to reveal Him unto the world.  The enemy will do everything possible to keep us from that mission.  He’ll convince to stay in the safe lane, never taking a risk for God or venturing out into deeper waters.

I feel like I’m living in this safe place.  Part of me is living here because I’m afraid if I step out, I might receive the ridicule of people.  Then, there’s another part of me that doesn’t want to step out because I might fail.  It feels safer to stay in the safe zone so I don’t offend people and make myself look bad.

Yes, of course, it’s wise for us to cover things in prayer and only move when the Father moves us, but we will never experience the true fullness of the Father’s power if we are not willing to step out with Him into a place of risk where our fears are pressed and we must trust Him with every part of us.

John took a risk.  He went to the Judean wilderness to baptize so that he might prepare the way for the Messiah.  He received ridicule from the Jewish leaders in Jerusalem and eventually was murdered for His risky faith.  I’m sure there were many times when fear tried to convince John to stay in the safe zone, but something kept propelling him forward to accomplish the mission God had given him.  I wonder then, what is your mission?  What is your calling from God as you think about bringing His good news to the ends of the earth?

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I know what mine is, so pray that God would grant me the vision for it.  I’ll pray that you’ll do the same as you conquer your fears and bring His good news to the ends of the earth.

Father, we want to live in your confidence.  We want to bring your good news to the ends of the earth.  Help us to do that through your love.  Empower us now by your mercy, we pray, in Jesus name, Amen.  

Walking in Victory

And David became more and more powerful, because the Lord Almighty was with him…. (1 Ch 11:9). 

I want to be powerful for the Lord.  I want to win battles and conquer the enemy in my life.  Truth is, I have that power available for me today, because of the risen Christ that lives inside of me.

Sometimes as Christians I think we easily forget that we have that power available for us.  That today is not a day of defeat, but it is always a day of victory. Yes, beloved, today is your blessing, no matter what you are walking through.

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I have walked some terribly difficult and painful paths in life.  I’ve allowed the enemy to try and convince me that I will not make it through or I’ll never see the victory.  But, that’s a lie.  In Christ, today, you have everything you need to live as an overcomer.  It’s simply come down to our own personal will.  Will we choose victory and right-thinking or will we live in places of defeat?

Today I want to choose victory, so I’ll step into who I am in Christ and wear that crown instead of the shame and lies of the enemy.

Father, I am a new creation.  Jesus lives inside of me!  That is good news indeed.  Father, walk with us now as we choose victory today, in Jesus name, Amen.  

 

 

When The Consequences of Your Sin Hurts Those You Love The Most

Saul died because he was unfaithful to the Lord…(1 Chron 10:13). 

I can’t get over the consequences of Saul’s unfaithfulness to the Lord and how it didn’t just affect him, but his sons as well.  They too would die in battle against the Philistines.  In fact, their lives were taken before his.  Noticing this Saul took his own life at Mt. Gilboa after his sons were killed in battle.

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Have you ever put your loved ones into a battle that wasn’t there’s simply because of your own stubborn rebellion?  Have the consequences of your personal sin ever hurt others because of your own blindness to it or unwillingness to deal with your own heart?  Mine has and I certainly don’t want that to be the case any longer.

If we truly want to grow as people, made in the image of God, we must be willing to deal seriously with our own personal struggles against sin.  Truly, our sin will not just bring consequences upon our lives, but on those we love the most.

Lord, help me to let go of myself so that I can become more like you.  Show me where I have been like Saul, living in sinful rebellion.  I do not want my sin to affect those I love the most.  Help me to walk in wisdom so that I might walk away from sin and towards righteousness, in Jesus name, Amen.  

What Would Others Say About You?

All these were descendants of Asher—heads of families, choice men, brave warriors and outstanding leaders…(1 Chronicles 7:40).

What would others say about you if they wrote about your life?  Would they say you are a brave warrior?  An outstanding leader?  A loving Christian?

I often wonder what others would say about me.  I hope they would say something similar to what was written about the men of Asher.  I hope they would say “She loves people well, her heart draws others to Jesus and she is courageous for Him.”

Can I be honest though?  Sometimes my thoughts of others don’t reflect what I want people to think of me.

I’ll think to myself, “She’s just all about herself,” or “He’s not a high producing leader like me.”

Ouch…

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I hate that those thoughts even enter into my psyche, but they do.  You see, dear friend, it’s this battle we face daily to choose to believe good things about those around us.  Our default tends to land on not believing the best in someone.

But I have found, for me, it’s hard to entertain poor thoughts of someone when they have cared really well for me.  You see, if you want others to see Christ in you, serve them.  If you want them to be drawn towards His love in you, making yourself a living sacrifice, not for the praise and adoration of people, but for the adornment of your Heavenly Father.

Then, when they speak of you, they’ll speak well of you, not because you were trying to please them, but because you have made yourself a servant.  Some still won’t care much for you, but don’t let the words of others be what defines you.  Let your light shine before others that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.  You see, beloved, He’s the light your shining and when you shine that light, there is no denying His power and love at work in you.

Father, I want to be your light unto the world.  I want others to say of me, “that woman loves Jesus.”  Yes, Lord, let it be true.  Let my heart be captured by the cross.  Help me, Father, to lean into you always, for the praise and glory of your name, Amen.