Doesn’t it seem wearisome trying to maintain a relationship with God, clinging to His word all the while living in a world that say and does the complete opposite? I can’t make sense of it most of the time. It all seems hazy and unclear.
“Protect your heart but don’t imprison it.”
“Love but don’t be unequally yoked”
“Silence, be still but don’t be silent about injustice”
“Go here but don’t go there.”
“Don’t get too comfortable here, this is not your home.” Well, it sure looks like everyone who has the means is getting pretty comfortable.
“Do this but don’t do that!”
The pulling and pushing of it all is sometimes just too much. Where is my safe place? Am I even suppose to feel safe in this world? Nothing is sound but God. The wisdom with which we live the Christian life is learned through the pressures of experience, where we take what we believe and make it our own. In our hearts we know God is with us. I have had times where His Presence has manifested in my life and there is nothing like it. It’s like He is reassuring me “Shannon, I am right here and will always listen and help you.”
It is through those experiences of life that the truth in your heart slowly makes it way to your head. Some days are clear and sunny while others are cloudy and gray. “Keep your eyes on the Master!” I can hear Lysa Terkurst say. “See, the Master knows things we don’t so never ever take your eyes off of the Master.”
I think this is one of the most profound statements” The Master knows things we don’t.” Most often we don’t look at Jesus as a person. We can’t see Him or touch Him. He is quiet and we are loud. We all desire to draw closer to Him but if we are being honest, we fill up our days with other people and tasks. Jesus gets shoved into the background of our busy and hurried lives.
I am learning to become more disciplined when it comes to my relationship with God. I may want to talk to someone about something and would automatically call a close friend. Now I am trying to be more aware that I can talk to God about what’s on my mind. It’s awkward at first talking to thin air, ha ha! Nevertheless, something shifts and the more you start a conversation, the more it will flow. I find things coming to mind that I wasn’t even initially thinking about. I am giving God my time and in return He is listening like no other. It’s that unseen where we pull back the curtain and have spiritual eyes and ears. I want to seek Him like treasure. I want to cherish our relationship. I want to surrender to His will not my own. My devotion is there but more often than not my desires are far from Him. I want to manipulate His desires towards mine not the other way around. “God, can’t you just take this away?”” God, let’s go this way instead.”
It’s all okay though because as I keep my eyes on the Master, He will continue to do a good work in me.
Remember God can fit everything into a pattern for good, including the things you wish were different. Start with where you are at this point in time and space, accepting that this is where I intend you to be. Your main responsibility is to remain attentive to Me, letting Me guide you through the many choices along your pathway. This sounds like an easy assignment but it’s not. Your desire to live in My Presence goes against the grain of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Much of your weariness results from your constant battle against these opponents. However, you are on the path of My choosing so don’t give up- keep your eyes on the Master, for the Master knows things you don’t
What exactly is in a word that comes from God? Does it really hold the power to change us? Where can it take us? Is there true life and maybe even freedom in His words?
He tell us over and over throughout the bible…”Focus on Me!” “Listen to Me” “Be Still in Me!” There is only one way and you are apart of something so much bigger, called to be apart of something so much greater. For there is one name above all names, Jesus.
Hebrews says the word of God is alive and active. Think about that for a moment, Alive and Active. Then it goes even further to say ( God’s word) is sharper than ANY double edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow. We can make no mistake that God is serious about the power in His words. What does He mean dividing soul and spirit? In 1 Corinthians, it says “A soulish man does not receive the things of the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him and he is not able to know them because they are discerned spiritually. The spiritual man discerns all things. A man who lives from his soul does what he wants to do. His logical mind does not understand nor really believe that God is all powerful. His experiences are based on his environment. He does not know nor understand the spiritual realm therefore does not know the way.
Hebrews goes on to say the word of God is able to discern the thoughts and intentions of the heart. Since the spirit is often under the covering of a very loud soul much like the marrow is under the covering of our bones, things must be broken off in order to receive and know what God is saying, asking, and doing.
” I am the way, the truth and the life”- We must open to the Word and read it. Allow it to wash over us. You don’t have to feel it all of the time. It is still alive and active in your own life every time you give Him your time.
Don’t you want to know what God says? Don’t you want to follow His lead?
So, let’s refocus our attention and time back onto Him, our true life. Humans want answers now, they want solutions now but God is clear, that we have His word to guide and obey and we also have His love. If we want to see more power in our lives, then we need to get our hearts right before our creator and believe who He says He is. Believe what He says He will do.
We keep circling God like a vulture circles his next meal. We are hungry for something but we don’t know what we are hungry for so we backslide again looking for that thing to fill us up. We may feel a little tug so we take Him off of the bookshelf, dust Him off and give Him a moments time. Then we think, “Ok, I did what I am supposed to do”, like marking a chore off of your to do list.” Other times we might show up for a church service and again think, “Done and done!” We are half- hearted. How does it feel when someone you really love is half-hearted with you?
We don’t know Him nor His power. We don’t see miracles, we only see silly Christians suffering and believing “the hype” because deep down we question, “Is this even real? “Does God even hear me?” “Oh, those Christians taking it too far again.”
We will keep circling until we get the truth down between our joints and marrow. Don’t be fooled by what you see because this life and everyone and everything are under the control of God. How we measure change and how God measures change are entirely different. Trust the Lord with all of your heart and lean not on your own understanding, In ALL your ways submit to him and he will make your path straight.
God is the only one who is all knowing. There is no other name.
I no longer force things. What flows flows, what crashes, crashes. I only have space and energy for things that are meant for me.
The glare from the sun shone in as I opened my eyes to the sound of His voice. The voice was not audible but it felt like He was sitting right next to me on my bed. I will not fail you. I… will… not….fail…you… ran through my mind over and over again. The words were like a light rain that eventually turns into a storm; my whole being was soaked. Soaked in His presence and His power. How did he know I was scared the night before? How did he know I was restless through the night? Oh, yes because he made me! He knows all of me even the parts that I have yet to discover or maybe I have suppressed. HE KNOWS ME! HE KNOWS ME!
How could I not rest in that? Why do I obsess over the “what if’s ” This scripture came to mind like He purposely planted it there…In all things, God works for the good of those who love him.
Hmmm, In all things? For those who love him? I jumped out of bed, turned on some music and started dancing. My God will help me no matter what storm is raging.
“Jesus, this is your home too.” ” Jesus, I am making yummy coffee for us.” “Jesus, I am preparing a place for you each and every day by including you in my life and learning your ways, not the world’s.”
“Jesus, I love you!”
“Jesus, thank you for loving me.”
This spiritual meal is good for our souls. Every providence tends to the spiritual good of those that love God; in breaking them off from sin, bringing them nearer to God, weaning them from the world, and fitting them for heaven. There is order to this and corrections will be employed as needed. Whom he did foreknow, he also did predestinate to be conformed to the image of his Son. All that God designed for glory and happiness as the end, he decreed to grace and holiness as the way. The whole human race deserved destruction, but for reasons not perfectly known to us, God determined to recover some by regeneration and the power of his grace. So whom he predestined, he also called. It is an effectual call, from self and earth to God, and Christ, and heaven, as our end. Called according to his purpose. He also justified and glorified. The power of corruption being broken in effectual calling, and the guilt of sin removed in justification. Now, we may with holy boldness defy all the powers of darkness.
As God’s people, we are foreigners on earth because our loyalty is always to our real King, Jesus. Still we must cooperate with the authorities and be responsible citizens. Since we are Christ’s ambassadors, we need to know that we are being good foreign ambassador’s for him to the world. Ultimately, all we have comes to us from God’s supply, but he does want us to be active in the process.
When we don’t know Christ, we make choices as though this life were all we have. In reality, this life is just the introduction to eternity. How we live this brief span, however determines our eternal state. What we accumulate on earth has no value in purchasing eternal life. Even the highest social or civic honors cannot earn us entrance into heaven. Evaluate all that happens from an eternal perspective, and you will find your values and decisions changing.
Jesus Christ has been given the authority to judge all the earth. Although his judgement is already working in our lives, there is a future, final judgement when Christ returns and everyone’s life is reviewed and evaluated. This will not be confined to unbelievers; Christians too will face a judgement. Their eternal destiny is secure, but Jesus will look at how they handled gifts, opportunities, and responsibilities in order to determine their heavenly rewards. At the time of judgement, God will deliver the righteous and condemn the wicked. We should not judge others’ salvation; that is God’s work.
Jesus is more than just a great leader, a good example, a good influence, or a great prophet. He is the Son of God. God is the word and the word is God. When you understand this profound truth, the only adequate response is worship. When you have a correct understanding of Christ, you will obey him.
Jesus used a child to help his self-centered disciples get the point. We are not to be childish ( harming others for our own gain) but rather childlike, with humble and sincere hearts. In what areas of your life( mine too) do you tend to struggle with childishness? In what ways are you making progress with childlikeness?
The disciples had become so preoccupied with the organization of Jesus’ earthly kingdom that they had lost sight of its divine purpose. Instead of seeking a place of service, they sought positions of advantage. It is easy to lose our eternal perspective and compete for promotions or status. It is difficult, but healthy to identify with children- weak and dependent people with no status or influence.
Children are trusting my nature. They trust adults, and through that trust their capacity to trust God grows. Gold holds parents and other adults who influence young children accountable for how they affect these little ones and their ability to trust. Jesus warned that anyone who turns little children away from faith will receive severe punishment. Jesus warned about two ways to cause little ones to sin; tempting them and neglecting or demeaning them. We must remove stumbling blocks that cause us to sin. This does not mean to cut off a part of the body; it means that any person, program, or teaching that threatens spiritual growth of the body must be removed. For the individual, any relationship, practice, or activity that leads to sin should be stopped. Jesus says it would be better to go to heaven with one hand than to hell with both, Sin effects more than our hands; it effects our hearts, mind, and our decisions.
Book of Matthew