Taking life as it comes

Therefore, stop worrying about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own. Matthew 6:34 (CEB)

Sometimes I think I hold the market on worry. I get so pulled into all the possibilities all the” what ifs” that I sometimes just wear myself out. As a child I would almost make it a game. If I could think of all the “what ifs” then maybe I could keep them from happening. Even though I know the odds of really being able to control things in that way I still find myself in my old habit of worry. Maybe that is part of the key to the problem. I have let worry become a habit. I do it without even thinking. It has become part of a thought process that I need to unlearn.

Just before verse 34 in Chapter 6 of Matthew we are told that God knows what we need. He dresses the earth in splendor, He feeds the sparrows, He knows the number of hairs on my head. Can’t I trust Him to know what I need as well? How I can learn to set aside my worry is to just deal with things as they come. God has equipped me to do this which is why He tells us to focus only on today. Worry only brings frustration and frustration is the first clue that God isn’t in my situation.

Lord help me to practice this day the art of taking life as it comes.  You know what I need and I am assured by your Word that you will meet my every need for this day. Amen.

Idolness

But those who have doubts are convicted if they go ahead and eat, because they aren’t acting on the basis of faith. Everything that isn’t based on faith is sin. Romans 14:23 (CEB)

 

Ouch! This one hurts! “Most of the time, worry is based on one sin in particular: selfishness. Usually when we worry, we’re concerned about how our selfish desires are not being fulfilled. The more selfish desires you have, the more you have to worry about, and the more complicated your life becomes.” (Joyce Meyer) Somehow I am having a hard time understanding why my worrying about my roof right now might be an act of selfishness! Doesn’t a roof over my head constitute a need rather than a want?

Ahhh. But here is the point. In Romans 14:23 it tells us that “everything that isn’t based on faith is sin”. If I am worrying than I must not have faith. Faith that God will provide a roof for my house. God knows I need a roof. He has a plan. Sometimes it takes a while for a plan to play out, but I shouldn’t lose my faith in God while I am waiting for the plan to all come together.

Anything that we spend more time thinking about than God is idol worship. Sounds kind of ridiculous to say that I am worshiping my roof, but in my worry I am making my roof more important than God in my life. God doesn’t want my attention turned away from him because to look away from him causes anxiety. God wants me to look to him so that I can live with out anxiety and to have peace. Peace, that concept where we have everything we need to be whole.

Lord, I can see that I am guilty of turning my eyes away from you. The results have not been pretty. It has caused me to be anxious and to worry. Help me today to keep my eyes on you so that I may grow in faith and have your peace. Amen.

A healthy hunger

“Happy are people who are hungry and thirsty for righteousness, because they will be fed until they are full. ~Matthew 5:6 (CEB)

Healthy people get hungry. Appetite is a sign of life. Matthew chapter 5 verse 6 tells us that Christians should be defined as people who are hungry for God. In the “Disciplined Life”, Calvin Miller says that our souls should have an excessive appetite to please God. But most of us don’t hunger to this extent. We are perhaps a little hungry for Christ, but we are more consumed with ordinary pursuits for shelter, food, safety, power and sexual appetites. This is part of being human, but can become dangerous when we lose our mastery over them and allow them to take over our lives.

God places within us a hunger for Him. Often I forget that the restlessness that I feel inside of me is because I have strayed away again and I try to fill that hole with other things that will not fit. Those things are just temporary fixes and because it doesn’t come from the true source I will find myself back at the well again. I need to be filled in such a way that I no longer thirst or hunger. I can only find this satisfaction in Jesus. I can only fight the cravings if I try to fill myself up with Christ.

Heavenly Father when I find myself back at the well, fill me with you. Fill me up until I want no more. Satisfy this restless hunger inside of me with your righteousness. Amen.

The power of words

“With lots of words comes wrongdoing, but the wise restrain their lips.” ~Proverbs 10:19 (CEB)

Words are powerful. Because our words carry so much power, it is important that we learn to say only what is essential. Benjamin Franklin said, “He that would live in peace and at ease must not speak all he knows or sees.” Oh that I could learn this lesson… when to keep my mouth shut! Once the words are out there you can’t take it back. You can apologize for things that you have said, but you can never retrieve them.

Something my mother always told us growing up was, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.” This is good advice! We should restrain our lips from negative speech, gossip, sarcasm, insincere flattery, coarse jesting, or being funny in a rude way. Instead we should use our mouth to encourage others, looking for and finding the good qualities in people, choosing to speak well of those around us.

This positive speaking of others also helps to adjust our attitude towards those we come in contact with frequently. What our mouth speaks our heart soon believes. If I can speak positively about someone I deal with daily, my attitude towards that person can improve even if they are not my favorite person to deal with!

Guard my words O Lord, may they reflect your love to the world around me. Help me to remember that sometimes silence is wiser than anything I might choose to say. Amen.

God fights our giants

“The LORD, “David added, “who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.” “Go!” Saul replied to David. “And may the LORD be with you!” ~1 Samuel 17:37(CEB)

 

I like the story of David and Goliath. The boy verses the giant and the boy wins. It isn’t the underdog theme that I love it is the confidence that David shows us in the story. He had such an intimate relationship with God that he KNEW that God would take care of him. How did he know? David knew God would take care of him because they had a history together. David tells us some of this history. “The Lord, who rescued me from the power of both lions and bears, will rescue me from the power of this Philistine.” David had confidence to fight the giant because he had a history with God where God had delivered him from the lions and bears. To him it was a natural assumption that God would take care of him in this situation as well.

It is important for us to be aware of the times that God has worked in our lives. Even the small things He has done for us. Recalling the small things He has done bolsters our confidence for the big things in life. If God only came waltzing through our lives at the big events we might not have the faith we need to believe that he will show up in great times of need. But I think he blesses us even in small things so that we can learn to trust him and as our trust grows and our relationship blossoms we gain the confidence that we need for the big battles in life.

The challenge for us is to look for those small blessings that God bestows on us. Sometimes they might be easy to overlook or to say that it is just coincidence. When we learn to look for God in the small moments of our lives we will gain the knowledge we need to see him in the crucial times as well. God is always with us. We have to train our eyes to see him at work in our lives.

Heavenly Father, I know the Bible tells me that you are always with me. Open my eyes to see you in the small ordinary moments so that I will be confident to find you in the trials of life. Amen.

Satan’s games

But the LORD is the one who is marching before you! He is the one who will be with you! He won’t let you down. He won’t abandon you. So don’t be afraid or scared!” ~ Deuteronomy 31:8

 

One of the biggest battles that Satan wages against us is getting us to believe that we are alone. I find myself falling into this trap often. This is a good verse to carry around in your heart. Deuteronomy 31:8 says that God will go before me, He will be with me and He won’t abandon me. This verse tells me that God won’t abandon me so I shouldn’t be afraid.

Recently I read something Joyce Meyer wrote, “Satan wants you to believe you are alone. He wants you to believe that no one understands how you feel, but his claims are false. In addition to God being with you, many believers understand what you are experiencing mentally and emotionally.” Satan wants me to lose sight of the simple truths found in the Bible. It is easy to forget that God wants to comfort us and deliver us when we are in the middle of pain and loss.

Part of the loneliness trap that Satan sets for me is playing the game of not sharing what is going on in my life. Then I get mad when no one notices that my life is falling apart. It is as if I just expect people to see the pain that I am going through but if I don’t open up and share what is going on in my life, then how do they know to reach out to me. I have a responsibility to meet people half way in relationships. Finding people that are “safe” to share my hurts and sorrows with takes time. But if I do not get involved and discover the people that God has placed within my reach then I am falling for the lies that Satan tells me and I will continues to find myself alone.

Heavenly Father, help me to hide in my heart the truth. You are with me and will never leave me alone. You provide for all my needs. Open my eyes to know the friendships you have set in place for me and close my ears to Satan’s lies. Amen.

Dissapointments

Therefore, submit to God. Resist the devil, and he will run away from you. ~ James 4:7 (CEB)

 

Another area that Satan can get at me is in my disappointments. Satan is right there waiting to attack me when I am at my lowest, at the end of a broken dream. I wonder “why did I get my hopes us so high”, “I know better”, “I am worthless”, “I should have known nothing good is meant to come my way”. These are lies that Satan feeds me. This is not life as God means for us to live. He wants us to have joy, even among the pieces of our shattered hopes and dreams.

Jesus came to minister to the broken hearted, the oppressed, the hopeless. He came so that I might have life. Here is another phrase that I have heard through the years. Jesus came so that we might have life. Satan doesn’t want me to live, so he feeds me lies to keep me in death. Jesus wants me to live so He came into the world to breath new life and hope into my heart. If I believe the lies that Satan feeds me then I will stay defeated and my heart dies slowly bit by bit every day. If I hear God’s truth that I AM worthy and that He wants to bless my life beyond what I can ever imagine than I can LIVE. My disappointments don’t define who I am. God’s love for me is the only definition that I need to know.

Jesus is waiting on the sidelines offering me hope amidst the disappointments of life. Satan wants me to stay defeated. Christ came so that I can have hope. Christ came so that I can live. I need to hide these truths deep within my heart so that I can resist the lies that Satan wants to feed my soul.

Sometimes Lord, the lies seem louder in my ears than your promises. Help me hide your truths deep in my heart so that when the noise of Satan threatens to overwhelm me Your truth will bubble up and overflow until I can no longer hear anything but Your love for me. Amen.

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