as i sit here and reflect on the last forty days and how the Lord worked in my life as i “gave up” the spirit of poverty for Lent, i am thankful for the knowledge He is always faithful to show Himself when we truly seek! it doesn’t take a genius to know He would show me the areas i was rich in and how counting and recounting those riches/blessings does wonders for how i approach each day. but what i didn’t expect was lessons in obedience, the attitude with which money is spent and the confirmation of how He is always working on us and is faithful to use what He is working on for our betterment!
two very significant events happened within the last 40 days, along side a host of others. i wish i could sit here and tell you of each event but that would take too long. so i’ll just leave you with this statement i sent via text to a friend as He took care of His child; “i obediently listened to His voice and He took care of me with an option that wasn’t even an option! He showed up and showed off!”
isn’t that just like Him?!
My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands. Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God. Proverbs 2:1-5
Anyone who belongs to God listens gladly to the words of God. But you don’t listen because you don’t belong to God.” John 8:47
when the Lord speaks these words it is best to step aside asap. the choice to do so is the difference between receiving good consequences vs bad. the decision is up to us.
i can’t tell you how many times He has had to teach me this lesson. and every time I end up getting in my own way. one day i’ll grow up and not have to be the perpetual student when it comes to this. in the meantime, i press on toward the goal He has for me! i’m just glad He keeps speaking!
may Your words turn from “get out of My way” into “good, now I can work!”
Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.”
I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.
have you ever had to make a decision you didn’t want to make? when everything in you tells you to do the opposite of what the Lord is asking? obey! even if you don’t want to.
in a moment described above, He has whispered to me “you can’t have this now, so you can have it later”… maybe that doesn’t make sense to anyone but for me: His timing is everything! and we cannot make something happen that just isn’t meant to happen right now. I’m not saying ever, but just not right now.
“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the Lord. “As the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways and my thoughts than your thoughts. Isaiah 55:8-9
Get Outta The Way!
I believe I’ve written before how God speaks to me a lot of times through short, concise phrases. sometimes even one word. when this is His choice of action, these words are all I can think about. so instead of combatting them, my actions in some form or another are tied to these words.
these phrases are extremely timely (of course) and have, over the years, built my faith in a God whom I trust implicitly. yes, even when life doesn’t make sense.
like now, I’m at that place in my life when I need to start thinking about the rest of it. questions about where I want to live? what am I to do career-wise? how do I move out of my comfort zone and experience all He wants me to, in order to become the woman He’s made me to be? and all the while His still sweet voice is whispering “keep stepping.”
as new doors open and possibly even close, these two words are my motivation to learning and being more of the woman He’s called me to be! even if the answer is to stay exactly where I am, I trust He’ll make it perfectly clear as I continue to step!
And your ears shall hear a word behind you, saying, “This is the way, walk in it,” when you turn to the right or when you turn to the left.
Isaiah 30:21 ESV
ever have a moment when you know you need to apologize but for some reason or another you try to talk yourself out of it? this happened to me not that long ago. my reasons were quite valid to rule in favor of “nope, not gonna do it” reasons like:
*it will fall on deaf ears
*I’ll look weak
*it won’t make a difference
*it’s not my place
*she hurt me
*what if the apology isn’t “accepted”
*what if my motivation is misinterpreted
*too much time has passed
…and I could list many more but the truth of the matter is none of them are significant when the Lord speaks. even if all the reasons listed above were true (and they were), it all boiled down to pride and fear and obedience. was I going to put my pride and fear aside, in order to obey the One I live for? Yes!
so, I did. I even went old school and wrote a letter. this way I wouldn’t know any thing more than my part. it wasn’t about the person I was apologizing to, it was about me and my ability to hear Him and take action.
the result: assurance I did the right thing and freedom to move on!
I love the way a member of Life.Church put it “Realizing your part in your struggle—then apologizing for it—is the first step on the path out.”
Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.
James 5:16 ESV
there are many ways the Lord can choose to speak to His children. through His word, through others’ words, in music, billboards and signs, nudges, whispers and screams. ok, maybe not screams but definitely moments of intense knowing. most of the time it’s up to us, to not only be tuned in so we can hear Him, but more importantly it’s up to us to obey!
THEN there are other times when He speaks and we have nothing to do but let His peace wash over us. this exact thing happened last night.
as I was journaling through a very heart wrenching, no words for it situation, asking Him to intervene, He spoke. I was literally asking to trust Him in this, not only for me to trust but for others involved to trust Him. almost immediately I glance at the page I was writing on and saw this …
I had never noticed that the pages of my journal had this on it. I’m honestly that nonobservant sometimes. but He knew exactly when I needed to really notice it. a time when I needed it most and when it would bring immediate peace to my being!
Trust in the LORD with all your heart;
Proverbs 3:5a NLT
you know that feeling that comes over you when you’re about to sin? the one that whispers: don’t. or in some cases screams: RUN!? don’t silence it! I don’t care who you are, we ALL fall under the principle of our sins being found out. whatever sin is done in private, in spite or in anything contrary to what the Lord would have will be revealed. it is up to Him when it’s found out and even who finds out, but rest assured He will allow it to be found out in His way.
learn to listen … really listen … to the Voice within. it is there for our own good!
“But if you fail to do this, you will be sinning against the Lord; and you may be sure that your sin will find you out.
Numbers 32:23 NIV
I’ve often prayed for God to speak to me in an audible voice. especially when my question is very direct and a simple yes or no would suffice. but then I think, if I truly heard Him as Adam, Moses, Abraham and so many others did, would I listen and obey or would I still question, saying “but I can’t” or “that’s not what I want.”
how often do we get in our own way of receiving all God has for us? if He appeared directly in front of me, I don’t know if I’d obey immediately. I’d love to say Yes beyond a shadow of a doubt. but truth be told, sometimes our selfishness takes precedence. I want to speak these words daily “Speak, your servant is listening” and be ready for whatever He says!
And the LORD came and called as before, “Samuel! Samuel!” And Samuel replied, “Speak, your servant is listening.” (1 Samuel 3:10 NLT)
a couple weeks back, I introduced a question I ask myself daily: Lord, what do You want me to learn? [see Not Ready]
how often do we find ourselves in sticky situations. situations you’d rather not be in. times of animosity or frustration with those around you or even with God when we are not getting all we think we deserve. even in those times, He IS always working! if I’ve learned anything recently, He has me exactly where I am so that I will grow more into the person He wants me to be. we’re going to have times of difficulty, period, let’s learn what He is teaching and prosper!
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV)
brutal honesty? there is this one thing I want in life. something I pray for. something I look for. something I believe I’m ready for. something I believe is my heart’s desire. do I have it yet? nope! most days I’m ok with not having it and then there are those times when I’m not so ok. in those moments, I have to stop and ask, Lord, what do You want me to learn? I ask this question, because I do believe He wants us to receive the desires of our hearts but not until we are ready. He is always growing us, not to change what is (or isn’t) going on around us but to change us! our heart must be in a state of acceptance for wherever He takes us on the journey. and as we go, we grow and our will becomes His! maybe I’ll never have what I think I want this side of heaven… and I’m ok with that as long as I’m in His will!
Take delight in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart. (Psalm 37:4 NIV)