Monthly Archives: March 2014

He Will Lead You Through

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Are there moments when you feel like the waves are going to come crushing in against you? Like your angst filled heart just might burst? And you feel like your enemies are getting closer and closer… and this just might do you in… but God.

My two favorite words in the Bible… but God.

Need a story of hope in the midst of despair? Read Exodus 14:15-31. This is the story of Moses leading the Israelites through the wilderness. The word through means they won’t be there forever. Some of you are going through your own wilderness. And it feels like it’s taking so long to get to the other side. See what the Lord did then and just watch what He’ll do now.

The Lord will open up a path for you (v.21), He’ll confuse your enemies (v. 24), and everyone will know exactly what is happening- the Lord is fighting for you (v.25). And you will escape your enemies and make it safely to the other side (v.22). But know that your story is not just for you. It’s so that the people will see the mighty hand of the Lord and put their faith in Him (v.31).

Lord, we come before You, asking You to make a way when there seems to be no way. Thank You for Your Word, which is life and brings hope and healing. I know You are fighting for me, even when it’s quiet. Thank You that You’re bringing me through safely to the other side. Help me to walk through this, knowing that there’s not only something in it for me, but that you will use my story to ultimately bring You glory. Others will look and see Your mighty hand. I trust You. In Jesus name, amen.

Isaiah 43:2 (NLT)- When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.

Be Your Best Brave

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“When the Lord makes it clear you’re to follow Him in this new direction, focus fully on Him and refuse to be distracted by comparisons with others.”
― Charles R. Swindoll

There are two types of athletes. Those that are running in a competition to beat their opponents time and then there are those, like myself, that enjoy running to beat their own time. I race against my own clock. I am my biggest opponent; at times my best cheerleader and at other times my worst enemy. I am at my best when I allow myself grace against the clock. But it’s times when I compare myself to your clock that I find my confidence waning. I see your brave and I feel inferior. I compare my journey and I see the distance between us and I feel as if I should be running faster and harder to the goal. I compare my spiritual steps to yours and wonder why though just yesterday I had felt as if I had traveled so far, today I feel as if I’m miles behind.

I have figured it out- although my brain will need to be reminded daily, if not, hourly. I am yet again comparing my brave to yours. And I must remind myself of how far I have traveled. You see, you don’t know my entire brave journey- but I do. And the more I remind myself of how brave I have truly been, the more I am reminded of just how far I have come. Not your brave but my brave. And I must remember that I will never achieve my own personal best brave, the one God has called me to, if I’m always comparing my brave to your brave.

I love these synonyms for brave- spirited, spunky, lionhearted, undaunted, and fearless. We each are called to our own fearless, spirited and spunky journey!

So today, I applaud your brave, because I don’t know your full story. I have a feeling that you’ve walked through your own struggles and you’ve had your share of heart ache- yet you’ve carried on; you’ve persevered. And today, instead of comparing how inadequate I sometimes feel to your brave, I’m going to celebrate your baby steps and ask that you celebrate mine. And when we start to read blogs or Facebook posts about someone else’s successes, we must train ourselves to squish that little green monster inside of us that might want to try and compare or criticize. Instead, let us ban together to say “your brave looks pretty good on you just as my brave looks pretty good on me.” No more tearing each other down in this never ending, never winning, comparison game. My brave will always look different than your brave and that is exactly how it should be.

For some of us, our brave might be teaching a Bible Study, while someone else’s brave might be attending a Bible Study. Your brave might look like running a marathon while my brave might look more like running a 5k. My brave might be speaking to a group of women while your brave might be starting a blog. Whatever it is, embrace it and look to Jesus to whisper to your heart what your next brave step might look like.

Psalms 27:14 (Living Bible)- Don’t be impatient. Wait for the Lord, and he will come and save you! Be brave, stouthearted, and courageous. Yes, wait and he will help you.

We all have been commissioned to be a light in a dark place. You might not feel like your inspiring anyone with your life, but I promise you this- people are watching, and you don’t have to climb Mount Kilimanjaro to inspire. Sometimes my brave is just inviting people over for a meal or a game and not worrying about a perfect house. God has a purpose and a plan for each and every one of us. We are all uniquely fashioned and formed for something specific, just for us; a specific brave.

I ask you, what is your best brave? I’m not asking what you see others do that you wish you could do. Think about the things that make your heart beat fast or perhaps the things that people compliment you on. Think about those things that you do, that when you finish you say to yourself, “This is exactly it.” Don’t waste one more second allowing the enemy to make you believe you’re inadequate or not good enough. You are enough, because the One who made you lives in you… and He, my friends, is more than enough. Together, let us unite, encouraging one another- one brave step at a time!

Repeat after me:

I am enough

I am brave

My brave is different than your brave

I applaud your brave

Kind people are brave people. Brave is not something you should wait to feel. Brave is a decision. Glennon Doyle Melton, Momastery 

Seeing Things Through God’s Point of View

 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;
 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6

In Mark 8:31-33 Jesus was telling His disciples (personal paraphrase), “Look, I will suffer many things. I will be rejected by pretty much all religious leaders. And then I will be killed. But three days later I will rise again.” As He shared openly with His disciples, Peter just couldn’t take it anymore. He pulls Jesus aside and the Bible says He reprimanded Jesus for saying such things!

Reprimand (Merriam-Websters)- To reprove sharply or censure formally, usually from a position of authority.

Now lets dig a little deeper and look at meaning for ‘reprove’.

Reprove- To scold or correct usually gently or with kindly intent; to express disapproval of.

As I’m reading this, I’m thinking Peter is pretty strong here in his tone with Jesus. Peter could not understand clearly why Jesus would be predicting His death. Peter’s actions and words were formed out of fear and genuine concern.

And then we read in verse 33 that Jesus in turn reprimands Peter!

Mark 8:33 (NLT)- Jesus turned around and looked at his disciples, then reprimanded Peter. “Get away from me, Satan!” he said. “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” 

For the record, as I studied this verse, Bible scholars said that Peter wasn’t indwelt by Satan, but that Satan had certainly suggested His thoughts. (We’ll save this for another Bible Study!)

I want to read over Mark 8:33b again.  “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view, not from God’s.” 

I wonder how many times we do that? Something we’re going through is really hard, painful, hurtful, and/or uncomfortable. And instead of walking it out and seeking God through it, we rebuke it. Sometimes we don’t  even bother talking to God about it and allow Him to show us some things through it- and we in turn are just like Peter. It hurts too much. It messes with my flesh.

I don’t know what you’re going through today, but I believe that God would say to some of us, “You are seeing things merely from a human point of view…”

Allow God to work through the difficult circumstances in your life. Just like Jesus was speaking about some things ahead that were going to be very painful, He knew that through those circumstances that God’s ultimate mission would be accomplished. And through your trials and struggles God will bring redemption and restoration. He sees the bigger picture. His ways are not our ways. He has a mission in our lives and it’s not always to walk around the pain, but yes, sometimes, through it. It’s not about understanding why, it’s really all about trusting even when we don’t understand.

Amen?!

Trust Him today. He’s got a mission; a plan. It might look differently than you expected, just as Peter couldn’t wrap his head around the things Jesus was saying. It looked very different than Peter thought and fear rose up. As you walk through this, don’t allow fear to take you away from where God’s grace can sustain you. Trust Him.

As we all know, His mission had so much more to do with just Peter and the disciples. Ultimately, His mission would change the world. And ultimately, what you’re going through isn’t just about you either. God’s mission and plan for your life- all the pain and the struggles- will, in the future, affect many others. Remember that dear ones, as you walk through these trials. Your pain is never wasted.

Lord, would you help us to take our eyes off of all the unknowns and refocus on You. Would You open our eyes to to understand Your Word so that we can see things through Your view. Help us to not just see things through our mere human understanding, but help us to see our situation through Your eyes. Your ways are higher than ours. I pray that these trials would only bring us closer to You, Lord. We do believe Lord, yet help us to overcome our unbelief. In Jesus name, amen.