Monday, October 28, 2013

Conquering Fear

Matthew 10:31(NLT) So don’t be afraid; you are more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows.

I have taken this scripture out of its context, so let me explain. A couple of sparrows don’t cost but a penny, and not one of them can fall without God knowing and caring about it. As the old hymn goes, “His eye is on the sparrow, and I know He watches me”. He loves me more than I could even attempt to love myself.

We get scared (well, I do anyway). Sometimes we just need to remind ourselves that we have nothing to fear in Christ Jesus. As our faith grows, our fears seem to change. Conquering one fear usually just brings another to light. After you’re no longer worried about your financial situation, a health challenge arises. Is not the same God still sovereign over all? I feel that I take one step forward in faith, only to be knocked back two.

All the while, I know in my head that I shouldn’t be afraid. No matter what comes, what happens, or what falls apart, I am loved by a merciful God. He is using all my circumstances to develop me. He is working all things – good, bad and otherwise – for my good. I will come out of whatever I’m facing stronger, wiser, and better, but I must go through with the faith to know God is able. So, I will not be afraid because I am more valuable to God than a whole flock of sparrows. And I will keep telling myself that I am not afraid until one day, I really won’t be afraid.  

Monday, October 21, 2013

Submit to God

Proverbs 3:5-6 (NASB)

Trust in the Lord with all your heart
And do not lean on your own understanding.
In all your ways acknowledge Him,
And He will make your paths straight.
God is neither a magician nor a genie. God is not bound to grant our wishes for wealth, fame, and fortune. God does not perform optical illusions for our entertainment. You’re thinking right now that this sounds absolutely ludicrous! But how do we treat God every day? We pull Him out after everything else has failed, like He is obligated to respond.
We ask, seek, and knock when we think we will get what we want. God is only obligated to His Word. We need to take His yoke upon ourselves and learn of Him. Then we will be able to pray in His will and for His will. He wants to give us good things, but He wants us to know Him all the more. We need to acknowledge Him in everything we do, say, and think. We need to treat God like GOD. He is greater than our highest understanding; He is better than our greatest imagination.
I won’t be able to trust in the LORD with all my heart until I know Him like that. How will I know Him unless I seek to know Him? My understanding is finite, so I don’t know all the possible outcomes of my decisions. I don’t know what hardships I might create for myself by not acquiescing to the will of God. The chosen scripture reference is about submission to God. It is only when we submit fully to Him that we will see the way to go. It isn’t magic; it isn’t rocket science. It’s the way God works.

Monday, October 14, 2013

Not For a Moment

I don’t know where I first heard the song, when I last heard it, or what I was doing when I heard it.  All I know is that those lyrics flooded my brain and soothed my soul at the absolute perfect moment.  I began to feel some anxiety about a certain situation, and BAM! “Not for a moment will You forsake me” invaded my thoughts. Who can bring something to your remembrance like that except the Holy Spirit? God promised never to leave me nor forsake me. That’s BIBLE. The song lyrics were buried in my subconscious somewhere and triggered by that nudge of the Holy Ghost.
I don’t even own that CD by Meredith Andrews and Vertical Worship. I didn’t even know all the words when I YouTube’d it to listen yesterday morning. You can’t convince me that God isn’t real. He knows just what to do and when. He knew exactly what I needed to hear at that very moment. Why wouldn’t I trust Him with my entire life? It’s all the little things in my life that cause me to marvel at my God. The care He puts into the little details, for my benefit, amazes me. I am foolish to worry about anything that I’ve entrusted to Him.
Let me share just the chorus of this song with you:

After all You are constant
After all You are only good
After all You are sovereign
Not for a moment will You forsake me
Not for a moment will You forsake me 

I can’t think of a more soothing truth. God is always there. Different writers, poets and artists have said/sung it different ways over the years, but this one really touches my heart for this season in my life.
Hebrews 13:5b “…For God has said, “I will never, never fail you nor forsake you.” (Living Bible)

Monday, October 7, 2013

Just a Vapor

James 4:14 (NASB) Yet you do not know what your life will be like tomorrow. You are just a vapor that appears for a little while and then vanishes away.
Tomorrow is not promised to any of us, yet we struggle with priorities. I’m not even going to pretend that I have all the answers to this dilemma. We spend so much time and energy on things that absolutely will not matter in eternity that we neglect the matters of the eternal soul. We run around in our little hamster balls, this way and that, busily making plans and back-up plans.  The truth of the matter is that we have no idea if we will even be breathing in the next moment.
Perspective is a wonderful thing, but it doesn’t always come easy.  It seems to usually take a tragedy, a terminal illness, or some bitter situation to get us to focus on things above.  Jesus spoke about not setting our minds on temporary things.  Life is fleeting, and we don’t have the time to waste on things that will not last.  Think about how much time and energy you spend on your job.  If something were to happen to you, how much time and energy do you suppose they would spend on you?
This applies to lots of things, not just work.  Why do some people scrape and claw for every dime they can get into a retirement plan, only to have the market tank just before they retire?  God’s grace is sufficient.  Yes, we need to plan for the future, but we must always keep in mind that our real future is eternal.  What can we deposit into that account?  What can I do here on earth today that will have a lasting impact in the Kingdom of God?  It’s time to be transformed by the renewing of our minds.  Stop stressing over the temporary!  I know it's easier said than done, but we need to move in that direction every day.