Stay in Balance

25 01 2010

“I have learned how to be content (satisfied to the point where I am not disturbed or disquieted) in whatever state I am.” –Philippians 4:11

“Stability is maturity. To grow up in G-d is to come to the place where you can be content no matter what your situation or circumstances may be because you are rooted and grounded, not in things, but in the L-rd.

Paul was emotionally and spiritually mature because he knew whatever state he was in would pass. He had learned the secret of facing every situation of life, whether good or bad.

G-d wants to bless you and use you as a vessel through which His Holy Spirit can work. But in order for that to happen you must learn how to handle both the good times and the bad. That’s why it is so important to remember that whatever comes your way, “this too shall pass.” The good times and the bad never last forever, but through Christ we can handle either with joy and stability.” (Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

The L-rd is the only one that can change our hearts and make them stable, but we have a choice to make. Will we let Him? Will we choose to remain steady? It’s easy in the midst of struggle to rely too much upon our feelings. Often times, we trust our feelings and let them dominate the way that we feel about the situation and ourselves. It’s hard not to dwell on the problems, but if we allow our hearts and minds to wrestle and our mouths to run about our situation, of course, we are going to struggle with being steady and stable. This is so hard. I think it’s a moment-by-moment surrender. If you have a feeling or thought that doesn’t line up with G-d and His control in your life, then banish it in Jesus’ name and refuse to let the lie or doubt take up residence in your heart and mind. This can be so hard, but G-d will come and help if we will only surrender and ask Him to make us steady. I’m moment by moment on this too; so don’t feel alone as you work it out. Remember that the L-rd is good and even in the times that don’t seem like His goodness, He never changed or walked out. Look to Him—He’s the only one that somehow stays stable.

By faith and hope,

Mere

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Say Yes to G-d

21 01 2010

“No one’s ever seen or heard anything like this, never so much as imagined anything quite like it—what G-d has arranged for those who love Him.” -1 Corinthians 2:9

“G-d prearranged and paid for you to have and enjoy a good life before you ever showed up on planet Earth. Then He sent the Holy Spirit to guide you into all truth and the blessings He wants you to have. The key to receiving is simply obedience.

When you don’t obey G-d’s promptings you get off track and fail to enjoy all the good things He has in mind for you. Don’t let the devil trick you into losing out on G-d’s superabundance because of disobedience.

Begin sowing seeds of prompt obedience and divine blessing will overtake you. Radical, outrageous obedience will bring radical, outrageous blessings. Obeying G-d during the day helps us sleep good at night.” (Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

Obedience can often be seen as a less than fun thing, but it truly is something that brings about such abundance. The L-rd is very clear in the blessings that He has planned for us: “For I know the plans I have for you, says the L-rd, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future” (Jeremiah 29:11). The L-rd may have been speaking this to a specific guy, but His promises reflect that this is true to us all. The L-rd’s plans for you may be entirely different than you had planned on and may not always seem like a dream come true, but in the end, we know that they are all for the good. I think the L-rd likes to give us little glimpses to remind us when we start to doubt. In my life, I know the L-rd has taken me into a place and a path that is polar opposite from what I had planned in my little “American dream” mind. Now that I’m in this place though, I realize what a blessing it is to be here. We need to live like we believe that G-d is imaginative and full of dreams. He is the ultimate dreamer—He’s the one that made dreams come into existence in the first place. I’m really excited about all that the L-rd is doing and I’m excited and expectant about what is to come! He’s got dreams. He’s inviting us to be a part of them and experience the grandeur. Don’t be afraid to accept them.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Expect the Blessings of G-d

20 01 2010

“Wait and hope for and expect the L-rd; be brave and of good courage and let your heart be stout and enduring.” –Psalm 27:14

“Sometimes you may feel discouraged, miserable, and depressed. In those times you need to take a close look at what’s been going on in your mind. Isaiah 26:3 tells you when you keep your mind on the L-rd you will have “perfect and constant peace.”

By focusing on the goodness of G-d and waiting, hoping, and expecting Him to encourage you and fill you with His peace and joy, you can overcome negative thoughts that drag you down.

Think and speak positively. Begin believing right now that you are about to see G-d’s goodness in your life. Wait, hope, and expect His blessings to be abundant in your life.”

(Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

I think Joyce is right on about the importance of our words and thoughts. If I allow an anxious thought roll around in my mind, it only leads to me experiencing more fear and anxiety. If I talk about a situation that is causing me worry, it only causes me to worry more about it. A wise friend of mine once told me that it’s important not to give the voice a forum. We need to choose not to entertain the thoughts and to not give the worries power by speaking them out. The Bible tells us in 2. Corinthians 10:5: “We take captive every thought to make it obedient to the L-rd.” This verse implies an active, forceful step. We need to banish the thoughts and words that don’t give credit to the goodness of G-d. He truly is so good and kind, so we should live like that and believe that He gives us no reason to worry or fret. We need to claim this truth over and over again. Keep on pouring the Word into your heart and mind so then the worries and anxieties will seem ridiculous to you and you can dismiss them fast. This is no easy task. It’s a moment-by-moment surrender and faithful choice to believe in the goodness of our G-d.

By faith and hope,

Mere





G-d has NOT forgotten You

19 01 2010

“G-d is faithful; He will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, He will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” -1 Cor. 10:13

“The world is full of people struggling with trials and temptations and looking for a way out. If you ever have felt pressed on every side and couldn’t find an escape, or confused and didn’t know what to do, you know what a desperate and lonely feeling that can be.

The Word tells you G-d is faithful and He will provide a way for you, but He doesn’t always show up immediately. That is when you must wait…and trust.

Waiting on G-d purifies your faith and builds character in you. You may not like the waiting, but G-d’s way is perfect! So be assured G-d has not forgotten you. Trust Him, and in His time He will reveal His perfect plan for you. While you’re waiting, don’t forget to enjoy your life.”

(Joyce Meyer, Ending Your Day Right)

Wait is often the hardest answer to receive from the L-rd. Are you praying and asking for relief and the L-rd is saying ‘wait’? I am currently in a ‘wait’ period and so I can relate to all of you that are in a similar setting. Often, I get impatient waiting on G-d to say ‘yes’ that I almost want Him just to say ‘no’ because that’s more definitive and places me back in control. I’m trying to embrace this waiting time and realize what a sweet time that it is. We need to trust G-d every single day, but during these times of waiting we learn what that truly means. I think G-d likes to place us in situations where all we can do is wait so that we can see His amazing provision. He blesses us beyond what we can ask for, so why not wait in joyful expectation! This is a tough choice to make but I think it’s the most G-d honoring one that we can! It’s choosing to believe in His word and character even when our circumstances don’t give us any reason to believe that He is going to come through. In addition to the comfort that G-d’s provision is beyond me, another source of comfort is realizing that G-d uses the waiting time to prepare us for what is to come. This takes me back again to what Beth Moore said, “Nothing happens in our life that will not be for the glory of G-d, for our benefit and for our equipping. If it’s happening, it is vital to your equipping.” This waiting and testing period may be just the thing to prepare you for the great plan that the L-rd has for you. Let’s try to be patient, but still excited and expectant about what the L-rd will do. Also remember that we cannot always see how the L-rd is working, so who knows, your waiting may end sooner than you think.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Let G-d be Good to You

16 01 2010

“The L-rd [earnestly] waits [expecting, looking, and longing] to be gracious to you; and therefore He lifts Himself up, that He may have mercy on you and show loving-kindness to you.”

–Isaiah 30:18

“Isn’t this a wonderful verse? It tells you G-d is waiting to be good to you. He’s actually looking and longing for an opportunity to show His goodness. He is a G-d of justice and He desires to make every wrong thing right. But He can only be good to those who are waiting for Him to be good to them—those who believe His promises.

Are you available? Don’t fall into Satan’s trap of being negative. Don’t believe it when he tells you your past is really not past and your future is bleak. Choose to believe G-d and get ready to receive the wonderful gifts He is waiting to give to you. Go to sleep meditating on this thought: something good is going to happen to me!” –Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

G-d’s love is so amazing and beyond us. I can’t begin to fathom a human sitting there patiently waiting for us to decide to accept their grace. His patience coupled with His love is what makes it so amazing. He is just waiting for us to let go of the past, present, and the need to know about the future so He can mold our lives into what He has in mind. His plan is so good and active even when we feel like nothing has changed. We need to stop seeing with our physical eyes and expect that the L-rd is working in ways beyond our vision and comprehension. Based upon His track record and character, we know He is so so good and in the details. Also don’t forget his affection for you. Of course He wants you to be blessed! Of course He wants you to be treated justly! Imagine how much a person that loves you dearly would defend your cause and G-d cares infinitely more! The question is not whether or not G-d is good or if He is capable because He surely is. The question for us to ponder is: Am I ready to let Him? It sounds so easy…of course we want Him to be good….but we must surrender and hold to the truth even when things don’t seem in His hands…that’s the hard thing. The L-rd is so ready to jump in there….Let’s all let Him!

By faith and hope,
Mere





Won by the L-rd alone!

13 01 2010

Sometimes G-d operates in ways that seem less than logical to us. He always has a plan that will lead to Him receiving more glory and us learning to trust Him more. I think Gideon’s experience with the Midianites is a great example of having to trust G-d and His strange methods. When Gideon was talking with the L-rd, the L-rd informed him, “You have too many men for me to deliver Midian into their hands. In order that Israel may not boast against me that her own strength has saved her, announce now to the people, ‘anyone who trembles with fear may turn back and leave Mount Gilead’” (Judges 7:2-3). When this announcement was made, Gideon’s army went from 22,000 to 10,000. The L-rd did not want Israel to depend on themselves so he was removing the surety of victory by numbers. Even with over half of the men gone, G-d still thought there were too many. He sifted them down based upon the way that they drank water to a mere three hundred. The important detail was what the L-rd said when he asked Gideon to dismiss that vast majority of the troop: “With the three hundred men that lapped I will save you and give the Midianites in to your hands. Let all the other men go, each to his own place” (Judges 7:7). Gideon did the hard thing. He dismissed all but the three hundred that G-d said to keep. The soldiers most likely were confused and calling his decision into question, but Gideon was following G-d’s logic and not man’s.

When the L-rd told Gideon to take the troop against Midian, he realized that Gideon and the men were afraid and gave them the grace of allowing them to hear the Midianite men talking about a dream. One of the men had dreamed of Gideon’s victory over them. Hearing of the dream reassured Gideon and the men that G-d was going to bring them the victory. They were given a crazy battle plan of taking jars, torches, and instruments and surrounding the camp. When they encroached upon the city, they broke the jars, sounded the trumpets, and yelled “sword for the L-rd and for Gideon!” The Midianites were so afraid that they either fled or turned on each other.

These men initially may have been confident based upon their numbers, but in the end, they were confident because of G-d’s promise. The L-rd placed them in a situation that they absolutely had to trust. The battle plan was crazy and they were outnumbered. When Gideon and his men saw the victory that came with three hundred men and less than threatening weapons, they believed in the power of G-d like they never would have if they were a force of over twenty thousand with swords. In the end, G-d received more glory and Israel’s trust in His ability to save was increased astronomically.

We may not have to go to war with jars, but sometimes the L-rd’s plan in our lives can seem just as crazy. Sometimes we are asked to do things that seem less than logical from the human perspective. When our circumstances are crazy and we feel like we have no fall back plan, what a wonderful place for the L-rd to have us for us to grow! Whether we understand or not, we just need to trust that the L-rd is for us and that He is working even if His workings seem strange.

by faith and hope,

Mere 🙂





Let G-d Restore Your Soul

13 01 2010

“The L-rd is my Shepherd…He refreshes and restores my life…He leads me in the paths of righteousness…not for my earning it…but for His name’s sake.” –Psalm 23:1,3

“This psalm is a great comfort and encouragement. Your Shepherd refreshes and restores your life, or as the King James Version says, your soul.

The word “restore” means, “to return to a former condition,” to refresh. In this psalm, David is telling you G-d will return you to the state you were in before you erred from following the good plan He had predestined for you before your birth.

G-d’s plan for you is not failure, misery, poverty, sickness, or disease. His plan is for you to have a wonderful life full of health, happiness, and fulfillment.

So don’t let the devil steal it away from you. The evening is a great time to quietly wait in the presence of the L-rd and allow Him to refresh and restore your soul.” (Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

Most things in our lives have conditions. If we make a mistake, we can lose a job, a relationship, insurance, etc. In many cases, that one mistake can dictate a lot of things in our lives. For example, a pastor, a senator, or a celebrity that falls out of grace has a hard time getting back to the respect that they once had. Even though there are consequences for when we stray, the L-rd not only welcomes us back, but He also restores us and shows us how to walk on His path again. Pastor Graham Cooke says that “G-d is the kindest person I know” and I believe that to be true. The fact that He reassures us that He has great plans for us and that we haven’t lost that privilege but also He chooses not to remember our sins once we have come into repentance. I know some kind people that will forgive in extreme ways, but kind enough to completely forget is a different story. Recently, I heard Pastor Francis Chan speak and he compared the Holy Spirit to a GPS. Francis says that he loves driving with his GPS because whenever he misses a turn or turns down the wrong way, the GPS calmly says, “recalculating.” The Holy Spirit’s leading is quite similar—the L-rd remains patient and forgiving even when we miss the turn. The longer we take to listen to the Spirit, the longer it will take to arrive where G-d is leading, but He can still get you there. If you are feeling like you have strayed too far, take comfort in the words of David. David made mistakes, but one mistake he did not make was to give up or run from G-d. Whatever is going on, remember the kind voice of the L-rd is ready to say, “recalculating”.

by faith and hope,
Mere