Come to Him…

22 04 2010

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy-laden and overburdened, and I will cause you to rest. [I will ease and relieve and refresh your souls.]” –Matthew 11:28

“Many people today are stressed out beyond anything a human being was ever meant to endure. Every person is very different, uniquely created by G-d’s design. What is complicated for one may be simple for another. Don’t compare yourself with other people. But when faced with a problem or difficult circumstance you must ask yourself, ‘what would Jesus have me to in this situation? How would He handle it?’

Jesus was not stressed out or burned out. He was not controlled by circumstances or the demands of other people. In John 14:6, Jesus said, ‘I am the Way.’ His way is the right way—the way that will lead you into righteousness, peace, and joy. Jesus prayed that His enjoyment would fill your soul, and it will when you learn to take His approach to life and its many different challenges.”

-Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

It can be so hard to live in this world and not stress out. We are so busy. We are so performance minded and defined by what we do. Whether you are graduating college, looking for a job, or wherever else you might be—that pressure to fulfill societal expectation will be following you. I must admit that I’ve struggled with my own concept of adulthood and success and not feeling like I measure up to even my own standards. Christ is the only one that I know that truly does accept us and love us based upon who He is and who we are and not based on what we can do. He sees you and wants to walk with you at all times—when you feel successful and peaceful and when you feel foolish and dreamless. Keep walking with Him. He’s in all our details and His dreams for us are beyond comprehension.

Getting excited about what’s to come,

Mere

Advertisements




Strong Fortress

13 04 2010

“I will say of the L-rd, He is my Refuge and my Fortress, my G-d; on Him I lean and rely, and in Him I [confidently] trust!…You shall not be afraid of the terror of the night, nor of the arrow (the evil plots and slanders of the wicked) that flies by day, nor of the pestilence that stalks in darkness, nor of the destruction and sudden death that surprise and lay waste at noonday.”

-Psalm 91:2, 5-6

“You need to remember you are ready for anything through Christ who infuses inner strength into you. Paul prayed for the Church at Ephesus to be strengthened with all might and power in the inner man (see Ephesians 3:16). He knew if they stayed strong inwardly, they would be able to handle whatever came against them.

When you trust G-d, you don’t have to be afraid of the devil’s sudden surprises that stalk you. He is your strong fortress. No matter what may come against you, you will not be defeated.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think that an important detail here is who is the refuge. We acknowledge Him as our Savior and Covering and then He’s the one dealing with our fears and silencing them. It’s not about us getting over our fears; it’s the L-rd extinguishing them. I think the “you shall not” is a declaration over us and not an order. If we are committed to the L-rd that doesn’t always mean dear will completely be non-existent, it means that He will start making the anxiety disappear in the light of Him. That’s why I love the song that says: “Turn your eyes upon Jesus, look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace.” The more He reveals Himself and we come to trust in who He is, the less sense our fears will make. Some of my fears from the past seem completely ridiculous because G-d has liberated me by showing me more and more of Him. I used to fear death a whole lot and have terrible nightmares. Now, I don’t lie awake in fear about it. Certainly, I have fears that are still in my life, but the L-rd is at work.

Don’t feel like a terrible child of G-d (because you are absolutely normal) when you have fear, just know that G-d loves you and is ready to start working out the fear one day at a time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Don’t Fret–Rejoice!

13 03 2010

“Rejoice in the L-rd always…again I say, Rejoice!…Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in…everything by prayer and petition,…with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to G-d.”

–Phil 4:4, 6

“Twice in this passage the apostle Paul tells us to rejoice. He urges us not to fret or have any anxiety about anything but to pray and give thanks to G-d in everything—not after everything is over.

If you wait until everything is perfect before rejoicing and giving thanks you won’t have much fun. Learning to enjoy life even in the midst of trying circumstances is one way to develop spiritual maturity.

Live in the fullness of the joy of the L-rd by finding something to be glad about besides your current circumstances. You must learn to derive your happiness and joy from the L-rd who lives inside you.

Decide you will not fret or have anxiety about anything but will give thanks and praise to G-d, rejoicing in Him always.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

I think the biggest mistake we can make is to assume that just because we can’t see how G-d is working that nothing is happening. It’s so easy to fall into this and that is exactly what satan wants us to do. If he can make us feel stuck or ignored, we will spiral into fear, depression, and hopelessness. Every time you choose to believe the truth about G-d’s love and His activity, the lies and doubts as to G-d not coming through will seem more and more ridiculous. He cares about you. He’s in every detail of your life—He either causes it or allows it to happen. He cares for your good more than you do. In my experience, the best way to banish the lies and feelings of hopelessness is to be grateful in the small things…no matter how small the blessing may be, like the fact that you were able to have a Poptart for breakfast or the flowers in your yard were in bloom this morning or the dryer only ate one sock today…Start looking for the little things and the greater things will come in His time.

By faith and hope,

Mere





Rejoice in Today

13 03 2010

“This is the day which the L-rd hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it.” –Psalm 118:24

“The L-rd once told me anxiety is caused by trying to mentally and emotionally get into things that are not here yet or that have already passed—mentally leaving today and getting into an area of the past or the future.

Since then I have been trying to learn to lighten up and enjoy life. I try to live life one day at a time and not worry about the past or the future. We need to be responsible, but we also need to relax and take things as they come without getting all nervous and upset.

Learn to enjoy the good life G-d provided for you. In spite of all the troubling things going on in the world, make this daily confession: “This is the day the L-rd has made, and I will rejoice and be glad in it.”

(Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”)

It’s funny how living in the moment can be construed to be really awesome and really terrible. I don’t think we are meant to “live in the moment” as in living with no concept of consequence, but I think there is a reason that Jesus said each day has enough trouble of its own (Matt 6:34). I’m not sure if it’s this society or time period or maybe this is just inherently our world—but we are very much encouraged and expected to look towards the future all the time. If the L-rd gives you long term leading, awesome…but often times He directs day by day. Whenever I start worrying about the future, I waste a day of opportunity. How wonderful and less stressful our days would be if we lived with less planning and more dependence! Every ounce of our humanity will be resistant to this lifestyle, but I truly believe that is how our L-rd work—asking us to trust and be faithful in the everyday kind of drudgery. This can be really challenging, but all we can do is keep striving toward it. I think the first step is to surrender and ask for the L-rd to refocus your eyes so you can be led on His path everyday. Don’t check out, give up, or walk away—the L-rd will amaze you along the way.

By faith and hope,
Mere





A Heart of Flesh

18 02 2010

“I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their G-d].” –Ezekiel 11:19

“G-d puts a sense of right and wrong deep within your conscience, but if you rebel too many times, you become hard-hearted. If that happens, you need to let Him soften your heart so you can be sensitive to the leadership of the Holy Spirit.

The only way to develop a heart of flesh is to spend time with G-d. You must be in His presence on a regular basis to hear what He is saying. G-d often speaks gently, and those who are busy doing their own thing will not hear His still, small voice. Tonight as you spend time in the L-rd’s presence, ask Him to soften your heart so you can receive His direction at all times.”

-Joyce Meyer, “Ending Your Day Right”

This devotion definitely applies to me and I hope it will strike a chord with you as well. If you are seeking to find the L-rd’s leading and will, take a step back and sit in His presence for a while. I really need this time soaking Him up as well. Everything about this world tells us to plan our lives away and distracts us with a boatload of paperwork to fill out and hoops to jump through. Let’s resist this temptation together. The L-rd will grant His grace to us and lead us into His way, but we need to pause long enough that we can hear Him. How different would our situation look if we spent the same amount of time with Him, seeking His heart, as we do either filling out applications, researching, and worrying about the lack of plan as of yet. Don’t lose sight of the one that is guiding your path. If you will quiet down, you will be able to sense the inklings that He has been trying to give you. He may not give you a ten-year plan, most likely He wont, but He truly will lead you right now, moment by moment.

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





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 🙂