Press On

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God has a hold of you for a reason you haven’t even begun to know yet. 

Don’t stop going after all God has for you just because you are not where you want to be.

Sometimes the journey seems long when you see how far you still have to go, sometimes the journey seems short when you look at all Jesus has already done in you.

Even Paul the apostle felt this way, so don’t be so hard on yourself when you do.

“Not that I have already obtained all this, or have already arrived at my goal, but I press on to take hold of that for which Christ Jesus took hold of me. 

Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: forgetting what is behind and straining towards what is ahead, I press on towards the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenwards in Christ Jesus.”

‭‭Philippians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭NIV

Keep going. Keep pursuing. Press on. 

What God has for you has nothing to do with who you think you are or who you think you are not but it has everything to do with who HE is.

Go after Jesus and let Him do the work He wants to do in you. He is working the past out of you so that you can embrace the future He has for you.

Don’t give up.

Hold onto God even as He is holding onto you. 

Press on.

What has God already done in you? 

Has He given you a glimpse of the work He still wants to do? What does that look like?

How does knowing that God is holding onto to you give you strength to keep holding onto Him? 

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Hold On

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I want to encourage you today that no matter how dark the situation is, believe that God can do something in it anyway.

I want to challenge you to dare to trust Him in the desert – there is a promised land and you are on your way to it.

My prayer for you is that like Abraham you will decide to live today not based on what you can’t do but on what God can do through you. His power sustaining you to walk, to love, to care and to be fully alive even though you may feel mostly dead inside.

“Abraham was first named ‘father’ and then became a father because he dared to trust God to do what only God could do: raise the dead to life, with a word make something out of nothing.

When everything was hopeless, Abraham believed anyway, deciding to live not on the basis of what he saw he couldn’t do but on what God said he would do.”

‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:17-18‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Long before Abraham saw the fruit of the promise, he believed God anyway. Though everything in his life seemed to indicate otherwise, he lived his life, every day, not looking at the impossibility of the promise but in the possibility of God.

I am sure that there were times that Abraham barely believed. I know that there were days that he was only holding on to a bare thread of hope…but he held on.

Hold on, my friend, you may only have a thread of hope, but in Christ that thread is stronger than what you face and will hold against that which you fear.

I know you don’t see how it will happen but God does.

Hold on.

 

Impossibility

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In Exodus 14 the Israelites were stuck between the sea before them and their former slave masters coming to recapture them. It was an impossible situation.

“But Moses told the people,

‘Don’t be afraid.

Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.

The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again.

The LORD himself will fight for you.

Just stay calm.”’

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides,  they had no way out and no way forward. Their new found freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

They did not know God…yet.

When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, trust God and:

1. Don’t be afraid (don’t let fear dictate your decisions).

2. Stand still and watch the LORD rescue you (stop trying to fix the situation yourself. Let God work).

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

When going forward looks like an impossibility, God is not punishing you, He is teaching you more about Himself. 

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

Where Are You Going?

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Most people think to change their life, they need to change their behavior. God says to change your direction and your behavior will follow.

“Now this is what the LORD Almighty says: ‘Give careful thought to your ways.”’
Haggai‬ ‭1:5‬ ‭NIV

This verse isn’t just about what you’re doing but about where you are going. It’s not about the way you are living your life but where your life is headed. 

Where are you headed? 

If you keep doing what you’re doing, do you want to go where you’re going?

The phrase “Give careful thought to your ways” is actually a Hebrew figure of speech that literally means “put your heart on your roads”.

In other words: Where will your heart be down the road from today?  

It is easy to get caught up in bad habits to survive the current crisis, surrender to discouragement because of the current disappointment or spew toxic words at the ones you love because of the current stress you are experiencing. The question is, “If you keep doing what you are doing what will happen to your relationships? Your body? Your heart? Is this where you want to end up? 

Is what you are doing today taking you down a road you want to be on tomorrow?

If you don’t want to go that way, stop right now. Turn around. Head in a new direction and it will eventually lead to the right road.

“I am so glad I waited this long to change,” said no one ever. 

Your Need

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“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭NIV
The glorious riches of God have not been used up.
His resources have not been depleted.
His kingdom does not work the way the earth’s kingdom does.
It does not go bankrupt, it does not come with sanctions.
God’s measure of giving doesn’t mirror man’s way of giving.
He does not give according to your goodness but according to His own.
All of it is accessed through Jesus Christ.
He is the bridge between you and God.
He is the payment for your sin.
He is the Redeemer of what has been stolen.
He is the restorer of what has been lost.
He who has saved you, sacrificed Himself for you, stands as an advocate to the Father on your behalf, is able to meet the need you have today.
What do you need?
Jesus is able. 

Your Gifts

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“Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The gift that you are with your smile and words, your hands and heart, how you cook or clean, create or organize, how you lead and follow, bless and pray is meant to be given, not hidden.
God has given you gifts. 
All kinds. 
Some come as talent.
Others are revealed in character. 
Some are gifts to you as well as through you that bring such joy that you can’t wait to share them.
Some are so close to your heart that you are afraid to reveal them. 
But gifts are made for giving.
Salt is made for seasoning.
Light is made for lighting. 
Gifts are made for giving.
The more precious they are to you, the more powerful they will be for others.
The gifts you have been given are to be given away: to serve, to love, to mend, to tend, to bless, to build. 

Your Words

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“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
All words hold power.
They set the tone, communicate vision, encourage and lift up or they destroy trust, discourage and complicate the situation.
It is usually the words we plan that help people and the ones we don’t plan that hurt them.
Before you speak, ask yourself if your words are going to help the situation or hurt it?
Also,
It’s okay to say you don’t know.
It’s okay to say nothing at all.
It’s okay to choose to be proactive instead of reactive.
When in doubt, don’t say anything at all.
Spend your time planning the words you want to say and applying self-control to the ones you don’t.
My friend, May your words bring healing to those who desperately need it today and empower those around you to be courageous in pursuing the potential God has put in them.