Worry to Worship

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“I’ve thrown myself headlong into your arms-I’m celebrating your rescue. I’m singing at the top of my lungs, I’m so full of answered prayers.”
Psalm 13:5, 6 MSG

A whisper of fear can wedge open the door of worry.  Instead of being focused on all the wonders of your world, the worries of it eclipse your perspective.

Jesus has a better idea.

Instead of being caught up in worry, throw yourself headlong into worship.

When you worry, you are focused on what if’s, what’s next and what is going to happen?

When you worship, you are focused on God’s faithfulness, goodness, and love.

The shift from worry to worship is like being transported to another world. The tightness in your chest releases and opens up, faith floods in and overflows.

The things you are worried about might not change but by changing your focus from worry to worship you will dramatically change how you experience them.

When David wrote this, he was in the middle of a battle. He had not seen the rescue or seen his prayers answered yet but he had decided he was tired of looking at the battle and looked up to God instead. He decided to celebrate the coming rescue, fill his heart with the kind of overflowing gratitude that comes when you see the answer to your prayers. David just didn’t feel like waiting until he saw it- he wanted to celebrate the victory now.

You know what I love about God? He doesn’t mind when I decide to party prematurely. He doesn’t shake his finger at me and say “You just need to wait until you see it with your eyes then you can celebrate”. No, that is the world’s way. God’s way is to celebrate before the battle is won, say thank you before you get the gift and dance in the jail cell before you are released!

Because the battle has been won on the cross, the gifts are on their way and
the release has already been secured by Jesus himself.

It is time to break away from worry and break into worship, my friend. To throw yourself headlong into the arms of Jesus and worship him for all he has done, all he will do and most of all – for who he is. He is Lord, Savior, Redeemer and the Son of God.

Run from worry and start celebrating the victory that is on its way.

What is your favorite worship song or album?

When was the last time you shut out the world, pumped up the volume and surrounded yourself in worship?

How will you make that happen today?

You Are in a Battle.

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The battle is not to be good, or look good or feel good.

The battle is not achieving a version of life that you have imagined, been told or been sold.

There is a war that is waging and it is more than just between you and your expectations.

The battle is for souls: lost souls, happy souls, good looking souls, sad souls. Unredeemed souls that the enemy would like to keep unredeemed at all costs.

Unredeemed souls that have already been paid for by the great cost of Christ’s on the cross, they just don’t know it yet.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ”
2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV

For those who are redeemed, the battle is set to destroy your light, bit by bit, by turning the focus from God to what you don’t have, what you used to have or what you wished you had.

In other words, to keep the focus all on yourself so you will be rendered useless and powerless as a warrior of the light.

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ NIV

When was the last time you talked to someone about what God was doing in your life instead of what you are doing (or not doing) in it?

The battle is fierce. When you recognize what the real battle is- you are able to really engage in it, instead of being a victim of it. God did not redeem you to be a victim.

“For God, who said, ‘Let light shine out of darkness,’ made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”  ‭               2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NIV

He created you to be an image bearer, He redeemed you to be light revealer,
He has empowered you to be a cross-carrier and gospel bringer.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NIV

How will you reveal God’s all-surpassing power in your life today?

Imagine This

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“For those who live according to the flesh have their outlook shaped by the things of the flesh, but those who live according to the Spirit have their outlook shaped by the things of the Spirit.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭8:5-6‬ ‭NET‬‬

There is a war for your thoughts and for your imagination.  God gave you the ability to imagine and shape your thoughts.  He gave you the ability to imagine your day, your tomorrow, your future.

Many people believe that you can’t control your thoughts or the direction of them but that is not what the Bible says in the verse above.

The imagination nourished by the Spirit of God is life and peace.

The imagination shaped by the flesh is fear and death.

The thing is, you get to choose.

You have free will and God will never take it from you.
What you think, how you think is up to you.

This is not about creating your future with positive thoughts. This is about consciously choosing to fix your mind on Jesus Christ and allowing Him to shape your outlook.

“Do not be conformed to this present world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may test and approve what is the will of God – what is good and well-pleasing and perfect.” ‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:2‬ ‭NET‬‬

You have permission, my friend, to take a mental vacation from fear and set your imagination free to dream some God-sized dreams today.

Where is your head?

What is it filled with?

What does it mean for you to set your imagination free and let God dream for your life?

The Battle

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The battle is not to be good, or look good or feel good.

The battle is not achieving a version of life that you have imagined, been told or been sold.

There is a war that is waging and it is more than just between you and your expectations.

The battle is for souls: lost souls, happy souls, good looking souls, sad souls. Unredeemed souls that the enemy would like to keep unredeemed at all costs.

Unredeemed souls that have already been paid for by the great cost of Christ’s on the cross, they just don’t know it yet.

“The god of this age has blinded the minds of unbelievers, so that they cannot see the light of the gospel that displays the glory of Christ, who is the image of God. ”
2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭4‬ NIV

For those who are redeemed, the battle is set to destroy your light, bit by bit, by turning the focus from God to what you don’t have, what you used to have or what you wished you had.

In other words, to keep the focus all on yourself so you will be rendered useless and powerless as a warrior of the light.

“For what we preach is not ourselves, but Jesus Christ as Lord, and ourselves as your servants for Jesus’ sake.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭5‬ NIV

When was the last time you talked to someone about what God was doing in your life instead of what you are doing (or not doing ) in it?

The battle is fierce. When you recognize what the real battle is- you are able to really engage in it, instead of being a victim of it. God did not redeem you to be a victim.

“For God, who said, “Let light shine out of darkness,” made his light shine in our hearts to give us the light of the knowledge of God’s glory displayed in the face of Christ.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭6‬ NIV

He created you to be an image bearer, He redeemed you to be light revealer,
He has empowered you to be a cross-carrier and gospel bringer.

“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”   ‭2 Corinthians‬ ‭4‬:‭7‬ NIV

How will you reveal God’s all-surpassing power in your life today?

Stronger

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God will give you what you need right now to fight the battle before you.

“He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You make your saving help my shield, and your right hand sustains me; your help has made me great.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭18:34-35‬ ‭NIV‬‬

My prayer for you today is that you would know His love as He pours His strength into you. That you would know His peace as you lean on Him. That you would rest in God’s grace as you walk by His guidance. That you would trust Him with the future and focus simply on the task before you. That you would be released from the restlessness within you as you receive a new determination to go forward in faith.

You are stronger than you know because you know where your strength comes from and whose Right Hand sustains you.

Infused

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When you are ready to be obedient, get ready to feel discouraged.

Whenever you get ready to grow, get ready for the opposition.

God doesn’t numb our emotions or take away our humanity- he allows us to feel discouraged, feel defeated, feel downcast. He doesn’t take away our humanity but what He does is give us His power.

He challenges us to not make our obedience contingent on our emotions.

He asks us to “do it afraid”. To walk forward in faith.

To fight the battle that rises up and fight all the way through to victory.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
Ephesians 6:10 NIV

I love that there is a “finally” here. After all the instructions on relationship wisdom that comes before this verse, Paul has the final word you need: be strong in The Lord and in His mighty power. This means to receive strength from Him, to be endowed with it, to allow God’s mighty power to infuse your soul with strength.

You are in a battle. It is a battle you cannot win but one that has been won for you. It is a battle waged against you and the Word of God reigning in your world. God does not remove you from the battle or remove the battle from you: He fits you with His own weapons and says “FIGHT!”

Finally– when you are at the end of yourself, you are ready to really begin. BE INFUSED with His mighty power. If you are feeling weak and discouraged- you are in just the right place to receive His strength.

Be Strong!

Infused

When you are ready to be obedient, get ready to feel discouraged.

Whenever you get ready to grow, get ready for the opposition.

God doesn’t numb our emotions or take away our humanity- he allows us to feel discouraged, feel defeated, feel downcast. He doesn’t take away our humanity but what He does is give us His power.

He challenges us to not make our obedience contingent on our emotions.

He asks us to “do it afraid”. To walk forward in faith.

To fight through the battle that rises up and learn how to fight all the way through to victory.

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”
Ephesians 6:10 NIV

I love that there is a “finally” here. After all the instructions on relationship wisdom that comes before this verse, Paul has the final word you need: be strong in The Lord and in His mighty power. This means to receive strength from Him, to be endowed with it, to allow God’s mighty power to infuse your soul with strength.

You are in a battle. It is a battle you cannot win but one that has been won for you. It is a battle waged against you and the Word of God reigning in your world. God does not remove you from the battle or remove the battle from you: He fits you His own weapons and says “FIGHT!”

Finally– when you are at the end of yourself, you are ready to really begin. BE INFUSED with His mighty power. If you are feeling weak and discouraged- you are in just the right place to receive His strength.

Be Strong!