Delight, Desires

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“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”‭‭

Psalm‬ ‭37:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Which side of the comma are you living in?

Take delight in the Lord,

or

And he will give you the desires of your heart?

Delight, desires.

What you focus on determines how you experience Him.

When you are focusing your life on delighting (joy, great enjoyment, and pleasure) in the Lord, the world seems like a wide open space for you to experience with someone you love.

When you focus on the desires of your heart, the world seems a small closed space in which you can only see what you don’t have and experience and envy what everyone else seems to have.

I’ve learned that my desires are not good taskmasters but they do make great idols.  They also make flawed foundations for a relationship with God or anyone else.

I’m not saying that your desires are bad, in fact, I believe that the Lord puts loads of good desires in your heart: the desire to love and be loved, to connect and be connected to,  to cherish and to be cherished.  What I am saying is that if the focus of your life is getting your desires met that you will be miserable and probably not even know why.

Living on the delight side of the comma means that your focus is on your relationship with God and being delighted in Him, by Him and with Him and trusting Him with the rest.

There is sweet freedom found in delighting in your relationship with God while letting Him hold all your desires to do what He may. He is a good Father and knows you more than you know yourself.

How are you delighting yourself in the Lord?

What is making you miserable?

What side of the comma are you living on?

Your Most Underused Privilege

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Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”

Psalm 116:2 NLT

Your most luxurious and underused privilege is prayer.

It is mysterious and yet instinctively natural. When there is nowhere else to turn, your heart reaches up.

But you can easily miss the real power of it, the real advantage of being able to pray to a present God. One who has pierced time and eternity to hear you, to listen to all your words, to be your refuge in the world.

He awaits your words,
hears your heart,
soothes your fears,
challenges your assumptions,
strengthens your hands,
sharpens your focus,
adjusts your perspective.

It doesn’t matter how long or how many words you use. What matters is that you are connecting to your Creator and all that it aligns in you.

What matters is spending time in His presence. Prayer is a conversation, so spend some time listening too.

Listen to the voice of your Savior whispering powerful words of truth and identity. You are loved, chosen, blessed and cherished.

Pray.

Find the time to connect with your Creator today. Lay before Him all that is in your heart because He is bending down to listen and love you.

The Encourager

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“You, Lord, hear the desire of the afflicted; you encourage them, and you listen to their cry.”

Psalm 10:17 NIV

There are times when all you really want is someone to hear you out, listen to you when you need to talk, sit with you and encourage you. To give you wisdom and guidance. To remind you that you are cherished and loved.

You may look to others to give it to you but you have a God that already does. 

He is the great listener and the ultimate encourager.

Stop looking to others to give you what you can only get from God.

You have God’s full attention today.

What are you going to do with it?

Hem Me In

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Hem me in your love, O God.

“You hem me in behind and before, and you lay your hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me, too lofty for me to attain.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭139:5-6‬ ‭NIV‬‬

You may feel like you are on your own to deal with life.

That you are on your own to deal with stress.

On your own to make it happen, whatever “it” is, but you are not on your own, you are God’s beloved child.

His love goes before you and his grace follows behind you.

You are cherished and provided for, guided and anointed to walk confidently in God’s love.

God goes before you to make a way where there seems to be no way, He sets up divine appointments for you to walk in and he brings people across your path that need you.

He blesses you with what you need to do what He has called you to do.

His hand of blessing is on your head. He has hemmed you in His love.

That means in ALL that you do, big or small, his hand of blessing is on it- because his hand of blessing is on you.

My prayer for you is that you will begin to see yourself in the light of God’s passionate love for you:

He has chosen you.
Rescued you.
Provided for you.
Forgiven you.
Equipped you.
Goes before you.
Follows up after you.

God’s love is not like man’s love. He is not controlling you, He is surrounding you with Himself and there is more freedom in his presence than anywhere else in the world.

“For in him we live and move and have our being.”
‭‭Acts‬ ‭17:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬

In Jesus, you have permission to live fully in God’s grace and walk confidently with His hand of blessing on you.

You are beloved and surrounded by Him. Set your fear aside and walk confidently in His love today.

Doing the Impossible

“Come,” he said.  Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.”
Matthew‬ ‭14:28-29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

It’s impossible to walk on water.

It’s impossible to feed 5000 people with a small boys lunch.

It’s impossible to heal a man born blind.

Jesus did all this and more while inviting his disciples to join him.

Jesus will invite you to do the impossible without expecting you to do it in your own strength. He knows you can’t do it without him. He fully expects you to fully depend on him for it. 

Peter wanted to be where Jesus was, which happened to be on the water.

Peter helped Jesus feed over 5000 people by doing what Jesus told him to do: pass out bread and fish.

Neither miracle came from Peter’s faith but from Peter’s focus. He was focused on following Jesus, on being where Jesus was and ended up doing impossible things.

When you follow Jesus, you will end up doing impossible things because of who he is not because of who you are. 

Whew, that is a relief.

Instead of fixating on how impossible it is to walk in the freedom Jesus paid for you to live in, just admit to yourself that IS IMPOSSIBLE in your own strength.

Without Jesus there is no way you can forgive your abuser, be set free from your past, be transformed by the renewing of your mind, be free from guilt and condemnation, walk away from a lifetime of lies and bondage and embrace the truth that you are a precious cherished child of God who is free to live everyday in the lavish love of Jesus Christ.

Don’t focus on what is impossible. 

Don’t even focus on your own faith.

Focus on following Jesus and following through on what he has asked you to do.

Today I am praying for you to receive all Jesus has for you, to boldly go with him to places you have never been before. To experience new life, new love, new freedom, new hope and a new normal. 

In Jesus Name, Amen.

Chosen


There are other moments of rejection that give you soul scars. Moments that become memories that hide in the silence and shadows of your heart. They feed into the fears of “not worthy” and enable the core insecurities of “not enough”.

God’s Word brings light to the shadows and His voice to the silent places in your heart.

Jesus came to bring to completion the Word spoken in Isaiah:

“For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:9,10‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Jesus came to complete it,
to reclaim you,
to reconcile you to God,
he has chosen you,
pursued you,
paid for you,
cherishes you and
will not abandon you.

Whispers of rejection will remind you of past rejections. They will taint every relationship and interaction you have.

You fear rejection but Jesus came to empty that word of it’s crippling power.

He is the God who says to you:

I have chosen you and have not rejected you.”(NIV‬‬)

I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic. I’m with you. ‭‭‬ ‭(MSG‬‬)

‘You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you;” (‭NKJV‬‬)

Jesus will whisper this truth to you everyday, in everyway He can until you will believe it, embrace it and live in it.

YOU ARE HIS.
YOU ARE CHOSEN.

Sorry for yelling at you but you haven’t been listening.

Listen and believe.

Reread if necessary.

Cast it


In order to cast ALL your anxiety on Him, you have to move your focus from your anxiety to your Savior.

You focus on what your worried about, what you can’t control, what you are not strong enough to carry. You focus on the problem and how heavy it weighs upon your shoulders. You focus on your own hands when God is asking you to focus on His heart.

He cares for you.

He cares for more than you even realize.

When you are in the middle of a fierce storm feeling out of control and tossed around, you ask Jesus, like the disciples did in Mark 4:38, “Do you even care that I’m in this storm? I didn’t see it coming, I didn’t cause it to happen and I’m not sure if I’m going to make it through.”

The answer is yes, He cares.

When you are burnt out and overwhelmed with life, you go to Jesus like Martha did in Luke 10:40, and ask, “Don’t you care that I’m doing all the work and no one is helping me?”

The answer is yes, He cares.

In fact, the Hebrew word used for “care” in both the above passages is the SAME word used in 1 Peter 5:7 (NIV) –

“Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.”
‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭5:7‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Does God care?

Yes, He absolutley does.