Faith Over Fear

“The fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.”

Proverbs 29:25 MSG

Mankind’s definition of surviving is:

  • Do whatever it takes.
  • Grab whatever you can.
  • Serve yourself first.
  • Learn from other’s mistakes.

God’s definition of surviving is:

  • Trust Him.
  • Give whatever you can.
  • Serve others first.
  • Learn from other’s success.

My prayer for you today is that you choose God’s way of surviving instead of yours.

Never Give Up

Love never gives up.”
‭‭1 Corinthians‬ ‭13:4 MSG‬‬

So much can be communicated through a small touch.

A reassuring pat of the hand.

A hug.

A gentle tug on the elbow of someone who you want closer.

Holding a hand.

A small touch can make a bad thing okay, an okay thing good, and make a good thing great.

Small touches are difference makers in a relationship and in our lives.

They can be the first thing we unconsciously give and the first thing that we unconsciously withhold.

When we struggle, when we are angry, when we are hurt, we withhold the small touches.

It’s easy to forget how important they are to us and to those we love until we can’t give them anymore.

For your loved ones in your home, hug them, hold them, touch them.

For your loved ones outside your home, save them up, and send virtual hugs until it is safe to embrace them.

Today is my virtual hug to you.

A Life Of Joy

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice!   Philippians 4:4 NIV

Rejoicing is the theme of the book of Philippians, even though the circumstances with which it was written seems to hold no reason to rejoice.

The Apostle Paul is under house arrest in Rome waiting to go before Caesar. He is cut off from his friends and chained to a guard 24 hours a day. He is not comfortable and knows that he will probably be executed.

As Jesus’ followers, joy is not contingent on circumstances, it bursts through in spite of them.

Are you missing out on joy today because you are waiting for your circumstances to warrant it?

Don’t wait one second more, joy is a fruit of the Spirit, not the fruit of your circumstances (Galatians 5:22).

Receive the gift, invite some friends over and throw a joy party!

What You Want

We all have habits that we need to get rid of. However, there is a particular habit that Jesus is more concerned about breaking than the one you are thinking of: it is the desire to get your own way.

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we struggle, we may think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break the habit of the-only-way-I-will-be-happy-is-when-I-get-my-way.

God has more for you than that and He calls it freedom. 

Your Take

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  

2 Peter 1:2-3

All relationships have to be give and take in order to be healthy.

This includes your relationship with God.

Your “give” to God: to journey with Him and hold nothing back.

So what is your “take”?

Your “take” is to partake of God’s promises, dwell in His presence and walk in His power in every area of your life. 

This taking is not a selfish act, it is a trusting one.

How is your relationship with Jesus today?

What do you need to recieve from Him?

What is He asking you to give?

Unlimited and Glorious

“I pray that from His glorious, unlimited resources He will empower you with inner strength through His Spirit.”Ephesians 3:16 NLT

God has glorious and unlimited resources for you today.

You have His strength to love, to walk, to work, to hold on to hope and let go of fear.

You have His grace to cover your mistakes and feed your compassion.

You have His joy to see the beauty of humanity that is all around you.

You have His kindness to be gentle with those who are closest to you.

You have His vision to see others as He does and love them with His love.

You are empowered to live loved as a child of God and do His will on earth as it is in heaven.

Not by your strength but by His.

Not from your limited resources, but from His unlimited and glorious resources.

Not so you will “look strong” on the outside but so that you will “be strong” on the inside.

You have so much more at your disposal than you realize.

You have Jesus and He brings all of heaven with Him.

Difficult, Not Impossible

“That night all the members of the community raised their voices and wept aloud.” ‭‭Numbers‬ ‭14:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why did the people of Israel weep?

Because 10 of the 12 spies that Moses sent into the promised land came back saying it was impossibleAnd the people believed them instead of believing God.

They mourned as if they were already defeated when in truth, they had not even begun.

This nation of former slaves looked at the promised land in fear because it was going to be difficult.

They wanted the promise but only if God was going to make it easy for them.

Stepping into your promised land isn’t going to be easy.

You are going to have to fight for it, face the giants and trust God to take you to a new level of trust in Him.

God has brought you this far and He will take you all the way in.

Getting there is going to be one step of faith after another.

It will always be a walk of faith.

You can trust God to give you what you will need when you will need it to do what He has called you to do.

It is difficult but not impossible.

Wipe your tears, lace up your shoes and go for all God has for you.

Fearless Obedience

Fearless obedience is not about waiting until you have no fear to obey, it is about trusting God to be bigger than what you fear.

To go after all God has for you, talent is optional but faith is indispensable. 

“For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭41:13‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Every time you use whatever faith you have (whether it be little or large) to step out in obedience, you are trusting God to walk with you every step of the way.

Whatever Jesus is asking of you today,  He will give you the strength to do it.

What does it mean for you walk in fearless obedience today?

Forget Your Flaws

I’m going to ask you to forget your flaws today and focus on Jesus.

Following Him is a journey. 

It isn’t a skill to excel in, it is a relationship to have.

Through the good times and bad times, the easy times and the hard times.

The longer you follow Jesus, the more you realize you need Him.

My college pastor said it was like this,  “The closer you get to bright light, the more you see the flaws you have.”

The closer I get to God, the more I see my imperfections and know more intimately my own flaws.

“Brother 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 toward what is ahead,”

Philippians‬ ‭3‬:‭13‬ NIV

We tend to focus on all the things we are not, all the things we haven’t conquered, all the things we haven’t grown in.

All those things take your focus from God and put it on yourself.

So, forget it. 

Forget it all.

God didn’t choose you because someday you would be perfect. He chose you because He loves you and He is perfect enough for the both of you. 

Forget what is behind you even if it happened five minutes ago.

Love God for who He is and let Him love you for who you are: His kid. 

Lean on God

“Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding;” 
Proverbs 3:5 NIV

It is hard to not lean on your own understanding.

Your understanding is made of what you know, what you have learned, what you have been taught and tucked into your back pocket as experience. In the other pocket, you have stuffed the disappointments, the failures, the mistakes that you don’t want to make again. Either way, you are leaning on what you know. You make decisions based on past experiences and knee-jerk reactions from what you fear happening again.

How do you learn to trust God and lean on His understanding, His truth, His knowledge, and His power?

Lean on Him.

Lean on His love, His faithfulness, His wisdom and His mercy today.

Do the next right thing and leave the rest to Him.

He will guide you and show you how to walk forward according to His truth.

Instead of your go-to, knee-jerk reaction, go to your knees and ask God what the next right thing is.