What Are You Thinking?

Tuesday

“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?

Don’t Let Fear Stop You

Tuesday

“By an act of faith, he lived in the country promised him, lived as a stranger camping in tents.”  Hebrews 11: 8 MSG

Fear will hold you captive in your comfort zone.

The only way to break fear’s hold is by an act of faith.

To go after all that God has called you to, you are going to have to move beyond the fear that holds you there.

Fear can be overwhelming when it is a general mass of unknown anxiety so you need to name it.  

What are you afraid will happen when you step out in faith?

Define it or one part of it.

Narrow it down.

Find the core.

But know this: facing the fear doesn’t take away the emotion of fear but it allows you to see what it is and lie behind it.

When you name the fear you disarm it of its power but it takes a while for your emotions to fall in line with your faith.

You may not know where your journey will end up but you can be sure that God will be there with you every step of the way.

God is calling you forward, don’t let fear stop you today.

Faith is choosing to trust God with the path, the detours, the disasters and yes, the destiny of where you will end up.

Courage is feeling the fear and stepping out in faith anyway. 

What is God calling you to do? 

What is stopping you from stepping out in faith?

What is the name of your fear?

 

What Your Faith Rests In

Friday

“So that your faith might not rest in the wisdom of men (human philosophy) but in the power of God.”    

1 Corinthians 2:5 AMP

When your faith rests in the wisdom of man, it will falter because at it’s best, it is a human attempt to explain divine power.

When your faith rests in your own feelings, it will surge and wane like the waves of the sea.

When your faith rests on your past experience, it can morph into whatever you have experienced, good or bad.

When your faith rests in the Son of God it is like a solid rock upon which the waves of emotion break, the wisdom of men shatters and He becomes the foundation of truth that gives your experience perspective.

Don’t make your decisions based on how you feel, what others say, or what happened in the past.

Ask the Lord to lead you and He will. The One who died for you rose again and sits at the right hand of God will show you the way forward.

He is bigger than your fears, knows what to do with your worries, and is working behind the scenes to bless you.

May today be filled with the promise of the finished work of Jesus and bring you to a new level of faith that is not tossed by emotions but anchored in God’s unchanging love for you.

 

Worries

Thursday 30

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to your life? Since you cannot do this very little thing, why do you worry about the rest?”

Luke 12:25, 26 NIV

These days, there doesn’t seem to be small worries. Only big ones – world size worries. Big questions that are unanswerable. Big wonderings about what will happen next week, next month and so on.

What are you worried about today, my friend?

Is it something that is in your hands to change or something out of your control?

If it is something within your power to change, I am asking Jesus to give you the courage to do it. To step out in faith, following His leading and do what you can do, where you are.

If it is something out of your control (which can be most all things and people),  I am asking Jesus to meet you in the place of your worry and give you the power to release it to Him.

You may not have the power to change things but He does.

Jesus is bigger than your worries and able to provide what you need right where you are.

May your worries today transform into a powerful moment of trusting in the One who holds the universe (and you) in the palm of His hand.

This Is For You

Friday

There came a man who walked the earth, spoke truth to all who would listen, healed broken bodies and restored broken souls to God. It was His love that breathed life into the first lungs of man and His word that drove the darkness and chaos back before that.

He came to the earth He created for one purpose: to perfect love. The word perfect here doesn’t mean flawless as much as it means complete. Completed completeness. This love that bled when the lash tore open His back and wood of the cross dug into it, persevered through the unendurable physical and spiritual pain of the cross until He could utter the truth, “it is finished”.

This love has been made completely complete. The debt of sin has been paid and the great chasm between God and man has been crossed.

There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love.

1 John 4:18 NIV

When fear rises up to dismantle my faith or weave it’s tentacles around my feet to trip me up, I must remember this fact: I have nothing to fear.

Christ took my punishment completely so that I could let His love complete me.

Are you letting His love complete you?

Are you letting His love in?

Today, Jesus is holding out His love to you and asking you to take it, make it yours and start living in the expansive truth of it today.

Take it.

This is for you.

Headlong Into 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

Instead of being caught up in worry today, throw yourself headlong into worshipping the Lord.

Shut off the TV.

Put on your favorite Worship Playlist or create one and lose yourself in it.

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

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.

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

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 you and says, “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 worship 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.

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?

Make it happen right now.

I promise, you won’t regret it. 

 

The Gethsemane Prayer

Wednesday4-8

“Then Jesus went with his disciples to a place called Gethsemane…”

Matthew 26:36

Jesus went to a garden on the lower slopes of the Mount of Olives, the place olives were crushed for their oil.

With the scent of olive oil heavy in the air, Jesus prayed.

Not with pretty words but with real feelings of a soul overwhelmed with sorrow.

He cried out to His Father to the point of sweating blood.

On the way to Easter, we must stop at Gethsemane.

This is the place of honesty and truth.

This is the place Jesus set us free to live in.

Jesus held back nothing, He never did.

My friend, you don’t have to “hold back” your sorrow or worry from God. In fact, He is the only One who is able to fully receive them without being hurt. He opens His arms and embraces you fully. He is able to handle it all.

Jesus went there and so can you. We don’t talk about Gethsemane Prayer much but at some point, we all need it.  Maybe you need it today.

Sorrow is a part of life and Gethsemane is a safe place to pour out our grief, our anger, our hurt, our fear. It is also there we find the unlimited depths of God’s love for us.

After Gethsemane, Jesus went to the cross to take upon Himself all that separates you from God once and for all.

Nothing can separate you from the love of God, even when your soul is overwhelmed with sorrow.   He will meet you there, He knows how it feels.
Jesus asked His Father if salvation for mankind could be purchased any other way than through the cross – there wasn’t.
So He went there.

 

Off-Road

“We wait in hope for the Lord; he is our help and our shield.”
Psalm 33:20 NIV

The Hebrew word used for “wait” in Psalm 33:20 implies being tied to or binding yourself to something.

For me, the picture of a seatbelt comes to mind.

When I was a teenager, I went to the movies with a friend. I met him at his house, climbed into his truck and buckled myself in. We drove down the street and then he stopped. He told me that we were going to take a shortcut and we were going to go off-roading. He checked my seatbelt, put his truck in four-wheel drive and turned toward the ravine. I was excited, slightly terrified and said, “Let’s go for it!”  I have never appreciated a seatbelt more. It held me in my seat on the sharp inclines and steep declines, over the rocky bumps and through the unlevel dry river beds. We arrived at the theater with plenty of time, but to be honest, I remember the journey there more than the movie we saw.

Following Jesus is more like off-roading than driving on the freeway.

He takes you to new places, asks you to grow out of your comfort zones and challenges you to take the road not traveled.

Today Jesus may be calling you to go off-road, or like Peter: out of the boat.

When Peter saw Jesus, he asked Him if he could join Jesus out there on the water. Jesus said yes and Peter went over the side of the boat:

“Yes, come,” Jesus said. So Peter went over the side of the boat and walked on the water toward Jesus. But when he saw the strong wind and the waves, he was terrified and began to sink. “Save me, Lord!” he shouted.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭14:29-30‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Streams of the Desert”:

“Once he had stepped out of the boat, the waves were none of his business”.

 – Streams of the Desert

Peter’s job wasn’t to walk on water but it was to keep his eyes on Jesus.

As we all try to navigate the unknown future that is daily being created by the Covid-19 Virus, being stuck at home may be our new “off-road”. Having nowhere to go may be harder because you can’t run from the problems there.  I can guarantee that God wants to take this time to grow your faith, your prayer life, and your relationships.

Maybe today, God is asking you to reconcile a relationship that has been broken or work on one in your home. Now is the time to be brave. Get close to God, put your faith-belt on and tell the truth. It’s not going to be easy but you are not alone in it.

What is God challenging you to trust Him in today?

Who do you need the faith to reach out to?

 

What Counts Right Now

“The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love.”

Galatians 5:6 NIV

Q. What counts more than money, things, activities, entertainment or even a clean house?

A. Faith expressing itself through love.

It is like having a keychain packed full of keys and on it is this really little one. You know that one random key that you are not sure what it is for but you are afraid to throw it out in case you need it.

What if on the packed keychain of your life, you find out that there is a key that unlocks a vault where all the richest treasures are stored?

That key is your faith in Jesus expressed through love.

Jesus told His disciples in Luke 17:6 that they didn’t need to have big faith.  He said that if they put into action the little faith they did have, mountains would move.

My friend, it’s not the size of your faith but the size of your God that moves mountains. 

All you need is a tiny bit of faith to take the first step or a crumb of hope to get you through it.

All you need to do is see a little bit of the dream Jesus has for you,  then add love and put it into action. Take a little bit of trusting in His power, add a pinch of faith and do that something that comes next – the next right thing?

When you are at that place where it seems a positive change is more like turning the Titanic than turning a key, call out to Jesus.

If you need faith for your situation, He will let you use His.

If you need to remember the dream, ask God, He dreamt it first for you.

If you need monumental hope, He is the God of all hope.

Take the little you have right now and put it in action. 

What will you do today with the little faith you have?

How will you express it through love? 

God’s Way

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“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.

His way is better (and leads to thriving).

During this time of crisis, reach out and help someone who is afraid.