Be You

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John the Baptist faithfully fulfilled what God had called him to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.  More than once John was asked if he was the Messiah.
He replied with this:
A person can receive only what is given them from heaven. You yourselves can testify that I said, ‘I am not the Messiah but am sent ahead of him.’”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:27-28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
John the Baptist knew who he was and he knew who he wasn’t – he was not Jesus.
Reminder: There is only one Savior,  Jesus Christ.
You are not tasked with saving people, that is His job and He is good at it.
Your job is to faithfully point people to Jesus.
Knowing who you are and who you are not is vital in carrying out your own God-given assignment.
When God lays a burden on your heart, it will always be bigger than you and it will be something only He can do through you.
Pride burdens you with a sense of importance that only you can fulfill.
Pride traps you in perpetual misery about all the things you can’t do and about all the gifts you don’t have. Humility sets you free to do what God has called you to do without looking to others in envy or for acceptance.
You are called to faithfully fulfill the assignment God has given you without trying to be someone you are not or function in gifts God has not given you.
John the Baptist held tight to the attitude that defined his life:
“He must become greater and greater, and I must become less and less.”
‭‭John‬ ‭3:30‬ ‭NLT‬‬
It is all about Jesus.
Be honest with others about who you are and point people to Jesus.
Be who God made you to be and endeavor to fulfill what God has called you to do.
What have you been given from heaven to do?
Are you doing it?

Awareness

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“But make sure that you don’t get so absorbed and exhausted in taking care of all your day-by-day obligations that you lose track of the time and doze off, oblivious to God.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭13:11 MSG‬‬

If you are aware of anything today – be aware of God.

If you are afraid of anything – be afraid of getting so busy making a living that you miss making a life.

If you have to make a do to list – put living in the joy of the Lord #1.

Take care of what you need to take care of today but make room for God to interrupt, intervene and weave His perspective into each thing you must do.

Are you so busy that you are oblivious to God?

What does being aware of God’s presence mean to you?

How can you make that happen?

May the awareness of God supersede all else as you are embraced by a Savior who loves you unconditionally and completely.

How to Not Fret

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Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:3‬ ‭NLT‬‬

After yesterday’s command of “ Do Not Fret” comes the how: Trust in the LORD.

Trust means to lean on and be boldly confident in.

You can be boldly confident in the Lord because He knows what is happening even if you do not. He not only sees the short game – what will happen right now, but He also sees the long game – what will happen down the line.

Trust and do good.

While you trust in God, don’t be idle.

Be productive and creative right where you are.

Dwell in the land – focus your energy on being present today and fully committed to embracing the small moments of wonder and joy.

This season will change and a new season will be upon you before you know it.

Don’t be so focused on what you can’t see that you miss what you can.

Someone within the reach of your grasp needs a hug, needs prayer, needs someone to encourage them – be that someone.

This is your land – where you are today. Make the most of it. Invest in it. Decorate the walls and take pictures of it.

Celebrate what God has given you.

Whatever your day may bring, my friend, I am going to ask you to move the focus of your energy from fretting to trusting.  Lean on Jesus and ask him to sharpen your senses to see the wonder around you. 

Trust. Dwell. Enjoy.

How are you leaning on Jesus today?

What do you need to be doing while you trust God?

What are you celebrating?

Do Not Fret

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“Do not fret”.     ‭‭Psalm‬ ‭37:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬
Not “fretting” is easier said than done.
The original Hebrew word here for fret is “charah” and  it means to kindle oneself with a spark of anxiety or worry, whip it up into an inner frenzy and feed it facts or wonderings until it is a voracious fire in your soul that burns long and hot like the oil fires in the desert.
The picture is one who burns until they are charred.
That is what fretting will do to you.
The King James Version says, “Fret not thyself” which reminds that no one can get me to fret but me.  I do it to myself. It’s not God or others that do it  – I do it.
Do not fret.
It is a command, not a suggestion.
It doesn’t help your situation or your heart. It doesn’t halt, change or stop things from happening. Fretting and incessant worrying steals your focus, burns up your energy and leaves you with a crispy attitude.
It is not your job. 
The rest of the verse tells us that it’s God’s job to deal with what other people are doing. He is good at it.  He knows what is happening. He sees what is going on. Let the Lord worry about what others do or don’t do.
Let God be God.
You do you. 
What is the best thing to do when a spark of fear ignites a frenzy of anxiety?
Douse it with the Word and have your favorite verse handy to pour all over it.
One of my favorites in the face of a good fret is:
“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭12:12‬ ‭NIV‬‬
The word “affliction” essentially means “pressure”.
My friend, when the pressure is on, spend your energy pursuing hope. Don’t quit when things get hard.  If you must work on something, work on keeping your heart open and filled with the wonder and expanse of God’s love. 
Center yourself in Christ.
Focus on God’s goodness instead of other people’s choices.
Fix your eyes on Jesus and do what he has given you to do today.
Do. Not. Fret.

Move Beyond Fear

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“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 also be aware of this: facing the fear doesn’t take away the emotion of fear but it allows you to replace the lie that fear is telling you with the truth of God’s Word. 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.

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

You may not know where your journey will end up but you can be sure that the God who calls us to step out in faith does.

Faith is choosing to trust God with the path, every step of the way, the detours, the disasters and yes, the destiny.

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

Name your fear: what is it you are afraid of happening if you step out in faith?

Speak God’s truth: what verse inspires you to have courage?

(Mine is Philippians 4:13)

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?

Praying with Open Hands

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“I pray to GOD —my life a prayer— and wait for what he’ll say and do.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭130:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Today is a good day for you to pray with open hands.

Instead of trying to hold on so desperately to what you are afraid of letting go, give it to God.

Trust God with it.

Pray and let God be God.

Present your requests, petitions, hopes, and desires to Him and then let Him do what only He can do.

Give them to Jesus and leave the results to Him.

Release your expectations of how he should answer while at the same time knowing that He will.

It will transform your life.

He wants to.

He will.

Begin today to pray with open hands.

How hard is it for you to leave the results to God?

What does it mean for you to let God be God in your life?