Unless

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You can rise early with worry and go to bed exhausted.

You can carry the weight of the work you do, the life you live and carry it squarely on your own shoulders.

The more you do, the more that must be done. The more you succeed, the more you must succeed. The best you did last week pales in comparison with the best you must do this week to keep your head above the water of whatever sea you are sinking in.

“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

‭‭Psalms ‭127:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Unless the Lord builds the house….”

Unless the Lord builds the marriage, the ministry, the job, the life….

How does God do this?

A better question is “How can I stop building my own kingdom and allow God to build His through me?”

For me, the answer involves surrender, obedience, getting out of the way and asking God to show me a new way to build. A new way to live. A new way to love. A new way to lead. Not the world’s way, not the ways I know from experience but His.

I ask Jesus every day to show me the way He builds lives, the way He loves and the way He leads.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

May you get out of your own way today.

May you surrender your “this is the way I’ve always done it” for “Jesus show me a new way”.

May you obey and put into practice whatever God shows you.

May today be the day that you love a little bit more like Jesus, lead a little bit more like Jesus and rest a lot more in His grace as you do it.

Keep Close 


Feeling lost is a terrible feeling.

Years ago on the way out of Disneyland Kyle got lost. I wasn’t holding his hand at the time and when I looked around I didn’t see him. He got distracted with a new toy and got lost in the surging crowd. I told Bobby, we stopped and immediately began the search. We went back to where we came from and began calling his name. Within moments, Bobby had him but Kyle was shaken up.

Big tears welled up in his eyes and he said, “I couldn’t see you, I couldn’t find you”. I gave him a big hug and I heard Bobby say, “You did the right thing- you stopped right where you were. We will always find you, always come back and get you.”

Kyle stuck close to me for a while after that and didn’t let to of my hand. He wanted the security of my hand and needed me to guide him through the crowd. He knew I could see more than he could, that I was stronger than he was, could protect him and knew where we were going. I was more than fine with him trusting me to guide him – I wanted to. I wanted my child close and I didn’t let go of his hand either.

The LORD says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you.

Psalm 32:8 NLT

This is the verse that comes after the hiding place verse from yesterday. It is a reassurance from God that He will be your guide and stay close.

Many things can cause that terrible “I’m lost” feeling. That is the time when you can hold tight to the security of God’s hand and let Him lead you through. He can see more than you, is stronger than you are and knows where you need to go.He doesn’t mind at all, He wants His child close too.

Quiet Strength

  
Quiet Strength:

  • Gets up when it is tired. 
  • Does the right thing when it doesn’t feel like it.
  • Holds on when it wants to let go.
  • Pushes through when it would be easier to quit. 
  • Isn’t pretty.
  • Is sturdy.
  • Has scars. 
  • Doesn’t stop. 

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as He made his way to the cross.

“So, chosen by God for this new life of love, dress in the wardrobe God picked out for you: compassion, kindness, humility, quiet strength, discipline.       ‭‭Colossians‬ ‭3:12-14‬ ‭MSG‬‬

The life that God has called you to live requires a quiet strength and a steely determination. 

He has called AND equipped you to live it.

You can’t do it without God’s power and He doesn’t ask you to.

Lean on Him and keep going. 

Crooked Places 

  
You may be looking at a crooked place in your life and thinking that it will never change.

A broken relationship.
A stubborn addiction (as they all are).

A deeply flawed mindset. 
But your God is a way making God.

He is a go before you and make a road where there was no road before God.

He makes crooked places straight.

He is not intimidated by a broken relationship or a stubborn addiction. He does not give up on you or your flawed mindset. He gently and graciously works with you, pushes you out of your comfort zone and leads you in a way you have never been before.

“I will go before you and make the crooked places straight.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭45:2‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Do not fear the road before you, no matter how crooked it looks. 

With God before you, walk forward in faith and embrace the miracle waiting there.