Faith Journey

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This faith journey with Jesus is just that, a faith journey.

It is not a fear journey.

Faith and fear are both ways to walk into the unknown and I have a secret to tell you – every new day is unknown. You don’t know what will happen. It could go as planned or go completely different. Sometimes better different, sometimes not so much.

Are you living today in faith or in fear?

Fear will hold you back, faith will release you forward.

I’m not suggesting that you ignore your fear or be in denial of it. I’m encouraging you to not let fear decide or dictate what you do or don’t do.

Going to the next level on your faith walk is trusting Jesus with all the unknowns and allowing Him full access and full authority in the places of your heart that are ruled by fear.

He will begin right where you are today and walk with you every day after to show you how.

What do you do with your fears? Take them to the cross.

“The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.”

‭‭Galatians‬ ‭2:20‬ ‭NIV

It is a good thing to live your life through Christ, it is a better thing to let Christ live His life through you.

His agenda, your body.

His purposes, your gifts.

His love, your hands.

What fears are blinding your vision?

What do you need to take to the cross?

What are you trusting Jesus for today?

Today, surrender your fearful vision of what might happen and ask God to give you His faith-filled vision of what can happen through Him.

unexpected turbulence

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You have been redeemed by Jesus to live a God discovering, God serving, God-ordained life.
But that doesn’t mean it is easy.
There will be storms that you must go through.
There will be higher altitudes to climb to.
There will be unexpected turbulence along the way.
I dislike turbulence.  I have boarded the plane and taken off, I am heading to the right destination and suddenly everything begins to shake. It’s always unexpected, it always makes me feel afraid and I always have to talk my heart rate down as the plane passes through it and returns to normal.
Getting on board with Jesus’s plan for your life is an amazing journey and is totally worth it. But He doesn’t promise that your non-stop flight to heaven will be free of trial and turbulence.
You will experience something that will disrupt you, shakes you up and scares you. You may even begin to wonder if you will get to your destination.
You may think that freedom in Christ means that there will be no suffering.  It doesn’t work that way.  Jesus paid for your freedom by suffering, not so you would never suffer, but so you may use the suffering season to experience more of His grace and power.  He doesn’t cause the disruptions but He will use it.  Jesus will use the disruptions to draw you closer to Him.
“And we boast in the hope of the glory of God. Not only so, but we also glory in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope.  And hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us.”
Romans 5:2-4 NIV
Jesus knows where you are on the journey and what is disrupting it. He will be with you through it all, give you what you need to deal with it and through His power develop a deep well of hope that you can use for the rest of your life.

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.

Forget it

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”.

It was good to know that the closer I get to God, the more I will see my imperfections and know more intimately my own flaws.

It was good for me to hear early on that in my walk with God that I would never get to a point of “being an expert ” or “being perfect”.

Your life with God 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.

Through ALL the times.

“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. 

Equipped

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God has not equipped you to do everything but He God has equipped you with everything you need to do His will today.

Wherever you are, with what you are dealing right now.

God has equipped you.

You have what you need to do what you need to do this day.

Don’t worry about tomorrow.

Forget about yesterday.

Be fully present today.

“Now may the God of peace, who through the blood of the eternal covenant brought back from the dead our Lord Jesus, that great Shepherd of the sheep, equip you with everything good for doing his will, and may he work in us what is pleasing to him, through Jesus Christ, to whom be glory for ever and ever. Amen.”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:20-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Sometimes the best you can do is take it one day at a time.

My friend, take this day and know that Jesus will be with you. He will even give what you need to glorify God in it. He will work through the heartaches and disappointments as well as through the unexpected joys and moments of relief.

I am praying for you today and thankful for the God of peace who will equip you with everything good for doing His will in it.

What has God equipped you to do today? 

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 awhile 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)

Buckle Up

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Morning my friend, we need to have a chat over coffee about the adventure of a lifetime: your faith walk.  Today we are meeting at Java House in Fort Meyers for a fantastic Americano.

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“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 Psalms 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 checked my seatbelt, put his truck in four-wheel drive and turned toward the ravine. He told me that we were going to take a shortcut – we were going off-roading. I was excited, (slightly terrified actually) but up for the adventure so I 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 although I remember the journey there more than the movie we saw.

Following Jesus and living a life of faith 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 less traveled.

Like when Peter stepped out of the boat and onto the stormy sea in Matthew 14:29-30:

““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

I read this line today in the devotional Streams of the Desert”:

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

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

Your job isn’t to worry how you will get where you need to be, your job is to step out of the boat, buckle up for the bumpy ride, gather your weapons for battle and keep your eyes on Jesus.

Jesus is your help and your shield – you can’t do it by yourself.

We’re depending on GOD; he’s everything we need. What’s more, our hearts brim with joy since we’ve taken for our own his holy name. Love us, GOD, with all you’ve got— that’s what we’re depending on.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭33:20-22‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Buckle up and hold on for the ride of your life, my friend, knowing that the driver, your Savior, loves you so much that he died for you, suffered for you and delights in you.