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.

Parking Places

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Parking places are meant to be a temporary place to stop, not a final destination – you do what you need to do and then get back on the road.

Friend, you are on a life journey with Jesus. Don’t get stuck at a rest stop. Don’t start living at the gas station. Don’t let a parking place become a permanent place.

Get moving.

Remember the reason you were called to this journey in the first place – Jesus has a plan for you.

For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”

‭‭Jeremiah‬ ‭29:11‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Don’t get distracted.

Don’t settle.

Jesus has new places for you see, new people to meet and new opportunities to glorify God.

Rest stops are important but aren’t meant to be permanent.

Get back on your road.

What has gotten you off track on your journey with Jesus? 


What do you need to do today to get back on the road for the calling God has placed on your life?

Get Moving. 

Someone out there needs you.

Difficult Roads

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I grew up about an hour from the beach in Southern California. Unless you know that you are going to the beach, it just feels like you are stuck in the worst freeway traffic of your life. Standstill traffic with smog.

But then you turn a corner and there it is- the sand, the waves, the Southern California beach.

You don’t know what God has for you around the corner, my friend.

Sometimes, you can’t even guess.

The way there may not be pretty or easy but Jesus is faithful to complete what he has started.

Keep going.

“Show me the right path, O LORD; point out the road for me to follow.”
‭‭Psalm‬ ‭25:4‬ ‭NLT‬

There is more to see, more to do and it is going to be breathtaking.

Give and Take

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All relationships have to be a give and take in order to be healthy. It has to go two ways or else you are not in a relationship, you are in a fandom. This includes your relationship with God.

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

So what is your “take”? Your “take” is to partake of promises, consume them, receive them and walk forward in them.

This taking is not a selfish act, it is trusting one. It is also not a passive act but it is an active and proactive one. The taking is work and faith put into action. It is possessing the land, pursuing the promise and wholeheartedly going after your purpose.

Where is your promised land?
Where you now reside.

The secret of walking in faith is recognizing that your promised land is not somewhere else but right here. It is where you are right now but transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your life transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your marriage transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your workplace transformed by God’s intervention.

It is your parenting transformed by God’s intervention.

It is you- transformed by God’s intervention.

Walking in faith, not in the flesh, in grace, not legalism, in love not hate.

Close your eyes. Open the eyes of your heart and ask God to give you His vision for your life. With eyes of faith see the promised land laid out before you. Taste the bounty you will cultivate, the joy of habitation. Fall in love with the hope-filled future God has planned for you.

Then with courage and tenacity walk hand in hand with God. Grow forward in faith and take hold of your purpose, one step at a time. Hold nothing back from His loving gaze or hand of grace.

There are unimaginable blessings awaiting those who will walk in the purposes of God, hand-in-hand with Him. You have barely scratched the surface. Now, as it was then, your faith will become sight and you will see with your own eyes the promises of God come to pass.

“Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, forever and ever! Amen”.

Ephesians 3:20, 21 NIV