Faith Over Fear

“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.

What You Want

We all have habits that we need to get rid of. However, there is a particular habit that Jesus is more concerned about breaking than the one you are thinking of: it is the desire to get your own way.

“Since Jesus went through everything you’re going through and more, learn to think like him. Think of your sufferings as a weaning from that old sinful habit of always expecting to get your own way. Then you’ll be able to live out your days free to pursue what God wants instead of being tyrannized by what you want.”

‭‭1 Peter‬ ‭4:1-2‬ ‭MSG‬‬

When we struggle, we may think it is because God doesn’t love us. In reality, it might be that He loves you so much that He will use the stressful opportunity at hand to break the habit of the-only-way-I-will-be-happy-is-when-I-get-my-way.

God has more for you than that and He calls it freedom. 

Your Take

“Grace and peace be yours in abundance through the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord.  His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.”  

2 Peter 1:2-3

All relationships have to be give and take in order to be healthy.

This includes your relationship with God.

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

So what is your “take”?

Your “take” is to partake of God’s promises, dwell in His presence and walk in His power in every area of your life. 

This taking is not a selfish act, it is a trusting one.

How is your relationship with Jesus today?

What do you need to recieve from Him?

What is He asking you to give?

Living Forgiven

“Keep us forgiven with you and forgiving others.” Matthew 6:12 MSG

Jesus, keep us:

Right with God, right with others.

Taking stock, taking responsibility.

Receiving grace, giving grace.

Living forgiven, living forgiving.

Everyday.

Jesus lived like this and then said, “follow me”.

Forgiveness sets you free to live the adventure that God has for you.

Don’t miss it.

Who do you need to forgive today?

Who do you need to ask for forgiveness from?

Life and Peace

“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

God has given us the ability to imagine and shape our thoughts – we call it our imagination.  He gave us the ability to imagine our day, our tomorrow, our future.

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, we get to choose.

My friend, today you have permission to take a mental vacation from fear and set your imagination free to dream some God-sized dreams.

Where is your head?

What is it filled with? 

What will you choose to think about today?

Heart Purified

“But he knows the way that I take; when he has tested me, I will come forth as gold.”
‭‭Job‬ ‭23:10‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Your faith is more precious to God than the finest of gold.

Your faith in Jesus will last longer than your job, your goals and your body.  It is the faith born from the eternal life inside of you that sustains you through the trials of the temporary outside life.

When God tests your faith it is to purify it. To clarify it. To clean it from dross and impurities. He will use the smallest irritation or the greatest trial to do it. He does not send the trial but He will use it.

The same fire that destroys wood purifies gold.

God can use the very thing that you feel like is destroying you to purify you.

He will use the disappointment you are experiencing to make the dross of your heart rise to the surface so He can skim it off.

You have a promise here that God knows where you are, what you are going through and that He knows how to use it to do a powerful work in you.

You will come out of it shining.

Hold onto God during this season because He is most certainly holding onto you. 

Take the Journey

A pilgrimage is defined as a journey to a sacred place.

It is a choice to take a journey to a place and invite God to transform you as you go.

When you are pursuing a thriving relationship with God, you are not just on a pilgrimage, you are living one every day.

“Blessed are those whose strength is in you, whose hearts are set on pilgrimage.”

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭84:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Every place you invite God into becomes a sacred place.

Your home.

Your job.

Your relationships.

The pilgrimage for a Christian is not to go somewhere that God has been but to allow God to be with you where you are right now. 

In your weakness.

In your frail humanity.

Into the reality of your life.

Jesus comes in and gives you what you do not deserve but cannot live without. He gives you His abundant love, cross-forged forgiveness, sustaining strength, perfect peace, deep joy, and unrelenting hope right where you are.

Where do you need to invite Jesus into today?

Dwell

“Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

‭‭Psalm‬ ‭91:1‬ ‭NIV‬‬

The word dwell invokes the picture of where you live.

Where you wake up in the morning, brush your teeth and get ready for your day.

It is the place where all your “stuff” is, no matter how much stuff you have.

It is the place at the end of the day that you surrender to sleep and recharge.

You are made to dwell in the shelter of God’s presence.

To wake to His love, live in His love, rest in His love.

Jesus made it possible so you could live this today and dwell in the shadow of the Almighty’s love everyday after.

A Careless Life

There is far more to your life than the food you put in your stomach, more to your outer appearance than the clothes you hang on your body. Look at the birds, free and unfettered, not tied down to a job description, careless in the care of God. And you count far more to him than birds.”

Matthew 6:25, 26 MSG

Life with God is about being filled with His love and then pouring it out on all those around you.

It is worshipping Him when we wake, when we walk, when we clean, when we work, when we eat, when we get dressed.

It is knowing you are saved by grace and reconciled to Him because of the sacrifice of Jesus.

It is knowing He loves you because you are His kid and He enjoys spending time with you.

My friend, you are a child of God who is cherished, chosen and provided for.

Live in the freedom of His love.

Live care-less in the care of God.

Live more in this truth and less in the lie that you are valued because of what you look like, eat, wear or do.

This life, this love, this security comes from Jesus and is unshakable.

The rest is frosting.

Quiet Strength

A great life requires quiet strength.

A strength that 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.

It isn’t pretty.

It is strong.

It has scars.

Quiet strength doesn’t stop.

“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- MSG

It is the kind of strength that Jesus demonstrated every day as He walked with mankind and made His way to the cross.

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

You can’t do it without Jesus and He doesn’t ask you to.

“I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being,”  Ephesians 3:16 NIV

The quiet strength of God defies logic and grows in what seems to be an impossible place.

Don’t give up.

Stay faithful.