“And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of his glory in Christ Jesus.”Philippians 4:19 NIV
“I am writing to all who have been called by God the Father, who loves you and keeps you safe in the care of Jesus Christ.”Jude 1:1 NLT
“Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you the desires of your heart.”
Psalm 37:4 NIV
Which side of the comma are you living in?
Take delight in the Lord,
And he will give you the desires of your heart?
What you focus on determines how you experience Him.
When you are focusing your life on delighting (joy, great enjoyment, and pleasure) in the Lord, the world seems like a wide open space for you to experience with someone you love.
When you focus on the desires of your heart, the world seems a small closed space in which you can only see what you don’t have and experience and envy what everyone else seems to have.
I’ve learned that my desires are not good taskmasters but they do make great idols. They also make flawed foundations for a relationship with God or anyone else.
I’m not saying that your desires are bad, in fact, I believe that the Lord puts loads of good desires in your heart: the desire to love and be loved, to connect and be connected to, to cherish and to be cherished. What I am saying is that if the focus of your life is getting your desires met that you will be miserable and probably not even know why.
Living on the delight side of the comma means that your focus is on your relationship with God and being delighted in Him, by Him and with Him and trusting Him with the rest.
There is sweet freedom found in delighting in your relationship with God while letting Him hold all your desires to do what He may. He is a good Father and knows you more than you know yourself.
How are you delighting yourself in the Lord?
What is making you miserable?
What side of the comma are you living on?
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.
“Because he bends down to listen, I will pray as long as I have breath.”
Psalm 116:2 NLT
Your most luxurious and underused privilege is prayer.
It is mysterious and yet instinctively natural. When there is nowhere else to turn, your heart reaches up.
But you can easily miss the real power of it, the real advantage of being able to pray to a present God. One who has pierced time and eternity to hear you, to listen to all your words, to be your refuge in the world.
He awaits your words,
hears your heart,
soothes your fears,
challenges your assumptions,
strengthens your hands,
sharpens your focus,
adjusts your perspective.
It doesn’t matter how long or how many words you use. What matters is that you are connecting to your Creator and all that it aligns in you.
What matters is spending time in His presence. Prayer is a conversation, so spend some time listening too.
Listen to the voice of your Savior whispering powerful words of truth and identity. You are loved, chosen, blessed and cherished.
Find the time to connect with your Creator today. Lay before Him all that is in your heart because He is bending down to listen and love you.
“You then, my son, be strong in the grace that is in Christ Jesus.”
2 Timothy 2:1 NIV
The grace of Jesus means that you are loved recklessly just as you are. It means that you already have God’s approval. It means that you are completely forgiven and free.
It means that you no longer have to walk a road chosen for you by sin and brokenness. The strong and stubborn grace that is in Jesus means that you are free to journey down a new road, an unknown road, the road made clear by the cross. A road that comes with the companion of a Savior who is all about restoring that which was lost and getting you where He originally meant for you to be.
The grace that is in Christ Jesus drove Him from heaven to walk on earth for the sake of love. It drove Him to restore, heal, reach out to the “down and outs” and anger the religious powers that be. It drove Him to become the perfect sacrifice to satisfy the justice of a Holy God to restore precious sons and daughters who would have no hope of restoring themselves to a good, good Heavenly Father.
Get busy receiving God’s amazing love today. Give Jesus the condemnation that is bearing down on your head and let Him wrap His arms of compassion, dripping with grace, around your soul.
You may perceive weakness as a failure but God perceives it as reality. A reality that when acknowledged allows you to fully receive God’s strength. Jesus does not ask you to make your resolve stronger, He asks you to make your dependence on Him deeper.
How are you going to be strong in the grace of Christ Jesus today?
There are other moments in life that give you soul scars.
Moments that become memories that hide in the silence and shadows of your heart.
They feed into the fears of “not worthy” and enable the core insecurities of “not enough”.
God’s Word brings light to the shadows and His voice to the silent places in your heart.
Jesus came to bring to completion the Word spoken in Isaiah:
“For I have chosen you and will not throw you away. Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.”
Isaiah 41:9,10 NLT
Jesus came to complete it,
to reclaim you,
to reconcile you to God,
has chosen you,
paid for you,
will not abandon you.
Whispers of rejection will remind you of past rejections. They will taint every relationship and interaction you have.
You may fear rejection but Jesus came to empty the word of its crippling power.
He is the God who says to you:
“I have chosen you and have not rejected you.” (NIV)
“I’ve picked you. I haven’t dropped you. Don’t panic. I’m with you.” (MSG)
“You are My servant, I have chosen you and have not cast you away: Fear not, for I am with you;” (NKJV)
Jesus will whisper this truth to you every day, in every way He can until you will believe it, embrace it and live in it.
YOU ARE HIS.
YOU ARE CHOSEN.
Sorry for yelling at you but you haven’t been listening.
Listen and believe.
Reread if necessary.