Commit It

Monday
Commit your way to the Lord, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.”
Psalm 37:5  NKJV
When you commit your way to the Lord, you are putting the direction, the journey, the destination into His care.
Commit your path, your direction, your next step to God.
It is about taking action.
When I mail a letter, I’m taking action. I’m letting go. I’m trusting that the postman or woman will get it to where it needs to go.
You can’t mail a letter if you hold on to the edge of it.
Give your future to God. I know it is scary. I know you don’t know what will happen. I know you feel out of control. God has given you a specific kind of control: self-control. 
Use it.
Pry your fingers off the fears you have for your future and give them to Jesus.
Lay down the cherished dreams of a perfect life and roll those over to Jesus as well.
Your expectation of a perfect life without pain or heartache is not reality and doesn’t help you deal with it. Jesus will help you deal with the reality you are facing today.
Let go.
Trust also in Him. 
Focus on your relationship with Jesus and let Jesus focus on your future.
And He shall bring it to pass.
The phrase in English “He shall bring it to pass” is actually just one word in Hebrew,      “asa”, which means that God He will assemble, accomplish, create, and produce it. He shall attend to you, bring it about His way and ordain you to walk in it.
My friend, begin your week by committing your way – where you are going and how you will get there- to Jesus. He is trustworthy. He will show you how.
It is only when I commit my journey (and re-commit it hourly) to the Lord that I am free to focus on doing good where I am instead of being anxious about an uncertain future.

God Is.

Strength

God IS with you.

He is the creator of the universe and He is with you.

Present tense.

He does not reside in the past, however wonderful or horrible yours was.

He does not jump ahead to the future unknowables and fear-filled wonderings.

He is here with you.

Now.

Right where you are.

The Lord of hosts is with us; The God of Jacob is our refuge.

Selah

Psalm 46:11 NKJV

The “Selah” at the end of the Psalm is a word that means “pause and think about it”.

Take this moment, this one right here,  to pause whatever you are in the middle of and think about the reality that God IS with you. It is a gift, a miracle and a privilege to be experienced every day.

Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.

Philippians 4:4 NIV

May your day be filled with Selah, the awe, and wonder that God is with you and the desire to have a conversation with Him all day long.

Be Present

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God has called you to live your life not perform it.

Your life is not about you being perfect, it is about letting Jesus work in you as you are fully present in your real life.

He created you to be alive and active, to get tired, frustrated, give, take, learn, fail and grow.

Your real life is filled with broken people, challenging circumstances and difficult decisions. It’s different than you thought it would be and guess what,  Jesus is doing a new beautiful thing in you right in the middle of all it.

Jesus does not ask you to deny reality, He asks you to embrace it as He embraces you.

Because in the middle of all of it, Jesus is doing a new beautiful thing in the middle of you.

 “Friends, when life gets really difficult, don’t jump to the conclusion that God isn’t on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.”

1 Peter 4: 12-13 MSG

May you be free from the narrative of  “perfect” to live fully in God’s present work in you and be empowered to face the reality of  your life as you walk in His unique, personal, powerful expression of grace and purpose today.

No Image Management Needed

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The world likes a tidy image to categorize us in but God has no such desire.

In fact, He is more interested in authenticity vs. image and reality vs. the picture in your head of who you think you are supposed to be.

Jesus does not expect you to create a perfect picture of a good life. Instead, He invites you to live your real life with Him involved in it every day.

“So be content with who you are, and don’t put on airs. God’s strong hand is on you; he’ll promote you at the right time. Live carefree before God; he is most careful with you”. 1 Peter 5:6,7 MSG

Let go of the image of who you think you need to be and embrace who you are.

God does.

Start enjoying the reality of your life instead of being discontent that it doesn’t fit the image of what you think it should look like.

In fact, the more you let go of that image, the more you are able to thrive in the life God has given you. Stop spending all your energy trying to shine it up and make your life look perfect, instead simply enjoy who you are and what you have – no image management needed.

Are you miserable because you are trying to live up to an unauthentic image?

What would happen if you let go of it and asked God to help you love who you are, where you are and what you have?

What you Need

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When Moses asked who was sending him back to Egypt at the burning bush in Exodus, God said, tell them “I Am” is sending you.

When Jesus was standing before the Pharisees in the temple, He said: “before Abraham was, I Am”. It was the Greek equivalent to the name given to the Voice from the burning bush.

This Holy, powerful name of Almighty God embodies who He is:
1. Always Existing
2. Independently Existing
3. The “Becoming One”

Life may be surprising you right now.

Your reality may not be matching up with your expectations. Jesus knows where you are and what you are dealing with. He is not surprised.

Jesus will meet you right in the middle of your unexpected chaos and equip you to navigate through it because He is the becoming one. He can and will become what you need:

When you are hungry:
“I am the bread of life.”
John 6:48 NIV

When you are in darkness:
“I am the light of the world.”
John 9:5 NIV

When you are lost and defenseless:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.” John 10:11 NIV

When you are exhausted:
“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation.”  Psalm 118:14 NIV

Rest in Jesus. Rest in his love. Trust in his plan. Let the storm rage all around you as you stay safe in the eye of it.

He is what you need today and will empower you to become what you need to be today.

What do you need from Jesus today?

Grasping

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“A grasping person stirs up trouble, but trust in GOD brings a sense of well- being.”‭‭ Proverbs‬ ‭28:25‬ ‭MSG‬‬

It is exhausting to live your life grasping for security but not ever really holding on to it.

It can be triggered by envy, fear or sometimes a sense of personal failure. It is always triggered by focusing on “me, myself and I “.

It is based on the belief that you don’t have what you need or enough of what you need to be secure, so you keep grasping for it in relationships, personal accomplishments, financial security and so on.

The original Hebrew word used for “trust” in the verse above means “secure”.

You can live your life from a place of security instead of insecurity.

That security is found in the love of God.

Put down the worry and fear that is plaguing your life and lift your hands in worship.

Spend some time in the presence of Jesus. You will find more peace in worshipping God than you ever will by focusing on yourself and what you lack.

You do not need more of you (or a better you, a better relationship or more stuff) to be more secure- you need more of God.

You are His precious child. That doesn’t mean life’s journey will be easy, it means that He will supply you with what you need to live it.

You can stop trying to feel secure in who you are and embrace the reality of whose you are.

Your identity comes from Jesus, not your family or lack thereof, not from your accomplishments or shortcomings, not from your success or failures but from Him.

My prayer for you today is that you unfurl the grasping grip of insecurity and lift them up in worship to God. May you worship Him for who He is and be reminded whose you are.

The Edge of Eternity

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We are all walking on the edge of eternity.

Because of Jesus, we come to the edge of glory without fear.

“What a God we have! And how fortunate we are to have him, this Father of our Master Jesus! Because Jesus was raised from the dead, we’ve been given a brand-new life and have everything to live for, including a future in heaven—and the future starts now! God is keeping careful watch over us and the future.

The Day is coming when you’ll have it all—life healed and whole.”

1 Peter  1:3-5 MSG

On the morning of December 22, 1899, one of the great preachers of his time, DL Moody, came to the edge of glory. Before he slipped away, his son Will, heard him slowly articulate these words:

“Earth recedes, heaven opens before me”.

Will said to him, “Father, you are dreaming”, to which Moody replied, “No. This is no dream, Will. It is beautiful. It is like a trance. If this is death, it is sweet, God is calling me and I must go. Don’t call me back”.

Today I am reminded that my real home is with God. My destiny is beyond the veil of mortality. Death is not the end- it is only the beginning.

The year that DL Moody died, he spoke the following words to a crowd in New York City:

“Someday you will read in the paper that Moody is dead. Don’t you believe a word of it. At that moment I shall be more alive than I am now… I was born of the flesh in 1837, I was born of the Spirit in 1855. That which is born of the flesh may die. That which is born of the Spirit shall live forever.”

With our eyes, we only see this side of eternity but with our hearts we can see the glimmer of glory that seeps in past this present temporary reality to remind us that there is more. Eternity is a step away. Heaven awaits.

 

Pilgrimage

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

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

“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 bitterness.

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 love, forgiveness, strength, peace, joy, hope and eventually eternity.

Where do you need to invite Jesus into today?

The Becoming One

On Sunday, I got to preach a Mother’s Day Service at Harvest Time Assembly. What a joy it was.

Then I got up at 4am Monday Morning to go to work. I didn’t expect that this week all my days would be scheduled for 5am shifts.

The heart of the message I preached on Sunday was that life doesn’t run in the straight lines we fantasize it will. It is more like this:

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And we NEVER expect it.

Nonetheless, God knows where we are and what we are dealing with. He is not surprised. He is the great “I Am” as he told Moses in Exodus Chapter 3.

What that means is that God is:
1. Always existing
2. Independently existing
3. The “Becoming One”

He is “becoming” whatever we need him to be right in the middle of our unexpected chaos.

When you are hungry:
I am the bread of life. (John 6:48 NIV)

When you are in darkness:
“I am the light of the world.” (John 9:5 NIV)

When you are lost and defenseless:
“I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep”. (John 10:11 NIV)

When you are exhausted:
“The Lord is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation”. (Psalm 118:14 NIV)

Life doesn’t EVER goes like we expect it. However, you are not alone in it and when you walk with the Great I AM, you will equipped with what you need, when you need it.

Even if what you really need is a nap.
Like me. Naps are good.