Unless

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You can rise early with worry and go to bed exhausted.

You can carry the weight of the work you do, the life you live and carry it squarely on your own shoulders.

The more you do, the more that must be done. The more you succeed, the more you must succeed. The best you did last week pales in comparison with the best you must do this week to keep your head above the water of whatever sea you are sinking in.

“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

‭‭Psalms ‭127:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

“Unless the Lord builds the house….”

Unless the Lord builds the marriage, the ministry, the job, the life….

How does God do this?

A better question is “How can I stop building my own kingdom and allow God to build His through me?”

For me, the answer involves surrender, obedience, getting out of the way and asking God to show me a new way to build. A new way to live. A new way to love. A new way to lead. Not the world’s way, not the ways I know from experience but His.

I ask Jesus every day to show me the way He builds lives, the way He loves and the way He leads.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

May you get out of your own way today.

May you surrender your “this is the way I’ve always done it” for “Jesus show me a new way”.

May you obey and put into practice whatever God shows you.

May today be the day that you love a little bit more like Jesus, lead a little bit more like Jesus and rest a lot more in His grace as you do it.

Abundant Rest

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Wholeness takes time.

Abundant life in Christ includes abundant rest in Him.

Resting from trying to figure it all out.

Resting from worrying yourself sick.

Resting from trying to control everything and have the answers for everything.

“May God himself, the God who makes everything holy and whole, make you holy and whole, put you together—spirit, soul, and body—and keep you fit for the coming of our Master, Jesus Christ.

The One who called you is completely dependable.

If he said it, he’ll do it!”

1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:23-24‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Take a deep breath, slow down.

The very best thing you can do is rest in Him.

The Lord isn’t slow in keeping His promises,  He is faithful to complete what He has started and is completely dependable.

I know it isn’t easy and life may not make sense right now.

Hold on, my friend.

Let Jesus work.

Trust in Him.

Put yourself and what is weighing heavy on your heart into His Hands.

He is patient with you (and with others) because He sees more than you do, His reach extends yours and His knowledge is not hindered by time or eternity.

God knows real change takes time and He is willing to wait.

Rest in Him today and give yourself permission to stop worrying about things you can’t control.

The Imperfect Now

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“Thank [God] in everything [no matter what the circumstances may be, be thankful and give thanks], for this is the will of God for you [who are] in Christ Jesus [the Revealer and Mediator of that will].”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:18‬ ‭AMPC‬‬
I was talking to a friend of mine and asking her how she was doing.  She said, “Better, because I’ve stopped asking God to change others or to change the circumstances and have started to ask God to change me. And it’s the first time I’ve had peace this year. He is changing me and I am so thankful.”
If you wait until your life is perfect to be thankful, you’ll be waiting until you get to heaven.

When is it the right time to be thankful?

Right now.
When is it the right time to shift your focus from what God should be doing “out there” to what God wants to do “in here” (points to self)?
This minute.
Don’t wait one more second.
Be thankful in the imperfect now.
Be thankful for the imperfect you.
Jesus is.
He loves you as you are today and He will work with you to grow you into who He created you to be.
Jesus is using your imperfect life and imperfect self to do a beautiful perfect redeeming work in you.
Let Him.
May you let go of all you can’t control today and give yourself permission to enjoy the imperfect now, embrace your imperfect story and lift your soul up to your perfect, loving, amazing, forgiving, life-giving God.

Surrender is the Solution

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“This is why the fulfillment of God’s promise depends entirely on trusting God and his way, and then simply embracing him and what he does.

God’s promise arrives as pure gift. That’s the only way everyone can be sure to get in on it, those who keep the religious traditions and those who have never heard of them.

For Abraham is the father of us all. He is not our racial father—that’s reading the story backward. He is our faith father.”
‭‭Romans‬ ‭4:16‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Faith begins with trust, is walked out in trust and ends with trust.

Striving is not the solution.
Stressing out is not the solution.
Surrender is the solution.

Surrender yourself to God.
Surrender your situation to God.
Surrender your fears to God.

This isn’t about giving up but it is very much about the giving over of yourself into God’s hands.

Not because you understand how He can work a miracle but by believing He can work a miracle.

Surrender is about trusting him to be who he is your loving Father.

Since God assured us, “I’ll never let you down, never walk off and leave you, we can boldly quote, God is there, ready to help; I’m fearless no matter what.

Who or what can get to me?”
‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭13:5-6‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Surrender your fears and embrace your faith. Choose to walk according to who Jesus is and not according to who others are.

A Seed

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“I tell you the truth unless a kernel of wheat is planted in the soil and dies, it remains alone. But its death will produce many new kernels—a plentiful harvest of new lives.

Those who love their life in this world will lose it. Those who care nothing for their life in this world will keep it for eternity.”

‭‭John‬ ‭12:24-25‬ ‭NLT‬‬

A seed is a small packet of untapped life that will stay small with unknown potential until it is buried in the dark earth, crushed by the weight and broken open. Only then does the life within it break free to grow into what it was originally intended to become.

We try to hold it all together and hold on to our lives so fiercely when the very best thing is to let it go.

Let it change.

Let God have it all to do with as He wants.

We try to avoid situations that crush us but God will use those very things to unlock the amazing potential that He has put there. He will use it to loosen our grip on this life and show us that there is so much more of it than we can imagine.

Seeds are better when they are planted, crushed, broken and nourished to grow.

So are we.

It goes against what we think of Christianity until you look at the cross.

Until you look at the life, death, and resurrection of Jesus. His glory wrapped in flesh, his body broken and crushed by our sin, three days in the dark grave only to rise and change the course of history. To redeem humanity. You rescue the drowning and restore fallen mankind to God.

In our attempt to hold onto “our” lives, we may miss the great blessing of them. We may rob others of the impact Christ can have thru us because we want to live our life, our way.  Safe, secure, planned, ordered.

But the moment we give our lives to Christ and He becomes Lord, it changes. It is no longer our life but His. No longer our ways but His. Not safe, not secure, not planned but we are planted, crushed and broken. Then nourished to break through and become all Jesus has made us for.

 

This thing that is crushing you just may be God’s way of planting you right smack dab in the middle of His plan for your life.

Let go of your plans and hold fiercely to His love.

The very best is yet to come.

Have an amazing Monday my friend.

Unless

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“Unless the LORD builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted. Unless the LORD protects a city, guarding it with sentries will do no good. It is useless for you to work so hard from early morning until late at night, anxiously working for food to eat; for God gives rest to his loved ones.”

‭‭Psalms‬ ‭127:1-2‬ ‭NLT‬‬

You can rise early with worry and go to bed exhausted.

You can carry the weight of the work you do, the life you live and carry it squarely on your own shoulders.

The more you do, the more that must be done. The more you succeed, the more you must succeed. The best you did last week pales in comparison with the best you must do this week to keep your head above the water of whatever sea you are sinking in.

“Unless the Lord builds the house….”

Unless the Lord builds the marriage, the ministry, the job, the life….

How does God do this?

A better question is “How can I stop building my own kingdom and allow God to build His through me?”

For me, the answer involves surrender, obedience, getting out of the way and asking God to show me a new way to build. A new way to live. A new way to love. A new way to lead. Not the world’s way, not the ways I know from experience but His.

I ask Jesus every day to show me the why, the how and the way He builds lives, the way He loves and the way He leads.

Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.”

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28-30‬ ‭MSG‬‬

May you get out of your own way today.

May you surrender your “this is the way I’ve always done it” for “Jesus show me a new way”.

May you obey and put into practice whatever God shows you.

May today be the day that you love a little bit more like Jesus, lead a little bit more like Jesus and rest a lot more in His grace as you do it.

A Quiet Yes

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“So let God work his will in you. Yell a loud no to the Devil and watch him scamper. Say a quiet yes to God and he’ll be there in no time”.
‭‭James‬ ‭4:7 ‭MSG‬‬

Don’t underestimate the power of a quiet yes.

A quiet yes spoken with conviction.

A quiet yes whispered in surrender.

A quiet yes of obedience to make a 180 degree turn around in your life.

A quiet yes when He asks you to not settle for good when Jesus wants great things for you.

A quiet yes, because Jesus hears you even if you whisper.

A loud NO, because the enemy doesn’t.

The temptation to listen to lies of the enemy is strong because he is talking to you all the time and telling you the lies you already believe.

Today is your day to shout:

“No, I won’t settle for less”.

“No, I won’t quit”.

“No, I will not shrink back, I will push forward”.

Don’t settle for less than what God has for you.

What is your quiet yes for today?