Stay Calm

Thursday

It was an impossible situation.

The Israelites were stuck between the sea and their former slave masters coming to recapture them:

“But Moses told the people,‘Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the LORD rescue you today.The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The LORD himself will fight for you. Just stay calm.”

‭‭Exodus‬ ‭14:13-14‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Hemmed in by the mountains on both sides, they had no way out and no way forward. Their newfound freedom seemed fleetingly short and ultimately doomed.

They knew that God had delivered them from slavery but little more. They had not been free long enough to learn how powerful He is. 

They didn’t know that He would fight for them, split the sea before them and rescue them from an impossible situation.

They did not know God…yet.

When you don’t want to go back but don’t know how you are going to go forward, trust God and:

1. Don’t let fear dictate your decisions.

2. Don’t run around trying to figure out what to do. Stop. Pray. Listen. Stand still and watch the LORD work.

When going forward looks like an impossibility, trust Him.

He goes before you.

He goes behind you.

He stands next to you.

The LORD Himself will fight for you. 

You get to know about God as you trust Him to be God.

Trust Him and watch what He is about to do.

When You Feel Like Giving Up

Tuesday

When you feel like giving up, don’t.

There are gifts that only come from facing the hard things.

There is growth that only comes from holding onto God through the toughest times.

There is maturity that only develops as you persevere when everything around you is uncomfortable, difficult, and hard.

“Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.” James 1:4 NIV

Don’t give up.

Hold on to Jesus and let perseverance complete you.

If you quit halfway through you will never know what God has for you.

He has a plan to complete you, to bring you to wholeness, to bring the parts that are broken and disconnected together knitted by His grace restored by His strength completed by His love.

Don’t quit.

Hold on and keep trusting.

You are worth it.

Inexplicable Strength

Monday
Inexplicably and when it seems completely impossible, God can and will give you strength.
Strength to get up.
Strength to take care of what needs to be taken care of.
Strength to make hard decisions.
Strength to hold onto hope.
Strength to hold onto Him.
He gives strength to the weary.
I know that many of you are facing situations that are draining your strength and leaving you feeling powerless.
It is okay to admit you are not okay.
That you are tired and feel powerless right now.
God does not ask you to “fake it until you make it”, He asks you to receive His grace for one more day.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.”
‭‭Isaiah‬ ‭40:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬
“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NIV‬‬
What do you need strength for today? 
What does it look like to admit you need help rather than “fake it until you make it”?
I am praying for you today. I am praying that you find the strength to do what needs to be done, find your way into His rest, and walk forward in a power that is not your own.

What Defines You.

Wednesday.2

“He didn’t tiptoe around God’s promise asking cautiously skeptical questions. He plunged into the promise and came up strong, ready for God, sure that God would make good on what he had said.”    

Romans‬ ‭4:19‬ ‭MSG

There comes a point in life that your faith becomes stronger by facing the facts, not weaker.

The facts may not be friendly or encouraging or what you want to face but as a child of God, you can face them. You can deal with reality instead of running from it.

How? By knowing that your circumstances do not define you, God does.

God chose you. 

God loves you.

That thing that God has called you to? You can’t make it happen but He can.

To be who God has created you to be you are going to have to let go of  “doing your best” and embrace “depending on God”.

You new life in God’s family isn’t “success and failure” based.

It isn’t “today, I did a good job”  so I’m feeling good or “I totally messed up ” and being depressed.

You will do a good job. You will make mistakes. This is not about denying how you feel. It is about allowing God’s feelings for you to be the foundation of how you experience your life.

His part is to guide and provide, your part is to follow and trust.

In Jesus, you have full rights as a child of God to live fully persuaded that God is able to do above and beyond all you can ask or imagine. 

He is able.

What are you asking for?

What are you imagining?

What are you trusting God in today?

Gentleness

Thursday

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near.”
‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:5‬ ‭NIV‬‬

When I am stressed, gentleness is not my go-to mode of operation. Frustrated, fearful, anxious, and taking control is.

The original Greek word used for gentleness in the verse above describes the heart of someone who will let God fight his battles for Him. It describes a person who has let go of trying to control the situation and allowed God to do what He needs to do through Him.

Jesus showed us what this kind of gentleness looks like. He focused on His relationship with His Father and only did what God directed Him to. He did not bend to peer pressure, comparison, or even try to fit in with anyone other than His Father. He didn’t try to control the situations or people. He focused on being faithful to the part He was given to do and allowed God to work out the rest. 

“Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:29‬ ‭NIV‬‬

He leads gently so that you can live gently.

Gentle is not weak it is focused trust as well as a deep knowing of who you are and whose you are.

My friend, may you begin to learn to live in the power of leading a gentle life by being yoked and yielded to the gentle Savior today.

Words of the Wise

Wednesday
“Some people make cutting remarks, but the words of the wise bring healing.”
‭‭Proverbs‬ ‭12:18‬ ‭NLT‬‬
Your words hold power.
They set the tone of the conversation.
They communicate your vision.
They can encourage and lift up or they can destroy trust, discourage, and complicate the entire situation.
Before you speak, ask yourself if your words are going to help the situation or hurt it?
When in doubt, don’t say anything at all.
Spend your time speaking the words you want to say and applying self-control to the ones you don’t.
My friend, may your words bring healing to those who desperately need it today and empower those around you to be courageous in pursuing the potential God has put in them. 

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.

An Act of Faith

Wednesday

“By an act of faith, Abraham said yes to God’s call to travel to an unknown place that would become his home. When he left he had no idea where he was going.”

Hebrews 11:8 MSG

God has a rich inheritance waiting to be claimed by you today.

It is the inheritance of an unhindered relationship with Him. One where you are free to trust, risk, follow, and be used by God to bless others in ways you can’t even imagine.

Abraham left his country behind to go after His God-given destiny.

My friend, God is not calling you to physically leave where you are but I know He is calling you spiritually, emotionally, or mentally into a new place of faith.

To get where God has called you, you have to leave the place you are in.

He is calling you today by leaving the shelter of some strategic comfort zones that have been keeping you stuck right where you are:

  1. life as you know it
  2. habits that hold you hostage
  3. mindsets that mold your world

The good news is that for every comfort zone you step out of, Jesus has a promise for you to step into and His love to guide you.

God is calling you to an unknown place that will become your home. More than a new plot of land, it is a new way of life.

May your courage grow as you bravely choose to step out of your strategic comfort zones one “act of faith” at a time.

 

What “way of life” needs to go by the wayside today?

What habit is holding you hostage?

What mindset is holding you back from going after what God has called you to?

 

Peace of Mind

April-27-a

“Here’s another old saying that deserves a second look: ‘Eye for eye, tooth for tooth.’ Is that going to get us anywhere? Here’s what I propose: ‘Don’t hit back at all.’ If someone strikes you, stand there and take it. If someone drags you into court and sues for the shirt off your back, giftwrap your best coat and make a present of it.

And if someone takes unfair advantage of you, use the occasion to practice the servant life. No more tit-for-tat stuff.  Live generously.

‭‭Matthew‬ ‭5:38-42‬ ‭MSG‬‬

Jesus always challenges the “normal” way to deal with things and is speaking here of a different way to live your life.  A way the doesn’t come naturally or how most people live but a different way altogether that doesn’t depend on “getting ahead” but depends on God’s faithful provision for you financially, physically, and spiritually. When God is your source, others don’t have to be.

He says that if someone takes advantage of you- give them what you have and move on with your life. Let it go. Trust God to give you what you need. Ask God to bless them.

In this way, you will be living in the abundance of God’s love instead of the famine of bitter resentments.

God doesn’t deny that bad things happen or that people might take advantage of you but He also doesn’t abandon you to it. He empowers you to trust Him and pours out His Spirit on you so that you can move on.

True freedom is living generously in your heart, spirit, and life.

It is going beyond the bare minimum to experiencing full abundance in Christ.

It doesn’t happen in a day but it happens as you walk with Jesus, day by day.

My friend, I know you have been wronged. I know someone has taken advantage of you. I know that someone is asking something from you that is unreasonable. All I am saying today is that you ask Jesus if whatever it is, is worth your peace of mind and the state of your heart.

I am praying for you today. 

Quiet it All

“If anyone has ears to hear, let them hear.”  Mark 4:23 NIV

When life gets loud, stressful and fear-filled, listening gets difficult.

With all there is to listen to for up to date information and then all the things we do to distract us from it all, it can be difficult to hear what God is saying to us.

Jesus is always communicating with you. He is always speaking truth to you.

Today is a day to listen.

To quiet everything.

To step back and breathe.

To quiet the stress, the worries, the distractions, the screens, social media, or anything else that is draining your ability to hear Jesus.

Jesus is speaking to you and He has something that He wants you to hear clearly.

I am asking Jesus to give you ears to hear and to prepare a quiet place for you to receive His word for you today.

What is creating the most internal noise in your life right now?

What do you need to do to quiet down the external noise to be able to hear God’s voice better?

What is Jesus saying to you today?