This is the day that the Lord has made...

This is the day that the Lord has made...

Friday, June 24, 2011

He Will Provide

How much have I sacrificed for Him?  What am I willing to give up in my "life" so that I might gain an "eternal life"? 

Living for God instead of living for me is the start.  It sounds good.  It's easy to say.  Yet it is nearly impossible to follow through with.  Why?  Because we are human.  Built to sin.  Designed to serve ourselves.  Since the fall of Adam, we have been struggling with an overdeveloped ego, living based on our own individual needs. 

But why would we live any other way?  I mean, it is MY life after all, should I not strive to meet my needs, my families needs?  Here is the realization that I have come to: Living for me continues to create one need after the next; living for God, there are no needs because He is sufficient.

This is a huge point.  God, the creator of the universe, the one and only who keeps it all in balance, is perfect and void of nothing.  When we open our hearts and minds to Him, we take on the consciousness of the Spirit, which is the great provider, the great comforter.  With the Holy Spirit, there is no need or lack for the Spirit is sufficient enough.

Just as darkness is the absence of light, need is the absence of the Spirit. The further we are from God, his son Jesus and the Holy Spirit, the more perceived need we will have in our lives.  This is why when anyone wanted to follow Jesus, he told them to leave everything, don't worry about your family or your belongings: I will provide for you everything you need.

The same is true right here, right now.  He will provide.  He will meet every need if we are willing to let the dead bury the dead and follow Him.  Are you willing to leave everything you know behind and follow Him?  That is what He is asking of us.  That is the God of the scriptures- holy and merciful- yet jealous and vengeful. 

To have enough faith in the Lord for complete sustenance, complete fulfillment is my goal.  This is where I want to be.

Monday, June 13, 2011

You Can Turn the Whole Horse

I was taught a  long time ago that what you say, how you say it and to whom you speak it can play a significant role in the peace, joy, success and harmony that you create in your life. It is for this reason, I  believe, that the book of James has a whole chapter on taming the tongue.
When we put bits in the mouths of horses to make them obey us, we can turn the whole animal.  James 3:3

Consider the way you answered the question, "How are you?" the last time it was asked of you.  Most of us are not truthful in the response, primarily because we know the one asking the questions really isn't concerned about how we are.  We know they are just using that as an unconscious introductory phrase.  The challenge in this is that the words we speak have meaning to our subconscious mind and spirit and have a tremendous impact on the outcomes of our lives.

When we become conscious communicators, that is, consciously observing the words we choose in conversations with others and ourselves, we can impact the course of our lives.
          The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit. Proverbs 18:21
Choosing to use common phrases such as "My back is killing me" or "That just makes me sick" impacts the activity in the psychosomatic workings of the brain (consciously or non-consciously) which in turn plays out in our daily lives.

The verse from James talks about being able to turn the whole horse by controlling the mouth.  We are not any different.  If we can learn to control our mouths, especially the words that come from it, we can change our life.  The words we choose, as you we know, can either be constructive in the world, or destructive.  Just the same, the words we use when talking to or with ourselves, have the same constructive or destructive value.  This is why calling yourself a dummy or stupid, or saying things like "I could never do that" only reinforces your current false beliefs.  Scripture says that faith comes from hearing the word and this is not only valid for faith in Christ Jesus, but other areas of life as well.

If we continually are told how ugly, or stupid, or slow, or incompetent we are, over time, that builds faith in the fact that it must be true.  The same is true for the other end of the perspective as well.  The more we hear how sweet, or smart, or beautiful we are, the more we tend to believe it.

The words you think and speak are as powerful as the elevators on the tail of a 747 jet.  One slight change in a positive or negative direction will either lift the jet up or cause it drop.  Take some time today to contemplate the words you use.  Watch what happens around you when you decide to lift yourself and others up with your words, rather than beat you and them down.

Monday, June 6, 2011

Don't change you, change who

For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed—a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: “The righteous will live by faith.” Romans 1:17

Faith is a funny thing.  No, not funny as in laughing or joking.  But more like funny as in peculiar, odd, different.  I say this because from day to day my faith is continuously being challenged, and, strengthened, by the experiences and results of life.

Some days, I truly feel as if I can change the world, conquer any challenge, whip Satan and his army and have energy left to be a parent!  And others, I feel like my butt is getting kicked every step I take, nothing works as I had planned and life is just a struggle.

It is for this exact reason, I believe, that "the righteous will live by faith."  Not every day is having faith, living by that faith and sharing that faith going to be easy.  Not every day will feel like a victory day nor will it feel like "a bug on the windshield" day.  This is why faith is a necessary component of a happy, healthy, functional and high achieving life.

We know that in the end, we win, because it says so in the scriptures.  Living each day in confidence, knowing that before hand, allows me to "live" my faith that much stronger for there is no doubt.  And whether you are new to Christ or have known him for 100 years, living a just, God-like life is the result of building a solid faith. 

Rather than spending the rest of your days trying to change who you are, try changing who you believe in and what you have faith in.  For faith is the cornerstone to a life of change and difference making.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

What is your thorn?

To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me.  Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ's power may rest on me.  That is why, for Christ's sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties.  For when I am weak, then I am strong.  2 Corinthians 12:7-10

So many times I ask the Lord, why?  Why me?  Why does this have to happen to me?  Why do I continue to struggle through hardship after hardship, insult after injury with one difficulty in life following the previous?  When will it end?  Then, at about that point in my little pity party, I chuckle under my breath. Remembering that I have a loving Father in Heaven that supports, nurtures, and develops me, I am able to take a deep breath and move on- ready for the next time it happens!

I was feeling a bit this way yesterday so I spent some time with Jesus this morning getting some much needed counseling. I was amazed, once again, at what I can learn in just a few, focused, quiet minutes.  Looking back over my life, it was easy to see that the times I begin to feel beat up or knocked down by life or the world, well, they generally follow on the shirt tails of some significant personal success or accomplishment.  It's amazing how just about the time I start think that I am all that, maybe even starting to think, "hey, look at me! Look what I've done!" That's when I am struck down by my thorn.

And as much as I have pleaded and begged the Lord to "save" me from these struggles and hardships that appear, I know he won't.  For as long as continue to focus on me, I will carry this thorn forever.  Which, I believe, is what Paul is saying in this scripture.  We each have one, or maybe multiple, thorns that keep us in check.  If it weren't for Paul's thorn, he could have traveled the countryside preaching about himself and all that he has done.  But, no.  Jesus tells him that His grace is enough, that Jesus' power is at it's highest and best when we are weak.

Weak?  Not that kind of weak, the kind in which we are humbled, meek and submissive to the Lord.  The further away from our ego and the closer we get to Christ, the more power he has in us.  Thus, the reason for the thorn: to remind us that we are not Him, that we are to be humble and to focus on serving Him, not ourselves.

So relish your weaknesses today!  For if you have no thorn, then I might suggest you have no relationship with Christ, and that is something that only you can resolve.  And, a little hint, it helps to get down on your knees to solve that one.