Isaiah 54:17(KJV), “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord.”
Recently I was watching one of those animal programs on TV. In this particular episode, a pride of lions were attempting to take down a giraffe. The pride’s strategy was to create a circle to surround the giraffe. Once surrounded, the mother lion would lie in wait until the giraffe reached a certain point. Then she would attack. As I watched the pride close in on the giraffe, I felt certain that they were about to win the battle and have a feast. Suddenly I saw the mother lion lunge out! She threw all of her body weight against the giraffe in an effort to knock her down . Much to my surprise, the mother lion just bounced right off the side of the giraffe like a beach ball and hit the ground. The giraffe seemed completely unmoved by the incident. She barely even missed a step. She gave the mother lion a quick glance as she continued on her way, galloping through the field.
This giraffes run in with the pride of lions reminded me of the protection that God gives to us. When evil tries to come against us, the Lord surronds us with His favor and the weapons that were trying to form against us will come to ruin. They bounce right off of us like the lion did with the giraffe, and we will walk away unharmed. We don’t have to walk in fear. God is faithfully watching over us day and night.
Revelation 1:8(NLT),”I am the Alpha and the Omega–the beginning and the end,” says the Lord God. “I am the one who is, who always was, and who is still to come–the Almighty One.”
Sometimes we just have to stop and remind ourselves that God is still God no matter what. When things are going smoothly He’s God. When things seem out of our control, He’s still God. That’s the beauty of serving our Risen Savior, Jesus Christ. Nothing we do, nothing we encounter, nothing going on in the local news or in world around us can stop Him from being who He is. Jesus said to be of good cheer for He has overcome the world (John 16:33). He’s not limited in any way by anyone or anything.
Face each day with joy. Face each day with expectancy. Face each day with supreme confidence because God is still God. He will not fail you because He cannot fail. Failure is not in His nature.
Matthew 6:26-27 (NLT), “Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life?”
He’s still God, no matter what. We must make a decision to plant that truth within our hearts everyday. Relax and enjoy the reality not only of Who He is, but of Who He is to you. He desires to be intimately involved with you, with every detail of your life. It’s easy to fall into the trap of thinking God’s blessings are for everyone but you. I know because I’ve had that happen to me many times. But no! He has a good plan for your life the same way He does for the people across the street. He adores you the same way He adores the person in the break room at work who seems to have it all. Some people have more than others in terms of material possessions, but it’s not having more things or more money that will sustain us. It’s having the love of Jesus in our lives and living according to His Word that keeps us strong and steady. The provision He gives to us extends far beyond material wealth.
Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV), “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do all this through him who gives me strength.”
I see people around me everyday who obviously have more than me in terms of material wealth. There are times I do wish I had more so I can accomplish more, however I’m learning to be content in whatever state I am in. Part of trusting God is believing that He always knows what’s best for us, even when life gets hard. It’s in the hard times that we are tempted to doubt His sovereignty over our lives. I know that God knows what I am ready for and what I am not ready for. Even though waiting is not always easy, I love the fact that He is interested in making sure that I have the character I need to sustain me as He blesses me with the desires of my heart. There are things God wants to do in your life. He knows what you are and are not ready to handle. He is steadily working in your life to prepare you for what’s ahead. The present state you are in now is part of your preparation for the future. Even where you are now, if you are doing your best to follow Jesus, then you can be sure that you are making a difference because He is making a difference in you. Ultimately, God is preparing us for the life we will have with Him in eternity. Our eternal life with Him will far outweigh anything we could begin to imagine here on Earth!
There is only One who is perfect in all His ways. Only One. He is, and was, and is still to come.
Whatever it is friends and family (rather family through biological blood, through the blood of Christ or through both) that may have you troubled today, please know this…He’s Still God.
Galatians 6:9(NIV), “Let us not become weary in doing good for at the proper time we will reap a harvest if we do not give up.”
Not growing weary in doing good will cause us to reap a harvest of blessings in our lives. In reality, every action we take, will reap some type of harvest, even the wrong ones. As Galatians 6:7 says, “You reap what you sow.” We must pray and ask God to tear down any walls we are holding up, so that we can clearly see His perspective as we are making daily choices. Not just when we have a big decision to make, but also in the little things we do. Little things that seem insignificant can mean a lot, and can alter our outcome.
Consistently doing what is right is not easy for any of us, but that is one of the ways God builds our character. It can be especially difficult to choose right when our emotions are steering us in the wrong direction. Although having emotions is a good thing, emotions just like everything else in our lives, must be governed by the truth of God’s Word. His Word is the standard by which we as Christians are called to live. We will of course at times fall short, but the more we learn to choose right over choosing wrong, or choose right over doing what’s easy, the better off we will be.
It’s always beneficial to surround ourselves with like minded people who can encourage us in our walk with God. However there will still undoubtedly be times we will have to stand alone in doing what is right. Just know that God is always near, and He promises to reward your diligence, so don’t grow weary. There is a harvest of blessings ahead for you. Even now as you may feel the pressures of choosing to do what is right, God will bless you with strength. He will also give you that contentment that comes from knowing, you have chosen to do His will above all else.
Matthew 5:10 (NLT),”God blesses those who are persecuted for doing right, for the Kingdom of Heaven is theirs.”
1 Peter 1:7 (NLT) says, “These trials will show that your faith is genuine. It is being tested as fire tests and purifies gold—though your faith is far more precious than mere gold. So when your faith remains strong through many trials, it will bring you much praise and glory and honor on the day when Jesus Christ is revealed to the whole world.”
You know one of the things I love most about God? His character. His character is so fascinating to me. I’ve known Him for over 30 years and I have never seen Him fail me. No matter how many times I have failed, He has always remained the same. I believe that His ability to be so steadfast in His pursuit of me, is what has kept me over the years. Do I know everything there is to know about God? No, I do not. However the parts of Himself that He has chosen to reveal to me personally, and to mankind in general, I completely adore. Are there times I do not understand what He is doing? Yes, but because I have seen His faithfulness time and time again, I’m learning to be ok with letting Him lead while I follow.
God is really passionate about us being who He created us to be. After all, if we choose not to follow the path He has for us, we will never have the impact He intended for us to have. Sure we will do “some” good. We will help “some” people. We will even reach “some” goals. However no matter how many times we achieve another “some”, we will never reach our full potential when we live our lives apart from Him. Without Him there will always be an emptiness that only He can fill. We see many people who appear to “have it all”, and when they encounter a major downfall, we often wonder what went wrong. God’s desire is to instill His character in us, so that we can avoid a major downfall. He knows that us achieving any amount of success without the character to keep us in that successful place is the devil’s delight. After all, one of the devil’s favorite tricks, is to make us feel as if we don’t need God’s power in our lives to make a difference. That’s why he is called the father of lies.
John 8:44 (NIV) says, “You belong to your father, the devil, and you want to carry out your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”
Can you believe that?!! Lying is the devil’s native language. Not German, Spanish or English, but lying! We have to stay connected to God so that we don’t fall for the devil’s lies.
There is always “something more” that God wants to reveal to us about Himself. There is always “something more” that He wants to do in our lives. When our lives are hidden in Him, we will become more of who He created us to be. The devil enjoys whispering lies in our ears and trying to show us a “better, quicker” path. He will go the extra mile to make his way seem more appealing than God’s. That’s what he did to Adam and Eve. One thing is for sure, he doesn’t have any new tricks.
Colossian 3:3 (NLT), says, “For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.”
When we accept Christ into our lives, we die to ourselves and our old way of living. Then we come alive in Him and the new way of living that He has for us. Being hidden in Christ reminds me of a baby in its mother’s womb. The baby is hidden safely in the womb as he or she grows and develops. Everyday that baby is getting the nutrients it needs to become stronger. When the time comes, someone beautiful is born. God the Holy Spirit is relentlessly pursuing us each day, inviting us to draw closer to Him. He knows the heart of the Father. He knows the beauty we will experience in life when we choose to give ourselves over to Him completely.
Truthfully, it’s no picnic when the Holy Spirit is refining our character. When He turns up the heat, there is no doubt that we will feel the burn! If our finger touches something hot, we automatically pull it back, right? It’s human nature to resist what is uncomfortable. We can rest though, because the God we serve knows exactly how much heat we can handle. He never makes a mistake when adjusting the thermostat. We can’t allow fear to keep us from feeling the heat of God’s discipline in our lives.
Proverbs 3:12 (NIV) says, “for the LORD disciplines the one He loves, as a father the son in whom he delights.”
God recently reminded me of this, and I believe He wants me to share it with you too…
“I need you to be ok with who you are”.
We go through life everyday choosing to be someone. That someone can be who we really are, that someone can be who we want people to think we are, or that someone may be a mixture of all the things other people want us to be. God desires for us to be who we really are. We can follow His example, because He never stops being who He is.
Hebrews 13:8 (NIV), says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
God is the only one who truly knows who we are and who we are meant to be. As our faith is tested we grow.As God changes you, don’t be afraid to embrace those changes. You were not created to just “fit in”. That part of you that does not “fit in”, could be the part of you that will impact the lives of hundreds of thousands of people for God’s glory. He wants to purify our hearts so that we will shine like pure gold. Therefore it’s crucial to remember, it is ok to be who you are as long as you are following God’s path for your life.
Proverbs 16:9 NLT says, “We can make our plans, but the Lord determines our steps.”
We all have desires for our lives. We build a vision of how we would like for our lives to be, and we hope things go according to plan, but the truth is that sometimes they don’t. That’s just the way life works. There are couples who want children, but have not been able to conceive. There are some who had an idea for a business or an invention, but so far they have not been able to get it off the ground. There are some who have had their lives altered by wrong choices they made, or by the carelessness of other people.
When we find ourselves in a place where we feel we’ve somehow missed out on something, it can be frustrating to say the least. If a dream seems to have faded or a goal seems out of reach, it can leave us feeling as if there is, “a part of us that has not yet lived”. But even if we end up in a dry and unfulfilled place, we still have a choice to believe for the best. We never know when things may suddenly turn around. We can make a decision to keep trusting God to work things out in our favor. Psalm 5:12 tells us that God’s favor surrounds us like a shield. When things don’t go as planned, God may have another plan that is different, yet better suited for us.
It can be tough when we are in a position where we have to reroute and travel a different path or make adjustments to the path we’re on. But there comes a time where we must learn to trust Him to perfectly write out every detail of our story. We can’t see the outcome of our tomorrow’s but He can. As 2 Corinthians 5:7 reminds us, we must keep walking by faith and not by sight, and like David in Psalm 31:14-15, keep believing that your times are in God’s hands. God has a perfect timing for everything in your life. No matter what your struggle, His love will see you through, just keep the faith.
John 13:34 (NIV), “A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another.”
As we venture through life, we will cross paths with many different people. The thing that makes people so interesting is the fact that they are different. If God wanted one version of a human being that is what He would have created. However, thankfully for all of us, He chose not to do that. Being the artist that He is, He put His creativity to work and crafted many different colors, features, personalities, and He even topped it all off by giving us each a unique purpose. He is truly the God of diversity!
Sometimes when we meet a person there may be something about that person that makes it hard for us to accept them. But really if we have a chance to get to know someone a little better, especially when that someone is different from us, we would be doing ourselves a huge injustice not to take advantage of that opportunity. Why? Because every person that is breathing air has a story to tell, regardless of their race, nationality or gender.
When we take the time to listen to another person’s story, we will quickly find out that we all have had our share of ups and downs. We’ve all experienced victories and defeats, gains and losses. We will also discover that although there may be many differences between people, there are also just as many, if not more, similarities. We’re all human and we share the same basic needs, especially our need to be loved. I’m not suggesting that people ignore their morals or values to tolerate any ole thing, because standards are a necessity. Having standards will ensure that we are being true to ourselves, and even more, true to the God we serve. However, I do believe that when we take the time to at least listen, and show compassion to one another, we may find a true treasure in getting to know that person better. When we listen to the story of another, we can better understand why they are who they are. We also may gain insight from them about life in general, and learn something new that can be a blessing to us.
It never hurts to deviate a little from what we deem to be comfortable and familiar. When we are willing to “step outside of the box”, we may discover that we are in the place where we were truly meant to be. When we’re out of our comfort zone, God can use us more fully as we learn to rely on Him to take us to new levels in our lives.
When I look into the face of another person, especially a person who is different from me, I pray I will always remember that they, just like me, have a story to tell. When and if they choose to speak, I will do my best to listen. Are you listening?
Galatians 3:26 (NIV),”So in Christ Jesus you are all children of God though faith,”