Posts tagged faith
Posts tagged faith
"If a man cannot get through to God it is because there is a secret thing he does not intend to give up." - Oswald Chambers
The photo is of a tree in South India called the Royal Poinciana. It’s red flowers put it in a category of trees called “Flame Trees.” Red reminds me of passion.
The Spirit ignites our hearts so that we are on fire for the Gospel, living, speaking, breathing and walking like Jesus.
Our secrets put barriers between us and that life filled with passion, love and peace. But we can break them down with swords, cutting deep into the dark places of our hearts and exposing and surrendering them to God.
The only way is through and it will likely be painful. What do I need to give up today?
What does it mean to be transformed from the inside out? In Romans 12:1-3, Paul encourages believers to not only live a different lifestyle but to have a renewed mind, the mission control center that determines our thoughts, feelings and actions.
"The Greek verb translated "transformed" is seen in the English word "metamorphosis." - The Bible Knowledge Commentary.
The meaning of metamorphosis is:
“a change of physical form, structure, or substance especially by supernatural means” or
”striking alteration in appearance, character, or circumstances” or
“a typically marked and more or less abrupt developmental change in the form or structure of an animal
(as a butterfly or a frog) occurring subsequent to birth or hatching.” - MW Collegiate Dictionary
How does it happen? I don’t feel capable to change in that way. How do I give all that I have over to God? It’s not like I sign a paper, do a little turn and am transformed into this person that is able to make good decisions and to love like Him, to what is “good and acceptable and perfect.”
I can’t control it and that frustrates me a little bit because my tendency is to try and do everything on my own, of course that lands me in a big mess and with an anxious heart.
The commentary mentioned above also says that when we are renewed, our prayer life, fellowship and lifestyle shifts. I would have never believed that but then I experienced it. I am a different person now that I have put my hope and faith in Jesus.
Today, I had a moment where my mind went to a place that I didn’t feel was characteristic of the transformed woman I’ve become. It both humbled and disturbed me. I am so prone to leave the one I love, as the song goes. So I praise God for what he’s done for me today, ask the Spirit to help me turn from that deceptively delicious temptation and to choose him.
Transformation is a process and I sometimes forget that I am being renewed daily (2 Cor. 16-18). I’m not perfect and my mind wonders, but the Spirit is helping to guide me back today and He gave me solid friends to love me and to help me continue on His path, not my own.
God, guide my steps today and everyday. When I choose my path, it’s always headed in the wrong direction. His road is the one less traveled by and mine, the popular route that could only lead toward selfishness and ugliness.
A family from Marion, Indiana died in a plane crash this past Saturday. A father, his two daughters and one of the girl’s friends were on the plane. They were flying one of the daughters back to Wheaten College after being home for Thanksgiving.
Their wife/mom and son/brother, as well as their community, are grieving the loss. Please pray for this family, that they would draw close to God rather than push Him away in this very difficult time.
I was getting ready to take my dog Ginger for a walk the other morning. Her ears perked up as she saw me put my shoes on. And as I opened the door, she sprung to her feet. Imagine her excitement when I grabbed her leash. She caught on quickly and showed me her appreciation by jumping on me, tail wagging, as if to say,”thank you!”
As she had experienced this series of events many times before, her instinct told her that if she followed me outside, we would go for a walk.
I was thinking about how thrilled my dog was before we even stepped foot out the door. If she has that reaction, how much greater should my reaction and gratitude be toward God for where He is leading me?
God is absolutely faithful and trustworthy. He keeps His promises and as I look back, has ALWAYS been faithful, getting me to exactly where I need to be. I look forward to finding out what’s next; growing, serving, loving, challenges, trials, triumphs…His plans may not look like mine but I know they will bring Him glory and will be good for me.
The illustration I gave about my dog is erroneous, however, because there have been quite a few times when I have grabbed her leash and headed out the door (Ginger at my heals) only to find out that it’s cold and rainy…imagine her disappointment. Unlike me, our God doesn’t give up when it’s raining. He fulfills His promises through the most violent storms in our lives.
Do you have faith that He will lead you? If you do, you can bet that it will be an incredible adventure.
Never Alone by Barlow Girl played on my Pandora station today.
“I cried out with no reply and I can’t feel You by my side so I’ll hold tight to what I know You’re here and I’m never alone.”
Sometimes I pray and feel like God isn’t there and that He doesn’t care. Tonight, I’m unable to focus and am afraid of the future. So I need to cling to what is true.
This song reminded me that while I don’t feel like He’s listening, He is and He’s there right by my side. I can feel lonely and afraid but the truth is I’m not alone and He will meet my needs.
Truth: He’s growing me stronger because I’m clinging to my faith tonight.
I’m never alone…and neither are you.
The Valley of Vision, Puritan Prayers
So often, I go from task to task all day with my to-do list swirling around in my mind. Then, at the end of the day, feel frustrated because I can’t even remember what I did and it seems as if nothing was finished. Quality over quantity. It doesn’t matter how much I do in a day to God. What does matter is that I was attentive during a conversation with my roommate, thorough in the project I completed for my boss and thoughtful in doing chores at home. There is a balance between aiming high and reaching perfection.
One thing that helps me is to pray each morning: God, I have this this and this to do well today but I am willing to give it all up if you have something else in mind.
To answer her question, yes I know the feeling all too well. Look up, look up, look up. He reins over EVERY part of our lives. Not just the parts we choose.
If you are feeling overwhelmed by all that you have to do today, like I did this morning, take a deep breath and say this prayer slowly,
"Father, I invite you into my day. Please help me to achieve all that you need me to today and to let the rest go. I trust that you will guide me in this moment and every moment you give me to live. Please take away my anxiety. I give it to you. For I know that it won’t do me any good at all. All because of Jesus. Amen.
Why do we women judge ourselves so harshly? I often make an agenda for myself and set expectations that can’t possibly be met on my own strength. As I reflect on my to-do list, I often realize that many of the items listed don’t even matter that much. But I place them way high up on a shelf; above my relationships; above God. Soon, the shelf becomes so heavy that it breaks, toppling over on me. Ouch!
school. job. house work. serving. grocery shopping. birthday gifts. exercise. grocery shopping. bills. emails
Soon, even time with friends becomes just another item on a list and my life becomes task-oriented, guilt-driven and not a blessing to anyone at all, including myself. I become afraid that if I do not complete a, b and c that I will be a failure and that others will think of me in the same way.
Paul says in 1 Corinthians 4:3-5 “But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court. In fact, I do not even judge myself. For I am not aware of anything against myself, but I am not thereby acquitted. It is the Lord who judges me. Therefore do not pronounce judgment before the time, before the Lord comes, who will bring to light the things now hidden in darkness and will disclose the purposes of the heart. Then each one will receive his commendation from God…”
Let’s leave the judging to God, for not even we are our own (1 Corinthians 6:20).
Lately my devotional time has been dry and I am easily distracted. That time has become more about me finding comfort than my desire to know God’s amazing character. He has a funny way of giving me just what I need; my reading for Hermeneutics class this week was about the role the Holy Spirit plays in helping us understand Scripture.
This afternoon while I read, with the football game on in the background, God tapped me on the shoulder and said, “hey, it’s okay to feel distant from me because I’ll bring ya right back; the Spirit will be your guide.” Although, it will take effort on my end, too….going to sleep a little bit earlier and waking up a little bit earlier for devotional time.
The Bible is God-breathed (2 Timothy 3:16-17), meaning God inspired the authors to write the texts. How AMAZING is that! I have faith that this is true because the Word has changed my life and the lives of many of my loved ones in so many ways. It, He, has taught me, comforted me, corrected me, given me advice and hope. The Spirit lives in me, and if you have faith in Jesus, He lives in you, too.
And with that, it’s time for bed and tomorrow is a brand new day.
"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work.” - 2 Timothy 3:16-17
Miss Rumphius is a courageous woman. She sets out into the world to “make the the world more beautiful.” She travels to many different places and experiences many different cultures, ending up in a little cottage by the sea. She calls this home and plants little blue and purple and pink lupine flowers on the hillsides in the sleepy little town. Soon, the villagers call her “the lupine lady.” Even after she is gone, the lupines grow and grow, making the world more beautiful.
My prayer for you is just that, as a woman filled with love, hope and faith, that you would leave a beautiful mark on the world.