Peace

Peace. Who doesn’t want peace? Peace that overrides and sustains us in troubles. Peace that overrides and sustains us in disappointments. Peace that overrides and sustains us in a difficult diagnosis. Peace that overrides and sustains us as we wait for salvation to come to those we love. Peace that overrides and sustains us as we wait for God to answer our most heartfelt prayer. Peace that overrides and sustains us in concerns about ________. You fill in the blank.

This kind of peace will not be found in this world because this kind of peace is supernatural, not natural. This kind of peace can only be found in the Creator of peace; the Prince of Peace, Jesus Christ. (Isaiah 9:6) It’s only by Him, through Him and in Him that we will ever find genuine peace; the peace that passes all understanding (Phil. 4:7).

Colossians 3:15 says, “Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful.”

So, we can tell from this scripture, we are instructed to let the peace of Christ rule in our hearts. This is the will of God. He wants us living in peace, His peace. Jesus said in John 14:27, “Peace I leave with you, my peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do no let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.”

So, the million dollar question is, how do we get this peace that Jesus has left for us?

The bridge from anxiety to peace, the bridge from fear to peace, the bridge from worry to peace, the bridge from anything to peace, is PRAYER. Jesus is the only one who has the peace we are all searching for so we must go to the Source. We are the ones who allow peace to lose it’s position in our lives, so we are the ones who must turn to Jesus by prayer to restore peace to it’s rightful place in our hearts. This may need to be done a few times a day or every hour or every few minutes, depending on what we are allowing to steal our peace.

It is so easy to lose our peace. Everything from people, circumstances, words spoken or not spoken, closed doors, loss of job, unanswered prayers, unmet expectations, being over committed, health issues, problems in church etc. have the potential to rule over our hearts instead of the peace of Christ.

Two things that go hand in hand are the peace of God and our faith level. We are in a daily fight for faith. Faith that God knows what He’s doing. Faith that God has allowed such and such and is sovereign over all. Faith that God is our Provider. Faith that God is our Defender. Faith that God is faithful to His children. Faith that God knows all things and is always available to His children. Faith that God is our FATHER and has our backs! Faith that God is exactly who He says He is!

When our hearts are full of faith, we are full of peace. Romans 15:13 says, “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and PEACE as you trust in Him so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.” Again, when our hearts are full of faith, we are full of peace!

In 2 Tim. 4:7, the apostle Paul is nearing his death and he says, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” I love this. It so clearly reveals that it is a fight to keep living in faith. It is a fight that we have every single day of our lives. And only God’s grace can help us to fight the good fight and keep living in faith and have the peace of God reigning in our hearts. It’s all a GIFT out of His enormous love for His children.

So, if we want to have the peace of God reigning in our hearts like we are instructed to do, we have got to do whatever it takes to keep our faith level UP and fight the fight. Remember the bridge? Prayer is always the bridge from lack of peace to having peace. God’s peace is a fruit of the Spirit so we have to pray and ask God to help us to see what we are doing or not doing that is disrupting His peace in our lives. God will show us if we ask! Maybe we need to surrender something. Maybe we need to repent of something. Maybe we need to forgive someone. Maybe we need to follow through on something that the Spirit has been nudging us about for too long. Maybe we need to reach out to that person who is hard to love. Maybe we need to just accept something that cannot be changed. Maybe we need to start being thankful for what we DO have and not always looking at what we do not have. God will show us where we left His peace!

God is faithful. He wants us to press into Him for His peace through prayer and a stronger level of faith in Him and His ways. He will grant the peace because He is faithful to His Word and cannot lie!

Bless you!

The Joy of the Lord is Your Strength

“The joy of the Lord is your strength”. This verse is from Nehemiah 8:10. Nehemiah was a Jewish leader who supervised the rebuilding of Jerusalem in the mid 5th century. He was trying to encourage the Israelites as they were overwhelmed by the reading and understanding of the Law.

This verse is powerful. And the enemy of our soul, Satan, knows it too. He knows that if he can steal our JOY, then our strength, our motivation, our oomph, is zapped.

We Christians have the Holy Spirit living within us. JOY is a fruit of the Holy Spirit. Most of us know this truth. But, what many of us don’t realize is that we are in a spiritual battle everyday of our lives. And in this battle, Satan is actively trying to steal our JOY one way or another. And this leaves us without strength, somehow, someway.

Satan knows what areas of vulnerability we have. He knows how to push our buttons. He knows how to dismantle us. He is always looking to see whom he can devour (1st Pet. 5:8)

Here are just a few of the titles he has in scripture:

The tempter (Matt. 4:3) The evil one (Matt. 13:19) The accuser (Rev. 12:10) The devil (which literally means slanderer; Matt.4:1) The enemy (Matt. 13:39) The father of lies (Jn. 8:44) Prince of the power of the air (Eph.2:2) The adversary (1st Pet. 5:8) And so many more……

All of these titles reveal to us just how powerful and evil the enemy of our soul is. And everyday he is using his evil schemes and character to attempt to dismantle our JOY so that we loose our strength.

This causes me to examine and maybe it will you as well, to examine what am I really banking on for my JOY? What is supporting and propping up my JOY level? What is my “street – level” god that I am depending on for JOY. When I say, ‘street level”, I mean, what am I honestly dependent on for JOY to reign in my soul?

Here are some samples that I believe we can all call our street-level god on occasion:

Good health, praises from others, shopping, lots of ‘likes’/’followers’ on social media, drink, our plans to succeed, bank account, material stuff, climbing the ladder, successful children, being in control, spouse living up to all that you envision, a good response, a thank-you, expectations and on and on it goes.

All of the above can ebb and flow in a nano-second. All of the above are on shaky ground. And if we are dependent on any of those things for our JOY, the enemy knows it and is out to zoom in to wreck havoc on us, forthwith! And boom, our JOY has left the building and we are without strength!

Truly, unless our JOY is grounded on the Rock, the Lord God Almighty, our JOY is upon shaky ground. Even if it is on the solid Rock, the enemy will temp us to waver away from Him, just like he did Jesus in the wilderness.

I just know I need to make sure, daily, that I am doing all I can to be filled with Jesus and if I am, I am filled with the fruit of the Spirit and JOY has the best chance of ruling over my heart. The evil one has less of a chance to rattle me with his schemes and ploys. We have to be alert though, just as it says in 1st Peter 5:8, “Be sober-minded, be watchful, your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.”

We must remember 1st John 4:4, “Little children, you are from God and have overcome them, for he (Jesus) who is in you is greater than he (Satan) who is in the world!”

The JOY of the Lord is your strength!

God bless!

This entry was posted on April 11, 2021. 2 Comments

God or Me?

Today I heard one of my favorite Pastors, Dr. Timothy Keller, say this: “It’s a melancholy burden to believe we know what’s best for us.” In other words, it’s a melancholy burden to our souls to try to be in control over things and people.

I had never conceived the thought, before today, that my thinking I know what’s best is a ‘melancholy burden’. Melancholy is a word for the gloomiest of spirits; sorrowful.

My oh my…..this causes me to take pause and to consider how many times I may have felt melancholy due to the fact that I am not in control or not getting what I think is best for myself (or for others for that matter).

A melancholy burden. Who wants THAT!? NOBODY.

So, the truth is, God is already in control! And in His control, He orchestrates in these ways:

He is orchestrating all things for my good and His glory.(Rom. 8:28) Things that people do to us or that circumstances do to us, God means for good and not for evil. (Gen. 20:20) God has only good plans for us; plans for welfare and not for evil, to give us a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11) God does not withhold any good thing from us if we walk uprightly.(Ps. 84:11) God’s steadfast love extends to the heavens and His faithfulness to the clouds.(Ps. 36:5)

The question is, do I/we believe these truths? Does our heart carry around a melancholy burden because we simply disbelieve the above truths? Are we fighting a downcast spirit because we think we know what’s best? I truly do believe that this is a common dilemma for a lot of Christians and hence, a lack of freedom. A lack of joy. A lack of peace. A lack of comfort. In other words, a lack of the fruit of the Spirit showing up in our lives.

We just don’t want to give up control! We get caught up in our own thinking of, why this? Why now? When, God? Really, God? How long, God? And in this kind of thinking, we are trying to be in control. It’s about ME, not GOD.

I’ve heard author and bible teacher, Beth Moore, say, “Unless we submit all things to the AUTHORITY of GOD, we will have no peace. Without authority, there is no peace.” So true. And without God’s peace ruling, we are probably going to have a melancholy burden in our lives.

So, we have to ask ourselves, where am I trying to control life’s circumstances? Who am I trying to control? Is there an area of flat out disobedience in my life? (another huge reason for a melancholy burden)

If we belong to Jesus, if we have given Him our hearts and call ourselves Christians, then our life does not belong to us any longer! 1st Cor. 6:19-20 says, “Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are NOT YOUR OWN, you were bought at a price……” We’ve been bought with the precious blood of Jesus. His love pursued us and rescued us from sin and eternal separation from Him. So, if He went to such tremendous lengths to buy us, why do we think He doesn’t have what’s BEST FOR US, His sons and daughters!

Melancholy burdens….…may we be set free from carrying these because we choose to believe God is FOR us and NOT against us!(Rom. 8:31) Remember, Jesus said, “My yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matt. 11:30). If we give Jesus authority over all things and all people, we can eliminate the melancholy burdens and have lighter ones because Jesus is carrying them for our good! Let’s try to allow God to wrap His loving arms around us and deliver us from ourselves!

Blessings to you!

This entry was posted on March 22, 2021. 3 Comments

How Can I Serve the Person in Front of Me?

Lock-down from the virus continues in so many ways. It’s a period in time of history that hasn’t happened in a VERY long time. It’s hard sometimes to get a sense of what normal really is. We’re all adjusting to it or …..not so much.

Whether we are adjusting or not adjusting, God is still on His throne and His sovereignty rules over all! He is still with us and for us! He still has plans for us and not just for the future, but for today! He still wants His children to be a light to those around us. He still wants us to be His instruments of love and encouragement to those around us.

We may not be around nearly as many people as we used to be before Covid hit, but we definitely see the people in our family, in our home or nearby, or people in our neighborhoods, or the people at the doctor’s office, or the people at the grocery store etc. Running into folks in these places seems to be the prominent way we see other people these days.

The title of this post is, “How Can I Serve the Person in Front of Me?” Phil.2:7 says, “Jesus emptied Himself and took on the form of a servant.” I believe that if we take on the attitude of Jesus Christ, we will experience all kinds of opportunities to serve folks right in front of us and bring joy to them. Let me give you two examples that just happened this week.

  1. I was talking to my dear sister who lives near Seattle and she told me about talking to a receptionist at the doctor’s office. She could not believe how helpful, kind, considerate and gracious she sounded over the phone. (this can be unusual but even more unusual in Covid days). My sister hung up the phone and almost cried. She could not believe how this lady sounded (I told her maybe she was from Texas-ha!) She couldn’t believe her experience in talking with this lady. This lady truly ministered to my sister in a very needed way that morning and I am sure my sister told her thank you so much etc.

2) Yesterday I was on my walk around the lake near our home and came upon a gentleman with two golden retrievers. Because I love dogs and we had a golden retriever for fourteen years, I told him what a great breed these dogs are and that kicked off a minute of conversation about dogs. As I was moving on and said to him, “Have a great day!”, he replied, “You too and thank you for talking!” Wow. Thank you for talking. It was pretty clear that my taking time to chat with him for a minute, served him in some way. I have felt that way too when others take a minute to engage in conversation but I don’t think I have told them thank you for talking. He blessed me just by saying that.

That experience really spoke to me about the ministry of just serving the person in front of me. We tend to think that we need to serve in some major way in order to feel like we’re making a difference for the kingdom of God. Not true at all. God is looking for our availability and our faithfulness. He’s looking for our attitude of serving whomever He puts in front of us.

The very word, Christian, means ‘little Christ’. Well, I need to (and perhaps you do too) continually think, “how am I being Christ to this person in front of me?”

Yesterday I set a reminder on my phone that comes up every morning at 8:00 am. It says, “Choose this day whom you will serve.” Joshua 24:15 I want that continued reminder every morning because it will help my focus on serving others and not self. I am asking God to help me to be aware of how He would have me to serve people right in front of me.

In Acts 20:35 Jesus said, “It is more blessed to give than to receive.” So true! This is how God designed us! He knows that if we give of ourselves in any way, we are the ones who feel so blessed! Encouraging others, brings blessing to our souls. Just imagine the joy in the heart of God as he gives and gives and gives and gives all day and all night long!

If we are feeling stuck due to Covid or due to any other issue, we should try giving of ourselves to the person in front of us and just see what that does to our own soul!

Bless you!

This entry was posted on February 3, 2021. 2 Comments

Christianity is a Power!

Yes indeed, Christianity is a power according to well known pastor and author, Timothy Keller, and confirmed by the Word of God. 1st Cor. 4:13 says it so clearly: “For the kingdom of God does not consist in words, but in POWER.” Let that penetrate.

Christianity is the faith in which it’s followers are called Christians. They have turned their lives over to the Lord Jesus Christ and follow His ways that are described in the Bible. Most likely, all who are reading this understand that!

What I want to share about today is the POWER part of Christianity. I truly believe that we are just so used to handling things on our own that we tend to forget that we have God living in us by the Holy Spirit who is just waiting to be glorified because we called on Him to take care of ___________. He is just waiting to be asked to ________.

He is living in us as the Divine Helper. He is living in us to provide whatever we need to handle what is before us. Are we missing out on experiencing God because we are not asking Him into every detail of our lives and experiencing His POWER?

Timothy Keller says, “If you never admit your weakness, you’ll never experience His strength.” I love that. It’s all about God’s POWER being released when we admit our weakness/need and pray for His strength. We are such weak creatures and we need His strength to do anything! John 15:5 says, “…..apart from Me you can do nothing.”

Our Father is a gentleman, so to speak. He waits for us to come to Him and ask Him for _________. He loves to answer our petitions and He loves for us to be continually grateful, giving Him honor and glory because of His power in provisions for us. Will God always give us exactly what we want, exactly when we want it? No. He is not a genie in a bottle. But, His answers will always be for our best interest because our Father only has what’s best in His heart for us. God wants relationship with us more than anything and as we come to our Father and see His power at work, that develops our relationship with Him and our dependency on Him and He is glorified. In our weakness, He is strong!

Our God is a God of details. All you have to do is stare at the sky at night for a while, stare at a flower for 30 seconds, look at snowflakes up close, look at a cell under a microscope, look at a newborn baby and on and on I could go. Our God is a God of details and He knows all the details of our lives too.

Just this week in my own life………

  1. I had an afternoon and evening where I felt so sad and oppressed. I knew some different things that were causing it. But as I went to bed that night I got on my knees and prayed for God to pour out His comfort and peace and soothe my soul. I got up the next morning knowing God released His power upon me because I felt great and totally comforted and well. Yay God!
  2. I had a problem with my phone when I upgraded it to the next level. Ugh. After my husband tried to google what to do with no real answers, I just said, “Ok, let me pray.” I prayed. Within 30 seconds God reminded me of what to do and it worked! Yay God!
  3. I needed to call my Dad in CA. I prayed over the conversation because I really didn’t want the conversation to go in a certain direction. God was merciful and provided many other things to talk about and handled my concern. Yay God!

I share these samplings of God’s power at work just to give you an idea of inviting God into every detail of your life. The God of Christianity is ALIVE and longs to be invited into all the details of our lives. And once we pray, we need to release the prayer and the need into His ALMIGHTY hands and watch for His provision and His presence in our life.

Christianity is a POWER because the Christ of Christianity was resurrected from the dead and now lives in His children. Oh, may we bring more and more glory to Him because we depend on His power and not on our own!

This entry was posted on January 17, 2021. 3 Comments

Having the Mindset of “I Get To” instead of “I Have To”

This morning I read about a woman who was raised by a godly Father who instilled this mindset into her as a child, youth and teenager. It was something her Father would always say to her when it was time to do a chore or do something he needed her to do. When she was disgruntled or not cooperating, he would say, “this is something you GET to do, not HAVE to do”. She was very grateful that he did this because it has given her such a right perspective on God’s grace as well as having a grateful heart.

This is so rich! How many times do I do things with a heart that is just doing it because of duty, because I HAVE To or it won’t get done. I need to continually remember that I GET TO because of God’s enabling power on me. I GET TO because God is enabling my eyes, mind, arms, legs, hands and feet to be able to do it. I GET TO because God has given me “things” of which I need to be a good steward. I GET TO because God wants me to be a servant to the people He has put into my life and do things as unto Him. (Col. 3:23)

This really does make life all about Jesus Christ. It’s all a privilege! I take, and maybe you do too, the ability to do things that we think we simply HAVE TO, for granted. At times, I have been so ill that I think, “I will never take being able to _________for granted again!” And then life goes on and I forget that thought. Well, I don’t want to have to get sick in order to have a GET TO heart and mindset! I want to hold onto this heart attitude. It’s a paradigm that is easy to forget, but I really want to make it a part of this new year’s sanctification in my life.

The Holy Spirit is in the business of causing and helping with our sanctification process and I am going to be asking Him to help me in maintaining this focus.

Life is a gift. Life is a privilege, especially as a child of GOD! Life is not easy, but God knows that if we see everything through the lens of “I GET TO”, it will change our mindset onto Him, which will bring peace, gratefulness and contentment. Most of all, it will bring our God, the giver of ALL things, honor.

Amen

This entry was posted on January 5, 2021. 2 Comments

Letting Go in Order to Trust God More

It’s almost the end of 2020! Whew! What a year it has been! Everywhere you look, folks say they are beyond ready for a new year to begin.

I’ve been prompted to write today about something I hope will help us all to have something to hold onto in order to help make 2021 different, spiritually speaking, from 2020. There are some things we can implement in order to make this next year one that can bring us more freedom and one where we get to experience the Living God in ways that perhaps we haven’t in recent days.

I don’t know about you, but I want more supernatural going on in my life, not natural. I want to trust in true Love, Jesus’ love, so that it will cast out my fears. (1st Jn. 4:18) I want to witness the provision of God, not what I can drum up on my own. I want to be emptied of myself so that I can experience more God-sightings and aha moments. Yes, I want all of those kinds of things and more because these kinds of things bring the Christian life ALIVE. And most importantly, they exalt the LIVING God. Indeed, our God is ALIVE and I want to do all I can to foster that relationship! I have no doubt, you do as well!

I recently heard a podcast by Jennifer Rothschild, a great Bible teacher, speaker and writer. In it, she shared three things that can help us to experience the things I just mentioned. They emphasize how to let go and trust God more. They really impacted me and I’d like to share the three things and expound a bit on each one.

#1 Let Go of Expectations

This is huge! The more expectations we have of someone or something or a circumstance, the less we are actually trusting God. The more expectations we have, the less freedom we have in our soul. The more expectations we have, the more fear and anxiety we have. The more expectations we have, the less peace we have. The more expectations we have and grip on everything, the less we get to experience the very hand of God in our lives. The more expectations we have, the more we are attempting to be Lord over our own lives. I have a new motto. Do what I can in the moment or prepare what I can for whatever, and RELEASE IT TO JESUS. ‘Release’ being the key word in my new motto, release and just allow Jesus to do with it what He would like. I have found the more I release to Jesus, the less I live in expectations of my own. The more I release to Jesus, the more I get to experience God showing up and doing the supernatural. The more I release to Jesus, the less angst I have. Sometimes, I just have to verbally say, “I release this to You”, and lift up my palms. Having expectations, especially unrealistic ones, in my opinion, are snares from the evil one. He LOVES it when we are all bound up in our own minds, wondering or fretting how this or that will turn out. He LOVES it when we are trying our best to make something happen and failing to trust God to take care of “it”. Bottom line, He LOVES it when we are not trusting in the Living God. Yes, letting go of expectations definitely helps us to grow our ‘trust muscle’ in God more!

#2 Letting Go of Timing

This is the second thing that we need to let go of in order to trust God more. TIMING! What we have to do is trade our timing for Jesus’. We have to trade our schedule for Jesus’. This is so hard because we want “it” yesterday!! Letting go of timing is a key factor in trusting God. God is sovereign and He knows exactly what He is trying to accomplish in and through us; we just have to submit and let Him have His way! Peace will rule our hearts if we submit to God in this way. We simply must trust that God is who He says He is; He is love, good, faithful, gracious, merciful, kind, and so much more. So, His timing will be filtered through His character and that is for our good and His glory!

#3 Let Go of Plan B

This was Jennifer’s last point on what to let go of in order to trust God more. If we are trying to come up with a Plan B in case Plan A doesn’t work our way, we are really going to have a hard time trusting God! If we are trying to come up with Plan B, we are “in our heads” way too much and that is NEVER a good spot to be. We truly need to allow God to handle the leading and guiding of our lives and allow Him to make the adjustments for us if they are needed.

I am convinced that these three “letting go” points will bring us a really good start and finish to 2021! “Letting go” of things and putting them into the hands of Almighty God is the safest place they can be!

Bottom line, it is never a risk to trust in God, the faithful One. Hebrews 10:23 says, “Let us hold fast the confession of our hope without wavering, for He who promised is faithful.”

Happy New Year to all of you!

This entry was posted on December 30, 2020. 1 Comment

Are We Truly Depending on God’s Grace?

Verse for Today: “And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that always having all sufficiency in everything, you may have an abundance for every good deed.” 2nd Cor. 9:8

Notice the words….. all, always, all and every. My oh my, what a powerful scripture. God gave me this scripture for 2020 when I prayed for a key verse last December. I had never done that before but I knew of others who did that yearly. I had NO idea what was ahead in 2020, but God sure did.

God’s grace is exactly what He wants us to depend upon for everything. Please stop and re-read the verse above. He makes it crystal clear what/who we are to depend upon! It’s He and His grace and His grace is His unmerited favor and with that favor always comes His power; that is KEY.

Just to make this come alive for us, let’s name some things that perhaps we are NOT depending on God’s grace to handle; we are tired, worried, fearful, anxious, discouraged and even being manipulative because we are trying to handle IT on our own.

A tough conversation. An upcoming event. A longing for a change of some sort in a loved ones life or your own life. A new job. A desire that is unfulfilled. A health issue. A calling from God that we feel inadequate for. Energy to parent. Energy to make dinner. Decisions for the next day or next month or next year. Doctor visits. Keeping up with __________. (you name it) Victory over a besetting sin. Taking care of a loved one. Encouragement. Comfort. Strength.

Those are just a sampling of some things that we may be trying to handle on our own instead of trusting the grace of God to help and handle in His best way. We totally miss out on experiencing God when we refuse to depend on the grace of God. Don’t misunderstand….we need to do our part in some of the things I mentioned above….but God is there to give us exactly what we need to even do our part! His grace is just waiting to be activated! 1st Peter 5:5c says, “for God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.” If we have a humble heart before God, we can expect that He will give us the perfect grace that we need to do anything before us; anything that He, in His all-loving, all-knowing, all-powerful way knows we need. If God doesn’t do exactly what we, in our finite minds, think He should do or give, then He knows we do not need it, OR, it is just not time, OR, His provision will look differently than our mind imagined. We just need to keep a humble heart before Him and TRUST that our Father knows best!

We, as Christians, want to have a sense of freedom. Well, God and His Word carry the solution to freedom. We can bank on that! And one of the greatest, life giving freedoms that God provides is HIS GRACE! And He is just aching to dispense it to His children! He doesn’t want us to be burdened-down sheep carrying our life’s issues without Him and His grace. He is jealous for us to go to Him! He doesn’t want us going to ‘lesser loves’ for freedom! Only He can give us a true sense of freedom, peace and confidence.

Truly, I would like to encourage you to pray and ask for His grace in a new way, even today, and see how God provides! And if you would, let me know as I would love to rejoice with you! debengebretson@gmail.com

Grace be with you all!

This entry was posted on October 2, 2020.

There Is a Season for Everything

Ever since the pandemic hit, I have been struggling with a sense of contentment.  Perhaps you can relate?  God, in His mercy, continues to reveal things to me about why I have been struggling.

This morning I read Ecclesiastes chapter 3.  Verse 1 just jumped off the page at me.  It says, “There is a time for everything, and a season for every activity under the heaven.”  The chapter then goes on the say there is a time for this and a time for that etc.

It hit me.  This is a season like no other that I have experienced.  And just because it is like no other,  it is a season that I still need to embrace because God is sovereign and He has allowed this.  It is a season that I need to “be still and know that I am God”.  (Ps. 46:10)  It is a season that I need to rest in and not focus on what is NOT happening but glean all the goodness of God around me.

I shared at the top that I have been struggling with contentment.  Well, over the years I have learned that when we say we are struggling with something, it means that we are somehow, someway, battling against God’s plan for our life and not trusting His love, grace and goodness.  Or, we are disobeying the Lord somehow, someway.  Either one signifies that we are in disobedience of some sort and that will always cause us to feel discontented.  So, I knew I was the problem but wasn’t sure until this morning exactly what I needed to understand in order to be free from my disobedience, which brings dis- contentment.

Famous author, Elizabeth Elliot, said that “acceptance=peace”.  I just realized that I need to accept this highly unusual season and accept the days the way God designs them.  “There is a time for everything and a season for every activity under heaven.”  Contentment has come to me afresh because God has shown me I need to submit and accept this particular season and even embrace it.  I need to ask Him to fill me with His love, His joy, His peace and all of the fruit of the Spirit each morning and just bask in His Presence all through out the day.

St. Augustine said that we have problems (like discontentment) because of our “loves being out of order; we need to reorder our loves”.   SO TRUE!  If we love anything above the Lord, it will somehow, someway, cause disorder in our soul.  We are meant to love the Lord above anyone or anything else and when we do not, our loves are out of order and we must reorder them to have peace of soul.  We must reorder them in order to be obedient to the Lord.

So, for myself, I have had to reorder my thoughts on a lot of things in order to line them up with God’s.  I have been guilty of what Pastor, author and biblical counselor, Paul Tripp, calls, “being our own little sovereigns”.  Yikes.  Anytime we are struggling, there’s a good chance we are trying to be sovereign over something and it’s a battle we will never win because there’s only one true Sovereign!

It’s a strange season.  I just need to embrace it and be in tune to however and whatever God would have me to do and to be for His glory!

 

This entry was posted on August 31, 2020.

What Am I Making Larger Than God’s Power?

Yes, it’s Debbie!  I am still with us!  I have not posted on my blog in over a year I believe!  For those of you who don’t know, we moved to Waco, Texas this February!  Our son, Alex, and his dear family live here and God truly called us to make the move.  We love being near them all and are adjusting well, I would say, even in a pandemic!

It has been a bizarre time in our country and in our world for about six months.  This virus has caused so many people to experience fear, worry and anxiety like never before.  I would say a general overall feeling of a lack of rest or peace in the soul might be appropriate for countless folks.  I hit the wall a few months ago and had a melt down of sorts.  Just felt hopeless about many things.  Everything “normal” seemed  absent.  God, in His mercy, heard my cries for help and comfort and restored my soul.  He is such a Good Shepherd.

The title of this post is, ‘What Am I Making Larger Than God’s Power?’  Well, I would like to ask you to search your heart and ask yourself that question because whatever the answer is to that question, will reveal what is causing you unrest or a lack of peace.  It will point to what we think that God just can’t or won’t have power to restore, help, manage, revive, heal, uplift, encourage, comfort or ???  You fill in the blank.  Your answer to that question can limit your experience of almighty God demonstrating His power in your life.  And THAT will always cause us to have a lack of peace and a lack of rest in our soul.

In Matt. 8:23-27, Jesus is on a boat with His disciples.  There is a tremendous storm.  He is asleep in the middle of the storm.  The disciples are ridden with fear.  They woke Him up saying, “Save us, Lord, we are perishing!”  And He says to them, “Why are you timid, you men of little faith?”  Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm.  The men marveled, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him!”

Two things stand out to me in this scripture passage.

1)Jesus could rest perfectly because He trusted His Father perfectly!  We (and I am speaking to myself here too) need to take this to the depth of our hearts.   Truly, if we want to rest like Jesus rested, we must trust our heavenly Father!  He knows what He is doing or allowing and He knows exactly what we need at any given minute.  He is just waiting to show Himself to us if we will just trust Him to do so.   Jesus was never rattled.  He was never rattled because He trusted His Father completely.  And, He was never rattled because He wasn’t about doing His own plans.   He was about doing His Father’s business.  He lived surrendered.  Are we?

2)The other thing that stands out is the incredible power of Jesus Christ, God in the flesh!  If He can calm the sea and the winds, He can do anything!  So, if He can do anything, we need to ask ourselves again, what am I making larger than or putting in place of trusting in the power of God?  Whatever that is, it has a hold over you that is robbing you of the rest that Jesus had in the boat.

In John 14:27 Jesus says, “Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives, do I give to you.  Let not your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.”

One of the greatest gifts Jesus has given to us is His peace.  But, if we are allowing something else to rule over us apart from trusting in our Father, our peace has left the building!

Our heavenly Father loves it when we trust Him for whatever concerns us.  Just like we who are parents love it when our children trust our love and trust our judgement, our heavenly Father is even more pleased than we humans!

Peace. Rest. All available to God’s children when we live trusting the Father and not living for our own plans, but His plans for our life!

 

This entry was posted on August 22, 2020.