29 July 2011

faith is not ...

As I sat considering God’s Word, I could not help but to think about how many of His verses have become clichés or catch phrases for the body of Christ.
  • Fight the good fight of faith
  • Encourage yourself in the LORD
Great admonishments, but what does it look like practically? For the answer, let’s look directly at the Word of God and see what encouraging oneself and fighting the fight of faith look like.
 
Psalm 42
As the deer pants for the water brooks,
so pants my soul for You, O God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God.
When shall I come and appear before God?
My tears have been my food day and night,
while they continually say to me,
“Where is your God?”
When I remember these things,
I pour out my soul within me.
For I used to go with the multitude;
I went with them to the house of God,
with the voice of joy and praise,
with a multitude that kept a pilgrim feast.
 
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God,
for I shall yet praise Him
for the help of His countenance.
 
O my God,
my soul is cast down within me;
therefore I will remember You
from the land of the Jordan,
and from the heights of Hermon,
from the Hill Mizar.
Deep calls unto deep
at the noise of Your waterfalls;
all You waves and billows have gone over me.
The LORD will command His lovingkindness
in the daytime, and in the night
His song shall be with me –
a prayer to the God of my life.
I will say to God my Rock,
“Why have You forgotten me?
Why do I go mourning
because of the oppression of the enemy?”
As with a breaking of my bones,
My enemies reproach me,
while they say to me all day long,
“Where is your God?”
 
Why are you cast down, O my soul?
And why are you disquieted within me?
Hope in God;
for I shall yet praise Him,
the help of my countenance and my God.
 
The psalmist acknowledges extreme feelings of sorrow, confusion and even despondency. Yet, he still acknowledges God as his hope and finds the strength to encourage himself.
 
Faith is not denying what you are experiencing or feeling. Faith is not delusional. Faith is not oblivious to reality. Faith is not escapism.
 
Faith is, however, a determination not to be controlled by experiences or ruled by feelings. Faith is an unwavering resolve to trust in who God is, even when everything that is transpiring contradicts what He said. It is a daily fight of crucifying the flesh and making a conscious decision to live out of the spirit.

Never stop fighting! 

28 July 2011

Get up, God!

Just wondering if there is anyone out there today who can identify with the psalmist ...

Psalm 44 MSG
A Psalm of the Sons of Korah

1 -3 We've been hearing about this, God, all our lives.
Our fathers told us the stories
their fathers told them,
How single-handedly You weeded out the godless
from the fields and planted us,
How You sent those people packing
but gave us a fresh start.
We didn't fight for this land;
we didn't work for it—it was a gift!
You gave it, smiling as You gave it,
delighting as You gave it.
4 -8 You're my King, O God—
command victories for Jacob!
With Your help we'll wipe out our enemies,
in Your name we'll stomp them to dust.
I don't trust in weapons;
my sword won't save me—
But it's You, You who saved us from the enemy;
You made those who hate us lose face.
All day we parade God's praise—
we thank You by name over and over.

9 -12 But now You've walked off and left us,
You've disgraced us and won't fight for us.
You made us turn tail and run;
those who hate us have cleaned us out.
You delivered us as sheep to the butcher,
You scattered us to the four winds.
You sold Your people at a discount—
You made nothing on the sale.  
13 -16 You made people on the street,
urchins, poke fun and call us names.
You made us a joke among the godless,
a cheap joke among the rabble.
Every day I'm up against it,
my nose rubbed in my shame—
Gossip and ridicule fill the air,
people out to get me crowd the street.

17 -19 All this came down on us,
and we've done nothing to deserve it.
We never betrayed Your Covenant: our hearts
were never false, our feet never left Your path.
Do we deserve torture in a den of jackals?
or lockup in a black hole?  
 20 -22 If we had forgotten to pray to our God
or made fools of ourselves with store-bought gods,
Wouldn't God have figured this out?
We can't hide things from him.
No, you decided to make us martyrs,
lambs assigned for sacrifice each day.
 23 -26 Get up, God! Are You going to sleep all day?
Wake up! Don't you care what happens to us?
Why do You bury Your face in the pillow?
Why pretend things are just fine with us?
And here we are—flat on our faces in the dirt,
held down with a boot on our necks.
Get up and come to our rescue.
If You love us so much, Help us!
 '... nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will. ' 
Mt. 26:39

27 July 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 'Prison Plan?'

Earlier this week, I heard about an individual, sentenced to two years prison time, without a trial and presumably for no other reason than they follow Jesus Christ. Yet, as I started to pray for this individual and their family, I felt an internal nudge. What if this is part of the plan?

Prison, part of the plan?

Certainly we have read about prison detours that turned out to be tremendous circumstances for kingdom expansion. There was the case of Paul and Silas (Acts 16) and, even Peter’s imprisonment which is detailed in Acts 5 resulted in a great witnessing opportunity. However, I believe often the inclination is to place those events in the Romans 8:28 category of God working all things together for the good. It takes on quite a different tone, however, when you consider the possibility that it was the plan from the very beginning.

But, what loving Father would intentionally place His children in prison? One who desires to see men and women freed from the prison of hopelessness and delivered from the sentence of an eternity separated from Him.

There are moments in the journey where the LORD will permit us to occupy places of confinement in order to bring the knowledge of Himself to those who are bound. This is what Jesus did for us. He submitted to the Father's plan and allowed all the majesty of His Godliness to be contained in an earthly vessel. He consented to vacating the vastness of heaven to endure a thirty-three year sentence within the limitations of the earth. He allowed Himself to be killed and to be secured in a borrowed tomb behind a huge stone. And He did it all so that we might be reconciled to the Father.

He was willing to live a life of containment, for a season, so that we might live a life of freedom eternally. And as His agents, it is very likely that we will be called to do the same at some point in this journey we call life.

'And when you hear of wars and insurrections, don’t panic. Yes, these things must take place first, but the end won’t follow immediately.” Then He added, “Nation will go to war against nation, and kingdom against kingdom. There will be great earthquakes, and there will be famines and plagues in many lands, and there will be terrifying things and great miraculous signs from heaven.
    But before all this occurs, there will be a time of great persecution. You will be dragged into synagogues and prisons, and you will stand trial before kings and governors because you are My followers. But this will be your opportunity to tell them about Me. So don’t worry in advance about how to answer the charges against you, for I will give you the right words and such wisdom that none of your opponents will be able to reply or refute you!" Luke 21:9-15 NLT
'And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.'
Romans 8:28 NLT

25 July 2011

I hope you dance ...

Hope you all had a wonderful day and are having a great evening.

Typically, I only listen to praise and worship music.
However, as I sang and prayed and worshipped God,
This song came to my mind and has been on my heart all evening.
While I disagree with one line in the song, the rest is spot-on.

Given the choice, given the opportunity...
I pray that you would kiss every worry goodbye,
Praise God with reckless abandon like David did ....

And Dance!


24 July 2011

The Invisible Leader

Happy Sunday!

I was not going to post a message today. However, I was inspired while out on my walk this morning. And what was the sight which ignited a spark? It was the sight of ducklings….


This is not their actual picture. Unfortunately I do not take a phone or camera with me when I’m exercising … but perhaps I should start. Anyhow, I saw twelve ducklings - yellow ones and brown ones - and they were absolutely adorable!

However, there was something missing. Momma duck was nowhere in sight. Anyone who has ever seen very small ducklings knows that this is not a natural sight. I don’t know where she was. I hope nothing happened to her. But the curious thing was that these twelve ducks were still traveling in single file as if she was still leading the pack.

This made me think about us – and our invisible Leader. It made me think about how we should take a cue from the ducklings and continue to follow as if He were right there – because He is.

Those ducklings were doing what they knew to do was right. They were headed to the lake. Even without their mother in view, internally, they knew the way that they should go. Likewise, we have an internal navigational source, the Holy Spirit.

Granted, we cannot see God – for no eye has beheld Him and lived [John 1:18, Exodus 33:20]. And, there are times when we cannot see where or how He is leading in our lives. Yet we are still called to follow Him.

Today – keep following the direction of Jesus. Submit to the leading of the Holy Spirit, hold fast to the biblical principles which you have been taught and have learned. Keep moving forward and do your part to ensure that all in the family Christ reach the destination. We are a family and we have quite a leader, though He be an invisible one.

Follow the Invisible Leader ... 
And Have a Blessed Day!

'... lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.'
Matthew 28:20

23 July 2011

a beautiful work ...

‘Now those who were scattered abroad went about [through the land from place to place] preaching the glad tidings, the Word [the doctrine concerning the attainment through Christ of salvation in the kingdom of God].’ Acts 8:4 AMP

Who are the ‘those’?
‘Those’ are the followers of Christ who were harassed and scattered following the death of Stephen, a disciple of Christ. In fact, Saul, who stood by consenting to Stephen’s stoning, was said to be the chief initiator in persecuting the church. Acts 8:3 tells us, 'As for Saul, he made havoc of the church, entering every house, and dragging off men and women, committing them to prison.’

Some translations of Acts 8:4 start with the word ‘therefore’. ‘Therefore [because of Saul's persecution], those who were scattered went everywhere preaching the word.’ As a direct result of the attacks of the enemy, the church was mobilized, its borders expanded and the precious fruit of souls yielded. Because of the challenges, they became even more effective, the message of the gospel spread and God’s Kingdom order in the earth advanced.

So shall it be with you. As a direct result of the tremendous torments that have befallen you, your borders shall expand, you shall be employed in an even more effective work of God, the gospel shall go forth, Kingdom principles shall be established in every sector of society and many shall be reconciled to the Father. Be not troubled. Your efforts and your suffering are not in vain – they are yielding a tremendous reward.

‘Consider it a sheer gift, friends, when tests and challenges come at you from all sides. You know that under pressure, your faith-life is forced into the open and shows its true colors. So don't try to get out of anything prematurely. Let it do its work so you become mature and well-developed, not deficient in any way.’ James 1:2-4 MSG

A beautiful work being performed in and through you … may your journey with God be abundantly blessed in every way.

Have an awesome weekend!

22 July 2011

sweat and tears ...

So yesterday I talked about our ability to stay and go to the outer reaches of the world. Today, I would like to follow-up on something I pointed out in yesterday’s post. Therefore, we will pick up with the exact same verse in Acts 1:8, ‘… you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’

As I stated yesterday, the Greek word for witnesses is ‘‘μάρτυς or mártys’ where we get our English word martyr. Jesus was letting them know that they would be His martyrs – those who suffer persecution and death for refusing to renounce a belief or cause. Why is this significant to us? Unfortunately, there has emerged a type of ‘Christian mindset’ which believes that the Christian walk is supposed to be all blessings and sunshine. Yet that is not the message that Jesus conveyed when He commissioned His disciples, those who would take His message to the world. They would be persecuted - it was what Jesus was preparing them for.

We too must realize that we have been called to a living hope but a dying life ...

I recall a situation several years ago where I was sitting in my car, having a full blown pity part. I was praying and crying and complaining to God about how wicked certain people were acting, how difficult things were and how tired I was. And that is when He spoke so clear that it sounded like an audible voice: ‘You have not yet resisted to the point of bloodshed in striving against sin.’ Stunned by the clarity and the directness of the message, I began to question, ‘Is that a verse in the Bible?’ Yet before I could even finish the thought, He told me where to find it, Hebrews 12:4. He went on to remind me of all that Christ endured for our freedom, for our salvation, the horrific cruelty, the excruciating torture and the tremendous bloodshed that He suffered so that we could be reconciled to the Father.

Then He closed by telling me, ‘What you are experiencing is just sweat and tears and the only way it will kill you is if you sit there and let yourself drown in it. Now stop crying, get back to work, I still have much for you to do.’ He knows exactly what I need to hear and how I need to hear it. However, my feelings were hurt [seriously] as I told Him that His communication was not kind or gentle. Then, I did what He told me to do. I stopped crying and got back to work, recognizing that there was something much greater at stake than my comfort. There were souls on the line.

This Christian walk, it is not for the faint-hearted. So if you were looking for sunshine and roses, you might want to reevaluate your commitment. And the next time you find yourself frustrated and complaining, consider this:
12 -13Friends, when life gets really difficult, don't jump to the conclusion that God isn't on the job. Instead, be glad that you are in the very thick of what Christ experienced. This is a spiritual refining process, with glory just around the corner.
     14 -16If you're abused because of Christ, count yourself fortunate. It's the Spirit of God and his glory in you that brought you to the notice of others. If they're on you because you broke the law or disturbed the peace, that's a different matter. But if it's because you're a Christian, don't give it a second thought. Be proud of the distinguished status reflected in that name!
     17 -19It's judgment time for God's own family. We're first in line. If it starts with us, think what it's going to be like for those who refuse God's Message! If good people barely make it, What's in store for the bad? So if you find life difficult because you're doing what God said, take it in stride. Trust him. He knows what he's doing, and he'll keep on doing it.’
     I Peter 4:12-19 MSG

His witnesses and His martyrs ...
Quite a sobering thought

21 July 2011

stay and go ...

‘Gathering them together, He commanded them not to leave Jerusalem, but to wait for what the Father had promised … you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you; and you shall be My witnesses both in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.’ Acts 1:4-8 

Jesus told the remaining disciples to stay in Jerusalem, until they received the Father’s promise. Then, He let them know that they would be His witnesses. In Greek, the word used in that context is ‘μάρτυς or mártys where we get our English word martyr. He let them know that they would be His martyrs – those who give a testimony yet also, those who suffer persecution and death for refusing to renounce a belief or cause. However, that is a discussion for another day. Today we are focusing on the fact that the disciples would be His witnesses in Jerusalem, Judea, Samaria, and even to the remotest part of the earth.


Now, there are mixed emotions on the subject of going to the remotest parts of the earth. Some clamor for the opportunity, overlooking the plenteous mission field which exists right in their backyard. While others refuse to leave the comforts of their neighborhood in order to share the truth of God’s Word and His love with those who live a world away.  However, may I submit to you today that it does not have to be either/or. It can be both. You can stay and go.

With my current situation and its limitations, I have become increasingly thankful for the technology that is available to us today. I can apply for jobs, connect with friends and share God’s Word – generally from the comfort of wherever I am. With the internet and free WiFi connections at libraries and bistros, one has the ability to access the world when they might otherwise be cut-off. The average person on the street can now experience what it is like to have global reach. It has created a world atmosphere where a type of ‘cyber-missionary’ has emerged.


Why just yesterday, our own little Revive! blog reached a milestone of fifty nations. God’s Word going to fifty nations around the globe … and right from my fingertips. It is amazing, overwhelming and humbling that God would (1) permit us to partner with Him at all and (2) enable us to travel the globe with Him, from the comfort of right where we are.

A couple of years ago, my two eldest sons traveled through Europe as student ambassadors. It was a great experience for them. Between that trip and family travels, they have collectively visited 13 countries around the globe. Not bad for two young men who have not even crossed the threshold of 20-years-old. Myself, on the other hand (at age 40), have only traveled to two countries out of the United Statesin the physical. Yet in the world of technology, a tremendous opportunity has been presented to me: 
  • ‘There is a wide-open door for a great work here [for effective service and ministry]…’  I Corinthians 16:9 NLT 
  • ‘I give thanks to Him Who has granted me [the needed] strength and made me able [for this], Christ Jesus our Lord, because He has judged and counted me faithful and trustworthy, appointing me to [this stewardship of] the ministry.’ I Timothy 1:12 AMP 
Likewise, a great opportunity is before you and you do not have to travel miles around the world in order to grab hold of it and be His. Start right where you are!

Sometimes you can stay and go ...

Have an Abundantly Blessed Day!

20 July 2011

JOURNEY 201¦1 ‘WHEN, NOT IF’

‘When you go through deep waters, I will be with you. When you go through rivers of difficulty, you will not drown. When you walk through the fire of oppression, you will not be burned up; the flames will not consume you.’ Isaiah 43:2 NLT 

WHEN … NOT ‘IF’  
THROUGH … NOT ‘FROM’  

I love the language that God uses when He speaks to His people. He does not waste words and He says exactly what He means. Therefore, as we consider His words of ‘when’, we recognize that we will indeed experience deep, difficult and oppressive situations that seek to consume us. It is not a case of ‘if’ but rather it is a certainty of ‘when’. However, we have His confident assurance that as we experience the trials –He will be with us.

He goes on to emphasize and ensure that we understand that He takes us ‘through’ the storms of life instead of keeping us ‘from’ the raging sea of problems which seeks to pull us under.

Going through the deep waters, murky from failed relationships, disappointed dreams and clouded confusion – He is with us.

Going through rivers of difficulty, laden with bouts of infirmity, facing financial reversals even when you have been faithful and having to fight for every foot of promise land – He preserves us.

Going through the fire of oppression, facing persecution for believing in Him, enduring painful character attacks and mentally exhausted from unrelenting assaults from the enemy – He protects us.

When we face challenges … not if.
He will take us through … not keep us from.

Granted, there are times He does keep us from calamity all together. Yet, there are so many more instances where He lets us walk right on through so that we become more like Christ, He receives greater glory and men are drawn unto Him.

Wherever you are in your journey with God today –
When you are experiencing the raging storms of life –
Know that God is faithful and committed to seeing you through every trial.

WHEN … NOT ‘IF’
THROUGH … NOT ‘FROM’

Have an Abundantly Blessed Day!

19 July 2011

The Father's Ornament

Zenobia - It is a unique name yet also one that, for many years, was not particularly meaningful to me. Everyone would comment on how beautiful and different it was but I always wanted to know what it meant beyond the fact that it was a name held by a 3rd century Syrian queen. Don't get me wrong, she was quite a queen, a warrior queen known for great military conquest, full of beauty, strength, knowledge and wisdom. Yet being named after Zenobia, the self-reliant conqueror, never did anything for me personally.  

As I got older and researched it, every definition would say ‘given life by Zeus or daughter of Zeus’. However, that was never a definition that resonated with me. Being named after Zenobia, the daughter of a mythological god, was not awe inspiring either. It must mean something more … something more significant … something more purposeful.

Well, a couple of years back, I came to the realization that Zenobia was not just a Greek name. It is also an Arabic name which means Father’s Ornament’. Now that was something to which my spirit could grab hold.

Over the past few days, I have heard messages on identity. And it got me thinking about the way that God has been speaking to me over the past several years, helping me to regain my sense of identity. The youngest of four, picked on as a child, growing up in a broken home and the turmoil of a failed marriage, my sense of who Zenobia was had taken a quite a beating over the years.
     Yet God has been slowly restoring me, for He knows I can never be all that He has called me to be until I know who I am. That is why I think He revealed this definition to me a few years ago. You see, the definition of 'The Father’s Ornament' is special. And I capitalize Father, because for me it is not just significant that I am merely any father’s ornament, but that I am the Father’s ornament.

A quick check of the Webster’s online dictionary defines an ornament as follows: a useful accessory; something that lends grace or beauty; a manner or quality that adorns; one whose virtues or graces add luster to a place or society. And what is an accessory? Well, one of the many definitions is that of an object or device not essential in itself but adding to the beauty, convenience or effectiveness of something else.   

Zenobia: the Father’s object, whose virtues and graces add luster to a place or society; not an essential object but one that He chooses to employ.

POWERFUL! 

What a joy to be the Father’s light in a dark world: not because of anything I have done, not because of my graces or virtue , but because of His Holy Spirit living in me and shining through me. What an honor! And it is an honor bestowed upon every believer – whether your name is Zenobia or not.  You too are the Father’s Ornament. 

‘You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden; nor does anyone light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on the lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. Let your light shine before men in such a way that they may see your good works, and glorify your Father who is in heaven.’ Matthew 5:14-16 NASB 



‘Here's another way to put it: You're here to be light, bringing out the God-colors in the world. God is not a secret to be kept. We're going public with this, as public as a city on a hill. If I make you light-bearers, you don't think I'm going to hide you under a bucket, do you? I'm putting you on a light stand. Now that I've put you there on a hilltop, on a light stand—shine! Keep open house; be generous with your lives. By opening up to others, you'll prompt people to open up with God, this generous Father in heaven.’ Matthew 5:14-16 MSG 

So to all the Father's Ornaments I say,
Shine bright so that all the world can see ...
And glorify your Father in heaven!

18 July 2011

yes...

Will your heart and soul say, 'Yes!'?
Will your spirit say, 'Yes!'?

Close Your Eyes,
Listen Closely,
Worship Deeply,
And Just Tell God,
Yes!


The Problem of Answered Prayer

Happy Monday!

Well, it is Monday for many of my readers. Some of my international friends might be on Tuesday already. No matter – whatever day of the week it is where you are living, this word will meet you right where you are at. The subject? The problem of answered prayer.

Now, most people would not consider answered prayers a problem. In fact, if I were a betting woman [and I am not], I would consider it a safe wager to guess that many people are wishing more of their prayers would be answered. However, you might want to pause before praying one more prayer! You see, in the twenty-five years that I have been following the LORD, I have come to learn that He says ‘Yes!’ far more frequently than any of us realize … we just do not always recognize it.

********************
WE PRAY: Dear Lord, I want you to make me more like Jesus.
GOD RESPONDS: Yes!  
PROBLEM:
  • My friends have deserted me.
  • I feel like I am dying.
PERSPECTIVE:
  • ‘Then they all forsook Him [Jesus] and fled.’ Mark 14:30
  • ‘And when Jesus had cried out with a loud voice, He said, “Father, ‘into Your hands I commit My spirit’” Having said this, He breathed His last.’ Luke 23:46
NOTE: To be like Jesus is to share in the sufferings that He endured while on this earth. Do you really want to be like Jesus? Are you ready for His walk?

********************

WE PRAY: Father God, I just want Your will to be done in my life.
GOD RESPONDS: Approved! Approved! Approved!  
PROBLEM: Everything seems to be going wrong. The enemy keeps attacking.
PERSPECTIVE: ‘But it was the Lord’s good plan to crush Him and cause Him grief. Yet when His life is made an offering for sin, He will have many descendants. He will enjoy a long life, and the LORD’s good plan will prosper in His hands.’ Isaiah 53:10
NOTE: The good LORD takes no pleasure in your suffering. He does, however, take great pleasure in His good plans becoming manifest in the earth … and if they can come only through the suffering of His faithful, He will permit it to be so in order to draw all men unto Himself.

********************

WE PRAY: Dear LORD, I truly want to lead Your people into the plans and purposes You have for them.
GOD RESPONDS: Absolutely!
PROBLEM: These people are driving me crazy! I don’t think this is what I asked for.
PERSPECTIVE: ‘And everyone in distress or in debt or discontented gathered to him [David], and he became a commander over them. And there were with him about 400 men.’ I Samuel 2:22 AMP
NOTE: Despise not the day of small beginnings. God loves to take what should be a losing team by all human reasoning and turn them into a band of mighty men. He is glorified in using the most unlikely vessels.

********************

WE PRAY: God I want to hear You speak to me.
GOD RESPONDS: OK!
PROBLEM: I got a prophetic word from You and now everything is going wrong.
PERSPECTIVE: ‘And the Holy Spirit descended in bodily form like a dove upon Him [Jesus], and a voice came from heaven which said, ‘You are My beloved Son, in You I am well pleased.’ Luke 3:21-22 ‘Then Jesus[after the words of affirmation from the Father], returned from the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness…’ Luke 4:1-2
NOTE: Sometimes, challenging times will come, following His words of affirmation, at His direction, as part of His plan and purpose for your life.

********************

I could go on... However, for the sake of time and space, I will stop here. There are so many circumstances which cause us to become disillusioned and frustrated. However, upon closer inspection, we find that the challenge is simply 'the process of yes'.
     Understand, dear friend, that God's 'Yes!'often looks completely different than what you envisioned or expected. Yet, it is an affirmative answer to something we earnestly prayed for and part of God's very best for our lives. This is the problem, and the privilege, of answered prayer! 

Be careful what you wish for … ‘cause you just might get it all!

17 July 2011

Shekinah Glory ... We Wait For You

We sang this in church today - POWERFUL!
I just love the presence of God!


16 July 2011

God Does Provide

This morning was absolutely beautiful!

As I started my morning walk, the weather was perfect – not the humidity that we normally get this time of year and which is expected to return next week. But I will not give thought for next week. Today, I want to focus on today! 

So many sights during my walk –
Dodging sprinklers and having a wonderful time thinking, and praying and observing.
 


I passed the house that sets out food for the ducks every day. They know that house and they have confidence that their meal will be there every day. Not sure what they’ll do if that couple ever moves. Then I saw little worms wriggling across the sidewalk – trying to enjoy the water from sprinklers but conscious that they needed to take cover before the sun got too hot. I also saw robins, out looking for their breakfast … inch fast little worms! The bees get their pollen from the flowers and the flowers get their nourishment from the sun. It was a good walk indeed. 

Then I got back and started reading my Bible: ‘And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren.’ Romans 8:29-29  

Then I went on to read: ‘What then shall we say to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us? He who did not spare His own Son, but delivered Him up for us all, how shall He not with Him also freely give us all things?’ Romans 8:31-32 

Then I opened an email from one of the many ministries that I follow and it contained an encouraging message, ‘GOD IS FOR YOU’ and the key verse they were focusing on was ... Romans 8:31-32! 

I just love when I’m getting frustrated – asking and, at times, pleading with God to say something, anything. And then He speaks. But He was speaking the whole morning, letting me know He is the God who provides - from the ducks who are provided with food, to the bees who get their pollen, the flowers getting their sun and the worms enjoying the water, even though some of them will end up being breakfast for the robins.

Now, some of us may feel like the worm … just trying to survive and not be consumed by the enemy. Yet He promises us, those who love Him and who are called according to His purpose, that He will work all things together for the good and that He will freely give us the things that we need. We just need to keep on trusting Him. Still unemployed (and receiving rejections every week), still homeless, feeling sick and now needing to put two new tires on my son’s truck which I am using because my van is broken down … I needed that message today!

Keep Trusting!
GOD IS FOR YOU! 
And God Does Provide...  

'So don’t worry about these things, saying,
‘What will we eat? What will we drink?
What will we wear?’
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers,
But your heavenly Father already knows all your needs.
Seek the Kingdom of God above all else,
And live righteously, and
He will give you everything you need.’
Matthew 6:31-33 NLT