I cannot deny the struggle that exists between yielding to what looks and feels good instead of submitting to the God who is good! This is a daily struggle that can only be conquered through a daily pursuit of God. Yes, I live in this world, but I don’t have to allow this world to live in me. I don’t have to become a slave to something that will perish. Oh, but what hope awaits those who choose God.
As I continue to meditate on 1 John 2:15-17, I ask myself what is my end goal? The words in vs. 17 arrest me, “The world and its desires pass away, but whoever does the will of God lives forever.” How many times do we loose sight that there is more to come? There is an ever after and our choices now will determine how that statement ends. Will it be happily ever after or tormented ever after?
Our choice to love the world and what it offers OR our decision to love God and pursue His will determines what our end will be. Choose wisely.
Deuteronomy 30:19 New Living Translation (NLT) “Today I have given you the choice between life and death, between blessings and curses. Now I call on heaven and earth to witness the choice you make. Oh, that you would choose life, so that you and your descendants might live!
My hair loss had taken a turn for the worse and I was in was in need of something—fast. The beautician told me it was medical glue and the hairpiece would look natural. The price was ridiculous but she began to ramble off a list of names of celebrities whose stylists used said “medical” glue to get them picture ready. I was desperate and gullible—a bad combination. After the consultation, I went home and
asked begged my husband to let me get it. On credit that is, because we did not have that amount of cash lying around. Not once did I consider praying about it. As far as I was concerned, it was clear that this was a godsend.
Seeing my panic and desperation, my husband agreed to let me put this SUPER EXPENSIVE hairpiece on credit. Within a few weeks, the medical glue began to produce unmedical results. I broke out with sores on my scalp because of an allergic reaction to the glue and had to have the hairpiece removed. She offered no refund. I was left with a head full of sores and a very expensive lesson on the detriment of not pausing to pray before proceeding.
Admittedly, I have jumped headfirst into many decisions that seemed like a good idea. I am learning and, by the grace of God, I don’t want to continue to make the same mistakes. I find it dizzying going around the same mountain. This week, another test came. I learned of an opportunity to grow in my gift as a writer. The program is legitimate. I read article after article and watched numerous videos of testimonials on the success of the program. I wanted in! The class had a large price tag attached to it, and rightfully so, it is an EXCELLENT class. We are actively trying to get out of debt and be good stewards of our finances, so putting this class on a credit card was not an option.
I mentioned the opportunity to my husband and, this time around, we paused and prayed before proceeding. I inquired via email about scholarships and different payment plans; all requests were denied. On one hand, I was disappointed because I really wanted to take the class. On the other, I was also encouraged (I participated in the teacher’s free webinar which was excellent) because I knew that I had made the right decision and passed the test.
This principle of pausing to pray before we proceed with making decisions is echoed in Proverbs 3:5-6. This passage tells us that we are to trust in the Lord with all our heart, and not to lean on our own understanding. We are to acknowledge God in all that we do and allow Him to direct our path. Too many times we don’t stop to consult God before making decisions and inevitably we end up bumping our heads.
What major decisions are before you? No matter how good the opportunity may look, I encourage you to pause to pray. Allow the Lord to direct your path, and once He responds, then you can proceed in faith! Are you quick to make decisions without first consulting the Lord? Leave me a comment, I would love to hear from you.
As of late, when asked how I am doing, my response is, “all is well because God is good!”
Yes, I agree, life can be tough, and problems are real.
Bills need to get paid
Hearts get broken
BUT GOD IS STILL GOD, AND HE IS GOOD SO ALL IS WELL!
This statement is not a dismissal or denial of the difficulties that life brings. Instead, it is a choice to magnify God over my difficulties and to remind myself that all things will work together for my good. Why is it so easy for us to focus on the negative things around us while dismissing the overwhelming evidence of God’s goodness that is constantly before us? This morning, I opened my bedroom blinds and was in awe of the beautiful sunset that greeted me. I had to pause and take it all in. What I saw confirmed Psalm 19, “the heavens proclaim the glory of God. The skies display his craftsmanship.”
We have a choice. We can begin our day focusing on our problems and the business that awaits us, or we can pause to acknowledge the goodness of God. You don’t have to look very far to see it, creation testifies of His goodness. I see and acknowledge it, so I will continue to say and live in the reality that, “all is well because God is good!” What declaration rooted in truth are you making today?
I recently read, Sands of Forgiveness. It is a very thought provoking, well written book that pulls you in from the beginning. I completed the book last night and could not help but to reflect on what I read. I encourage you to get a copy of this book, it is well worth it. The following are my reflections.
Many choose to hold on to scars from the past. The pain endured from previous experience is worn as a badge of honor instead of being released. Stories of hurtful words spoken over us is on constant replay. We find ways to bring up how others hurt us in most of our conversations. If we don’t have an audience, we retreat to our minds with the same agonizing stories.
Unresolved pain distorts our vision. We can no longer see God for who He is or ourselves for who He made us. It is easy to accuse God or even question His goodness when pain is the blanket, we choose to insulate ourselves with. We allow the pain to redefine our identity. Sometimes we have operated in that false identity for so long that we forget who we really are.
We cannot erase the hurtful words or evil actions done toward us, but we can control our response. They may have tried to change our name to worthless, stupid, ugly, etc. but they should not be given the power to change who we were created to be. Reliving the past is a great way to remain in chains. Freedom is not based on my external circumstances, but it is more of an inward reality.
We have the authority to reject the lies, release the offense and move forward in our destiny. Remaining stuck in our past pain is not the only option! It is wise to make the choice to move forward, and when we do the grace of God meets us in powerful ways.
Reflection Questions: Have you settled on believing the lies and wallowing in the pain from the past? Do you often relive past pain in your conversations? I encourage you to bring it to Jesus.
Psalm 34:18 (NIV)The LORD is close to the brokenhearted and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
I have known for a long time that writing books was a part of my purpose. I would start and then stop. I would either get distracted or discouraged. I finally made up my mind to sit and focus and write my first book but there was one problem, I didn’t know where to start. Which book do I write fist? The week I was praying and asking God for clarity was the week that a sweet friend invited me to a service at a local church. At that service, the Lord prophetically used the speaker to answer my prayer. I came home energized and encouraged. The Lord helped me to see that the material for my first book had already been written and it was just a matter of editing it and putting it in book form. I hit some bumps along the way, but I was determined to complete what I started. When I got serious, God sent me the help that I needed to complete it…and I really needed help! One of my biggest sources of help came from the author of this award winning book.
I am so happy to announce that as of this week, my first book, “Lessons Learned Along the Way: A 40 Day Devotional,” has been released. I took the content that I wrote for my 40-day reflection before my 40th birthday and created a devotion with reflection questions and scriptures for meditation. You can find it on Amazon in both kindle and paperback form. If you choose to purchase it and are blessed by what you read, I invite you to leave a review on Amazon so that others would be encouraged to get it as well. This is indeed a dream realized!
Reflection Question: Is there something God has called you to do but you have put it to the side? Do you need clarity on how to pursue that purpose? I encourage you to earnestly seek the Lord and respond in obedience to His directives!
We live in a culture where greed and the abundance of material things are promoted. However, as of late, the minimalism movement is of interest to many. Why is that? Could it be that people are finding out that material things don’t bring lasting satisfaction? I was watching a video on minimalism by a Christian youtuber and she made a powerful statement. In reference to minimalism she said that it was the “giving away of stuff to find that more!” That statement hit me to my core because it is so easy to misdiagnose what we need more of. Therefore, some continue to grasp for joy in material things, but it is all in vein. The only “more” that can truly satisfy is Jesus! In the moment, material things are great to have but they quickly lose their luster. However, a relationship with Jesus fills us to satisfaction, again and again.
Take inventory of your actions and your priorities. What is the “more” you have been seeking after? Is it more of Jesus? Or is it more of this world and its possessions?
John 6:35 NIV
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
1 Timothy 6:6 NLT
Yet true godliness with contentment is itself great wealth.