Monthly Archives: August 2016

the next time you are worried, irritable, down…change two words

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Often when I recognize a complaining spirit, a judging & resentful mind, an angry & irritable countenance, an effort to protect my reputation, a worrisome mind, or any other sin or stronghold in my life I soon discover it’s a problem with worship. 

There is somewhere in our thought processes in which we might be saying, “If only.”  “If only” is a phrase from the enemy; it is saying God is not enough.  As subtle as it is, it’s a downhill spiral to idol worship.  “If only” my child didn’t have these problems, my husband/wife would connect with me, our finances were better, my job was more fulfilling, I could escape, I had her/his….looks, gifts, house, kids, cars, easy life, I didn’t have that past, etc….then I would be happy.  Each of us struggles with the “if only” battle, just in different arenas.   Others may encourage us that we just need to “stop it,” much like this funny video:

  However, that really isn’t the answer!  The real answer is to change our focus of worship and turn “if only” into “but God!”  Many times, when we try to just stop a bad habit or wrong thinking, we might try real hard, grit our teeth and make as much progress as possible in our own will (just take it from me, this approach doesn’t work.)  But when we change the entire focus of our mind to the things of God, we change what we worship.  And what we worship makes all the difference.

We might think, “if only I had someone who truly loved me,” we can change that to, “but God demonstrates His own love for us in that while we were yet sinners, He died for us.”  “If only she/he hadn’t don’t that to me,” to “you intended harm for me, but God, intended it for good.”  “If only I didn’t have to worry about money,” to “young lions suffer want and hunger, but  those who seek the Lord lack no good thing.”

Turning “if only” to “but God,” not only leads to a life of worshipping the one true God, but one of victory over sin, true freedom, power to be used for God’s purposes, joy, hope, and love.

Just try it for a few days….let me know how it goes!!

 

The God who sees me….

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“El Roi,” the God who sees me, what an amazing comfort and joy.

It was a lowly, pregnant servant who had been fired.  I don’t think you can get much lower than that.  With absolutely no where to go, she ended up in the desert.

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God asks her a question through an angel, “Hagar, Sarah’s servant, where have you come from and where are you going?”

Great question.  For all of us today.  Hagar answered honestly, “I am running.”  Wow, when was the last time you heard a friend or a co-worker or a family member admit that he or she was “running.”  Our pride keeps us from answering with a reply which seems so empty, so fearful, so purposeless.  But Hagar said it.  Why?  Hagar was desperate.  She had nothing.  No way to feed herself, no home, nothing.  When one is desperate, the truth is more easily said.

The angel did not condemn, or say “if only,” or comment on the fact that Hagar was pretty mean taunting Sarah that she was pregnant  & Sarah wasn’t, therefore she deserved the desert.

No, the angel gave hope to the hopeless, help to one who was helpless, direction to one who didn’t know what she should do next.  That’s God.

Hope is God.  Not guilt, shame, blame. Not pride, self-dependence, judgement.  Nor silent control.  God is Hope and desires a future of blessings in your life.

Hagar named that experience, “the God who sees me.”  The God who sees me.  What a mind-blowing concept.  The all-powerful, omniscient, holy, good, amazing God sees me, sees you.  It takes my breath away.

Many a dark, dark night, hopeless and afraid, this was the only prayer I could pray:    God you see me, and that is enough right now.  YOU SEE ME.

 

Some questions:

  1.  What are you running from?
  2. What is your desert?
  3. What does it mean that a good God sees you?
  4. How can His amazing power change everything in you and through you?
  5. You might not have hope right now for your health, your marriage, your child coming back to God, your provision, your way out of an addiction; you might not even have hope to live today.  WAIT.  He sees you, and that is hope.

 

 

 

 

Agree with the truth and live again…

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One of my favorite songs right now is, “Tell your heart to beat again.”  It was written by one of the members of the group “Phillips, Craig and Dean.”  The back story of this song brings even more meaning to the song itself.

 

A pastor convinced a heart surgeon in his congregation to let him watch an open heart surgery.  The pastor watched them roll the sleeping woman into the operating room and watched as the surgeon cut her chest and pulled her heart up to work on it.  Once the surgeon was finished he put the heart back in its place and massaged it a little to cause it to start beating again.  Nothing.  He tried it again.  Nothing.  They took more drastic measures and the heart still did not beat on its own.

 

“Finally the surgeon knelt down beside his patient and he took off his surgeon mask and said “Mrs. Johnson, this is your surgeon. The operation went perfectly, your heart has been repaired now tell your heart to beat again.” (Phillips, Craig and Dean).  And it did!

 

Mrs. Johnson had to agree with the truth, that her heart had changed and been repaired.  It’s the same for us.  We have to agree with the beautiful truths of God’s word–everything He says about us, and we will live a joyful, peaceful life.  Take one verse with you today and tell your heart to beat again!