I am following up on my last post. This is a season of growth for me.. particularly since I wrote my last post.. God is revealing things that I really need to see. I am reading things geared to people in my age range.. written by believers who are struggling with the same issues I am facing. After lots of prayer and confession, God is helping me realize the beauty of this season. Instead of being negative about my age, I am feeling thankful that He has allowed me to stay on the earth.. in this life for 66 years.
My life over the last 15 years has been richer and more challenging than anything that I could have imagined. I am grateful for this season.. so many of my dreams have come true.. there have been surprises that I never expected. As I battled with the temptation to judge myself and my accomplishments.. the voice of God spoke to me ” Be grateful and remember how I have protected you and provided for you for all these years. Expect more. Look ahead prayerfully and with anticipation.” He is also cautioning me to drop my disappointments and embrace my failures. He warns me to stop cynicism, anger, unforgiveness, and bitterness at the door of my heart and turn to Him for cleansing and renewal.
I am so excited about this next year and I hope you are too. God is good.. trustworthy and faithful. If we remember that.. we have all that we need in every situation and at any age. He will not abandon us!
Happy New Year and God’s blessings on you!!!
“Yet I am confident I will see the LORD’s goodness while I am here in the land of the living.” ( from psalm 27)
About 37 years ago I was called out of the darkness into the light. God revealed Himself to me and I have followed after Him for over three decades. Recently God reminded me of my commitment to Him.. to stay on the path He has prepared for me and to trust Him with everything.. not because I forgot, but because the pull of the world is strong. It is easy to want those things the world says we must have to be content.. so easy to be distracted by the things that pull us away from Him.
I needed the reminder..to be called to a walk in a deeper level of faith.. to admit that I was double minded. He chose me to come into a relationship with Him and I owe Him everything. All the good things in my life come from the hand of the Lord and all the trials passed through Him before they reached me. My life is in His hands and it is His right to give and to take away.. He is the one who knows what is best for me. I want to finish this life with the same level of faith I had over 30 years ago.. trusting in this mysterious God who came close to me and made Himself known to me.
I need to be convicted of wanting things to be easy and wanting to be comfortable.. He never promised me that. He did promise to be with me and to hear my prayers and to come for me when I need to be rescued.. that is more than enough.
Thank you Lord for the fresh wind that blows through our lives.. reminding us of your presence. Thank you for loving us enough to show us when we wander away and long for things that are not important. Thank you that this life is a gift from you and since we belong to you, we want to honor you by being willing to follow you fully… trusting you to take care of us and provide for us.
all the time. Right now, at this very moment He is at work in your life and behind the scenes. We need reminders of this frequently.. I got one this morning and felt compelled to share it. It came from ” Streams in the Desert,” a book that never fails to bring truth when I need it. Today’s page was from George Mueller..I mentioned him a few posts back. He was someone who trusted God in a way we rarely see in our modern world.
I consider him a hero of the faith because he lived daily with God, trusting in Him and as he did.. God provided.. over and over again. Writing about Romans 8:28.. he reminds us that God works.. not worked or will work. It is the present tense..” a continuing operation.” Then there is this beautiful passage:
We also know from Scripture that God’s justice is like the great deep; at this very moment the angels in heaven, as they watch with folded wings the development of God’s great plan are undoubtedly proclaiming ” The Lord is righteous in all his ways and loving toward all He has made.”
Ending with this:
In a thousand trials, it is not just five hundred of them that work ” for the good” of the believer, but nine hundred and ninety-nine plus one.
Always in everything, at all times.. no matter what we feel, or believe, God is at work working all things for our good..every single moment of every day. What an amazing promise!
We know that in ” all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to Hispurpose.” (Romans 8:28)
“Faith does not operate in the realm of the possible. There is no glory for God in that which is humanly possible. Faith begins where man’s power ends.” (George Mueller)
I was reading from Streams in the Desert this morning..a devotional that I highly recommend. The entry was written by George Mueller..so I decided to look him up. I’ve read about him in the past and to be honest, his faith was always overwhelming to me. Here was a man who literally fed thousands of orphans over his lifetime without ever soliciting money or getting into debt. He prayed and trusted God with a faith that was absolutely amazing.
Until very recently.. I felt fearful of that type of faith..would God expect me to trust him the way George did? Was I going to be put to the test when it came to my own faith? Would God come through like he did for this saint that lived in the 19th century. My attitude today has changed.. I want that type of faith. Yes.. I still feel afraid of what that means, but I am willing to walk with Him believing that He will provide in the same way that he did two centuries ago. He is the same God.
For the last ten years I have been wrestling with the idolatry that was in my family growing up.. the same one that is found here in our country and all over the world. Will we worship God or money?..We can’t worship both. In order to fully follow Him with hearts that are surrendered to His purposes we have to trust Him to provide for us and to bless us with enough to do all the things He has called us to do.
With the economic downturn, the Lord is enabling us to exercise faith and readjust ourselves to His priorities. I see the blessing in this process. My husband his been unemployed for almost a year..my own faith has been tested and I have wrestled with the Lord. Yet, I have seen him provide in so many unexpected ways..He is faithful.
I want to be like George Mueller and trust God for everything.. to pray without ceasing..knowing that He will come through at exactly the right time in the perfect way. There is only one way to grow in faith..it is to trust Him when we have no power to solve our own problems. To rely on Him when He is all we have.
This becomes more evident everyday. We can get news of any major event in a matter of minutes. Any thing that was kept secret..will probably be revealed pretty quickly. We see the lives of those who live half way around the world in intimate detail. The irony is..we may not know our next door neighbor. We find ourselves isolated in our homes..connecting online or watching world events unfold.
We were not designed to watch life happen..we were created to be living fully..interacting with people..developing deep relationships..growing..and enjoying. In our culture this is very challenging. So many of us feel alone alone..longing for more..not knowing what is missing. We think the answer is more activity..more busyness..keeping ourselves occupied. It works..at least temporarily.. but God has something to say to us when we find ourselves longing for the unknown.
He is prompting us to search our own hearts. To be honest with ourselves ..to admit that we have desires that we may have buried. Living life fully requires us to do some soul-searching. To pray and ask Him for answers. They come when we stop saying no to our own hearts..to start trusting and believing in His ability to take care of us in every way.
When I am stuck and ask Him to reveal the truth to me.. I run right into unbelief.. or find that I am believing lies. The ones that say that God is too small or I am too weak to move ahead with Him. He is the God of the impossible..His faithfulness is unending and His heart is for us. He desires to give us all those things that enable us to live more fully for Him. He wants to bless us in ways we cannot imagine. His plan is always for good..to meet us and to take us to new places that He has prepared for us. Our God is able to do all things well. His faithfulness continues and His mercies are new every morning.
“But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint.”
God says this over and over again in the Bible. Do not fear! Why? Because He made us and He knows us..we are fearful..we have doubts..we wonder..we imagine the worst..we are weak and scared. The truth is we will be fearful..the important thing is what we do when that happens. Do we cave into the fear? Do we self-medicate? Do we shrink back? Possibly.
He wants us to come to Him. Fear is a tool of the enemy to keep us from living the life that God has for us. He comes after us in our weakest areas..scaring us and planting seeds of doubt in us. God is saying..listen to Me.. DO NOT FEAR! Wow! He means it. He knows the battle and He wants us to come to Him and to continue to trust Him when everything points to catastrophic endings.
If we choose to make fear based decisions.. we are not living life with God. We are writing our own sad story and heading down the path without Him..a dangerous place to be. We won’t sense His presence or know His protection. As we try to make life easier for ourselves..it may get worse. God is calling to us..step out..take risks..trust Me..allow Me to teach you My ways.
As we walk by faith and not by sight we will grow stronger in Him. We live in very dangerous times..there are so many self-help ideas surrounding us..so many man-made solutions..so many temptations to do anything but trust in the Living God. Walking with God is not a popular path..you won’t find many others who do it wholeheartedly. You choose..fear and anxiety or the abundant life with Him.. He is with you!
“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 burnt up; the flames will not consume you. For I am the Lord, your God, the Holy one of Israel, Your Savior…Do not be afraid, for I am with you.”
..ahead of us..clearing the way for us..preparing everything that we need before we need it. Is that difficult to believer? If you are honest you will say yes. Why? Because we feel like we are on our own..that we must come up with all the answers..that everything depends upon what we do. We seem to have things backward.
We are focused on our activity and ideas instead of the activity of God. A key to quieting an anxious heart is making that shift. When our circumstances close in on us.. we have choices. We can either try to come up with answers or we can turn to our God and ask Him to intervene for us. Our human nature wants to rely on itself..God’s way is the the opposite. He wants us to depend upon Him for everything.
Life with God continually brings us to the edge..what will happen next? How will this problem get solved? How will we make it? Who will help us? These questions try to surface and rob us of the confidence we have in Him. The answer is always the same..He is with us and He will do everything that He has promised to do as we trust Him. He will not fail..He is faithful..His grace is sufficient..He has not forgotten.
Look down the road in front of you. What do you see? There He is! Arranging everything perfectly..
“Trust in the Lord with all your heart; do not depend upon your own understanding. Seek His will in all you do, and He will show you which path to take.”
It is astounding when we realize that God provides perfectly for us. Are you questioning that statement? I have. Sometimes I wonder if He is even aware of what I think I need..suddenly when I can’t stand it another minute He moves..He directs..He speaks and He provides. Often it is not what I thought I needed..but it is the perfect thing. Only God knows us well enough to do this.
He sees inside our hearts..our desires, longings, suffering, pain, disappointments…our grief and our sorrow. He provides hope, encouragement, comfort, and relief..at the right moment. We don’t see the answer to the prayer we have prayed over and over again..instead He meets us with renewed faith so we can continue to pray. We feel deeply disappointed..He does not remove it..He reveals Himself in the midst of it. He never promises us an easy life..He promises over and over again to be with us.
I want eyes to see God at work in my life..no matter what I am feeling or thinking. I want to be able to see His hand giving me everything I need for this day..to realize His love for me at all times.. I want a strong faith that does not falter when the rug is pulled out from under me. Do you? Let’s trust that He is working in our spirits..that His love is overcoming our unbelief. Run into His arms today and ask for what you need and know that He hears and He will come through for you.
“For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With His love, He will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.”
Living in America in the 21st century we usually think about money when we hear this word. Lately many of us have had to face our own inability to provide all that we need for ourselves. When the economy was booming it was easier to live under the illusion that we could take care of ourselves. We could always get a job or do whatever was needed to survive. That is no longer the case for some of us. Jobs are scarce. Times are hard.
What a wake-up call for all of us. Even in the best of times we never took care of ourselves. Everything we have comes from the hand of our God. I don’t think Christians in our country believe that. We tend to be very independent and self-sufficient. It makes me wonder if God is not saying something big to us through our current trials. Is He the one who provides the money for our lifestyles? Or are we? As we are aging will He continue to provide all we need or do we need to make sure we have huge savings? Is our bank account an idol? Is financial security a false god?
I don’t know how you will answer these questions. I know for myself that I had to admit that I did have money as an idol. Not because I wanted to be wealthy but because I spent so much time focused on it and wanting financial security. God convicted me about 6 years ago. The journey from that moment to this has been difficult. Financial challenges increased. Security was not on the horizon. In order to show us His sovereignty God often takes us right into the area where our greatest fears have a grip on us. It is painful and the struggle may be long and incredibly challenging. His goal is to release us so that our security is truly in Him and not in our bank balance.
I am grateful that He continues to set me free from the tyranny of money. I pray that He will do the same for you.
“Seek the Kingdom of God above all else and He will give you everything you need.”