My Master

Embed from Getty Images “No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.” Matthew 6:24 NIV

This one has been ticklish for me. The world reinforces some very bad behavior that serves the world well.  The problem is that it doesn’t serve God. It’s everywhere.  The truth is, it wears me out.  I read this scripture during a particularly tiring week. In addition to the demands of the week, I was struggling between my old way of operating – performance oriented, self-sufficient, frantically rushing to meet deadlines — and God’s way – a more elegant flow that is thoughtful, intentional and efficient.

In the middle of my shame attack, I recognized a nudge.  I heard the words “Yes, you slip…but you catch it.” I paused for a moment to reflect.  I feel when things are off.  I really do try to tuck into God as a check point. The shame melted away.  I realized I had cause to celebrate! There had been a shift inside of me.  It had happened so subtly that it was not discernible to anyone watching.  The big shift was inside. It was in my heart.  My heart was searching for a better way.  There were now alerts that went off inside me when I began to toil and struggle.  That was my cue to check the rule book I was using.  A peace washed over me.  I am so thankful! I realized that God was pleased too. He knows my heart and my desires. I am the apple of His eye.

God, help me to be bold and courageous walking in Your ways.  Continue to nudge me as I grow and shift.  Thank you for the precious gift of the Holy Spirit as my comforter, guide and intercessor. Thank you for teaching me a new way! A kinder and gentler way of operating in You!

Proverbs 8:32, 23:26; Isaiah 55:8, Joshua 1:9, John 14:26

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Watch For His Works

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“Keep your eyes open for God, watch for his works;
be alert for signs of his presence.” Psalm 105:4 The Message

What are signs of God’s presence? It is a peace. A settling. A knowing. Sometimes it happens really quickly. It is not God’s intention for us to get bogged down in minutia.  Sometimes He just needs us to do our part and trust Him to orchestrate the rest.  We simply have to do as He asks.  His transactions are bigger, more grand and more elegant than anything we can do in our own power.  And of course a lot less stressful if we can learn to let go of our desire to control and manage outcomes.

Lord, I ask for Your help.  Do not let me overthink what You ask me to do.  Help me to simply listen and continue to move forward.  Help me to put one foot in front of the other. One day at a time.  Father, order my steps and help me to trust that You will order everything else.  You are King of Kings and Lord of Lords.  I am Yours, Father. I am Yours. I am Yours.

Psalm 105; Psalm 27

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If You’re All That…

if youre all that

15 “If you are so numerous,” Joshua answered, “and if the hill country of Ephraim is too small for you, go up into the forest and clear land for yourselves there in the land of the Perizzites and Rephaites.” Joshua 17:15 NIV

When I read the book of Joshua, it becomes clear that there is a time for all things. It’s key to be in God’s timing.  Throughout the book of Joshua there are tribes that readily took their lands and inheritance and those that did not.  There were those that drove current inhabitants completely out of their land to take full ownership and those that learned to live with them.

God had just brought incredible victories to them while Joshua diligently sought the Lord’s counsel and followed it to the letter.  Not everyone had the same heart to follow God’s direction to the letter.  Why?  I find it hard to believe….and then I realize the Israelites were more like me that I thought.

They were not perfect.  God loved them anyway. They made God angry sometimes.  God loved them anyway. They forgot about God.  God loved them anyway. They fell back into worldly patterns.  God loved them anyway. They faced consequences for their actions. God loved them anyway…

Just like He loves me.

Father, make me sensitive to Your timing in all things.  Align my heart so that I walk in Your timing and instruction according to Your will. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Exodus 33:5, Ezra 9:1, Luke 12:42-48

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He Always Delivers

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“10 For as rain and snow can’t go back once they’ve fallen, but soak into the ground and nourish the plants that grow, providing seed to the farmer and bread for the hungry, 11 So it is when I declare something. My word will go out and not return to Me empty, but it will do what I wanted; it will accomplish what I determined.” Isaiah 55:10-11 The Voice

When my niece was little she was afraid of storms, especially the thunder.  So when the thunder would start we used to tell her “Thunder makes the flowers grow.” It seemed to comfort her in that moment.  I think of that as I read this scripture. Sometimes we look at rain and snow as scary or a nuisance instead of the precious life-giving water that nourishes the earth.  God always delivers.

So then, what about my life?  Are there things around me that I view as a nuisance? Is there something making a lot of noise that I would like to just shut out?  Or are they necessary for me to receive the life-giving nourishment that God has for me?  It makes me realize that sometimes I have to step in a puddle to get to the Spring in my life.  Sometimes I have to put on my boots and wade through drifts of snow to get to the warmth of God’s love.  It’s all a part of the journey…and maybe helps me appreciate the destination even more.

Thank you Lord for always delivering.  You are always by my side.  Thank you for Your never ending love. Give me the patience and wisdom to complete the journey You have designed for me. I pray I see Your beauty along the way, appreciating every season.

2 Corinthians 9:9-11, Deuteronomy 31:6-8, Joshua 1:5

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Third Time is a Charm

third time is a charm

“28 Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.30 For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Matthew 11:28-30 NIV

I am learning that God does not want us to walk in fear. He wants us to have fun and enjoy life! It was not His intention for us to be hampered or burdened by putting too much stock in the things of this world.  He loves to watch us operate in our gifts and talents. That’s how he made us!

I have had concerns about old patterns at times.  Sometimes operating in a new way feels unfamiliar and awkward.  I can’t build new patterns without practice. So, I look at it as exercise.  I am simply practicing my faith in a new environment.  I have to trust God.  Let go of myself and any self-consciousness. I have to let go of perfection.  I know that He would rather I take a step and fall, trusting in Him, than stand in a corner in fear.

Father, give me the boldness, confidence, courage and wisdom to continually take another step closer to You.

John 6:37, 7:37-38

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No RSVP

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“So those who…are last will be first…, and those who…are first will be last…. For many are called, but few chosen.” Matthew 20:16 AMP

I have read this verse many times.  However, when I read this in the context of another verse it literally sent chills through me.  The second verse was this:

“23 Then the master said to the servant, Go out into the highways and hedges and urge and constrain [them] to yield and come in, so that my house may be filled. 24 For I tell you, not one of those who were invited shall taste my supper.” Luke 14:23-24 AMP

This made me stop and think.  I’m not the best at an RSVP to invitations. As a matter of fact, I have gradually fallen “off the list” so to speak.  There was a time that my social calendar was very full and it was a priority.  However, there was a shift for me.  It was not my intent to offend anyone.  It just slid down my list.  I still have coffee, lunch and dinner with intimates and associates on a less frequent basis.  My schedule has a much more leisurely pace these days….by design.

However, as I was thinking about this grand feast that was prepared as described in the scripture, the words that were bone-chilling to me were:

“…not one of those who were invited shall taste my supper.”

Have I ever not shown up for God?  Has He ever set a table for me and I made other priorities? I had to sit with that one a while.  A long while.  I’m still reeling a little.  What if in my hustle and bustle I never even looked at His invitation?  Or what if my calendar was so full of other priorities that His fell off my list?

As I step back, I realize that I have to reassess.  That is one invitation I do not want to neglect.  I also want to make sure that my relationships with others reflect His graciousness as well (i.e. treat others with respect and care).

Father, I repent for ever taking Your invitation for granted.  Help me treat You as my first priority.  Help me love others like You love me and treat them with respect and care.

Matthew 19:28-30, Matthew 7:13-14

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Dance with Me

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 “If anyone serves Me, he must continue to follow Me [to cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying] and wherever I am, there will My servant be also. If anyone serves Me, the Father will honor him.” John 12:26 AMP

I read this verse and had to ask myself the question “Am I serving Christ?” I have the sense that a big part of serving is letting go.  Letting go of everything that I hold dear. So what does that look like? I have to press in and really listen for God. I have to trust steadfastly. I have to be patient. I have to wait and not go charging down a path wasting energy and resources. I take time to delight in God, show my love and get to know Him. I picture God and I being like Ginger Rogers and Fred Astaire, nimble and fluid.  Our moves are seamless. We just flow.

Father, help me.  Show me what to do.  Search my heart. Show me how to dance with You.

Luke 6:46, John 13:16, 14:15, 15:20; Romans 14:18, Galatians 1:10

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