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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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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Practice

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“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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Radiance

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“3 The Son is the radiance of God’s glory and the exact representation of his being, sustaining all things by his powerful word. After he had provided purification for sins, he sat down at the right hand of the Majesty in heaven. So he became as much superior to the angels as the name he has inherited is superior to theirs.” Hebrews 1:3-4 NIV

The word radiance creates such an incredible image in my mind.  There is a brilliance and effervescence to it that warms me from the inside out and makes me smile.  It also humbles me.  Jesus is the brilliance of God’s glory.  And to think that we are created in God’s image.  Blows my mind. That is a very scary thing for Satan.  Any way that he can keep us from walking in the “radiance of God’s glory” he will do it.

Knowing who we are in Christ, knowing the power and authority that we have over Satan keeps him from robbing us of our radiance. God’s radiance loves everyone. It doesn’t need a label.  We don’t need schematics to get it right. All we have to do is live like Jesus. He is our example. Don’t get hung up on theory.  Just stay in God’s word and look at the example that He gave us.  Spend time getting to know the miraculous God that created us in His magnificent image.  We are wonderfully and beautifully made!  He says so. Then He sent His Son to die for us to ensure that He could always be with us every step of the way…if we let Him.

Father help me to love others with Your heart. Help me hold firmly to my identity in You. Help me be a radiant reflection of You.

John 1:14, John 14:9-21, Colossians 1:15-20

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Tough Love

tough love2

“For with you is the fountain of life; in your light we see light.” Psalm 36:9 NIV

When I feel like I don’t know anything, God is the one thing that is true and constant.  Even during seasons of my life when I know there is a stripping going on of everything that is familiar to me – seasons of change. During those times it is critical for me to seek the Presence of God.  Stay in His life-giving love light.

We are made in God’s image.  He is not a sissy.  Jesus was God’s human image here on earth.  He was not a sissy.  Why do we think that as Christians we are off the hook?  We can’t be sissies either.  So here’s a new twist on God’s love.  God’s love is so pure that it is like acid.  It will literally melt away darkness.  For a visual, I sometimes go to that scene in the Wizard of Oz when the witch is melting from the bucket of water that was thrown on her.  Picture God’s love as Living Water.  It will not tolerate prejudice, injustice, mockery, spite, judging or comparison.  That is how powerful God’s love is.  It melts the darkness away.

As I yearn to love like God, it’s encouraging to know the power that brings.  It brings light into the darkness like nothing else can.  Now that my friend is tough love!

Lord, teach me to more fully appreciate Your power and might.

1 Peter 5:6-7, 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18, 2 Chronicles 6:14-42

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Be Strong And Courageous!

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“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9 NIV

Sometimes I forget who I am.  I become discouraged.  I get anxious.  I start to worry.  But God always reminds me that He is the Lord God Almighty!  He encourages me.  I have learned to know His voice by His encouraging tone.  It becomes a guide.  When things become confusing and I have that rushing sensation to do this or that, I pause.  I stop doing the tasks that are working me into a frenzy.  I simply pause and rest for a moment.  In that moment, I check in with my heart.  Is my heart in the right place?  Why am I in such a frenzy?  If I pull up a level, why is it so important?  As I begin to sort through the busyness I can sometimes hear a still small voice that provides additional insight.  It removes the fear.  It removes the discouragement.  It strengthens me and gives me courage to go forward in a different way.

Lord, thank you for reminding me who I am in You. Thank you for infusing me with Your strength that gives me courage to continue to move forward one step at a time with You!

Isaiah 30:18, Lamentations 3:25-26, Matthew 14:27, Hebrews 3:6

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Bigger Is Better

“4 Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding,  will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you.” Philippians 4:4-8

This reminds me of the lyrics from “Our God” by Chris Tomlin:

“Our God is greater, our God is stronger; God, You are higher than any other

Our God is Healer, awesome in power…

And if Our God is for us, then who could ever stop us

And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?”

Father, thank you for always being on my side and for Your constant protection! What an Awesome God You are!

Deuteronomy 7:21, 10:21; Revelation 19:6

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