Monday, November 23, 2009

Promises of God?

“The Lord is faithful to all His promises and loving toward all He has made.” – Ps. 145:13

This passage has led me into a whirlwind of questions. How do we know what the promises of God are? How do we know we’re able to gain these promises? What are the promises of God, Biblically speaking?

As I started my research, I found that the promises of God are all over in scripture:

1. Jer. 33:3 – God will answer us when we call to Him
2. John 14:14 - Ask and receive – if we ask in the name of Jesus
3. Matt. 6:33 – seek 1st His kingdom and all these things will be added to you (blessing!)
4. Phil. 4:6-7 – answers our prayers with peace
5. Ps. 32:8 – God instructs us and leads us to the way we need to go
6. Rom 8:28 – God works everything for the GOOD of those who love Him
7. Ps. 46:1 – God is our comfort and help in trouble
8. Is. 40:29 – gives us strength and courage
9. Ecc. 5:19 – Blessings from God – that we may be able to enjoy success and life
10. Jer. 29:11 – Has a plan for us of a hope and a future – not of harm

And these promises are only the beginning. God's Word is FULL of His promises and His blessings that He pours out on those who love Him. God has a Plan in any and every situation that we face throughout life. So how do we trust the promises of God? How do we get to the level of faith of truly, willingly, unrelentlessly Trusting the Lord’s promises that He lays on our hearts? Constant and everyday communication with Him - hiding His words, His Truth, His promises in our hearts, so that when the difficult times of life come knocking, we have the fuel and the strength to face any obstacle that comes our way.

The only issue is that often within the difficulties of life we're faced with an overwhelming fear that nearly paralyzes us from acting -but what we must do in these circumstances is come straight to the Throne of Grace, seeking His guidance in the midst of the darkest hours. Easier said than done? Always... but the diligence of seeking relationship with the One and Only always pays off in blessings, comfort, and strength. It's worth it... that's all I can say.

Start asking for God to show the promises He has for your life to you... and start allowing yourself to live out these promises, so that you may live to the full potential of life here on earth. Risk, Dream, Do - more! WOOT! :-)

Monday, November 16, 2009

Prayerful with what you ask for

Over the past few months, I’ve been in somewhat of a whirlwind. Looking at my life now and assessing what exactly it is that I want my life to be, or more specifically, what God wants my life to be. For 24 years, I’ve lived by the expectations of the world around me: go to school, go to more school, get a job, pay the bills, get a place of your own, and that’s life. However, I’ve come to realize that life is so much more than the everyday expectations that people lay on us.

I’ve come to the foot of the cross over the past while, asking for guidance, for direction, for increased hope, and for a future filled with God’s desires becoming my own. The prayers went from, “let me have this or that Lord.” to, “may your desires become my desires." And soon enough, I found myself praying some pretty huge prayers, that take faith beyond my own ability to trust to come about in the perfect time. It was when I started asking the big things, the deepest desires of my soul, and the true feelings of where I’m at in life, that God answered. One such prayer has been for no distractions to get in my life/my way along the path He has me going down. And you know what? I get little distractions along the way… but He’s been faithful to my prayer.

The sad part is that this particular prayer is one of those most difficult to ask for. One of those prayers that means personal sacrifice for God’s incredible paradise. A period in my life where dependence on the One is the only way I’ll get through it. And the funny thing is - He’s there. He’s in the middle of it. He’s walking the struggle with me, even when I can’t seem to track Him down. He’s standing beside me. He’s prompting my steps, speaking to my spirit, guiding every step. Even though this is one of the most difficult times in my life, I wouldn’t trade it for the world. It’s a beautiful time of life that I’m finding the direction I’ve sought for years. It’s in this time that I’m gaining the courage to step out and “go into the land I have called you”. It’s in this time that I’m being refined into the person I’ve been called to be.

So I leave you with this: Instead of being careful what you ask for, why not start being prayerful about it? Why not start risking a bit, asking for those things that are deeply planted in your soul, but you’re too afraid to ask for? Even though they may be difficult things for you, they may be the very things you NEED to ask Him for; the items in your life that are preventing you from living to your full potential. You know what they are, now all you have to do is start asking so that you may receive the abundant blessing of the Presence of God. Because He shows up everytime, with an answer - it's just up to us how we'll respond to it.

Friday, November 13, 2009

Emotions - good or bad?

“Anxiety does not necessarily mean you’re making the wrong decision.” = Thomas Osborne at Kiros on 11-13-09.

So often, we think with our emotions instead of our heads. And as Christians, we often fall into the trap of allowing our emotions to somehow be “God speaking” to us. When in reality, our emotions are what often hold us back from the full potential and Will of God. The feeling of fear or anxiety paralyzes us from taking action, even when it is vital to our own destiny. The overwhelming emotion of love drives us into relationships/friendships with people who may be more toxic than good. The feeling of excitement or happiness sometimes drives us to make unrealistic and unwise decisions.

Emotional based reasoning is not the way that God intended us to think. He gave us a mind to reason and take action with, and to some He gives a “sense” of peace or a “burden” when it comes to certain decision in life. Others feel that He “opens one door, while closing another”. And even more feel that the Lord speaks directly into their lives through His word or through the “still small voice”. What we ought to be doing instead of trusting our emotions to make the right decisions for us, is listening intently and looking for the way in which God directs our paths. As it says in Rom. 12:1-2, “1-2 So here's what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering. Embracing what God does for you is the best thing you can do for him. Don't become so well-adjusted to your culture that you fit into it without even thinking. Instead, fix your attention on God. You'll be changed from the inside out. Readily recognize what he wants from you, and quickly respond to it. Unlike the culture around you, always dragging you down to its level of immaturity, God brings the best out of you, develops well-formed maturity in you.” We are to be fixing our attention on God when it comes to big decisions and life altering choices.

I especially love the section in Romans 12:2 that says, “Readily recognize what He wants from you, and quickly respond to it.” How often do we get a vision of what we’re meant to do and quickly forget about the promise of God to walk us through any trial we face in life? After discussing this issue with a few friends, I’ve found one of the best ways to keep your heart and mind focused/reminded of what He wants from us is to journal. Write it down people – that way we can go back and reference what we heard/learned/etc, so that if it’s a task that takes months or years to complete, we keep our focus and eye on the end goal.

It’s also vitally important to have a group of friends or family members that can sort through things with you. Someone we can be blatently honest with, and can ask us the tough questions like, “what’s holding you back from going after this desire?” or “what do you need me to do to help you meet that goal?”. Having encouragement, wise counsel, and support in the life changes. And it certainly is a good idea to have someone around to get your head out of the emotional cloud that so often fogs our judgment and understanding of God’s perfect and pleasing will for our lives.

I’ll leave you with this verse that should really become a life motto for us all, found in Phil. 4 “Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, 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”