Tuesday, August 12, 2014

The Perfect Today

So I've been reading this book. The Cure for the "Perfect" Life. There's a huge amount of information in it! It is so very relevant to me and my life. Some lessons I've learned and practice. Some lessons I've learned and needed a reminder of. Some new lessons that are a nudge to deeper greater growth. It's rich beyond many books I've read. And practical. It doesn't give you a bunch of information and leave you wondering what to do with it. It gives you lots of ideas to implement and steps to take to both bless your journey and grow deeper in your relationship with the Lord.

I highly recommend it.

I'd also like to share just a sampling of how God's used it with me this morning. My book has been sitting on the shelf for a week or more, unfinished. I had a few things to take care of (writing deadlines, laundry, procrastination...). Last night I decided to finish those last three chapters. And I did. (Yay!) In one of them, Cheri or Kathi included a quote from a devotion in Sarah Young's Jesus Calling. This morning I got up and as part of my quiet time read today's devotion (something I do regularly, but not every day). Imagine my surprise when I read the exact devotion quoted in the chapter I read just last night! And with that, God reminded me that: 
His timing is always perfect and He is in all the details

Once again, He reinforced what I already know: my job is to trust in, rely on, cling to, and obey Him. If I simply seek His face and follow His guidance, He will lead me perfectly. I don't have to be perfect. There's a lot going on in my world at the moment that's up in the air (waiting for a lot of answers that will come in the next week and month that could change SO much in my life!), but today, all I have to do is rest in His love and let that overflow in my obedience. 

Praising Him that today I don't have to stress about a single thing. I do have work to do, but He will strengthen me for everything He's called me to do. What a great way to start the day. Now to start every day from here on out like this...

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Be Alert!

Humble yourselves, therefore, under the mighty hand of God, so that He may exalt you at the proper time, casting all your care on Him, because He cares about you. Be serious! Be alert! Your adversary the Devil is prowling around like a roaring lion, looking for anyone he can devour. Resist him and be firm in the faith, knowing that the same sufferings are being experienced by your fellow believers throughout the world. 1 Peter 6-9
This short passage of scripture, like so many, has such richness in it, it would be impossible to unpack it in a few hundred words. But I didn't have the heart to break it up. It all is important to the battles we face on a regular basis.
I'm not sure what your battle is. I could spend this whole space sharing what my battles are. Instead, however, I'd rather focus on the tools and answers to our battles.
The first is humbleness. While some people seem to come with humility, not thinking more of themselves than others, this scripture tells us that being humble is a choice. That when we purposefully recognize who God is and don't strive to exalt ourselves, we become humble and God can do more with us. This goes completely against our nature! And our culture, which tells us constantly to focus on ourselves, build ourselves up, and shout our accomplishments from the nearest mountaintop. Humbleness allows us to see ourselves as we are, which helps us to remember to rely on, trust in, and depend on God. We (at least I) will always let ourselves down. God never tires and never wears out. He always has our good in mind and the power to bring about what is best. And this, to me, is a release of responsibility of making things go the right way that I never should have had to begin with and allows me to cast my cares on Him, instead of carrying them and trying to work them out on my own.
Why is this important? Because it allows me to be in the place I'm meant to be. It also allows me to be alert to the devil's schemes. He is cunning and, unfortunately, knows me well. I allow him to. I announce my weaknesses and failings - if not with my words, then with my actions. He knows when I give in, give up, and give out. And that means he knows just where to attack. So that when I fail, I think less of myself than I ought. This is just as dangerous as thinking too highly of myself. If God loved me enough to send His one and only son to die for my sins - my failings, mistakes, and selfishness - then I must recognize myself as loved and valued by the Lord and Creator of the universe. And He has given me what I need to be successful in my battles. He's done His part, and I'm to do mine. This verse is just part of it, but a vital part. I must stay aware of my adversary, actively resist him, and stay strong in my relationship with the Lord. 
Then I will be #victorious - in, for, and through Him!