Go to God

passion

By: Dawn Ashley

Sometimes  we have long difficult  seasons to walk through in our lives.  Other  times it may just be a trial or situation we find ourselves  facing and we are struggling.  In these places, I know I often find myself looking for someone to  talk to. I have a longing for someone to  understand , to sympathize with me and to help me navigate the way.  My nature is to reach out to someone close to me, like my husband or a friend, and “process”.   God puts these people in our lives and I am sure we all will agree He can speak through them to provide us comfort and wisdom and to help guide us through some difficult times in our lives.  They come along side us and we feel we have someone there to hold on to and weather the storms of our life with purpose and direction.  There is nothing like that kind of prayer warrior in our lives and when we have our spouses and friends praying for us God can truly move mountains.  But what I want to challenge you with today is something the Lord has been showing me lately.

What about those other times?  Those times when we are not to “process” with or go to those people in our lives.  Simply put , sometimes we just need to go to God.  This can feel like a “lonely” place.  I mean after all God isn’t sitting in our living rooms. We can’t call Him up and ask Him to meet us for lunch. He isn’t walking around with skin on in our worlds right now.   Yet, I believe that some of our biggest breakthroughs will come in our lives when we push through these barriers, press into the spirit, and go directly to our God, our Creator, our Abba “Daddy” and crawl up in his lap and talk to Him directly.  Jesus Christ removed the barrier between us and God (that was there because our sin separated us from God). Jesus paid this penalty.  It is a privilege to come into His presence.  The Bible says:

Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.  (Hebrews 4:16).

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us” (1 John 5:14).

If you don’t know how to get started and it feels awkward, talk to God like you would that friend. Jesus disciples even asked the Lord to teach them how to pray (Luke 11:1).

God gets us more than anyone else,  even those that love us the most on this earth; after all He created us.  Think of it like this. For those of your who are parents out there.  What if you saw your child struggling, hurting or in need.  Would you want to help them?  How much more do you think our God‘s heart is for us?   What if your child was going to other people to help them and not to you, their parent who loves them unconditionally?  How would you feel?  Why do we think God would be hurt any less than we would?  Why do we do the same thing to our God?   He has the answer, the key, to whatever it is we need and He wants to give it to us! He wants that relationship with us. We are not a burden to Him.  He misses us when we aren’t spending time with Him, talking to Him, and listening to Him. Yes I said “listening” to Him. That’s the other challenge I have for us.  Let’s face it as women we know how to talk, to vent, to process, but what if  we spent as much time being still and just “listening” .  If we could just practice this with God I believe we will hear directly from His heart; from the throne room of Heaven.  Don’t you think that is where the greatest source of comfort lies; the kind of comfort  that can turn a heart of stone into flesh again?

I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh. (Ezekiel 36:26)

Don’t you think God himself is the one who would also impart to us the most divine wisdom, the type that  would make any of our crooked paths straight.

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight (Proverbs 3:5-6)

Honestly it isn’t always about our words, sometimes we just need to sit with our thoughts before the Lord, after all he sees our hearts and if we are honest aren’t there times where we just don’t’ have the words.  The Bible says:

the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express” (Romans 8:26).

Take this challenge with me my friends, next time we feel led to “process” with our husbands or call and “vent” to one of our friends, let’s take a minute to seek the Lord and see if He just wants us to come to Him.

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God is not Mad

Gods-not-mad-at-you

By: Tanya Staton, Prophetess

I have come to realize over time that nothing can separate me from God’s love. When we understand His grace and what Jesus really did for us, only then can we begin to understand God’s love. We beat ourselves up every time we fail. We condemn ourselves every time we sin. “Religious” teaching has caused us become more sin conscious then “God ” conscious. We can name more of our current and past sins then we can the promises of God. This has never been God’s plan for mankind.

For God so loved the world that He gave His only son and that whoever so believes in Jesus would have eternal life. (John 3:16)

We do not have a sin problem. We have a believing problem.  God did not make it hard for us to receive forgiveness. He just said for us to simply believe.  Sometimes I wonder why it is so hard to believe for myself. I have found it easier to believe for others then for me. How can we ever receive anything from God if we won’t believe what He says?  The Bible says that Jesus paid in full the penalty for our sins.

God reconciled us back to Himself. He is not mad at you or me. He is not disappointed. He is not pointing His finger or shaking His head. He does not remind us of our failures or weaknesses. I have never heard him yell at me or falsely accuse me.  In fact, He has never said or done anything to make me feel unworthy of His love.  He gave His son because He loves me. He blesses me because He loves me. He heals me and sends miracles my way because He loves me. He comforts me because He loves me. He gives His angels charge over me because He loves me. He watches over all that concerns me because He loves me. What did I ever do to deserve this kind of love?  I believed! And by believing I received His grace. What is His grace? It is His unmerited favor. In other words there is nothing we could ever do to deserve His love and all that He has given us. We are so favored by God.  His love for us is completely unconditional, and to me that is Good News. After all, all you have to do is believe!

 

Growing Through The Difficult Moments in Life

rdddBy: Roslyn Maglione

Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 5:16-18)

There are days when I just do not feel like rejoicing, praying, or giving thanks.  I might be discouraged at work, feel overwhelmed as a parent, have a disagreement with my husband, or be down on myself about my exercise or eating habits.  I become selfish in my own problems and would rather wallow in my self-pity than to think about how I ended up in the situation to begin with and how my own actions played a part in it.  It is hard to take a deep breath and know in your heart that God is using those difficult moments. Often in these hard times I have found God is actually doing a work in me and if I embrace these moments rather than fight them I grow through them.

Over time I have realized that when I pray about any situation, before or while I am right in the middle of it, the circumstances always have a more positive outcome. Prayer changes things because we invite God in to our situation. God’s love, guidance, and support changes our perspective and gives us the wisdom and discernment we need to either change the situation we are in, or know how to navigate through it.  God may not make our circumstances go away, but He will always get us through them and if we embrace Him as he guides us we will be better and stronger for it.

I have also noticed that when I am positive and choose to “rejoice and give thanks” it not only increases my joy in the good times, but it also lessens the sting during the hard times.  It is also contagious!  People around you begin to see no matter what problems you may be facing that you are smiling and able to deal with these difficulties that come your way.  You will be asked, “how you do it?” and this my friends opens the beautiful door where you and I get to talk about our Lord and Savior and how a relationship with Jesus changes everything.

Let them give thanks to the Lord for His unfailing love and His wonderful deeds for mankind.

(Psalms 107:21)

1 John 3:18

katie1

By: Katie Stallings

This is the verse God has me wrestling and sitting with today.  I am digging deep in my heart and asking the Lord to reveal why I am in a blah, lazy, non-motivated funk.  This feeling has been rising up all summer and I have been staring at it with frustration, anger and confusion. Life consists of days that turn into weeks, that turn into months and then end up in years where I am constantly reflecting on whether or not I am impacting the world around me.  Every couple years I ask God for a “big” assignment, an assignment that requires me to truly depend on and trust Him to miraculously work “everything” in my life out for good, an assignment where I would see lives impacted.  These assignments require great trust, but I know it is in my obedience to God in these assignments that my faith and testimony of His faithfulness grow.  Don’t get me wrong, I do see Him in all the “little” things (my children, simple God moments throughout the day, unexpected blessings, etc.), but there is a deep longing in me to ask Him to call me to something “big” and outside my comfort zone.  One of my favorite songs is Oceans (Where Feet May Fail) by Hillsong United.

Oceans (My Feet may Fail) Hillsong United

So as I wrestled with the verse below, I began to clearly hear His heart.

Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth. (1 John 3:18)

 

He was not giving me a “big” assignment or requiring a “big” decision or even requiring  me to make a life altering choice.  What God was requiring of me however, I quickly  realized deep down , was going to be  tough.  This is not what I expected.  This assignment He was giving me would require me to truly surrender my heart, pain, memories, fears and pride.

God is calling me to run to people, not hide or walk away.  This requires me to lay down my hurts, preconceived notions, opinions and deeply ingrained beliefs, attitudes and actions. I will need to look at life with a new perspective; His perspective, His heart, His forgiveness, His grace and His mercy. Can I sit with someone who has hurt me or my family and truly offer forgiveness and love them?   Can I love the unlovable, difficult people?  Can I give my time and heart away without needing anything in return?  Can I look at people and not their sin?  Can I walk in love and not judgment? What does loving in action and truth look like?

This is what the Lord showed me:

  1. Love your students (I am a teacher) well this year because I placed them there for a reason.
  2. Love those who have hurt you because love conquers fear, death and pain.
  3. Wake up every day with the sole purpose of seeing people who need Me and show them Me through your actions.
  4. Remember to trust Me every day in the good, bad and unknown. I will work it all out for your good.
  5. Appreciate and respect people’s journeys, stories, opinions and learn from them, not judge them.

 

So my challenge for you is this.  As you sit with the Lord in your quiet moments, ask Him to show you how to love in action and truth.  Ultimately He will give you the strength and wisdom to love when it is not in your own power to do so. This my friends is how we impact and change our world.

Let Go and Let God

let go

By:  Tina Coble

The troubles and struggles in our life can really weigh us down. They can cause us to walk in fear and doubt and cripple our faith if we are not careful.  We all react different when a good day turns bad.  For me, the first reaction was to take control. I would go to any measure to try to fix the problem by seeking advice, researching the problem, etc. I would find myself worrying about the issue continuously. Then one day, the Lord spoke to me and said “ Are you ready to let go?”  When I heard these words I was a little confused.  I thought of course I am.  I was being tormented by worry and was making a lousy God. So I made an intentional decision in that moment to let the problem I was struggling with go; to truly let go and let God.  I knew the truth. I knew God was able.  I will be honest though, it wasn’t easy.  It took everything in me to let go.  My flesh wanted to keep control. It went against all my worldly teachings.  I was always told, “be responsible, take control of yourself and your troubles don’t let them control you.”  I thought to let go and not take care of it myself meant I was a failure. That I failed.  I didn’t want to fail myself or God. So I was trying in my own strength to handle things.  I was believing the world and not what Gods’ Word says.

 

Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Rom 12:2 NIV)

 

I had to align my thinking with Gods’ truth. I wasn’t a failure in letting go. I was trusting God and his Word.  Letting go and trusting God with my struggles wasn’t easy though. It was hard, but we serve an amazingly patient God. God was such a gentleman, He did not come and take away what I was holding on to so tightly. He asked me if I was ready and then waited patiently.  I let it go, and picked it back up a few times. God never got frustrated with me. Then one day I was able to fully let it go to Him.  For me this meant speaking out loud over and over again until my flesh began to align with the Spirit of God within me.  I confessed to God my shortcomings and my struggles and admitted I could not fix my problems. When my mind truly began to be renewed I was able to test and see that God’s will is truly good, pleasing and perfect.  I began to trust my God in such a real way.  I admitted I couldn’t fix this.  He was the only one who could. I truly surrendered not only my problem but the outcome to God. I prayed not my will but yours be done God.  The more I spoke this truth out loud, the more pressure was released from my mind. It was so freeing.  The reality was the enemy had me so deceived. God could do so much more with my troubles then I could. In this moment of surrender I realized the Lord God can do more in one second than I could have done in a life time.

 

Now I am not saying I don’t pick up the reigns sometimes in life when troubles come, but I am more aware then ever of the power of letting go and letting God.  I continue to pray and trust God every day and in doing so I walk in a greater fullness and in His strength not my own.  In surrender you learn true faith and trust. When we let go and let God we get to see God paint a beautiful tapestry – our very life – painted in a way only God could, displaying a beauty only God could create.  We come to the realization that God really can work all things for His God.

 

And we know that all that happens to us is working for our good if we love God and are fitting into His plans. (Rom 8:28)

 

Are you struggling with something today?  Are you trying to handle things in your own strength? If so I encourage you from someone who has been where you are… to Let Go….Let God?

 

Let Him have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you (1 Peter 5:7)

 

My prayer for you:

Dear Jesus,

Thank you for hearing our prayers. Forgive us for trying to control our lives and for not trusting you with our struggles. Help us Father have the strength and the faith to choose each day when the struggles and worries of this life come to truly let go and give you control. We want to follow you and we want your will to be done.  Help us to realize that when you close one door in our lives, you always open another. Lord, help us trust you and to follow the path you choose for our lives. Replace our worry with faith.  Help us to live a life of gratitude to you.  Our desire is to walk in the hope of tomorrow and know that you hold each day of our lives in your hands. Amen