As I approach today’s entry I pause. I usually don’t do this. The message is waiting to be written. Actually, today’s message is also waiting to be written. I just don’t like being truthful about it. There are some circumstances which have been troubling me and I find myself questioning God, me and anything else which might have influence . Yet, God keeps coming back each morning to the same message–the one I wrote yesterday–BELIEVE.
As I was reading my scripture this morning I read where David moves his 600 men into Philistine country to keep Saul from pursuing him. He lies to the Philistine king about his actions while living in his territory. There is a footnote I hadn’t read until today about this. When I did read it, it states that David was going through a difficult time. God had promised him he’d be king and God would establish his kingdom. Yet, all David experienced was Saul’s ongoing efforts to kill and destroy him. David was getting discouraged and went into Philistine territory and lied. His physical actions were disheartening, yet his heart was still wanting to pursue/honor/believe God.
Right now God is telling me to believe. He is God in all circumstances involving our world in spite of the evil connected to so much of it. He uses man’s choices to remind man that He is God and He is available by just turning to Him. This reminder is one I often need. It is saddening to me that God tells me this yesterday and by last evening I had totally lost the message! Today, God reminds me again and I repent for my short-term memory. God is always Good and always GOD.
Yesterday was a quite the day. I was able to get a trampoline replacing the one we’ve had (on craigslist), completed some grandkid chores, got about 2.5 gals of raspberries picked, had a visit from one of the grandkids, went with friends to a live, outdoor theater production and finally got to bed by 12:30 am. In the midst of yesterday I had some news which was so troubling to me. It dominated all the joy of the day. This morning as I brought it to God He seemed quiet for the moment. When I got to the end of my journaling time and asked my question, “What do you want me to believe from You for today?” His response was immediate, “Believe in the Lord Jesus, and you will be saved–you and your household.” Acts 16: 31.
The first word of the scripture is BELIEVE. Once again God was reminding me to not “do” but BELIEVE. Believing is such a powerful word when it is coming from God and His Word. I never want to question it, yet I find myself in my own humanness questioning it all the time. I love the fact God gives me reminders so I can quickly get regrounded in His Truths. He is THE AMAZING GOD!
Today I sit for a minute and ponder the goodness of God. I taught last night for Celebrate Recovery. The lesson was Daily Inventory. It is all about journaling. There were probably 30+ people there and it appeared only one of them journals regularly besides myself. I realize this is a difficult habit to develop, but it is such a critical one. It is through this process I have come to know and then believe so much about God, Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit. Until this starts to take place, a person attempting to journal simply calls it a difficult task. However, this is where faith enters the picture. If one has enough faith to simply start the process, one will begin to grow in their understanding of its importance. It has so much to do with growing in our spiritual walk with God. I think this is one of the difficulties. Satan, being spirit himself, keeps us believing this is just a “stupid chore” only required by CR. You can easily live in whatever freedom you have and get by just fine. He really is a master of deceit.
God is so good. This morning when I asked Him what He wanted me to believe for today the words of the song, “It is Well” immediately came to mind. “My sin, oh the bliss, of this glorious thought. My sin, not in part, but the whole is nailed to the Cross and I bear it no more! Praise the Lord, Praise the Lord, oh my soul!” The weight of sin is so ugly and I have known it so well. These words just make me tear up knowing the sacrifice Christ Jesus did for me–you and me. Having the weight gone is simply amazing. Praise the Lord–oh my soul!
This morning’s Bible reading in I Samuel was in part about David’s killing Goliath, the Palestinian giant. I found it interesting that Joyce Meyer writes an insert for this regarding David’s age and size. It isn’t so much that David was young and still not full in stature, but it was about his oldest brother ridiculing him for his belief. David’s brother saw David’s belief as arrogance rather than confidence. This really struck a cord in me but it took some processing to understand why. One of my father’s cruelest behaviors I’ve thought was his critical comments when you did something well. He would use the word arrogant and I would do everything I could to be meek and lowly so I’d never appear that way. Only of late do I understand that dad’s comments were more about him than they were me.
As I was journaling after my Bible reading I asked God what He wanted me to believe from Him today? His response was immediate: “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shall be saved.” Acts 16:31. My first instinct was that this was an odd thing. I’ve believed I’m saved and haven’t struggled with it. However, as I pondered it in spirit I found myself broadening the term saved to being much more than simply being saved from eternal damnation. Jesus Christ is the One who has saved us from each and every evil attack Satan wants us to experience. However, I’ve never thought this through until this morning. I’ve been told I do things with confidence many times. I don’t intend to appear this way, it just is me. However, when I do hear this I quickly question myself thinking I’m arrogant. This morning I better understand that God is wanting me to believe that Christ’s Work on the Cross saving us is also saving us from daily attacks which cripple us or sometimes paralyze us from fulfilling a nudge The Holy Spirit gives us. Believing doesn’t lead to arrogance, but it surely does lead to confidence.
I never want to be arrogant or to even appear this way. However, I do want to be confident, not in me, but in the fact Christ can use me and does use me and He has already defeated the enemy!
The journey of living for God each and every day, obeying His nudges from His Holy Spirit, is turning into a lifetime event. I know this is suppose to be the case, but the actuality of learning to live this way is much more remarkable than I’d ever dreamed. Yesterday’s unknowns turned into genuine clarity as the day went on. I received phone calls from two of the people I needed to hear from and last night’s meeting went smoothly. I had an appointment for Kathy’s car in the morning giving me over two hours to read which I did in the book I’m working through: The Spiritual Man by Watchman Nee. I had lunch with one of our pastors and talked at length about what I’m experiencing from this. I don’t have a partner reading this also so I can process with them. However, God seems to want me doing this processing with Him at the present. It is a book which makes me so hungry to be the man God created me to be.
I am finding that believing, where God has me focused at the present, is a key element in living as the new creation God made us to be through the work of His Son’s sacrifice for each of us. Believing all day long in every situation is a huge learn for me–just learning to stay awake to this truth/reality is a huge ongoing lesson. Joyce Meyers said in one of her excerpts that people who have been abused over years in their childhood make up their mind to never let another “lord over them” as they get into adulthood. Boy, was she right there. I can’t tell you how many times I made that commitment to myself while growing up. Today I recognize how this mindset actually cripples The Holy Spirit’s freedom within me. I am first learning to let Him “lord over me” as God wanted all along. I’m sure grateful that one of God’s great characteristics is PATIENCE. I love Him and His Team: Jesus Christ and The Holy Spirit.
Today seems to have a large amount of unknowns in it. Tonight I’m to meet with our Restoration Ministry Team however half of them can’t be there. There are a couple other major items needing to be addressed and I can’t see how to do it. I brought them into Light this morning as I was journaling. I had just finished reading in I Samuel where Saul went ahead and conducted the sacrifice to God without Samuel’s presence. He was swayed by the people’s attitudes to act. Samuel scolded him for this when he did arrive and told him God would jerk the kingdom from his family’s name due to his actions.
When I brought the troubling items to God in my journaling I could not see how to take next steps with them. It was then God showed me that my steps are to be taken not by a timeline, but by His leading. I am not to take matters into my hands just because a date has been set. If He is God in my life I will learn to take steps as He shows them and the readiness for them. I am not to be swayed by the attitude of people, but by the readiness of God’s Work.
I was trying to find how I was to thank God as I had begun to journal today knowing I am to thank God in all things. Well, when God reminded me that He is God and I am to listen to His Voice and watch for His readiness steps I could easily thank Him. God is so AMAZING!
Today I believe. As I was journaling this morning I wrote all the things which are troubling me, confusing me, or simply needing to be addressed. When I was finally done I was nudged to thank God for all of them and to then turn them over to Him praising Him for taking care of each one. When I had finished this He reminded me that I’m a believer and to now believe it will take place for He is God Almighty! The other thing God was helping me see was to not limit how big or mighty His Work is to be when I’m involved in it. He says that all He does is Miraculous. When man limits what God does by putting his own boundaries around it–his own beliefs about it, it then looks like man and not God’s miraculous Hands at work. These are all things I’ve known, now God wants me believing them in what I say and do.
Yesterday our quartet sang twice, in the morning for our church’s first service and then last night for an assisted living place. One of the quartet members told me he was feeling overwhelmed with a lack of security. I told him I’ve lived with this all my life so I know this sense very well. I shared what I’d heard a few days back about stomping on “the serpent’s head” knowing it is Satan’s head when he tries to impede our beliefs. As this member started to sing a solo in a number we were doing I was smashing the serpent’s head in my mind and with my shoe. God told me to stop dwelling on Satan. We were here to rejoice in Him and help others worship Him. He didn’t want me focusing on the negative but now was the time to rejoice with Him in the song we were singing. Here I was thinking I was helping my buddy when in reality God wanted me celebrating Him. I quickly let God take care of Satan and shifted my focus back onto our Almighty God! He is truly AMAZING!
For several reasons of late I’ve needed to do some intense reflecting. God is wanting to awaken me to a much greater belief in Him. If I am going to live completely committed to Him, I must believe fully in all He does and all He is. I have prayed so often for others putting my own wishes in the prayer instead of praying for others fully believing God’s Grace & Mercy are far better for anyone than my wishes. God is helping me believe Him and to believe fully in all He is. He is the Only God I ever want to serve!
Today I BELIEVE! Today as I journaled to God, instead of asking Him what He wants me to know from Him, I asked, “What do You want me to believe from You?” I have lived a lifetime knowing much, very much about God, Jesus and have learned much about The Holy Spirit. Believing it, even though I say I believe it, actions don’t always show my belief. Thus, I know but I don’t always believe.
There are things in life right now which I have no control over. I can step into them and do things which can lend help, but they are out of my control for I am not God. However, what I have been learning, especially yesterday, is that if I live by knowing only, I will stay in the midst of worry, anxiety, frustration, fear and repeat them over and over. It is when I step into BELIEVING that the burden/weight of sin is lifted.
God is answering prayer all around me. I believe this because I don’t have to see all that God is doing to know He is doing this. I believe! Did you know that eternal life doesn’t begin at the point of our physical death? It actually begins at the point of salvation when we asked Christ into our heart. From that point forward we are given eternal life. However, the freedom from sin or the temptation of it, doesn’t begin until our flesh is dead. Freedom of the bondage from sin can, however, start here on earth and it does this not by what we know, but by what we believe. The new creation God has made us to be upon our point of salvation starts when I finally believe I am a new creation and it starts for you when you believe. I asked God this morning to answer my plea of Mark 9:24: “I believe; help me overcome my unbelief!” I don’t want any longer to live by knowing, I want to live by believing.
Summer is officially here! Today we have sunshine for the longest day of 2019. I glad for this.
All of the things I was concerned (worried) about a couple days ago have been taken care of. Not that worrying did anything to help it. I’m not sure if worry is the right word when it is the motivation or focus for me to get something done needing completed. It makes me anxious to have details left unattended. I’ll have to ponder that a little more.
What I do worry about that fits me are all the things going on around me which are in the hands of someone else and the choices they are making. How I wish we could have a greater influence on someone’s choices when we see the outcomes and they don’t. Satan is having a hay day and I get to watch. As I was bringing all of this to God this morning He reminded me of a single but powerful word–BELIEVE. “Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and thou shalt be saved.” Acts 16:31. In fact, the verse completes itself, “you and your household”. As I was journaling God was reminding me just how powerful He and HIS Household is. Through Jesus Christ, death (sin’s consequence) has been conquered. The things that bring us to the point of surrender aren’t in our hands for someone else. I have to keep reminding myself of this. I want to make the road smoother for those I love. Yet, I know it is the bumps in the road which refocus us to God.
I use to think that when I became a “new creation” all these issues of life would disappear. WRONG. What I am finding is that a new creation knows not to own these problems. Pray for them and give them to THE ALMIGHTY GOD and let HIS HOUSEHOLD have His way. Only then can our household become part of GOD’s Household. This is my lesson for today.