To Know

It can be easy to get caught up in life and feel the need to know everything. Somehow we tend to elevate ourselves on dangerously higher pedestals within our own minds to meet these grand expectations of knowing how to live life without flaw. At least for me personally I have had to ask the Lord for forgiveness for this way of living because this expectation of myself and the pride behind thinking I know how to meet all of what life brings within my own strength, separates me from Him. I become free and less weighted down when I can say, “I do not know how to do this. Can you help guide me?”

There is so much beauty in humility.

“To know” the ins and outs of life often comes with acknowledging that we are not the experts. We must come and ask God for strength and wisdom. Too many times we believe the lie that we have to know all the answers and know how to do all the things. It is not a bad thing to not know. In fact, not knowing is the perfect set up to know God. As we allow Him into everything we do in life, we can rest assured that He knows and we do not. A load can be lifted off of our shoulders.

If you are struggling to know how to parent, love your spouse, work, and navigate these crazy times full of masks and heated opinions, you are perfectly set up for a great victory. Because God knows and understands our weaknesses He is ready and waiting to help.

Humble living invites His loving support and strong yet gentle hands to guide us. If you feel frazzled today, you are in the perfect position for God to come and bring peace. It is okay to not know and it is okay to not feel okay. God knows and Has the best solutions.

He is ready and waiting. Are you?

Your Suffering Is Over

“You’re suffering is over” (Mark 5:34 NLT)

What would you do to hear those words?

That phrase stood out to me during my daily Bible reading. It penetrated my soul. None of us are immune to pain and suffering. Most of us would have a story to tell. Many of us hide the pain and suffering we are currently enduring. We have become good at cramming it deep inside while we force a smile and tell people we are doing “fine”.

I have become fed up with suffering! I am tired of it. I am tired of seeing it in those I love. I want to confront it. I want to destroy it.

My heart cries for justice!

How would your life change if you believed God could and would end your suffering and the suffering of those you love?

If your answer is still, “He wouldn’t do that for me” then I want to challenge you. What is it that is making you believe he won’t do it? The God I know loves you so much that it is not in his nature to not love. God sent Jesus to end your suffering. He took your suffering. He defeated your suffering.

Yes, there are a lot of things that occur that are unjust and cause our hearts to be ripped in two… but God! But God is for you. He is willing to stop everything like he did in that crowd and recognize your hand reaching out to touch the hem of his garment. He is willing to heal everything that has caused your suffering. He is willing to confront injustice. He slows down, even stops and joins you today when you welcome him.

But you may ask, “why have I had to suffer” or “why have I not seen justice yet”? The answer to these questions are complex and often include an interweaving of many things. Unfortunately our world is full of corruption, and sin causes a rippling affect on everyone whether it was because of your own doing or from others. Man’s ways are unwise. Man’s ways are prideful and arrogant. Laws without God do little to help end justice. Healing is also a process, sometimes taking us on a journey of complete wholeness and holiness rather than an instant quick fix that could leave our soul suffering.

This is not to say healing cannot be instant because Jesus said to her, “Daughter, your faith has made you well. Go in peace. Your suffering is over” (Mark 5:34 NLT) That was an instant healing! From that day forward her entire life was radically transformed! That is my good God revealing a love unfathomable and never-ending. That is my God bringing justice!

“You’re suffering is over”.

What would your life look like with that one simple yet profound change?

May it be!

God’s Steady Heartbeat, 2020

There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.

In these moments of serenity I see my God going before me. He sits with me by still waters. He prepares a table amidst my enemies. One word from his lips quiets the accuser.

There is a steady heartbeat I hear.

I know many of us have had a year of heartache and trials. Many have endured through injustices while others have whispered dreams out into the open, hoping this year would be the year of unfolding.

It is the time of year where people wind down. Some cannot wait for the year to end. Others are indifferent or thankful for what is.

Every moment matters to God. There is not one second lost on our behalf or on the behalf of those we love. Now is not the time to settle in or give up. God is a miracle worker and not one moment is forgotten in his hand. These last few weeks are of high importance to him as he works on our dreams and whispered prayers. Or perhaps words have barely formed from our lips as we have wept. God has seen every tear and knows what is written on our heart.

Let us not give up what has yet to happen in 2019. Let us enjoy our favorite holiday beverage (coffee anyone?), sit back and see what God will do. As we pray, as we go to the front lines of intercession, the Lord has made a table amidst it all for us. He has done this for us to learn to enjoy and walk in the victory that is ours even if we have yet to see it.

As this year winds down, enjoy it. Walk from victory into 2020.

There is a steady heartbeat I hear. It is strong. It is steady.

Get Out Of The Way

In our instant gratification type world, the process within our lives can often be a struggle. We doubt our faith. We doubt our actions when results do not occur quickly or within the time frame we might expect. Why are we so quick to doubt or even begin to complain about the process? Are we just whiners? The world does not revolve around us.

I feel that most often we desire results without much work or sacrifice. We think that we must feel a certain way all of the time or that certain things must be in order, otherwise God is not good. Are you kidding me? Have you looked at the life of Jesus? He was outcasted, slandered, ignored, considered crazy, betrayed, lied about, and murdered for other people’s wrongdoing. Do you think that Jesus thought that through all of that, that his Father was not good? Absolutely not!

God is good and he wants to give us good things when we ask him. What we get caught up with is the fact that we often think that we know what is better for us than God does. Too often we want someone else to be blamed for our sin, our apathy and our selfish desires. All of this decreases joy because we are the ones choosing the opposite of it.

My prayer is that it would become normal to ask God to have his mind and desire what he wants, rather than getting caught up in selfishness or pride, thinking that we know best. It can be so easy to cast blame if that is what is normal. In our culture it is normal and has come to be accepted in several large circles. Those in leadership are applauded when they do so.

But do not applaud so quickly. Ones own pride comes at a price. Sin comes with a price. It is too heavy for one to measure.

Let us return once again to repentance. Let us return to asking, seeking and knocking without complaining after “too much time” has passed and you have been outside the door waiting.

God is good. He has the best waiting for you if you get out of the way.

Good Intentions

Crushing. Pressing.

It is in these moments where heaven is close even if it may feel like hell.

It is too easy to focus on what is not, too easy to focus on the negative.

It is time to pick yourself up and celebrate what is, before it has come. Victory is yours. Do you not see the reason for the battle? Your enemy wants you to give up. He knows that the only way he can win is if you let him.

Suit up.

Believe that the intentions and plans from God are always good. Trust Him. He wants the best for you. He is always there. He never fails.

It is this truth that helps us get up and get on our knees to do holy battle. It is this truth that helps us when we may be surrounded. It is this truth that leads us through the valley of the shadow of death. It is why joy bubbles from deep within us. It is the reason we press on.

He is good. He is sovereign. He is love.

You are on His mind. Your kids are on His mind. Every thought that may be going through your head He already knows. He has already been tending to your cares.

Trust Him, you will not be overtaken.

Leaning In

Will you lean in?

Every Sunday my favorite thing to do is pray with kids. During prayer I place my hand on their heads. If a child is new I will always ask permission first before doing this.

On one particular Sunday morning as I laid my hand on one child’s head they relaxed and leaned in. I went around the classroom and one child after the other leaned in. The response of leaning in is not a new response but having as many children do so like they did, was.

This action of leaning in conveys trust. In the context of the heart it often can signify surrender and the action to receive. For others they simply hunger for more of God.

As I witnessed these children do this it dawned on me how important it is for us to lean in. When we lean in we are expecting more. We can expect more because we know that God wants to give more.

How many times have we ignored God? How many times have we rushed prayer or decided that enough time was spent with him?

Greater treasure awaits us in the quiet moments of waiting, listening and leaning in.

God is a good God. He always wants to give us more. He loves to give good gifts.

I have to wonder what have we missed out on for being too busy or rushing our time?

What is even more extraordinary to me with children is they know and will lean in no matter what is going on. They will lean in when they are happy. They will lean in when they are sad or hurt.

How often do we stop leaning in when things are good and we don’t feel the need for God? Or maybe it is the opposite and instead of leaning in when things get difficult, we blame Him instead?

Whatever season we are in we become the inconsistent ones. God remains faithful. He is always ready to help and to bless us if we are willing to receive from Him in those still and quiet moments.

Lean in.

The Victory Life

What is your focus on?

Those that study the mind share scientific proof that whatever you focus on becomes a part of you. Whatever it is can become bigger and bigger until it is all consuming (whether true or false). Essentially what you dwell on, read, watch & post has become apart of your wiring in your brain. Whatever you spend the most time focusing on will generally dictate your responses or reactions to life.

When life gets difficult it can be easy for many to focus on those difficulties. Some of us hide. Others get busier. Or we get angry, sad and melancholy.

A victors life chooses to focus on victories rather than defeats or the potential of them. It does not matter what is going on in life, if you focus on joy and victory because of Jesus, there is nothing that can touch you. I am not saying that things won’t discourage you or tire you. But what I am saying is that you have what it takes to remain steadfast, to persevere and to praise God through it all.

No matter what you may be facing today pick up your joy. Pick up your hope.

God is for you.

Victory is yours because of Him.

Joy is your choice and that is something that can never be taken from you.

Choose the victory life.

Facing Victory

When one waits for a miracle to come to pass in what direction does that individual stand?

One stands facing towards victory no matter what opposition may come.

It can be too easy to dwell on the current circumstances where it can seem like nothing is changing. At some point it may even feel as if one has moved backwards rather than forward.

.

If this is where you are, stand facing victory.

This means you choose hope. On the days where it is hard to keep going, you expect victory to come whether there is anything significant to suggest otherwise. You get to choose to look at life through the lens of faith.

Stand facing victory.

Expect victory.

Do not look back (unless it is a joyful reflection). Do not dwell on that which does not increase your hope.

Victory is coming.

Victory is something the enemy can never touch unless you decide to hand it over to him (#can’ttouchthis).

Victory is here.