God Knows All

23 10 2008

This then is how we know that we belong to the truth, and how we set our hearts at rest in his presence whenever our hearts condemn us. For God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.

-1 John 3:19-20

 

Are you still having trouble resting in Him?  Do you still have a restless heart?  Do you want to be at peace, but something is lying so heavily on your heart that you cannot let go?

 

God already knows about it!  Sometimes we hold on to things so tightly for fear of what anyone may think of us if we tell them, even God!  The thing is…He already knows what is on our hearts and in our minds (the LORD knows the thoughts of man – Ps 94:11), He is just waiting for us to confess and release those thoughts to Him in prayer.  Only then will we be at rest. 

 

We are so blessed to have an all-knowing, all-seeing, powerful God.  Take the time right now to give Him all of your heart, not just 99.9%.  To truly rest in His presence, we must abandon ourselves to Him and His will.  Won’t you pray a prayer today telling God that He is your everything and that you want to give Him ever aspect of your life?  You’ll be amazed how peace will follow…

 

“Open the eyes of my heart Lord, I want to see you….” (worship song by Paul Baloche)

Advertisements




Rest in Him

22 10 2008

My soul finds rest in God alone; my salvation comes from him. – Psalms 62:1

 

I know we’ve talked about being too busy for God, but have you ever felt like you’re too busy to rest?  In high-pressure situations, I actually find myself reminding my lungs to breathe!  Does the following phrase sound familiar to you: “Once I finish ______, I’ll have time to rest”.  If we keep waiting, we’ll never find that time.  There will always be something to fill in that blank in the sentence above.

 

The only rest we will ever find is in Him.  God alone is our comfort, our salvation, and our peace.  Don’t just make time for Him, allow yourself to rest in Him.  Know that no matter what may be thrown your way, nothing is too big for God to handle…so let Him handle it and rest in the promise of His love and protection!





The Path of Temptation

17 10 2008

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.  -1 Corinthians 10:13

 

If I were to ask you one thing you were struggling with currently, you probably would reply, “Only one?” There are many things that can draw our attention away from God, whether it is food, impurity, or even the busyness that keeps us from spending time in our devotions.  

 

Ask God to give you the strength and self-control to overcome this weakness.  If you confess it to Him and pray about a plan for the next time you are confronted with this temptation, you will be better equipped to walk away (“Pray that you will not fall into temptation.” – Luke 22:40).  But don’t make it harder on yourself by allowing this weak spot to be dangled in front of you.  If you have an incredible sweet tooth, don’t even walk in your local ice cream shop.  If you’ve made shopping into an art form (something I wouldn’t know anything about), stay out of the mall!  If you’ve found yourself addicted to lustful images, try turning the TV off for a week and stay away from the internet.

 

Of course, these are only suggestions.  The best solution is to find applicable scripture in the Bible and memorize it so that it can be repeated over and over again when that temptation stares you down the next time…and find an accountability partner or partners!  Don’t feel like you have to go through this alone.  God will be there to lift you up, but it doesn’t hurt to have someone tugging on your arm down here either.





Delight

17 10 2008

“Delight yourself in the LORD and he will give you the desires of your heart.” – Ps 37:4

Is this really possible? If we delight ourselves in Him, will we receive our greatest desires? Sometimes this seems too good to be true, but it is absolutely God’s promise to His children. The key is to delight ourselves IN HIM and His way, not in the mall, the internet or the person we share our lives with. When our will matches up with God’s will for us, we receive blessings beyond what we could have asked for ourselves. What does he ask for in return? Complete and reckless abandon to Him.

What are you hanging on to? Who are you clinging to? If your answer is anything besides God, take the time now to confess and release it to Him. Sometimes it’s just the idea of someone or something that keeps us from claiming the blessings God has in store for us…





Stop & Listen

16 10 2008

Do you ever forget to breathe during the day?  Is the first item on your to-do list, “find more time”?

I know I’m guilty of allowing the pressures of the world to wear me down.  Sometimes I think the devil figures he can keep us from God by making our lives busy.  My question to you today is, what are you busying yourself with?  I guarantee that if you make the time to listen to God, He’ll plan your day for you.  It’s the times when we don’t think we have time to stop and talk to God or read His word that we truly need Him the most!  So stop whatever you’re busying yourself with currently and take time right now to talk to God and listen for His voice. 

 

“I will listen to what God the LORD will say; he promises peace to his people”

– Ps 85:8





Your Will

10 10 2008

I desire to do your will, O my God; your law is within my heart.” –Psalms 40:8

What is your number one desire right now? A raise? A new car? A new relationship? Now, more than ever, our number one desire needs to be for God. We should be longing for him, hungering for his word, and thirsting for his spirit to fill our soul. And the best thing about making Him our number one desire is that His number one desire is for our love! When we walk in His desire for us, He fulfills all of our greatest desires! Go ahead, try it out…call upon the name of the Lord and watch how He will multiply the blessings in your life!

May He give you the desires of your heart and may all your plans succeed” ~ Psalms 20:4





Savannah’s Story: Love amidst Loss

10 10 2008

We just returned from Savannah Clark’s home-going service: a celebration of life and the mourning of the tragic loss of a 17 year old gone too soon. How was it that someone that was such a light and encouragement in the lives of so many was herself plagued with never feeling good enough or loved enough?

As her youth pastor, Kieron Shape, elaborated, “We can’t belabor ourselves by asking, ‘Why weren’t we there? Why weren’t we aware?’ Instead we need to rest in the fact that the Good Shepherd was there.” Even though her peace was taken from her through deception, She was still redeemed for eternity. The Good Shepherd was imploring her not to be deceived, but the thief is masterful in trickery and destruction. Though Jesus came in through the front door, Savannah left the back door open, and that was where the enemy of our souls was able to reach her.

Savannah’s father, Ian Clark, even said, “I will never be the same.” He prayed that his heart would always remain broken so he would be softened to the needs of those around him. He admitted that this act was wrong and hurtful to all who love her. Though God himself was grieved by her decision, He was still there. (Heb 13:5 – I shall never leave you nor forsake you). Mr. Clark implored the young ladies in the church not to be swayed by the pull of the world and its focus on external beauty rather than the heart.

Walking away from this morning and reflecting on the past week, I’ve realized something very important:
We’re of no use to others unless we take care of ourselves
By no means am I saying to be selfish instead of selfless, but if we continue to pour out without being poured into, we will inevitably run out of steam. I heard an interview with Phil Vischer this morning on the radio. The founder of Big Idea and Veggie Tales, Phil was deemed one of the top 10 people to keep your eye on in global religion in 2000. By 2003, he had lost it all and found himself in bankruptcy court. To quote him directly, “I made the work I was doing for God more important than my relationship with God.” Because he was so busy with his ministry, his personal devotions suffered, his family suffered, his relationships suffered and ultimately, his company failed and because the noise of his life drowned out the quiet whisper of God. How can we ever expect to help others live a godly life unless we ourselves are sitting at the Master’s feet daily?

Our prayers go out to the entire Clark family and the church and friends that surround them. Savannah’s oldest sister, Brittany, works with Ricky and has even watched the kids for us. There are three surviving sisters and we pray they will follow the call to stand up and step out for God, even in this troubling time.