Sharing the good new of the original trailblazer, Jesus.
Sharing the good new of the original trailblazer, Jesus.
I have been reading Genesis and what amazes me is how God prevails His plans. Even when evil arises and people are disobedient – God’s plans still prevail. It makes me think of my own life in how I tend to fear the “what ifs” of my own plans. Instead I need to think of “what is”, which is God already going before me and working out His plans for my good. So my life’s “story” becomes a life’s testimony of who God is! He redeems, restores, saves, loves and is merciful.
Faith in God’s plans never fails because He has what’s best for us.
It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.Deuteronomy 31:8
Game plan with scripture – learn the promises of God.
* God gives me strength when I am weak – 2 Corinthians 12:9* Prayer relieves my unbelief – Mark 9:23-25* Every opportunity teaches me to persevere and draw near to God – Romans 5:3-5* God works out everything for good – Romans 8:28* I trust in God, He gives me the desires of my heart – Psalm 37:4
God’s plans will always be better than whatever we can dream of.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call upon me and come and pray to me, and I will hear you. You will seek me and find me, when you seek me with all your heart.Jeremiah 29:11-13
Thank you God for wanting and knowing what is best for me. I pray for belief to take over my unbelief. May you guide me to learn to seek you with all of my heart. I pray for faith to increase over my fear. Thank you for the plans I have yet to see and thank you that it has already worked out for my best! Amen.
Pray Before Meals
Looking at my daughter at the dinner table as we take our first few bites. I hadn’t prayed before the meal and didn’t bother to. Confession, I wasn’t “in the mood” to bless the dinner, just in the mood for stuffing my face. Until I thought, “why do we bless dinner?” Prompting by the Holy Spirit, convicting me of my lack of care to pray, I figured I better find the answer as to why we pray before meals.
Before diving into scripture to find the answer, I think on top of my head why I bless the food. Aside from being raised that way, I guess its an act of honour and thankfulness towards the Lord. To have food in front of us is something perhaps we take for granted. By giving thanks to the Lord its taking the time to acknowledge Him in our day. Simply put, mealtime prayers can be check points for our faith. No matter where we are, we eventually have to eat and when we do, did we give God thanks?
Did Jesus bless the food?
In Matthew 14 we see Jesus looking up to heaven saying a blessing before he broke and served bread. At this point in time it was a miracle that so much food was provided. Jesus turned a handful of food into portions that served thousands of people. Not even one person was left hungry. Giving thanks to God means recognizing His provision in our lives. Praying before meals is a fitting practice for all who trust the Father for the daily provision of their needs (Matthew 6:11).
I can’t remember a time where a meal did not satisfy my hunger for the day. What an amazing miracle that is to have. I have taken this miracle for granted by avoiding to give God thanks.
Remember the LORD your God.
Matthew 14:19, “Then he ordered the crowds to sit down on the grass, and taking the five loaves and the two fish, he looked up to heaven and said a blessing. Then he broke the loaves and gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the crowds.”
Deuteronomy 8:10, “And you shall eat and be full, and you shall bless the Lord your God for the good land he has given you.”
Romans 14:6, “The one who observes the day, observes it in honor of the Lord. The one who eats, eats in honor of the Lord, since he gives thanks to God, while the one who abstains, abstains in honor of the Lord and gives thanks to God.”
1 Corinthians 10:31, “So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.”
Take every opportunity to give God thanks because its training you up for Godliness.
The point in finding out why I am praying before meals is so I can have a pure motive and reason behind it. Instead of just saying words because, “I’m supposed to”. One day my daughter will muster enough words together to string questions about why we do what we do. As a mother who loves the Lord I must know why I do what I do, especially when it comes to my faith.
We mustn’t stop doing the little things well or assuming the little things are “little” like praying b...
Strive to Serve God
In the moments of chaos I need to serve God. In the moments of perfectly-executed plans I need to praise God. Each moment is a chance to serve God and it is better for us to strive to serve than to strive at all.
Striving for our own earthly desires.
I have seen everything that is done under the sun, and behold, all is vanity and a striving after wind.Ecclesiastes 1:14
We strive, strive and strive. Putting our head down and we work, work and work. In our own efforts we grind, grind and we grind. Only while to complain, complain and complain. All for more of what someone else has – we circle back. Never satisfied. Striving for our own earthy successes and pleasures.
Serving for the glory of God.
Trust in the Lord, and do good; dwell in the land and befriend faithfulness. Delight yourself in the Lord, and he will give you the desires of your heart.Commit your way to the Lord; trust in him, and he will act. He will bring forth your righteousness as the light, and your justice as the noonday.Psalm 37:3-6
We serve, serve and serve. Looking up (posturing our hearts to heaven) we work, work and work. In His strength we rejoice, rejoice and rejoice. All for something beyond ourselves. We circle back to Him, who started a good work in us and will finish a good work in us. Serving for Gods gift of eternity and joy in simply being His.
What’s more important is what we’re striving for.
The word “strive” is not a bad word as it means to “make efforts to achieve or obtain something”. However, the focus is about what we are striving for… our own good or for God’s good?
For example, I tend to over-think when I am planning. I overthink the negative and how I am going to plan around IF that occurs. It’s a type of striving to prevent myself from failure. Making efforts to achieve a good time! But, no plan is perfect and not everyday goes as predicted. So when the unexpected happens… how do I respond? I may easily crumble under the pressure and the overthinking becomes overwhelming as my plans fail.
Our greater purpose is hidden in serving God.
This is where I need to shift from striving for my own gain to serving for God’s glory. Yes, making plans and being prepared is a good thing! I still make plans and do the best with what I know I can control. However, when it fails, can the plans still be good? Yes, there are opportunities already made for us that we cannot control. Having the mind of Christ and perspective of serving God will help increase our awareness of Him in our days.
Our mandate as Christians is not based on what we have done on earth. Its about simply believing what Christ has already done! This is the starting hope we need to have each morning. So our efforts of living righteously is based upon our focus in Christ. This way our life is not vain and our striving efforts to serve God make an impact on the people around us.
Have nothing to do with irreverent, silly myths.
God Hears You
Despite the shame we feel from our sin, God hears, forgives and He saves. Through the sacrifice of Jesus we no longer are in slaved by our sin. But we can be free in Christ who saved us. I want to be close enough to God that I believe He hears me. So whatever I am going through I choose to seek Him first. For He is the living water my soul quenches.
God hears Abraham – Genesis 21:8-14
Sarah ordered her servant woman, Hagar, to lay with her husband, Abraham, to bore them a child. Since she was barren and unable to give birth herself. This led to the birth of Ishmael – name meaning: “God hears”. However, years passed, and God blessed Sarah and she bore her own son, Issac. One day when Abraham was honouring the wean of Issac (2-3 years old) with a big feast, Sarah caught Ishmael (12-14 yrs old) mocking the service. This made Sarah so furious she wanted both Ishmael and Hagar cast out of the home and into the wilderness! Clearly there had been some pent up jealousy and anger over the years…
But Abraham was not pleased with this idea until God spoke to him. God reassured Abraham that it would be okay and to do whatever Sarah wanted. For He would make great nations from both boys, Issac and Ishmael as they were both Abraham’s sons.
But God said to Abraham, “Be not displeased because of the boy and because of your slave woman. Whatever Sarah says to you, do as she tells you, for through Isaac shall your offspring be named. And I will make a nation of the son of the slave woman also, because he is your offspring. So Abraham rose early in the morning and took bread and a skin of water and gave it to Hagar, putting it on her shoulder, along with the child, and sent her away. And she departed and wandered in the wilderness of Beersheba.Genesis 21:12-14
God saves Hagar and Ishmael from the wilderness – Genesis 8:15-21
During their journey Hagar’s water skins run dry and panic sets in as they’re about to die. Then, God hears the boy’s cry and sends an angel to help…
And God heard the voice of the boy, and the angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and said to her, “What troubles you, Hagar? Fear not, for God has heard the voice of the boy where he is. Up! Lift up the boy, and hold him fast with your hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” Then God opened her eyes, and she saw a well of water. And she went and filled the skin with water and gave the boy a drink.Genesis 21:17-19
God is still attentive to Ishmael and Hagar even though it was Ishmael’s disrespectful behaviour that got them kicked out. Keeping His promise to Abraham, God forgives and displays His heart through saving their lives by providing a well of water. This reminds me of Jesus who is referred many times in the Bible as the “living water”, who came to save.
Jesus hears the Samaritan woman.
Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”John 4:13-14
Renew Your Mind
Everyday is an opportunity to renew our mind and its a chance we need to take. Otherwise the world will dictate our decisions, ideas and passions far from God’s will for us.
Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.Romans 12:2
Do not be conformed to this world
Paul, warns Christians not to abide or comply to the standards of the world but by the standards of God. We must recognize what in the world opposes God, so we can discern what’s good.
Be transformed by the renewal of your mind
It’s so easy to conform to a world that is constantly telling us to do whatever makes us happy or feels good. So how do we avoid its temptations – Paul says, with transformation. It’s by the work of the Holy Spirit. Not in our own will or our own mind, but by the work of Christ who does a work within us. However, we don’t wait around for it to just happen, we do our part in allowing transformation to occur.
For example, I used to pray for things “to go away.” “Dear Jesus, “take away this problem, this anger, this anguish.. this situation away from me!” Not a bad prayer, the problem was its focus and my lack of obedience to God. My prayer had intentions of my own will in what I think God should do. God, “take this away from me because I know its best for me”. It was a worldly focus of “I deserve”. The only way to switch perspective was to think in a way that honours God. Transformation occurs through prayer and knowledge of God. Recognizing and honouring the fact that He first loved us. I use scripture to guide my prayers because then I can focus on Him and less on me.
Discern the will of God
The good and peace in my life increases when I am confident in my decision making because I know it lines with the will of God. Despite the outcome and through the testing of my faith, I can trust in Him who works all things together for good (Romans 8:28).
Practical ways to renew your mind:
* Use scripture to guide your prayer life – Psalm 51:10, “Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.”* Read the Bible alongside a friend, spouse or group study for community, support and accountability.* Spend time with God to hear His voice. Try writing out your prayers in a journal and read scripture, asking yourself, “how does this passage describe God’s character?” * Check out this great resource to get started in reading your Bible: The Bible Recap.
“If we evict the one true God from our throne of worship, we will replace Him with ourselves. If we are the final source for “our truth,” we can easily make God into our own image instead of the other way around.” – Alisa ChildersMama Bear Apologetics
This is why renewing your mind is a daily pursuit. We must take advantage of our relationship with God by allowi...
Fear vs. Faith
I’m not going to fool anyone by saying, “I figured out how to live by faith not fear!” But, I will say, “I’m trying to figure out how to live by faith and not fear”. It’s a continual process and part of being human. Did I mention, I am a mother? Fear is going to be part of raising children. You want them to succeed, avoid danger or avoid any emotional or physical hurt at all – BAH!!! However, life throws hard “stuff” that we aren’t always ready to catch and is impossible to avoid. So, if I want faith to win over fear then I need to understand who’s leading the battle of both. Then with the knowledge of both I can decide (with confidence) why fighting for faith is worth the battle.
The Faith Team – Led by God
Who is God? Well that’s a big question because He’s pretty big, so I’ll attempt to write simply about Him. God is 3 persons in 1 God (Father, Son and Holy Spirit), omnipresent, creator and ruler of the world. What about His character? God is just, mighty, love and compassionate. Lastly, God is truth and He made promises for us in the Bible. What are some that I can lean on to bring me faith not fear? God promises eternal life to all who believe in Jesus Christ and repent of their sin. As a Christian and believer of Jesus I do not fear death. God promises He will help me and give me strength. I do not fear my own weakness. He promises He is always with me. I do not fear being alone. God says don’t be anxious about anything. I do not fear my own worries!
What is life with God vs. What is life without him.
Life with God means believing scripture is the truth and being obedient to what He says. I read my Bible because it leads my life and without it I am choosing to live without Him. I want real truth to lead my life so I need to know what He says “is”.
The Fear Team – Led by Sin
Who is sin? Wait isn’t this a good guy vs bad guy, obvious scenario? Well, if I wrote “the Devil” than yes it would be. No one generally wants to be on the Devil’s team. But writing “sin” is more complicated because the Devil cannot make us sin, but he can tempt us to. So sin can seem desirable, enjoyable and an inviting team. Its a war against our flesh and spirit. So what is sin? Well, simply explaining best I can, sin is anything we idolize above God. For example, its what we do, think or act upon what God hates or does not like. Hmm, that can be a long list, considering we are not perfect. So if sin is evident in us, then how do we fight against its team?
We need to know its strategy…
But each person is tempted when he is lured and enticed by his own desire. Then desire when it has conceived gives birth to sin, and sin when it is fully grown brings forth death. Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers.James 1:14-16
Sin is deception
Our culture says truth is anything you believe in your heart is true! Where are the boundaries of good and evil in that? The sin team says, “if you say its good than its good!” But fear lives in that because you can never know if that’s really true… so fear is still lives in the, “what if it’s not good for me?” Sin makes false promises to make you think you know better than God.