Devotionals don’t have to be boring … we make them fun, applicable and powerful each and every day. Pamela will get you fired up for life and lather the love of Jesus on you … and make you giggle. Download a new episode of the Big Life Devotional podcast each weekday.
772 Take the Risk
Just how safe are you playing it? I know when you’ve been let down before it’s hard to trust. I know it’s easiest to settle into accepting what is instead of seeking more. But honey, if you’re not seeking it, it’s not going to come knocking on your door. Whatever you’ve settled for in your life will surely be your destiny. Not the destiny you were created for and not the destiny God has available for you, but the one you opted for by playing it safe to avoid disappointment.
Think about this, in pursuit of the life you most desire, the one where you’re living up to your potential and stepping into your greatest purpose, who has let you down the most? Isn’t it you? As a grown woman, you’re the one steering this ship. You’re the one putting the food in your mouth. You’re the one choosing the relationships. You’re the one showing up or not showing up. You’re the one cheating a little here and a little there and halting your own progress. How you live your life now is your responsibility.
God is here today partnering with you on this journey with an invitation to rise up from the ashes, shake off past disappointment and take a risk that this time it will be different.
Are you willing to take a risk? Are you willing to try again? Are you willing to go all-in on this one life you have been given and dare to see exactly what God has placed within you? I promise it’s more than you ever imagined.
There was a risk taker in the Bible who showed us how to experience more than everyone else in the boat. One person bold enough to say “hey Jesus, I want it.” That was Peter.
Peter was in a boat with the other friends of Jesus in a storm. And up comes Jesus, just walking on top of the waves. Oh my sister, don’t ever miss that Jesus comes walking out to you in the storms of your life. If you’re in a storm right now, look around, he’s close. His eye has been on you and he’s never lost sight of you.
Now the question is, what do you do when you see Jesus in the storm? Do you beg for him to just make it all go away? Do you hold your breath until you’re safe on the shore again? Or do you take a risk?
WILL YOU TAKE A RISK MY SISTER?
What are you seeking here? Are you seeking the easiest, safest, quickest way out of your hardship? If that is all you seek, you may be missing your opportunity to experience more of what God has for you here. More living is HERE. More breakthrough is HERE. More strength is HERE. More potential is HERE.
Stop seeking the shore. Seek what is possible out here in the deep where you find yourself now.
Peter was a risk taker. It was his willingness to take a risk that allowed him to experience all Jesus said was possible. And you know what happened next right … what happened?
Peter sees Jesus walking on the water and says “hey Jesus, I want to do that with you.” Call me out so I can do the impossible with you. In Matthew 14:29 “Jesus said ‘Come.’ So peter got out of the boat and walked on the water and came to Jesus.”
And now, it’s your turn. Jesus has already walked through your storm. He’s made a way for you. He has strength and provisions available for you that you’ve never tapped into yet. AND YOU WON’T SITTING THERE IN YOUR BOAT. Sitting in the safety of your boat seeking the shore you will never experience what God has made truly possible for you.
This is where you take a risk. This is where you stop playing it safe. This is where you dare to believe the almighty God has put some almighty in you.
We’re 2 weeks into this new year of life. What do you have to show for your journey of 2021 so far? Have you really been going for it, or are you sitting in your boat rowing just a little bit? I know if you row just a little bit it’s easi...
771 The Warrior By You
I find what I often need is a shift in my perspective, not a major change in my circumstances. I sometimes have tunnel vision of what I think is happening and what I believe should happen, and I miss what God is doing.
So what is God doing? Really, what is he doing in your life?
Sometimes the Spirit of God leads us into beautiful gardens of growth and restoration … and other times the Spirit of God leads us to deserts of destruction and hardship. But don’t miss, God is working through all of it. He is in this with you fighting.
HE IS FIGHTING FOR YOU! He is fighting for the life he created you for. He is arranging and rearranging to bring you face to face with your destiny. A destiny that reveals who you are, what you’re made of, and what you were made for. And all this time, he’s trying to help you keep the right perspective on it all.
As a follower of Christ, you are on the winning team. Whatever battle or struggle you may be facing, you are bound to win because look who is standing beside you. Winning battles doesn’t always look like slaying giants with the first shot … sometimes winning battles looks like losing everything you thought you needed and discovering something so much deeper.
Jeremiah 20: 11 says “But the LORD stands beside me like a great warrior.”
God is on your side, in fact he’s right by your side walking through this with you today. And scripture reminds us if God is for you, who can be against you? What confidence this brings when we truly understand God is with us and God is for us.
Honestly sometimes it doesn’t feel like it though does it? Sometimes it feels like everything that could go wrong does go wrong. Sometimes it feels like we are losing the battle and nothing within us is good enough or strong enough to continue, so there’s a temptation to just quit. And this is when we most need to remember the Lord stands beside us like a great warrior.
His presence is enough to make the enemy flee. His shadow covers you. You are covered my friend, you are covered. You have a warrior next to you willing to go into battle for you. Don’t you know God is fighting for you? For you, not against you.
In Isaiah 55:9 God says “For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.” His ways are better.
When will we finally understand that and fully surrender to it? Not my way, but yours Lord. I trust you. I trust your plan. I’m just going to snuggle in close under your shadow and let you stand beside me like a great warrior, and together we’re going to go right through this battle. Together we’re going to make it. And through it all you’re going to strengthen me, you’re going to guide me and you’re going to keep making me better.
Today, may we find the grace to keep going.
May we have the perspective to see God’s hand in the details.
May we find the perseverance to just do the next right thing.
May we find the willpower to bite our tongue and zip our lip when the temptation is there to spew negative words.
May we find the confidence to bring our worries and burdens to God and leave them at his feet instead of piling them upon our own shoulders.
May we live boldly and confidently as winners. Winners because of the great warrior standing next to us.
God sees it all and what he wants you to do today is trust him. Trust his ways. Find the grace to keep going and do the next right thing. Shift your perspective to see God is at work in every detail and this is bigger than just you.
770 When Life is Boring
How much of your world is quite simply ordinary and slightly boring at this moment? Did you wake up to another day of life where everything is just normal?
How absolutely EXTRAORDINARY!
Don’t miss the fact that uneventful days are a tremendous blessing in disguise. These are days when a million events COULD go wrong, but none of them did. These are the days when everything goes so right, you don’t even notice it.
And really, isn’t that the majority of your days? Days that seem unimpressive and unremarkable, all because everything just worked. The lights turned on. The heater worked. The clothes fit. The car started. The food was available. Your people are breathing. You are functioning.
How are you not impressed by that? Holy balls woman, this is all totally remarkable.
Do you not understand all it required for you to have a normal, ordinary, boring day of life? Have you missed the fact that God was up all night aligning all of these things on your behalf, as he always is?
Can we just thank God for the absolute miraculous in our every day? For all that goes ridiculously right on a daily basis, and it typically always does so we don’t even acknowledge it? Can we send up a praise for all that could be wrong, but it isn’t?
Yesterday we drove for 12 hours from Biloxi, Mississippi to Hilton Head Island, South Carolina. Hundreds and hundreds of miles on the interstate, zooming along at 75. It was a real snooze fest. The dog was snoring. I was working. Lonnie set the cruise and we went. It was all so ordinary.
Then we came across a car on the side of the road on fire. There were lights and sirens everywhere as the entire car went up in flames. That person was having a bad day. A really bad day. As we said a prayer for them, we realized just how blessed we were with a completely boring drive. It meant everything that could have gone wrong hadn’t. And it meant that things were going so well they were unnoticeable.
We never acknowledge when the car is running well … until it isn’t. We never notice how our back feels perfectly fine … until it doesn’t. We never realize just how ridiculously blessed we are … until those blessings are threatened.
It’s easy to go through our entire lives with the cruise set trying to get to some destination that is constantly moving. It’s easy to miss the fact that ordinary days are extraordinarily blessed days. It’s easy to save our gratitude, awe and wonder for those big days, and miss that big things are happening every moment of our lives just to make this all seem ordinary.
James 1: 17 “Whatever is good and perfect is a gift coming down to us from God our Father.”
There’s so much goodness in our lives, we could spend every moment of the rest of our lives trying to list it all. Let’s do that. Seriously, how different would your ordinary days be if you were busy acknowledging all that is good? All that is right? All that is working well?
Instead, we wait until the car doesn’t start to come to God and ask him to fix it. I wonder how many times he fixed it before you ever even tried to start it?
We wait until there’s a pain to pray for God to heal it. Oh honey, if you only knew how many pains he healed you of before you ever even felt it. All he has saved you from. The disaster heading straight toward you, that he diverted. Have you thanked him for that? Have you praised him for the peace there is, or are you waiting for the next round of chaos to bring to him?
All 3 of my kids are grown. That’s a miracle in itself! Seriously … there were years I wasn’t so sure we were going to get here. My favorite phone calls from them are the normal, non-eventful days they call just to tell me what they’re doing. To just share their ordinary day with me.
769 Power To Change
How many times have you wanted to change and turn from an old bad habit, but ultimately you fail? That repeated failure to change begins eating away at you, robing you of your power and confidence, causing you to settle for less than you were created for and capable of. Romans 7:19 describes it perfectly. It says “I want to do what is good, but I don’t. I don’t want to do what is wrong, but I do it anyway.”
Our willpower is weak at times. Whether it be trying to give up sugar or cigarettes, quit drinking, quit cheating, quit over spending, quit over sleeping, or start working out and start showing up to work on time, our willpower seems to come up short. We know what we should do and we even WANT to do the right thing, but we simply don’t. Not always.
Now I hate to admit this, because I know what a total powerhouse God created you to be, but sometimes you lack the power to truly change. I know his plans for you are so big they will blow your mind. I know you have all the potential in the world inside of you. But I also know your willpower isn’t going to be enough. Mine isn’t either. You can’t deliver yourself.
Romans 7:24 says “Oh, what a miserable person I am! Who will free me from this life that is dominated by sin and death?”
You’re not the only one who struggles. We often hide out convinced every one else has their crap together and we’re some sort of epic failure flawed to the core.
Nope, you’re human. We’re all human. We aren’t robots and we aren’t perfect. Our journey to becoming who we were created to be will take our entire lives. If you’re not struggling, it’s because you’ve given up. Join the rest of us who struggle, and let’s continue the fight darn it!
We don’t have to sit in misery. We have an answer and it comes in the next verse, Romans 7:25 “Thank God! The answer is in Jesus Christ our Lord.”
Jesus is your answer. And how many times have we heard that? Yeah, so many times it sounds cheap, so let me dig deeper and be more specific.
Have you really asked God to HELP you with the area where you struggle? Have you fully surrendered to him? This is where change really happens … where you surrender to God, ask him for help, and make a true commitment.
EXAMPLE 1: You woke up late, you left for work late, you’re surely going to be late. But you’re praying. Oh yes you’re praying, “please Lord let all the lights be green. Let me somehow make it there on time.” Nope. God isn’t interested in magically transporting you to work in record breaking time so you won’t be late, but he would totally be game for helping you get your butt out of bed if you would ask him. Seriously have you ever ASKED God to help you get out of bed when you’re laying there trying to decide how many times you’re hitting the snooze button?
EXAMPLE 2: Here’s what we typically do when we’re trying to be healthy and lose weight – It’s Friday morning, weigh in time. We step on the scale and we pray “please Lord, please let it go down. Please, come on God. Let the number be less.” Now why didn’t we pray on Monday morning that God would help us resist the doughnuts in the office? Seriously, why didn’t we ask God for help when it mattered instead of when we’re stepping on the scale?
We want God to pull off a miracle without our participation. God doesn’t work that way.
How many times have we prayed for God to let us get by with our wrongdoing instead of praying God would help us to STOP our wrong doing? You see, God has zero interest in helping you get by with it, get away with it, or continue life one more day settling for bad habits, sinful decisions, and little life living. In fact, it’s disgusting to him.
768 Better Together
When Jesus walked this Earth, he was God in human form. He was still all-knowing and all-powerful. He had the power of Heaven and an army of angels at his fingertips. He was lacking nothing, yet he chose not to walk his path alone. He gathered friends and shared the journey with them.
Have you ever thought about that? If Jesus needed friends on his journey, don’t you think you’re going to need some on yours? We were designed to need one another. Designed to walk together. Your life works best when shared with others.
Jesus chose 12 people and those people became his disciples. They went everywhere together. He wasn’t a one man show trying to do everything on his own. He understood his impact was greater, and his journey was better, when shared closely with others.
Who are you sharing your life with? Who have you let inside the walls and shown your true self? Or are you still keeping people at a distance and pretending you don’t need anyone?
Is it possible that perhaps your load is too heavy to bare because you’re trying to carry it on your own? You’re exhausted trying to pretend like everything is okay when the truth is you’re barely hanging on. How about you let someone else carry that for a bit?
Jesus, on his way to Golgotha to give his life, could no longer carry his own cross. A bystander named Simon then carried the cross, literally, for Jesus. We don’t see Jesus fighting him on it. So, why are you refusing help with your cross, your burden, your heavy load to carry?
Galatians 6:2 “Carry each other’s burdens, and in this way you will fulfill the law of Christ.”
I’m not to go through hardships alone, and neither are you. We’re here to carry the weight of each other’s burdens. Christ has called us to make things easier for each other instead of harder. But dang if we aren’t in a time where we just make it harder for each other. We come in with our opinions and views and we post crap our fingers have no business typing. We have become cynical and self-righteous, adding onto the weight of someone else’s burden instead of helping them carry it.
Every time you add to the burden instead of help carry it, you are failing to fulfill the law of Christ. You are breaking his law. What is that law? Back up to chapter 5 of Galatians and it’s clear.
Galatians 5:14 “The entire law is fulfilled in a single decree: “Love your neighbor as yourself.”
Love each other. Love each other the way Jesus taught us to love. He shared his life fully. He washed the feet of others. He cared for a crowd of people who would be missing dinner. He was concerned for those who had a concern. Jesus MADE time. He stopped, he looked, he connected, he shared. Then he tells us to do the same.
Now maybe this hasn’t worked out so good for you in the past. Maybe you’ve tried to have a close circle of friends and it ended in bickering, then you decided you were better off doing this thing on your own. I’ve been there too. I’ve shut it all down after being hurt and pushed others out. THAT IS THE WORK OF THE ENEMY. Don’t let him win this. Don’t let him convince you everyone is bad and eventually you will just be hurt again. His goal is to isolate you for his attack. Get back in a circle sister!
Jesus knew Judas would betray him before he ever invited him into his circle. He knew Judas would fail, but he chose him anyway.
Yes people will fail you. Yes they will hurt you. But share your life anyway.
WE NEED ONE ANOTHER. United we stand. Divided we fall.
Together we can carry the burden. Alone we are crushed.
Who is praying for you? Who knows about your burden and can help carry the load? I have a friend who helps me carry my burden on occasion, and I help her carry hers. We call it “trading prayers”.
767 Thinking About You
Our scripture for today is I Peter 5:7. You’ve likely heard this scripture before “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.” In my studies I came across this scripture using The Living Bible and honestly it rocked my world with a whole new meaning. “Let him have all your worries and cares, for he is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you.”
WHAT?!!!!!!!! In all my years, somehow no one has ever told me that God is actually thinking of me. I’ve always known God could hear me. That he could see me. But THINKING of me? His thoughts are filled with me? Oh this takes it to a whole new level doesn’t it?
He is always thinking about you. God, the almighty creator of the entire universe, the master of all, the one who holds the whole world in his hand is THINKING OF YOU. You really must be someone special!
At this very moment, God is thinking of you. Amber, I know you’re listening, God is thinking about you. Sarah, God is thinking about you. Heather, God is thinking about you. Sandy, God is thinking about you. Amy, Kim, Laura, Dana, insert your own name and know with confidence God is thinking about you. You are on his mind. As he put the plans for this day of life into motion, he considered you. He thought about what would be best for you. He thought about what you need.
Don’t you know you are THIS loved and valued? Don’t you know the almighty has his mind set on you? Let this bring you confidence. God wants you to know he is always thinking about you so that you can have complete confidence in WHO you are.
He is not only always thinking about you, but he is watching everything that concerns you. You don’t have to fret and worry, God knows everything that is coming your way. Every possible thing about to touch your life has to first go through him. Know this so you can experience the REWARD of knowing he sees you and thinks of you in every detail. Truly, this is a reward. Wear it like a badge of honor. God is thinking of ME!
Two of my children have gone through Basic Training is the US Army. Months of the hardest, most intense training away from every living soul they knew. When each of them left, their Daddy told them something of immeasurable value. He said, “you’ll be up early every morning (03:00 in fact). Every time you see that sun rise, know your Dad is up thinking of you and praying for you at that very moment.” Without fail, every morning as the sun came up, my husband was sitting on the deck thinking of his kids during their training. And this brought them confidence. The drill sergeants may have been barking down their throat, they may have been hating life, exhausted, missing home, and dreading the day, but they knew without a doubt when that sun was coming us, their Dad is up and thinking of them.
Did you know when the sun comes up every morning, your God is thinking of you? Did you know the colors in the sky are a result of God thinking of you? What if that hot pink sky was a message with your name on it, a reminder of your creator’s love for you specifically? When the wind blows and you hear the rustle of the leaves, that’s God thinking of you. It’s all God thinking of YOU.
And did you know while Jesus hung on that cross, sacrificing his life, he was thinking of you. I know that’s hard to imagine. You weren’t even born yet. But try to wrap your mind around this. Since the beginning of time, God has known you and loved you. He has always had you in his thoughts and plans. And when his son Jesus was on that cross, his thoughts were on you. It was for you.
God is watching everything that concerns you today.
For my friends in a health battle, he’s watching everything that concerns you.
For my friends in financial crisis, he’s watching everything that concerns you.