We can finish the last two days of this month strong in God and full of his power to accomplish anything we decide to do. Be amazing today, and finish strong by depending on the strength that comes from Christ!
Anyone who knows me well knows that I struggle with asking for help. It would almost seem that I enjoy juggling the roles I hold in life while adding the word “Super” before each – spouse, mom, friend, employee. Every day I placed unnecessary pressure on myself to complete every task on every list all by myself when, in fact, no one expects me to. The idea of delegating responsibilities is as foreign to me as the idea of quantum physics. But every once in a while, I am forced into a corner and left with no other option.
Yesterday it was absolutely impossible for me to be in 3 places at one time. I had to stay at work so I called my spouse to make a trip to the grocery store and my friend to pick up my daughter from school. Once they said “yes”, I trusted them to do those things. I was able to focus on my work and I didn’t think about those responsibilities again. My mind was able to rest.
Did you know that God wants us to ask him for help? Like our friends and family, He has never expected us to do anything, much less everything, on our own. He wants us to delegate responsibilities to Him. Our worries, our struggles, our unease, and our unrest. How do we know this? Jesus said in Matthew 11:28-30 “Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you’ll recover your life. I’ll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won’t lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you’ll learn to live freely and lightly.” Freely and Lightly? Get away with me? Real rest? How awesome does that sound!
Here’s the key – once you ask someone to do something, you have to resist the urge to still do it yourself. It would not have made any sense for me to show up at my daughter’s school at the same time as my friend. Talk about confusing! The same goes with God. If you give Him a task to complete, don’t take it back. Let Him do His job and you do yours.
I grew up near San Francisco and one of my favorite things to do on a Saturday afternoon was find a cool eatery on the bay, order clam chowder in a sourdough bread bowl, and watch the huge container vessels come in and out of the ports. I was fascinated to watch them with their container stacked deep and high, full of goods from countries around the world. I would imagine the crew on the vessel and all the places they traveled and what exciting things they must have seen.
Containers. Hundreds upon hundreds and thousands of containers full of man-made goods to be sold for profit primarily to build big business, and most likely made by the hands of poor people in sweat shops around the world, are transported over our oceans every day. I digress.
Containers. Vessels. Drums. Barrels. Casks. Kegs. Kettles. Tanks. Vats. Basins. Jugs. Pots. Buckets. Tubs. Spirits.
Why did I end that sentence with the word, “Spirits”? That word doesn’t seem to go with the all the different types of containers I listed there, or does it?
Colossians 2:3 tells us that In Christ are hidden, or stored, all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. ALL. ALL the wisdom and ALL the knowledge about EVERYTHING is stored In Christ. To the believer, this is really great news because we have believed In Him which means we have received his Spirit, 1 Corinthians 2:16.
ALL that Christ has, which is everything, has been deposited into our inner being by the Holy Spirit. Our spirit is a Godly container, made from Godly material, and by faith is full of ALL the wisdom and ALL the knowledge of God, Ephesians 3:19.
Great news! It is in our best interest to open the container and pull out all that God has put in there for us to use. How do we do that? Proverbs 20:5 says that we can draw from the deep well that is within us by using our mouth, 1 Corinthians 2:7, 13.
YOUR mouth is the ladle of your spirit. Your words that are spoken by revelation of the Holy Spirit literally pull out of your spirit the things God has put in there for your use.
Ask God about it tonight. Ask God to show you how to pull all the goods from your spirit by words spoken in faith.
Different translations of popular scriptures can make them alive to us in a brand new way. The Words of God are LIVING and POWERFUL but if we don’t understand what is being said, then nothing happens inside of our heart when we hear the words or read the words.
Enjoy this popular scripture in Proverbs 3:5-6 in the variety of translations below and let the words become brand new to you.
King James Version: Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.
The Amplified: Lean on, trust in, and be confident in the Lord with all your heart and mind and do not rely on your own insight or understanding. In all your ways know, recognize, and acknowledge Him, and He will direct and make straight and plain your paths.
The Voice: Place your trust in the Eternal; rely on Him completely; never depend upon your own ideas and inventions. Give Him the credit for everything you accomplish, and He will smooth out and straighten the road that lies ahead.
The Message: Trust GOD from the bottom of your heart; don’t try to figure out everything on your own. Listen for GOD’s voice in everything you do, everywhere you go; he’s the one who will keep you on track.
The Contemporary English Version: With all your heart you must trust the LORD and not your own judgment. Always let him lead you, and he will clear the road for you to follow.
The Living Bible: If you want favor with both God and man, and a reputation for good judgment and common sense, then trust the Lord completely; don’t ever trust yourself. In everything you do, put God first, and he will direct you and crown your efforts with success.
New Living Translation: Trust in the LORD with all your heart; do not depend on your own understanding. Seek his will in all you do, and he will show you which path to take.
Explore different translations of your favorite scriptures and watch the words come alive to you, just like these did!
Jude 20 in the Amplified translation of the Bible declares, “…You, beloved, build yourselves up [founded] on your most holy faith, [make progress, rise like an edifice higher and higher], praying in the Holy Spirit; Guard and keep yourselves in the love of God…”
This is one of my favorite things to do in God, pray in the Holy Spirit! The Holy Spirit knows the mind of God and searches and reveals the limitless things of God. With the Holy Spirit as my guide, I can pray and the scripture says I will be made to rise like an edifice higher and higher. Hallelujah!
You can imagine how valuable this gift is as we live our lives?! When we can’t ‘see’ how things are going to work out, we can pray! When we don’t feel ‘big’ enough, we can pray! When we don’t think we’re smart enough, we can pray! When we feel weighed down by the ‘yuck’ of it all, we can pray! When we can be lifted UP and UP and UP until we see the situation from a brand new level.
Isn’t that wonderful?! We are not meant to live our lives subject to natural limitations and dirt-level vantage points. We are designed to be lifted UP and to see our lives from a high place in God.
Praying in the Holy Spirit is a glorious gift that shoots us UP and allows us to see our life from a whole new level.
Ask God to show you new things today, ask him to take you UP, and to experience your life from a brand new vantage point.
The Apostle, Paul, prayed for all believers in the book of Ephesians with these words, “My prayer is that light will flood your hearts and that you will understand the hope that was given to you when God chose you. Then you will discover the glorious blessings that are yours together with all of God’s people.”
Illumination or the act of flooding something, or someone’s heart, with light is critical to a seeker’s success. We must understand what God has provided for us, we must ‘see it’ with the eyes of our heart in order to boldly step forward and obtain it.
Searching for things in the dark rarely works, in some lucky instances you might grope around and turn up the desired item, but most usually a LIGHT must be used to get what you’re looking for.
Jesus was very clear to us in Matthew 6:31-33 when he said, “So don’t worry and don’t keep saying, ‘what shall we eat, what shall we drink or what shall we wear?!’ That is what pagans are always looking for; your Heavenly Father knows that you need them all. Seek FIRST [set your heart on] the kingdom of God and his goodness, all these things will come to you as a matter of course.”
It’s clearer to me than ever before, that seeking for “things” first is like searching for stuff in the dark, while on the contrast seeking the “kingdom of God” first is like flooding the heart with light so that it (we) can see clearly how to make progress in this life.
Here are some cool results of having a heart flooded with light: clarification, interpretation, explanation, illustration, a road map.
Have you ever wanted God to just give you a sign? How about a road map? Even better.
I’ve probably got you humming the tune, “He’s got the whole world in His hands, He’s got the whole wide world in His hands…” and if you don’t know the song I’m talking about, then Google it or I just might sing it for you one day.
Isaiah is one of my favorite prophets in the Bible because he speaks so outrageously and so passionately about God’s love for people and how it is shown in The Christ.
Isaiah 49:16 in the Amplified translation reads, “Behold, I have indelibly imprinted (tattooed a picture of) you on the palm of each of my hands…” WOW! I can’t help but put two and two together and think about Jesus having his hands pierced through with nails as they affixed him to his cross to die.
This is the ultimate love story, how God put on flesh in the form of Jesus, The Christ, and took all destruction, disease and death for us, and in return gave us healing, restoration, life and love forever. And then, Isaiah seeing into the future describes this love in such a real way when he writes that God has tattooed a picture of each one of us on His hands. What a great word picture.
1 John 3:1 reads, “Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called the children of God.”
God’s love has no boundaries, no limits and no conditions. It will take a lifetime to discover all the love He has for each one of His children.
On this Valentine’s Day, whether you have a significant other, or not, you can comfort yourself with the fact that the God of the universe loves you so much that he got a tattoo about it…He really does hold the whole world in His hands.
When Jesus first began his ministry he left home, moved to Capernaum, which is by the Sea of Galilee, and there he began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven has drawn near.” This is a powerful statement which he invited his first recruits to act upon, immediately.
As he walked along the beach he saw two brothers, Simon Peter and Andrew, casting a net into the sea for they were fishermen. He called out to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you fishers of men!” The Bible says that they immediately left their nets and followed Him.
When I read the words, “left their nets,” I was struck by the implication here that Jesus invited them to leave their way of living, their way of business, their way of providing for themselves, their way of carrying on the family tradition; and follow Him.
I wonder today, what areas of our lives might Jesus be calling out to us, “Follow me! I have a better way!” or “Follow me! I will show you a brand new way to live your life!”
May we hear His call to us today and react speedily, without reserve and without hesitation, to a brand new way of doing a familiar way of life.