Are you living the life God planned for you? This morning, I told the Lord, “I’m not living the life that I desired, but I pray I am living the life you desire for me.” For most of my life, I lived according to my own dreams, desires, ambitions – and, unfortunately, my selfish fleshly desires. Though I have always loved to give to others, I have been predominantly focused on myself. My life has turned out entirely different than I expected.I have lost most of what I wanted – close, intimate relationships with loved ones. And I have not achieved much of what I desired. But I have a sense deep within I am finally on the right path. Why? I am living for Jesus, I am studying the Word, and I want to live the life He has for me more than I want to satisfy myself with what I once dreamed for my life.And something tells me I will have a far more satisfying life at the end of the day – because nothing can compare with my love for the Lord and His love and plans for my life. My greatest dream now is to love Him with all my heart and to love my neighbor as myself, while serving Him by helping a world in need – including people & homeless dogs also.What plans have you had for your life? What plans does God have for your life? Are you living the life God intended for you? Or do you need to lay down your own dreams, kneel down at the feet of Jesus, and accept the life He has had for you all along. Why not try life His way? I can only imagine you will find what I have found – His dream for our lives so far exceeds our own ambitions that it will be worth making the decision to follow Him and learn to live life according to His plan and not our own.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Amazing how the Lord convicts me. Amazing how often the Lord convicts me. Amazing how amazing the Lord is. Just today I was writing an e-mail to someone when the Lord decided to come to my rescue – yet again. I had it all figured out. I knew what I would say. I have said it so often before, in one way or another. I’m struggling. I’m struggling about this. I’m struggling about that. I’m struggling about whatever. I’m just plain old struggling. Of course, I like to be descriptive. I feel better saying what my struggle is about. So today I decided to e-mail someone about my struggle. But the Lord intervened.”I’m struggling financially,” I began to write. I was seeking prayer, and I was hoping for some kind of financial help. But I could not even finish my e-mail before God had something big to say. My dear Lord. My dear editor. He obviously did not want me sending the e-mail in its current state. Nor did He want me continuing to believe I understood my struggle. Quite frankly, according to the Lord to whom I would be wise to defer, this is not my struggle.I turned to my notebook. I had to write what the Lord told me. His conviction was a whole lot more important than the e-mail I had intended to write and send.”You’re not struggling with your finances,” the Lord told me. “You are struggling with your faith.” I am not sure of the exact words, but the point is obvious.Oh my! I thought I was struggling financially. But not so. My struggle lies with trusting God. I wish I could say this was something new and different. But of course it is not. And I can only imagine I am not alone.So long as I continue to believe my struggle is in the physical world around me, I will continue to seek a physical solution and fall flat on my face. But when I remember that my struggle is in the spiritual realm and I seek the Lord for His answer and choose to obey Him, I am set free.So suffice it to say running around the world convinced I am struggling financially will only keep me from the victory I seek. And, in my case with this current struggle, the answer will not be to race around the world looking for ways to make money. Instead, I need to sit at the feet of Jesus, study and apply God’s Word, and grow in faith.Rom 10:17 “So then faith cometh by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Yummy. Delicious. Wow. Mmm. Give me another bite. What?! Are you kidding me? There’s nothing like another thick slice of Humble Pie. If you don’t know what I’m talking about, just take a look at your life. Or, better yet, take a look at mine. The Lord has been convicting me recently of not trusting Him. Are you joking? Me? The director of a ministry? Of course I’m trusting God. Right? Here comes the Humble Pie. Topped with mint chocolate chip ice cream. Why not top it off with the best flavor ice cream ever? The truth? The Bible calls me to humble myself, so here goes. I have been struggling immensely with trusting God. And I have two choices. I can pretend to the world that I’ve got this faith and trust thing down pat. Or I can hold out my dish, grab my fork, and thank God for Humble Pie. May I have another slice please? And don’t forget the ice cream.I have such a long way to go in learning to trust you, Lord. Please forgive my unbelief. Help me to trust you. I am so sorry, Lord, that I fall so short in trusting you. It makes no sense to me, considering how much I love you. But you know my heart, Lord. And you know what I need. I need to trust you completely, as you have told me over and again. Thank you for your patience with me, and for your mercy that never runs out. And thanks, Lord, for Humble Pie. Amen. Jas 4:10 “Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up.”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
How do you think Moses felt about tending sheep? How do you think Paul felt about tent making? How do you think Mary felt about being a stay-at-home mom? How do you think Jesus felt about making cabinets? How do you think the fishermen felt about fishing for their livelihood – especially on nights they caught nothing at all! How do you feel about your job, and do you realize the significance of your seemingly insignificant job?Your seemingly insignificant job might be a lot more significant than you realize – for two reasons. First, you might be in training for something much bigger – for the Lord. Moses might have been discouraged about tending sheep, but little did he realize how much his experience leading others would come in handy. After all, God used him to deliver the children of Israel. Talk about tending sheep! Imagine how Moses used the skills he had learned from his seemingly insignificant job when he ended up with a job whose significance will endure forever.Second, your seemingly insignificant job might not be a stepping stone to a seemingly significant job. It might already be a whole lot more significant than you realize in serving as a crucial piece of God’s plan for the present. How is that? Mary had a baby. Big deal, right? After all, zillions of women have babies. A stay-at-a-home mom? Mary wasn’t in training with an insignificant job so one day she would land a significant job. She gave birth to Jesus the Christ! But in her own mind, she might have thought, “Great, all I’m called to do is have kids. How significant is that?” She gave birth to the Savior of the universe.In my own experience, I have had both kinds of jobs. I have had jobs that are merely opportunities to be trained and prepared for a significant job in the future. For example, I was a copy editor for a financial newspaper that gave me great experience in editing that would be a great benefit to the day I would be called to do inspirational writing for the Lord.I have also had seemingly insignificant jobs that are far more significant than I could possibly imagine. For example, I had two jobs in the Washington, D.C., area handing out free samples of nutritional bars to people in enormous health food stores. Big deal, right? Yes. Very big deal. I had an amazing opportunity to share the Gospel of Jesus with the general public.Have you ever considered that your seemingly insignificant job might be a whole lot more significant than you realize? Consider this. If the Lord gave you a job, He knew what He was doing. He always does. So why not give Him the benefit of the doubt and know your job is significant in the eyes of the Lord?I know I have a much better attitude when I realize that any job God has called me to is significant. And if I am doing a job that He has not called me to, I need to turn to Him and ask Him to lead me to where He wants me.Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Have you ever stepped up to a beautiful buffet of an endless array of delicious, sumptuous, appetizing, appealing, yummy, fulfilling, satisfying, steaming hot, ice cream cold, blessings – and then stepped away with an empty plate? Me neither. I always find something at a buffet, and I don’t know anyone who does not. But what about God’s buffet of blessings? Have you stepped up to His buffet and partaken of the bountiful of blessings He has chosen for your life? Or have you taken a peek at them, even a stare, and walked away with an empty heart and unsatisfying life? Sadly, I have oftentimes done just that. But why would I not get my fill at God’s Bountiful Buffet of Blessings?Honestly, for so long, so very, very long, I did not believe I deserved the beautiful gifts God has chosen for my life. Due to childhood trauma and the long-term consequences in my attitude and beliefs, I have spent most of my life settling for a mediocre life when I could have had God’s very best. Oh yes, I have stepped up to the buffet and taken a peek at times. Sometimes I have even stared enviously at all God’s awesome offerings, but most of the time I have walked away wondering why I can’t have what He’s serving up as today’s special at the buffet. But why?Quite simply, for many years I did not believe in God. Then, when I believed in God, I had no idea who He really is. I believed in God, but I knew nothing of Jesus His Son and my Savior. Then, I believed in Jesus but had no personal relationship with Him. At long last, I fell madly and passionately in love with Jesus and found myself in a phenomenally intimate, deeply satisfying, uniquely personal relationship with Him. So why would I still not partake of God’s Big Beautiful Bountiful Buffet?If the truth be told, as much as I love Jesus, I still struggle with believing the lies of the devil. The devil has done everything imaginable in my life to destroy everything good in my life – including my relationship with the Lord, my very existence, and the blessings God has planned for my life. So why not just toss aside the lies and believe what God has to say about my life? Call me a slow learner, but I am doing just that – slowly learning. I am learning to discern between God’s Truth and the devil’s lies.I am learning that as the daughter of the most high God, I do deserve God’s best. And I am learning to distinguish between good and evil. The devil is so very deceptive, and oftentimes what looked good on the outside was actually the devil’s ploy to deceive me so I would let go of my hold of God and fall into the devil’s fiery pit of hell on earth. Well, I have spent enough time in my life keeping the devil satisfied.I am now bound and determined to fall ever more in love with the Lord, and to step right up to His Big Beautiful Buffet of Blessings and fill my plate as high as I possibly can with all the good God has in store for me.And guess what. If you think one overflowing plate will be enough for me, think again. I have every intention of picking up my plate when I am done, licking off each and every crumb of God’s goodness like a child splurging on a bowl of cake batter, and then heading back to the buffet for more of God’s blessings.Forgive me God for not believing your best. Forgive me for believing the enemy’s lies about you and about my life. Forgive me for not enjoying all the blessings you have for my life. I love you Lord with all my heart, and I thank you for each and every blessing you have for my life. Please help me as I go forward to know the true from the false, and to fill up my plate to overflowing with all your goodness. You are amazing, God! Thank you for never giving up on me, and thank you for this beautiful, precious life you have given me. May I not only learn to partake of your Beautiful Buffet of Blessings, but may I share with the world the Truth about you, your love, and the blessings so that I would be a blessing to a world in need. Amen! James 1:17 “Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and cometh down from the Father of lights, with whom is no variableness, neither shadow of turning.”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Don’t submit to the devil. Submit to God. Don’t resist God. Resist the devil. No, this is not a play on words. Nor is it a funny puzzle mixing words around in a well known scripture. It is a warning. The Lord has fenced me in on all sides with the scripture, “Submit yourselves therefore to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you (James 4:7 KJV).” Why will He not leave me alone regarding this scripture?I desperately need it, and just today He showed me how mixed up I have been. I have been submitting to the devil and resisting God rather than the other way around. The scripture teaches me to submit to God, not the devil. But in my thought life, I have been submitting to exactly what the devil wants to me to think about. In the process, I have been resisting God.The next scripture says, “Draw nigh to God, and he will draw nigh to you…(James 4:8 KJV).” The Lord convicted me that I have been drawing near to the devil by constantly accepting the negative thoughts the devil is sending my way. Guess what the devil does when I draw nigh to him? You guessed it. He draws even closer to me.While I memorized these scriptures long ago, I have not been applying them. I have essentially stuffed my “medicine” into the medicine cabinet and forgotten to take it. This is not take-it-or-leave-it aspirin. This is medicine I need to take every day of my life in order to live – and to live abundantly.The next time the devil throws his thoughts at me, I need to remember. My job is to submit to God so I can resist the devil, not to submit to the devil and resist God.Have you ever made the same mistake? Are you making it now? When God showed me what I had done, I got down on the floor on my face in tears and repented. Now I am trying my best to remember to take my medicine so I can live the way God intended. Why not do the same? Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
Forgiveness is a choice, isn’t it? Actually, it’s a responsibility. But it is also a choice. I have a responsibility to forgive, but the choice is mine. I have lived on both sides of the forgiveness fence. I have chosen not to forgive, and I have decided to forgive. The only freedom I have ever found is in forgiveness. Forgiveness is not about how I feel. If it were, I would never forgive. Forgiveness is about obeying the Lord’s command to forgive, and obedience is not about feelings. I choose to obey because I love the Lord, and I want to live the beautiful life He created me to live. Forgiveness allows me to walk in His love that I may live the abundant life Jesus promised me. Today I choose to forgive – everyone and everything with whom and with which I have been upset. Right now. How? With God’s love. I choose forgiveness. I choose freedom. How about you?Mat 6:9 “After this manner therefore pray ye: Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Mat 6:10 Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Mat 6:11 Give us this day our daily bread. Mat 6:12 And forgive us our debts, as we forgive our debtors. Mat 6:13 And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, for ever. Amen. Mat 6:14 For if ye forgive men their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you: Mat 6:15 But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
God is preparing me. How do I know? He told me so. But sometimes I forget. Sometimes I try to jump ahead of where I am. I try to dive into the places I am not yet supposed to be. I try to move ahead of myself. When I do this, I am running ahead of God. Then I go spinning in circles, lost, frustrated, confused, wondering why I feel stuck and unable to get to where I want to go. Sometimes God simply tells me to be still because He is preparing me. Sometimes God tells me to move – for the very same reason.Yes, moving forward can be part of the preparation. When God told me to Rest, Trust, and Wait, He had a reason in mind. He is preparing me, and for right now He wants me to Rest, Trust, and Wait as He does exactly that. Oh, how I long to go to the places I believe God has called me to go. But the time is not yet. And if I arrive at my next destination without being prepared, I surely will miss the fullness of what God has designed for me to experience and do there. So why not enjoy the season of preparation?In my own case, I am hungry to write books. No, I am not merely hungry. I am starving to write them. But God told me it is not yet time. Why? Obviously I am not yet ready. He is preparing my heart, and He is teaching me how to write in a new way. He has shown me my tendency to write in the flesh with a fear of man leading the way. He is teaching me to walk in His love, and to write as an act of worship in the Spirit.In the free will He has given us, I have the choice to run ahead of God. But I have fallen flat on my face for long enough! This time, I want to learn not only to walk in His love. I want to learn to let Him lead, I want to learn to follow as an obedient, well loved child, and I want to arrive at my next destination with joy, patience, trust, and the love of the Lord.Yes, God is preparing me. He wants the very best for me. He wants the very best for you also. Is He preparing you? Learn to walk with Him. Go at His pace. Trust His will. He has the perfect plan. He wants all of us prepared as we learn to walk in His love and to follow Him by faith.Ecc 3:1 “To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven….”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
I have to laugh at myself. How could I not? I am so tenacious with God, I press into Him so much so often, and I seek Him so relentlessly, that I cannot fathom why He would not speak to me when I so desperately want to hear from Him. So what’s so funny about this? I am so driven to hear from Him that I often go bulldozing right over the very words He speaks, either not hearing Him because I am so busy bugging Him to speak or conveniently forgetting what He has spoken. I really need to ask myself one simple question. When God speaks, do I listen? How about you?This morning, while picking up poop for the millionth time, I decided to spend some time with the Lord. I was so busy speaking to Him, so preoccupied with telling God how much I want to hear from Him, that I barely heard what He spoke. When I finally listened, I realized that His message to me was not in the least bit new. For the past few days, He has been speaking to me. I am not sure whether I did not like His response so decided to press on farther, or whether I was just too busy to hear.What did God tell me. Three simple words. Trust. Rest. Wait. For anybody who knows me, you can imagine my response. I even spoke it aloud.”That is a tall order for someone like me, God,” I replied. Did I say thank you? No. Was I relieved He had finally spoken? Somewhat. Did I realize He had already spoken, and acknowledge that I simply hadn’t listened? Of course not.The good news is that I heard Him this time. Trust. Rest. Wait.Leave it to God to patiently wait while I harassed Him endlessly to speak to me to answer in such a simple, pure, and holy of course way.Trust. Rest. Wait.Given how phenomenally tired I have been, given that I have had about three good nights sleeps in the past several months, and given how busy I tend to keep myself, this isn’t such bad advice. Isn’t such bad advice? This is God speaking!Trust? Ahem. I have been seeking His forgiveness for my unbelief and lack of trust. So go figure. God is asking me to do exactly what I have been having difficulty doing.Wait? Are you kidding me? That means I have to continue to learn to be patient.Trust. Rest. Wait. Pretty cool. I can only imagine something beautiful will follow – once I obey.So here’s the question. When God speaks, do I listen? It’s one thing to beg God with all my heart to speak. It’s another thing altogether to listen – and obey.So here are my two questions.When God speaks, do you listen?When God speaks and you listen, do you obey?Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.
I just made a mistake. Again. Sometimes I feel like I make more mistakes than I get things right. I just thank God I am willing to be corrected. I am even more thankful that I understand the Lord corrects me because He loves me. He loves me so much that He does not want me to keep messing up. He loves me so much that He wants me to get things right so I can live the abundant life He created me to have. He also wants me to get things right so I can love and serve Him the way that He desires. I love the Lord so much that I see His correction as a gift. His chastening is my opportunity to come to Him with skinned knees, a bruised heart, a dirty face – and to confess my faults to Him so He can clean me up like a child. I am a child. I am His.Job 5:17 “Behold, happy is the man whom God correcteth: therefore despise not thou the chastening of the Almighty…”Please visit Walk by Faith Ministry at https://www.walkbyfaithministry.com.