Ever want to stay under the covers and not get out of bed? Hide where it feels safe and secure so you don’t have to get out of bed and face your trials and tribulations? Feel so stuck under your covers you can’t imagine coming out from under them and facing your struggles let alone having any semblance of a real and abundant life because it just seems impossible? Feel like no way if you get out from under the covers where you want to take refuge forever that you will be able to love and serve the Lord in any kind of productive and fruitful and positive and God-glorifying and satisfying way whatsoever? I have news for you.
For about two decades, I didn’t merely want to stay under the covers so to speak. I wanted out of this life. I wanted escape. I contemplated suicide for YEARS. I wanted to quit life. I didn’t think there was any hope for me whatsoever. Then it was as if the Lord threw the covers off of my bed and my troubles and struggles and did what? Did He take away my trials? No! I have them to this very day I am writing this! But He pulled me out from under the covers and saved me and drew me to Himself and swept me off my feet and led me into a gloriously wonderful personal intimate ever-growing amazingly awesome forever relationship with Himself and taught me how to have an abundant, fruitful, productive, and satisfying life on this earth. Struggle free? No way! I have struggled for as long as I can remember! But my life is filled to overflowing with the Lord Jesus Christ, with His Spirit living inside me, with the Bible, with His will and ways, and with the hope of forever and ever with Him!
If you feel like hiding under the covers, friend, come out and run into the everlasting arms of the Lord, turn your life over to Him wholeheartedly, live for Him, and rejoice when you commit yourself utterly to Him that you are forever His and He is forever yours. Hallelujah!
Oh, dear Father, if anyone knows what it’s like to want to hide under the covers because of the trials of this life, it’s me! Not that I’ve necessarily always wanted to hide under my bed covers. In fact, much of the time, I didn’t want to stay in the bed at all. But you know what I mean, Lord. I wanted to hide away from my struggles and escape this difficult life. But you have given me a hope, love, joy, peace, passion, and sense of purpose beyond imagination all in you, Jesus, all through you Jesus, all for you Jesus, and I couldn’t be more thankful. Now I ask you that you would do the very same and bless beyond measure anyone reading this who is feeling like hiding from the reality of this life. Please Lord God, draw them to yourself as you did me. And help them to surrender wholly to you, Lord. Help them to never run back under the covers but to walk instead – forward – with you – hand in hand now and forever with you dear Jesus, AMEN!
“The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10
Goodbye My Idea
“Well Mr. Simeon,” I told my paralyzed dog. “The Lord did not like Mommy’s idea. That’s okay. He is Lord,” I essentially told one of my little crew of handicapped ministry dogs.
Yes, I talk to my dogs sometimes. Okay, often. What can I say? I’m on the road full-time for Jesus on my own with the ministry doggies. I talk to the Lord continually. And I talk to my beloved handicapped doggies. But that’s besides the point. As soon as I spoke the words aloud, I heard the message. No matter how good we think our ideas are, if they are not the Lord’s will, they need to go. My idea that time around was a tiny one and totally inconsequential, but I have had plenty of big ideas through the years as well.
Bottom line, when the Lord makes clear in our hearts and through His Word that our ideas are not His will, no matter how big or small the ideas, no matter how good they may seem to our flesh, or even to others, they need to go. They need to be replaced with God’s will instead and a willingness and commitment in our hearts and lives to follow Jesus instead.
We weren’t created, friend, to follow ourselves. We were created to love and follow Jesus.
Are we? Have any ideas to let go because the Lord is bringing conviction they do not line up with His will for you? Time to say goodbye to them. Turn to the Lord and His will. Now and forever. Amen.
Dear Father, please give us wisdom and discernment when we come up with ideas and plans. Please help us to hear you. Please help us obey you. Please help us let go of the ideas we need to let go. Please help us to trust you that you always know best. Please help us to deny our flesh as we learn day by day to follow you. Thank you, dear Father, AMEN!
“saying, “Father, if it is Your will, take this cup away from Me; nevertheless not My will, but Yours, be done.”” Luke 22:42 [Jesus speaking to Father God in heaven before He went to the cross! Our perfect role model!]
Forsaking All – Time Included
There is nothing in the universe more important than the Lord Jesus Christ and our love for and obedience to Him, and no matter what or whom He calls us to forsake in believing in and following Him, we need to be faithful and honor Him and let go. We need to be wiling to give up anything or anyone He calls us to give up. We need to be willing to leave anything or anyone He calls us to leave behind. We need to be willing to sacrifice anything, absolutely anything, for Him, according to His will for us.
The Lord has called me to forsake much in my life and ministry, and one thing I don’t hear people talk about much if at all is the sacrifice of our time. In my life being on the road for Jesus full-time, the Lord has made clear He wants me to be available to Him continually both for fellowship with Him as I love, praise, pray to Him, and worship Him and as He loves me, teaches me, directs me, refines me, prepares me, corrects me, trains me, grows me, and transforms me. And to be totally available to Him for my ministry work on the streets and in writing, publishing, and doing video devotionals. He wants me available to the maximum degree to help people find and follow Him.
I don’t have a social life, entertainment life, take long luxurious vacations, have numerous hobbies and lots of time-consuming pleasures. He has me in much solitude despite my love of people and relationships. He does not have me married with children. He does not have me pursuing earthly treasures. I am available to Him 24-7. My time is wholly His. At any time of day or night, if He wants me to spend time in His presence or He calls me to write, to do a Video Devotional, to share the Gospel with someone, to pray for someone, to minister to someone, to move to my next location being on the road for Jesus full-time, to help one of my handicapped ministry dogs, whatever it is He desires, my time is fully consecrated to Him. This comes with a high cost to the flesh and can be hard sometimes in all that He calls me to forsake including in the way of time, but oh how beautiful and humbling it is to be so fully His, to forsake all for the Lord, time included.
Give the Lord your heart, friend. Give the Lord your life. Give the Lord your time. Let Him do with it whatever He desires. Make the sacrifice. Let Him choose what you do with it. Forsake all for Jesus. Time included. No matter what He wants you to do with the time on this earth He gives you, do it. Love Him. Obey Him. Today. And always.
Father God, help us to forsake all for you. Lord, it can be so incredibly hard to give up everything for you. In this day and age, Lord, sacrificing our time can be so hugely challenging. But Lord, I pray that you would help us to make this sacrifice and any sacrifice you call us to make for you. You made the greatest sacrifice of all for us when you died on the cross and were raised from the dead. What a tiny sacrifice you ask us to make in comparison, dear Father. Help us to make it. Amen!
“For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it.” Matthew 16:25
“So likewise, whoever of you does not forsake all that he has cannot be My disciple.” Luke 14:33
God’s Big Two-Letter Word
“I’ve called you there,” the Holy Spirit spoke to me just minutes after I woke up from a not great night’s sleep. Still groggy, yes. Not fully awake.
Maybe He wanted to reach me before I was awake enough to resist Him. For the truth is I had been resisting Him about a certain matter. Greatly. Why? My flesh did NOT want to go where He was sending me. It wasn’t far away. It was relatively near to where I was staying. It wasn’t about the distance there. It was about the fact I was uncomfortable, didn’t see the point, felt I had better things to do, didn’t see a purpose in it or like the possible purpose anyway, well, you get the point. I – the big I – did NOT want to GO.
Many times in the Bible, the Lord tells people to GO. In fact, a number of times, He tells them to “ARISE” – and GO. Yes, “ARISE AND GO.” In other words, GET UP from a position of being wherever we are – and get moving. Forward. To where He is sending us. No matter what we think or feel or want or don’t want.
Jonah went the wrong way in rebellion before He repented and went the right way. Some obeyed. Some did not. But one thing was true of all the times the Lord throughout time has told people to GO. We need to get up and GO. Because Jesus is Lord. No matter what our flesh has to say about it.
I needed to go where the Lord was sending me. How about you?
“Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and dwell there. See, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.”” 1 Kings 17:8-9
Oh, dear Lord, no matter how much we love you, and are committed to follow you, or no matter how much we could love you more and aren’t as committed as we need to be, it’s true we are so very human and our flesh so very loud and proud at times. We want, we want, we want. We don’t want, we don’t want, we don’t want. Then you say go. And sometimes we do. Sometimes we resist. Sometimes we outright rebel and flee the other way. I pray Lord that with every person reading this, and with myself, that you would help us to clearly hear your voice, to know when it’s time to go wherever you are sending us, even if it’s simply across the room to talk to a stranger about you, or across the world to tell a nation about you, or down the street to help a widow, no matter where, no matter when, when you say GO, help us to GO. In your love, in your strength, to bring glory to your name. AMEN!
When You Don’t Want to Go
“I will go there because you want me to go there,” I told the Lord. “For that reason, and for that reason alone.”
Sometimes I want to go where the Lord is sending me a little bit. Part of me wants to go. The other part doesn’t. I am divided. Sometimes I truly want to go and am genuinely excited. Sometimes I absolutely do NOT want to go. For whatever reason(s).
This time around, I REALLY didn’t want to go. Not that it was such a big deal. But to me it was. Because when my flesh says, “I don’t want to!”, my flesh can be very vehement.
But I knew what to do. I have long since learned this. I needed to put my trust in the Lord and go BECAUSE THE LORD WANTED ME TO GO THERE.
Following Jesus, friend, means we need to be willing to forsake all for Him. Including being willing to leave behind where we are to go where He is sending us. We don’t need to feel like going to make the decision to go. We need to make the decision to go no matter how we feel. I have learned through much experience in this area that the Lord will give me everything I need – strength included – to go against my flesh and to fully surrender to Him. He will lead me, guide me, and provide for me when I submit to Him.
Have some surrendering to do? Don’t make your decisions based on your flesh. Base your decisions on Christ – and what HE wants! Not what you want. Jesus Christ is Lord forevermore! That is reason enough!
Oh, Lord, teach us all to go against our flesh when our flesh goes against you. Such a war it is! A fiery ugly war when our flesh is screaming to go one way and you are calling us in another direction. Lord, strengthen us. Help us to have victory in this. Victory not for the flesh, but victory for our lives as followers of you. Help us to surrender all to you, dear Father. All for your glory, AMEN!
“For as many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons [children]of God.” Romans 8:14