Sometimes my challenges seem so big and I feel so weary that I can’t imagine going another step forward in my life and ministry. I can’t fathom doing anything other than stopping in my tracks – and quitting. Every once in a while, I have those old thoughts that are mostly gone of quitting life altogether. Or I simply have thoughts of quitting my ministry work. Regardless of the nature of the thoughts, the point is the same. Going forward is the last thing I feel I can or should do. But the Lord, my greatest encourager, calls me, encourages me, and enables me to put one step in front of another and go forward despite how I feel.
“Be vigilant in continuing forward no matter how you feel or what [the devil]says to you or how people treat you or anything,” the Holy Spirit spoke to my heart one time.
Bottom line? NO MATTER WHAT, no matter how we feel, what we think, what our lives look like, how people treat us, no matter what, in the love and strength of the Lord, for the glory of the Lord, we need to follow as His Spirit leads us and GO FORWARD!
My Father, my King, my Lord, my redeemer, my healer, my first love, my greatest priority, my Savior, my master, please help all my precious readers and I to go forward no matter what following not our flesh neither this world but you dear Jesus, AMEN!
“Not that I have already attained, or am already perfected; but I press on, that I may lay hold of that for which Christ Jesus has also laid hold of me. Brethren, I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead, I press toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:12-14
Walking with the Lord
“I don’t want to take another step without you, Lord,” I told Him.
What did I mean? And why? For someone who grew up in a Jewish family that didn’t believe in God and dabbled in agnosticism, atheism, New Age, Eastern, and being totally lost and who was broken beyond human hope and repair for decades, how could this be?
What I meant? I meant I do not want to live one breath of my life without loving, honoring, cherishing, adoring, worshiping, serving, and glorifying the Lord, and I want to repent whenever I don’t. I want to be in His presence every moment and to experience Him every step of my journey on earth and forever!
Why? I love Him more than anything or anyone in the universe.
How could this be? Because I have given myself utterly over to the Lord and live and breathe for Him for He has drawn me to Himself more than I can imagine. And I draw ever near to Him as He continues to draw ever near to me!
Do you know a love like this with the Lord? Do you want to experience and please Him every step of your life and forevermore? May it be so, my friend, oh, may it be so!
Lord, just as you have drawn me to yourself and teach me your ways and grow me in your love and image and in relationship to you, my beloved Lord, please do the same with all of us. With everyone reading this. And beyond. To everyone on this planet, Lord. I know some will never turn to you, but I still pray this prayer Lord. Asking you to please draw more and more people to yourself. Help us to yearn to be in your company at all times. To desire to take no steps without you. To walk on the pathway you have set before us. Day by day. As you lead us lovingly and mercifully. Lord, bring conviction that lukewarm children you do not desire. That you desire we be sold out to you. Like Moses who didn’t want to go anywhere without you, precious Father, help us to long and hunger and thirst for you and for righteousness at all times, dear God, AMEN!
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.” Matthew 5:6
“Now therefore, I [Moses] pray, if I have found grace in Your sight, show me now Your way, that I may know You and that I may find grace in Your sight. And consider that this nation is Your people.”
And He said, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”
Then he said to Him, “If Your Presence does not go with us, do not bring us up from here. For how then will it be known that Your people and I have found grace in Your sight, except You go with us? So we shall be separate, Your people and I, from all the people who are upon the face of the earth.”” Exodus 33:13-16
His Ministry, His Life, His Glory
“Lord, if there is anything in this ministry you want me to stop, help me to stop,” I prayed earnestly. “If there is anything in this ministry you want me to start, help me to start,” I finished. Enough said.
I used to think everything belonged to me. My heart and life included. It was all about me, wasn’t it? I had so much growing and changing to do. Still do, but now I understand this. The ministry with which the Lord has entrusted me BELONGS TO HIM. My life BELONGS TO HIM. My life and ministry are FOR HIS GLORY. Oh, sure, I say “my ministry”. Ministry actually means service. So it’s my labor of love and service to the Lord. But it BELONGS TO HIM. Oh, sure, I get to make decisions in my life and get to pick and choose day by day how to live. But the way to live is FOR HIM because this life I now live IS HIS. The ultimate goal? THAT THE LORD IS GLORIFIED.
So sometimes there needs to be a purging and refining in my life and ministry. I ask Him to remove what He wants gone. I ask Him to bring what He wants me to have. Anything He wants me to stop doing? Or start doing? It’s up TO HIM.
In the simplest of terms, I LIVE AND BREATHE FOR JESUS. I AM HIS FOREVER.
Can you say the same? I didn’t start off this way. The Lord brought me to this place of beautiful surrender. Are you there? Will you let Him bring you there? Oh, surrender all to the Lord! All! For His glory!
Dear Lord, last thing I ever expected is that I would still be alive today given my story and trials, that I would believe in you, and hardest of all to believe is that I’m totally sold out to you and day in and day out live to love and glorify you. I am on fire for you, dear Jesus, and I pray that you would bring all your children to this place, this beautiful, beautiful place. I fall so very far short daily, Lord, as you know. I am nothing special. I am not better than. I think of myself as the worst of all sinners. But Lord, I have the blessedness of being fully yielded to you. And, when I fall short in this, you further refine me. Refine us all. Refine our hearts, our lives, our service to you. Make us the women and men of God you desire us to be. Thank you Lord! AMEN.
“I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me.” Galatians 2:20
She Hears Me
I have a friend who doesn’t just listen to me. She hears me. She doesn’t just hear me. She hears me with her ears – and her heart. She doesn’t just hear me with her ears and heart. She encourages me. She doesn’t just encourage me. She prays for me. She doesn’t just pray for me. She loves me. Oh, to have friends like this one. Oh, to be a friend like this one. Our friendship wasn’t always this way. At times over the years, our friendship was hard, even broken entirely at times. But the Lord brought conviction and change in both of our hearts and lives and did a mighty work which He continues to this very day in both of us. Individually – and in our friendship.
Now our friendship is no longer about loving ourselves. It’s about loving the Lord and loving one another. This is how God created friendship to be, friend. About Him. About others. And, when we make this our focus, when we live according to His ways, and obey His greatest commands to love Him with all our hearts and others as ourselves, then how very richly blessed we are. My friend is still growing and is the first to admit she falls short daily. I am still growing and fall short daily as well. But we are both growing in the image of God and growing in our friendship. May we all have friends like this friend of mine, and may we all be friends like this one.
Thank you Father for saving this friendship and bringing us through our hard places and growing us as you perfect your love in us. Thank you for giving me a friend like her. Thank you for helping me to be the friend you want me to be in her life and in the lives of others. Thank you for teaching me what friendship is supposed to look like. Thank you for teaching us all how to love you with all our hearts and others as ourselves. Thank you for teaching us your ways, dear Lord, in your Word. How beautiful you are, Lord. Thank you that you are the greatest friend anyone could have. The perfect friend. And please, dear Father, help us to be loving, merciful, and forgiving when our friends fall short just as we would desire them to be with us. Thank you Lord for friendship, thank you oh Lord, AMEN!
“A friend loves at all times,…” Proverbs 17:17
Dangerous Day of My Life
One of the most dangerous days of my life occurred decades ago when I attended a self-help group and was told to look at a big bunch of images of facial expressions and choose which one(s) described my feelings at the time. For years and years to come, I immersed myself in all sorts of psychology, psychiatry, 12-step groups, self-help groups, self-help books, etc. Everywhere I went, I was taught emphatically that I should live my life for me and base my choices and decisions on myself and my feelings. I had been a very emotional person all the way back to childhood but been criticized for how emotional I was. Now it was being drilled into me that this was the right way to live. MY feelings should direct MY life. That day it was as though the devil took 100% control of my life – through my feelings and this idea that we as humanity should live for ourselves based on our emotions and our personal happiness.
Friend, today, by God’s grace alone, the Lord Jesus Christ rules and reigns in my life. I am still an emotional and sensitive person, but I don’t live for me according to my feelings. I live for the Lord according to His will. My emotions don’t rule and reign. The Lord Jesus Christ does. It is no longer MY life. It is my life in Christ. My life for Christ. My life has been fully devoted to THE LORD.
That dangerous day was decades ago. I am still learning day by day what it means to follow Jesus and not look at a sheet of paper and pick out which images best describe how I feel. Happy face? Sad face? Angry face? Scared face? Oh, sure, I have plenty of emotions. But I am learning how not to let them lead the way. And, when I fall back into making a decision based on my feelings instead of according to the Lord’s will, I repent and quickly get back on the right path. Living for Jesus – day by day and forevermore!
Dear Lord, I believe to one extent or another we ALL need help with this. This world teaches us to live for self. You call us to live for you. Please be patient with us as we learn Lord this new way of life. Please get us on the right path. Yours. Please help us to get our emotions off the throne. Thank you for reminding us Lord that you have purchased your followers with the price of your shed blood on the cross. So we belong to you Lord and are to live for you Lord. And our flesh can be so unbelievably loud, and our emotions can rant and rave and scream and cry and throw a temper tantrum to get us to live by them. Lord, help us to not live by them nor for ourselves. Help us to live to love and glorify you forevermore. AMEN!
“For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” 1 Corinthians 6:20