Dictionaries definition of relationship:
1: the state of being related or interrelated studied the relationship between the variables
2: the relation connecting or binding participants in a relationship: such as
b: a specific instance or type of kinship
3a: a state of affairs existing between those having relations or dealings had a good relationship with his family
b: a romantic or passionate attachment
Sheri's definition of relationship: Giving and receiving between two or more. Sharing honestly with one another, and uplifting each other to be the best they can be.
I can be a bit strange in how I see things, but bear with me here.
I picture my relationship with God to be a bit like new plumbing. You know? New pipes are so great! Water flows so great and is so clean! (Told you I was strange) But think about this: God is the pipe, the water is His Spirit and Jesus is the roto rooter clearing out the pipe so I can have deep relationship with Him. If Jesus didn’t die for me (and all of us), and I wasn’t willing to admit the crud that is clogging that pipe, (You know what I am talking about if you have EVER cleared out your sink trap) the water/relationship couldn’t flow as clean and easy!
When I enter into Heaven one day He will “know” me! It won’t be like it says in scripture: “You said, Lord, Lord, I did this and that and the other for you!” And the Lord says, “I didn’t know you.” I want Him to KNOW me. I want my “pipe” to stay clear!
My job in all of this: Have relationship with God, by allowing myself to be vulnerable and honest with Him. Being thankful, truthful and willing. Speaking out when I fail and allowing Jesus to forgive me, and allowing His Spirit to flow through me unobstructed again. Allows me DEEP relationship with God. I am giving to Him and I am receiving from Him when I do these things.
I also see this concept when relating to those I want relationship with in my life. If I am not vulnerable, honest, thankful, truthful and willing, then something starts to clog the pipes of our relationship making it hard to really connect.
How would you define relationship?
Psalm 139:23-24~Search me, Oh God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends you, and lead me along the path of everlasting life.
This struck me as a vulnerable, transparency toward God. Standing before Him allowing Him in to know my deepest thoughts and feelings. Seems scary sometimes. Then to go a step further and say to “point out anything that offends you”? Wow! That is totally transparent and vulnerable! Yet…when that happens, relationship happens.
God already knows my innermost, so why not acknowledge them to Him? Have relationship with Him. If a friend/spouse knew me well and I ignored what I knew they knew about me, there would not be a deep relationship. How much more with God? How much deeper with God? He even knows all the chemical makeup of my body! His Spirit lives within me! Shouldn’t I then allow my full being to Him? He is so gracious and amazing! He knows all of this, yet gives me the choice for relationship with Him.
What do these verses say to you?
Vulnerability: (According to Oxford Dictionary) The quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
This verse shows my vulnerability with God. I can think I have pure motives, but He knows my heart. That can feel scary, or be comforting.
Scary in that, if I am not allowing myself to stay connected to God, my motives can become tainted, which disconnects me from Him. Leaving my heart open to harm from people or circumstances. Comforting in that, when my motives are pure, it allows me to have a deeper relationship with God. Allowing my heart greater protection.
What does this verse say to you?
I noticed the other day when I was running, the dark clouds were out and the sky was not bright. However the LEAVES! They were so bright! It made me think of the scripture below. Even when there is darkness all around, Gods light is there to grasp onto. Sometimes it is easy to see, and other times, it is VERY difficult to see. Yet, it is there.
The leaves were my reminder. THEY were glowing! When the sky is bright blue and beautiful, it makes my heart so happy and then add the fall colors and BOOM! WOWZER! So, when I noticed the leaves glowing with darkness all around, it reminded me of that scripture. Which reminded me that I too, should praise HIM even in times of darkness!
Luke 19:37-40 ~ When he reached the place where the road started down the Mount of Olives, all of his followers began to shout and sing as they walked along, praising God for all the wonderful miracles they had seen. 38 “Blessings on the King who comes in the name of the Lord! Peace in heaven, and glory in highest heaven!” 39 But some of the Pharisees among the crowd said, “Teacher, rebuke your followers for saying things like that!” 40 He replied, “If they kept quiet, the stones along the road would burst into cheers!”
I began running consistently this summer. My goal was to run often enough that when winter hit and it was raining, I would have a desire to keep running. My routine had been to run along the creek behind our house, then into the neighborhood and back. A friend that is a good runner gave me some hints to get me beyond what I had been doing and so I started doing that also. I noticed that I had started following my “normal” path and was getting a bit bored, and was predicting where I would stop to walk etc. So, one day I went the same path but started at the end and went toward the beginning.
As I went through the neighborhood, I came around a corner and noticed two houses that I passed everyday. They looked so different! I thought, “wow, if someone had taken a picture of these houses from this angle, I would never have thought they were a part of this neighborhood.” Doing something different, gave me a new perspective plus a bonus, I ran better!
I wonder how much I miss in this life when I get used to my own comfortable things and keep the same routine? God hasn’t been letting me be very comfortable in the last few years, so, my perspective has really been blown away! It was scary at first, but now it is quite amazing!! I am doing things I didn’t know I could and I have peace, joy and contentment in a different way than I have ever experienced.
Wow! Thank you God for rocking my world and getting me out of my normal routine so that I can have a deeper relationship with you and constantly be blown away by this life and how YOU lead!
A friend and I were out to dinner the other night, talking about all the bazillion things we were thinking about and what was happening in our lives. You know, just catching up. We then got on the subject of what different perspectives we have on things, and the importance of reading the Bible to gain a clear perspective. Sometimes it can be a challenge.
She shared about her daily Bible reading, and how she had just finished reading through the Bible. She wanted to get back into the routine, but it has been difficult. We talked about how reading through the Bible can become old when we don’t try reading it in different ways.
I realized that for years I had read the Bible from Genesis to Revelation in my NIV version. Then one year, I got a ONE YEAR BIBLE in the NLT version and began to read that! It gave my brain a whole NEW perspective! Reading the OT, NT, Psalms and Proverbs every day was a whole new way to see God and His love for me! So, I did that for a couple of years and realized I was ready for another change up.
This year I have been reading the Chronological Bible in the NLT version again. There were moments that I thought I would go out of my mind reading through just the OT! However, pressing through that UGH stage and seeing things in chronological order blew me away! Helped solidify in my brain a whole new perspective. Changing things up really makes a difference!
Change and trying to see things from a different perspective can be scary. Yet, when I dive in there and do it…It has proven time and again that GREAT things happen inside me, that may not have happened before. My brain changes, my heart changes and my actions start aligning more with Gods. So, perspective…always good to switch things up and see a whole new point of view!
I am bit quirky when it comes to perceiving life, people and things…I tend to look at something and then wonder what else may be there, what would God want to say to me about that? There are a lot of thoughts going on in this brain of mine. Seeing things from so many angles!
When I was young, it got me into trouble a bit, because I would hear everyones point of view and think they were ALL right! I had this knack for “seeing” each persons point of view. But, people didn’t really like that. They wanted me to take sides. I needed to learn Gods perspective.
Because of life experiences, (Everyone has different life experiences)it is difficult to really “see”. To learn Gods perspective I needed to read the Bible, and seek an open relationship with Him. Only HE knows the truth. And He IS the truth. His Spirit gives me an accurate perception of Himself, life, others and myself.
Life is full of perspectives and has a multi-faceted way of showing itself. It is not linear. So, I probably shouldn’t live as if life was linear. Being open to change things up a bit, gives me a wider perspective. But, to do that I MUST be rooted and grounded in Christ and in Gods word. Not in the way the world views things.
The world still sees things linear, and tries desperately to connect things that really weren’t supposed to be connected. There is SO much going on beyond our range of sight. Gods Spirit can give us the vision needed, the heart needed. Its scary to view things with a new perspective, but oh the benefits.
Peace, love, patience, kindness, joy, wisdom…all benefits of a perspective rooted and grounded in Christ and Gods word.
VERSES TO PONDER:
James 1:6 ~ But when you ask him, be sure that your faith is in God alone. Do not waver, for a person with divided loyalty is as unsettled as a wave of the sea that is blown and tossed by the wind.
Ephesians 4:14 ~ Then we will no longer be immature like children. We won’t be tossed and blown about by every wind of new teaching. We will not be influenced when people try to trick us with lies so clever they sound like the truth.
I drive for Uber or LYFT twice a week. It is a perfect fit for my lyfe, as I build Hidden Potential Coaching and care for my parents. I get to love people, pray WITH them, pray FOR them and make extra cash! Its super tiring, driving in traffic for 8- 9 hours for me, but it seems God has something for me to learn and at the same time give. Its been an interesting “ride”.
While driving, I THINK: “I am going to head straight to this area so I can make a bunch more money.” Then, ping, I get called to a different area. In fact, it is interesting how some days, I can go from one end of town to the other and not hit the area I thought would be best. I have a goal when I work to make a certain amount and end by a certain time. Each day, the goal is met. Yet, NOT the way I thought it should be met. These scriptures really popped out to me one day.
Proverbs 16:1 ~ WE can make our own plans, but the Lord gives the right answer.
LYFING this way has been interesting. I think this last year, I fought it Uber hard. Trying my darnedest to make things happen the way I thought for SURE God was asking me. My LYFE became disappointment after disappointment because I wasn’t taking to heart what those scriptures were saying. When I finally “got it” I began committing my actions to the Lord, and let HIM determine my steps. This new way of lyfing for me has brought contentedness, peace and confidence.
Even thought I may not know WHERE I am going next, or WHEN I will be going anywhere. I DO know GOD has placed desires inside of me and I will continue to step in the directions I sense I am to go, as I allow HIM to “light the way”. Its an UBER LYFE when I LYFE for Jesus!
Have you ever been in a place where you KNOW God has asked you to step out and do something that doesn't make a lot of sense? So out of love for Him you step out and do it? Thinking “there will be all this amazing fruit because I am being so obedient to Him.” Then months go by and you are not experiencing the fruit you expected? I have experienced that. (If you want a personal example look below) When your not experiencing “the fruit”, doubts may creep in, which sometimes bring thoughts of “I’m not worthy”, "I’m not good enough for this task”. I found some verses that are encouraging to chew on when this happens:
Ecclesiastes 11:5 ~ Just as you cannot understand the path of the wind or the mystery of a tiny baby growing in its mothers womb, so you cannot understand the activity of God, who does all things.
I Thessolonians 5:16-18 ~ “Always be joyful.” Never stop praying. Be thankful in all circumstances, for this is Gods will for those who belong to Christ Jesus.
Proverbs 16:9 ~ We can make our plans but the Lord determines our steps.
Once I was able to receive these words, I was able to keep going and to see the fruits with a different perspective. One in which the fruits were there the whole time, my perspective just needed to change, by trusting Gods leading in the first place.
Challenge: Has God asked you to step out into an area that is challenging? If so, after reading these verses, does your perspective change?
There was a time that I was struggling in my thoughts when the plans I KNEW God was leading me to do, were not moving quick enough, nor producing the fruit I felt was supposed to be produced. These thoughts spiraled into feeling stuck, into thoughts of I am not good enough for this plan, into wanting to give up. All these thoughts crept up on me, and my actions were to work harder toward the plans, with NO returns/fruit. (The returns/fruit, I was looking for, not Gods perspective/fruit) Once I was able to admit something as simple as: "I am disappointed and discouraged of what God has asked me to do because the result/fruit is going WAY slower than I had expected." (Like MONTHS slower) I had a good emotional releasing cry! I then read the verses above and allowed His Spirit to soak into me as I blessed myself by taking a soothing epsom salt and oils bath. As I soaked in the bath I allowed Gods Spirit to infuse me once again with hope and a renewed spirit. Allowing me to see HIS perspective/fruit.
I also realized my focus was on my circumstances and expectations of what I thought the plans would produce, which brought fear and doubt. Taking a moment to acknowledge what I was feeling, being thankful for HIS presence and leading in my life, brought those spiraling thoughts to an end. They no longer had a hold of my heart. I was able to hand them to God allowing Him to speak deep inside of me, renewing my mind to press forward to the goal HE has for me. (Even if it takes longer than I wanted)
Psalm 32:1-11 ~ Oh, what joy for those whose disobedience is forgiven, whose sin is put out of sight! 2 Yes, what joy for those whose record the Lord has cleared of guilt, whose lives are lived in complete honesty! 3 When I refused to confess my sin, my body wasted away and I groaned all day long. 4 Day and night your hand of discipline was heavy on me. My strength evaporated like water in the summer heat. 5 Finally I confessed all my sins to you and stopped trying to hide my guilt. I said to myself, “I will confess my rebellion to the Lord.” and you forgave me! All my guilt was gone. 6 Therefore, let all the godly pray to you while there is still time, that they may not drown in the floodwaters of judgement. 7 For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. 8 The Lord says, “I will guide you along the best pathway for your life. I will advise you and watch over you. 9 Do not be like a senseless horse or mule that needs a bit and bridle to keep it under control.” 10 Many sorrows come to the wicked, but unfailing love surrounds those who trust in the Lord. 11 So rejoice in the Lord and be glad, all you who obey him! Shout for joy, all whose hearts are pure!
This seems pretty self explanatory. 1. There is joy in forgiveness! 2. Speaking out the things that separate me from God so that I CAN be forgiven. 3. Allowing God to guide me once the crud is out in the light and I am forgiven. 4.Don’t fight God. 5. Live in rejoicing and be glad. 6. Obey Him and “shout for joy! For now your heart is pure!” What do YOU get from this passage? Feel free to share!
Isaiah 30:18~ But the Lord still waits for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the Lord is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for Him to help.
This picture is one I took while on a Retreat to Lake Shasta with our College Group from Church. This was a "wait on the Lord" moment. One in which HE spoke deep into my heart in an area that I didn't even realize it was needing to be touched. Taking that "moment" was life changing for me. You see, I felt a stirring in myself, and I wanted to "do" things instead of being quiet, alone with JUST God. SO glad I took that "moment."
Have you found yourself staying pretty busy, but not much is changing inside of you or in your circumstance? I know for me, when things are painful, one of my past behaviors would be to get VERY busy. Involved in projects, cleaning, Church stuff, helping people...
What IF you took some time throughout the day to praise God for His goodness EVEN the things that seem out of control? What if you slowed down and enjoyed whatever moment you were in? For example: When I found myself in a circumstance that I could not change, I became busy and wasn't connecting to God or those around me. Once I stopped to thank God EVEN for the circumstance that was difficult, I began to see the circumstance differently and my relationship with God grew more intimate. My relationship with those around me grew also. As I did this, my heart inside began to change. A gratefulness, a calming, a peace happened! He wants all of me. He wants to carry me through grief and through life transitions, through financial strain. He does it so lovingly. There is a promise at the end of this verse: “I will be blessed if I wait for Him to help.”
Challenge: What choice in coming to God, can you make today that is different than the choices you have been making? Feel free to share what happened with this new choice on the Hidden Potential Coaching Facebook page.
Psalm 40:1-3~I waited patiently for the Lord to help me, and he turned to me and heard my cry. 2 He lifted me out of the pit of despair, out of the mud and the mire. He set my feet on solid ground and steadied me as I walked along. 3 He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what He has done and be astounded. They will put their trust in the Lord.
Have you been in a place where you are waiting on the Lord during a season of the “mud and mire”? This passage brings such hope. The more I focus and do what it says, the more excited I get inside. A giddiness in seeing where God takes me. A happiness in my life. Because it is HIM who is leading. My heart is set on Him and in that I won’t fail. When I choose to keep my heart, mind and soul on Him, there is no fear in choosing where I go or what I do anymore. Every step, hand in hand with Him. When I step somewhere that there is pain, He holds me close and allows me to rest. When I step in excitement, He dances with me. So really there is no fear in what lies ahead as long as My God is with me. He IS good. I can put my trust in Him. He does pour out His drenching unquenchable love.
In this picture I have shown a miracle of God placing my feet on a ship in the Caribbean, my first cruise. A gift from God through my parents, during a “mud and mire” time as I was waiting on God. He blew me away! Just a HUGE physical example of how HE blesses, sometimes above and beyond what I could imagine. During that trip He did a lot in my heart. Things that challenged me and healed me.
Challenge for today: Choose to praise God in EVERY circumstance. Observe what happens inside of you when you do. Feel free to share here, how purposing to praise today has lifted your heart. (When we hear each others stories of how making new changes changed us, it inspires others to make changes too!)
Romans 8:38~And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God's love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow-not even the powers of hell can separate us from Gods's love.
I recently met with a friend who is at the place of gut wrenching hurt/betrayal, feeling worthless, alone, afraid, and imprisoned. She loves God deeply, but is not feeling Him right now.
Have you ever felt this way? Are you feeling this way now? Do you find yourself reaching for what is comfortable or easy? Do you find that it is only a temporary fix from your pain? Do you find yourself not feeling God in these times? Here are a few truths in the Bible I have discovered to hold onto when the "feelings" aren't there:
He has shown me through these facts from the Bible, that when I keep my eyes on Him even when I don’t “feel” Him. When I rest, go through pain, do the daily life things, He proves to me that He goes before and with me. He shows me that He was with me in my darkest anguish. “Stones of remembrance” is what I have, looking at the many times I can see when God was with me during painful times, by providing for and loving me. In those moments when I don’t “feel” Him, I have proof of His work in my life. I am able to see His goodness, even when the feelings are not there. This is faith.
When I go through times of pain here is a way I might pray: Thank you Father for giving me this season to grow. Thank you for reminding me of your love through scripture. I don’t want to focus on the painful circumstances, but acknowledge them and continue to focus on you! Allowing me to be sheltered in Your arms of love. For you have my breath, You have my heart, You love me, you forgive me for picking up those things that don’t bring the life you desire for me, and You are patient with me in the moments I struggle to connect with Your heart. Thank You that You are God and I am not, so that I can cling to YOUR never ending love!
QUESTION: What are your “Stones of remembrance?” I would love for you to share them here.