Have you ever been in a situation where you just want it fixed RIGHT NOW? I have…Oh man!
When I first went through the separation from my husband the pain was unbearable! I would fall to the ground in fetal position wailing! I just HAD to find an answer, a button, a person, a pill…SOMETHING to stop the pain! Then I heard a still small voice.
“I am here with you.” Yes, I heard the Lord speak sweetly into my breaking heart! This happened on MANY occasions during my time of grieving.
I am living in another circumstance that is painful, I am the caregiver for my parents. There have been many moments it would be great to have a pill, or button, or answer…something to stop the anguish of what we are going through. Yet there is not.
I am on a journey. One in which there is no easy button. One in which the depths of my soul are being pursued, loved, nurtured, strengthened, challenged and oh so tenderly cared for by my Groom Jesus, my Counselor, my provider, my healer, my Father, my God, my King.
Sometimes, the easy button can cause more damage, by just numbing the circumstance or pain. I want the full meal deal! I want total healing! I want all that God has for me! I want ALL of Him! I want to honor Him! I want to adore Him! Not…the the temporary fix of an easy button.
So, when I am tempted to take the easy route by pushing the easy button. I stop and say: “Lord, are you here with me?” And He says: “Yes!” Then I let Him hold and lead me.
Examples of “Easy buttons” that have crossed my mind to “push”:
These are just a few of the things that have flitted across my mind to tempt me away from what God truly has for me. My mind and heart are being renewed daily. Having an eternal perspective. Living in the now, but not for it. No longer allowing the “easy button” to be first reaction. Training for the long haul instead.
Scripture to Ponder:
“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world (John 16:33).”
Have you ever experienced something REALLY difficult and were able to break through? Like running. The more you run, your body responds and then all of a sudden you break through a wall and you actually want to run. It is so exhilarating! Don’t you just feel so accomplished? So much stronger when you are able to break through something that was so difficult, whether it be physical, mental, emotional or Spiritual?
I have been doing that in the area of my trust in God. My hearts desire was to be at a place where I truly heard HIS voice above ALL others! That I would have perfect pitch when it came to hearing and responding to Him.
Each step that I have been taking lately has been SO hard! Like when I started running, I wanted to give up. Somehow, I felt this nudge to not give up. There was more happening than just my running abilities.
There were times when I KNEW I heard God ask me to step. Step into something that really didn’t make sense. Then the outcome of those steps didn’t match what I thought the outcome was supposed to be! So, I doubted my ability to hear God and I felt abandoned. Then I sensed that nudge again to not give up.
After an interlude of nothing, I sensed God leading me again. This time, I told Him HE HAD to give me step by step! Well, He did, I was so impressed with all of it! Yet…again the outcome was not what I thought it was supposed to be. Again I heard the quiet voice to not give up. This time I didn’t feel abandoned. I felt disappointed and discouraged. Yay! That seemed like growth!
Okay, third time right? He gave me another task. I followed the task with gusto! I was so excited! Things fell into place! He lead every step again! Boom! Again, the outcome was NOT what I thought it was supposed to be! This time, I didn’t feel abandoned, I wasn’t disappointed, I laughed! I didn’t understand all of it. But somehow, I just KNEW He had me. I just KNEW He was doing a deeper work in me than outcomes. My perceived outcomes.
Then, He gave me a new task. This time, there was peace. There was something in me…Contentment! Not comfort. For I knew holding onto my comfort zone would not prepare me for when things in life explode! For…things have exploded a lot in my life! I realized a wall inside of me had been broken. I was able to truly see that I am WELL taken care of by my Father, My Groom, My God! I am able to hear Him! I don’t expect a certain outcome! I am content JUST to listen and do what He asks of me! And along with that contentment comes JOY and PEACE! No fear! Just contentment!
Just like when I run after breaking through that wall, I want to keep running. When something takes me out and I am unable to run, I know I will get back there. The wall will break again. So will this contentment, this faith that I have now. If something draws me away from them for a time, I know that I will be able to get back there. For, there is a well worn road I have run! And that road has taken me on some pretty amazing terrain! I may have stumbled along the way, but I am on the correct path! The view right now is amazing!
What does your path look like?
Verses to Ponder:
Proverbs 3:5-6~ 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.
Romans 11:53~ Oh, how great are God's riches and wisdom and knowledge! How impossible it is for us to understand His decisions and His ways!
Isaiah 49:4~ I replied, “But my work seems so useless! I have spent my strength for nothing and to no purpose. Yet I leave it all in theLord’s hand; I will trust God for my reward.”
Jeremiah 17:7~ “But blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.
Power of the Son
The other day as I was driving home, the sun was setting and it was AMAZING! The bright orange mass tempted me to take a peek. I did! Just a quick one, knowing it could damage my eyes. Just SO tempting! I longed to pull my car over and just stare directly at it as it set. It was spectacular!
As I drove on, I thought about how amazing the sun is and how it brings life to our tiny planet. It also has the potential to bring great destruction! But it doesn’t, it gives such great life! I suppose living in the Pacific Northwest's Willamette Valley, I tend to yearn for the sun since it can be so illusive, hiding behind rain clouds so much.
Then I had this “aha” moment…The Bible often speaks of having the fear of God. God is SO pure, so beyond our minds comprehension in His vastness, we couldn’t possibly be in HIS presence! I mean if the sun could damage our eyes from looking at it, how much more would our entire being be if we were in the presence of GOD? He knows that, and has protected us from that. I long to be in Gods presence, yet, to really be there is a bit scary if I put it into this train of thought! Yet, JESUS!!! HE made a way for us to actually have GODs Spirit live inside of us! THAT much power and might and beauty and wisdom, and goodness and … so much! Yet we don’t explode! How is that possible?
I am by NO means scientific. But…I am just wondering if when Jesus died and conquered our sins, washing us clean… maybe that changes something in our bodies to connect with God in such a way that allows us to receive Him, to be in His presence? Because someday when we shed these earthly bodies we will actually be in Heaven where Gods presence is THE light! So, in a sense, we have a taste of heaven right now when we accept what Jesus did, His Spirit lives in us!
As I had longed to stop and stare at the sun, how much more does my entire being desire to stop and “stare” at THE Son?
Verses to ponder:
I Corinthians 15:48-57~Earthly people are like the earthly man, and heavenly people are like the heavenly man. 49 Just as we are now like the earthly man, we will someday be like the heavenly man.
50 What I am saying, dear ones, is that our physical bodies cannot inherit the Kingdom of God. These dying bodies cannot inherit what will last forever.
51 But let me reveal to you a wonderful secret. We will not all die, but we will all be transformed! 52 It will happen in a moment, in the blink of an eye, when the last trumpet is blown. For when the trumpet sounds, those who have died will be raised to live forever. And we who are living will also be transformed. 53 For our dying bodies must be transformed into bodies that will never die; our mortal bodies must be transformed into immortal bodies.
54 Then, when our dying bodies have been transformed into bodies that will never die, this Scripture will be fulfilled: “Death is swallowed up in victory. 55 O death, where is your victory? O death, where is your sting?”
56 For sin is the sting that results in death, and the law gives sin its power. 57 But thank God! He gives us victory over sin and death through our Lord Jesus Christ.
Hebrews 9:24-28~For Christ did not enter into a holy place made with human hands, which was only a copy of the true one in heaven. He entered into heaven itself to appear now before God on our behalf. 25 And he did not enter heaven to offer himself again and again, like the high priest here on earth who enters the Most Holy Place year after year with the blood of an animal. 26 If that had been necessary, Christ would have had to die again and again, ever since the world began. But now, once for all time, he has appeared at the end of the age[k] to remove sin by his own death as a sacrifice.27 And just as each person is destined to die once and after that comes judgment,28 so also Christ was offered once for all time as a sacrifice to take away the sins of many people. He will come again, not to deal with our sins, but to bring salvation to all who are eagerly waiting for him.
Matthew 17:2~As the men watched, Jesus’ appearance was transformed so that his face shone like the sun and his clothes became as white as light.
Romans 12:2~Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is-his good, pleasing and perfect will.
Romans 8:23-27~Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the first fruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies, 24 For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have? 25 But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently. 26 In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercede for us through worlds groans. 27 And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.
Revelation 21:22-27~I saw no temple in the city, for the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 And the city has no need of sun or moon, for the glory of God illuminates the city, and the Lamb is its light. 24 The nations will walk in its light, and the kings of the world will enter the city in all their glory. 25 Its gates will never be closed at the end of the day because there is no night there. 26 And all the nations will bring their glory and honor into the city. 27 Nothing evil will be allowed to enter, nor anyone who practices shameful idolatry and dishonesty - but only those whose names are written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.
Is it really sufficient?
For MANY years, I have wanted to understand Gods grace. It is talked about a lot in the Bible. There have been many messages spoken about it.
To me, grace meant forgiveness of sin (“those” sins). Freely forgiven. Washed clean. Isn’t that right? This is a hard concept for us “good” girls. I KNOW I am not perfect and I do sin. Yet, in my brain, I felt that because my sins weren’t “those” sins, what was grace for me? I didn’t “get” it.
Ephesians 2:8-9~God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.
I am learning grace is even more than covering sin! When Jesus said in 2 Corinthians 12:9~Each time he said, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. I wonder if He was also saying I cover you, I go before you, I clean up after you, I handle the big stuff, and the little stuff?
In other words, when I THINK my obedience to Him should end in a certain result and it doesn’t…HE covers it! My job is to listen, and let the outcome be HIS not mine. He has the big picture and the microscopic picture! I truly have been looking at grace with only one perspective. God is WAY more amazing than I let Him be.
I choose to trust Him because according to Matthew 8:28~And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them. I can love Him! I can trust Him, and I can walk in HIS grace for me! Wow! New perspective. I think I am getting His heart of love for me! Even for us “good” girls. Yay!
Verses to Ponder:
Galatians 5:4~For if you are trying to make yourselves right with God by keeping the law, you have been cut off from Christ! You have fallen away from God’s grace.
2 Thessalonians 2:16, 17~Now may our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal comfort and a wonderful hope, 17 comfort you and strengthen you in every good thing you do and say.
Hebrews 4:16~So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.
1 Samuel 15:22~What is more pleasing to the Lord: Your burnt offerings and sacrifices or your obedience to His voice?
Ever have a situation when your heart begins to race and you feel that you may barf, or want to hit someone/thing, or run away? Those would be good indications that there is something wrong. Most in the medical field would call that panic attacks, maybe even diagnose PTSD. I am NOT in the medical field, so I am calling them smoke signals from God.
Gods way of saying, “I love you and have more for you, I want to heal you.” I have learned that our brains don’t forget. Even our bodies don’t forget. So, when something triggers a negative reaction, it is our brain and bodies way of letting us know there is something wrong. Something has triggered an old memory that hurt or scarred the heart. There is a smoke signal letting us know the fire that once burned bright is smoldering.
When this happens for me, I need to thank God for these uncomfortable moments. Because…He LOVES me and desires healing and growth in me. I should probably learn how to read smoke signals.
Kind of hard to read smoke signals when I am panicked. I just thought it may be good to start a lifestyle habit that could bring healing to my soul and once again receive GODS spark that ignites a strong fire in me, when the smoke starts to rise.
PERSONAL INTERLUDE (Can skip this part if you want)
Here is a simple example that recently happened to me. I was scheduled for the first time to be a greeter at Church. I left just in time to get there at the appointed time. Wouldn’t you know, EVERYONE decided to go for a drive at this particular time! As I was driving along the two lane highway, someone six vehicles ahead, was going between 45-55 in a 55 MPH zone. I found my thoughts being anxious. Thinking things like: “Dude, do you NOT know your car has cruise control?” Yeah…THAT is where my focus was. (I am so holy!) Then I realized, my day to day thoughts are to always be captive in Christ. I began to let the dude go. I told God I was willing to surrender the time I arrived to Church and let it be what it was. I then put my focus on worship of God! AND…my attitude changed. I had peace and I was RIGHT on time! Crazy!
Why did I just share that? Did you see a smoke signal there? I see it! For me, I was upset, which was the smoke signal something was wrong. Then, I looked within and realized I was carrying some things I didn’t need to carry. I then surrendered and praised. The spark from Jesus came quicker and the fire in me was burning bright!
REGULARLY SCHEDULED WRITING:
Living a life in relationship with God, instead of being a casual observer of God, takes time. Cultivating relationships is hard! What is the difference when seeking a relationship with Christ? Its a constant awareness! Its also vulnerable. For me, these are the steps (if you were to be a step person, which, I am not, but thought it would be lovely for those that are.) I take to have relationship with God.
1. Singing praise to Him
2. Picturing Him and His goodness
3. Thankful heart
If I am living this way consistently, then, when I have those moments of panic, or the smoke signals are going…It is quicker for me to surrender them to Him and trust that HE will reveal to me the spark that caused the smoldering fire. Then I can allow Him to bring me HIS spark. Once again I will have a blazing fire for all to see and be blessed by, along with me being filled and God being glorified!
Disclaimer: This IS the lifestyle I choose to practice. But alas, I am human and do not do this perfectly ALL the time. Yay Jesus! Who brings me the smoke signals to remind me to get back into this habit!
Scriptures to ponder:
Luke 6:43-45 ~ “A good tree can’t produce bad fruit, and a bad tree can’t produce good fruit. 44 A tree is identified by its fruit. Figs are never gathered from thornbushes, and grapes are not picked from bramble bushes. 45 A good person produces good things from the treasure of a good heart, and an evil person produces evil things from the treasure of an evil heart. What you say flows from what is in your heart.
Romans 15:13 ~ I pray that God, the source of hope, will fill you completely with joy and peace because you trust in him. Then you will overflow with confident hope through the power of the Holy Spirit.
John 8:32 ~ And you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.
Galatians 5:7-8 ~ You were running the race so well. Who has held you back from following the truth? 8 It certainly isn’t God, for he is the one who called you to freedom.
Colossians 2:7 ~ Let your roots grow down into him, and let your lives be built on him. Then your faith will grow strong in the truth you were taught, and you will overflow with thankfulness.
SWEET prayer of LOVE from Jesus to God:
John 17:13-19 ~ “Now I am coming to you. I told them many things while I was with them in this world so they would be filled with my joy. 14 I have given them your word. And the world hates them because they do not belong to the world, just as I do not belong to the world. 15 I’m not asking you to take them out of the world, but to keep them safe from the evil one. 16 They do not belong to this world any more than I do. 17 Make them holy by your truth; teach them your word, which is truth. 18 Just as you sent me into the world, I am sending them into the world. 19 And I give myself as a holy sacrifice for them so they can be made holy by your truth.
There are people in my life! You have those? I mean PEOPLE!!! Oh, wait, yes, we all have people in our life. Can’t really avoid people. They pop in, they pop out, some stay for a long time. I find myself becoming annoyed sometimes with people. Come on! You do too! No wagging your finger. Oh, wait, I just got annoyed with you. See how fast that can happen? OY!
When I get annoyed with someone, I see that as a smoke signal to my soul, letting me know there is something wrong. It could be the person that has the problem, or (gasp) it could be me that has the problem!
Heres the deal. If I am truly peaceful, truly relying on the Lord, truly in deep relationship with Him then the things people do, don’t annoy me! I can trust Him to be my protector and the leader of my choices. So, when I am annoyed, I should see where that smoke is coming from. Because God wants me free, He sends smoke signals for me to look deep within and find out where the spark came from that brought the smoldering fire.
HOW do I look deep within?
If it truly is the other persons deal, I also go to God. For, really…He is the judge, not me. However, as a true lover of God, I am called to love people! So, going to them and being honest is a good choice. AFTER looking at myself. AFTER surrendering them to God. AFTER I ask God to fill me with HIS love for this person. AFTER HE says, yes, share with them the goodness you see in them. THEN with LOVE in my heart, NOT with justice or bitterness, or control, I am released to share the smoke signal I am seeing. Allowing Gods loving Spirit to lead the conversation. For HE will show them in HIS time where the spark that caused a smoldering fire came from. HE will give them a new spark. My job is to love.
GOD is so good at loving me. I desire HIS fire burning in me. HE shows me, if I let Him, what spark started the fire when I see smoke. It is the signal for me to open up and let God speak into my life. Not place blame, point fingers or even condemn myself. I am to let Him convict me of those things that are not mine, so HE can relight the fire!
Scriptures to ponder:
Romans 15:5-7 ~ May God, who gives this patience and encouragement, help you live in complete harmony with each other, as is fitting for followers of Christ Jesus. 6 Then all of you can join together with one voice, giving praise and glory to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 7 Therefore, accept each other just as Christ has accepted you so that God will be given glory.
Ephesians 4:15 ~ Instead, we will speak the truth in love, growing in every way more and more like Christ, who is the head of his body, the church.
2 John 1:2-3 ~ because the truth lives in us and will be with us forever. 3 Grace, mercy, and peace, which come from God the Father and from Jesus Christ—the Son of the Father—will continue to be with us who live in truth and love.
Hebrews 12:8~If God doesn't discipline you as he does all of his children, it means you are illegitimate and are not really his children after all.
I don’t know about you, but my view on being disciplined is one of fear! Mostly because I don’t want to disappoint or hurt anyone, especially God!
Gosh, I just want to be obedient and full of Him so I don’t have to be disciplined. I really hate to do wrong. UGH! When I was a kid, if I did something wrong, all my Dad had to do was give me a look (You know that look right?) and I got a horrible stomach ache, knowing I had disappointed him. Growing into adulthood, I found myself viewing my relationship with God the same way. I didn’t want to disappoint Him. Which caused me to strive for perfection.
However, because I am not perfect, I do go off track, so when I am disciplined, I can rejoice because of his love for me. I am His! He is choosing the higher ground for me. He has chosen for me to thrive! BONUS: When I don’t resist Gods discipline, there isn’t as much pain involved! I can trust Him. He DOES love me, so, when He corrects me, it is with a heart of love for me! He sees who I am and wants me to live in that.
HIS correction is completely wrapped in love. It only hurts because of my pride, my fear, my doubt…If I can surrender when I am needing discipline, the process is complete and beautiful!
Have you ever received that kind of discipline from God? Where you felt His arms wrapped around you as HE is correcting you?
CAN I HAVE IT NOW?
Hebrews 11:39-40~All of these people (those mentioned in chapter 11 who lived by faith and suffered) we have mentioned received God's approval because of their faith, yet none of them received all that God had promised. For God had far better things in mind for us that would also benefit them, for they can't receive the prize at the end of the race until we finish the race.
I was feeling discouraged that my many efforts of doing what I wholeheartedly believed God was leading me to do wasn’t producing enough fruit as far as I could see. I mean…I was being obedient, had a joyful heart even when it was beyond my understanding. Yet, my “prize” was no where in sight.
I even went to bed one night upset with God! You know how when you are upset with someone, you kind of turn your back and do a harrumph? May not want to talk for a bit? Yeah, that was me. I KNEW He loved me, I KNEW He was there for me, I KNEW that all of this was in HIS hands and my job was just to keep moving forward as HE leads me. I still LOVED Him. Yet nothing was happening! I felt hurt by Him. So, I went to bed with that feeling. “Where was the prize?” I told Him I was hurt and didn’t want to talk.
In the morning, His presence was still graciously with me as I finished reading Deuteronomy. That is when it hit me!
Moses had endured some pretty incredible things! Back then, they didn’t have the luxury of the Holy Spirit, so, HE pretty much was anointed with Gods Spirit and the people had to listen to what Moses relayed to them from God. There were so many times they were about to be annihilated by God because of choices and whining! Then Moses would THROW Himself down between the people and God and beg Him not to do it! God would relent, but just in the nick of time from them being totally annihilated! Because of THEIR choices, THEIR doubt, they ALL had to wander in the dessert for FORTY years! WHAT? Moses! Oh man, I would have been SO mad. God promised them an amazing land flowing with milk and honey and instead, they wandered.
When it was time for them to enter, because of ONE thing Moses did, HE didn’t get to enter into the promised land! WHAT? Again…I would have been SO mad! Moses did (almost) EVERYTHING God told him to do! Yet, He didn’t get what was promised! Grrrr! (Okay…why was I getting so mad right here?)
I realized I was feeling a bit the way I assumed Moses SHOULD have felt! However, it goes on to say. God brought him up the mountain to SEE the promised land. Deuteronomy 34:7 says: Moses was 120 years old when he died, yet his eyesight was clear, and he was as strong as ever. WHAT? Wow! Yet, he died on the mountain. Vs. 6~The Lord buried him…and no one knows the exact place. Then in vs. 10~ There has never been another prophet in Israel like Moses, whom the Lord knew face to face.
Okay…Soooo…He obeyed God. He put up with a bunch of crud. He ended up doing things that weren’t a lot of fun. BUT…He saw the Lord face to face! He had deep relationship with Him. He was even buried by GOD Himself! WHAT? Okay…so, my little whininess needed a bit of a wake up call.
I was reminded by my Groom (Jesus) that I am to be thankful in ALL things. That HE is a GOOD Groom and HE WILL take care of me. When I may not know the outcome, holding onto these truths is faith! I know that at the end of my "race", I want to cross the finish line with “Mission Accomplished” written on my forehead! That even if things don’t go the way I want or understand. I CAN run my race for eternity sake. Filled with faith, love and a grateful heart.
Psalms 94:19 ~ When doubts filled my mind, your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.
Dropping them like flies
I used to be such a rule follower. This rule following thing meant I took peoples opinions and suggestions and tried to implement them. Whatever they said was right, whatever they wrote was correct. No challenging their rule over me. Somewhere along the lines, I started to question why and when I had stepped into this “rule following” persona.
God is doing something new in me to break me from this. HE is leading me in every little thing. For example: Running. I was using an app, via someone’s suggestion, for almost two years and STILL couldn’t even run a mile without stopping. I finally decided to delete the app and just enjoy running for once. My goal was to run/walk 2.5 miles at least 4 times a week. Well, NOW I RUN A LITTLE OVER A MILE STRAIGHT then run/walk another TWO miles!!!! Got me thinking…
My focus, back then, was always on pleasing people, doing things right, and following directions. But, that routine I was stuck in was actually a hinderance to me moving forward! AND, I wasn’t actually listening to God! (The only place I didn’t follow directions was in my cooking! I hate cooking and I wanted to just be a free spirit, when it came to that.) I needed to redirect my heart, mind, and eyes elsewhere. During that time of realization, I sensed God giving me some real freedom from the “normal” rules of Life Coaching, that STILL followed the “unspoken” law I thought I needed to follow.
I pretty much told God if this was really Him telling me to do this, then HE needed to give me step by step instructions, even in the details. I was used to the “recipe” lifestyle. I just wasn’t having any fun, or success. Eventually, HE started putting things together, like crazy mad! One thing led to another and BAM! I have been working like a wild woman putting things in place to add a workshop to Hidden Potential Coaching. (Starting April 26th)
This new improved Hidden Potential Coaching is going to reflect the core of who I am. Because I can finally say, “I LIKE who I am!” I want to do something that is more me, and allow God to use who I am to make a bigger difference, instead of me working to fill whatever mold I was trying to fill in the past. God has been showing me how to take this “recipe” and add a little here and try a little there…
Did I mention I am excited? These rules are dropping like flies on a cold day! I am learning that I was made to hear Gods voice FIRST and to follow HIM! Its super fly to do that! Woot! Woot! Gonna be sooooo good!
I have had so many passions and desires to do amazing things, even desires to do simple things that fill my heart! Yet, when it came down to stepping into it, I found myself stuck, tired, afraid, and doubtful. Like going for a grueling mountain hike with MAJOR rocks in the path.
I believe this passage speaks to the core of what has stopped me.
Hebrews 12:1-3 ~ Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.
I used to do a whole teaching on these verses. Pulling them apart. So much goodness! Every time I read scripture, something new stands out to me. The other morning, while I was reading this passage, the verses that caught my attention were; “things that hinder and the sin that entangles”, and “so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.” It reminded me of the the amazing trails I used to hike on when I lived in Wallowa County. There were times when I was hiking where I would get so exhausted and it seemed right when I would start to get tired, HUGE rocks would be in the way. How could I have found the strength to step over such big rocks?
Isn’t that like life for all of us? Going along, desiring to do something great and then BOOM! There is a huge “rock” in the way and so, we get busy, or shut down, or ignore it. We may try to move it, walk around it, or go over it…But in that moment we are already so weary. Could it be because there has been one too many “rocks” in the way lately?
God places in each of us gifts and talents. We have a desire and a passion to use them, but sometimes it is hard to even SEE the gifts and talents in ourselves because of those “rocks”. So, we don’t step into what our heart is leading us to do. Our heart is beating with our Creators heart, we are connected, but it seems that either a rock is put in our path, or we actually pick up a rock and put it in our path. Either way, it discourages and tires us and then we don’t truly reach what our heart desires.
THAT, my friend is what happened to me for three years! Sometimes that “rock” could just be grief! With grief, a “rock” that may be picked up could be anger, bitterness, unforgiveness, or fear…Jesus says there is a “time to mourn and there is a time to dance”. So, mourning is okay! The problem occurred when I was already exhausted from the grief, and picked up those things that hindered the gifting that was given to me. Instead of allowing Jesus to clear the path.
Oh life is amazing isn’t it? God is CONSTANTLY pouring out His goodness! Yet, so difficult to see or receive it when those darn “rocks” get in the way!
I am so thankful to be on this hike with Jesus right now! I am letting Him clear the path for me! I can clearly see the beautiful lake, meadows, and mountains ahead! I am stepping wholeheartedly into the gifts and talents HE has given me. And there is a passion and a fire burning! These things given to me are not for me to hoard! They are for me to glorify HIM and to be a gift to others!
This is why I “do” what I “do”! If this resonates with you, I encourage you to check out my website: hiddenpotentialcoaching.com and see if you would like to get rid of the “rocks” to step into those gifts and talents that God has given to you! You were created for a beautiful purpose here on earth! One that will make a difference for eternity! So…it is time to LIVE out that purpose! Lets go on a hike together with Jesus!
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 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.