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I know I haven’t been posting much lately. Sorry about that.
I have been working 10-12 hour days. But the bigger issue is that I’ve been struggling with sadness and motivation to do anything in this transition time. I’m frustrated. Soooo frustrated.
Frustrated with my expectations not being met. Frustrated because I have no idea what God is doing. Frustrated that everything is in flux all at the same time and there’s nothing I can do unless I choose to stay put and not move forward.
I want to move forward.
I need to move forward.
But it is not easy.
I’ll admit to all y’all that I’m emotionally and spiritually exhausted and I’m fighting the urge to complain and be a full on spewer of negativity about this time of transition.
So two days ago I decided to read a Psalm a day…to reinforce what I refer to as The David Principle.
The David Principle is when you take all your negative feelings and the real true crap of what’s going on in your life and vent only to God about it. Like David did in the Psalms.
Then, when you’ve gotten it all out…you worship God. There by reminding yourself that God is glorious and merciful, and able to turn around the worst parts of your life for your good. Here’s a jam from my current worship playlist, Chainbreaker.
In my sadness, I’m struggling with my “be bold and courageous” right now. And I really need to be brave because everything in my world is in flux right now. My only security and stable thing right now is Jesus. Literally everything else is in flux.
Anyway…here’s a snippet of my Psalm of the Day:
“But in the depths of my heart I truly know that you have become my Shield; You take me and surround me with Yourself. Your glory covers me continually. You alone restore my courage; for you lift high my head when I bow low in shame. I have cried out to you and from Your holy presence, You send me a father’s help.” Psalm 3:3-4 TPT
I needed this reminder.
I needed to be reminded that He is always here for me. I just need to focus my my attention to Him. Even just reading this Psalm and told me what I needed to hear today. My daily bread from Heaven today!!
I needed to be reminded that this is only temporary but God is permanent. He loves me, and I am going to get through this.
Point to ponder while you wander…”My true Hero comes to my rescue, For the Lord alone is my Savior.” Psalm 3:8
So I’ve been on a faith journey that has required me to be vulnerable and take some interesting steps. I had the realization that if I want the life God has for me…the good one from Jeremiah 29:11, I have to run down the dock and jump into the deep end. Go all in!
If you’ve been around a while…that’s not how I roll. I have played around the edges of the lake…maybe tiptoed in to my knees…but never gotten my hair wet.
I went to the city I hear calling my name and I found my tribe, aka my church. Praise Jesus!
When that happened yesterday, I knew that this city is now MY city. I am compelled to pray for her and love her and love her people. I am compelled! I feel it in the core of who I am.
Even though I haven’t moved here yet. Don’t have a job yet. Don’t have a place to live yet. Don’t know when I’m moving here. But I know I am home.
Strangest feeling ever, BTW!
Anyway…yesterday at my church…I was talking to a woman and telling her what was going on. Her eyes got very big and she said, “You are sooo brave. I could never do what you’re doing.”
I am brave? Really?
I did not feel brave. I felt crazy. I am in one of the biggest and most expensive cities in the US by myself to do a fact finding mission to move here. All completely on faith that God is telling me I should move here.
But I left there confessing and declaring “I AM BRAVE.”
So thank you, Maple, for telling me who I am, when I couldn’t see myself clearly.
“Be strong and courageous, for you are the one who will lead these people to possess all the land I swore to their ancestors I would give them.” Joshua 1:6 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander…God is constantly speaking to us, revealing who He is and what’s on His heart, but sometimes we’re so in the weeds of our day to day that we miss Him. He’s also inviting us to partner with Him. But He’ll never force us. We are given a choice to partner with Him or go our own way.
As scary and hard as it is to leave my warm comfortable place. I trust Him. And He is worth the risk.
And honestly, right now, in this hard and scary place, I feel like Sleeping Beauty who has just been awakened with a kiss by King Jesus. 💋
”Jesus replied to him, ‘You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will (fully) understand it later.‘” John 13:7 AMP
Often we are asked to obey, trust, or act in faith without having a clue as to why we are being asked to do or not to do something. But we need to remember that Jesus was there in the beginning and He’ll be there at the end, and all that knowledge and wisdom is being used to encourage us to live abundant and full lives.
I know it’s difficult to step out. It was for the disciples too. They spent a lot of their time asking what? and why? questions of Jesus.
It’s not easy for me either. But I don’t want to get to the end of my life and wish I’d been brave enough to step out.
Point to ponder while you wander…Joshua walked around Jericho every day for 7 days…and it probably didn’t make a whole lot of sense to him. He was a military commander not a band leader. But he obeyed….and the walls came down. He fully understood as he watched the walls crumble. God did something amazing for him and his people. But he would have missed it if He hadn’t obeyed.
So let’s do it! Let’s be bold and courageous!
Everyone has problems. But dwelling on problems magnifies them in your mind, until they SEEM overwhelming. Choose to focus on Jesus & who you are in Him, and you’ll see how these things can be overcome. You are an overcomer!
“Set your mind on things above, not on things that are on the earth.” Colossians 3:2 ESV
Point to ponder while you wander… Don’t worry. Don’t dwell on the negative. Instead be thankful. Be positive. There’s joy to be found in that way of thinking…and strength comes from joy.
Joshua is one of the people I continually go back to study. And one of the things that stands out to me is how many times God told Him the same thing. DO NOT FEAR. BE STRONG. BE COURAGEOUS.
Joshua was the military commander under Moses, and then promoted to lead all of Israel into the Promised Land. Joshua KNEW first hand the issues that Moses struggled. He was one of the two spies who stood against the other 10 in front of all the people. And he saw the people choose fear over faith. He sat in the desert for 40 years as those people died off. THEN God says, “Okay, Josh. Take the people in.”
“WHAT? Why me? These people? Seriously!?”
Those would be my thoughts.
But as I have learned. The faith walk is not for sissies.
Before Moses (at the age of 120 BTW) stepped down and went to Mt. Nebo, he spoke to the people:
“Be strong and of good courage, do not fear nor be afraid of them; for the Lord your God, He is the One who goes with you. He will not leave you nor forsake you.” Deuteronomy 31:6 NKJV
Then he called Joshua to him in front of all the people and repeated it to Joshua directly:
“Then Moses called Joshua and said to him in the sight of all Israel, “Be strong and of good courage, for you must go with this people to the land which the Lord has sworn to their fathers to give them, and you shall cause them to inherit it. And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.” Deuteronomy 31:7-8 NKJV
Then you roll on into the book of Joshua, and the first thing written is what God spoke to Joshua after Moses died is…(drum roll please)…Do Not Fear. Yes, the exact same message again.
“After the death of Moses the servant of the Lord, it came to pass that the Lord spoke to Joshua the son of Nun, Moses’ assistant, saying: ‘Moses My servant is dead. Now therefore, arise, go over this Jordan, you and all this people, to the land which I am giving to them—the children of Israel. Every place that the sole of your foot will tread upon I have given you, as I said to Moses. From the wilderness and this Lebanon as far as the great river, the River Euphrates, all the land of the Hittites, and to the Great Sea toward the going down of the sun, shall be your territory. No man shall be able to stand before you all the days of your life; as I was with Moses, so I will be with you. I will not leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and of good courage, for to this people you shall divide as an inheritance the land which I swore to their fathers to give them. Only be strong and very courageous, that you may observe to do according to all the law which Moses My servant commanded you; do not turn from it to the right hand or to the left, that you may prosper wherever you go. This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.‘” Joshua 1:1-9 NKJV
Why? Fear is a sneaky punk. And it’s relentless in it’s efforts to make you live a pathetic small life. But God is bigger than fear. His love kicks fear’s ass every time. You just need to do your part and be bold and courageous.
Point to ponder while you wander…Today. Right now. In the decision you are about to make… Remember one thing. God has personally gone before you into the place He’s asking you to go.
Fear holds you captive. It enslaves you to live a smaller and/or lesser life than the full and abundant life God intended for you to live. Fear allows you to exist but not actually live.
“The Spirit you received does not make you slaves, so that you live in fear again; rather, the Spirit you received brought about your adoption to sonship. And by Him we cry, ‘Abba, Father.’” Romans 8:15 NIV
Fear paralyzes you. It invites you to hide and avoid risk, rather than believing God.
“Even when there was no reason to hope, Abraham kept hoping- believing that he would become the father of many nations. For God had said to him, ‘That’s how many descendants you will have!’ And Abraham’s faith did not weaken, even though, at about 100 years of age, he figured his body was as good as dead-and so was Sarah’s womb.
Abraham never waivered in believing God’s promise. In fact, his faith grew stronger, and in this he brought glory to God. He was fully convinced that God is able to do whatever He promises. And because of Abraham’s faith, God counted him as righteous.” Romans 4:18-23 NLT
Point to ponder while you wander… You can choose to live abundantly in constant awe of your awesome God. In hope. In faith. In belief.
You can choose to cower and let fear enslave you, paralyze you, and turn your abundant life into just blah ol’ existence.
“The thief does not come except to steal, kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.” John 10:10 NKJV
I appreciate this passage because it involves real communication between Abram and God. It showed him asking God real questions about his doubts and concerns. And God’s responses to Abram.
“Some time later, the Lord spoke to Abram in a vision and said to him, ‘Do not be afraid, Abram, for I will protect you, and your reward will be great.’” Genesis 15:1 NLT
What happened in the sometime previous to this later? Well Abram went to war to rescue his nephew Lot. In doing so he reclaimed all the spoils those kings took from Sodom and Gomorrah. The first thing he did was to honor God by giving a 10th to Melchizedek. Then the king of Sodom asked Abram for his people back and told him to keep all the plunder for himself. But Abram was like…no way! Then you’ll get credit for making me rich instead of God. So he took nothing of the 90% of the remaining plunder. He asked to keep what his warriors had already eaten, and that his allies received a fair share, but gave the rest back.
Wow! That’s legit trust in God.
God’s response to Abram was to tell him that fear is a liar, and that his reward for his faith would be great.
You’d think that Abram would be celebrating that promise. But no. Abram had a father’s heart and mindset. What is the point of blessing and protection if it ends with me? If there’s no legacy, then Abram only needed enough for him and Sarai. Or he could even die right then.
But Abram replied, “O Sovereign Lord, what good are all your blessings when I don’t even have a son? Since you’ve given me no children, Eliezer of Damascus, a servant in my household, will inherit all my wealth. You have given me no descendants of my own, so one of my servants will be my heir.” Genesis 15:2-3 NLT
This wasn’t a woe is me attitude.
This wasn’t ungratefulness.
It was a father’s heart. A leadership mentality. He understood that he needed to pass on what he knew about God and set up the next generation to go further than he could.
Abram shared his heart with God, and God responded.
“Then the Lord said to him, “No, your servant will not be your heir, for you will have a son of your own who will be your heir.” Then the Lord took Abram outside and said to him, “Look up into the sky and count the stars if you can. That’s how many descendants you will have!” Genesis 15:4-5 NLT
That is a huge promise. Mind blowing.
“And Abram believed the Lord, and the Lord counted him as righteous because of his faith.” Genesis 15:6 NLT
The thing that stands out to me, besides the importance of open communication with God, is that Abram had no Bible to read or way verify God’s track record on promises. He simply believed God.
I have the Word. I know His track record of faithfulness and promise keeping. I want to simply believe like Abram did.
I have promises from God that blow my mind and terrify me to my very core. I want these promises to be fulfilled because they are the dreams and desires of my heart. And the thought of a life that doesn’t include those promises sounds absolutely boring and drab.
But for those promises to come to pass I have to do my part. Trust God. And comply with the small steps of faith He has asked of me. Trust and obey. Simple, right?
Should be but not for me lately. Fear has been attacking me worse than ever. I feel paralyzed and apatheic.
You know I hate fear (if you’ve been reading this blog for any length of time). Fear is a punk and a bully and no match for God.
And yet, I find myself hiding and procrastinating. Procrastination is a symptom of fear. It is delaying until it’s too late so that you can say…”Oh I wanted to but I just don’t have time.” Or “I’m too busy.” Those are fear excuses.
I have enough time to do everything God has requested from me. I just need to choose to actually use the time to do it.
I want to comply. I want to desperately. But when I start doing it I am inundated with thoughts of how terrible my output is and fear of failure. Sometimes fear of success too. I’ve been so anxious lately that I’ve been breaking out in hives. That’s not God. God does not want that for me.
I asked for prayer yesterday from some trusted mentors and friends, and one declared this over me:
“For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.” 2 Timothy 1:7
It’s what I am standing on today and praying over all of you. Go forth in boldness my friends in what God has asked of you. Jesus believes in you, and so do I.
Point to ponder while you wander… Before Abram received all God promised, God changed his name from Abram (exalted father) to Abraham (father of many). So for an entire year everytime someone said his name, Abraham was reminded of his promise.
Remind yourself of God’s promises every day. Remind yourself of His track record. Talk to Him about what’s on your heart. And just believe Him.
King David wrote a good chunk of Psalms. He wrote in the desperate times, the good times, the perilous times, and basically every other time in his life.
Being a writer…I appreciate David’s vulnerability and his willingness to express it.
David would seek God when he was at the mercy of someone else’s choices (King Saul trying to kill him) and when his own choices caught up to him.
He never blamed God. He had a legit relationship with God, and understood who God is. God is merciful. God is ever present. He is persistent and consistent.
God never left David. Their relationship was permanent. God’s love unconditional.
When I’m struggling…I curl right up and live in Psalms. They remind me that the answer is always pray, trust God, and worship no matter what.
Why is that the answer? Because God is listening and loves me unconditionally, just like King David.
Point to ponder while you wander…
God is listening to you and will answer you…
“I will praise You, for You have answered me, and have become my salvation.” Psalm 118:21 NKJV
“On the day I called, You answered me; And You made me bold and confident with [renewed] strength in my life.” Psalm 138:3 AMP
“As soon as I pray, You answer me; you encourage me by giving me strength.” Psalm 138:3 NLT
We may not SEE immediate results from our prayers, but that doesn’t mean God is ignoring you. He is listening. He heard you. Trust His timing.
His initial response is to encourage and strengthen you. To remind you He loves you, especially in those times when strengthening you is all God can do in the situation.
Sometimes God cannot do what you’ve asked. He has the ability, of course, but God respects our free will. He will only work within the confines of our choices.
When people make choices, God respects those choices even if He doesn’t agree with them. Sometimes other people’s choices negatively impact us.
When this happens pray the Word over the situation! Keep declaring His promises to turn it around for your good!
God will not intervene without invitation. This means your prayer is vital. Essential. Key. VITAL. Keep praying. Keep speaking the Word over every person in the situation. It matters.
Point to ponder while you wander… Prayer invites God to do whatever He can to turn the situation around for the good of those who love Him.
Keep praying. Trust Him. He is faithful. Even when those around us are not.
“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.” Romans 8:28 NLT
More on this Subject: https://jillbeingstill.com/2016/06/30/god-is-listening/