jillbeingstill

Home » Posts tagged 'Believing'

Tag Archives: Believing

Advertisements

Reading vs Skim Reading

I love to read. When I am into a truly good story, I get mildly obsessed and can generally put down a 300 pager in a day.

But when I read that way, I’m skim reading. Meaning that I am reading it fast enough to get the main things, but I’m not picking up the detailed descriptions or the subtle nuances. That is also why if a book is good I’ll read it more than once. So I’ll see all the fabulous things hidden in plain sight by the author.

This is completely different than how I read The Word or a book about The Word. I can read one verse and ponder in it for several days. Or look up other verses on the same topic and spend several hours reading and rereading these verses until I understand what Jesus is showing me that day.

For example…it took me nearly 2 years to read “Captivating” by Stasi & John Eldredge. That book gutted me. I’d read a paragraph, or a sentence even, and I’d have to go to Jesus with what it brought up in me and let Him help me with it. Once I was healed, I’d go back to that book. This happened repeatedly for nearly 2 years.

One of the best and hardest to read books ever.

With The Word, from a single verse on one day I can get a general overview meaning that inspires me that day, and come back another day and get a deeper meaning from the same verse. A revelation that changes my whole perspective. It’s what I love about The Bible. It’s living and double edged.

I’m currently reading Good or God? by John Bevere. God has revealed some things to me over the years about the Garden of Eden that are being confirmed by this book, and I’m only in chapter 2! So I’m reading it slowly. Pondering. Chewing on it. Going into The Word from the verses mentioned and chewing on that.

What made me write this post today is something that I wish more pastors and teachers would remind people….

…verify what you hear for yourself!

How many people leave church after a sermon and just accept what they’ve been taught without going into The Word for themselves? Without taking it before God and asking Him to reveal how this can be applied to their life and situation.

I’m not judging….believe me…I’ve done it too. It’s easy when you sit under an excellent teacher to just take what they’ve spent hours and years to learn and move on with our day. But how effective is that in growing and maturing you?

Be honest. It isn’t. Not for you or me.

Think back to something you’ve learned in school. Like a foreign language or subject you didn’t care about. I took 2 economics classes as a part of my major, International Relations. I can tell you that economics is about supply and demand and that Adam Smith is the founder of modern economics. That is all I remember from 6 months of study.

So it’s not effective to just listen and not verify or study it for yourself. It only stays for maybe a day or a week at the most. If, we don’t apply what we’ve heard, the excellent teaching we received is wasted.

The person speaking is also human. They may have taken what The Word said and twisted it to support what they want it to say, rather than what it actually says. One of my favorite pastors, Duane Vanderklok, used to remind us every so often that he is just a man, and that we should be checking up on him, by reading The Word ourselves.

I’d like to believe when this happens it wasn’t intentionally done, but there are people in the world with selfish intentions or even dark motivations. We’ve all seen news stories about people who have been fooled by someone claiming to be good.

So it is always best to verify for yourself.

It’s like gossip or “fake news” on the internet. People read it and share it before verifying it’s true. One of my big pet peeves!!

Just because someone said it doesn’t mean it’s true. So if your skim reading your way through life, and never verifying what you’re hearing is true, then you’re probably believing at least one big fat lie. So take some time to verify for yourself.

Point to ponder while you wander… “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man observing his natural face in a mirror; for he observes himself, goes away, and immediately forgets what kind of man he was. But he who looks into the perfect law of liberty and continues in it, and is not a forgetful hearer but a doer of the work, this one will be blessed in what he does.” James 1:22-25 NKJV

Advertisements

Fear is in the Slave Trade

​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.

                                OR

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

Hope is a Perspective Shift

When hope’s dream seems to drag on and on, the delay can be depressing. But when at last your dream comes true, life’s sweetness will satisfy your soul.” Proverbs 13:12 TPT

This verse… Oh man. This verse…

The first part has been my truth for many years now. Fighting to keep believing. Seeking Jesus. Worshipping in the darkest parts of depression, when I’d rather stay in bed and sleep my life away. Or escape to a place I’d rather be in movies or books.

I even painted the first part of the verse in the ugliest manner possible…

image

About a year and and some months later God encouraged me to paint the second half of the verse. I used the exact same colors.

image

Looks totally different, doesn’t it? Perspective matters. What you believe becomes reality.

Remind yourself daily that God is for you not against you. Remind yourself you are unconditionally loved. Remind yourself that God is working things out for good for those who love Him.

Because, let’s be honest, the world can be an asshole who sucks the joy and peace right out of you.

Point to ponder while you wander…Not all dreams come true when we are young, so don’t let the frustrations of the day to day steal your joy. Keep dreaming. Keep believing.

One Small Caveat

Mark 11. It challenges me. Calls me higher. And inspires me.

Then Jesus said to the disciples, “Have faith in God. I tell you the truth, you can say to this mountain, ‘May you be lifted up and thrown into the sea,’ and it will happen. But you must really believe it will happen and have no doubt in your heart. I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.” Mark 11:22-25 NLT

This passage has a simple message…just ask, believe, and you’ll receive.

But a life of faith isn’t lived in a plastic bubble. Life gets hard and messy ad complicated. We get all tangled up in emotion.

That is where this one small caveat comes in. Verse 25…“But when you are praying, first forgive anyone you are holding a grudge against, so that your Father in heaven will forgive your sins, too.”

Unforgiveness. A seemingly small thing that can actually taint you and imprison you in in the past, and simultaneously blocking you from receiving from God.

God takes this forgiving thing seriously. Not as a judgmental law thing, but as an I love you thing. Choosing to forgive releases you from the bondage of the past. It allows you to move forward and be healed. This forgiveness is the very thing Jesus was talking about in Mark 11 and Matthew 6.

If you forgive those who sin against you, your heavenly Father will forgive you. But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins.” Matthew 6:14-15

Point to ponder while you wander…If you hold on to this anger and hurt it becomes unforgiveness, and that becomes bitterness! That’s why you are required to forgive others. Not as a law…but as an invitation to be free from bondage. And the added bonus…forgiveness aligns you to be able to receive from God.

Wonderful Wednesday: Don’t Stop Believing

Don’t stop believing!!

As you know, we consider blessed those who have persevered. You have heard of Job’s perseverance and have seen what the Lord finally brought about. The Lord is full of compassion and mercy.” James 5:11 NIV

Running low on strength to persevere?

It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect. He trains me for battle, my arms can bend a bow of bronze. You give me your shield of victory, and your right hand sustains me.” Psalm 18:32 & 34-35 NIV

To be still and know that He is God requires you to believe Him not just believe in Him.

Do you believe He will do what He says He will do? Do you believe He is a God of His word? Do you believe  He is faithful.

If you’re struggling with believing Him, I recommend two things. 1. Worship. Nothing reminds me of who God is and His faithfulness more than worship music. 2.  Study the lives of those mentioned in Hebrews 11, their perseverance, their relationship with God, and God’s faithfulness to them.

Something to ponder while you wander…true perseverance means no matter what you see or feel, you don’t stop believing God.

Not Moved By Circumstances

There’s a difference between knowing in your head that God’s able to be your rock, salvation, defense, provision, refuge, strength, and etc. . . and standing firm in that knowledge no matter what your circumstances look like.  I turn to the Psalms a majority of the time when I am stressed out or my circumstances are not so hot.  David went through a lot of trials and he is a good example on how to vent your emotions and then declare what the Lord says over your circumstances.  David also shows us how not to be swayed in the wind by every single thing that happens to us and around us.  Even when the thing happening to us originated with someone close to us.

Here is the first two verses of Psalm 62:

Truly my soul silently waits for God;
From Him comes my salvation.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be greatly moved.” (NKJV)

The I shall not be “greatly” moved, to me, is like saying I am really bothered by this but I will not let it wreck me.  It’s the knowing in your head that God is for you.  Biblical scholars believe that King David wrote Psalm 62 during the time of his son Absalom’s rebellion (Beginning in II Samuel 15).  I can see how the first few verses could be written during the events of II Samuel 15:13-14:

Now a messenger came to David, saying, “The hearts of the men of Israel are with Absalom.”  So David said to all his servants who were with him at Jerusalem, “Arise, and let us flee, or we shall not escape from Absalom. Make haste to depart, lest he overtake us suddenly and bring disaster upon us, and strike the city with the edge of the sword.” (NKJV)

This beginning of this Psalm is David’s way of convincing himself that God is still for him and not against him.  It’s David remembering what God had done and in his head asking, “God’s still for me, right?”

Later in II Samuel 15:25-29, David tests that theory by sending the Ark of Covenant back to Jerusalem.

Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the Lord, He will bring me back and show me both it and His dwelling place. But if He says thus: ‘I have no delight in you,’ here I am, let Him do to me as seems good to Him.”  The king also said to Zadok the priest, “Are you not a seer? Return to the city in peace, and your two sons with you, Ahimaaz your son, and Jonathan the son of Abiathar.  See, I will wait in the plains of the wilderness until word comes from you to inform me.” Therefore Zadok and Abiathar carried the ark of God back to Jerusalem. And they remained there.” (NKJV)

It is then, I believe that David chose to stand and declare “I WILL WAIT RIGHT HERE FOR THE LORD AND I WILL NOT BE MOVED BY THIS!”  It’s when his head knowledge became practical and he decided to stand no matter what.  Believing that God would defend him.  Then David wrote verses 5-7:

My soul, wait silently for God alone,
For my expectation is from Him.
He only is my rock and my salvation;
He is my defense;
I shall not be moved.
In God is my salvation and my glory;
The rock of my strength,
And my refuge, is in God.” (NKJV)

David continued on with verse 8, reminding all of us that we can fully trust God at all times.  No matter the circumstances.

“Trust in Him at all times, you people;
Pour out your heart before Him;
God is a refuge for us.” (NKJV)

God did deliver David from Absalom’s rebellion and he continued to rule the people for the rest of his life.

Little Cloud of Faith

On this absolutely gorgeous day…that I’m thoroughly enjoying….I see this little teeny cloud. And I started thinking about Elijah praying to end the drought. I am not praying for rain but I am praying that you get a hold of the same kind of resolve that Elijah had telling his servant and Ahab to run from that teeny cloud, knowing with all that he was that God had answered His prayer.

Faith is believing before you see the manifestation of your promise or answer to your prayer. Knowing that He who has promised is faithful.

“Finally the seventh time, his servant told him, “I saw a little cloud about the size of a man’s hand rising from the sea.”

Then Elijah shouted, “Hurry to Ahab and tell him, ‘Climb into your chariot and go back home. If you don’t hurry, the rain will stop you!’” 1Kings 18:44

Seeing isn’t believing, believing is seeing!

20140524_123600