Just Relax

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“Just relax”, is the advice that a few close friends have been saying to me.  How true it is that while we are trying to figure out the solutions to our many problems, that relaxing is really the solution that we seek.  We all really just want to rest, yet we think that worrying and rushing will bring us there.  Worry never brings rest.

There are many ways to find relaxation though.  One way to gain the ability to relax is by way of accomplishment.  Sometimes we are stressed because we have something pressing us that we want to accomplish.  This is actually a good anxiety in a way because it can be used to motivate us.  Sometimes I get chores done only because the anxiety that begins to build up and cause me to feel bad if I don’t.  These types of burdens can really weigh us down until we deal with them.  When we understand that the only way to bring relaxation under this kind of stress is through accomplishment, then we can seek to figure out how we can overcome.  When we have accomplishment, then we can have rest.

What about the times when we are unable to reach accomplishment though?  Like, what happens when accomplishing something is beyond our control?  Yet, the burden to overcome lingers there and we try to press forward, yet we just don’t have the resources?  What then?  Many of us encounter such barriers that prevent us from reaching that place of relaxation and rest that we seek.  These burdens seem to bring about shame, dishonor, and fear.  Sometimes it can lead to anger, frustration, and impatience.  Humility, trust, and patience are what the burdens are meant for.  Just as God saw that humans could accomplish anything when they worked together as they built the tower of Babel, and he stretched out his mighty hand and frustrated their plans, sometimes he frustrates our plans.  The reason being that the trials and testings of the life force us to slow down, otherwise we might spend all of our time and energy building something that really is futile after its all said and down.  The Tower of Babel was meant to reach heaven, however all that would had happened is that it would have reached high enough to take their breath away, but they would have never reached heaven no matter how hard they tried.  Sometimes it is what we are reaching for that will defeat God’s given purpose for our lives.  Maybe it is a God given purpose we are striving for, but God allows us to be slow downed so that we can develop some character as we wait.  “It is in the waiting”, God says.  It is in the waiting that we get strong and gain necessary perspective.

“You just need to relax”, they say.  I have been told this multiple times, yet I keep forgetting and continue to need to be reminded of it again because I keep getting ahead of God.  I was given a prophesy years ago by the pastor’s wife, who told me that God would grow me up fast, but to not get ahead of him.  Since she had told me this, I have always ran ahead of him.  I hate waiting.  Yet, running ahead is like racing to get to a red light or stop sign.  That stop sign comes whether we expect it or not, whether we like it or accept it, it comes.  Racing to come to a stop sign won’t change the pace of our distance, rather it just influences our restfulness.  Racing to get anything done is not restful.  We must run our race with endurance and assurance that as we do what God has asked us to do, God will bring us to the finish line, that this is not a race of quickness, but it is a race that needs to be finished.

Waiting on God is an art that leads to resting.  When we race ahead at high speed, it is because we are afraid we wont finish.  When we wait on God, and enter into his rest by not worrying about what we don’t know, and not focus on the finish line so much that we get frustrated and fixated on the reward more than the creator, then we slow down to the speed that will ensure that we will finish.  We rest because we have faith and believe that God is in charge and his plans are the best for us.  God, thank you for always being patient and reminding us of your truth, and your willingness to repeat yourself over and over again.  When we believe and obey, we enter his rest.

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The Good Father

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God is a good father.  We know this in theory, but do we know it in heart?  I love how personal God makes things for me to comprehend.  He will do this for anyone who seeks to know him and asks him for help.  I rely on him to get through my day, as I am weak and he is my strength, and he makes me strong for sure by comforting me and counseling me.  It is his faith.  We say with our mouths that God will protect us, but do we believe?  We sing his praises in the church chair or pew, but do we then walk away and believe he is going to do evil things to us if we make even the slightest mistake?  If we truly believe that he is good as we sing about when we praise him, then why are we afraid?  The Lord wants to give you a deep, personal revelation of his love.  He is not just good to a few, he is good to all, it is the lack of faith that keeps us from seeing it.  Lord, open our eyes.  Heal our hearts.  Give us rest and peace today.  Open our eyes so that we can see you.  Give us deep penetration today, not because we deserve it, but because you are good.  Here is what he told me, and it is true for us all.  He said, if you who are evil (yes, all humans have evil in them aka flesh) know how to do good things for your children…… this means that if we consider the most evil person, even they know how to bless a person… so if we who are naturally evil, know how to do good for our children, then how much more will he, GOD, who made us, and who is naturally good and loving, know how to do good things for his children?  God said, “I created good.. who do you think first came up with the idea of surprises and blessing a person’s socks off??”  So we can praise him for the good he will do, even though we don’t know what the good thing is yet, just because we know that we will be faithful to give us all good things in the name of Jesus.  Amen.

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Soul Prospering

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Many people associate prospering with having stable finances, or with having loved ones all around them.  Though these things can be called prosperity, they are not the same thing as soul prospering.  A soul may prosper whether the person is rich or poor.  A soul may prosper whether they are loved by many or alone.  Soul prospering has nothing to do with our circumstances, or what we have or not have.  Though every human being would love to have these types of prosperity, it was not lasting.  If your soul prospers based on what is happening around you, then what happens to your soul if circumstances change?  Abraham was promised many descendants, yet before he had died he only had two living sons.  Yet, he still prospered.  Soul prospering comes from the inside out and is based on faith.  It is rooted in what God says about you, and what he promises you.  Your circumstances can look bleak while someone who isn’t Godly seems to have much prosperity, but as I mentioned, circumstances can change.  Even if they never change, one can still have soul prosperity.  When a person’s soul prospers, then they have no fear, and they have much joy and peace.  It is God’s will that we all prosper, even as our soul prospers.  The only way to gain true soul prosperity is to be connected to God, and then the life blood of Jesus flows through our veins giving prosperity to everything.  It assures you that you are accepted, loved, and adored.  It assures you that God cares about every single thing that concerns you and that he is for you and not against you.  It takes all your insecurities away.  It changes us from the inside out, where we are free to be ourselves.  We can now be naked and unashamed.  God wipes all of our tears away.  We are known, we are celebrated, and we know without a shadow of a doubt that that will never change.  We have a future, and we have a hope, even if it is only for eternity where we will never endure sadness again.  Thank you Lord for soul prosperity.  Thank you Jesus for dying so that we can live.

Psalm 16:9 “Therefore my heart is glad and my tongue rejoices;
    my body also will rest secure”

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Times of Testing

 

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“Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you: Beloved, think it not strange concerning the fiery trial which is to try you, as though some strange thing happened unto you:” 1 Peter 4:12-13 KJV

There are the promises of God that we receive from him personally that excite us, and then there is the time of testing.  What we often don’t realize is that as we endure trials of many kinds, we are shaped and molded into the person we need to be in order to be  ready to receive the promise that God intends to give us.  When we consider the Israelites who wandered in the desert for forty years after being delivered from captivity, we can understand that the minor trials that they had endured while on their journey to the promised land would had prepared their faith for the giants that they would have faced.  The truth is that there might always be giants to deal with, and there may always be challenges, but we won’t overcome unless our faith is in Jesus.  Do not be surprised at your trial, if you are waiting for God to bless your marriage, yet you and your spouse can barely hold it together, then consider that if you two hold onto God and the faith he gives you in the dry desert place, then your marriage will reap a harvest once you enter into the promised land of milk and honey.  If you have an unfair boss and you seek God while working for him, then when you enter into the promised land, you will have the strength of faith to endure an even bigger challenge.  It is the testing of our faith that truly proves our faith.  What is this faith anyways?  It is having faith in God, and not looking to anything else as our refuge.  God, shake our faith.

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God Moves Mountains

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God is moving mountains in my life.  Many challenges that were burdening me, he is moving them away.  He had told me recently that he was going to take away all the things that were burdening me.  When I start to fret or worry about things, he reminds me that he is going to take my burdens away.  He is fighting my battles for me.  How quickly my little human brain forgets.  Now, when I pray about things, instead of asking him to do things, instead I am led to “be still and know that I am God”.  Relying on what he has told us personally, even if we aren’t yet experienced at interpreting his voice or the noise is too loud, we can do this by relying on his promises, it is a form of prayer.  It is asserting faith.  It is standing on the rock.  Another challenge the Lord has been removing is fear about my own ability and worthiness.  We simply are not worthy and we are not able.  That is the end of the story.  It is understanding that he does these things only because he is merciful and his love is enduring.  There are times of silence in the desert where we fervently seek him, and then there are times of silence as we sit in the little tuft of grass he had led us to and watch as he moves the mountains and watch the springs fill up with his holy water.  Just watching him work while we rest is our gain when we believe.  Thank you God for working tirelessly on our behalves.  Thank you for moving mountains.  Please add hope to the listeners and faith to their healing.  It is just a tiny mustard seed of faith that you place in every single human heart, the hearts you have created to be one with yours, which includes every single human life that ever existed, that can move mountains.  Let us just rest and celebrate you and act on that tiny seed of faith.  Please remove distractions from our sites.  You even pierce through the distractions.  When you are here Lord, nothing darkens your light.  Alleluia My God reigns!  Amen.

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Faith and Love are One

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Faith and Love are the same.  Having faith is having love for God.  Just as having love for a man is to respect him, having faith in God is loving him.  Why is that?  Having faith is telling him you believe in him.  Believing in him is a deep concept.  It means that we believe he is God of the universe.  It means that we believe he is supreme and can do anything and that he knows everything.  Having faith in who he is is like worship to him.  It is a sweet, pleasing aroma to him.  We are told that without faith, it is impossible to please God (Hebrews 11:6).  It is by faith that we are justified, and it is by faith that we are condemned.  It is our faith that saves us, by it we overcome.  It is our faith that was given to us, as it is written that Jesus is the author and finisher of our faith (Heb. 12:2).  Faith is how we come to understanding about God and Jesus.  Faith is how we find our way to him.  Faith is a gift.  To not have faith is to reject God.  To reject the gentle love for him that he had placed in our hearts is to deny his love as well.  Love for God is to have faith.  Faith without works is dead, we show what we really believe by the choices that we make.  We either accept God and Jesus, or we deny them both by Faith.  We cannot have love for God if we do not have faith.  Faith and Love are one.  Faith and Love never pass away.

1 Corinthians 13:13 “And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love”faithhopelove

Boast When You Are Weak

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I think it is safe to say that most people are not proud of their weak moments.  It is better to boast on what makes us weak, rather than on what makes us strong, because it is in our most vulnerable moments that God’s glory shines through us.  In Luke 18:10-14 Jesus gives us examples of two men who went to the temple to pray, one man was thanking God for how strong he was and how righteous he was, yet the other man was sorrowful due to all that was wrong.  Jesus then explained that the second man was the one who went home justified.

Jesus said that those who exalt themselves will be humbled, and those who humble themselves will be exalted (Luke 18:14).  Why?  Doesn’t God want us to obtain righteousness after all?  Then why would God want us to not glory in seeking and obtaining righteousness we might ask?  Does God contradict  himself?  I’m confused…. What I have found out through trial and error during my Christian walk (actually what God has graciously taught me) is that true righteousness comes from the heart.

Psalm 51:17 NLT “The sacrifice you desire is a broken spirit.  You will not reject a broken and repentant heart, O God”.  It is not our works that makes us righteous, but it is our faith that confirms to us that God sees us as right.  According to Romans 8:30 Paul explains that it is God who first called us, and then justified us.  Those he justifies he later glorifies when the time is right, but this is something he does.  It is from the heart that righteousness comes from.  It is from the abundance of the heart that the mouth speaks, and when we have a heart full of humility, knowing that nothing within ourselves is good except that which God refined in us, then when we speak it adds life to the listeners and confirms the truth.

What is the truth?  The truth is that none of us are truly righteous.  Yet when we confess our sins, God then purifies us from all unrighteousness (1 John 1:9).  It is the person who is first full of their own weakness and humility who once they are lifted up, understands that it is not of themselves.  Therefore, when they approach someone who is full of sin and seems lost, they are able to season their words with salt from a heart full of humility rather than arrogant pride.  When we become strong and righteous, when we finally overcome… do you know that we become least in the Kingdom of God.. that is the more proud we become, the more unrighteous we become?  A heart full of judgement and pride cannot love as Jesus loved.  Jesus was only able to love because he was lowly in spirit.  Even though his actions were blameless at all times, once he was called “good” by someone, and he corrected that man saying, “why do you call me good?  There is only one good and that is God” (Mark 10:18).

Please don’t get me wrong, it is God who inspires us to do good works.  It is God who leads us on his paths of righteousness.  It is God who calls a pure, spotless bride.  The catch is, it is also God who justifies and purifies.  It is the heart attitude of a person that makes a man/woman right.  It is humility, faithfulness, loyalty, genuine love and consideration, esteeming others above themselves that is right.  What we eat, what we wear, and the works of our hands never makes us right, this is why I rarely judge a person by their outward appearances.  A person covered in tattoos smoking a cigar and drinking a beer can be more righteous than the man standing across from them wearing a suit with a tie, who would never touch a cigarette.   Does that make the first person right?  We all know that some things that we do to our bodies or put in our bodies are not good for us, and it is common to see a born again man of God start to put away such things as they are purified.  Yet, it is not the putting away of those things that makes that man righteous, it is their contrite heart before God.

When I am weak, then I am strong.  Oh, I love this verse yet I still abhor being weak sometimes.  I would rather be strong, never giving into temptation, never having a bad moment.. but it is the desire to do right that begins to purify us (1 John 3:3), because … righteousness comes from the heart.  It is the hunger to be right and the knowledge to know I am not.  It is the cry of a contrite heart that pleases God.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9 the Apostle Paul says, “I will brag all the more in my weakness, so that Christ’s power will rest on me”.

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