Trusting The Lord To Have His Way Is Hard

amelia-bartlett-Country Rd“Have Your way Lord,” were the words I ended my prayer with as I rocked in my white rocking chair under the shade of my front porch. I was struggling with a direction God was leading me to take. I too often wrestle with God’s ways, and it is easy for me to question Him when the path He has for me seems difficult. Saying those four words at the end of my conversation with Him takes trusting Him.

Inner peace reigns within my soul when I willingly yield to His ways though.

It’s a serenity only the Peace-Giver can give.

We struggle with holding onto such serenity because the distractions that set us off track cause us to become frustrated, tired, and lose focus.

Maybe you try to have a quiet time with the Lord and your kids wake up at unpredicted times of the morning or, their naps are cut short.

Maybe you are on track with having God’s perspective at top of mind, and then a family member, friend, or co-worker’s actions rattle you. Your flesh takes over with a worldly perspective.

Maybe you’re headed to the doctor with a loved one with great confidence in the Lord to provide good news. As you listen to the prognosis, they are told that their quality of life will be changed from now on, and there is no hope in sight that things will get any better.

Alone time with the Lord, having God’s perspective, and confidence in Him offers inner peace. But let’s be honest and admit it is not easy to hold onto such serenity.

It takes intentionality to activate and maintain the peace already within us.

“Peace I leave with you. My peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful.” (John 14:27 NASB)

As we experience the downs of life we must get back up again. We must refocus on what is true. We must strive to seek peace.

We must because this world will always try to detour our focus away from God and onto the struggle.

Knowing this means that we must willfully practice the truth we know.

We know that prayer is the instrument that draws us near to God. Having conversations with Him connect us to His heart. We learn to trust Him, love Him, and know Him better. He uses our prayers to exchange chaos for peace.

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Prayer=Peace

The aches that anxiety, fear, and worry create within us take root when we doubt God’s goodness, lose trust in Him, or rely on our own strength. Our troubles and concerns may not go away when we pray, but God has assured us that we can have peace as we trust Him to have His way.

Though His ways are not our ways and our ways are not His ways, God knows what He is doing, and He knows why He is doing it, Isaiah 55:8-9.

I admit that I don’t always understand His ways. It even frustrates me and grieves me at times. But when it is all said and done, I can trust that God is still good. I can trust that He knows best. I can have faith in a faithful God.

I know that when I pray with all my heart, trust Him for His promises, and praise Him for who He is, the peace He has already given me becomes prominent. So, with little hesitation I pray, “Have Your way Lord.”

Friend, be intentional and let that be your testimony as well.

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I Saw God In Flesh

mydesignOn my morning walk with the Lord, I prayed that He would reveal Himself to me. A moment later, I noticed a man just ahead of me. He was walking slowly, dragging a white bag to his trashcan.  I noticed his extremely thin frame and how it was a struggle to lift the bag up into the can. As I approached where he was, he smiled and gave a good morning greeting. I stopped, replied, and asked how he was doing. He proceeded to tell me that he has cancer along with a heap of other health issues. He said his cancer had gone into remission but now, he is living one day at a time. My natural reaction was to ask him if he knew the Lord as his Savior, and I did.

Have you ever felt the urgency to ask someone about their eternal security?

We said our goodbyes, and I continued on my walk. I began to weep! God had revealed Himself through this man to me. Yes, he had only days to live, but God showed me His grace for this man. His love. His strength. His comfort. His sovereignty. It was nearly too much for me to comprehend.

Have you ever experienced God in such a way?

Not long into my walk, I found a quarter on the road, and Matthew 25 came to mind. As I rolled it around in my hand, I asked the Lord for more clarity. Would you believe that on my way back home I found a dime? It was clear to me that I was to look up Matthew 25:10. I could not get home fast enough to see what His Word would reveal!

Matthew 25 tells the story of ten virgins invited to participate in a wedding.  The virgins, like bridesmaids, were asked to bring oil lamps to light the way for a procession of some sort.  Five of the virgins came prepared with enough oil for the occasion.  They were ready when the Bridegroom arrived. The other five were simply not ready. They had no oil to light their lamps when the Bridegroom came. They frantically rushed to purchase more oil, but by the time they returned, the door to the wedding had been shut.  It was too late.  The verse the Lord led me to on my walk, verse 10, reveals the harsh reality of this story …

“And while they were going away to make the purchase, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding feast; and the door was shut.”

Verses 11-13: “Later the other virgins also came, saying, ‘Lord, lord, open up for us.’ But he answered, ‘Truly I say to you, I do not know you.’ Be on the alert then, for you do not know the day nor the hour.”  The bridesmaids? You and me. The Bridegroom? Jesus. The wedding feast? Eternal life. Five were ready. Five were not.

When I asked the man about his salvation, he proclaimed that he knew the Lord as his Savior. I asked when that happened for him. He said, “Five years ago, I realized I was a religious man for many years, but when I almost died, I realized I needed to know the Lord as my Savior.” He also told me that he was ready to die; All with a smile and peace glowing from his face. Like Matthew 25:10 reads, ‘he is ready’.  I was compelled to remind him that God allowed him to still be alive today because He was not done with him. I urged him to share with others the strength and presence of God he had experienced.

Can you relate to this man? Are you a religious person without a personal relationship with Christ? Are you ready to meet the Bridegroom?

My friend, we are not promised tomorrow. Today is the day to know the Lord; To have a personal relationship with Him. To know that you know, that you know, you will spend eternity with Him when you die.

“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” (John 14:6)

Time is of the essence so, what are you waiting for? Click ( here )to pray and know Jesus today as your Lord and Savior.

If reading this brought someone to mind that you are unsure of their salvation, do not wait any longer to ask the question!  Their eternity may be on the line.

I do not think it was a coincidence that I met this man, then found a quarter and dime leading me to Matthew 25:10.  I asked God to reveal Himself to me, and He did!  Wherever your “walk” may lead you today … seek to find Him along the way.   Whatever happens … will be no coincidence!

She Had Bold Faith

Bold Faith 1She was a desperate parent seeking help for her daughter. She was persistent in crying out to Jesus to have mercy on her and her child. Perhaps, she approached Jesus with panic and anxiety over her situation.  Still, she recognized that Jesus was her only solution.  Her faith was greater than her fear.

The Lord led me to read about this woman in Matthew 15:21-28 (NKJV), at a time when I needed His help. My anxiety was taking a toll on me.  I found myself crying out for help on a consistent basis, for over a month. I felt there was no resolve to the source of my anxiety, and that led to panic, on occasion.  I thought that if I kept crying out to God, He would answer me.  In my mind, I was doing all I could.

Then, God brought me to a woman I could relate to.  She taught me what I was lacking.

  • She was a mother believing Jesus could be her daughter’s Savior, too.
  • She had bold faith believing Jesus would be sufficient to meet her need.
  • She followed Jesus unashamedly.
  • She recognized Jesus was who He said He was.
  • She knew she was not worthy, but recognized Jesus would meet her as she was.
  • She was interceding for her daughter at all cost.
  • This is where God revealed to me what I was lacking: She bowed down to worship Him with a humble heart and said, “Lord, help me!”

In my anxiety and panic, I was pleading to God with my lips.  All the while, God was waiting for my heart to be still, and bow before Him; acknowledging Him as Messiah; recognizing that He alone is the solution to my every concern, problem, and circumstance.

Someone once said, “The measure of your faith is determined by your perspective of who God is.” Sometimes my perspective gets lost, but God is the faithful and just One to forgive me, and sharpen my perspective with a clearer vision of who He is.

The right perspective is acknowledging God with a reverence of His Holiness, and trusting Him with my children’s lives.  No matter what the outcome, God is still good, and He is faithful to help us through any circumstance. So I tell my heart, “Peace, be still.”

I want to be found with the faith Jesus saw in this women. “Then Jesus answered and said to her, ‘O woman, your faith is great; it shall be done for you as you wish.’” (Matthew 15:28 NASB)

Are you crying out to God and feeling like the sound of your voice is not heard? Humble yourself. Seek and worship God with reverence and praise, then say, “Lord, help me!” He will be faithful to meet you where you are, and speak peace over you.

“Lord, help my faith be greater than my fear.”

 

He Has A Big Ear

Psalm 116I stood before her in awe; paralyzed by what I was seeing. Her face was full of affliction, as tears streamed down her cheeks. She poured her heart out in prayer, seeking for answers, peace and a sense of release.  She would lean over and whisper in the ear of her god and straighten as if to gasp for air before leaning over again. Her god was an animal statue made from man’s hand; an idol with ears that could not hear, eyes that could not see, and feet that could not walk. One that could not offer her true peace.

My heart breaks for people that do not know the Living God I know.

“Before Me there was no God formed, and there will be none after Me.  I, even I, am the LORD, and there is no savior beside Me.” (Isaiah 43:10b-11)

He is the creator of ALL things.  And to know Him is to know His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.

It brings me great comfort and peace to know that God hears me when I pray (communicate).

One of my favorite scriptures to reflect on comes from Psalm 116:1-2

“I love the Lord because He hears
my voice and my supplications.
 Because He has inclined His ear to me,
therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.”

It demonstrates that when we talk with God, He hears and listens to every word we speak.

In turn, He asks us to incline our ear towards Him. Isaiah 55:3a says:  “Incline your ear and come to Me.  Listen, that you may live…”

God also desires us to incline our heart toward Him. Joshua 24:23 says: “Now, therefore, put away the foreign gods which are in your midst, and incline your hearts to the Lord, the God of Israel.”

To incline our heart towards God, we must put away the idols in our lives.

I want to share with you what Kelly Minter says so well about idols in her book, No Other Gods: Confronting our modern-day idols.

“Most of us think of an idol as a statue of wood, stone, or metal worshiped by pagan people…In biblical terms, it is something other than God that we set our heart on (Luke 12:29, 1 Cor. 10:19), that motivates us (1 Cor. 4:5), that masters and rules us (Ps. 119:133, Eph. 5:5), or that we trust, fear, or serve (Isa. 42:17, Matt 6:24, Luke 12:4-5). …An idol can also be referred to as a “false god” or a “functional god.”

So, my friend, an idol is not limited to objects like I mentioned at the beginning, where a woman was praying to a statue. It is anything that consumes us and takes our hearts away from God.

If not God, what or whom are you setting your heart on for answers, peace or a since of release? Let go and let God be first place in your heart, and seek Him for all you need and desire.  Tell Him anything you want.  He has a BIG EAR, and He can handle every word you share with Him. 😉

“Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deut. 6:5)

“For the Lord your God is the God of gods…” (Deut. 10:17). AMEN!

 

 

Why Did Our Paths Cross

Face of little girlA few years ago, while visiting South Asia, I crossed paths with a little girl on a bridge.  She was so tiny sitting alone on a piece of white cardboard. The sun was pounding on her. She sat there wrapped in a navy blue shawl, with a bowl containing a few coins with a rock begging for money. My heart was gripped with anger.  So many thoughts came rushing in…How could this be? Where are her parents?  Does she have a chance to survive in such a dark culture? Where are You, God, in this? Oh God, what do I do? Surely You want me to do something!  And yet, I felt as if I could do nothing.

From my perspective, I felt helpless, and her circumstances seemed hopeless.

Trusting God when I do not understand His ways are challenging for me.  Then I remember I am not to lean on my own understanding (Proverbs 3:5), and also acknowledge what Isaiah 55:8 says about the Lord declaring that His thoughts are not my thoughts, and neither are my ways His ways.

We are left with a choice to either trust God’s heart and His ways, or trust our own heart and ways. To be honest, I think my ways are better some times.  I would not have chosen to allow such a little soul to be in a position such as this. But I also would not give my son over to die so that you or anyone else may live. God’s heart and character surpasses this flesh and heart of mine.

  • I see how His heart created such a precious soul in His own image and it is good. (Romans 8:29)
  • I see how His heart is to be a father to the fatherless. (Psalm 68:5)
  • I see a God who will deliver the needy when they cry for help, the afflicted also, and him who has no helper. (Psalm 72:12)
  • I see His heart in the way He so loves the world (you, me and this girl), that He gave His only begotten son (Jesus), so that those that believe in Him shall not perish but have eternal life. (John 3:16)

I know that God allowed my path to cross with this little girl’s path for a specific reason: To intercede (pray) for her. Intercessory prayer reflects God’s character of mercy, grace, love, and compassion.  Therefore, I know that as I intercede for her, there is hope for her.  I believe that God is able to do more than I can ever ask, and because I do not know the details of her life, I often trust in Romans 8: 26-27:

“In the same way the Spirit also helps our weakness; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself intercedes for us with groaning’s too deep for words; and He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He intercedes for the saints according to the will of God.”

Are you wrestling through circumstances in your life right now and wondering where God is? Trust His heart. God is good, and He is faithful even when we cannot see Him at work.

Have you crossed paths with someone that you feel helpless to help? The truth is you can help.  Start praying for them today, and trust God is using you in their life.

“When you cannot see God’s fingerprints, then trust His heart.” He is for you! (Psalm 118:6a)

Praise The Lord With Your Life

This is the season that being thankful should come easy.  But, I know for many it is difficult finding what to be thankful for.  However, I know when I take my eyes off of myself and fix them upon Jesus something amazing happens. His Holiness overwhelms me and I am thankful!

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Take a moment and pray a prayer of praise with me as we fix our eyes on Jesus together.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And all that is within me, bless His holy name.

Bless the Lord, O my soul,

And forget none of His benefits;

Who pardons all your iniquities,

Who heals all your diseases;

Who redeems your life from the pit,

Who crowns you with lovingkindness and compassion;

Who satisfies your years with good things,

So that your youth is renewed like the eagle.

The Lord is compassionate and gracious,

Slow to anger and abounding in lovingkindness.

From the rising of the sun to its setting

The name of the Lord is to be praised.

Glory in His holy name;

Let the heart of those who seek the Lord be glad.

In Christ name Amen and Amen

 

“This is the day which the Lord has made;

Let us rejoice and be glad in it.” (Psalm 118:24)

(Psalm 103:1-5, 8 Psalm 113:3 Psalm 105:3 NASB)