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Aim High!

“He did right in the sight of the Lord, yet not like David his father; he did according to all that Joash his father had done. ” 2 Kings 14:3

In some cases, it’s ok to be mediocre. No one can be the best at everything and some things are not important enough to deserve our energy and time.

Other things, however, mean so much that they deserve our utmost.

I speak specifically to your heart toward God. Today’s verse gives a chilling description of the heart of King Amaziah. At first it sounds like he was getting a glowing review: he did right in the sight of God. The description quickly darkens when it says he didn’t do right like his ancestor David, a man after God’s own heart. King Amaziah was satisfied being “good enough”.

Call me an overachiever, but I want to do more than just get by in my walk with God. I want to be a woman after God’s own heart. I don’t want there to be any area of my life that I am satisfied with the bronze or tin when the gold of knowing God deeper is available by His grace.

How about you?

When we start talking about being pleasing to God, the mind automatically looks at the mountain of times we failed before, but that’s not where we should focus. We must focus on the power God offers to help us persevere and overcome. (1 Corinthians 10:13)

It begins with repentance and surrender. Are there morals you have let slip? Have you given up striving to hear Him say, “well done” because it seems nobody else is trying? The benefits of following hard after God far outweigh the “pleasures” of mediocrity. (1 Corinthians 2:9-10)

The cross was God’s way of reaching low to save us. Our best response is to aim high in pleasing Him.

You Have What It Takes!

“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” 2 Peter 1:3

The power used to go out at our house every time a bad storm crashed through our neighborhood. We would burn candles, curb our activities, and limit the number of the times we opened our fridge so as to preserve the perishables. The house seemed extra quiet without the background noise of all that was electric, but there was always a peculiar noise outside during these times. It sounded like a distant lawn mower, but who would mow wet grass right after a storm? I soon realized the muffled droning came from our neighbor’s generator. This amazing machine allowed them to continue life as normal despite the storm’s intrusion.

You and I have a far more powerful Generator in the Holy Spirit. When trouble, stress, and trials deplete our physical and emotional strength, our great God steps in and enables us to keep going through HIS strength. In fact, the weaker we are, the stronger His power surges through us

(2 Corinthians 12:9)!

Gag your inner critic. Never think you must abandon the task God has given you, the dream He placed in your heart, or the battle you are facing. As a daughter of the King, you have whatever (no, Whoever) it takes to fulfill your purpose for the glory of God.

The Massive Love of God

“May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully.” Ephesians 3:19 (NLT)

If you are like me, you have a constant awareness of your shortcomings, sins, and regrets. It can keep you in a state of melancholy unless you combat it with something greater. That something greater is love, the love of God to be specific.

If you only glance at the love God has for you, you risk watering it down and even blowing it off. Take time to look closer and deeper at it. God’s love for you is intense, engulfing, passionate, and unconditional.

Wow.

Your inadequacies do not tarnish His love. Your struggles and strongholds can never diminish what He feels about you. Your failures do not fade His love. Overwhelming thought, is it not?

The first time I glimpsed this love in its purity and beauty, it undid me. I realized I had a brain belief with a side of emotion seasoned heavily with timidity. I knew His love was true, but I was afraid to look it full in the face. When I experienced His love through other people, I was a little embarrassed by it, and secretly wondered what people expected in return, fearing I would not be able to pay it, whatever it was.

Then Grace came in and explained that God’s brand of love is not seeking anything for itself; it’s focus is to give what could never have been earned in the first place. This provoked the opposite response from the hiding, embarrassed, and timid heart I’d had. No, Grace incited boldness in worship, contagious joy, and a desire share to what was overflowing in me.

I have not arrived. My understanding of such scandalous and amazing love is still limited, but it delights me to know I have eternity to explore its depths.

You too?

Silence, the Great Opportunity

My soul, wait in silence for God only. Psalm 62:5

Silence is a discipline that few respect, but it can have powerful implications for your spiritual life. It is more than not speaking, it involves having a mind free of distractions from noise, television, music, and even your phone. The sweetest times for me have been when I have no agenda. The Lord seems to speak more clearly and sweetly.

Silence presents an empty stage for God to grace with His presence and an open mic to say whatever He needs to say to you.

How does this idea strike you? Does it produce feelings similar to having the school principal standing over you? Remember that God loves you and wants to communicate with you. He’s not a harsh slavedriver come to crack the whip, though sometimes He may need to speak words of correction. He is a Friend approaching you to refresh, to encourage, to clarify, to direct, and to lavish love on you. It can be a wonderful experience!

I encourage you to try it. In our noisy world and busy lifestyles, you may have to fight to get that time, but let me tell you, the fight is well worth it!

I’d love to hear where you find open mic time with God. Do you struggle in your season of life to find times of stillness and silence with God? When might be the best time for you to practice silence?

Step by Step

Have you ever felt overwhelmed with the Christian life? Have your attempts to please God left you exhausted and discouraged?

Sometimes I’ll encounter a person who seems to have a walk with God that is so far ahead of mine. Their life makes me want to hurry up and grow in order to enjoy God as much as they do. Can you relate?

The walk we desire to have with God is never achieved in one big jump, but step by daily step. Sanctification is a process and growth is on the installment plan, not cash-and carry. We have a say in how quickly we grow, but there is no way to skip to the head of the line to maturity overnight.

Psalm 30:14 says that God remembers that we are human. He is patient and full of compassion, so why should we be any less so with ourselves while we grow step by stumbling baby step?

Get Back Up!

Some failures are hard to recover from, but recover, you must. Like worrying, wallowing in regret is a waste of time. I’ve discovered that when I don’t get right back up after a fall, it indicates I’ve forgotten some key truths.

One is that God’s forgiveness is one confession away. Our emotions tell us we must stay down and beat ourselves up before we come to God because we feel we don’t deserve His mercy and grace. Well, we don’t deserve it, which makes His offering it all the more beautiful. It’s best if we respond to Him with gratitude, not groveling.

Two, this failure did not catch God by surprise. It did not knock the wind out of Him, make Him blush, or cast His view of you into a shadow of shame. You can’t do that to Omniscience! He does, however, point us to Jesus, our Advocate (1 John 2:1). Look there!

Third, we have too much living, loving, serving, discipling, sharing, and eternal-treasure building up to do to darken our falling place with our shadow for too long.

Reflect, yes.

Grieve some, perhaps.

Maybe even shed a tear or two, but not so long that we cry a lake or an ocean.

Christ’s death on the cross covers all our sin That doesn’t mean it doesn’t sting when we displease Him. If we love Him, it should. Because He was crushed for our iniquities they need not crush us (Isaiah 53:5). Failure need never be final, My Friend. You may have fallen, but through Him you can get back up!

I’m Back

Hello Readers,

I’ve been away for several months due to personal life issues, but now I’m back! I hope you will enjoy the blog entries written to fuel your passion for Christ and to encourage you to find joy in your journey with Him.

Feel free to share these posts with anyone you think might be blessed by them. I believe writing is meant to be shared.

Finally, I hope to get your feedback. I love hearing how these posts impact you, and your comments encourage me to keep writing.

Blessings to you all.