Monday, November 23, 2015

Our focus must be on Jesus

Behold, as the eyes of servants look to the hand of their masters…, so our eyes look to the Lord our God…Psalm 123:2.

Today's devotional talks about how we must look to the Lord in total reliance. Without that....we cannot walk successfully with him. We start to drift. We lose our stamina....not physically, but in our minds. Here are Chambers' words....written over a hundred years ago...wisdom that lasts through the ages.

Our stamina is sapped, not so much through external troubles surrounding us but through problems in our thinking.

A million times I have stopped looking to the Lord and then been sabotaged by my own thinking. I begin to dabble in memories...thinking that I am strong enough to handle it. I think it is only a little thinking and that it is harmless. Those thoughts quickly turn into pain and then anger....and it is a downward spiral. It is yeast. A little bit that works through the whole dough (Mark 8:15).

The danger comes when, no longer relying on God, you neglect to focus your eyes on Him. Only when God brings you to a sudden stop will you realize that you have been the loser. Whenever there is a spiritual drain in your life, correct it immediately. Realize that something has been coming between you and God, and change or remove it at once. (Chambers)

He will. He really will. He will stop you right in your tracks. Just as a wise father stops his little child from running out into traffic....or wandering too far away from him.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

The Peace of Jesus

Are you severely troubled right now?...Then look up and receive the quiet contentment of the Lord Jesus. Reflecting His peace is proof that you are right with God, because you are exhibiting the freedom to turn your mind to Him. If you are not right with God, you can never turn your mind anywhere but on yourself. Allowing anything to hide the face of Jesus Christ from you either causes you to become troubled or gives you a false sense of security. (Chambers)

With regard to the problem that is pressing in on you right now, are you “looking unto Jesus” and receiving peace from Him?...We become troubled because we have not been taking Him into account.(Chambers)

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” ‭‭John‬ ‭14:27‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Why do I allow myself to get so worked up and worried about things?

Saturday, August 22, 2015

Prayer-Battle in the Secret Place

“But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.”             Matthew‬ ‭6:6‬ ‭

We must have a specially selected place for prayer, but once we get there this plague of wandering thoughts begins, as we begin to think to ourselves, “This needs to be done, and I have to do that today.” Jesus says to “shut your door.” Having a secret stillness before God means deliberately shutting the door on our emotions and remembering Him. (Chambers)

I need to learn how to shut the door more tightly than I usually do. I want closeness to my Father again...on a consistent basis. It really is a atyle I keep my mind focused on him.

When we truly live in “the secret place,” it becomes impossible for us to doubt God. We become more sure of Him than of anyone or anything else. Enter into “the secret place,” and you will find that God was right in the middle of your everyday circumstances all the time. Get into the habit of dealing with God about everything. (Chambers)

Wednesday, August 12, 2015

On Becoming a Hymn of Praise to God

Wow! Sometimes the words of Oswald Chambers just hit me right in the gut! The end of the passage today really rings true for me.

But if you will go on through the crisis, your life will become a hymn of praise to God. Never become attached to anything that continues to hurt God. For you to be free of it, God must be allowed to hurt whatever it may be.(Oswald Chambers)

If anyone reading this knows my personal testimony, you will know the pain I endured so that the Lord could draw me closer to Him. I truly want to be a hymn of praise to God.

“Rejoice always, pray continually, give thanks in all circumstances; for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not quench the Spirit.”
‭‭1 Thessalonians‬ ‭5:16-19‬ ‭NIV‬‬

Saturday, August 8, 2015

Moment By Moment

The only abiding reality is God Himself, and His order comes to me moment by moment. …I must be about My Father’s business”— and I must learn to live every moment of my life in my Father’s house.

Are you so closely identified with the Lord’s life that you are simply a child of God, continually talking to Him and realizing that everything comes from His hands?...You must allow Him to have His way with you, staying in perfect oneness with Him. (Oswald Chambers)

Oh...I am learning this now! He is teaching me. My desire is to live closely to him in a way that I never have before. A long time ago, I prayed that the Lord would make me into a woman of God..."No matter what it takes." He works slowly. Slowly...but he is changing me. Minute by minute as I learn to "be about my Father's business."

Monday, August 3, 2015

I Surrender!

As long as you think that you are of value to Him He cannot choose you, because you have purposes of your own to serve. But if you will allow Him to take you to the end of your own self-sufficiency, then He can choose you to go with Him “to Jerusalem” (Luke 18:31). And that will mean the fulfillment of purposes which He does not discuss with you. (Chambers)

That last sentence just totally cracks me up. It is so true of our Lord. He never discusses his purposes with me. It's all about trusting and relinquishing my need to know.

As Christians we are not here for our own purpose at all— we are here for the purpose of God, and the two are not the same. We do not know what God’s compelling purpose is, but whatever happens, we must maintain our relationship with Him. We must never allow anything to damage our relationship with God, but if something does damage it, we must take the time to make it right again. The most important aspect of Christianity is not the work we do, but the relationship we maintain and the surrounding influence and qualities produced by that relationship. That is all God asks us to give our attention to, and it is the one thing that is continually under attack. (Chambers)

I cannot even add to this. It is just awesome in and of itself. I surrender my purpose for yours, Lord!

Sunday, August 2, 2015

The Teaching of Adversity

What an absolutley timely and beautiful message was Oswald Chambers devotional today. It is something that I have been thinking a lot about. And now here it is!

John 16:33  
 “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”

Chambers goes on to talk about how it is necessary to go through trials in order to grow stronger in the walk with Him. Yes! Yes it is! I know this is what happened to me 28 years ago...and it will continue to happen as I seek to grow in Christ. It was honestly the most pivotal time in my life! It has shaped who I am in Christ in a way that no other experience in my life has. For that reason I am thankful for the trial I went through...although I still have residual pain from it. That residual pain serves as a reminder that I must put Jesus Christ absolutley first in my life.

The following is copied and posted from today's devotional.

The typical view of the Christian life is that it means being delivered from all adversity. But it actually means being delivered in adversity, which is something very different...God does not give us overcoming life— He gives us life as we overcome. The strain of life is what builds our strength. If there is no strain, there will be no strength. Are you asking God to give you life, liberty, and joy? He cannot, unless you are willing to accept the strain. And once you face the strain, you will immediately get the strength. Overcome your own timidity and take the first step. Then God will give you nourishment— “To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life…” (Revelation 2:7). If you completely give of yourself physically, you become exhausted. But when you give of yourself spiritually, you get more strength. God never gives us strength for tomorrow, or for the next hour, but only for the strain of the moment. Our temptation is to face adversities from the standpoint of our own common sense. But a saint can “be of good cheer” even when seemingly defeated by adversities, because victory is absurdly impossible to everyone, except God.

Wow! This truly helps me in the perspective I have so recently adopted! I had decided that it all happened according to God's will and that He had a plan in it....but now it's even better! I feel privileged to have been chosen to be entrusted to endure such incredible hardship!

Praise the Lord!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Keeping the Lord's perspective on relationships

Jesus did not commit Himself to them…, for He knew what was in man. —John 2:24-25

But the disillusionment that comes from God brings us to the point where we see people as they really are, yet without any cynicism or any stinging and bitter criticism. Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain, stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions. We are not true to one another as facts, seeing each other as we really are; we are only true to our misconceived ideas of one another. There is only one Being who can completely satisfy to the absolute depth of the hurting human heart, and that is the Lord Jesus Christ. Our Lord is so obviously uncompromising with regard to every human relationship because He knows that every relationship that is not based on faithfulness to Himself will end in disaster. (Oswald Chambers)

I want to have this disillusionment of God. To see people with clarity and truth...understanding that they aren't perfect, that they will fail me at times...and yet keeping myself from reacting as I normally do (in anger and self a porcupine) Instead, I ought to keep loving, reacting in the gentleness that come from His spirit.

Men and women will fail me eventually and I will fail others. It's the human thing. The trick is to keep God's perspective on it so I am not thrown by disappointments (in both others and myself). To gain that perspective, we must seek God's by being in his word that is found in the Bibie and in devoted time of prayer to Him.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

God's Purpose, or Mine?

I just loved today's devotional. So applicable to what the Lord is teaching me.

The question of whether or not we arrive at a particular goal is of little importance, and reaching it becomes merely an episode along the way. What we see as only the process of reaching a particular end, God sees as the goal itself.

What is my vision of God’s purpose for me? Whatever it may be, His purpose is for me to depend on Him and on His power. If I can stay calm, faithful, and unconfused while in the middle of the turmoil of life, the goal of the purpose of God is being accomplished in me....What He desires for me is that I see “Him walking on the sea” with no shore, no success, nor goal in sight, but simply having the absolute certainty that everything is all right because I see “Him walking on the sea” Mark 6:49It is the process, not the outcome, that is glorifying to God. (Oswald Chambers)

I am seeing this to be more and more true in my life. I've had many goals in life that actually have never come to fruition. I'm 48 years old...and some of them just aren't going to happen. I'm learning to accept that this is okay. Life is about the journey, not all of the accomplishments we make.

Lately, I've been looking for a job as a school librarian. I have had interview after interview...with no luck. It has hurt very much. For the last few months I have heard the word "surrender." It's like God has been whispering that word in my ear. So I'm learning to surrender this to the Lord. I'm learning to trust that even if I never get a job as a school librarian, it is going to be okay...because I see Jesus walking on the waves of my stormy sea. Just as he has done for me in even stormer weather.

What is His goal for me? It is for me to love and trust and follow Him to the end. To keep my eyes on the prize. To keep running. To know that he is able to walk on the stormiest seas in this life.

Monday, July 27, 2015

On Prying My Fingers Loose

If anyone wills to do His will, he shall know concerning the doctrine… —John 7:17

If spiritual things seem dark and hidden to me, then I can be sure that there is a point of disobedience somewhere in my life. Intellectual darkness is the result of ignorance, but spiritual darkness is the result of something that I do not intend to obey. 

When Jesus drives something home to you through His Word, don’t try to evade it. If you do, you will become a religious impostor. Examine the things you tend simply to shrug your shoulders about, and where you have refused to be obedient, and you will know why you are not growing spiritually. (Oswald Chambers)

I can actually think of a time when I refused to be obedient to the Lord. I knew He was convicting me about an idol I had in my life. He whispered again and again in my ear that it was sin and it needed to stop. I loved my idol. I loved my idol more than any thing or anyone in the world. I knew it to be true...and I knew that I loved that idol more than I loved the Lord. I was afraid that if I confessed to the sin, then the Lord would ask me to get rid of the idol. I knew I wouldn't do that.

Needless to say that I wasn't really growing spiritually. When I was 19 and I left for college, the first thing I did was seek out Christian fellowship. I found that in Inter Varsity Christian Fellowship (IVCF). I signed up for the fall retreat which was at the end of September. It was there that I decided to rededicate my life to Christ. I wanted to take my walk with Him up on a different level. I prayed that the Lord would "Make me into a woman of matter what it takes." Yes..I actually added the words at the end. I meant that prayer with all of my heart and decided to pray that prayer every day.

Guess what the first thing that the Lord needed to deal with was?......You got it! That idol in my life. And so began the process of the Lord prying my fingers loose on that idol. I wasn't going to give it up willingly. It was the most painful thing I ever went through.

So, my readers...don't do as I did all of those years ago (28). Take his words to you seriously. When you hear him whisper in your ear about something that needs to to Him in obedience.

Friday, July 17, 2015

Into the light

“This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but people loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that their deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what they have done has been done in the sight of God.” ‭‭John‬ ‭3:19-21‬ ‭NIV‬‬

 Sometimes it's hard coming into the Lord's light and truth. That is when you relinquish control and allow the Lord to speak to you. And when he speaks to'd best listen. I've done it both ways. I've been stubborn and gone my own way...because of my selfish desires. Because His way doesn't look like a good way. His way seems uncertain. I look where He points...and sometimes I say, "There, Lord? Are you sure?"

Other times I have listened, but sadly not often enough.

Jesus will never insist that I obey, but if I don’t,I have already begun to sign the death certificate of the Son of God in my soul. When I stand face to face with Jesus Christ and say, “I will not obey,” He will never insist. But when I do this, I am backing away from the recreating power of His redemption. It makes no difference to God’s grace what an abomination I am, if I will only come to the light. But “Woe is me” if I refuse the light. (Oswald Chambers)

Thursday, July 16, 2015

Move Over and Let God Do the Work!

“My message and my preaching were not with wise and persuasive words, but with a demonstration of the Spirit’s power,”. 1 Corinthians‬ ‭2:4‬ ‭NIV‬‬

What is so cool about this passage is the reassurance that it is God that does the work...not us. We don't have to be fancy in our speech, or eloquent, or very academic. It is the Holy Spirit's work to move hearts. Not ours.

Belief in Jesus is a miracle produced only by the effectiveness of redemption, not by impressive speech, nor by wooing and persuading, but only by the sheer unaided power of God. The creative power of redemption comes through the preaching of the gospel, but never because of the personality of the preacher. (Oswald Chambers)

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

Nothing slips by Him

I think that Oswald Chambers' devotional today is one of my favorites yet! It is perfect for what I am wrestling with lately. God is so good! Why don't I always believe that? Why do I forget that he is in control of everything?

He knows everything that has happened in my life. He knows everything that will happen in my life. I just need to trust him. I know it is true. He has shown me marvelous things that cannot be coincidence. He has whispered things in my ears that have come true. Why do I doubt? He holds everything in his hands. Nothing sneaks by him.

My Father in heaven loves me! Why do I not seek him with my whole heart? Why do I turn away from him? Why do I brood about things that I cannot change? "Oh Heavenly Father, I am so sorry that I have doubted you. Forgive me." 

Fill your mind with the thought that God is there. And once your mind is truly filled with that thought, when you experience difficulties it will be as easy as breathing for you to remember, “My heavenly Father knows all about this!” 

Jesus is laying down the rules of conduct for those people who have His Spirit, and it works on the following principle: God is my Father, He loves me, and I will never think of anything that He will forget, so why should I worry?

Jesus said there are times when God cannot lift the darkness from you, but you should trust Him. At times God will appear like an unkind friend, but He is not; He will appear like an unnatural father, but He is not; He will appear like an unjust judge, but He is not. Keep the thought that the mind of God is behind all things strong and growing. Not even the smallest detail of life happens unless God’s will is behind it. Therefore, you can rest in perfect confidence in Him. (Oswald Chambers)

 I need to live this truth.

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:7‬ ‭

“If you, then, though you are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father in heaven give good gifts to those who ask him!”
‭‭Matthew‬ ‭7:11‬

He is my Father. I must have an attitude of trust that he has good gifts for me and that He wants me to ask him for things, to come to him...climb up on his lap and listen to him.

Wednesday, July 1, 2015

Oh, Holy I need you to fill me

Many of us who call ourselves Christians are not truly devoted to Jesus Christ. No one on earth has this passionate love for the Lord Jesus unless the Holy Spirit has given it to him. We may admire, respect, and revere Him, but we cannot love Him on our own. The only One who truly loves the Lord Jesus is the Holy Spirit, and it is He who has “poured out in our hearts” the very “love of God” (Romans 5:5). Whenever the Holy Spirit sees an opportunity to glorify Jesus through you, He will take your entire being and set you ablaze with glowing devotion to Jesus Christ. (Oswald Chambers)

 Oh how I need the love of the Holy Spirit in me. How I pray for and yearn for that, as I fall so far short on my own strength. That's what I truly be filled with the Holy Spirit. How I grieve the Lord Jesus with my sin of hatred.

Tuesday, June 30, 2015


Now you have been “thrown into prison, [and]…you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (Matthew 5:25-26) Yet you ask, “Is this a God of mercy and love?” When seen from God’s perspective, it is a glorious ministry of love. God is going to bring you out pure, spotless, and undefiled, but He wants you to recognize the nature you were exhibiting— the nature of demanding your right to yourself. The moment you are willing for God to change your nature, His recreating forces will begin to work. And the moment you realize that God’s purpose is to get you into the right relationship with Himself and then with others, He will reach to the very limits of the universe to help you take the right road. 

His work is sometimes painful. It is hard. What am I supposed to learn? Am I being punished for something?

Sunday, June 28, 2015

The Strictest Discipline...i.e. Cutting off My Right Hand

“You are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled underfoot. “You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭13-16‬ NIV)

This is not really the scripture in Chambers devotional today...but I found it when I looked at the scriptures that was in the devotional. I decided to look at Matthew chapter 5 in its entirety. I've come to the conclusion that the light in me does not shine for the world to see. It is under a bowl. It is hidden. It is not on a hill. I want that to change. I need the Holy Spirit to be living in me. In order to do that, there needs to be some changes. I need to get into the Word of God and spend a greater amount of time in prayer. I have been so impressed with the testimony of our friend Louie. He was an incredible man of God. One thing that was very clear was that he spent time in prayer. Serious prayer. He also loved others. Again and again at his memorial service a few weeks ago, people stood up to say how Louie had impacted their lives because of Jesus Christ.

I don't love others very well. I can't love them on my own strength. I've come to this conclusion in the past...and nothing has changed. I keep on the same useless path. This time, there needs to be a change. A profound change.

Here is today's scripture.

And if your right hand causes you to stumble, cut it off and throw it away. It is better for you to lose one part of your body than for your whole body to go into hell. (‭Matthew‬ ‭5‬:‭30‬ NIV)

There are many things that are perfectly legitimate, but if you are going to concentrate on God you cannot do them. Your right hand is one of the best things you have, but Jesus says that if it hinders you in following His precepts, then “cut it off.” The principle taught here is the strictest discipline or lesson that ever hit humankind.

I need to figure out what I need to cut off. I think it is facebook.

Monday, June 22, 2015

Unchanging Law of Judgement

With what judgement you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use it will be measured back to you.  Matthew 7:2

This is actually a pretty terrifying scripture. I have been guilty of judging people and I'm guilty of not measuring out much to others.

Sunday, June 21, 2015

The Ministry of Inner Life

"You are...a royal priesthood..."     I Peter 2:9

How long is it going to take God to free us from the unhealthy habit of thinking only about ourselves? We must get to the point of being sick to death of ourselves, until there is no longer any surprise at anything God might tell us about ourselves. We cannot reach and understand the depths of our own meagerness. There is only one place where we are right with God, and that is in Christ Jesus.

Saturday, June 20, 2015

Other Focused

As a saved soul, the real business of your life is intercessory prayer. Whatever circumstances God may place you in, always pray immediately that His atonement may be recognized and as fully understood in the lives of others as it has been in yours. Pray for your friends now, and pray for those with whom you come in contact now.

Today's devotional is really quite simple. Very straightforward. We are to pray for others. We should not be focused on our own wants, desires, needs, problems to the point of never thinking of others. I am very self centered quite often. I think of all of my problems, struggles, agenda, what's next...etc. when do I stop and think about others?

We have the hope of salvation. Therefore, we have nothing to worry about no matter what this world throws at us. This should completely free me up to focus on other people.

The example for today is Job. After all he went through, he interceded for his friends. (Job 42:10)

Thursday, June 18, 2015


He said, "Come."  So Peter got out of the boat and walked in the water and came to Jesus. But when he saw the wind, he was afraid, and beginning to sink he cried out, "Lord, save me." Jesus immediately reached out his hand and took hold of him saying, "O you of little faith, why did you doubt?"       Matthew 14:29-31

If you debate for even one second when God has spoken, it is all over for you. Never start to say, “Well, I wonder if He really did speak to me?” Be reckless immediately— totally unrestrained and willing to risk everything— by casting your all upon Him. You do not know when His voice will come to you, but whenever the realization of God comes, even in the faintest way imaginable, be determined to recklessly abandon yourself, surrendering everything to Him. It is only through abandonment of yourself and your circumstances that you will recognize Him. You will only recognize His voice more clearly through recklessness— being willing to risk your all.

The words above are copied directly from Chambers devotional today. I admit that I have debated with God in the past. I have said, "Was that really God speaking?" Pivotal moments in my life when I could have stayed in God's will...but instead I chose not to believe.

Right now...I admit, that I'm not hearing anything other than the word, surrender. I have had 30 interviews in the past 4 years for various library jobs. I am so frustrated that I cannot even describe it. I keep hearing the Lord say, "Surrender."

What does it mean? Does it mean stop trying? What?

I just see the waves and the winds and it all looks so impossible. I have given myself so many pep talks in the past...I don't know if I have a pep talk left.

I want to feel his hand reaching out to me and lifting me up above the waves.

Sunday, June 14, 2015

Get Moving 1

There are some things in the Christian walk that I need to "do myself." For example....I need to choose and work at bringing every thought into captive obedience to Christ.

We demolish arguments and every pretention that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.   2 Corinthians 10:5

I need to start living victoriously. I have not been doing well in my walk with the Lord lately. I have not been spending time in prayer or in His word. Why am I surprised when I am once again in the depths of despair and discouragement? Why have I fallen victim to the lies of Satan....who constantly whispers how worthless I am and reminds me of all of my failures?

I don't know why my heavenly Father even puts up with me. I just want to be honest that I am human. I fail...I am not the spiritual one that lives in constant victory. I am real.

Sometimes when I go through and read these devotionals, I can hardly believe that I wrote them. They sound so wise and strong....when I am not. Most of the time when I read them, I can't even remember coming up with the words. I think...did I copy this? Was this really me writing this?

Satan is a liar. He wants to devour me. He knows my weakest points. He knows when to strike. Why do I not arm myself against this? Against these pretenses. Against these arguments.

"Oh, Lord...that I would live victoriously every minute of every day. That you would change my heart. That you would be my all and my everything. That I would not look to the left or the right. That I would not listen to the lies and believe them. That I would not think that I am capable and strong...and that I can do life on my own...that I know a better way. That I would not foolishly believe that I could find fulfillment in something or someone other than you, Jesus. I can only be victorious on my knees and in searching your truth that is found in your word."

This is straight from Chambers' devotional today:

Our Lord’s inner abiding was pure and unblemished. He was at home with God wherever His body was. He never chose His own circumstances, but was meek, submitting to His Father’s plans and directions for Him. Just think of how amazingly relaxed our Lord’s life was! But we tend to keep God at a fever pitch in our lives. We have none of the serenity of the life which is “hidden with Christ in God.

Since then, you have been raised with Christ, set your hearts on things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on things above, not on earthly things. For you died, and your life is now hidden with Christ in God. When Christ, who is your life, appears, then you will also appear with him in glory.
Colossians 3:1-4

You say, “Yes, Lord, just a minute— I still have this to do. Yes, I will abide as soon as this is finished, or as soon as this week is over. It will be all right, Lord. I will abide then.” 

I am sorry to admit that I do that all the time. The dishes, blogging, running an errand, cooking dinner, doing many time it takes precedence over spending time with the Lord. I need to get moving NOW.

Monday, March 9, 2015

Don't Go Away...Keep Trusting

Do you also want to go away? —John 6:67

Today's passage is in regards to some of Jesus' original followers choosing to turn their backs on him and go their own way. Jesus always gives us a choice. He never forces us to follow him. He never forces us to trust him. There are many people in this life who think they follow Jesus, when in actuality they really go their own way by their own sinful attitudes. Sometimes this attitude can be somewhat subtle in the way we trust or don't trust him. It can be quite risky to follow him. Always remember the following:

We must continually maintain an adventurous attitude toward Him, despite any potential personal risk.

Life indeed is an adventure that calls us to trust him even when things don't make sense and in the face of difficulty. Sometimes it seems like we should worry about the future or ask questions about why certain events were allowed to happen. In our human and finite way, we think it would've been better if things had gone smoothly and more happily. "If I were God," we say..."I would never allow hunger or suffering to happen in this world." We are not called to understand everything God orchestrates in this world. That would be impossible. What we are called to do is much more simple.

When God gives you a clear determination of His will for you, all your striving to maintain that relationship by some particular method is completely unnecessary. All that is required is to live a natural life of absolute dependence on Jesus Christ. Never try to live your life with God in any other way than His way. And His way means absolute devotion to Him. Showing no concern for the uncertainties that lie ahead (or behind) is the secret of walking with Jesus.

Simple? Yes, but sometimes a tall order. It is simple if you stop and understand that you need to surrender your own understanding to him and lean entirely on him in everything. And I mean everything! As a Christian, you are called upon to believe that everything is a part of his divine purpose even suffering and uncertainties. He has these uncertainties in his hands and they are certainly not uncertain to him.

Don't go away. Keep following him. Keep trusting him. Keep believing. Surrender your lack of understanding to him.

Thursday, March 5, 2015

Finding My Serving Niche

However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. (‭Acts‬ ‭20‬:‭24‬ NIV)

I love today's devotional because it is perfect for where I am with God today. I want to be in meaningful ministry. What does that look like? I am beginning to see what that might be...although He will lead and guide and direct.

Here is a direct quote from Chambers today.

Joy comes from seeing the complete fulfillment of the specific purpose for which I was created and born again, not from successfully doing something of my own choosing. The joy our Lord experienced came from doing what the Father sent Him to do. And He says to us, “As the Father has sent Me, I also send you” (John 20:21). Have you received a ministry from the Lord? If so, you must be faithful to it— to consider your life valuable only for the purpose of fulfilling that ministry.

I already spoke to a pastor at my church about this. She heads up Celebrate Recovery at our church. I really felt lead to speak to her...and now I am waiting to see what happens next. I always figured that the Lord had me go through what I went through for a reason.  You see, I spent about 15 years of my life in spiritual bondage. The Lord brought me to a place of recovery. Now I want others to reach the same place of recovery. Maybe I can help them reach that place by sharing what the Lord did for me.

I also think of how Joseph went through his horrible trial. His brothers were worried about him retaliating against them, but this is how Joseph reacted.

But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. (‭Genesis‬ ‭50‬:‭19-20‬ NIV)

Now I feel the same way. I no longer regret what happened to me. I no longer feel trapped by sorrow. I know that the Lord had a purpose for it. I will not lament things not working out to what I once thought would have been a better way. Maybe I can help others who are trapped in the lies of Satan.

We each have to find a niche in life, and spiritually we find it when we receive a ministry from the Lord. To do this we must have close fellowship with Jesus and must know Him as more than our personal Savior. And we must be willing to experience the full impact of Acts 9:16 — “I will show him how many things he must suffer for My name’s sake.”

Am I willing to suffer more for his name sake?

Wednesday, March 4, 2015

My Greatest Source of Security: That I Am Not My Own

Never consider whether or not you are of use— but always consider that “you are not your own” (1 Corinthians 6:19). You are His.

What do I count in my life as “dear to myself”? If I have not been seized by Jesus Christ and have not surrendered myself to Him, I will consider the time I decide to give God and my own ideas of service as dear. I will also consider my own life as “dear to myself."

These are words from today's devotional. I find them to ring true, of course. I have been trying to surrender more...and learning what that really means. One of the things I am discovering is to surrender regret to him. Sometimes I look back at my life and say , "What if...?" Or I say, "If only..."  God has been showing me that those questions are really an affront to His will for me. Everything has happened according to his will and plan. Nothing escapes Him. He knows all events-past, present and future. Nothing slips by him accidentally. So I must surrender "my own dear life" to Him. That means my past life and what I, in my arrogance would have considered a better plan. This means my present what I want now...and my disappointments now. And of course....the ever present unknown future to Him. Incidentally, it is not really "unknown" because He knows it.

Surrender means I can look back on painful circumstances and understand that He was in all of it. That He actually orchestrated all of it. All of it. Illnesses. Health. Broken relationships. Closed doors. Open windows. Lost loves. New found loves. Broken hearts. Recovery. Marriage. Children. Jobs. Unemployment. Employment. Lack of money. Having money. Grief. Joy.

Does this mean we have no choices? No. But it means that He knows...and it all is going to be okay. I am not my own. I am His. This is my greatest comfort and security.