Monday, November 13, 2017

Faith or Experience?

I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. Galatians 2:20

We should battle through our moods, feelings, and emotions into absolute devotion to the Lord Jesus.

That sentence from today’s devotional is very fitting for me. I battle a lot of moods. It is almost constant. I have accepted it as my lot in life...but it doesn’t mean I use it as an excuse. I battle through it and it’s tough sometimes. Satan continues to try to destroy me via my mood swings...and he continues to lose the battle!

We must break out of our own little world of experience into abandoned devotion to Him. 

I am guilty of being in my own little world quite often. I get lost in my memories and self pity. Sometimes it launches into an all out war of unforgiveness toward others...two people in particular who I am no longer able to interact with. I have been convicted about this sin of mine and am happy to say that I am finally winning this one too. I am finally being able to let it go and forgive. They really didn’t know they were in the wrong. They hurt me deeply, but they were either reacting out of their own hurt or truly believing that something else was going on that wasn’t. (Or both) Also...the Lord ordained all of my days for me...including the deep valleys of my life. (Psalm 139:16)

Thankfully, Chambers reminds me of the following truth:
Think what faith in Jesus Christ claims and provides— He can present us faultless before the throne of God, inexpressibly pure, absolutely righteous, and profoundly justified.

I am profoundly thankful for that. Without that...I am hopeless...for I am too unforgiving, too self absorbed, too bitter on my own strength. My sour moods left unchecked, just fester and darken.

Jesus Christ wants our absolute, unrestrained devotion to Himself. We can never experience Jesus Christ, or selfishly bind Him in the confines of our own hearts. Our faith must be built on strong determined confidence in Him.

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

The Key of the Greater Work

…I say to you, he who believes in Me,…greater works than these he will do, because I go to My Father. —John 14:12

And He promises, “Whatever you ask in My name, that I will do…” (John 14:13). Yet we refuse to pray unless it thrills or excites us, which is the most intense form of spiritual selfishness.
We must learn to work according to God’s direction, and He says to pray. “Pray the Lord of the harvest to send out laborers into His harvest” (Matthew 9:38).

I never thought of my not praying as a form of selfishness before. I guess it is. It seems like the more time goes on...the older I get, the less spiritual I actually become. I am shrinking spiritually. Why am I doubting more? Why am I more cynical than ever? 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

…choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve… —Joshua 24:15

 A person’s will is embodied in the actions of the whole person. I cannot give up my will— I must exercise it, putting it into action. I must will to obey, and I must will to receive God’s Spirit.

Your choice must be a deliberate determination— it is not something into which you will automatically drift.

You have no business trying to find out where God is leading— the only thing God will explain to you is Himself.

I think that if it was at all possible for me to meet Oswald Chambers in person, he would be gravely disappointed in me.

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Come as you are...holy garb will be provided

Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He shall bring it to pass. —Psalm 37:5

This is the over-riding theme in all of my devotional lately. "Trust in the Lord. It's all going to be good." Well...that and this one which I have also put into laymen' terms. "That which does not kill us, makes us stronger." (Okay...that is not in the Bible per say, but in so many words it is.)

Here are the gems from today's Oswald Chambers devotional.

God seems to have a delightful way of upsetting the plans we have made, when we have not taken Him into account.

LOL. That's all I can seem to come up with for that one. Actually I have a little more. Sometimes even when I consult him the plans seem to get upset. Maybe there is a communication gap going on here. Reminds me of my husband and I. I will say something to my husband (or he to me) and we seem to have an understanding. After all... we are both speaking English and grew up speaking that language within the same geographical region of the we aren't getting confused by different phraseologies. Later on however, we will have this problem because we misunderstood one another. Am I just not understanding God? (I know it isn't the other way around)

If we have the idea that we have to put on our “spiritual face” before we can come near to God, then we will never come near to Him. We must come as we are.

This one is a comfort...especially seeing how I can never be perfect. So far from it I could cry sometimes. "Why am I like this?" I often ask myself. I know I have issues...I admit it. I can't get that spiritual face on all the time. I misplaced that quite a long time ago. You know what is kind of funny...or not, depending on how you look at it. I used to consider myself to be quite spiritually together and mature. (Makes me kind of laugh now) I seemed very wise to myself. That would have been circa 1984 or so. All knowing at the age of 17. Now... I'm even wiser because I understand just how dim witted I can be spiritually. I'm just me. I fret. I obsess. I don't pray the way I ought to. I say dumb things that irritate people. I'm sinful in ways that I don't even recognize as sinful. I am just me. The imperfect one. Luckily I don't have to be perfect to be loved by Him. He says, "Come as you are." He will provide the garments of righteousness. Amen!

You cannot hoard things for a rainy day if you are truly trusting Christ. Jesus said, “Let not your heart be troubled…” (John 14:1). 

So is that why we can't get ahead financially? I would like to trust in a great financial plan. My plan is actually biblically sound. Live simply. Pay off all the debts. Keep socking away funds for retirement and also...for emergencies and for that rainy day. The one where we decide to finish fixing up the house...or buy a new sofa. Sounds good? I think it does...but we can never seem to get there. Sometimes I wonder if God prefers us to live on the edge of panic simply so that we are forced to acknowledge that we have to rely 100% on Him rather than on our own ingenuity. I won't even touch the topic of learning to be content!

God will not keep your heart from being troubled. It is a command— “Let not….” To do it, continually pick yourself up, even if you fall a hundred and one times a day, until you get into the habit of putting God first and planning with Him in mind.

Ah, nuts! That sounds like work to me. You mean, I have to figure out a way to stop fretting and obsessing about things on my own? I have to keep getting up and dusting myself off to try again? I have to admit that this sounds like a recipe for failure. I have been trying and failing at this for so long now. I am weary of standing up again.

Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Fret not thyself

Do not fret— it only causes harm. —Psalm 37:8

It's easy to say, "Rest in the Lord, and wait patiently for Him" (Psalm 37:7), until our own little world is turned upside down and we are forced to live in confusion and agony like so many other people. Is it possible to “rest in the Lord” then?...Resting in the Lord is not dependent on your external circumstances at all, but on your relationship with God Himself.

Worrying always results in sin. We tend to think that a little anxiety and worry are simply an indication of how wise we really are, yet it is actually a much better indication of just how wicked we are. Fretting rises from our determination to have our own way. Our Lord never worried and was never anxious, because His purpose was never to accomplish His own plans but to fulfill God’s plans. Fretting is wickedness for a child of God. 

Deliberately tell God that you will not fret about whatever concerns you. All our fretting and worrying is caused by planning without God. (Chambers)

Well, I guess that is pretty straight-forward. I have to admit that I know this all to be true. I know that what is blocking me from moving forward in my walk with the Lord is my "fretting" over the past.

I fret about: What someone thinks is true. What went wrong. How I couldn't make it right. Unforgiveness towards people. Anger that I refuse to hand over to the Lord for good. My constant reviewing and examination of the events of the past....and looking at it and somehow convincing myself that it is all helping me somehow. Looking at it from every angle is not helping me. I have fooled myself into thinking that it is helping me come to grips with what I can't undo. What I cannot change. I tell myself that it is giving me answers...but it is really a refusal to accept the Lord's plan as best.

Let me repeat that. It is really a refusal to accept the Lord's plan as best.

Sunday, July 2, 2017

What is wrong with me?

To be a disciple is to be a devoted bondservant motivated by love for the Lord Jesus. 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).

Perhaps this is my problem. The Holy Spirit has passed by me. I'm always struggling to feel any devotion at all...and I almost always feel next to nothing. I believe in God. I believe in Jesus. I just can't get going with this "devotion towards Him."  I'm all over the board. I'm distracted by everything. I've asked for help from the Holy Spirit and I never notice any change. I just feel like I am a pretty rotten Christian compared to so many of my family members and friends.

I go to church. I bring my Bible. I take notes. I write really cool points in the margins. I try to pray. I try to have regular devotions. I try to consult the Lord with my troubles. I try to thank Him for the blessings. I am in a Bible Study. I have even been a Bible Study leader. I just feel like everything is a huge effort with very sparse results. I teach my children Biblical ways. I took them to Sunday school. I sent them to Christian summer camps. We have a verse of the week at the dinner table. We pray at the dinner table. I used to pray with the children before the went to they've grown up. All three go to Christian colleges. All three seem to have active and genuine faith. Yet I feel empty and fake so much of the time.

What am I doing wrong?

Saturday, July 1, 2017

Time to pick up the tools and start working!

You will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny. —Matthew 5:26

We seem to be on the same theme here in my utmost. Trial is God's way of purifying us and bringing us to Himself. Trial is necessary for our faith to grow. It may seem as though we are being unjustly punished and that it will last forever...and that God hates us. Not true. It is really the love of God drawing us ever closer...testing us. It is also called life. Life brings bumps and bruises along the way. We must decide what we will do with the bumps and bruises we receive. Are we simply going to whine about it and resort to spending our lives curled up in a fetal position under the covers of our bed? Are we going to obsess about our troubles with an endless loop of memories playing over and over in our minds?

How do we put it to good use? How do I move on from here? How do I pour what I've learned back into others so I can encourage them? How do I do this? Has the Lord opened a door that he is asking you to step through in faith? He has brought you this it is time for something new. Go through the door.

I love Oswald Chambers because he doesn't mince words.

He urged you to come to judgment immediately when He convicted you, but you did not obey. Then the inevitable process began to work, bringing its inevitable penalty. Now you have been “thrown into prison, [and]…you will by no means get out of there till you have paid the last penny” (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. 

Stop obsessing! Get out of your head! Quit feeling sorry for yourself, roll up your sleeves, look around for others who may be hurting...and get to work!

Wednesday, June 28, 2017

I surrender all....still working on that

Who, then, are those who fear the Lord?
He will instruct them in the ways they should choose.
They will spend their days in prosperity,
and their descendants will inherit the land.
The Lord confides in those who fear him;
he makes his covenant known to them.
My eyes are ever on the Lord,
for only he will release my feet
from the snare.
Psalm 25:12-15

Are we so intimately united to Jesus Christ’s idea of prayer— “Your will be done” (Matthew 6:10)— that we catch the secrets of God? (Taken from Oswald Chambers' June 3rd entry)

This is really a very tough thing to be that "intimately united to Jesus." It is harder than I ever imagined it would be at the start of my journey to become so united with Him 31 years ago. It was the fall of 1986, when I was called upon to endure a tremendous trial that would stretch on for years to come. I was 19 years old and had just gone away to a four years university to begin my sophomore year of college. Here's a brief testimony of that.

That year...I had been convicted by the Holy Spirit that I wasn't putting Christ first in my life. I didn't love Him the most. I had put someone else in the first place slot...and that person was Me. I had originally believed that the person I had placed there had been the young man I had been dating...and while he was really close to the top slot, when I really stopped to consider that deeply, I had to come to the truth: that the person I put first was none other that myself. I wanted what I wanted. Period. I wanted love, security, and be taken care of (and really...who doesn't want that?). I sought that security out by looking to the wrong source. At that point, I was fairly certain that I would be taken care of and loved forever by another person. I don't think this is unusual for the human species to seek security in the wrong place. For me it was a person who would love me...for another it could be in a job, money, or position of prestige. It can also be placed in your own ability and intelligence.

That September, I went on a Christian retreat with my college fellowship group. During that retreat, I went to hear a middle aged woman speak about what it truly meant to become a woman of God. I knew that I was far from being the woman that she described. I saw in her, a beautiful peace and gentleness that can only come from the Lord. I also understand now that it probably came after years of trial and tribulation. After getting the wind knocked out of her by life's circumstances. In order to become that need to have a deep faith. What is faith that hasn't been tried? It isn't anything! Faith is a muscle that must be built up. Just as lifting weights makes you stronger....going through trial increases faith (unless you decide that it isn't worth it in the long run and you give it all up).

At that retreat, I made a commitment to allow the Lord to make me into woman of God no matter what it took. Yes....I really did use those exact words in my prayer...and I meant them. During the course of that school year I was stripped of everything I had originally believed would ultimately bring me security and happiness. Due to a mental health issue, I experienced extreme confusion in both mood and my thinking. I was rejected and abandoned. I was falsely accused of things I hadn't done and my reputation was tarnished. I became incapable of nourishing relationships. I lost the person I had loved deeply and in whom I had believed would love me back forever. I had a very broken relationship with my mother. I also lost many "so called friends" on my campus. I had no energy...nor any ability to make rational decisions. I encountered humiliation and shame because of some of the things I had done and said during the height of my illness. I couldn't even count on my academic ability, as my grades suffered greatly. Thinking became extremely difficult for me. The depression I entered was so profound that I seriously considered taking my own life. Basically, I had lost myself...and it was pretty traumatic. This little paragraph doesn't begin to accurately describe the darkness and emotional pain I had entered. Throughout this entire time, a voice would often whisper in my mind and it would ask, "Do you still want to become a woman of God?" I would answer, "  matter what it takes." And then I would go through even more hell. I somehow knew that everything I was going through was connected to my strong desire to thoroughly surrender my will to His to become a woman of God. I was in one of the biggest spiritual battles of my life.

That battle has continued throughout the rest of my life, although not alway in quite as severe a form. The battle rages on nonetheless. Becoming a woman of God is all about surrendering what I falsely perceive will bring me happiness and security. It is also surrendering control. I have continued to struggle to consistently surrender it all to Jesus...although it has become considerably easier. That hymn with the title I Surrender All has new meaning for me. What have I had to surrender? I have had to surrender some things that I once considered to be basic rights of a middle class American woman. Some of the things on my list might seem silly, and they really are, but Satan knows exactly what buttons to push...even the petty ones.

Here is a partial list of some of the rights I've sometimes thought I should have been allowed to claim...just by being alive on this earth. The right to enjoy a comfortable life. The right to be prideful. The right to live a pain-free life...both emotional and physical. The right to have control over all the outcomes in my life. The right to never having to experience extreme brokenness. The right to be understood. The right to a fair trial. The right to harbor anger (a biggie for me).

We all have our own lists. It all comes down to surrendering these rights and realizing that life is about learning to trust Jesus...not necessarily living happily ever after with all my dreams coming true. Where would I be if I had all my rights delivered to me? Would I understand my need for Christ? Would I have even an inkling of empathy towards those who suffer? Pain is necessary for personal growth as well as learning to surrender to Christ.

Tuesday, June 27, 2017

He promises that He will deliver...even when life here is not fair.

"…I am with you to deliver you," says the Lord. —Jeremiah 1:8

What a wonderful promise this is. I have such a sense of peace when I read a verse like this. The following is a truth that has taken me years and years to realize in my life.

Jesus says, in effect, “Don’t worry about whether or not you are being treated justly.” Looking for justice is actually a sign that we have been diverted from our devotion to Him. Never look for justice in this world, but never cease to give it. If we look for justice, we will only begin to complain and to indulge ourselves in the discontent of self-pity, as if to say, “Why should I be treated like this?” (Oswald Chambers)

Apparently, I am not alone in my struggle with this concept.

Even the most devout among us become atheistic in this regard— we do not believe Him. We put our common sense on the throne and then attach God’s name to it. We do lean to our own understanding, instead of trusting God with all our hearts (see Proverbs 3:5-6). (Oswald Chambers)

The Lord often drives home the same truths to me again and again. In this case, surrendering my right to fairness. I'm learning, albeit slowly. I am grateful for the Lord's great patience with me.

Monday, June 26, 2017

Drawing in God's grace....NOW!

We…plead with you not to receive the grace of God in vain. —2 Corinthians 6:1

Here's one of the quotes today from Oswald Chamber's study.

Pray now — draw on the grace of God in your moment of need. Prayer is the most normal and useful thing; it is not simply a reflex action of your devotion to God. We are very slow to learn to draw on God’s grace through prayer.

I'm afraid that I must admit that I am often slow to pray. It is not always a natural reflex for me. How often do I battle it out and then later...when I'm at my wit's end do I stop and pray? Haven't I learned anything yet? I am in the remedial "draw on God's grace now class." I'm not making the grade.

More good stuff.

Let circumstances take you where they will, but keep drawing on the grace of God in whatever condition you may find yourself.

Sounds fairly straight forward and simple, doesn't it?

Something I feel drawn to ponder.

“…having nothing….” Never hold anything in reserve. Pour yourself out, giving the best that you have, and always be poor. Never be diplomatic and careful with the treasure God gives you. “…and yet possessing all things”— this is poverty triumphant (2 Corinthians 6:10).

I guess this would be called being authentic. God already knows who I am ...what I am. I needn't hold back from him. I am also finding more and more as I grow older that being authentic before others often ends up blessing. If you are real with your struggles, then others won't feel needlessly intimidated by the "perfect version of you" and they will be encouraged, knowing that they are not alone.

Sunday, June 18, 2017

Learning to walk on water

…Peter…walked on the water to go to Jesus. But when he saw that the wind was boisterous, he was afraid… —Matthew 14:29-30

 Don't look at your the Lord. When we simply use our earthly wisdom...we can see circumstances as hopeless. I've fallen into this trap many times. I've looked about me and said, "Life isn't fair." "If only...." "I'm doomed." "We'll never be able to ....."

Life doesn't always turn out the way you plan it...and it really is hopeless apart from the Lord. But...He is powerful. He enables. He will never leave us nor will He forsake us. His plans are often quite different than our plans. When something catastrophic happens...we must remember that He is God. He doesn't have to answer to anyone. He gets to choose.

If you are truly recognizing your Lord, you have no business being concerned about how and where He engineers your circumstances. (Oswald Chambers)

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. (Oswald Chambers)

People, ....please take this warning seriously. I heard his voice, ignored his warning...went my own way and suffered the consequences. A lesson that was learned the hard way. Practice self-abandonment in favor of His ways!

God is good. He has our best interests in mind. Trust Him.

Saturday, June 17, 2017

Judging Others

17 Now you, if you call yourself a Jew; if you rely on the law and boast in God; 18 if you know his will and approve of what is superior because you are instructed by the law; 19 if you are convinced that you are a guide for the blind, a light for those who are in the dark, 20 an instructor of the foolish, a teacher of little children, because you have in the law the embodiment of knowledge and truth— 21 you, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? 22 You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? 23 You who boast in the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law? 24 As it is written: “God’s name is blasphemed among the Gentiles because of you.”"
 Romans 2: 17-24

Gems from today's devotional:

  • The Holy Spirit is the only one in the proper position to criticize, and He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding. 
  • It is impossible to enter into fellowship with God when you are in a critical mood. 

Interestingly enough, sometimes I find that my criticism is directed towards myself.

  • Jesus says that as His disciple you should cultivate a temperament that is never critical. This will not happen quickly but must be developed over a span of time. You must constantly beware of anything that causes you to think of yourself as a superior person.
  • Stop having a measuring stick for other people. There is always at least one more fact, which we know nothing about, in every person’s situation.

I have very little to add to this devotional today. Sometimes I have many of my own thoughts...but not today. I admit to being critical of others at times....and it is wrong. I haven't walked in their shoes. I am so thankful for the grace of God with my own blunders and mistakes. Chambers ends his devional with the following statement. My prayer is that I can one day say the same with absolute sincerity.
  •  have never met a person I could despair of, or lose all hope for, after discerning what lies in me apart from the grace of God.

Sunday, May 21, 2017

Trusting My Father

Seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. —Matthew 6:33

Do I do this? Truly seek the kingdom of God and His righteousness first? Really first? Above all other concerns in my life? Do I think about it and strive for it more than doing my job well, taking care of my house, worrying about finances, concerns about our old car, the house needing painting, getting new clothes, old wounds, what others think of me, my children, what I'm going to cook for dinner.....? Paying the bills when they come? Getting out of debt? Is the kingdom of God and His righteousness my FIRST concern?

"The great concern of our lives is not the kingdom of God but how we are going to take care of ourselves to live. Jesus reversed the order by telling us to get the right relationship with God first, maintaining it as the primary concern of our lives, and never to place our concern on taking care of the other things of life." (Oswald Chambers)

 I don't get this right. I stumble on this one. But, you know what? I think it's getting better. The Lord just keeps pounding this one home again and again. Over and over again in my life. I need to trust Him! Not my money, not my job status, not my 403b, not my investments...nor my savings. I have come to the conclusion that the Lord never intended me to be wealthy...or financially independent. Every time we seem to be doing better with money...along comes another trial. Our car needing major work done on it. Another child going off to college. Another emergency room visit. And every time one of these trials comes along (and it seems to be often), He shows us that it's all going to be okay. We are never hungry. We have a place to live, we keep breathing.

Therefore I tell you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or drink; or about your body, what you will wear. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothes? Matthew 6:25

We have everything that we need. I have made a resolution that I will not worry anymore about our retirement. I know he will provide for us. This does not mean we can be stupid with our money. We will still save, choose wisely what we will purchase, forgo the purchase of the yacht...I will still contribute to my 403b and Jamie will still contribute to his 401k, but we will not worry about being years behind in our retirement.

I will trust the Lord and seek Him first. I will trust Him. I will allow Him to be in the driver's seat of my life. I won't worry about what road He will take me down. I won't worry about where I will live or how I will clothe or feed myself when I get there. I will trust Him and enjoy the journey.

It is one of the most difficult, yet critical, disciplines of the Christian life to allow the Holy Spirit to bring us into absolute harmony with the teaching of Jesus in these verses.(Chambers)

Isn't that the truth?

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Take the initiative

Add to your faith virtue... 2 Peter 1:5

Today's devotional from Oswald Chambers is about taking initiative. It is about developing habits of prayer, Bible study, and devotion. It's crazy that as usual, I am reading in a devotional the exact thing that I am hearing the Lord tell me. I am simply out of the habit of  spending regular time with him. A long time ago, hardly a day went by that I did not do a devotional. I remember filling notebook pages full of notes and thoughts on scripture. I remember writing out lists of names of people I was praying for. I am ashamed that now it is the opposite. Hardly a day goes by where I spend the time I need to with the Lord.

The enemy has been attacking me vigorously and visciously with terrible painful memories. Ones that make me angry and feel resentment. I have trouble sleeping during these times. I will go to bed and fall asleep immediately, and then around three o'clock AM or so, that awful snake will wake me up to torture me. I got to school fairly early two days ago, around 6:45, and I read a devotional book that I have on my desk. It was about Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego going through the flames and how the Lord was with them. I know the Lord is with me through the flames...but I know that those three men took initiative every single day to walk closely with the Lord.  They were able to realize his presence with them. I remember thinking to myself that I ought to make a habit of doing a devotional every single morning at work...and yesterday I forgot. Today I forgot at first and then I remembered,...but was immediately distracted by an article that I needed to find for a teacher about language development in children. Later, as I was packing up for the day...I saw my lonely devotional sitting on my desk....Streams in the Desert.

"We need to steep ourselves in scripture, through prayer, asking the Holy Spirit to teach us, reveal truth to us, expose the lies in our hearts and replace them with His Truth." (A quote from my friend Ruth's blog post for today)

Today Oswald says this:

We are in danger of forgetting that we cannot do what God does, and that God will not do what we can do. We cannot save nor sanctify ourselves— God does that. But God will not give us good habits or character, and He will not force us to walk correctly before Him.

So true. So true...and I know it. I've known this forever and I've been ignoring it.  Now I just need to simply act upon that knowledge.

Beware of the tendency to ask the way when you know it perfectly well. Take the initiative— stop hesitating— take the first step. Be determined to act immediately in faith on what God says to you when He speaks, and never reconsider or change your initial decisions. (Chambers)

We have to get into the habit of carefully listening to God about everything, forming the habit of finding out what He says and heeding it. If, when a crisis comes, we instinctively turn to God, we will know that the habit has been formed in us. We have to take the initiative where we are, not where we have not yet been.(Chambers)

Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling. ~Phillipians 2:12