May 25, 2016

Thrive

    I purchased a plant in early spring. I selected an attractive vine to grow on a beautiful trellis in the back corner of our yard. It looked great when I brought it home, leaves healthy and green, blooms in vibrant color. My husband dug a deep hole and planted it, then carefully wrapped the delicate tendrils of the vine around the trellis, and we watered it and looked forward to new growth and a flowering plant to enjoy among the others in the flower garden.
     Then it went through a phase I would guess was transplant shock, so I tended to it with large doses of loving care. This involved more watering, fertilizer, pruning, and daily checking on its progress. Nothing I did seemed to make it thrive as I hoped it would do.
     Instead of thriving, the best way to describe my new vine was to say it’s alive and hanging in there. I was disappointed because I wanted more for this new vine. I wanted it to thrive.
     As I wished for more for this struggling new plant of mine, my thoughts turned to people and how we sometimes live our lives. We are alive. Breathing, walking, existing, and going through our days with little hope and few expectations. We are often merely hanging in there. But not thriving. Not embracing the fullness and richness that God intends for us to experience in our daily walk with Him.
     For my plant that was hanging in there, I continued to tend to it and hoped that it would eventually thrive. For you and for me…we can make a choice concerning how we live. We can do better than just hanging in there. There is a much better way. We can choose to thrive.
     Let’s claim the fullness of JOY and abundant life Christ came to give us when our lives are hidden in His. We can live in the promise of John 15:11 These things I have spoken to you, that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full.
     Meditate on these verses and claim them each new day. With these verses hidden in your heart, you will walk in the joy of the Lord.

John 10:10  The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

Psalm 5:12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous; with favor You will surround him as with a shield.

Psalm 68:19 Blessed be the Lord, who daily loads us with benefits, the God of our salvation!  Selah  

     While you tend to your garden, coaxing plants to grow - watching them flourish under your diligent care, I hope you will think about flourishing in your own personal journey with the Lord. God has more for us than just hanging in there. He has so much more to offer us – He wants us to Thrive!

May 22, 2016

Battle


There is spiritual warfare going on around us all the time. 

Has the enemy (Satan) ever made you think things were hopeless? Did it take a while to realize and admit this was an attack of the enemy?

Doesn’t it change everything when you realize it is an attack?

The enemy doesn’t want us to know it is him. But in reality he is fighting us, because we are fighting him. And we are winning, or on the verge of winning, or definitely going in the right direction.

He doesn’t like that and he wants to stop us and defeat us.

He is at battle with us.

And us with the enemy.

He wants us to think all is lost.

This is why he lies to us telling us our circumstances are hopeless.

Lying is breathing for our enemy.

But all is not lost…

Have courage! Be strong and courageous. Fight on!

There is spiritual warfare going on around us all the time.

Be strong in the Lord!


Ephesians 6:10-13 Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.
 

May 18, 2016

Looking Through Faith's Eyes


Isaiah 55:8-9
“For My thoughts are not your thoughts,
Nor are your ways My ways,” says the LORD.
“For as the heavens are higher than the earth,
So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.”


Our faith must be the eyes we use to see what we cannot see. The unseen, the unknown, the questions without answers…

(If God had put every answer in the Bible, we wouldn’t need faith, and our Bible would be so big we couldn’t carry it!)

God told us what He wanted us to know and called on us to believe by faith as we look at who He is, and what He did tell us, and what He has already done. We can do this by studying our Bible and also by recalling His work in our lives and those around us.

We just have to open our eyes to see Him and remind ourselves He is in control. He is working what we cannot see. We need to look through faith’s eyes.

It is hard though because our questions can be difficult.

Why didn’t you get that job?
Why did you get that diagnosis?
Why did that business deal go south? 
Why did the door close to such a great opportunity?
Why did that relationship not work out?
Why did that relative turn away from God?
Why doesn’t God answer this? 
Why isn’t He moving to change things?

Maybe we can’t see the answer we so deeply long for.

Instead, maybe what we can choose to see—is that the answers are in His hands. The timing is in His hands. The way, the when, the how, the who…are all in His hands. God is still on His throne. We can stay strong in our faith and understand that answers don’t have to come in our time, but may slowly unfold in ways we never imagined. Maybe we need to open our eyes of faith and see all the possibilities on the horizon and trust that God knows best.