The Plan is Unfolding

And I have to wait for it.

God reveals one step of the plan at a time.  He knows the whole plan but he also knows that I can only handle one step at a time.  He knows you and he knows you can only handle one step at a time.

So my job is discern the small part of the plan that God has revealed to me today and do that.

While trusting him about tomorrow.

In Psalm 106, God tells us that the Israelites did not wait for his plan to unfold in the wilderness as they journeyed to the Promised Land.  They gave into grumbling and complaining.  They tested God by craving other things and he gave them what they asked for.  Their choices brought pain and death.

They did not wait and watch.  They did not obey and do what God had told them to do today.

Waiting isn’t easy.

Being obedient with the things he has told me to do today without worrying about tomorrow is not easy.

Trusting him with it all is not easy.

That’s why I need to focus.  I need to persevere.  All of my energy and concern needs to be used in being obedient today – knowing God’s got tomorrow and he will reveal the next step when its the right time.

God never promised me that this journey would be easy.  But he has promised that he is always beside me giving me strength and wisdom and peace as I wait for the rest of his plan to unfold.

I trust you, Abba Father. 

Where Is It?

Where can I find it?

Where can you find it?

Wisdom.  Understanding.

I could spend a lifetime searching for wisdom – trying to understand.

But I would never find it.  Because I’m not going to find it on TV or the Internet.  Twitter and Facebook will not help me grow wise.  Human knowledge does not bring wisdom.

God tells us through Job – “No mortal comprehends it’s (wisdom) worth, it cannot be found in the land of the living.”

S0 – where do wisdom and understanding come from?

“God understands the way to it and he alone knows where it dwells”.

And God tells us, “The fear of the Lord – that is wisdom and to shun evil is understanding.”

This fear means to respect God and submit to his will.

Respecting God and obeying him makes me wise.  Turning away from evil and avoiding it brings me understanding.  I don’t have to look any farther than my relationship with God to find wisdom and understanding.

I love how clearly God speaks about these very important items…..

when I’m listening.

Thank you, Abba Father.

Call It What is Is

I see it.

I know you see it.

But do we call it what it is?

It’s the evil that Satan is wreaking upon our world as he is ‘roaming throughout the earth, going back and forth on it’.  This was Satan’s answer to God in the beginning of Job when God asked Satan where he had come from.

Satan is still roaming the earth, going back and forth on it – creating havoc.  Just watch the news one time and you’ll see all of the publicity Satan is getting as he spreads his evil and hatred over the world.

I don’t understand why people get mad at God when bad things happen – that’s what Satan is doing.

All day, every day.

Why don’t they get mad at Satan?  We need to call it what it is.  Call it WHO it is.  Satan loves it when someone gets mad at God for something he did.  He won that round!

Satan is working very hard to distract us having a relationship with God.  He draws our attention to things that would normally be ‘good’ but then they take all of our time so we have none ‘left over’ for God.

Satan can win the battle using good things – as long as they distract us from God.

When Adam and Eve sinned, they gave Evil a role in our world.  When we sin, we give Evil a personal role in our lives.  Yes, God is in control.  But we choose to sin.  And, as we sin, we give Evil more power as He roams the earth, going back and forth on it.

So let’s not be distracted by Satan.

Let’s not listen to Satan’s lies and his twisted half-truths.

Let us focus our eyes on God who has already won the war.  It is finished.

And let’s call the evil and the pain and the hatred in our world what it is – it’s the work of Satan.

Please help us win our daily battles with Satan,  Abba Father.

Ezekiel 36, 2017

I have been separated from the crowd and I am set apart.

God has sprinkled water on me, making me clean –

from my rebellion,

from my blindness to his truth,

from my sins.

He has given me a new heart and he has put a new spirit inside me.  He has removed my stubborn heart of stone and has given me a soft, open heart.

His spirit within me moves me to want to please him and accomplish the plans he has for me.  He has a purpose for me.

He is my God.  He has saved me from myself.

Thank you, Abba Father.

This is How….

I’ve always done it.

This is how I was taught.

My parents and my family have always done it this way.

Do you hear these things coming out of your mouth?  Thoughts like this pop into my brain but I try not to say them out loud because – everything changes.  God is a God of change.  Things are constantly evolving, changing.

My God is a God of transformation.

He is renewing my brain, opening my heart and growing my perspective and understanding.  I need to change.  I have missed God’s work in my life if I do things the way I’ve always done them.  If I act like I’ve always acted, it means I’m not letting God’s spirit move inside of me.

God told the Israelites through Jeremiah that they needed to change.  They needed to put away their idols and turn back to the One True God.

The people responded that they were going to continue to worship idols ‘ just as we and our ancestors’ did.

God was giving them a chance to turn back from disaster and they chose to continue traditions and habits that were going to destroy them.  They refused to obey.

They refused to change.  And the consequences were devastating.

Please open our ears so we will listen and obey, Abba Father.

Showers of Blessings

The old hymns bring back great memories for me.

I was raised in a conservative Christian home and a very conservative Christian church in the Midwest.  I don’t remember knowing anyone in my little home town who didn’t go to church regularly.

My father was a talented musician who owned and operated a car body repair shop for most of his life.  He had a beautiful, deep baritone voice.  My mother had a nice alto voice and harmonized well.  My youngest brother had a great tenor voice.  Unfortunately, I also sing alto so my family quartet was missing a soprano but there were many good sopranos in our church congregation.  So listening to my family sing the old hymns in church every Sunday morning was a treat – definitely my favorite part of the service.

Those great old hymns reverberated off the walls as my church family sang them with energy and confidence.  And my family contributed a beautiful part of it.

Great memories!

My little town also had ‘Hymn Sings’ at the town ballpark during the summer.  We would fill up the bleachers with people from all different churches while the organizers set up microphones and amplifiers on a stage over the pitcher’s mound.  They hauled in an organ (no drums or guitars here) and handed out song sheets.  People would yell out favorites and we would fill the summer sky with praises to God for 2 hours or more.

I would sing harmony with my mom – no music, just by hearing it.  I realized many years ago that I don’t know the melody of some of the old hymns – just the harmony.  But I know them by memory and I also have the second and third verses of some of them etched in my brain.

As I now read Ezekiel 34, these great memories come rolling through my brain as God says through Ezekiel, “there will be showers of blessing”.

One of the blessings in my life has been a long family legacy of faith and trust in God which creates awesome memories like these.

Thank you for your blessings, Abba Father.

Whatever

I pray…

then I listen…

and, when God points out my next step, I need to do it.

It’s a big mistake to ask God for guidance and then not do what he says.  That choice is going to cost me.  It’s going to cost you.  There will be consequences.  Our perfect Father is not going to miss this ‘teaching moment’.  So, when I ask, I better be willing to do what God says.

The Israelites asked Jeremiah to find out if God wanted them to go to Egypt.  God gave them a clear and loud ‘no!’ but that’s not what they wanted to hear so they went anyway – an extremely bad and costly decision.

A friend of mine told me this week that she has begun telling God ‘whatever’.  Not – ‘whatever, I don’t care’. But – ‘Whatever you want, Lord.  Whatever you have planned, Father.  I’m good with whatever you decide – just let me know if I’m supposed to do something.’

That’s a huge ‘whatever’.

In my life, I have found that it’s the perfect place to be.  When I say ‘whatever’ to God, I’m acknowledging that I am SO not in control.  And I’m trusting in the One who is.  I am also committing that I am willing to ‘whatever’ he wants.

Facedown on the floor, I say ‘whatever’ to the Creator of the Universe.  I say ‘whatever’ to my all-power Father who loves me and wants the best for me.

Surrendered.  Right where he wants me.

Whatever,  Abba.  I trust you.

Waiting……

for an answer.

Waiting for healing.

Waiting for God to respond, to act, to move.

I feel like I should be doing something while I wait…..I can’t just sit here.

Something needs to be done – maybe I should do it?  Something?  Not sure what because God hasn’t said.

<sigh>

Have you been here?  Waiting is hard.  It feels like I’m ignoring the issue and that’s not how I roll.  It feels I should be helping…..fixing….speaking to someone about something.

But then God taps me on the shoulder and reminds me of his word to me in Lamentations 3 – His compassions never fail – they are new every morning.  Great is your faithfulness, Abba Father!

Yes, I know he is faithful.  I’ve experienced his faithfulness my entire life.  I know he is moving – he’s at work even though I may not see him.

He is helping.

He is fixing.

He is speaking to someone about something.

He always has and he always will.

Thank you for your faithfulness, Abba Father!

How Bright?

How bright is my light shining?

How much salt and light do I add to the world around me?

In the big garden of life, what is the color and value I add to the mix?  Am I a bold, vibrant color producing good fruit?   Or am I a weed, gathering bugs and creating issues in the garden?

When Jeremiah describes the eventual restoration of the Israelites after their captivity, he tells them they will shout for joy and rejoice in the bounty that God will provide.  ‘They will be a like a well-watered garden’.

Lush

Colorful

Productive

Growing.

A well-watered garden – I would really like that to describe you and I as we take this journey towards the truth together.

What am I adding to the garden?  What are you adding?

Please help us be a well-watered garden for you, Abba Father.

Confused

If I had to pick one word to describe our culture, I would pick confused.

So many lies which are reported as truth.

Constant messages that may or may not be true – who has the time to research it all?

Some of us believe a lot of the half-truths flying around.  Others of us become cynical and don’t believe anything we hear – even when it is true.

This is nothing new.  The people living around Ezekiel were very confused.  They were being told lies from men who claimed to be prophets of God.

False visions.

Prophesying out of their own imaginations.

Through Ezekiel, God called them out and exposed their deceit.

God exposes lies of our culture to us as we read and study his Word.  When my mind and heart are open to his truth, he transforms my thoughts and lines my heart up with his.

The lies become much more obvious when I know the Truth.

Thank you for your truth, Abba Father.