Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night with my mind spinning. There are thought of tasks to be done, responsibilities, obligations to others, and meetings to attend for the day ahead. I worry about anything and everything that just so happens to pop into my mind, until I worry that I can’t think of anything to worry about!
We can be in a position where we have so many people depending on us that it can be overwhelming. We do not feel strong enough to do all that needs to be done. We want to stand firm in our faith that God’s got this, but we can become so exhausted we begin to feel powerless. When we begin to feel this way, we must cry out for help and put our hope in the promises of God’s word, as the Psalmist says below.
“I rise before dawn and cry for help; I have put my hope in your word.” Psalm 119:147 NIV
When we wake early because our minds and hearts are unsettled, we can rest in the recognition of what our Father has promised us. He is with us and will never abandon us. He is power for us when we feel powerless. He is devoted to our growth so that we can live out our lives for His purpose. Listen, we don’t have to do everything! If we had to complete each day on our own strength, we would continuously fail over and over again.
When people say, “All we can do now is pray.”, it is as if we are placing prayer in the position of our last resort. But prayer should ALWAYS be our very first thought. This is something that must be learned, as the world around us does not see things the way we do. Many do not turn to prayer first when they are worried, tired, or defeated. But we know that prayer is our line of communication to our Savior, so why do we continue to pray last?
For our hope is in God and not in our own efforts. Prayer is powerful, and we should begin using it as our first response to anything – whether good or bad. When we pray, God gives us the strength to move mountains.
“Early in the morning, as Jesus was on his way back to the city, he was hungry. Seeing a fig tree by the road, he went up to it but found nothing on it except leaves. Then he said to it, “May you never bear fruit again!” Immediately the tree withered. When the disciples saw this, they were amazed. “How did the fig tree wither so quickly?” they asked. Jesus replied, “Truly I tell you, if you have faith and do not doubt, not only can you do what was done to the fig tree, but also you can say to this mountain, ‘Go, throw yourself into the sea,’ and it will be done. If you believe, you will receive whatever you ask for in prayer.'” Matthew 21:18-22 NIV
“Learn to balance your life by managing your heart instead of just your calendar.”
“It is important that we do not ever let our hearts become bitter or jealous toward another’s calling or gifting. If we fall into the trap of comparing our gifts to others, we will fail in becoming the best encouragers for one other. “ ** The above quotes were pulled directly from Pastor Lisa Kai’s devotional (see the link in my first paragraph) **
Our calendars might be overflowing and stressing us out on a constant basis. However, by managing our hearts, we will get our priorities straight and in line with God’s Will for our lives. Therefore, learning to manage our hearts will make our calendars much less of a burden.
Our gifts are simply that, gifts that the Lord has given to us. We must not grow weary in using these gifts and never compare our gifts to others, as this can create envy or jealousy – which in turn hinders our encouragement to others. Focusing on our own gifts, and encouraging others to embrace theirs, allows the Lord move in majestic ways!
You were created to be unique, like no one else on this earth. We all have individual gifts and talents that were given to us for a purpose. That is what makes you “Perfectly You”. Comparing yourself to others can not only tear yourself down, but others as well.
“Though one may be overpowered, two can defend themselves. A cord of three strands is not quickly broken.” Ecclesiastes 4:12 NIV
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 NIV
I pray this short, yet impactful message will be a blessing to you and others today. Have a wonderful Sunday!
As we all know, having faith in the unknown and unseen can be difficult at times. But that is why we have a Savior that has proven to us time and time again that he will always work things out “…for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to His purpose.” – Romans 8:28. Scripture is not just words that were made up by someone centuries ago. They are TRUTH, they are testimonies of what people B.C. and A.C. experienced.
So why is it so difficult for us to believe that God has our life in His hands, that He will never leave us nor forsake us? I believe that our struggle with faith began way back in time, in the Garden of Eden. When Eve took that first bite of the forbidden fruit – she was actively showing her lack of faith in what the Lord had told Adam. And then Adam proved even more unbelief by taking the fruit offered by Eve, after He had been told directly from the Lord not to eat it! I’m sure you all know this story, but this simply shows you how far back our unbelief, as humans, goes.
Faith is difficult because we cannot see the future, the outcome of this decision or that. We fear that our income will not meet our needs, our clothes are not “in”, that we won’t have enough food to provide for our loved ones. But inMatthew Chapter 6:25-27, Jesus tells us, “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? Look at the birds of the air; they do not sow or reap or store away in barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not much more valuable than they? Can any one of you by worrying add a single hour to your life?”
He then continues inMatthew 6:28-34, “And why do you worry about clothes? See how the flowers of the field grow. They do not labor or spin. Yet I tell you that not even Solomon in all his splendor was dressed like one of these. If that is how God clothes the grass of the field, which is here today and tomorrow is thrown into the fire, will he not much more clothe you—you of little faith? So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”
We all could use a little more trust in the Lord. Imagine how different the world would be with everyone living their lives, fully trusting and believing in the Word! What a great life that would be! Unfortunately, that will never happen in this lifetime. It can, however, happen in your personal life – which can then spread upon many people when you touch their lives. I encourage you today to step out in faith for a better tomorrow. We can, and we will, impact this world. We must simply follow His instruction and His will for our lives.
This blog is a reflection on Pastor Steven Furticks’ sermon this morning.
Signs point to something deeper, something beneath the surface. Everything that God does for us is always pointing to something deeper. For example, in John Chapter 2, Jesus waited until the wine at the wedding had completely run out to turn water into wine. He did that to teach the disciples to have faith, a much deeper lesson which includes patience and knowing that He will provide. In the same way, God is revealing signs to us, pointing us towards something deeper. But see, not all signs are always miraculously shining so bright, in a way that we can’t miss it. The signs may be right in front of us, but we’ve been so busy looking in places where we expect to find them, instead of allowing God to direct us where He knows we can find them.
We may be struggling with a huge question in our life, such as “Where is my blessing?”, “Why am I going through this?”, or “What is my purpose?”. But the answer may not be in a place we would expect it to be. In fact, more often than not, it’s already available nearby, just waiting for us to notice it. Sometimes we don’t see the things right in front of us because it’s something common in our lives. We can’t see, hear, or experience it because we’ve grown accustomed to it. But if we were to see what God has laid out in front of us, and pour ourselves into what is already available to us, God will move mountains and our questions will become answers. Answers we’ve already had, but didn’t even realize it! Those who serve the Lord are those who already know.
Whatever answers we are looking for in our lives, we must begin looking for them. They’re so close that we will miss it if we aren’t actively looking for them. We must stop waiting for something special to come along that will be “the sign” we’ve been looking for. The sign may likely be something normal, something we see daily and don’t even notice anymore – because it is so common. You see, the Lord already knows what we’ve been praying for and what we’ve been waiting on Him to show us. That’s why lengthy prayers are unneeded. He already knows what we’re going through and what our loved ones are going through. All we need to do is have faith. Faith is a substance of what is hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. Faith is what enables God to move mountains in our lives. We must activate faith.
So many times we can get caught up in seeking advice from others instead of God. Sometimes it is good to reach out to the people in your community, but there are also times when the only one we need to reach out to is The One. The Almighty. The Savior. The Prince of Peace. THE LORD. You see, everyone is running low on something. We may not realize this while we are in the midst of it, but when we are continually going to someone with our issues, we are unknowingly draining them of what little they have. It is impossible for us to know when someone is running low, because so many of us tend to cover up our low or empty cups. That is why it is so important to take our requests to the Lord first. He will fill our cup so that we can have in abundance, which we can then pour into others! Flip the flow – instead of taking from others, let’s GIVE to others. The only way we can do that is to let the Lord overflow our cups with His knowledge, peace, patience, understanding, and so on…
Every need in our lives is pointing us to a deeper place of _______ (love, contentment, peace, joy, etc.)! Some of us need God to do something right now. The good news is, HE WILL! All we need to do is start moving in faith. In turn, He will make moves in our lives. We will begin to see the signs, the blessings, the answered prayers. His timing is based on our faith in Him! You can live for God wherever you are,right now! Flip the flow – if you would do what you know, you would know what to do!
We are so addicted to knowledge, but the funny thing is – we already know! However, it is not in the knowing, it is in the doing that provides results. Put your knowledge into action. We need to stop piling knowledge on top of knowledge, because it will do no good if we aren’t using the knowledge we already have! Make time for what is important. Stop saying “yes” to everything else and start saying “yes” to what God has told us to do! You see, we spend so much time pointing to what is not there, that we miss what is there! Flip the flow. God didn’t let it run out because we aren’t worth it, He let it run out because He has something greater for us! What is against you is not greater than what is in you. God already knows what is against you and what is in you. He knows everything. “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” – Matthew 11:28
In closing, I wanted to let you know the most important take away from this message from Pastor Steven Furtick. “You may not run out of wine, but if you know The One who provided the wine in the first place, you will never be without.” He will always provide. All we need is to have faith and leave the rest up to Him. It is impossible to run out of anything good when we fill ourselves with faith in The One who created good. “I press on toward the goal to win the prize for which God has called me heavenward in Christ Jesus.” Philippians 3:14