“For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.” –Galatians 1:10
How many times has someone asked you how you were doing and your response was “fine” or “good’? And how many times was that response a lie? See, our typical reaction to the question how are you doesn’t even have to be thought about, it’s quick and instant, because these are the responses we’re supposed to give right? Society would say yes, but reality is that we’re hiding the truth. We don’t want to be portrayed as weak so we put on a mask to disguise the real raw emotions that are built up in us. The real truth is that ITS OKAY TO NOT BE OKAY. It’s almost expected of us to blow off our true feelings and sugar coat it with a pleasant answer. It’s time to stop being so sweet and get the bitter out. The hurt, pain, loneliness, depression, anxiety, fear and stress you may feeling needs to be let out. Often as believers, we seek to please others with what we think they want to hear, but what good does that do if it isn’t the real truth? Don’t be afraid to uncover the struggles that have you tied down. You don’t always have to have it all together. Today, maybe you need to let off some steam or release whatever is going on. First, come to the Lord through prayer and tell him what you feel and why you feel that way. Then, go talk to a friend. I know for me it always helps talking things out and having someone to build me up with encouragement during difficult times. God uses our moments of weakness to teach us and to be still used as his servants. Let out what you have built inside and see how God will use that in your life.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasure on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal, but lay up for yourselves treasure in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also. – Matthew 6:19-21
What does it mean to store up treasures in heaven? Is it referring to tangible items? No. Jesus simply wants our entire heart, soul and mind focused on living eternally with him. He wants us to recognize that although on earth we experience sin and brokenness, our salvation gives hope to a perfect place. In this temporary world filled with temporary desires, think heavenly not earthly. Earth will fade, but God remains forever. Reality is that we do live in a world where evil desires captivate our hearts, souls and minds and it becomes difficult to remain faithful to the Lord. We are easily tempted and tapped by the actions of society. Maybe today you are seeking the satisfaction of society. You are giving in to fleshy desires rather than turning to Jesus for guidance. Continue to rest in the fact that through Christ we have found a treasure that lasts for eternity. He never goes out of style; he will be our satisfaction for life. Ask God to clear your mind of the distractions of this world. Focus in on what God is speaking to you about. Let his words fill you and treasure those words deep within your heart.
“You alone are the LORD. You made the heavens, even the highest heavens, and all their starry host, the earth and all that is on it, the seas and all that is in them. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship you.” –Nehemiah 9:6
Have you ever wondered what the Garden of Eden was like? No sin, no shame, no fleshy desires; a place of being one with God and experiencing total serenity. Take a moment to picture what this perfect place would look like to you. What do you see, what do you hear? Its enriching to think that there was once a place that was not corrupted with evil, but simply perfect. Perfect? How can our minds even fathom what that would be like. We often make statements saying “this is perfect” or “it has to be perfect”, but do we really know what perfect is? Our experiences are earthly, which means we can never fully grasp the concept of perfect until we enter heaven. We may get glimpses of what perfect is through Gods character shown to us, but how amazing it is to know that eternally living with Christ is beyond our finite minds to comprehend. Take some time today to thank God for his perfect character. Be still and let his presence embrace you. Reflect in awe. Thank God that we have the chance to spend eternity with him and in a beautiful place that we can’t even picture.
Listen to Let the heavens open by Kari Jobe and reflect on Gods perfect character; that one day we get to embrace.
“Listen to advice and accept discipline, and at the end you will be counted among the wise. Many are the plans in a person’s heart, but it is the Lord’s purpose that prevails.” –Proverbs 19:20-21
Have you ever set a plan for your life and God completely changed that path? At first, it’s easy to get frustrated and discouraged, because our plan didn’t work out the way we pictured it. Our initial response is to become negative and bitter. Our mind is confused and our hearts are shattered. We start to ask questions of what’s happening or why didn’t this work out? See, God wrecks our personal plans so that he can provide his unique direction to us. It’s difficult to see how God is working in the midst of it all, because we can become blindsided by our own actions to control our lives. We may take our questions, concerns, anger and bitterness out on God, but he’s the one orchestrating our path. As we see God revealing his way towards us, he helps turn our confusion into trust. All along God provides for us. We never see it right away, but when he does reveal it, it’s more beautiful than words can describe. Our fleshy reaction is to take charge and tangibly control what comes next. We spend bounds of energy organizing and creating the perfect plan, but we soon begin to realize that it is exhausting to maintain the plan we created on our own. We never have control if we’re putting ourselves above God. You may be in a place of confusion right now. You may have had a plan that didn’t work out. Wherever you are today, confess to God that you trust him to guide you in life. Pray this over today.
Lord, I give you my desires and my plans. Help me to confidently trust in you as you lead me in life. Give me a willing spirit, so that I will follow you wherever you tale me. You control my life, not me. Amen.
Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” –Matthew 28:18-29
We have to get uncomfortable sometimes in the pursuit of sharing Christ. We can’t just sit in the background and wait for someone else to take the lead. We each have a part to uphold as the body of Christ and to lead a life as Gods servant. Challenge yourself, take steps of faith and allow God to make you brave and usable. Let him work in you for every circumstance that comes so that people may recognize the difference in you. Allow God to give you boldness, so that you may stand and fight for his kingdom in this fallen world. Don’t let fear cripple you to what God could do in your life. Give those fears to the Lord and watch how peace unravels itself into your soul. Let God fill your heart with confidence so that the gospel may be heard wherever and whenever. Effectively be examples to others, engage in sharing Gods truth ad continually pray how God can use you to make his name known. If God is leading you, then follow his word. God will equip you to fulfill what he has put on your heart. He has all power under and heaven and earth, so there’s no reason to be afraid. Be more than a follower of Christ. Share Christ.