God speaks

Often times I will hear people say that God does not answer them when they need Him to. That is not how our loving Father works. I find that He can be quieter than I would like at times, but that is usually because I am being too loud at the time and can’t hear Him over my own thoughts. if you stay still and silent before Him, He will speak.

Over the last few weeks I have been praying about and planning a change. I have been uncertain if it was a good move logically, but my heart has been guided towards this for some time. After a series of events that seemed to really point in the direction I have been contemplating, I decided to make some small steps. As I sat in my office, wondering if I should really make this next move, several birds few so close to the window that I thought they were going to fly into it. As I allowed my attention to drift towards the large number of birds on the ground and in the trees, a Bible verse came to mind and I knew that God was telling me to be at ease.

Look at the birds. They don’t plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren’t you far more valuable to him than they are? – Matthew 6:26 NLT

Has my Lord not shown me over and over again that He will provide for me and for my family? Has He not worked miracles in a budget that should not have worked in theory? Has He not guided my path to places of healing and growth? Every single time I have stopped putting faith in my own abilities and have handed it over to God, He has come through. Why would this be any different?

God is faithful. Jesus loves me more than I could even begin to understand. I can rest in the fact that no matter how I may doubt my abilities and my own worth, God will provide a way for me and had great plans for this life. So long as He is at the center, nothing can touch me. I can’t go wrong when He is leading the way. Holy Spirit, fill me up and cleans me from the worries of this world!

Today I was reminded to push past the self-doubts that can be suffocating at times. He whispered to me in a moment of stillness. I know that I am moving in the right direction. I have learned to move slowly, purposely and to not allow myself to move ahead of His plans.

Once, not all that long ago, I would have heard a piece of His plan and I would have ran as fast as I could have with it. Lately, I have been able to step back, wait on Him to guide my steps, step out in faith and see where He leads me. It has been a beautiful process and I never want to forget this. Wait on the Lord and be sure to respond when the Spirit tells me to. I need to stop listening to the lies that try to keep me from moving in any direction. It can be paralyzing. I must step boldly in the direction my God has shown me.

Learning to speak less, listen more and to be still more often has been challenging. With such small progress, I feel such powerful responses from the Holy Spirit. I wonder how much more He could accomplish in this life if I could just learn to give Him more room to work!

Today I pray that we all take time to stop and listen. Be still before Jesus and ask Him to free you from the lies that keep you from stepping out in faith. Ask Him to show you what plans He has for you. Let Him guide your steps. Let Him be a beacon in the wilderness. Do not allow us to lean on our own understanding!

In the precious name of Jesus I pray these things. Amen.

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Emotions and Authenticity

Along my travels in this world I have been faced with different views on emotions and authenticity. Lately I have begun to understand them a bit more and would like to share with you all.

Emotions, they are tricky little things aren’t they? I know that my emotions can change in a split second and can also take over if I am not careful. I have gone from calm, cool and collected to angry and off the wall when taken off guard. It has always been easy for me to flip off the handle. My prayer once sounded something like, “Lord, please help me to control my anger” but they are now more along the lines of, “Lord, please rip open the hardened and angry places in my that rise to the surface when faces with adversity, remove the filth and replace it with Your love and Grace”.

You see, I have begun to truly understand that what comes out of me when faces with adversity, is ultimately those hidden places that rise up when I am off guard. These are the things that I stuff down and try to cover up day to day, the places I hate. Hoping to maintain control of these places is not the approach I should have been taking all this time. Controlling the uncontrollable is exhausting.

Only recently have I been in the place of looking to God to remove these pieces of me. This is work and can be painful as I have spent a long time stuffing and covering up. It was uncomfortable at first, as these pieces have been in my for so long and even though I no longer want them to be part of me, I was still clinging to them in a way. The Lord has been patient with my through this process and He ever so gently brings me to where I need to be. He has shown me how I need to allow Him to open up old wounds, cleanse me and then healing can take place. He has shown me that my emotions are fickle and cannot always rule my behavior, but that I must allow myself to feel deeply at the same time. Confusing! Fortunately Jesus came to our rescue and now the Holy Spirit is able to dwell in me. The Spirit has given me the strength I have needed during this process.

Part of the struggle for me, is that I always want to remain authentic, genuine. I don’t want to seem fake and am striving for transparency in a world that hides. I think I am beginning to see what that might look like for me. I read an article the other day that really shed some light on what it means to be an inauthentic Christian. It helped me to realize that, as a Christian, I am striving to be more like Jesus. I am striving to be patient and loving in all things and with all people. Sometimes this means I “fake it until I make it”. Now, don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to ever seem fake, but sometimes my actions will be contradictory to my emotions. Jesus did not command us to have feelings of love towards each other, but He has commanded us to the action of loving each other.

With time, prayer and the Holy Spirit, I know that my feelings will change. As I choose to allow God to work in my life, my emotions will begin to mirror His will. As I choose to remain patient despite the inpatients creeping up on me, the easier it will become over time. As I choose to be silent when my emotions are screaming in injustice, my anger will subside.

Today I choose to allow the Spirit to work in me, through me and to remove those dark, filthy places so that there may be room for the peace, love, patients, and joy.

I am and will always be amazed that as I come to the cross with my broken life, Jesus takes it and replaces it with beauty and love.