Lord, Please Send Someone Else

img_0624“But Moses pleaded with the Lord, “O Lord, I’m not very good with words. I never have been, and I’m not now, even though you have spoken to me. I get tongue-tied, and my words get tangled.”

Then the Lord asked Moses, “Who makes a person’s mouth? Who decides whether people speak or do not speak, hear or do not hear, see or do not see? Is it not I, the Lord? Now go! I will be with you as you speak, and I will instruct you in what to say.”

But Moses again pleaded, “Lord, please! Send anyone else.””  ‭‭Exodus‬ ‭4:10-13‬ ‭NLT‬‬

Has God ever asked you to do something uncomfortable, something beyond your own ability? If so, you can probably relate to what Moses felt when God called him to free the people of Israel from Egypt.

Did God relent to Moses’ request? Of course not. Instead He promised to equip him for the job He was calling him to do. When God calls us to a task He partners with us to see it through.

Even though I know God has called me to be a Christian speaker, I get nervous before I speak. I do my best to study and prepare, but I know His anointing is what impacts those who hear. His anointing is what moves people on a heart level.  

I am thankful scripture portrays the heroes of the faith in their human frailty. It allows us to see how God uses ordinary people to do extraordinary things. When God calls you to a task that seems impossible, remember He does not ask you to go alone. He will equip you AND He will be with you.

Instead of asking the Lord to send someone else, step up boldly and proclaim, here am I Lord, send me! 

 

 

 

 

Lack Peace?

IMG_1365“Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me—everything you heard from me and saw me doing. Then the God of peace will be with you.”  ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:9‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

Sometimes a lack of peace is the result of perfectionism.

When I read ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:9‬ , the saying, “practice makes perfect” came to mind. The ONLY perfect human being to ever live was Jesus. While believers will never reach perfection on this side of heaven we can experience the God of peace. How? By putting the principles of God’s Word into practice in our lives. 

We have instant access to ‘learning’ today, but if we do not put what we learn into practice, how does it benefit us? James put it like this: “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” James 1:22 (NKJV) 

 

Sometimes a lack of peace is the result of disobedience.  

Are you faithfully following the things you have learned from God’s Word? Examine yourself and see if you are “practicing” the example of Jesus. If not, repent (confess and turn from your sin) and allow the peace of God to restore you. 

 

Sometimes a lack of peace is the result of life stress.

Does peace ever feel like an elusive dream? We are constantly bombarded with the cares of life. When you lay your head down to sleep at night, is your mind at peace, or do your racing thoughts make it impossible to quiet your spirit? 

Several years ago I was tested for sleep apnea. Thankfully, that was not the issue; however, they confirmed I suffered from insomnia. This dilemma led to a decision … do I spend the rest of my life relying on medication to help me sleep, or is there a better way? 

Over and over in Psalms, David writes about meditating on the Word of God. I tried listening to worship music as I was going to sleep. Didn’t work. Then I remembered something from my college days. When I was studying for a test, I used to tape my notes and listen to them through headphones as I was drifting off to sleep. I found my unconscious mind was able to process the information much easier than my conscious mind, which was susceptible to distraction. 

I began listening to sermons at bedtime. By focusing on what the speaker was saying I was able to intercept the disruptive thoughts keeping me awake. Normally I am asleep before the sermon ends. Why? Because I changed my focus from my problems to my source of peace. 

The peace of God follows the presence of God.

 

 

Unity in Diversity

IMG_1364As I scroll my Facebook feed I am hit by the realization that EVERYONE justifies “their” perspective. (Even me!)

Are we more concerned with proving our perspective right than realizing there are ALWAYS two sides to every story? Because the truth is, it all comes down to perspective, unless you are God. He is always right, by the way. 🙂

What has happened to civility? How about respect? Are you “giving” what you are demanding of others? Can we agree to disagree … without verbally tearing each other to shreds? Can we rise above the hatred and choose love?

When was the last time you sat down with someone who opposes your views with an honest intent to understand them instead of change them?

There are many things I dislike about the direction my nation is taking, and yet … I am SO thankful to be a citizen of the USA. I am thankful for the freedoms we enjoy. I am thankful that compared to 3/4th of the world even our poor would be considered rich. I am thankful for a democratic form of government rather than a dictatorship.

If we do not find a way to unify and respect our diversity we will not need an external enemy to defeat us. We will destroy ourselves.

What would Jesus do? WWJD? How do you suppose Jesus would react to the violence and hatred going on in our nation? Do you think He would join in the ranting and raving? Would you behave differently if He were physically standing beside you, observing your reaction? Guess what? HE IS!

LOVE covers a multitude of sin. Be the solution, instead of contributing to the problem. 

He’s Not Finished Yet!

IMG_1363“Being confident of this very thing, that He who has begun a good work in you will complete it until the day of Jesus Christ;  – Philippians‬ ‭1:6‬ (NKJV)

Have you heard the saying, “If you’re still breathing, God’s not finished with you yet?” People often use it to explain why some lives are spared when others are not.

Psalm 139:16 tells us, “Your eyes saw my substance, being yet unformed. And in Your book they all were written, The days fashioned for me, When as yet there were none of them.” If God knows the number of hairs on your head, (Luke 12:7) does it not make sense that He also knows the number of days you are destined to live? I believe the very moment you will step into eternity was known to God before you took your first breath. 

God finishes what He starts! His calling is irrevocable! “For the gifts and the calling of God are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29 (NKJV) I can think of several times I could have been killed, but God spared my life. Those “close calls” are not mere chance. 

Philippians 1:6 is such a comfort to me. I have failed God more times than I can count. Can you relate? And yet … He is faithful to pick me up, dust me off and point me in the right direction … again. My confidence in in HIS ability, not my own. 

If life is hard right now, remember, He’s not finished yet. If you feel like a failure, He’s not finished yet. If your prayers seem delayed, He’s not finished yet!

BE CONFIDENT, He will complete the good work He began in You. 

 

Triumph in Tragedy

IMG_1362And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to his purpose for them.” Romans 8:28
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When my circumstances look anything but good, I have a choice. I can choose to complain, worry and doubt, or I can trust God’s Word. God sees the BIG picture. He isn’t limited by time or space. He knows the purpose in my pain. 

This scripture reminds me of another  … “Lean not on your own understanding, but in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will direct your path.” Proverbs 3:5-6

There are situations in life where it seems impossible that anything good could come from them; yet how many non-profit organizations have been started because of horrific circumstances. How many people have gone from tragedy to triumph and literally found their calling in life in response to a situation Satan intended to destroy them.

PRAY
Lord, forgive me for being “short sighted”. Help me to always remember, YOU are bigger than anything that happens in my life. Help me to trust Your Word and to know that You will cause ALL things to work together for my good … BECAUSE I love You, and You have called me. Fulfill Your purpose in me. Thank you for your never ending faithfulness.

It’s time to FIGHT!

IMG_1318My heart is broken by the violence taking place in the world today. You can’t turn on the television or look at social media without seeing a stream of shootings, rioting, hate being spewed out against our fellow man. Watching it makes my blood boil. My human reaction is to lash out in anger, “What’s wrong with these people?!?” And then I am reminded of Ephesians 6:12  “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.”

We must realize we are fighting the wrong enemy. It is as if a demonic spirit of rage has been released over the Earth. This is not a battle that can be won in complacency. It is not a war that can be won by retaliation. This war will only be won when we carry the fight to The Father. This is a battle to be fought on our knees. Our violence and vengeance must be directed toward the hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places! 

Satan has three goals: to KILL, STEAL and DESTROY. (John 10:10) An epic war is coming and He knows his time is limited. He could not overthrow Heaven, so he directs his hated of God towards the sons and daughters of man. He doesn’t have to kill us … he only has to compel us to kill one another! Never in my lifetime have I seen the disregard for human life I am seeing today. 

Jesus came to give us LIFE … abundant life. He commanded us to LOVE our enemies, not stoop to their level by repaying evil for evil. “But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you.” (Matthew 5:44) This goes against our flawed human nature. “But, what about justice Lord?” His reply, “Beloved, do not avenge yourselves, but rather give place to wrath; for it is written, “Vengeance is Mine, I will repay,” (Romans 12:19)

Loving, in the face of such atrocities seems impossible, BUT with God … “all things are possible!” (Matthew 19:26).

I’m not suggesting we do ‘nothing’. Far from it! I am suggesting we take up the weapons of warfare provided by the Spirit and wage war against the REAL enemy. Satan belongs under our feet. Call forth the hosts of Heaven. I implore you today, and everyday, drop to your knees and fight for humanity. 

Plug In and Recharge

IMG_1316“Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.”  Matthew‬ ‭5:16‬ ‭NKJV‬‬  

I wonder what it would be like if we could physically see how bright we are shining as a reflection of the Lord.

I imagine some days I look like a 25 watt bulb; other days hopefully a 60 or 100 watt. Then there would be those days where my light is covered in the darkness of self absorption. Those would be the days when I allow my flesh to get the best of me and I react rather than respond.  Or maybe I have over extended myself and have nothing left to give. I need to recharge.

If I want to shine bright, I have to PLUG in to my spiritual power source. Instead of solar energy, I need SON energy.

I attended a staff meeting at church last night and my Pastor, Blake Bennett talked about how to avoid burnout in ministry. One of the nuggets of wisdom he shared was this: “The spiritual input in your life has to be greater than the output in your life.”

We live in a culture that praises busyness. Jesus took time everyday to: (a) Get alone with the Father and (b) Rest. I am one of those people who lives with a never ending TO-DO list and I have found that I have to be intentional about fitting God time and me time into my day. If it isn’t on my schedule it doesn’t happen.

How about you? Are you making time everyday to meet with the Father? Are you making time for yourself each day? You need both! How bright you shine will depend on both. I want to have more 100 watt days than 25 watt days. That means I have to plug in and recharge. I can’t give what I don’t possess. Neither can you.