On helping God

Pr. 19:2:  “Also it is not good for a soul to be without knowledge, and he sins who hastens with his feet.”

For the about a month, we have been looking for a new home to purchase.  We put in an offer on 1 lovely place and someone else beat us out with no chance for us to counter.  We have come across a few other places that, before we could gather our thoughts, have gone under contract.  All the while, we have been saying that those properties were clearly not the ones God wanted for us and that we want His will.

Meanwhile, our own home has gone under contract and we still have no new home to which we can move.

Yesterday, we drove by a home that has most of the checklist items we desire.  We told our agent that we want to go see it, knowing that barring some hidden issue, we will be putting in an offer.

Getting to see the house today did not work out at all…and not for a lack of trying.  It was a very frustrating experience, and we got nervous that someone else would get it before us.  We then seriously entertained the thought of putting in an offer without seeing the inside.  Terrible idea, of course, but we need a place to live!

As we were entertaining this idea, I remembered Abraham and Sarah.  God promised Abraham an heir from his own body.  When it didn’t happen right away Sarah and Abraham got nervous.  Sarah gave Abraham her maidservant, Hagar, so that he could have children by her.  God didn’t stop them, but this was certainly not God’s perfect plan for them.

We can read their story and, from the comfort of our reading spot, surmise that if they would have just waited on God there would have been a lot less trouble.  When it comes to our own life; however, we can easily make the same mistake.

Today, instead of waiting on God and trusting in His perfect plan, we thought we’d just speed things up and help Him accomplish the goal.  What a mess we would have made.  Thank God for the knowledge in His Word that the Holy Spirit brought to my remembrance.

If this property is the one God wants for us, then He will take care of the details and work it out for us.  If it’s not, then He will give us the right property and things will work out much more beautifully in the end.

It’s the waiting that’s hard.  When we begin to hasten with our feet we can make a big mess out of things.  When we wait on the Lord; however, He renews our strength and has the true promise waiting for us just around the corner.

When we find ourselves growing weary while waiting on the promise, we don’t need to step in and take over, we need to wait a little longer.  What God has in store will be better than anything we could ever create on our own.

Looking forward to the promise,

jamie

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The beauty of church

I went to church yesterday feeling tired, heavy, and regretful.

I taught my 5th graders in Sunday school about 3 superheros named Shadrach, Meshach, and Abed-Nego.  Even in the face of great pain and death, they stood up for what was right, and because of their conviction, others could literally see God, and came to believe that He was the Most High God.

What is the worst thing we can do about this story?  Forget.  Without reminding ourselves of what God can do and has done, we forget that we can be delivered from the fiery furnaces in our own lives.  We forget that if we stand up for and believe in God, even in our painful situation, others may be able to see God and come to believe that He is the Most High God, as well.

During the church service I was reminded that anything I can’t stop thinking about is an idol.  I could list several things that my mind couldn’t shake at that moment.  Do I want to be a servant of regrets, money, sickness, fashion, or cultural acceptance; or do I want to be a servant of the Most High God?  If it’s the later, then I need to be thinking about Him.  Trusting in Him means thinking about His goodness, His faithfulness, and His constant provision and abilities.

I then heard a testimony that reminded me that I am still alive because I still have work to do for Christ.  I don’t need to become so distracted that I forget why I’m here.

Last night I was heard that the Lord made dry bones live (Ez. 37), and that if He can bring dry bones back together into a perfect person, breathe life back into them, and join their ranks into an exceedingly great army; then He can breathe life back into the places that feel dry in my life, and that rivers of Living Water can still pour forth from me to reach those in need.

I was still tired when I left church last night; however, I was tired from being taught and ministered to all day long.  This morning, I feel the rivers stirring around in me.  My hope is not cut off.  I am not dry and desolate.  I am full of the Lord and His goodness, and because I am choosing to stand on His promises, I believe that others will be able to see Him in my life.

What’s the big deal about going to church?  Had I sat home with my heaviness and regrets yesterday, this morning would have looked a lot more dismal.  When you go to church and focus on God, allowing yourself to be open to His wisdom and encouragement brought in unexpected ways, He will minister to you, dust you off, and breathe life into you for the rest of the journey ahead.

I’m so thankful for a place to refuel, and for those who encourage and pray for me.

Gushing,

jamie

 

Keep strengthening your temple!

Pr. 14:1:  “The wise woman builds her house, but the foolish pulls it down with her hands.”

As I am sitting here reading the word of God, I am now aware of the fact that I am building on to the temple of God.  Each time I read of Jesus’ compassion toward those who came to him on earth, I am adding to the foundation.  Each promise I read of eternal life gives me a new window to let in the light of hope.

When I find the verses on how God hears our prayers and we can boldly approach His throne in time of need, my security system becomes even more protective.  Reading the examples of the times when God, in fact, did not forsake His people, my roof becomes a more solid layer of shelter than ever before.

Knowing the Word makes the doors to my house and my heart impregnable to the lies of satan.  When he tries to whisper his way inside, I am able to recognize that his voice is not the voice of my Father; therefore, I do not open the door to him.

The walls to my temple are made stronger by my obedience to the Word.  Each time I put up a boundary, I build onto my walls.  Every sin I do not commit allows extra support to come from my trust in the Lord.  Strength and protection are found through my faith to choose to follow God.

I am remembering the times when I’ve torn down my temple with my very own hands.  When I have deliberately chosen to put off my reading of the Word and my time with God, I have allowed my foundation to become cracked.  Once I allowed the foundation to crack, my temple began to shift, being then moved to the shaky, unstable foundation of selfishness, sin, lust, and pride.

When my foundation became cracked, it also allowed satan to creep through the cracks instead of coming right to the door.  He found his way inside and began eating away at the solid structure I had built.  I may have looked fine on the outside, but the walls of obedience began to crumble and become unstable.  The door to my heart became virtually irrelevant as the enemy ate away at the Word I had hidden in my heart.

My roof and security system also became inconsequential, as the promises and faithfulness of God began to be replaced by lies from the enemy.

A neglected or abandoned house eventually falls into such disrepair that it must be condemned and torn down.  We must continue to build onto, secure, repair, and strengthen our temples day by day.  Our time with God, in the Word, in prayer, and under the teachings of other men and women of God help us to do those things.

We cannot neglect our temples.  Instead of being condemned, they can stand solid until the Lord returns.  A heavenly palace awaits!

Working on my house,

jamie

Is God really rude?

As my kids and I were leaving the park yesterday, my son announced that he lost 2 of his prized knives at the park.  (I hadn’t even realized he’d brought them)  Upon our arrival back at the park, we spoke to a man who had actually found one of the knives.  Honestly, it was pretty amazing, as the kids had run over a mile during their playtime and the search area was close to a football field in length.

A few nice people joined in as we began earnestly searching for the 2nd knife, although my son couldn’t even remember what color it was.  (goodness)  After about 15 minutes I finally remembered to pray for the Lord’s help.  (i’m a little slow occasionally)  Right when I was done, my daughter spoke up and said, “I prayed that God would help us find the knife.”  (yes!)  Now that 2 of us had prayed, surely we’d find it, right?  However, after 5 more minutes, it was still not found, and it was time for me to end the search and call the knife lost.

My daughter sat down on the slide in defeat and said, “We prayed that God would help us find the knife and He didn’t.  How rude!”  I was a bit taken aback by her comment and momentarily unsure what to say.  I reminded her that God is faithful and that one of the lady’s promised to continue looking while she and her son’s continued to play.  God could help her, and she’d call us if she found the knife.

As we made our way down the trail to the entrance of the parking lot, I spotted the knife.  While pointing it out to my daughter, I said, “I told you God is faithful.  He heard our prayers and He always will.”

This morning I read 2 Peter 3:3-4, “scoffers will come in the last days, walking according to their lusts, and saying, “Where is the promise of His coming?”

My son should not have taken something so valuable to a playground in flimsy costume pockets.  It was not God’s “fault” that his knives were lost.  Yet, because we were struggling to find them, my daughter forgot all the other amazing things God has done and all the other answered prayers she has witnessed.

Just because Jesus has not returned, does not mean He won’t.  The Lord is not slack concerning His promise, as some count slackness, but is longsuffering toward us, not willing that any should perish but that all should come to repentance.

In frustration or impatience, we cannot forget all the promises God has been keeping since He created this world.  He has been faithful, He does not lie; and if He said He will return, then He will.  Our prayers aren’t always answered with a yes, but God is always faithful to hear them and His will for our lives is always in our best interests.  He loves us.  He truly loves us, and His faithfulness endures forever.

Keep trusting,

jamie

Where honor is due

Pr. 30:11:  “There is a generation that curses its father, and does not bless its mother.”

This reminds me of the world in which we currently live, although, I know that disrespect goes back to the beginning of time.  I remember the story of Noah and his sons.  Noah became uncovered in his tent and when his son, Ham, saw his father’s nakedness, he went out and told his brothers all about it.  His brothers, on the other hand, went in and covered their father, keeping their faces turned.  They showed their father the respect he deserved because he was their father.  Ham was cursed and his brothers were blessed.

Disrespect seems to be more rampant in our society these days.  All you really have to do is visit a play ground or the mall and listen to the way that children speak to their parents to find out the truth.  More and more we are modeling the behavior of Ham.  Sadly we even hear of worse, as I just heard a story about a man who stabbed his mother to death.  How far we’ve strayed.

I won’t get in to all the discipline issues, but speak to God’s instructions about our parents.  As far back as the Exodus of the Israelites, the Lord gave the command:  “Honor your father and mother, as the Lord your God has commanded you, that your days may be long, and that it may be well with you in the land which the Lord your God is giving you.”  This was the first commandment with a promise.  Not only will our parents be honored and respected, but we live long on the earth and things will be well with us.

Some parents teach false or wicked things to their children.  What then?  We are not responsible for the actions of others, but for our own.  We aren’t to give respect only to those who have earned it, but to those who are in a position of authority over us because the Lord has appointed them.  We honor their position, not their worthiness.  We give honor and respect because we were commanded to do so, and because we see what Jesus has done for us when we have not earned it.  We honor and show respect as unto Christ.

Pr. 11:29 says, “He who troubles his own house will inherit the wind.”  Surely, not giving honor to our parents causes trouble; and instead of gaining a promise, we will get nothing.  Trusting in God as our heavenly Father allows us to follow His commands without fear.  Surely He is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.  He shows Himself strong to those whose hearts are loyal to Him.  Trust Him enough to keep His commands.  You will receive help and a promise to boot!

Respectfully,

jamie

 

 

Today I offer a challenge

Pr. 11:25:  “The generous soul will be made rich, and he who waters will also be watered himself.”

One of our universal laws is that we reap what we sow.  God also reminds us that He measures us with the same measure we use towards others.

If we are generous, both in the flesh, but also in spiritual things, then we are sowing generosity, which we will also later reap.  When we “water” others, we ourselves will be watered.

Do you need something from the Lord?  Are you looking for guidance, a special Word, a fresh anointing?  Water someone else.  Feed spiritual things into someone else today, intentionally, and you will also be fed spiritually.  Water someone with rivers of living water and out of your heart will flow even more.

You can only share what is already in your heart.  If you have hidden God’s Word in your heart, and have had time in prayer with Him, you will be full and running over.  Share with someone else!  If you need to fill up a little, then do that first and then share.

Today’s challenge:  Intentionally water someone.  Intentionally sow something spiritual into someone’s life.

I would love to hear about it.  If you feel comfortable, comment and share with me what you intentionally chose to do.  Share a special devotion with someone, read a Bible story with your children, ask someone what the Lord has done for them lately to get a conversation started.  Whatever you choose, choose it intentionally.  Maybe what we share will give someone else an idea for tomorrow.  I will do it, too, and we can share together how the Word went forth today.  🙂

You aren’t doing this to be selfish.  He freely offers us this promise.  Notice you have to give first in order to get.  You will be sharing the love of the Lord.  In that you can never go wrong!  His Word will always accomplish the purpose for which He sends it forth.

I will use Paul’s words to the Romans to send you forward today:  “Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”

Praying for you,

jamie