The other night, I had an odd dream. In it, I accidentally stepped into an area of water next to my house. Like quicksand, the water and mud pulled me under. I was dying.
I know, it sounds morbid, but stick with me. . .
When I was dying, I called out to God, “God, I only hope I was good enough for you.”
When I awoke, I was not only startled by the dream but also shocked at the words I spoke.
It really made me think of my heart, what I think about God, and how it will be to die – to meet Jesus. I have to admit, I was a little shocked to hear myself call out, “I hope I was “enough” for you, Jesus.”
The reality of the gospel is not that ‘I am enough’, but He is enough. In this, I don’t have to – on my final day or today – fear that I am bad, not good, didn’t do things I should have or that I could have done more.
The blessing of Jesus and the price that He paid is that – all His righteousness got put on me. I only need to receive it.
“I am overwhelmed with the joy in the Lord my God! For he has dressed me with clothing of salvation and draped me in a robe of righteousness.” (Is. 61:10)
He wants me!
He chose me!
He saved me!
It is done.
When I meet Jesus and Jesus looks at me – I believe, Jesus’ main goal won’t be to search out the worst in me. He’ll be seeing me dressed in salvation, draped in righteousness, full of Christ Jesus. He’ll know me because He knows himself.
Praise be to the lamb who was slain. All glory, honor, power, and strength belongs to you!!!
In this, today, I receive afresh the fact that Jesus saved me, 100% apart from anything I’ve done or anything I will do. In an act of sheer sacrifice, Jesus paid it all for me, so that I could be free of me. I no longer have to worry if I am enough. I’ll never be enough to reach the standard of God, but Jesus is enough for me to reach heaven. Praise God! Jesus is enough! More than enough! He fills in my every gap and then some. He calls me His own. Father calls me daughter. I am adopted. I am free in His love. I am known and in His care. I am saved and kept eternally, forever.
So on that sweet day, when I go, I will — without fear (with God’s help) — run into Jesus’ arms, knowing HE is good enough and that He did enough to save me. Praise God.
How sweet it is to be loved by Jesus. How sweet to be saved. How sweet to let all else fade away and to feel yourself in his glory-filled arms, on that special day.
Prayer: Until then, God, will you give us an intimate knowledge of how much we are saved, loved and enough, in you, so that we can run into your arms on that glorious day, without shame? Will you let us know how much it is all about you, and so little about us? We need your grace, love, and peace to understand. Thank you, Father.
Today, we pause from our normal blog posts, to say thank you. We pause from the busyness of our morning to honor you and to reconnect with you. We pause our mind to think of you. We set down our schedule to recognize all you’ve given us.
You are worthy of praise.
In the midst of life’s curveballs, you are worthy of praise. When we experience mountaintop successes, you are worthy of praise. When we dive into valley-low places, you are worthy of praise.
In all this, and through every learning, dream, failure, and realization…we say, “Thank you.” You are good and your love endures forever.
Jesus, thank you that you came and died to set us free. Thank you that your love changes us, time and time again. Thank you that by your stripes, and your stripes alone, are we healed. Thank you that no matter how much the enemy spits at us, we remain covered by grace.
We rest in your mercy. We rest in your love. We rest in your love-equipping power. You are more than able to do all things, at all times, in any way, and we rest in that. This is peace.
Thank you that you love us so much. You give us the giftings we do not deserve, blessings we could never afford and love unduly warranted. No matter, you rejoice over us with singing.
You want us. You chose us. You call us holy, because of Jesus.
When we truly and deeply think of you, you truly and deeply amaze us.
Your love is overwhelming and your guidance is unparalleled. May we honor you, every day and in every way. When we feel overwhelmed, may we unwind through surrender and fall into your arms. You always rescue us. Even if we can’t swim; you rescue us. Time and time again. Therefore, we lean not on our own strength, wisdom, power or might. We lean onto you, the Author and Perfecter of our faith. We praise you for the grace that allows us to repent and realize sin. It is a good thing, a life-transforming thing. Anything that draws us nearer to you is — good.
All praises, all glory, all honor, all acclaim to your name. Nothing we can do can add to what you’ve already done. It is finished. Praise! You did it. You. The Promise Maker, the Promise Keeper, and the Promise Ruler. Everything is in your hands; you have the whole world in your hands. You ARE the Beginning and the End, the Alpha and Omega, the Lion and the Lamb. We entrust ourselves to you. We love you. And you love us. And, for this, we are eternally thankful.
I am delighted to have a dear friend, a prayer warrior, and a true lover of Jesus join me today. Adrienne Young, welcome! It is a pure honor to feature you today on Purposeful Faith. I know your words will be a blessing…
Post by: Adrienne Young
“Don’t make me miss my blessing.”
That’s an odd thing to hear while standing in line at Goodwill, but I ignored the cashier and kept going through my cart to see what items “sparked joy” and what would I discard.
As I got closer to the register, she lit up and said through her smile, “I’m so glad you didn’t get in the other line when it opened up. You are my blessing! I know you don’t come in here often, but every time you do, people gravitate toward you, and you always bless me by asking how my day is going.” Wow! I asked her for her name and how I could pray for her.
Darlene told me she was going through a custody battle and knew the enemy was attacking her but she trusted God. She came from behind the counter to hug me as I prayed for her.
This one trip to do what I love to do, what I wrote a book about doing, and what I thought was a normal 8 PM quick trip turned into thrifting with a purpose. . .
You see I had planned to go to my local store just minutes away, but the Holy Spirit led me to this one. What if I decided not to go that night and ignore His voice? What if I would have been so consumed with the purchases that I missed the purpose in going?
My sister, what if we decided to ask God to use us in our everyday life to bless those we come into contact with? What if we took God at His word according to Romans 12:1 MSG?
So here’s what I want you to do, God helping you: Take your everyday, ordinary life—your sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around life—and place it before God as an offering.
Prayer: Father, with your help, we will take our everyday ordinary life – our sleeping, eating, going-to-work, and walking-around-life, and place it before you as an offering. Help us to recognize how we can be a blessing to those who come into contact with, even when we are enjoying our hobbies. Use us for your glory and help us obey the voice of the Holy Spirit so that we can join in where He is working. In Jesus name, Amen.
About Adrienne Young
Adrienne Young’s mission is to love, live and lead on purpose with a purpose in every area of her life. She is 100% committed to helping women of faith do the same in their lives and businesses.
Sought out by Fortune 500 companies for professional development, Adrienne combines her John C. Maxwell leadership training with 16 years in education to take organizations from start-up to implementation via her company Adrienne Young Ministries, LLC.
She is the founder of Remnant Warriors Global, Inc., Women Who War, and is the author of the best selling bookDon’t Go Thrifting Without Me. Adrienne serves in ministry with her husband Edward. They have two sons, Emmanuel and Elisha, love football, and reside in Fort Mill, SC.
Nowhere did Jesus tell people to “Who I created you to be doesn’t matter.” No time did Jesus look a woman in the eye and say, “You don’t matter as much as she does.” Not even once, did Jesus say to someone, “I have too much on my hands to help you.”
All of God is available to all of us. Right now.
Right here. Right now.
God never left you. He never got tired of your whining and left you. He never deserted you to your negativity. He never walked away from your hopelessness. He’s right here. Talk to him if you want to if you need to. He hears your cry. You matter.
At the same time, I believe, He’s not content where you are. He’s not content to leave you the same. Because He knows what He created you for. You were never meant to wallow. You were never meant to stay stagnant. You were never meant to call your comfortable place your dwelling place.
Put on your new nature, and be renewed as you learn to know your Creator and become like him. (Col. 3:10)
Here, as if Jesus is calling us out of our shell — I believe, He desires hearts of radical obedience, far more than proclivities to modern-day conveniences.
I find TV convenient. I find shortcuts convenient. I find doing what the herd does convenient because it is easy and not shunned upon. But, I’m convicted, my desire for modern convenience can never shut off His sometimes random or impromptu calls to radical obedience.
If one keeps on shutting these off, their heart grows cold and hardened. There’s the real potential their conscience may get seared.
And, this is where a major problem presents itself.
You matter to God, but so do your choices. Do you pick God or other things?
Yes, God loves you
Yes, God cares about you.
But, also God cares for your daily choices.
Radical obedience knows when to turn away from modern conveniences (like a TV show that’s gone way-wrong, too much TV, staying in an area your supposed to leave, telling God no, gossip, slander, old routines, busyness, etc)
Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (Ro. 12:2)
Those who honor me I will honor, but those who despise me will be disdained. (1 Sam. 2:30)
This year, tear down every barrier, blockage, between you and God. Tear down your TV, your fear of man, your self-hatred, your hibernation-like tendencies, your shopping issue…whatever…if you need to do so.
How? There’s no back-breaking pressure. Simply, ask God where to change and how. Submit to His plan. Take a small step. Keep doing it. You’re half-way there… Not by your power or might, but through the Spirit — choose to love God this year.
I am sending this out right now because I felt, after prayer, that someone needs these prayers to help them where they are right now. Someone is in a struggle and does not know what to do. Someone can’t see from here to where they hope God will take them. Someone is crying. Someone has hands in their head right now. Someone doesn’t believe they can make it through.
Let me assure you of some things:
Every prayer you pray counts.
Every prayer you pray is heard.
Every prayer you pray is powerful.
Every prayer you pray is handled by God.
Every prayer you pray moves the needle in your life.
Do not doubt. Believe and pray. God has something special for you in this day. This is why this email is going out at a random hour on a random day. Receive this message from Him to you. Circle the prayers that will help you.
Rescuing God is coming to rescue some of you right now. Some big prayers will be answered. I trust Him to save you.
Here are 12 Power-Prayers Sourced from Paul:
“God, I thank you for others. Even when I can’t understand them, I want to love them. Help me be uniter not a divider.“
I thank my God every time I remember you. In all my prayers for all of you, I always pray with joy because of your partnership in the gospel from the first day until now, being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus. (Philippians 1:3–6)
First, I thank my God through Jesus Christ for all of you, because your faith is being reported all over the world. God, whom I serve with my whole heart in preaching the gospel of his Son, is my witness how constantly I remember you in my prayers at all times; and I pray that now at last by God’s will the way may be opened for me to come to you. (Romans 1:8–10)
For this reason, ever since I heard about your faith in the Lord Jesus and your love for all the saints, I have not stopped giving thanks for you, remembering you in my prayers. (Eph. 1:15)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord. (Col. 1: 9-10)
We always thank God for all of you, mentioning you in our prayers. We continually remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ. (1 Thessalonians 1:2–3)
We ought always to thank God for you, brothers, and rightly so, because your faith is growing more and more, and the love every one of you has for each other is increasing. Therefore, among God’s churches we boast about your perseverance and faith in all the persecutions and trials you are enduring. . . . (2 Thessalonians 1:3)
May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. (Romans 15:5-6)
May the Lord show mercy to the household of Onesiphorus, because he often refreshed me and was not ashamed of my chains. On the contrary, when he was in Rome, he searched hard for me until he found me. May the Lord grant that he will find mercy from the Lord on that day! You know very well in how many ways he helped me in Ephesus. (2 Timothy 1:16-18)
2. “God, may all come into a loving, knowing and abiding relationship with you.”
Brothers, my heart’s desire and prayer to God for the Israelites is that they may be saved. (Romans 10:1)
I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ. Your love has given me great joy and encouragement, because you, brother, have refreshed the hearts of the saints. (Philemon 5–7)
3. “God, fill me with your goodness. Through this, may your name be glorified.”
Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. (Romans 12:12)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)
I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know him better. I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which he has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints, and his incomparably great power for us who believe. That power is like the working of his mighty strength, which he exerted in Christ when he raised him from the dead and seated him at his right hand in the heavenly realms, far above all rule and authority, power and dominion, and every title that can be given, not only in the present age but also in the one to come. And God placed all things under his feet and appointed him to be head over everything for the church, which is his body, the fullness of him who fills everything in every way. (Ephesians 215–23)
For this reason, I kneel before the Father, from whom his whole family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith. And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God. Now to him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to his power that is at work within us, to him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen. (Ephesians 3:14-21)
May the Lord make your love increase and overflow for each other and for everyone else, just as ours does for you. May he strengthen your hearts so that you will be blameless and holy in the presence of our God and Father when our Lord Jesus comes with all his holy ones. (1 Thess. 3:13)
With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of his calling, and that by his power he may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ. (2 Thess. 1:11-12)
Now may the Lord of peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you. (2 Thessalonians 3:16)
4. “May the power of Jesus Christ continually fill me with joy, grace, peace and hope, in believing, by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit. (Romans 15:13)
The grace of the Lord Jesus be with you. (1 Corinthians 16:23)
We have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins. [Colossians 1:9–14]
May our Lord Jesus Christ himself and God our Father, who loved us and by his grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. (2 Thessalonians 2:16-17)
5. “May my heart continually pursue you. May I hear, understand and uncover all you have to say to me through your Word and in prayer. Give me the words and wisdom I so desperatly need.”
Devote yourselves to prayer, being watchful and thankful. And pray for us, too, that God may open a door for our message, so that we may proclaim the mystery of Christ, for which I am in chains. Pray that I may proclaim it clearly, as I should. (Colossians 4:2-4)
I urge you, brothers, by our Lord Jesus Christ and by the love of the Spirit, to join me in my struggle by praying to God for me. Pray that I may be rescued from the unbelievers in Judea and that my service in Jerusalem may be acceptable to the saints there, so that by God’s will I may come to you with joy and together with you be refreshed. The God of peace be with you all. Amen. (Romans 15:30-33)
Pray also for me, that whenever I open my mouth, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should. (Ephesians 6:19-20)
6. “God, you are the fullness of all I desire, want, hope for and need. Come and be my everything.”
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows. If we are distressed, it is for your comfort and salvation; if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which produces in you patient endurance of the same sufferings we suffer. And our hope for you is firm, because we know that just as you share in our sufferings, so also you share in our comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3-7)
Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will—to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace that he lavished on us with all wisdom and understanding. . . . (Ephesians 1:3)
7. “I lack no good thing, Father God. Thank you for everything.”
But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of him. For we are to God the aroma of Christ among those who are being saved and those who are perishing. To the one we are the smell of death; to the other, the fragrance of life. And who is equal to such a task? (2 Corinthians 2:14-16)
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus. For in him you have been enriched in every way— in all your speaking and in all your knowledge—because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. God, who has called you into fellowship with his Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. (1 Corinthians 1:4-9)
This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God’s people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God. Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has give you. Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! (2 Corinthians 9:12-15)
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:6-7)
8. “God, as Healer, please heal me. I trust you will complete the good work you’ve begun.”
Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take (thorn in flesh) away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Cor. 12: 8-9)
9. Father, mold me, make me and fashion me into your likeness. May I not hate the process you have, but delight in the journey of doing it with you.”
And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless until the day of Christ, filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. [Philippians 1:9–11
Now we pray to God that you will not do anything wrong. Not that people will see that we have stood the test but that you will do what is right even though we may seem to have failed. For we cannot do anything against the truth, but only for the truth. We are glad whenever we are weak but you are strong; and our prayer is for your perfection. [2 Corinthians 13:7–9]
May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it. [1 Thessalonians 5:23–24]
10. “God, may I come to know, trust and understand what your grace is.”
The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit, brothers. [Galatians 6:18]
The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ be with your spirit. Amen. [Philippians 4:23]
11. “May you protect me and those I love. Strengthen us too.”
And pray that we may be delivered from wicked and evil men, for not everyone has faith. But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen and protect you from the evil one. We have confidence in the Lord that you are doing and will continue to do the things we command. May the Lord direct your hearts into God’s love and Christ’s perseverance. [2 Thessalonians 3:2–5]
12. “God, you are the giver and all you give to me is good. I thank you.“
I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who has given me strength, that he considered me faithful, appointing me to his service. [1 Timothy 1:12]
Lord, your love searches me. It desires to know everything about me. It ministers to the depths that I hide from you. I can’t believe you desire to see me – to really know me. You want me. My thoughts are like an open book to you. You read me not to criticize me or to size me up, but to know me.
Who am I that you should think of me? But still, you do. Who am I that you should care about my little small and unseen ways? But still, you do. I can’t comprehend why you’re so good to me, but still, you are.
With all the millions and billions of people…when I think of all them – and when I think of you – I feel small. There are far too many daughters for you to care about – and to still consider me. But, you do. You are intimately aware of every thought I have, every movement I make, and every word about to come out of my mouth. How can you really love me like this?
I confess, God, that sometimes it is hard to believe that you really love me. I confess God, it is hard to believe that you really – day-in-day-out, want me. It is hard to believe you have the capacity to love this way. And, still, you do. My conception of you does not limit you. Even this, proves your greatness. You are amazing. Forgive me for my unbelief. Give me fresh faith to trust, rely and fall back on your love.
The reality is: it’s not my work that earns your love, but Jesus’ finished work that paid for it.
I can let go of the pressure to perform for you. Jesus gave it all, did it all and continually does it all for me.
I can let go of a mind that tries to figure out why you love me. Christ is in me. How could you not love your own son?
I can let go of thought I continually offend you. I am a new creation in Christ Jesus; you see His righteousness in me.
I can let go of the past that plagues my thoughts. If the tomb is empty of shame, guilt, and condemnation, shouldn’t also my mind be? You’ve fought for and secured resurrection life.
I can let go of the inkling that I have nothing to offer people. The Holy Spirit, a heavenly deposit of the fullness of God is in me. You can do far more than I even think I can.
I can let you in. I can let you know me. You aren’t coming to shame me, to hurt me, to criticize me, to embarrass me or to haunt me. You’re coming to love me. You’re coming to let me know how you care. You’re coming to make me aware of all you’ve done and the deep life-impacting significance of it all.
God, show me what I keep from you, so I can really know you. God, show me what keeps me far, so I can get closer to your ways. God, show me how I am terrified of intimacy so I can intimately and authentically seek you.
When I say I want you above all else, I really do.
He offended me. The fighting words my husband launched hours ago were now causing my entire afternoon to be thrown off. It wasn’t my fault, or so I thought. But, now, rather than being nice to my kids, I was snappy. Rather than being present, I kept thinking of how he was so wrong. Rather than tidying the house and helping out, I went on a silent protest in my room. Rather than dwelling on love, I wanted to release my own missiles.
In retrospect: His words were an attack sent by the enemy (one point for team-enemy!).
Usually we can recognize attacks. They are:
– issues that pop up out of nowhere.
– people problems that seem completely random (or odd).
– sin that makes you feel so guilty that you are unlovable (this issue starts with us and is leveraged by the enemy).
– past wounds that are intentionally re-hit.
– old tapes that get repeated by people to keep us stuck.
There is wisdom in asking: Is my unconfessed sin or my unrepentant heart holding on to what the enemy will use to his advantage?
Think for a moment. Judas got here…: “So Judas threw the money into the temple and left. Then he went away and hanged himself.” (Mt. 27:5)
…even though He said this: “I have sinned,” he said, “for I have betrayed innocent blood.”
Indeed, he was “seized with remorse”, but He failed to go to the Redeemer who could heal him. Sadly, he died by his own hand.
Beware of confessing to others, but not to God. Beware of carrying burdens, only Jesus was meant to carry. Beware of leaving unforgiveness untidy and unruly within your heart. Even the most specially-chosen disciple can fall.
If someone so close to Jesus could go down, so could we.
Today is the day to let go and let live with Jesus.
Do you need to ask God, “Will you forgive me?”
Do you need to tell God, “I forgive _____?”
Do you need to say to God, “Today, I let go of this (offense).”?
The price of holding on to guilt, shame and pain is death. The price Jesus paid to free us from it, becomes our new life.
Be Battle Ready today, by letting go of what pain you cannot manage any longer and putting it into the arms of Jesus. What will come about is restored connection and renewed hope.
“The best time to be strengthened against the Enemy’s tactics of doubt, disappointment, and devastation is before he makes his first move toward us. We all desperately need the biblical guidance and preparation found in Battle Ready!”
—Lysa TerKeurst, New York Times bestselling author and president of Proverbs 31 Ministries
For a large part of my life, I believed I’d simply been dealt a bad hand. I had thoughts like this: “Things work against me. No one is for me. The world will hurt me. People are out to get me. I can’t trust anybody. I am at risk of being continually injured or stranded. Bad circumstances find me.”
Struggling. To. Be. Okay.
Annoyed….Others. Have. It. Better.
Defined. By. My. History.
Have you, like me, allowed internal definitive statements to define your identity? Are you unsure how to climb out of the pit of injustice you’ve found yourself in?
Incredibly, God’s Word shows us the way. God has clear-cut, straightforward instruction for those who have been punched one too many times by the constant onslaught of the world. For those whose stomach feels like it is caving in and they’re about to give up.
Here it is…(notice the two main call-to-action points included within this statement):
“If you… 1.) listen to the commands of the Lord your God and 2.) carefully obey them, (then) the Lord will make you the head and not the tail, and you will always have the upper hand.” Deut. 28:13
If you listen and obey…
Then you’ll have – not the bad hand – but always, the upper hand.
You won’t be the tail that gets stomped all over, but the head that is wise, smart and full of God’s truth.
Jesus, as the head, will get in your head and change the world of hurts you’ve been living in. Give Him a shot. Listen, obey and find yourself ahead.
My 6-year-old son puts on shows. Willy Wonka, Moses in the wilderness, Box Car Children- you name it, and he acts it out. And he always asks this question.
“Are you watching me?”
Half the time, I’m not. I mean to be, but I’m also human. I’m trying to tackle things like bills, emails, text messages, phone calls, dishes, laundry, dinner…you get the point.
The fact of the matter is, our parents didn’t watch us non-stop either. I know there were times I put on shows and my mom or dad didn’t watch. It’s not because they didn’t want to, but because they were human.
But you know what? God is not human and He is watching. This fills the desires of all our hearts. The desire that says, “Someone, please, be watching me. Watch out for me. Watch me and know my ways. Watch me and protect me. Watch me and help me.”
God watches, carefully.
God is always with us.
“Where can I go from your Spirit?
Where can I flee from your presence?
If I go up to the heavens, you are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, you are there.” Ps. 139:7-8
God’s watched our days before they’ve even happened.
“Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written in your book
before one of them came to be.” Ps. 139:16
God’s intimate thoughts about us don’t stop.
“How precious to me are your thoughts, God!
How vast is the sum of them!
Were I to count them,
they would outnumber the grains of sand.” Ps. 139: 17-18
God is aware of our most intricate workings, habits and ponderings.
“You discern my going out and my lying down;
you are familiar with all my ways.
Before a word is on my tongue
you, Lord, know it completely.” Ps. 139: 3-4
He watches you to protect you.
“You hem me in behind and before.” Ps. 139: 5
God watches it all. Every song, dance, move, time you sit down, stand up, and twirl around. You are precious in His sight.
One way to succeed at life is to take inventory of what sets you off.
Ask: What makes your chest well up with discomfort? What makes your stomach turn in rolling knots of nervousness? What makes your hands sweat?
There’s some very good news coming to you soon. With this, I’ve had to do some very hard work to see it through. Hard work makes me feel under much pressure. And being under pressure makes me feel I must perform.
Performances steal the presence of God.
It becomes all show and no rest. Performances are about: doing, striving, working stuff up, making things happen, generating results and presenting a good face.
They’re about getting somewhere. Meanwhile, God just wants to be with us.
Maybe you are there. Maybe you are saying to yourself, “I try so hard, but get nowhere. I don’t know how I’ll do it all. I am stressed out. I am overwhelmed. I am burdened.”
Right now, I believe God has an invitation for you and for me.
As I see it, I believe it reads like this…
Dear (your name),
I invite you to step away from the soul-crushing burdens of all you feel you “must” manage. I will manage those things as you trust in me. I can do far more than you can think or imagine when you trust me. I can accomplish in one minute what it takes you 5000 to conceptualize. Will you trust me? Will you let me take lead? Will you hand to me what you’re death-gripping and mishandling? Will you let go of those unruly emotions and trace them for promised lands of peace? I promise to take good care of what is most important to your soul. I won’t leave you behind. I am always true to my word.
“Defeat does not come to those who trust (in God).” Ps. 23:5 GNT
“(God) is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.” Heb. 11:6 NKJV
Above all, please know: I am with you. I am on your side. I am helping you. My hope is to give you the deep desires of your heart. (Ps. 37:4)