Purposeful Faith

Category - faith

Losing Something or Someone You Love

stir it up

I lost a brother in Christ today.

I so badly wanted him to live. I prayed while he was in the hospital. I hoped from my bedroom. I fought with deep words and loud cries. I believed he would remain on Earth, but, this morning, I got a text saying…

“He passed.”

My friend is gone now.

This sits heavy. Life is short.

The veil between here and there is thinner than it appears. We never know our time. We never know when the curtains close here. Yet, when a loved one faces death, it’s a stark reminder to us who live — that the only time we have  — is now! Right now. This very moment is a gift from God and the fact that we have it is HUGE.

This is our moment on His grand-stage. Heaven watches (Heb. 12:1). There is a purpose to our existence. Our words matter. Our love matters. Our prayers matter. This is our time to impact the world for Jesus. God assigned us to this hour, in this season of His appointed world. He has a plan and a use for our existence. We are not just bidding time, or wasting away until our crossover day; there is His will to see forth. There is His pleasure to attend to. There is His glory to cast.

You know, I can’t say why my prayers didn’t get answered as it pertains to my friend, only God knows, but I do know this — God still answers prayers and faith still moves mountains. There’s no arguing about that. God is true and His Word is more truth than my thoughts. Period.

Maybe some of you have lost someone or something… Maybe some of you don’t know the why’s or the how’s… Maybe some of you feel a heaviness about what didn’t happen…

God knows what He is doing.

Sometimes our theology need stop right here. Eve (of Adam and Eve) tried to figure out the whole world and the details of not only evil, but also of good, as she bit that apple — and look where that got her (and all of us for that matter…)?

We don’t always have to know. But, we can know this: we serve a good God.
We don’t always have to understand. But, we can continually stand under His grace.
God is good to one and all; everything he does is soaked through with grace.” (Ps. 145:9 MSG)

God is good.

“Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!” (Ps. 34:8 ESV)
The safest place for our searching heart is under God’s care.

These days, it’s easy to get caught up in — should I use this bow or that for the Christmas wreath? Should I get this gift for the kids? Oh, what horrible news there is online.

My dear friends, this world is like a mirage. But, one thing remains, God — along with faith, hope and love. These will never pass away.

“Now we see but a dim reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known. And now these three remain: faith, hope and love; but the greatest of these is love.  (1 Cor. 13:12-13)

This season, let’s press past the mundane and into something more transcendent and everlasting…faith in God and His character, hope that He is who He says He is and love for all those around us. These things will not fail us. They produce no regrets in life, well-lived.

Faith, hope and love are the wisest life-investments we can make. They last.

And, as it pertains to my friend? He was full of these three things — faith, hope and love. This I know — He is not lost — He is a BIG gain to heaven.

Prayer: Father, fill us with faith to trust on you, to believe you and to trust your character. Give us hope, like we have never had before. Even more, we want to love you and others in wild and incredible ways. We ask for you to fill us with your Holy Spirit so that we may gush forth the fullness of you, everywhere we go. We thank you that we are alive. We thank you that you have good plans for us. We lean on you today. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Honoring Your Husband

we all want

This Facebook message stopped me. . .

Sharrona Watson posted on Facebook:

“I used to be a bit hard headed when it came to my husband. Between temper tantrums and straight I DON’T WANT TO HEAR YOU, I was a mess.

Why listen to him when I can listen to myself? Besides, I had this subconscious belief that my Holy Spirit was much “Holy-ER” than his.  I know I’m not the only wife that has felt this way.

God started dealing with me…

I woke up one day and the side of my face was a lil swollen. I knew it had something to do with a tooth. No biggie, pop a few motrins & antibiotics I should be good to go on this women’s retreat I was excited to go on.

Why on earth did Randy say “no”? He wanted me to go to Urgent Care. And miss my trip??? gosh darnit, that strong-willed being in me wanted to fight, but I knew I needed to listen.

I went to Urgent Care…. they immediately sent me to the Emergency Room, my face tripled in size and the pain was so severe. They immediately took me back and sprung into action, cutting open my gums. They used this tool that extracted a large amount of infection from me. It was painful. The E.R doctor told me had I not gone in the infection could have gone to my brain as well as shut my airway — both could have resulted in my death. Can you imagine me getting to heaven and the Lord saying “All you needed to do was listen to Randy”?

Submitting to our husband’s can save our lives. Whether it be physical, mental, spiritual etc… Sometimes they KNOW MORE THAN US!!”

This post made me think… Do I honor my husband’s wisdom or do I think my wisdom is best? Do I know what I’m doing or do I hear his heart? Do I heed his advice or go my own way?

Various times, my husband’s wisdom has felt off-putting…offensive, even.

Once he told me to “keep quiet”, as it pertained to a specific issue. But, I didn’t want to keep quiet, I wanted — TO SPEAK! Yet, it was only after following his wisdom that something amazing happened: by keeping my mouth shut, God opened a door. A major door.

God’s ways are not our ways. Wisdom doesn’t always sound like our voice or outlook. Yet, that doesn’t mean it is trash.  God speaks through people, even husbands.

“For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” declares the LORD. (Is. 55:8)

We don’t always need to understand — before we trust. We don’t have to make sense of everything — before we follow. Who in their right mind can understand the vastness and completeness of God? If you waited to know everything, before following Jesus, you’d be nowhere.

Do you need to trust your husband more? You know, there is no perfect husband, but we do serve a perfect God who defends, who protects and who leads. We can trust our Maker, to make our path straight, as we honor our husbands.

I know — doing this — isn’t always easy, so let’s pray…

Prayer: Father, I want to thank you for Sharrona Watson’s post on Facebook. It reminded me that I don’t know it all. I don’t have every answer. I don’t know my own way all the time. Thank you, God, that you have united me together with my husband, on purpose and for a purpose. When we are in unity, there is power in that. Please teach me, Father, what it is to honor and to submit to my husband’s wisdom. Please help me to trust you, when I do this. I want to learn  to honor you by honoring him.  Thank you, God, that I am growing in relationship and marriage. Thank you God, that you will help me. Thank you God, that I am not defenseless. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

I was going to put Sharrona’s bio and picture here…but you know what? Instead, let’s pray for her!

Prayer for Sharrona: Father, please grant Sharrona the deep desires of hear heart. Father, we pray for breakthrough in her life, as she is calling out for. Hear our prayer today. We ask for swift answers. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Down, But Not Out.

good father

Do you feel down? Maybe you are pressed on every side by worries or fear? Maybe you are flustered by what is happening all around you? Maybe people are not being agreeable or hopeful?

We’ve all been there… Life has hard times. Certain days, the pain is potent, the tears are heavy and hope feels flimsy.

Paul, the apostle, understood hardship. Paul, after the resurrection of Jesus, received lashes upon lashes. He was beaten with rods. He was pelted with stones. He was 3 times shipwrecked. He was constantly on the move. He was “in danger from rivers, in danger from bandits, in danger from my fellow Jews, in danger from Gentiles; in danger in the city, in danger in the country, in danger at sea; and in danger from false believers”. (2 Cor. 11:26)  He “labored and toiled” and went “without sleep”. He knew “hunger and thirst” and went “without food.” He was “cold and naked.” (2 Cor. 11:27-28) 

Yet, Paul kept going…
Yet, Paul kept believing…
Yet, Paul kept enduring…

…all by the grace of God. It’s amazing isn’t it?

This is the power of our God to sustain us, to keep us, to help us keep going. If He did it for Paul — He can do it for us. If He did it for me (when I felt like giving up on life, when I felt like quitting), He can do it for us.

Where do you need God’s help to keep going?

My friend, no matter what we face today — no matter how bad it looks — Christ offers strength to overcome. Christ grants power to keep going. Christ has a plan of escape. Christ is The Door and The Way. Just as Paul made it through we overcome as trust Christ for the victory.

The Author and The Perfector of our faith is always authoring and perfecting our life, our hearts and our path. He knows. Crooked pictures become craft projects in His hands. Suddenly, through His finishing, something new is created, only it is 1000x better than before.

God makes all things beautiful in HIS time. (see: Ec. 3:11)

We see a mess; He sees opportunity. We see annoyance; He sees new patience growing. We see long roads; He sees endurance and perseverance in our lives like never before. I believe, God treasures our heart  more than our immediate demands. The wonder is, He usually takes care of those demands too, in the long run. This is what I’ve found, at least.

He’s never once let me down. He’s brought me through an eating disorder, depression, illness, health scares, relationship drama, fear, control and so much more. He shows up. His power has been enough to save me time-and-time again. He is that wonderful.

We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair;  persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed.”  (2 Cor. 4:8-12 NIV)

We will make it as we trust Him. We will stand strong as we lean on Him. We will come out the other side, better, stronger and wiser as we stay in His love. No, we will not be forsaken. Never. He loves us.

Prayer: Father, pour out your love on every reader, in profound ways. Let every person know how much you care. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Things are Not As You Think

“Oh no! Why did you do that? Why did you bring your drinks downstairs?” My mom groaned.

Apparently, my kids spilled lemonade on her brand new carpet.

“But, Nana, we have water and we didn’t spill anything!” They said.

“Yes, you did. I see that big splotch on the ground.” My mom pointed at a big dark circle on the ground.

“But, Nana, that’s only a shadow.”

The closer mom got, the more she could see. The kids were right. What my mom was stressing about was only a shadow, not a spill.

How often do we see things that are only shadows? How often do we misconstrue words into something that another is not even saying? How often do we perceive what people are thinking, when they are not? How often does what we worry about not even come true? How often do our perceptions become projections onto others?

Jesus is wise.

Instead of worry, Jesus essentially says, “Hey you! Don’t run ahead… Don’t get ahead of yourself, or me, for that matter.”

“Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Mt. 6:34)

We never really know what we face until we come face-to-face with the reality of it. That’s why we can’t make a mole into cancer. Or, a child’s actions into a proclamation of their life. Or, a husband’s lack of timeliness as a determination of who He is or, who we are. Or, our yesterday into a predictor of our today.

We do not know — until Jesus says it is time for us to know. There is no benefit to trying to figure things out, either.

“Who of you by worrying can add a single hour to his life?” (Mt. 6:27)

When we run ahead of God, we run out of grace. We run out from under grace’s cover. This is why worry, fear and anxiety mount. But, to stay with the Holy Spirit, in the present moment — is to keep peace and to walk in the ever-present help of God.

How is your mind prone to run ahead? Where do you lose peace?

What might God want you to know in your here-and-now?

Consider: Has God ever let you down? Has He ever stopped helping you? What did you worry about 3 years ago? How are things going now.

Take an opportunity to: Thank God. Release your worry to Him. Repent of fear. Renew your heart and mind in Christ Jesus, for He cares for you.

Things are not always as they appear. Darkness tries to fool us sometimes. Things are not as dim as the enemy wants to make them look. Raise up your head to see — where your light comes from — and you may get a whole new outlook as you do.

Prayer: Father, I know where my help comes from. My help comes from the Maker, the Creator and the Author of Life. Forgive me for looking left and right, into the past and way-ahead into the future. Holy Spirit is here with me, right-here, right now. I want to walk with you and talk with you. I want to be united with you, without stress and burdens. Will you comfort me and help me? I trust you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

 

Dealing with Fear & Relationships

take advantage

The woman’s words were supposed to be encouraging, but they were laced with something… What it was exactly? I’m still considering.

The more she talked, the more that icky, creepy feeling came over me. Do you know what I’m talking about?

Many times, it happens when people project fear. Afraid their bad story may repeat, they project their worries. Usually, they are not even aware they’re releasing their fear.

True love never comes out of projected fear.

“There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment.” (1 Jo. 4:18 NIV)

To speak from a place of fear, or to project worry, is not love. Why? Because fear punishes the recipient.

Just think:
I’m afraid I am not enough, so I get passive aggressive with you.
I’m horrified that my kid will not get good grades. I drive them hard after school because of my anxiety.
I’m fearful my husband may cheat, so I question him relentlessly when he gets home.

How does fear drive you? How do you project worry or fear?

We all have moments when we are afraid. We all have hurts. God wants to help you and love you through those.  Let us bring our unresolved fears to God so they don’t resolve on hurting others.

Prayer: Father, God, I feel afraid. I feel afraid because of what I’ve seen or what I haven’t seen. I feel afraid because I don’t want to get hurt. I feel afraid because someone has hurt me. I feel afraid of: _____.  I bring to you this feeling. I don’t know what to do with this, but I know you have a better plan for me than fear.  I repent of fearing. Will you show me a new perspective? Will you show me how you are defending me, protecting me, helping me, guiding me or providing for me, through this very issue? Will you open my eyes to the scripture I need to see? Will you guide me in may way? Will you give me courage? In you, I trust. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

Scriptures for when you feel afraid:

While it is true that many Old Testament scriptures were spoken by God, to specific people, about specific situations, it still remains: God’s character and nature is unchanging. He is who He says He is. He is with us — and will help us!

“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” (Is. 41:10)

“Have I not commanded you to be strong and courageous? Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” (Josh. 1:9)

“I sought the Lord, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.” (Ps. 34:4)

Use Your Voice

good father

I was too tired. “I can’t. Not now, my dear.”

Have you ever been so tired by night’s end you can’t do a solitary thing, but plop on your bed?

My daughter wanted me to wash her knotted-up hair at the sink. It’s a big ordeal. Although I wanted to help her, I knew if I said yes, I also risked being in a horrid mood and things ending up 100o times worse.

“I can’t, my love.”

“But mom. . . ” she persisted.

“I can’t.”

“But, you can. The knots at the back of my neck hurt me when I sleep,” she replied.

She was pulling at my heartstrings now. I didn’t want to her to be uncomfortable; I care for her. I want to help her. I love her.

You know, God loves us the same way. He hears our repeated requests. He understands our difficult position. He is moved by our asking — be it for little or big things. Don’t give up making your heart known to God and your voice heard. He cares for you…

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; the one who seeks finds; and to the one who knocks, the door will be opened.” (Mt. 7:7-8)

Just as my daughter kept asking by, persistent asking, opens something up. I believe our repeated asking, using our voice, must move God’s heart, similar to how it moved mine. It’s hard to say no, to one you really love. It’s hard to say no, when the one you love so wants your help. It’s hard to back away when the sound of your child, moves you.

God loves us too. He showcases His love by how He sent His very own son, for us, even while we were yet sinners. If God did that for us, how much more does He want to help us?

His heart isn’t to abandon us, but to help us.

Eventually, I told my daughter, “Yes, I’ll help you!”

I answered her request not because it was easiest for me, but because I had compassion for her situation (and, well, she kept asking using that persistent voice). At the same time, I answered a little different than she expected. All the same, her end goal was accomplished.

And, isn’t this how God works with us?” We say, “I want my hair washed at the sink!” He nearly says, “Well, after you take a shower, then I’ll come with the de-tangler.”

Our part is obedience. His part is faithfulness.

Has God asked you to do something? Do you feel called to move a certain direction on an issue? Don’t ignore those nudges. Follow them.

Simple acts of obedience often opens up answered prayers through persistence. But, we must get going and keep knocking — and not give up!

Don’t get discouraged by what you haven’t seen or what you aren’t seeing. God hears. And, if like me, you forget to pray at times — that’s okay too. God never despises a small beginning. In fact, that’s how all great things begin. Just start. Just ask. Know He loves you. God IS love! He wants what is best for you. He cares. He IS Provider too. That means — He is faithful.

Make your heart and voice known to God, for He cares for you.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you hear us. You really do! You love us too. We are so thankful to be loved by a good father. You are always ready to help. You may do things different than we think, but in the end you know what is good for us. We thank you for this. Your timing is right, even if we can’t always understand. Father? Will you help us in the way we need today — (ask specifics here)? We lift this up with great expectation of your help. You are Faithful and True. You are a rescuing God. You are Deliverer. Your ways are so far greater than ours. We love you. We thank you. In Jesu’s name. Amen.

You Can Trust God

reconstruction zone

God is faithful.
He is not man.
He doesn’t just observe us; He actively loves us.

“God is not human, that he should lie, not a human being, that he should change his mind. Does he speak and then not act? Does he promise and not fulfill?” (Nu. 23:19)

I remember playing basketball on those summer nights in California, pre-childen, with my husband. On one particular evening, the ball bounced off the rim and slammed my ring finger. The doctor said it was broken. If I didn’t handle it now, I’d get arthritis. I needed surgery and a pin, quickly.

I rang up the insurance company. The issue was I had signed up for the worst company insurance plan. It wouldn’t cover my need.

Not knowing what else to do, I prayed something like, “God, help me. I don’t have the money nor the insurance for this surgery. I need you to provide. I need your help. I trust you.”

The operator came online. I informed her that I was on the worst company plan. I let her know that I was stuck.

She “looked into things” and replied, “Actually, you are signed up for the best plan. It covers everything.”

I was shocked. How could this be!? Something must be wrong. But, it wasn’t….

Even though I didn’t sign up for that “best plan”, somehow I did. . .  God did it! God came through. God answered my prayer. Miraculously, what I didn’t sign up for, I was part of.

When we don’t know what to do, God will come through. When we can’t see a way, God can see one. He might not always show up like we think (because His ways are higher than ours), but He will show up.

How has He come through for you (I’d love to read a sentence or two, even though I can’t really respond to everyone if I want to be a good wife/mom)?

God has healed me of physical issues, provided financially, provided emotional healing from an eating disorder, helped me to get up again through His Word, messaged me through nature, and brought relational healing with family members. God is faithful. It didn’t all happen immediately, but by His grace, it happened organically, over-time, and in His best way. There was always a higher place God planned to take me to, even if — in the moment — I couldn’t see it.

Just as we can’t see the snow on the mountaintops…it doesn’t mean it isn’t there. Just because the answer isn’t in our vantage-point, doesn’t mean it isn’t coming. Or, God isn’t taking us to higher ground.

My dear friends, be encouraged: God is faithful. He comes. He doesn’t forget. Keep the faith. Keep hope. Keep love soft and ready to pour out on others. Don’t get embittered. Don’t let what you haven’t seen, throw you off from praying for what you could see. Keep asking. He hears. He loves you. He isn’t absent, but is close.

“The LORD is close to the brokenhearted…” (Ps. 34:18)

Where do you feel broken or in need? Don’t just brush that feeling off and pretend it isn’t there — bring that need, that hunger and that want to God — He draws close to that very sort of thing. Tell Him about it. Cry about it. Call out about it. Need from it. Ask Him to meet you in it. Life isn’t about soldiering through; it is about letting God hold you sometimes.

He will be there for you. He loves you. Your need doesn’t disqualify you from His love, it draws Him closer.

Prayer: Father, thank you that you care. Thank you that you see. Thank you that you love me. You are faithful. You are true. Jesus is Faithful and True. You can be nothing else besides this. Today, we give you our trust. We put our trust in you once again. We ask you to come and help us with where we are at today. We love you. We thank you for Jesus, on the cross. We thank you that He paid it all because of love. And, if He loved us then, He still loves us now. We are in your love. We thank you for this. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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God Sees Me

love

“I can’t miss seeing her.” I keep thinking this…

My daughter hasn’t played sports before. She thought she wouldn’t like it, but she now loves it. When she played she ran around the field with a huge smile on her face. I couldn’t be happier. This week, I have a conflict with her practice, however, I want so badly to see her. I just want to watch her, enjoy herself.

Yesterday, with my son, it was a similar sort of experience. He tried out for a role in the school play. I was so happy for him. I really wanted to watch him. I called his dad and prayed for him while he was trying out. I ran into the school beforehand with a snack and a hug. My joy was so full, it felt like I might explode.

After this joy of watching my kids, in their moments, I couldn’t help but think: God has joy in watching me, in my moments too. Just as I want to jump around and celebrate my kids successes, God must really be happy when He sees me doing well. He must want to celebrate with me. He wants to be a part of my world.

Our Father God is “El Roi”, meaning, “The God who Sees Me.”

Somehow, knowing that Father God wants to see me, makes me feel loved. He wants to be involved in my world, in my joy and in my excitement. He knows what is happening. He cares to see. He wants to be a part.

In fact, the mere idea that He wants us to continually abide in Him is evidence of how much He wants to see and know us.

“Abide in me, and I in you.” (Jo. 15:4)

God wants us, to be together. He wants us, to be with Him. I think He likes us too.

We are never alone. We are united with a God who not only cares, but who sees, us. Be encouraged — we are not alone or left behind. He loves us. We are His children.

If we delight in our kids, how much more does He delight in our special moments too?

Prayer: Father, I want to be with you. I want to remain in you. I want to feel your love and understand how much you care for me. Will you help me gain greater understanding of this? I love you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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Things are Not What They Seem

“You always looked so put together. I didn’t know if I could talk to you or if you would be nice,” said one lady.

The other woman, replied in a similar way, “I wanted to talk to you too but I thought you were…”

Looks are deceiving. That’s all I could think as I sat there listening to these women share perceptions. It seemed, now, they were surprised by how relatable, real, and easy it was to be together. They were becoming fast-friends — all because they got a real chance to know each other, rather than to think things about each other.

How often do we allow what we think we know hold us back from what is truth?

I perceive a lot of things about myself: I haven’t done good at this. I didn’t succeed at that. 

I perceive things about people too: They think this about me. They are doing ___. They must want ___.

Yet, like these women, thoughts not founded in truth, hold me back from real things — real relationships, real progress, real breakthrough.

Look at what happened to Elijah in the Old Testament because of his perceptions…

“Elijah replied, “I have zealously served the LORD God Almighty. But the people of Israel have broken their covenant with you, torn down your altars, and killed every one of your prophets. I am the only one left, and now they are trying to kill me, too.” (1 Kings 19:10)

Elijah was right in his statement. He did served the Lord “zealously” and the people of Israel had “broken their covenant”. But, what He didn’t perceive right was that he was “the only one left”.

He allowed his loneliness and his discouragement cloud his eyes. Others had been faithful too.

Soon after sharing this with the Lord, God told Elijah, “anoint Elisha son of Shaphat from Abel-meholah to replace you as my prophet.” (1 Kings 19:16).

I wonder if Elisha’s perception of his situation led to the culmination of his ministry? One can wonder…

But, one thing I do know is that I don’t want to let — things that appears to be — take me down. Do you? Things are not always what they appear.

Just like your rear view mirror says, “objects in the mirror are closer than they appear,” objects in our life are not always as we see them.

Where have perceptions prohibited you from real relationship? Where are you thinking you are defeated, when God had not declared that over you? Where are you thinking thoughts about others that you don’t know to be true?

The easiest way to get rid of a lie is to repent of it and replace it with God’s truth — then you will be back on the path of life again.

Prayer: God, we don’t want any lies to hold us back. We only want to live by your truth, love by your truth and praise you with truth. Help us this way. Forgive us in any way where we have spoken, thought or carried lies about ourselves or about others. We ask you to give us your thoughts and your heart to love. In Jesus’ name. Amen.

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An Important Key to Honoring God

good father

When I ask my kids to clean the room, yet I find them playing at the top of the stairs 15-minutes later, I get aggravated. When I tell everyone to get in the car, yet they continue to sit watching TV, I wonder if anyone heard me. When I ask the family to put their dishes away, yet come home to find the table full of cups, I feel disregarded. I don’t feel honored.

Often, I tell my kids, “To delay is to disobey.” And, it is true. Delays don’t honor me as mom. In my eyes, they fall into the camp of disobedience.

Recently, when telling my kids, “to delay is to disobey,” I considered my own actions and delays as it pertains to God…

Do I treat Him the way my kids are treating me? Does He feel dishonored by my inaction? I had to stop to think for a moment…

How often do I get thinking of other things, and then I don’t act? How often do I get distracted and forget to call the person God is put on my heart? How often do I wait and then negate what God is speaking to me? How often do I do something else, before answering His call to read the Word?

Our obedience shows much about our love.

“If you love me, keep my commands.” (Jo. 14:15 NIV)

Just like, I feel loved, when my kids obey — it appears — so does God. Radical obedience shows complete reliance on Jesus. It says: God, you are first. It practices our mind in moving against the impulses of our flesh. It reminds us who we really live for.

Here, it’s like we almost say to God: You, above all else. Your ways are higher than mine. Your calling is of paramount importance. It doesn’t matter how inconvenient it is to me, I am alive to you, Christ Jesus.

Of course, no one is perfect in this department. I surely am not. And, I thank God for Jesus, who gives us a fresh start all the time because of His blood and grace. We are continually blessed by His obedience on the cross…

Yet, despite our actions or inactions, it is good to continually remind ourselves to be quick to act when we feel the prompting of God. And, to be ready to obey when the Word of God convicts us.

Because, how much could our world actually change if we followed through on the things God was leading us in?  What would it look like if we followed through on the prompting to love, immediately? What would it look like if we allowed our heart to change the way He is trying to mold it?

How much more might the heart of the Father be honored? How much more intimacy might we have with God?

When God calls, let’s listen and answer.

Prayer: Father, I want to love you more. I want to obey you more. Obedience opens up walkways, both into your heart, and into greater callings. Please help me to obey you. Please help me, also, to discern what you are calling me to do. You are an amazing God, worthy of all my heart and action. I honor you. I love you. I submit myself to you today. In Jesus’ mighty name. Amen.