When we got to the coffee shop, the kids and I noted a fluorescent green Lamborghini parked in the “No Parking” zone across from the store. We sat down on the patio while my husband got our coffees. My mind drifted…who’s car is that anyway? I’ve seen flashy cars before. These owners almost always do the same thing…they sit directly across from their vehicle. Why? To watch it? To feel proud of their accomplishment? To buoy their ego? I don’t know…but — if I’ve seen it once, I’ve seen it a dozen times — luxury car owners watch their vehicle, like hawks.
My eyes glanced over to the car, then caught a man seated directly across from it. Sure, enough — it must be him. Before long, a truck rolled up. The truck needed to go where the Lambo was parked. The luxury car owner hopped out of his chair, left his coffee trash on the table, and moved his vehicle.
When my husband got back, I relayed the story. I let all my assumptions fly…how it must feel good for this man to see his car…because it affirms his identity. Surely, this car is a constant reminder that — he’s made it!
But, I wondered, had this man really made it? He parked illegally. He left trash on the table. He was seated all by himself, with nothing to face but a pile of metal.
My husband looked at me, and said, “Kelly, I think you are like this man.”
I prayed for a second. Was my husband right? And, what came to mind was how I sometimes:
– feel better when I look good or do good.
– allow projects to label me a success (or a failure).
– permit what I own, how I look, or what I do — to define me more than God’s Words.
– get narrow-minded, believing success looks one way.
“Don’t love the world’s ways. Don’t love the world’s goods. Love of the world squeezes out love for the Father. Practically everything that goes on in the world—wanting your own way, wanting everything for yourself, wanting to appear important—has nothing to do with the Father. It just isolates you from him….” (1 Jo. 2:17 MSG)
I, like that man, isolate myself from my good Father when I allow bright and shiny things to determine who I am — and how good I’ve done. The truth is who I am is only determined by who God says I am. This is security and stability. Here, I can come — weak, human and needy — and still find the help and love I so desperately need, without shame.
I am always accepted. And, so are you.
Whether you’re succeeding or failing, rich or poor, abounding or sinking, thriving or hardly getting by — you are always loved. Chosen. Wanted. Approved. As a child of God, you have a Father and He loves you — no matter.
She was sharing her heart, but for some reason I felt like I had to have her “fixed” by the time the call ended. She phoned me because she needed help. And, I wanted to really be there for her. To leave her where she was — didn’t feel right.
I offered some advice. I gave her some strategies. Yet, after hanging up — I had a sinking feeling that I said too much. That my words were — input-overload.
In retrospect, she didn’t need my lofty words, but just my care. My heart. My presence with her in the heat of a hard moment.
She didn’t need an answer as much as she needed an ear.
I noticed when I did stay quiet on the call, she had room to pray. I also remember how she seemed to pray her way out of her own hole.
It was my pride that made me want to be a savior. It is also my pride that makes me unload harsh words on others because of my inflamed emotions. It is pride that feels like it has to have an answer to everybody’s every question.
Humility does the opposite, though. It says less so that God can move more.
“A truly wise person uses few words…” (Prov. 17:27)
Wise people say less and listen more. They weigh words carefully before blasting them like a water gun. They intentionally think about restoring the other person, rather than ripping them apart or giving too much advice. They don’t let their emotions get the best of them.
Wise communicators know they don’t have to respond. They are okay with silence. They give space for others to help themselves. They allow ‘no response’ answers or ‘let me think about it’ approaches so they can release life-giving, redeeming words.
Using less words provides more impact. Where, in your life, might God be calling you to use less words? What would this look like practically?
“But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength…” (Is. 40:31)
When I wait, I usually don’t feel strength rise. Instead, I’m wondering…
“When will you show up, God?”
“Why is this taking so long?”
“How do I do things differently?”
The more I wonder, the more I feel confused. Ever been there?
Well, I asked God about this verse I could not understand. I knew the issue was not with God, but with me. I needed clarity. Ironically in-line with this bible verses whole concept, I didn’t get an answer from for a while…that is, until He provided me clarity in the most unlikely of places… the ocean.
Surrounded by waves, with my son on top of a boogie board, I was looking into the ocean for just the right wave for him. I explained, “You gotta look for the right wave, son.”
I went on, “If you take any old wave, it will be a dud. If it is a dud, you’ll ride that wave and go hardly anywhere, and then you’ll have to fight all the waves to get back out to where you originally were. That’ll tire you out.
Wait, son, don’t go too early, and when the time is right — go!”
God hit me in that water. I realized, just like riding dud waves, we often let our mind go where it wills when we are waiting. We ride dud emotions and little lies and let them take us where they will. No wonder we feel tired as we have to work our way back; We fight the tides of opposition to get back to a place of faith and trust in God.
Yet, when we stay near to God, keep our eyes on Him and remember that He has the perfect wave of faithfulness coming our way — we stay at peace. We feel renewed. We often see God’s mini-encouragement show up through His Word or people along the way. We stay afloat with God. There, we can enjoy His creation around us and all He is doing.
Here, we rest. We rest and see His nature. We rest and wonder at what He is about to do. We rest and remember how good He has always been to us. We rest and wonder what that beautiful wave of His might look like when it comes…
All these things renew strength. And then, at just the right moment — He breaks through and, boy, were we glad that we didn’t follow every little emotion and instinct that came on us along the way…
God is Provider. He shows up just on time. He provided His Son, at just the right moment, to literally save our souls. He knows what He is doing. He has a pulse on every detail that we need. He knows everything He is working together. He has us in the palm of His hand.
“Behold, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands; your walls are continually before me.” (Is. 49:16)
God has us so much so — that we are engraved in the palm of His hand. We are ever-before our Maker. He thinks of us. He has a mind — to mind us.
He also has a plan to provide.
If you’ve lost hope around God providing a way, a means, a hope, finances, or a great rescue for a need, allow Him to renew your hope…
28 Verses Showing: God Provides
And my God will supply every need of yours according to his riches in glory in Christ Jesus. (Phil. 4:19)
And without faith it is impossible to please him, for whoever would draw near to God must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who seek him. (Heb. 11:6)
I am the LORD your God, who brought you up out of the land of Egypt. Open your mouth wide, and I will fill it. (Psalms 81:10)
For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor. No good thing does he withhold from those who walk uprightly. (Ps. 84:11)
But seek first the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be added to you. (Mt. 6:33)
The Lord does not let the righteous go hungry, but he thwarts the craving of the wicked. (Prov. 10:3)
He who did not spare his own Son but gave him up for us all, how will he not also with him graciously give us all things? (Ro. 8:32)
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! (Eph. 3:20)
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer, my God, my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold. (Ps. 18:2)
Abraham said, “God will provide for himself the lamb for a burnt offering, my son.” So they went both of them together. (Gen. 22:8)
But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me. (2 Cor. 12:9)
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. (Jer. 29:11)
Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything. (Gen. 9:3)
The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing. (Ps. 34:10)
And whatever you ask in prayer, you will receive, if you have faith.” (Mt. 21:22)
You did not choose me, but I chose you and appointed you that you should go and bear fruit and that your fruit should abide, so that whatever you ask the Father in my name, he may give it to you. (Jo. 15:6)
Bring the full tithe into the storehouse, that there may be food in my house. And thereby put me to the test, says the Lord of hosts, if I will not open the windows of heaven for you and pour down for you a blessing until there is no more need. (Mal. 3:10)
Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink, nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food, and the body more than clothing? Look at the birds of the air: they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns, and yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? And which of you by being anxious can add a single hour to his span of life? And why are you anxious about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin, yet I tell you, even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. … (Mt. 6:25-34)
Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and the one who seeks finds, and to the one who knocks it will be opened. (Mt. 7:7-8)
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. (Eph. 3:16-17)
Whatever you ask in my name, this I will do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son. If you ask me anything in my name, I will do it. (Jo. 14:13-14)
If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you. (John 15:7)
And whatever we ask we receive from him, because we keep his commandments and do what pleases him. (1 John 3:22)
But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (Jo. 14:26)
But according to his promise we are waiting for new heavens and a new earth in which righteousness dwells. (2 Pet. 3:13)
The eyes of all look to you, and you give them their food in due season. You open your hand; you satisfy the desire of every living thing. (Ps. 145:15-16)
And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that having all sufficiency in all things at all times, you may abound in every good work. (2 Cor. 9:8)
For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things. (Psalm 107:9)
Do you feel tired? Weary from world happenings? God knows.
Do you feel lonely? Perhaps, many around you — don’t fully understand you. God understands.
There are seasons where God sets us apart to figure things out: us and God. It can feel odd.
I feel this right now. The Lord has positioned me in such a place where there is risk…where I need to pray…where I have to trust Him for big things…where He is working on me…where I have to look at our relationship afresh..where I am not sure what the future holds…where I’ve been going, going, going. Yes, it feels odd, annoying even. I am set apart from what is normal for me.
The feelings could overwhelm me — if I am not careful.
Yet, I know this: a wise person never allows feelings to force them to give up. They see them for what they are — like little waves — that are passing emotions. And, they come to understand the reason they are set apart — is to be with God.
Did you know that the biblical word “holy” (Hebrew: Qodesh) means set apart? Whether we are John, Jesus, or David, there’s a God set-up for God’s setting us apart. This setting apart was always a part of God’s plan to use them in mighty ways.
John paved the way for Jesus. Jesus paved the way for sinners. We are set apart to pave the way for God’s great moves in our hearts, as we let Him do what He wants to do even through discomfort. We are set apart — so we can meet with Him.
We are set apart so that His leadings, love, and lessons can teach us to not only survive but to thrive, no matter what we face. It is here we learn to rise above other’s opinions, the world’s estimations, and natural limitations. Here, we learn to completely rely on God.
So, don’t let a feeling throw you. This too shall pass. But, God’s love endures forever. And, perhaps, He is setting you apart because He loves your time together. And so that you can know that He has a very, very good plan for your life… And so you know Him as your truest King, above finances, health or relationships.
“He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak. Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.” (Is. 40:29-31)
Sometimes, I say to my kids, “To delay is to disobey.”
For instance, I may instruct them, “Move away from the cake so you don’t end up eating it!”
If they delay and linger by it…eventually, they’ll put their finger smack dab in the center of it and lick the sugary icing off their finger. The temptation will be too great.
So often, to delay is to disobey. It leaves room to ask, “Did God really say…? Maybe it is okay if I…” (See: Gen. 3:1). It opens the door to justification and rationalization.
Recently, God showed up in a big way in my life. It was an awe-inspiring breakthrough. I got clarity to a decisive next-step from God. On day 1, I was all in. But, day 14? I started to wonder, “Was that really you, God? Did you really say that? I am not sure it can work that way because ___, and ___and ___.” I got an Eve-complex.
Questions — and all the reasons why it “couldn’t work” — were zapping my faith.
The delay was causing disobey to rise up in me. I began to sway.
It won’t be good because… What I have here is really good… It can’t possibly work out…
Rather than looking ahead to where God was taking me, I looked back at my circumstances.
Another woman did this. Her name was “Lot’s wife.”
And, God was not pleased with her behavior: “But Lot’s wife looked back as she was following behind him, and she turned into a pillar of salt.” (Gen. 19:26)
She looked back at sin, at Sodom and Gomorrah. Today, I repent of looking back, delaying, and rationalizing my own way. I can’t move ahead when looking back. Nor can I go with God, when I’m going against Him. Forgive me, God!
And, He does, forgive me.
What about you? Where have you strayed? Looked back? Delayed? Where does it feel that you are working against God, rather than with Him?
You know, things of God won’t always make sense. They won’t always seem easy. They won’t always come together as we expected. But, this doesn’t mean God isn’t working in our life. When we trust Him, even though, He helps us. When we keep our eyes on Him, despite what we think, He leads us. When we remember our best work has nothing to do with us, He equips us.
God has your best path and all you need — you already have — through knowing Him.
“His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness.” (2 Pet. 1:3)
Be encouraged, even if your way doesn’t make any sense.
We tend to either think, “I am so bad”, or “God is so good”.
It can be easy to go down the “I am so bad” track. I am sinful. I make mistakes. I am not perfect. I don’t have great relationships. I am not ___ enough. I ____ (fill in your own despicable blank). We’ve all thought this way one time or another. Here, we allow the crushing weight of how things seem, overpower the great price Jesus paid for us. We get focused on us when it is all about — HIM!
When this happens, we don’t have to stay here. We can consciously break through the static of mind and thoughts — and return back to “God is so good” land — by remembering two words: But God.
But God is greater than my emotions. But God still loves me. But God sent Jesus and this changes everything.
“But God showed His great love for (me) by sending Christ to die (for me and to save me) while (I) was still a sinner.” (Ro. 5:8)
But God, despite all of my flaws, still wants me.
But God, eternally and faithfully says, “She’s still mine…”
But God shows us He still wants us.
Nothing. No power, no scheme, no circumstance, no condition, no angel, no demon, no height, no depth, no worry, no fear, nothing — can separate us from Christ’s love. (see Ro. 8:38) Nothing.
God is faithful to love me, always. To keep me, eternally. To help me, continually. To want me, entirely.
I am not disowned, dismissed, dejected or denied.
I am His. He is mine.
You are His, child of God. He is yours.
Forever. Completely. Entirely.
Wanted. Loved. Cherished. Chosen.
These words are not just words; they are absolute ownable truth for sons and daughters of the Highest Ruling King. King Jesus.
This changes everything. To know God more than a hypothesis, beyond theology, deeper than words…allows the very heartbeat of Christ to resound within you. It beats like unconditional, incredible love that never ends. It brings both security and significance that cannot be altered by men or circumstances. Because you own it, it can’t be sold away, taken or stolen.
And, if you don’t yet know Jesus? He wants to love you like this… Give Him your heart today. Tell him, “God, I want to know your love. The truth is: I sin. I mess up. I haven’t always done the best things. But, today, I ask for your forgiveness for all these things. Thank you that you freely forgive because Jesus freely gave His life on the cross, for me. With this, I am now free to receive all of your love. With this, I accept Jesus into my heart as my Lord, My Savior, My King, and The Lover of My Soul. I want you, above all! I surrender all of me, to all of you, so I can receive your best for my life and so I can live-out your most incredible plans. Thank you that your saving-grace now allows me to know your unconditional and unwavering love, forever…”
Friend? If you prayed this…please comment on this post and let me know. All of heaven and all of us — celebrate with all of you. May the rich and lavish love of Christ so flood your heart that nothing is ever left the same!
I love you all.
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Today, I completely missed my turn. I took a new route to the supermarket and, because I thought the entrance would look the same as before, I drove right past it. I knew the store would be on the left. However, because I came from a different direction, it was on the right.
Because I expected an old thing, I missed the new. Likewise, many of us — looking for an old thing — miss God’s new. We expect people to hurt us like yesterday, so we stay in our house, away from relationship and, yet again — we are hurt. We expect our finances to never change, so we don’t bother changing anything and live continually strapped. We expect our kids to never change so we dismiss them because they’ve hurt us and God’s love doesn’t reach them.
We go our way, yet God has — His way. One we may not even be able to perceive.
Today, what if we were to open our eyes up to perceive that God may have for us — a new way?
“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Is. 43:19)
Be it yesterday or today, Isaiah or Romans, Moses or Paul, God continually does new things. He breaks through. He restores. He transforms. He offers new life. New opportunities. Healing. Help.
The question is not — “Is God Healer, Helper, and Restorer?” The question is — “Do we believe Him to be these things?”
Where might God want you to perceive His new? If you have been banging your head in one particular area, this is a sign that God may be calling you to do things a new way. If you feel constantly stuck, look out for His new way. If you feel like there must be more, expect Him to show you something new.
All His ways are good.
God, help me to perceive your leading and direction. I don’t want to be so stuck in an old thing that I can’t walk into your new thing for me. I thank you that transition and change are part of your heart. I thank you that as I wait on you that you will renew my strength. Today, I choose to trust your leading and guidance. I trust you to provide and to help me. I ask that all I do, think and say might bring glory to you. Help me to trust and love you even more. Thank you that I can do this by laying down my ways and by trusting yours. In Jesus’ mighty name I pray. Amen
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I want to encourage you. With God, there’s always a way.
You may be saying, I don’t know how… Or, I don’t have enough… Or, it doesn’t look like it is possible.
God is not beholden to the natural; He is the Orchestrator of the supernatural.
Mary probably thought, there is no way that I can carry “the son of the Most High” (Lu. 1:32). It must have seemed preposterous when an angel said she would. But, with God, she did — it happened — she birthed the Son of God.
David must have figured he’d end up managing sheep all his life. King? I wonder if he thought that impossible. Sure enough, Samuel, the prophet, passed by His strong, and probably good-looking, brothers and picked David. And the Lord said to Samuel, “Rise and anoint him; this is the one.” (1 Sam. 16:12)
The Lord promoted David, independent of looks.
It wasn’t until more than a decade later that David became King. Sure, he could have thought, forget this, God has forgotten me. But, God never forgot. He doesn’t forget you, either.
God is outside of time, yet always on time.
God showed up and David became King.
Don’t lose hope. God is always on time. He is independent of your perfection, your bank account, or your perfect actions. God is always faithful. And, right on time.
I think I need a specific thing. I’ve set it up in my mind as a “must have”. I think: If I get that I will be all good. Then, I can ____.
It’s as if my plan will complete me, but it’s depleting me. I think ahead, verses staying next to God’s plan. I get concerned with what will happen if my hope doesn’t happen and it steals hope. I define what God will do rather than trusting His timing and His plan.
I am looking at a “what” instead of my Who.
“And (a rich young man) came to (Jesus) and said, “Teacher, what [essentially] good thing shall I do to obtain eternal life [that is, eternal salvation in the Messiah’s kingdom]?” Jesus answered, “Why are you asking Me about what is [essentially] good? There is only One who is [essentially] good… (Mt. 19:16-17 AMP)
The rich man here was focused on what he should do… Likewise, I look at what I don’t have or what I think I should have, when there is only One who is good: Jesus.
The second I place my eyes on a “what” instead of Jesus is the second I create an idol. There is only One who is good. But, when I return to expecting God to show up, instead of expecting a thing to pull through for me, my soul gets rightly aligned.
What “what” are you depending on or expecting to change your life? How have you made it the answer, believing it will quell your emotions or transform your life?
To become complete in Christ, we must set down what competes with Him. This begins, I believe, with laying down our own expectations for how things will happen so we can, once again, hope in His BEST plan.
God does things God’s way. On God’s time. In God’s manner. It may not look how we like, but it just may reach 1,000 instead of 1. Or, heal the neighbors family plus our own. Or, bring our wayward kids back as we become healthy again. Or, give us a whole new perspective on God’s real providence.
Who God is — far transcends — what we think is best. This mindset is a return to peace and true trust in God. At least this is what I am learning…