Purposeful Faith

Category - Contentment

Finding true contentment

Caution: How Not to be of The World (Part I)

How to not be of the world

We have a choice to make.  Do we believe the World or do we believe the Lord?  We have to live in this world, but we are smart to discover how not to be of the world.

Because the fact of the matter is that you can’t serve both.
You will either serve God or you will serve the world.

“No one can serve two masters. Either you will hate the one and love the other, or you will be devoted to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve both God and money.  (Matthew 6:24)

The world tries to tell us that we need to be rich, powerful, successful, beautiful, funny, outgoing and (fill in the blank).

But, as Christians, the World is not our maker  – and it is certainly not our master.

Yet, sometimes we act like it is.  It tells us what we need to believe, how we should act and what we should say.  And we follow in step. Its words can become louder than the Word of God – especially if we aren’t taking time to hear the Word of God.

The world’s magnetic pull draws us close and we tend to get consumed us with its standards rather than getting consumed with the one who holds all life, all love and all power.

The truth is, we can’t focus on two destinations.  It’s impossible.   You can’t drive to two places at once.  And that is exactly what we are attempting to do.  We say we are driving towards Christ, yet that enticing off ramp pulls us off our course.

We continually get distracted when we take our eyes off the road leading to Christ.

We follow signs that direct us to pleasure and enjoyment – and we get sidetracked.  We see the stop sign that offers a perfect moment to look at our needs in the mirror – and our voyage is halted.  We see a billboard that advertises a perfect face of beauty, riches and power – and we get thinking.  Then, we get lost.

Let’s not set ourselves on a crash course.  In order to do this, we must think about what we are thinking about – and we must think about what we shouldn’t be thinking about.   Likewise, we have to look at what we are believing – and not believing. Because, we either have our eyes set on Christ or we are swerving down the roads of the world, ready to head straight into a ditch.

God calls us to focus.  To keep our eyes on Christ.
To avoid looking at what everyone else is doing, being, and saying – and to instead see Him.

Keep your eyes on Jesus, who both began and finished this race we’re in. Study how he did it. Because he never lost sight of where he was headed – that exhilarating finish in and with God (Hebrews 12:2 The Message)

When our eyes are on Christ, they are not on the world.
And, when our eyes are on the world, they are not on Christ.

Lets fix our eyes on the One who provides all direction, all hope and all purpose by keeping focused eyes.

  • Focused eyes understand He is the One who provides all good things.
  • Focused eyes, let the world become blurry.
  • Focused eyes allow God to magnify the right ministry opportunities.
  • Focused eyes spend time connecting with God on the daily basis.
  • Focused eyes see those that need love.
  • Focused eyes are focused on the needs of others before themselves.
  • Focused eyes are not just focused on TV.
  • Focused eyes understand that God has big plans for them.
  • Focused eyes know that God is greater than any circumstance.
  • Focused eyes know that God has not forgotten them.
  • Focused eyes know that God is alive, well and aware of all things.
  • Focused eyes know God will rescue and restore.

Focused eyes do not veer off the road.  They steer clear of potholes.  They avoid dark areas.

The result is a life that is full of Christ, abundant in love, strong in purpose, weak in pride, engaging in relationships, authentic in grace and powerful in faith.  We all want this.

When we meet Jesus, we want him to turn to us and say, “‘Well done, good and faithful servant. You have been faithful over a little; I will set you over much. Enter into the joy of your master.” (Matthew 25:21)

When our eyes are focused, we won’t miss out on what God has for us.  The opposite happens – we see ourselves and our lives with amazing clarity.  We receive the goodness, the peace and the love that God has in store for us as believers because we are not sidetracked.  We need not fear because the Lord will keep us safe.

how to not be of the world

Stay tuned for Part II where we will discover who we are in light of our God.

Why Can’t I Be Better?

Have you ever had that pull on your heart?  That ache that tells you that something is not quite right?  The persistent call that tells you that you have messed up yet again? The one that makes you ask, “Why can’t I be better?”

It’s a feeling of shame, mixed with regret, all combined with a ton of guilt.

I hate these feelings sometimes.  Even worse, I hate how I feel when I am not sure what I should do.  I hate not knowing if I will ever “be better”, “do better” and “love better”.  I hate feeling like I will never get it quite right.  I hate feeling afraid to take the risk to go “there”.

Sin weighs me down. It crushes a spirit.  It burdens a heart.  It stifles a purpose.

Sin comes and:

  • It laughs at us
  • It makes us afraid
  • It shames us
  • It makes us uncertain
  • It tells us, “why bother?”
  • It condemns us
  • It defines us
  • It confirms we can never change
  • It makes us self conscious
  • It covers us in chains
  • It discourages us
  • It attempts to hold us back from our purpose
  • It steals peace
  • It embarrasses us
  • It robs us of joy
  • It lies
  • It hurts
  • It lasts
  • It scars

It knocks on the doors of our lives attempting to lure us.  It stands ready to rob us.  And after it does, it leaves us injured, broken and lying on the floor unsure what to do next.

But it is in this place of vulnerable pain where our hurts drive us to admission.  It is in this place where we have to take a risk.  Where we have to step out of our comfort zone.

And, it is in this exact place where God is best seen.  This is where we see him from an authentic, open and receptive heart.  And, when we come to God, he heals and binds up our pain better than we could have ever imagined.

When we confess, and move towards God through changed actions, he comes to us – and we come to him.

And he says:

  • I forgive you
  • I love you
  • I will embrace you
  • You are my workmanship
  • Your actions don’t disqualify my plans
  • Your sin doesn’t mean you can’t win
  • Your ways don’t supersede my ways
  • I am more successful than your failures
  • My grace extends further than your guilt
  • I live inside of you.  I can’t give up on myself.
  • You are more than a conqueror because of Christ Jesus.
  • You are my work-in-progress

Do you believe me?  

If so, let it go.  As far as the east is from the west.  Let. It. Go.

Watch me work.

I can change you.

I am perfecting the beauty that is “me” within you.

Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

…as far as the east is from the west, so far has he removed our transgressions from us. (Psalm 103:12)

 

 

 

The Best Tip to Get Through An Argument

The Best tip to get through an argument
There is one tip – one tip – that is the best tip to get through an argument and you are about to learn it. We have all been in an argument. Those ugly, annoying, life-taxing disagreements that leave us feeling horrible. They hurt. They frustrate.  We feel slighted, annoyed and aggravated. We just can’t seem to get over how and why a person would treat us the way that they did.
We Ask:

  • Why would they intentionally hurt us?
  • Why would they be so mean?
  • Why would they go and say THOSE things?

That is how I felt. I felt that the words spoken to me were beyond what someone should say. I felt like they were thrown out to make me feel guilty.   They were words sent on a mission to wound.

They were words intended to cut deep and to leave scars.

Often, in these situations, we can feel like exploding – or simply shutting down all together.   Either way, we go into protection mode.

Personally, I felt like unloading.I felt like letting all my crazy words shoot out of my mouth in continuous succession, not caring where they hit.  I felt like tearing the person down because I felt so torn down myself.  I was ready to shoot to win.
But, as I got ready to open my mouth to start firing a barrage of insults, I felt the Holy Spirit tug on my hard heart.  The tug gently reminded me that Christ did not fight back.  That Christ restrained his words when we was on trial, when he was on the cross and when breathed his last breath.  He did this despite all that we did – and continue to do – to him. I silenced myself.  God, what do you want me to do?Sometimes, silence in the midst of pain provides the perfect environment to hear clear answers from God.When everything in my body was saying, give them what they deserve, God said, give them what they don’t.

Bless those who curse you. Pray for those who hurt you. If someone slaps you on one cheek, offer the other cheek also. If someone demands your coat, offer your shirt also. Give to anyone who asks; and when things are taken away from you, don’t try to get them back.  Luke 6:28-30

But, it’s hard. It’s so hard, especially when we feel hurt.   To love the one who caused us pain goes against everything in our sinful nature.

How do we love someone when we are still bleeding from our wounds?

We go to the Father first.  We let him bind up our bleeding aching wounds.  We express our inflictions to him and we trust Him to guide us.  We leave our weapons on the floor.  We faithfully obey God’s Word.   We speak truth from the place of love.

We give all we have to hold God’s hand through our pain, when it feels like our pain will never wane.

The other person is not the one with the power to repair us, God is the master healer.  The other person does not have the power to fix our problems, but God is master fixer.  The other person does not have the power to rule over our feelings, God rules on high.

Heal me, LORD, and I will be healed; save me and I will be saved, for you are the one I praise. (Jeremiah 17:4 NIV)

God is our protector, provider and lover of our soul.  He will repair the damaged hearts we have.

Best Tip to Get Through Arguments

Let’s pour out our pain, our hurts and our trials to God. He can take it.  He has carried the world on his shoulders, he can certainly handle our issues. He will repair our scars, bind up our wounds and give us a fresh step in him.

Christ didn’t love wounded, he loved from the power of God.  He didn’t love embarrassed, he loved from the strength of God’s power.  He didn’t live ashamed, he lived knowing his eternal purpose.

We are not defined by our arguments, labels and guilt, but we are defined by the power of God at work in us.  When we are ruled by this power, we can act differently.  We can act according to the power of God.

We can win the war of arguments.  We win when we stay near to Christ.  We win when his love pours through us despite our feelings.  We win when we keep ourselves upright. God is the best tip to get us through an argument.

Despite what another person does, God will be faithful to bind up wounds and to take care of us.

How to Run Hard for the Lord

How to run hard for the Lord

God doesn’t answer based on what we want, he answers based on what we need.

We may think we need peace and he says no, you need trials. We may think we need joy – he says perseverance.  We may think blessings – he says endurance.  We may think money – he says contentment.  We may think appreciation – he says love.

I was on the hunt for “encouragement”…

After my “big rejection”, an amazing friend who is wise beyond her years, strong in the Lord and faithful to his call, sent me this verse:

“Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a huge crowd of witnesses to the life of faith, let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up. And let us run with endurance the race God has set before us.”  Hebrews 12:1

I think she wanted to encourage me in my race, to help me with endurance, but what God revealed was something far deeper and even more convicting.  Let me explain…

I love a good race.  I love competing and I love pushing through my personal barriers physically and mentally. I get the idea of running a race for the Lord.  Why?

I feel ready to give it all. I feel ready to explode off the starting line and to push no matter what my body feels.  I want to arrive at the gate of heaven and fall in front of my King with a fast beating heart, with sweat on my brow. I want to fall before him out of breath, knowing I gave it all.  I don’t want to have an ounce of push left.

I want this so badly.  But still, I get caught looking at the sidelines. I look at the crowds of people telling me to follow them, I look at my own inadequacies and I pump my arms with pride.

God knows this.  He sees this. And, as any fine coach would do – to make me the best runner for his kingdom – he trains me. He pushes me.  He sends me through hard training days; days with some pain – some trials. These trials serve to mold me into a champion runner for his kingdom.  They strip me of my own ways and the world’s ways – to make me more like him, the ultimate champion.

Even so, sometimes I wonder, despite all this, why I still slow down?

And, this was why Hebrews 12:1 was so powerful.  It was this part…“Let us strip off every weight that slows us down, especially the sin that so easily trips us up.”  

God bugged me with this verse to see that: I can’t run loaded with weight.  I have a part in this race.

Sin weight slows me down.  It trips me up.  It keeps me from Him.

And, when sin is strapped on, its burden is heavy.  It’s consuming. It stops us in our tracks. It distracts us and trips us up.  We can try to pretend it is not there, but that doesn’t mean it isn’t.  

God is faithful to keep bugging us to address it.  When we do, we grow.  If we don’t, we fall.

I may have been trying to run a “victory”, but sometimes a “failure or a disappointment” ends up being the greatest “victory”. Why? Because as we fail, we can see our own faults and we hear him whispering, “Confess.”

I didn’t want trials.  I didn’t want pain.  I didn’t want rejection.  I didn’t want humiliation.

God said, “It’s not about you. Confess.”

I confess Lord, I have sinned.  I want all of you.  I can’t mentally pursue the race you have set before me when my mind is weighed down by my own desires and my own sin.

It is easy to want joy, peace, contentment and blessings.  It is easy to want encouragement and motivation, but God is operating from the throne of all knowledge, all power and all sovereignty.  In his seat, he sees yesterday, today and tomorrow.  He knows precisely what we need to finish our race. He knows precisely what will hold us back from finishing.

He wants us to be champions. He wants us to run with speed and power and strength.
He wants us to finish strong and joyful. 

We are more than just conquerors in Christ Jesus.

What baggage holds you back?  What do you need to confess?  What trials might God be using to train you?

When we confess, God has a greater gift in store.  The gift of speed and endurance that helps us run our race unencumbered.  

See Your Beauty – To Overcome Failure (Part II)

See Your beauty

What is the one thing you can do to overcome feelings of failure,
as we discussed in Part 1, How to Overcome Your Weaknesses?

Here it is:

 SEE YOUR BEAUTY.  You are absolutely beautiful to God, just as you are.

You are altogether beautiful, my darling; there is no flaw in you. (Song of Songs 4:7)

God loves you.  Choose today to believe in the depths of your heart that God does not look at you and see a list of flaws, of shortcomings and of failures. He sees beauty. He sees a treasure that he loves.  One that he created.  He sees a child of God, his own child.  

For you are a people holy to the LORD your God. The LORD your God has chosen you out of all the peoples on the face of the earth to be his people, his treasured possession. Deut. 7:6

God doesn’t look and define you by your shortcomings, failures and your lack of _____.

Instead, you are defined by greatness – His greatness. He chose you, my friend.  You belong to God – not because of anything you did – and certainly not because of your goodness. But, because of your beauty – in Him.

When we believe that God accepts us because of him, the spotlight can come off of us.  When we believe that he loves us because of his love, we can stop harping on failures. When we believe that he is greater than us, we can finally stop feeling so weak.

God’s love surpasses our limitations.  There is no moderation.  What he gives,  surpasses expectations.

We expect to be pushed away for our failures, but God draws us near.  We expect to be cast aside for our weaknesses, but God makes us strong.  We expect to be ridiculed for our flaws, but God comforts us.

He knows we fall short.  This is the point. This is why we need Christ. This is why we need grace and forgiveness.  We need his saving work to be righteous – in Him.  His grace.  His love.

The real beauty is that it is all about Him.   We are beautiful because of Christ.  He makes us beautiful.

But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God. (John 1:12). 

God looks at you, his child, and says:

“You are beautiful.”  

“I want to lavish love upon you.”  

“I know you sin, but, as you confess, I extend you my grace.”

“Be guilty no more, I have come to your rescue.”  

“Let go and trust me to refine you.”  

“Do not fear yourself. Let my perfect love cast out fear.”

“I love you as I have created you, you are my work in progress. I know what I am doing. You are beautiful.”

Do you get frustrated at your failings?  Do you feel less than sometimes? Do you feel unloved? God sees you and he sees beauty.  It is time you see your beauty too – not because of you, but because of Him.

How To Overcome Your Weaknesses – Part 1

How to Overcome Weaknesses

Have you ever wondered what is wrong with you? Why you can’t do things right? Why you are the way you are? Hold tight, you are about to find out how to overcome your weaknesses in this two part series.  There is one simple tip that will change your life!

We all have them.  Try as we may to sweep them under the carpet, our flaws, our shortcomings and our failures still exist.  In fact, often stand out bright as day.

Or, at least this is how I felt – when what started as a simple task turned into a colossal failure.

I was working on what was supposed to be the most delicious, mouth-watering seafood salad ever made.  I bought fresh lobster. I cut up some farm fresh vegetables. I even sautéed some scallops to go in it. But, somehow I made the dressing all wrong –  lemon, tons of lemon – was all we tasted.  I didn’t want to admit it – it tasted straight up nasty!

It’s funny how something so small, and so meaningless in the grand scheme of life can make us feel so less than.  What begins as a small mistake develops into a persistent ache.  It lingers. It annoys.  It hurts.  And it whispers the lie that we will always mess up – that we are full of mistakes.

It’s not only small mistakes that hold power, but relationships, circumstances and words of decades past that rule over us.

Relationships highlight our deficiencies, asking, “How did you screw up again? Why did you say ‘that’? Imagine what they think of you now? They don’t want to be around you.”

Circumstances knock us down, telling us, “You can’t conquer me.  You always react in this way.  You will never change.”

Ancient words call down from the attic saying, “You were always this way. You are not beautiful, smart or worthy. You can’t change.”

These words can turn into self-fulfilling prophecies. We fail because we have failed. We are abandoned because we fear abandonment.  We act in fear, and fear brings about our worst fears.

How do we change? How do we prevent these words from taking residence in our hearts, ruling our minds and directing our actions?

“…For the mouth speaks what the heart is full of.” (Matthew 12:34)

We look at the heart. Because when we change the beliefs of our heart, our thoughts will follow step. And, if our thoughts are in line with truth, our actions will be based on love.

Keep vigilant watch over your heart; that’s where life starts. (Proverbs 4:23)

There is a lot of heart work to be done and many “heart” beliefs to reform (see this post for more on the heart).  But, what you are about to learn is one of the most life changing beliefs when truly embraced.

Tune in on Thursday for Part II – where you will  find the one thing you can do to overcome your failures.

When you believe this truth – your life, your mind and your actions will never be the same. I am so excited to share it with you!

Remember, you are being transformed into his image – you are a conqueror.  Your failures and your weaknesses do not have to hold the power to reign over you.

Now, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. (Romans 8:37)

See you on Thursday to learn the tip that has been so helpful to me.  Find out how to overcome your weaknesses!

How to Get Through A Bad Day

How to Get through a bad day

It was one of those days. I wasn’t sure how to get through a bad day – that was this bad.

“I don’t want to leave the house.  I don’t want to put my shoes on.  I can’t get dressed.  I don’t want to get in the car. I can’t buckle myself in.  I don’t want music.  I do want music. Mommy, I am hungry.  I am not hungry. I am thirsty.  I am not thirsty.”    

We make it to the car – a small victory!

“Mommy, don’t sing. I don’t like music. I want my window down. I don’t want the wind to hit me.”

Finally, our car pulls into our destination – a huge victory!

Goliath may have been strong and mighty, but all I know is that I felt like David as I walked onto that soccer field. I defeated my giant.  I arrived.  I did it!

A sense of relief washes over me.  I was ready for my time of solace.  My time to sit down and cheer on my adorable boy from afar.  I can be still.  I can sip a drink. I can think. I can recuperate.  I can “be”.I give him a little push in the direction of the field, and say, “Have fun, Mommy can’t wait to cheer you on.”If only the story ended here.  Because if it did, I could wrap it up with a bow and say, “persevere my sister, all will get better – just obey, be loving and trust God.”
Find out  how I survived they day that almost knocked me down and how God encouraged my weary soul!  
God is faithful to reveal to us how to get through a bad day!

How to See God’s Glory

How to See Gods Glory

Your pain, your emotions and your story are not for naught. Behind these circumstances God has glory waiting to be unveiled.  He has power waiting to be revealed.  He has encouragement awaiting your soul.  He stands ready to show you how to see God’s glory – hidden in your present day circumstances.

So take hope.  For in the moment is pain, but joy comes in the morning.  (Ps. 30:5)

The story of the blind man paints an incredible picture for us.  He was actually born both blind AND poor.  We can only imagine his struggles, his loneliness, his embarrassment and his feelings of hopelessness.

We may ask, “how could this happen to him?  Blind and Poor?  What hope did he have for work? How demotivated must he have felt?”

Yet, with Christ, all things are possible for those who believe (Mark 9:23).

Jesus often rescued others to reveal his glory – and to better the story.

So, he “spit on the ground, made some mud with the saliva, and put it on the man’s eyes.” (John 9:6 ESV)

After the blind man applied the mud, Jesus told him to wash his eyes.  He did.  And – the blind man could see!  Imagine his joy when his blurry eyes gave way to the glory held within the eyes of Christ.

When we look at this story, we see Jesus was faithful to heal.  But the blind man played an important role too. He had to take a moment, to step out of his suffering, to step out of the place of despair and to get up and walk to the water.  He had to obey, when perhaps all he felt like doing was sitting and laughing at the thought of putting mud on his eyes. When all he felt like saying was, “nothing has ever worked for me before”.

But, he got up.  He listened.  He believed and he obeyed.  He took a step towards healing.  And, what probably was the biggest prayer of his lifetime – was answered.

God takes pain and exchanges it for glory and power.  He comes into our moments of despair and of hopelessness and offers us a new step – when we believe.

When asked earlier why this man was blind, Jesus said it was “…so that the works of God might be displayed in him.” (John 9:3 NIV)

It kind of reminds me of the words Jesus spoke Martha at Lazarus’ tomb, “Did I not tell you that if you believed you would see the glory of God?” (John 11:40)

When we believe, we perceive the glory of the Lord.

The beauty that God reveals to us often extends beyond our own eyes.  It surpasses our benefit.  It has some saving work to do.

Because God knows his glory is too amazing to contain.   He knows the glory in our story is too fantastic to jar up.  We have to share.  We have to talk.  Come and see what Jesus did – for me – as I believed!

We have seen glory, to shine glory. We shine glory, so that others may believe.

“…whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Cor. 10:31)  

God’s glory is BIG – and once revealed –  there is no stopping it.  Look at how far the Glory of God has shined in this story.  We still talk about the healed blind man today.  The story encourages us thousands of years later.

Because the blind man overcame, he couldn’t help but proclaim.  And the more he proclaimed, the more restored he became.  The more he shared the more he believed.  His faith is fanned.  He can’t contain the glory of the Lord.  It is too much to hold inside.

We can learn a valuable lesson from this blind and poor man who had been through so much. No matter our situation, no matter our pain, no matter our suffering – there is glory in our story.  Can you see it now? Perhaps not.  Will you see it some day?  Likely.

Trust God to work and faithfully wait.  But, make no mistake, he has hidden glory in your story.   He turns our messes into masterpieces – for his purposes.

We are the light bearers for Christ’s glory present day.

In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven. (Matthew 5:16)

Do you feel like you have no light today?  Take heart. He will work things out.  He will redeem his children. He loves us too much not too.  He has not forgotten you.  He cares for you.

Wait and see.  God has hidden his glory in your story. He shows you how to see God’s glory in your life.  While once you were blind, soon you will see.  And when you do – Go yell it on a mountain!  There are others waiting to learn how to see God’s glory.

 

3 Ways to Guard Your Heart

3 ways to guard your heart

I had no idea I was in for one huge scare – and a timely lesson on some key ways to guard your heart – as I walked over to my computer.

I planned to indulge in just a few seconds – of distraction, of indulgence, of entertainment.    But, these seconds ended up being seconds that cost me so much.

My eyes darted around the room for my 1-year-old daughter. She was nowhere to be found. I called her name. Nothing. I furiously looked around the room. Nowhere. My heart skipped a beat. Anxiety welled up in my chest. There are so many things that can happen in just seconds. My mind raced. The possibilities overwhelmed me.

Then I heard it—a thump, thump, thump. My worst nightmare was becoming a reality. Something was happening to my baby. She was falling. I sprinted to the most dangerous spot in the house—our stairs.  There I saw her – crying on the floor. My heart broke.

My distraction led to this infraction. My preoccupation created a situation. My online enjoyment led to her torment.

How often are you finding that what you seek online—pleasure, satisfaction, fun—leads you to a situation of tribulation? What we do in a matter of a few seconds may have long-lasting repercussions. What makes us feel good or accepted can make others feel the exact opposite: denied and rejected. 

As I hugged my crying baby girl, God spoke to the deepest recesses of my heart. It was time I turn away from the internet to think about how I am impacting others. It was time that I look at what my heart is seeking.

“Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it” (Proverbs 4:23).

“Put me on trial, LORD, and cross-examine me. Test my motives and my heart” (Psalm 26:2 NLT). 

Give me your heart and let your eyes

My heart needed testing, and God was faithful to show himself.

HE REVEALED 3 WAYS TO GUARD YOUR HEART:

1. Guard it from a distracted mind. I was distracted from the moments that he had given me to experience and enjoy. I loved to see my daughter’s new milestones, but I didn’t get to see her climb those stairs. I missed that moment.

When we immerse ourselves in a screen, we miss the in between. 

We miss what God has set before us. We miss his plan and his will. How can we be focused on what he wants when we are focused on what we want? We can’t. We miss out on him. And on our family and our future.

Instead, let’s be attracted to our King, instead of distracted with a screen.

2. Guard it from seeking excessive amusement. “Entertain me! Delight me! Consume me!” That is what I say so often to my screen. Give me a moment of joy in a world that leaves me feeling so empty. Give me a moment of pleasure in a world that hurts. Give me a laugh when I so often want to cry.

We are missing the point. God doesn’t want us to fill our emptiness with amusement. He wants us to fill our emptiness with him. Amusement comes and amusement goes, but God’s love remains forever.

When we are constantly filling our mind with “noise”, we miss what God wants to say in the “silence”.

“For the LORD is good and his love endures forever; his faithfulness continues through all generations.” (Psalm 100:5) 

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me.” (Psalm 101:3)

3. Guard it from seeking FAME over his name. Read my posts. Like me. Favorite me. Retweet me. See me. Accept me. Do you notice the theme? It is all about me.

 When the focus is on self, we often put God on a shelf.

“LORD, I have heard of your fame; I stand in awe of your deeds, O LORD. Renew them in our day, in our time make them known; in wrath remember mercy” (Habakkuk 3:2).

It is all about God’s fame. May we proclaim this fame. God’s – the glory, for his story—not ours.

Are you looking online to fill the desires of your heart? God has created you so that you need to rely only on him to fill your every need.

“For he satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things” (Psalm 107:9 NLT).

Do you believe this? If so, turn to him. Talk to him. Rely on him. Take joy in him. Distract yourself with him. Amuse yourself in him. Seek his fame.

 

When we are looking for his glory, he presents a beautiful story.  He will be faithful to give you seconds that will serve as priceless memories.

Hold his hand and take a moment – free of distractions – to look in his eyes; his beauty will astound you.

 

Bible Verses for Perfectionists: Finding Your True Worth

bible verses for perfectionists

I try to so hard to “do good”. I try so hard to keep everyone happy. I try so hard to keep things in order, to make others feel good, to do things the right way, to be all that I can be – and to be who others want to see.

I try and I try and I try.  But, I fail and I fail and I fail.  It can be tiring.  It leaves me worn, discouraged and wishing I could be better than – me.

Even worse, I notice that in my pursuit of perfection, I tend to hurt others. I don’t want to do this.  But, I do.

It is a common day, when simple words of feedback, turn into living giants of criticism. They come and tower over me with pointed fingers, telling me that I am not “good enough”, “talented enough” or “wise enough” to handle life.  They push me to strive harder and reinforce the idea that I am failing.

Why do we let these giants hold so much power?

When we seek to set our own worth, we fail.
Because only One defines worth.
Any worth found outside of Him is worthless.
God writes the definition of who we are – and why we are. 

I may seek worth in bills paid, things in order and a happy family, but God gives us his worth. We are worthy because we are his children, loved and fully accepted.

God has a greater glory is greater than our manufactured version.  His glory surpasses expectations. It exceeds our wildest dreams.  It is bigger than you or me.  But, we miss seeing it when our mind is focused on our perfect ways.

His glory unfolds in the midst of weakness.  In the place of imperfection.  In the land of mess. 

God is greater than our perfect.  He shows up in our faults.  He is present in our weaknesses.

This is where beauty is unveiled; and I want to see it.  Christ makes my imperfect – perfect.   Perfect in Him, as I trust Him.

I want this better way.  Let’s remind ourselves of God’s truth as we move towards him with authentic, open and receiving hearts.  He will be faithful to touch us in just the right way.

Bible Verses for Perfectionists:

1. “It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect” (Psalm 18:32)
His strength is power.

2. “Because by one sacrifice he has made perfect forever those who are being made holy” (Hebrews 10:14)
We are being made holy.  We are a work in process.

3. The Lord is on my side; I will not fear. What can man do to me? (Psalm 118:6)
He is greater than any barrier that stands in front of us.

4. Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger and abounding in steadfast love. (Psalm 103:8)
His mercy does not end for us because he loves us.

5. For by grace you have been saved through faith. And this is not your own doing; it is the gift of God… (Eph. 2:8)
Grace is always ours, even when we fail.

6. I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made. Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well. (Psalm 139:14)
He made us beautifully. We can believe this.

7.  For I, the Lord your God, hold your right hand; it is I who say to you, “Fear not, I am the one who helps you.” (Isaiah 41:13)
He holds us and loves us; his hand won’t let go of us – ever!

8. Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. (Matthew 11:29)
His ways are easy, when we truly are in them.

9.  For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23)
We are not perfect.  He is.

10. 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)
Let us be weak, because we can then be strong in Him.

God doesn’t view our weaknesses as obstacles to closeness with him;
he sees them as opportunities for growth as he loves us.