Have you ever randomly answered a question and wondered to yourself “Where did that come from”. Then, follow it with a slight chuckle at yourself? I have and I actually thought it was a joke until I began to see my “random” answer begin to unfold in my life.
The simple question I answered was; what do you see yourself doing in ten years? It felt like a joke because I’m an Army spouse so the most certain answer would be “moving”. But to my own surprise I wrote down, laughing under my breath, I’ll write a Bible Study. Then of course we had to share our answers with the group. A funny feeling came over me as I spoke this random answer; “I’ll write a Bible Study.” Little did I know at the time but speaking that out planted the seed to a dream I never thought could happen. See I’m not a writer! I’m not joking my English teachers would be nodding their heads vigorously right now if we could ask them.
The dream seed sat dormant in me for many years, completely hidden from my view. At the same time, the Lord was at work nourishing and watering the dream He had planted in my heart. Later it began to grow, blossom, and even bear fruit! It took ten years of cultivation but ten years later the Lord has brought forth the dream He planted with in me! In 2008 I jokingly answered the question and in 2018 I’ve written and am publishing a Bible Study~ “Royal Reflections- The Making of a Warrior Princess”. This Bible Study is a testament to never doubt the Lord because He uses the weak and foolish things of this world to show His wisdom and strength. (1 Corinthians 1:21 -31).
What dream do you have waiting to be spoken and cultivated in your heart that will bear fruit for the Kingdom of God?
What do you see yourself doing in ten years?
Write it down~
Share it with a friend today and be ready to see it blossom and grow!
The world we live in is desperate for us to see it’s point of view. When is the last time you sat back to think about your perspective and how it affects your daily life? How much do you think our perspective influences our life?
Our perspective shapes our life. We develop our view of life through our family, our beliefs, our life experiences, our education, our work, and our community. That is why there are so many options and opinions surrounding us in our daily life. It is a beautiful thing! God created each of us to experience and live life abundantly with freedom in Christ.
Our personal view is shaped by numerous factors. When we add and subtract these factors our lens of life will be altered and in some cases it will by changed completely. Consider this analogy. If we go to see a 3D movie without the proper glasses our view and experience will differ from those who have the proper 3D glasses.
Both will see the same movie but will have had a different experience based on which glasses they were viewing the movie through. Those who watched without the 3D glasses had a limited view and didn’t get to experience the power of the 3D movie experience. Can you see the power of perspective emerging?
A person’s perspective influences the freedom they experience in life. How does our view relate to freedom? Sometimes we develop limiting beliefs that will cloud our view and altar our perspective, which cause us to have a limited view like the people without the 3D glasses. We make decisions of what to do and not to do based on our perspective. Basically, our choices in life are all filtered through our perspective. That is powerful! I challenge all of us to take inventory of why we have the perspectives we have.
I shared earlier in Tuesday Tidbitposts that I am doing a group study on Stormie Omartian’s book “Prayer Warrior”. Recently, she challenged the group to consider our limiting beliefs about prayer and change our perspective in prayer. I want to share her insights and the response it lead me to for my life.
Here it is: “God wants to do miracles through us, but too oftenwe either don’t pray for them, or don’t believe they can happen, or when they do happen we have trouble believing it.” Those words by Omartian jumped off the page at me. I can relate to each of those “too often” statements. What about you?
I want to put my “don’ts” behind me and be looking for the “do believe” opportunities. I do believe God can do and does miracles. Yet I’m not initiating the prayer to release the power God intends to shower down through answered prayers. That is a limiting belief I need to bust right through. She points out that the enemy (the devil) wants to keep us from praying for miracles. He throws thoughts or darts of doubt and discouragement when prayers don’t seem to be answered and aims to detract and discredit miracles that do happen. The devil tried to discredit the miracle of Jesus raising Lazarus from the dead (John 12:10). Then he began his, long-standing discredit campaign, to discourage the belief in the miracle of Jesus being raised from the dead (Matthew 28:11-13).
Have we experienced a miracle that the enemy wants us to write off as a coincidence? Are we struggling to believe enough to pray for a miracle? God’s word tells us to ask for faith and He will give it to us (Matthew 7:7-8). Prayer doesn’t require us to be specific in how our prayer will be answered it just requires faith that God is powerful enough to answer our prayers in His way and in His timing. His way is far better than anything that we can ever dream of because He is the one who can create something out of nothing; “—the God who gives life to the dead and calls into being things that were not.” (Romans 4:17b)
God’s powerful perspective: that is what we need to ask for and embrace as our personal perspective. Then we will truly walk in the power and freedom of our life in Christ.
Call to Action:
Now I will ask you the question I asked my class a few weeks ago.
“What miracles is the Lord asking us to release to His power?”
In class we responded with a written prayer card that we each placed in our “Trust in the Lord” box. I told them I would mail them back to them as a reminder in the future. I can’t wait to hear God’s miraculous answer in their life!
I brought the box home and set in on a table in my living room thinking I would move it to my office later. Well it still remains there. Why, because I now pray many times a day as I pass by our
“Trust the Lord” box believing for the miracles He is going to do.
Let’s add your “miracle prayer” to the box. Just leave me a private comment below (just write private prayer and it will not post). Your comment can be a brief word to represent your miracle prayer or an actual prayer that I will print out and put in an envelope for you– your choice. You can even add your address if you want me to mail it back to you at a later date.
I would love the privilege of joining you in believing God for your miracle. He is the God of miracles!!! It’s springtime; we have His miracles unfolding right outside our door everyday.
Music is a source of peace and reflection for me. I have included links to two songs for encouragement as you believe and pray!
Engaged in prayer. Does that statement describe our prayer life? What do you think it looks like to be engaged in prayer? What does it mean for us to be engaged in prayer?
I was challenged with a new way of looking at prayer engagement in the current Bible Study I’m doing Prayer Warrior by Stormie Omartian.
According to Webster’s Dictionary the root word engage “is an offering of one’s life or aim as backing to a cause or aim.” It further adds the following additional descriptions: “to entangle or entrap; to attract and hold by influence or power; to interlock with; to bind oneself to do something; to hold attention; to enter into battle.” I took the time to share the definition because it adds insight to our quest for answers about being engaged in prayer.
Praying as a prayer warrior is to be engaged in prayer. It is a commitment followed by action. The sole purpose of one’s action is serving God which makes them an instrument of releasing His power for His will to be done. The prayers of a prayer warrior go beyond our personal experiences and ask the Lord what else would you have me pray for.
Of course prayer is a personal thing and most are very uncomfortable with their prayer ability. Too often we will not pray or stop praying because we judge our prayers based on what we see and feel. I love this point that Omartian made. She said, “God sees your heart that you are willing to pray. ” He is not judging your prayers. Be encouraged because we might never know the full extent of the good our prayers have done or will accomplish, but God does!
So the next time you pray remember these two important points prayer warrior:
1. Your God hears all your prayers.
2. Your God is answering all your prayers in His way an His timing.
Watch out when you are engaged in prayer your relationship with the Lord becomes more engaging!
2 Corinthians 4:7
“But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us.”
“Never be lacking in zeal , but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.”
As followers of Christ we best represent our Savior when our life is lived out with zeal and spiritual fervor as Paul shares here in Romans 12:11-12. He suggests zealous living is evident in those who serve the Lord. Our zeal shines through as evidence of our joyful hope, our patience in affliction, and our faithfulness in prayer.
Self reflection is always good. Let’s do a zeal heart check.
Heart Check Questions:
Are we serving the Lord?
Are we joyful in our hope in the Lord?
Are we patient in affliction?
Are we faithful in prayer?
Our heart check helps us to refocus and help us be more intentional about staying plugged into our power source for zeal and spiritual fervor.
Welcome if you are joining me for the first time. This post is part of my weekly series “Wisdom Wellspring”. Take a moment to visit the page to learn about the heart behind the series and view previous posts.
Proverbs 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”
Days run by like water flowing to the ocean- sometimes just a trickle and other times swiftly. Either way, they have an
effect on the lives and landscape they run by and through. God’s natural design for the waters is to pursue the vast oceans as their ultimate destination. Likewise, His natural design for mankind is to pursue Him as our eternal destination. (Ecclesiastes 3:11)
Would you describe your pursuit as a trickle or a swiftly running stream? The easy answer is “not quite swiftly but much more than a trickle.” But what does that look like? As I consider the question. My mind floods with even more questions— Am I pursuing Him at the rate He has designed for my life? Am I taking the path He has set out before me? Am I allowing His design to have the effect on me He intends? Am I allowing His design to have the effect on those He places in my life? Is it better to
move at a swift pace or trickle? My heart struggled to discover a truthful response- one absent of rationalization. I desired a cloudless view of any part of my pursuit that wasn’t authentically centered on Christ. Not excusing areas of my life that I refuse to sacrifice in my pursuit of God’s call to “be Holy as He is Holy.”(1Peter 1:14 – 16)
Our pursuit of God is not measured by pace but rather our heart as we pursue a life that “finds out what pleases the Lord!” (Ephesians 5:10) When we study the paths of water to the ocean, we discover it travels at many different speeds
and has subtle and drastic effects based on the path on which it has been set. Each journey looks different. Consider the contrast of a flowing mountain stream, a river valley, and a mighty river. In each season they have their purpose and shape the landscape as designed by the Creator.
Living our life in pursuit will look different for each of us. The key is to keep moving with God whether it is at a painfully slow or exhilaratingly fast pace. Continue the journey with an open heart to what pleases the Lord and be prepared for the effects.
As our lives are lived according to His eternal design it leaves us changed for His glory and those in our life’s path effected too. Take time to read the rest of Ephesians 5. Paul gives a few examples of “what pleases the Lord”. (Ephesians 5:10) I will leave you with this challenge.
Ephesians 5: 19b- 20 “Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ.”
I’d love to hear what song the Lord puts in your heart!
Can you relate to my “Sol experience”? It’s all about the art of dog walking. My preference is with my sweet Border Collie Kate. It is a tranquil time of reflecting through the wooded trail behind our home. Now it has become a “Sol experience”. What is a Sol experience you ask? Well it’s walking the family rescue dog ,Sol–a “Jack-a-be”, or Jack-Russell and Beagle combo. The first time my husband and I walked her we were mortified. We had just become “those dog owners”.
You know them. You’ve seen them, and when you see them, you wonder, “Who is walking whom?” “Those dog owners” have no control over their dog. You consider turning around to avoid them altogether. It’s comical and scary at the same to time as they approach. Their dog is lunging forward with every step at the end of the leash no matter how long or short it is, huffing and puffing, straining to get to the next thing, zigzagging across the path, whimpering excessively, and barking. If you have experienced it then you can relate to my “Sol experience”.
Sol does it all, but everything becomes excessively exaggerated when we walk near another dog, she spots a squirrel, or notices a bird. The looks I get– and oh, the advice I get– when I’m trying to train her. All the time, Sol is barking and usually getting more aggressive looking by the moment. It is comical at times, because the advice is so important to share they willing my agony of this incessant dog barking performance for what feels like an eternity. I nod my head and repeat, “She is a rescue in training.” I smile as much as I can through my complete embarrassment, all the time wondering to myself, “What does this person think of me?”
Growing up the same question seemed to always be on the grown-ups minds too. I would get questioned all the time. Should you being doing that? Should you say that? Why didn’t you________? With the follow on question/statement “because what do you think they think about you after_________?” I know the questions all came with the best intentions but they developed a habit I’m still struggling to break.
I wonder if you can relate? I became hyper sensitive to what I think people might think about my choices and behavior big and small. It led to constantly evaluating and wondering if I was good enough in other people’s eyes. I became entangled in the web of real and perceived expectations in my mind. In our Christian walk it is important what others think of us to an extent. But I can get wrapped up in seeking to please others rather than the Lord. Especially when I worry about what they “might” think.
So let’s take a moment to be honest with our selves. How often do your thoughts wander to “What do they think, or will they think about me?” When you are deciding what to wear, what to post on social media, where to go, what to buy, etc., how often has that determined what you would do or not do? If you are like me your answer is much more than I would like to admit. It is amazing the power other peoples’ opinions, perceived or true, that I will give others over my life–even a stranger’s opinion. At times I may even find my self fearfully making choices in hopes to not offend and disappoint people. This fear robs me of full enjoyment to experience life in freedom. Proverbs 29:25 “ Fear of human opinion disables; trusting in God protects you from that.” Since I discovered this truth I have been growing in my ability to recognize my fearful thought patterns. It’s a work in progress but day-by-day I am getting more skilled at “taking every thought captive and making it obedient to Christ”(2 Corinthians 10: 5).
It is a transforming process. I’m thankful I don’t have to do in my own strength and knowledge. It is the Holy Spirits job to transform me from the inside out making me desire to be obedient to this foreign way of living (2 Thessalonians 2:13). And just as I think I’m taking ground on this “fear of human opinion” disability I realize I have a long way to go. I need of a make over of my self-centered thoughts. The Lord wants to completely remove this fear from my wardrobe. He wants to refit me with a style that is more flattering for His warrior-princess.
What woman would ever say “no” to a wardrobe makeover? Not me! The new designer label is “Fear of the Lord”! Just the name sounds fit for a warrior-princess. My first peak at the collection left me breathless. I would be stepping into a whole new way of thinking. He no longer wanted me to measure my choices and behavior by what others would think of me. He is asking me to be more concerned for what my choices would make others think of Him. Making this change would reflect righteousness from the inside out. I would be putting on my spiritual garments of praise, robe of righteousness, and crown of salvation to send the message of love and hope found in Christ. My Christ- focused choices will spread His fragrance, thereby providing the opportunity to lead others in the direction to hope in my King. The new decision questions I will be asking myself are: What message am I about to send? Does it give others a glimpse of God’s love? Will it point others to Him? Can it send the fragrance of life in Jesus? How will it speak to those who need a loving God?
The way I live every part of my life sends a message. Will I live each part out in such a way that I send a message, giving off a fragrance that points others in the direction of their Creator to discover His love for them? Even in my “Sol experience” I need to turn my thoughts to the Lord. In what area of your life is he offering you a wardrobe makeover? Will you accept the invitation and receive the gift?
I’d love to hear about your “Sol experience”. Please pray for Sol and I in our obedience school!
Here are some other scriptures the Lord is using in my make-over process:
Philippians 4:8- “….think on such things…”
Romans 13:14- “…clothe self with the Lord Jesus Christ..”
Colossians 3:12-14- “…clothe self with compassion…over all of these virtues put on love…”
What are you doing with the heartbeats you have been given? Where is your life journey taking you? Some of us are enjoying the ride and maintaining a steady heartbeat. While others are holding on wondering what is around the next corner, with hearts beating out of their chest. Wherever you’re at along this journey of life I know we have a common beginning- our first heartbeat in our mothers womb. It was there life began, our first heartbeat, undetected by our mothers but heard with anticipation by our Creator, God. Experiencing life, as we now know it began later, with an audience, as we were ushered into this amazing world and naturally inhaled our first breath. Take a moment to soak in the miracle of life. As I emerged myself in the miracle of my life I became captivated by the realization of the intentionalness of God in my life! He alone heard my first heartbeat, he gave me my first breath, and he heard my first cry. The very thought left me breathless. I was struck with wonder to reflect on his intimate connection with each of us. We are his first and destined to be his for eternity. He alone was there for my firsts and I know He will also be there to usher my soul into eternity after my final dun-dunt and exhale. His love brings me to my knees. Each of us is between our first and last so the question is “what are we doing with the heartbeats in-between?”
The “heartbeats in-betwee”n is our journey lived out in this world that is not our home but preparation for our eternal home. It says in Ecclesiastes 3:11 that the Lord has placed eternity in our
hearts. What does that mean? Some would say it is the “God shaped hole” in our hearts and others it is the underlying “knowing” in our soul that there is more beyond this life.
The purpose of having eternity placed in our hearts is to spark the desireto seek after the Lord, ignite the inspiration to live in connection with Him, and the courage to take each step on our journey. Eternity in our hearts leads us to relationship with our Heavenly Father. Relationship with him changes our identity and redefines our purpose as we live out our “heartbeats in-between”.
When your identity changes from how the “world” defines you to who God has made you in His Son, Jesus Christ, your purpose is refocused on eternal relationships. Discovering your identity in Christ opens your heart to the desire to follow after him. It inspires you to choose him over this world and awakens the courage to follow in his footsteps.
Hebrews 12:1-3 says it best. It instructs us to be strong on our journey that is “marked out for us” by throwing off all that hinders and entangles us. Encouraging us to remain eternally focused with our eyes fixed on Jesus following his example. He traveled his life journey, his “heartbeats in-between”, with the “joy set before him”, the redemption of the world and his glorification at the right hand of God the Father. Jesus’ life provided a road map dotted with crossroads where he chose to live for eternal reward rather than worldly recognition. He lived a sinless life of love, was not entangled by the opposition from sinners, endured the cross, and perfected our faith pioneering the path marked out for us to follow.
Why is it so hard to follow Christ’s example? Apostle Paul answers that well in Romans 7:14-25. He shares the struggle to do what he desires in his heart, to delight the Lord, but he doesn’t always win the battle. He describes a war waging between his body (a prisoner to sin nature) and his mind (delighting in law of God), which he loses more than he would like. Can you relate to Paul’s struggle? I can! Too often I find myself daily wanting to do what is right but then find myself doing the very thing I did not want to do. The influence of our sin nature doesn’t stop just because we have a new identity in Christ. The battle rages and we must fight and purpose to keep our focus on Jesus the perfect source of our desire, inspiration, and courage to take each righteous step toward eternity.
It is so easy to get off course and follow after wrong desires, of the sin nature. I find I must have courage to honestly assess the source of my desire and inspiration to make wise daily choices of the direction I will move. Can you relate to any of these choices?
To buy or not to buy..
To say or not to say…
To do or not to do…
To stay or to go…
To look or look away….
Now, later, or not at all…
Depending on the day and situation some choices are easier to make and stay on course. I have found that the more grounded I am in my identity in Christ the clearer the right choice. When I am seeking in stillness with the Lord I have greater desire, inspiration, and courage to follow through with the God honoring opportunities set before me.
I encourage you to take time this week to be still with the Lord, breath in His goodness, and be infused with his strength for each moment. He hears your heartbeat and will guide your steps as you listen to His heart.
What are you doing with your “heartbeats in-between”?
Everywhere we turn from social media, TV, to magazines, and ads we find headlines aimed at self-improvement: “try the latest…”, “how to…”, “you just need ….”. I’m sure you can add more to the list. We live in a world that bombards us with messages that speak to our desire for more. Do you think we would be constantly exposed to all these suggestions if there weren’t the need to satisfy a craving? Are you familiar with it- The unexplainable desire to search for “the answer” that fills the void within your soul?
The answers the world gives are appealing. They soothe the desperate heart cry for meaningful life.
Felt in response to this need and the underlying message sent that we just aren’t good enough yet. One experiences oneself being drawn to each new captivating solution in search of their own “answer” for them. I have caught myself entranced in the endless search for fulfillment. How about you? When will this longing and quest be satisfied? What would happen if women were awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize that the “answer” lies in our identity in Christ?
Yes I’m guilty. I’ve been known to get caught up in the trance. But thankfully I was awakened to who I am meant to be in Christ- His Warrior-Princess. Not just His daughter or princess but His Warrior-Princess because I’m in a daily battle to walk in the power and truth of whose I am (God’s) and who he has made me to be (His Warrior-Princess). Maybe, like me, you wrestle with questions about God and His plan for you. Some of you might even be asking: “How do I measure up in this world? Or “ Does God really want me?” Or even “Would He ever use me?” Whatever your questions might be let me just say that it is okay to question because that is the beginning of naming “the need” and finding “the answer” to fill the void within.
One such question unexpectedly emerged during a heart to heart. I was listening intently when it came gushing out through sobs that were ushered from the depths of her precious heart- “God doesn’t want me, He doesn’t, He can’t. How could I be good enough for Him?” My precious daughter struggled to speak in the early morning hours. Her words bursting through her apprehension of the reception they might receive from her teary eyed momma. But she was unable to hold her questioning back any longer. She released the hurt that was tearing at her soul. She collapsed into a tender embrace, reassured that it is okay to question-even question God. She rediscovered his love and peace in her honest questions. I encourage you like I did her, to have the courage to believe that nothing can separate us from him or remove his love for us (Romans 8:38-39). Nothing. It takes courage, Warrior-Princess to win each daily battle (Ephesians 6:12). So take courage because you are never alone!
I invite you to join me in my Warrior-Princess journey. A journey I hope will be one of discovery, inspiration, and empowerment. Together we will find strength to live the life we were created to live. I say “together” because my prayer is that we will journey along side one another connecting through our stories. I believe we were created for relationship and need each other for encouragement, growth, and confidence along the way. We might not all be at the same intersection of our journey, or facing the same temptations or trials, but we are able to encourage each other with where we are and where we have been. Together that is what will enrich our life journey. Let’s journey together!
Life has a way for surprising me so to find myself launching a ministry website and on the edge of publishing a Bible study is uncharted territory for me and incredibly unexpected. I am truly humbled with this opportunity just as I was over 15 years ago when I began to serve in women’s ministry leadership roles. These service opportunities have directed my path to this unique threshold. The courage to take the first step into this uncharted territory comes through experiencing the Lord’s direction in my life. He has orchestrated sweet relationships with people who are strong in my areas of weakness and need for growth. It has been a true faith building experience. I’m very thankful for each person’s encouragement and sharing of their gifts and talents to further the Lord’s purposes in my life.
I posed the question in the beginning:“What would happen if women are awakened from the trance of the world’s enchantment and recognize the answer is our identity in Christ?” I believe the answer is -we will live in a brighter world because we will become a brilliant
reflection of God’s love in this dim world. In my ministry and military experience I have witnessed first-hand how women strongly influence the spiritual and relational connections within community. “That is why it is said: “Wake up, sleeper, rise from the dead, and Christ will shine on you.”(Ephesians 5:14) As the Apostle Paul said we must wake up and live for Christ. When he shines on us he radiates into the world and awakens his people. Arise from your slumber warrior-princess and shine his light! Our world is desperately searching and in need of “the answer”- Jesus!
Are you ready to live out your identity in Christ: Warrior-Princess?
I’d love to get to know more about you! Will you quickly share a meaningful verse with me?
Psalm 25:4-5 has guided me to this place in my life. “Show me your ways, Lord, teach me your paths. Guide me in your truth and teach me, for you are my Savior, and my hope is in you all day long.”
Is anyone else tired of the walls and distance between who a person is and who others believe they are? Can we please just be REAL? Life is tough no matter at what stage you find yourself. When we chose to build walls and keep others at a distance it hinders the growth of authentic relationships. The extent to which barriers are built can even lead to losing the ability to know how to be “you”. Leaving the builder, you, with the question to answer: “Who am I?” Have you ever experienced a struggle within to identify and express your personal opinions and beliefs? You strain to acknowledge them. But they are blurred by the mask you’ve worn for the world. Emotions try to emerge but they are blocked. All you can feel is fear, numbness and confusion. Reinforcements come to the rescue. “What will they think of me if I’m really me?”… “No one will like me anymore.”… “No one has to know I’m struggling…I can just keep hiding.” The questions and rationalizations are indicators that your chameleon walls are thick and the reinforcements are strong.
How do I know? I was a chameleon for most of my life. Growing up I struggled with who I was, so I lived in safety of my camouflage skills, like a chameleon. My natural instinct was to keep harmony, make others happy, and stay out of trouble. The expectations of others ruled my world. I adapted and changed based on who I was with and what their expectations were so I would be accepted and keep the peace. I thought I was in control.
Do I have any chameleon friends out there? It might not be easy at first glance to recognize it in yourself. Why? Because to an extent that is just part of surviving in our world of ever changing norms and expectations. I realize it is safer to live with walls. I’m an expert builder myself. But I have been challenged to tear my walls down and build REAL relationships: Relational through Encouragement, Authenticity, and Love! That means sharing the struggles of life and letting the light of Jesus shine through my weaknesses as my source of strength.
I was most challenged with tearing down my walls while living in Germany. Our family was preparing for Daddy to deploy for 15 months and suddenly I found myself facing a medical diagnosis that required emergency surgery with an extended recovery time. Many decisions needed to be made. One decision was “will this be a private walk or a public walk?”
Public was what the Lord required. In 2 Corinthians 1: 4-5 the Apostle Paul encourages us that we go through challenges to prepare us and give us opportunity to edify and relate to others through our experience. So there I was on the receiving end of much encouragement and support from newly made friends and strangers. I was learning to live out Proverbs 27:10 where it tells us that when we are in need of assistance we should get our help from those nearby rather than distant family. Living in Germany didn’t leave much choice. It was out of my control
Through that experience I gained friendships I never would have had the opportunity for and my witness for Christ grew. At that time I was also a leader in the community so for those who were watching my family and I handle this challenge it strengthened the message that we need each other in the good times and the challenging ones too. As I let the Lord tear down some of my walls and trust him to be in control I grew in amazing ways. It became clear that I was telling women through my actions that a “strong woman is one who knows when she needs help and seeks it out”. I have witnessed so many women, especially military wives, struggle in their own strength. They chose to stay behind their walls and fake that they were in control and just fine. In reality, inside their walls at home, they were falling apart. I had a front row seat to my own struggle. When I let go of my control to the Lord. He broke me free! I chose to be REAL first with Jesus and began doing life in his strength. Then I found the freedom to be REAL with the people he placed in my life.
Can you relate to being a wall builder? Do you struggle to appear to have it “all together” when the world looks at you? Are you ready to live in REAL community? Where do you want do go in your freedom of being REAL?
When is the last time you took a moment to be quiet and listen for the sound of your heartbeat….dun dunt – dun dunt? Or experienced yourself breathe…the still air drawn in as it lifts your chest and extends your abdomen before the release…awe. I think it takes courage to be still with yourself. I believe we don’t take enough time for stillness in our overstimulated lives,though that is just what we need. Stillness before the Lord. Have you ever considered that our very life began with a heartbeat, followed by a breath of life that awakened the anticipation of our first step in life’s journey. I have learned the importance of being brave and taking the first step to be still with the Lord. Because it is there that I find the courage for the next step of each journey even when the path is difficult or unclear.
Much like a child learning to walk, we are driven by the desire and inspiration that power our courage to take each step and keep get up when we fall. I’m sure we each have an image in mind of a precious child taking their first steps. For me, it’s the twinkle in her eye that reveals a desire within to just get to her daddy’s hands. Because she’s inspired to be swept up into his safe and loving arms to celebrate her accomplishment or pick her up when she falls, she is courageous. She trusts her daddy.
How trusting are you of your Abba Father? I know the level of trust that I have of my Abba Father is reflected in the courage with which I live my life. Maybe you can relate? It’s not a natural thing to be still before the Lord. But as I shared earlier I have learned to “just do it”, like the Nike motto inspires us. I remember a time when
I had to do just that- choose to be courageous. The choice became evident one day when I was wrestling with the feeling that I was missing out on life. Part of me argued that missing out didn’t make sense because I was involved in so many “good” things for the kingdom. That argument won the first round. I let the feeling linger just setting it aside as I trusted that it would pass while I kept doing “good” things.” Then, unexpectedly, came round two as I was reading in my devo time. There it was! A message from Christ himself about how abundant life with him is intended to be something we experience now. (John 10:10). I was missing out! I was not experiencing much joy in my life, no matter what I did.
To my knees I went. I chose to be brave, to pray, and seek the Lord about why I was missing out on the abundant life he has for me. The feeling I had was a nudge to reflect and be still with the Lord. When I did, it become clear I had been letting the thief rob me without putting up a fight. I needed to be still with the Lord and delight in Him so He could refocus my desire, he could inspire me for His Kingdom, and cultivate my courage to step out with confidence as he shows me his ways. A verse that I turn to often is Psalm 25:4-5. One day it literally kept me from a complete breakdown…but that faith adventure is for another time.
What is your desire? Listen for it. Where is your inspiration found? Experience it as you breathe. Are you living with courage? What steps are you taking to live out the desires and inspirations the Lord has placed in you? No matter what your answers are, know that you can find courage in the Lord.
We can be courageous and take the next step! We need to just come to the Lord with childlike faith (Luke 18:17) even the size of a mustard seed (Mathew 17:20) and trust our Father in Heaven. In Psalm 37:4-6 we are reminded that when we delight ourselves in the Lord he gives us the desires of our heart. How will you delight in the Lord today? This week?
Are you looking for renewed desire, inspiration, and more courage for your journey?
Can you relate to needing to be still with the Lord and just breathe? He is waiting!
Please share how you spend time delighting in the Lord.
Be Alert~ Stay Strong~ Pray Always
John Maxwell Team Certified inspirational speaker and author