Thirst

O God, you are my God, I earnestly seek you; my soul thirsts for you, my body longs for you, in a dry weary land where there is no water. Psalm 63:1

Don’t you just love how God uses a common experience to relate to us? These kinds of verses really help the Bible come alive for me.

I have been thirsty before…have you? Sometimes I have contemplated compromising what I know to be right just to get the thirst quenched. That beautiful babbling stream coming from the mountain? It looks refreshing. It sounds refreshing. Do you have any idea unhealthy or dangerous microorganisms or dangerous chemicals that could be in there? Not unless you have a water testing kit.

Sometimes we are so desperate to have a need or a desire or a thirst quenched, we will drink anything…and that decision can be deadly.

Earnestly seek God on the matters of your heart. Prayer is always a great starting point. If you find yourself in a difficult place, definitely start with prayer. Then open your Bible and see what God has revealed about Himself. What does His Word say in relationship to your struggle? If your exact situation isn’t in Scripture, how can you apply what you know about the character of God?

Earnestly seeking God would be committing time and focus on Him. Quality time. Quantity time. Is there something that you might need to consider giving up for a time in order to truly seek God’s heart on a matter?

If you get a chance, finish the rest of Psalm 63.

Yield ~ Give Way

We most often see the term yield in reference to driving on an on-ramp or at an intersection where we must ‘give way’ to another vehicle. Some countries use the phrase “give way”.

Give Way. I like it.

Wouldn’t it be nice if those types of signs would pop up during relationships?

  • You are about to make a strong point with your spouse or friend, teetering on the edge of really saying something hurtful and a yield sign pops up to remind you to give way to a better way of speaking.
  • You are about to make a direction change in your life that requires some other pieces to fall into place and instead of going “full-speed ahead”, a yield sign pops up and warns you to let something else come first.
  • You are busy telling Go your life plans and He calls you to yield to Him one step at a time.

There are many times you will find yourself in situations calling for you to submit, consent, surrender or accept. Sometimes God is the one requiring that of you.

“Now then,” said Joshua, “throw away the foreign gods that are among you and yield your hearts to the LORD, the God of Israel.” Joshua 24: 23 NIV

Those “foreign” gods can really worm their way into my heart and mind. I find it unfortunately easy for other desires and distractions to move into first place. That is a clear indication that I haven’t been yielding to God’s wisdom and way.

Are there areas in your life God is asking you to yield for a season?

Pondering takes Time

Ponder: 1: to weigh in the mind 2: to deliberate about 3: to muse over, to think or consider especially quietly, soberly, and deeply. Webster, 1965.

With all of the communication and noise and business of the day, we actually have to be intentional about pondering anything. It seems like we don’t have any time. But it is important to set aside time to ponder, particularly the things of God. I have included several Bible verses to get you started though you may already have some you are in the midst of pondering. Write them on an index card and keep them close by so if you have a moment to think, they might be available to you. I chose the New International Version but feel free to look at several translations to get a larger sense of the meaning of the passage. This is all a part of the pondering process.

“As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit, just as you were called to one hope when you were called; 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.” Ephesians 4:1-5 NIV

“I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions and to overcome all the power of the enemy; nothing will harm you.” Luke 10:19 NIV

“And this is my prayer: that your love may abound more and more in knowledge and depth of insight, 10 so that you may be able to discern what is best and may be pure and blameless for the day of Christ, 11 filled with the fruit of righteousness that comes through Jesus Christ—to the glory and praise of God. Philippians 1:9-11 NIV

“Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.’ Romans 12:2 NIV

“Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. 6 Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. 7 And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. 8 Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things. 9 Whatever you have learned or received or heard from me, or seen in me—put it into practice. And the God of peace will be with you. Philippians 4:5-9 NIV

Ponder. Savor. Mull it over. Let God imprint it on your heart. How might God be speaking to you today through His Word?

One of my favorite things about God is when I am reading a Bible passage I have read a bunch of times and a word or phrase strikes me… it’s as if God bolded it to get my attention.  That doesn’t always happen, but there are times it does. And if I am in a hurry or I am tackling Scripture like a job, I can easily breeze by those words or phrases He just might want me to ponder.

Is there a particular verse you have pondered and would recommend to others? Please consider adding it as a comment to this post. There is so much wisdom in Scripture it is often hard to find a starting point. Sharing Scripture is a way to cement it in your mind as well as encourage a fellow traveler on the journey!

Speed Limits

Speed Limit 5, Speed Limit 45, Speed Limit 70, Speed Limit 80, School Zone, Construction Zone….most speed limits are posted in an effort to protect those who are living or active in a particular area.  We have a new driver in our home and so we have been paying pretty close attention to speed limits. Sometimes I overlook them, resent them, miss them. In general, I try to follow them but it is hard when you feel like you are the only one!

Have you noticed there are times when life moves so slowly? Maybe you are waiting for a report from the doctor or your are in a time of life when you are out of your element, bumbling along. Other times life moves rather quickly and you find you are traveling almost at the speed of light! Different parts of life seem to happen at different speeds. If you have grown children, maybe it feels like the kids grew up so fast or maybe it felt like forever to you. There are times I have found myself trying to ‘speed’ through some experiences that I would really rather not be in the middle of.

Has that ever happened to you?

Hurry, hurry, get me out of here!!! Sometimes God allows us to see His speed limits on our situations. Sometimes He makes us stop and lie down in green pastures so He can restore our souls. Have you ever found yourself resisting the limits or trying to close your eyes and breeze past anyway?

Think about how God uses speed limits in your life. Where are the places He would like you to slow down and take notice of His activity? You may be walking through a difficult time, but if time seems to move slowly maybe it is time to take look around thoughtfully and prayerfully. What is God doing during this time? Dig into God’s Word and notice the times when it appeared things were moving at a snail’s pace. Our time frame is certainly not God’s! Where is He going and at what pace? Is there something I can or should be doing in this time of speed limits?

Heavenly Father, please help me see the speed limits you would like me to follow in my life. Give me your insight and heighten my awareness during a restricted speed zone so I can see what is happening around me and not endanger others with reckless speeds. Thank you for Your protection and blessing in my life!


State of the Union

Our family gathered around the television last night to hear the State of the Union. It was another great reminder to pray for our country and for those who are serving and leading our nation!

Christians have many differing views on where our country is headed and the best way to get there. It is important to be informed on the issues, prayerfully ponder them, seek God’s heart on the matters, and vote when given the opportunity.

Members of US government would benefit from our prayers. We have city, county, and state government officials who would benefit from our prayers as well. Please consider praying specifically for those serving in all levels of public office that God would:

  • guard their marriages and families
  • protect their physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual health
  • safeguard them against the schemes of those who intend to harm or lead them astray
  • defend them when they are in the correct course of action
  • convict them when they are not
  • unveil the eyes of those who do not believe in Him
  • surround believers with others who will encourage spiritual growth
  • surround unbelievers with opportunities to engage in healthy spiritual conversation with Godly men and women

Ask God to give you other prayer areas to add to this list. You can even pray for your local, state, and national leaders by name! Don’t get too bogged down in the details–start by praying in general and ask God to direct your prayers through His Word.

Here is a link to an organization offering many different angles and opportunities for prayer. Check them out when you have a chance!!

http://presidentialprayerteam.com/index.php

Trouble Focusing?

Ever have one of those times when life is crazy and the concerns of the moment are overwhelming and make it difficult to get your bearings?

  • A car accident leaves a loved one critically injured.
  • A “pink slip” is handed to you.
  • A grim diagnosis comes from the doctor.
  • A crime is committed against you.

Or maybe your stressors are a collection of little situations over time that have become overwhelming and incapacitating. Thankfully, we don’t often experience the big situations listed above, but life can change so quickly. Sometimes, a survey of the things I need to get done or am already behind on can make feel dizzy and disoriented, not knowing where to start.

If the path seems a bit fuzzy, here are some things that might help you regain your focus:

  • Close your eyes and ask God for His strength for the moment.
  • Ask for prayer support. Sometimes just stating the struggle you are going through gets it out on the table and gives you chance to access it.
  • Be honest about your situation.
  • Take a brisk walk for 15 minutes to clear your head.

We all have different circumstances that send us reeling and mess with how we are looking at our situation. We often are unable to see God’s perspective and the work God is doing “behind the scenes”. If you are in a calm time in life, pray for those you may know who are walking through a difficult time. Lift them up in prayer or lend a hand.

I pray you learn from and grow in your relationship with God. Ask Him to clear your eyes so you can get a glimpse of His vision!

Stop Signs

Have you ever breezed through a stop sign before? I have, unintentionally. I have even considered it intentionally late at night when I am tired, want to get home, and no one else is at the intersection.

Have there been times when you know there are places or relationships  God would not want you to enter and you did so, anyway? Sometimes you hear the “I knew I shouldn’t have done that” in your mind.

Next time you see some signs as you are traveling down the road in your vehicle, think about how those very same signs can be useful as signs for faith–construction zone, danger zone, bridge out, DO NOT ENTER.

Are there areas in your life where you are ignoring some signs you ought to be paying attention to?

I think God has always been pretty generous giving me clues and indications about certain situations I should steer clear of. Sometimes, though, I can be rebellious and forge my way ahead anyway. Typically there are some not-so-pleasant consequences but once in a while I come away unscathed.  It’s risky business.

Maybe I should heed the signs that He has placed for my protection and thank Him for loving me and forgiving me even when I deliberately ignore them.

Lord, teach me to seek Your wisdom and counsel and follow it as well!