There is a very fine line between confidence and arrogance!
(part 2 of 5)
A good rule of thumb for fishing is to have permission to do it. A permit allows you to fish many places, but not all. Always consult with the owner of the property where the water is located. If you are on private property, I don’t know that you need a license but you certainly need permission.
One day the angels came to present themselves before the Lord, and Satan also came with them. The Lord said to Satan, “Where have you come from?”
Satan answered the Lord, “From roaming through the earth and going back and forth in it.”
Then the Lord said to Satan, “Have you considered my servant Job? There is no one on earth like him; he is blameless and upright, a man who fears God and shuns evil.”
“Does Job fear God for nothing?” Satan replied. “Have you not put a hedge around him and his household and everything he has? You have blessed the work of his hands, so that his flocks and herds are spread throughout the land. But stretch out your hand and strike everything he has, and he will surely curse you to your face.”
The Lord said to Satan, “Very well, then, everything he has is in your hands, but on the man himself do not lay a finger.” (NIV 1984)
Not only was permission granted: Job was suggested. But that is another topic for another day.
God called the disciples – actual experienced fisherman – to be “fishers of men”. God calls us today to be fishers of men, but we aren’t the only ones fishing. Satan is also “on location”! While satan is powerful, God is the Almighty. And while it is good to be aware of satan and his minions, it is far better to know God and study how He works!
As Jesus was walking beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw two brothers, Simon called Peter and his brother Andrew. They were casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. “Come, follow me,” Jesus said, “and I will make you fishers of men.” At once they left their nets and followed him. [Matthew 4:18-20 NIV 1984]
Jesus used the fishers of men analogy because it works. It is easy for a fisherman to see the parallels. I love it when God uses common language to express His extraordinary Truth, don’t you?
Today’s PrayerPoint ~ CrossRoads
Every day I find myself at intersections where I am called upon to choose how I will respond to my day and to my circumstances. Are there challenges? Of course there are. But I do not want to be accused of blowing momentary troubles out of proportion by whining and complaining. Much of what I deal with is momentary. It’s just that some moments last longer than others! Every day I see heartbreaking stories of really difficult circumstances. I have lived through a few myself as I am sure you have. Life on Earth has joy and pain. Thankfully, as we trust and serve an amazing God we also have the opportunity for His perspective and His life transforming work in our every day.
We all come up against crossroads. Sometimes we travel through accident-prone crazy intersections and some of our journeys take us to easy and relaxed places but each crossroad leaves us with a choice — not necessarily in the outcome of a situation but our response to the circumstance. Unfortunate and disheartening struggles are common in this life — death, disability, abuse, job loss, unplanned pregnancies, critical illness, violence, financial crisis, family feuds, etc — and while they may shape a perspective, they do not have to define a person. It is understandable for it to take time for people to work through difficult situations ~ grief and healing are not processes to race through. God’s work in my heart is more like a crock-pot than a microwave. It takes time for me to work through things.
Here is how I would ultimately like my crossroads to define me ~ that I would be found trusting and relying on my Heavenly Father to meet my every need. That I would follow His lead, rest in His love and provision, and let Him infuse any circumstance with His forgiveness, grace, mercy, and peace.
Do you know someone at a crossroad that needs prayer? Have you considered quietly but deliberately praying for them and their decision-making during this time? Sometimes we see people at a crossroad before they realize they are there. If you have been given eyes to see that kind of situation I would encourage you to lift them up in prayer!
See you at the CrossRoad!
God has surrounded me with some very prayer-full friends during the course of my adult life. I am so thankful God has placed me in an several communities with people who can boldly pray one-on-one or in small groups. This is something God must be developing me because over the course of time He has allowed me to rub shoulders (and dirty my knees) with some awesome prayer warriors! I have one particular friend now who, if she knows of a concern, will pray with me over the phone. It seems to be her first reaction if I share a concern. I have other friends who, when I share a prayer request, will say “Well, let’s pray together right now about it.” I am getting used to it. I even like it. Their insistence reminds me: Why tuck an important request away for a later time? There is no time like the present!
The last several days I have been honked off about any number of things. Have you had a day, week, month or year like that? What comes to my mind is something my cousin often says: “I don’t like people!” I usually do like people, so for me, this is an unfamiliar place to be.
After 72 hours of being annoyed, agitated, and frustrated by multiple things I mentioned to my husband last night that I wasn’t really fit for company. The desire to speak my mind is so strong right now that I need to be tucked away until the feeling passes. He chuckled and then probably his mind raced around trying to figure out how to keep me squelched or at least pacified enough that I didn’t blow up. Thankfully, the issues aren’t between me and him!
I sense this cloud of frustration will be settling here for a while. I know sunshine helps. I know exercise helps. And I know that burying my head in God’s Word will help the most! I am in the midst of studying the life of David in a small group Bible study. I am so thankful for the freedom and the opportunity to be in Scripture. Breathing in God’s Word and perspective makes a big impact on my words and my perspective. I plan on inhaling deeply so my every exhale is laced with His grace and mercy and love.
Breathe in. Breathe Out.
Psalm 141:2-4 NIV
2 May my prayer be set before you like incense;
may the lifting up of my hands be like the evening sacrifice.
3 Set a guard over my mouth, Lord;
keep watch over the door of my lips.
4 Do not let my heart be drawn to what is evil
so that I take part in wicked deeds
along with those who are evildoers;
do not let me eat their delicacies.
It is time for some deep, LIFE TRANSFORMING breaths! I am counting on the Holy Spirit to nudge me when my mouth should open and when it should close. Pray for me so I respond appropriately!
Taking deep breaths,
Wednesday is the beginning of Lent and 40 daily PrayerPoints by Liz posts until Easter. As you travel through this season of Lent in preparation for God’s glorious resurrection may God’s Word sustain your feet on His path and focus your eyes on His cross.
PrayerPoints ~ The Hands
Today is Ash Wednesday.
PrayerPoint ~ February 7
Have you found yourself so overwhelmed with the need to pray for others that you don’t even know where to start? Oftentimes during prayer, the most urgent rise to the top of your mind quickly but other times your mind is bouncing around from crisis to crisis.
Here is something I have started to do to help me gain a little bit of focus:
The most Inner Circle is our immediate family. I can pause there for a long time because I know a lot about this group of people and their needs. The next group is our extended family (our siblings and their families). Next is our small group families and those who may not be in our small groups but we are close to them. After that is super-extended family ~ those aunts and uncles and cousins “in the distance” but still on our hearts. As you consider this idea, don’t forget to consider co-workers, neighbors, missionaries, etc.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~
Early this morning I was awake for about an hour.
**I never consider those early morning awakenings too much of a bother until about 2pm in the afternoon. :+)
When it seems like I am going to be awake for a while, I start to pray. This morning, I was able to cover a lot of ground by listing people in their family groupings. I just picture a family and name everyone in the family. This list happens to include our immediate family as well as our siblings and their spouses and kids: Don, Lauren, Landon, Elizabeth, Hannah, Ernie, Kim, Nikki, Justin, Bob, Kim, Emily, Brittany, Delilah, Charles, Nancy, Jayson, Elise, Cindy, Gary, Kassie, Michele, Carrie, Shannon, Faye, Alan, Lori, Noah, Bridget, Jonah.
Then I moved to the families I am in a small group with. I lifted up each person in the family by name. Even though I may have an inkling about their needs, I don’t technically need to know much because I trust God will fill in the blanks.
You can tweak this idea to better suit you and your situation. Maybe it can be a project you do with your kids or grandkids–you can each draw your circles on a clean piece of paper and fill in the blanks with people in your circle. You can even do it with a large piece of newsprint paper and photos of your targets!
I love how everyone’s “targets” will look different. Get creative! I think that is one of the ways God works with His people ~ He gives us eyes and hearts for different people and people groups. I have found having a target helps me focus my aim.
“If you aim at nothing, you will hit it every time!” Zig Ziglar
Of course, the idea is to pray. And once you start thinking about it this way, you will see you have a lot of work to do!