When I do all the talking, I can’t hear God! That’s right. You heard me right. Do you ever have that problem? Prayer isn’t just talking. It’s listening, too.
Sometimes, in my eagerness to write, I rush ahead of God. When I don’t wait on Him, I make mistakes – not horrible mistakes, but my writing lacks something.
In other words, I can’t wait. So I write in my own strength, depending on my own abilities. That is not what God wants from me.
How do I know that I rushed ahead of God? Because I realize later that I ignored the still small voice. That’s easy to do. We hear the whisper of God’s Spirit, but do not stop long enough to consider it. We cannot wait. We have to plow on.
This quote by John Piper made an impact on me, “To wait on God means to pause and soberly consider our own inadequacy and the Lord’s all-sufficiency, and to seek counsel and help from the Lord.”
I pray that God will teach me to wait and to listen; and to know the difference between working in my own strength or wholly depending on His.
Scriptures to Ponder
“Do not despise these small beginnings, for the Lord rejoices to see the work begin….” Zechariah 4:10
But they that wait upon the Lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings as eagles; they shall run, and not be weary; and they shall walk, and not faint. Isaiah 40:31
And he said, Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the Lord. And, behold, the Lord passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the Lord; but the Lord was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the Lord was not in the earthquake: And after the earthquake a fire; but the Lord was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice. 1 Kings 19:11-12
We don’t have to visit a temple made by man to be in the presence of God, as the Israelites did. As a Christ Follower, we are the temple of God and He dwells within us. Isn’t that an amazing thought? As I read about the building of the Temple, I was struck by the great wealth and incredible planning that went into it. It took Solomon seven years to build the temple. (See 1 Kings 5-8)
Solomon used 8,100,187.5 pounds of gold and 76,275,000 pounds of silver. The gold and silver alone was worth $216,603,576,000. This does not include all the precious metals, bronze, iron, ivory, or cedar wood used in the temple. Extrapolating from the number, the total cost of Solomon’s temple including the labor costs (153,000 forced laborers) would have been well over half a billion dollars! Pure gold was everywhere! Even the wick trimmers were made of pure gold! No detail was overlooked.
The Living God doesn’t live in a building. If you are a Christ Follower, He is literally living in your body! Take a moment to let that soak in.
“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” 1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV
You may think the temple that Solomon built came at an incredible price, and it did. But God purchased you at an even greater cost, the precious, priceless blood of Jesus Christ. So what does that mean to us today?
We must recognize that we are the temple of God and that we belong to God. He has a plan for us. We have been commissioned to go out and make disciples. We are to love the Lord our God with all of our heart and love our neighbor as ourselves. This is obedience to the One who owns us, to love one another. We must examine ourselves to see if we are honoring the price He paid.
Just as the Lord paid careful attention to how His people treated His temple, so He takes note of the choices we make, our priorities, and the directions we pursue. Our bodies are no longer “our own” because we no longer belong to ourselves but wholly and completely to God. This is the single most important truth about our lives.”
dr. David Jeremiah
“. . . the mystery that has been kept hidden for ages and generations, but is now disclosed to the Lord’s people.To them God has chosen to make known among the Gentiles the glorious riches of this mystery, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory.” Colossians 1:27 NIV
“Through the power of the Holy Spirit who lives within us, carefully guard the precious truth that has been entrusted to you.” 2 Timothy 1:14 NLT
“For this reason I kneel before the Father, from whom every family in heaven and on earth derives its name. I pray that out of his glorious riches he may strengthen you with power through his Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith.” Ephesians 3: 14-17 NIV
We may look around at our world and blame our problems on the culture, drugs, TV, violent video games, and any number of evils in the world. But we must remember that revival doesn’t start in the world, it starts in the hearts of God’s people, the Church.
What would happen in our world today if all Christ followers in this generation chose to be Christ-centered instead of self-centered?
This Is My Journey Unscripted.
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Thy Word I love, O Lord. Tis my greatest delight. Early I rise to seek you And wait for the morning light.
Thy Word I receive, O Lord. Tis my daily bread. It feeds my broken heart And prepares for the day ahead.
Thy Word I will keep, O Lord. Tis my strength for each day, You are the solid rock. I will follow all your ways.
Thy Word I need, O Lord. Tis the joy of my heart. You draw me closer to You, To teach and Thy Truth to impart .
I give thanks for this wonderful gift. More precious than silver and gold A treasure of promise and love, My Bible, whose worth is untold.
How shall I know my own heart, if I do not read God’s Word?
“For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. . . . exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart.” Hebrews 4:12 AMP
How shall I learn, if I do not read God’s Word?
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17 NIV
“For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.” Romans 15:4 ESV
How shall I have faith, if I do not read God’s Word?
“So faith comes from hearing, and hearing through the word of Christ.” Romans 10:17 ESV
How shall I be obedient, if I do not read God’s Word?
“This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it.” Joshua 1:8 ESV
How shall I find my way, if I do not read God’s Word?
Your word is a lamp to my feet and a light to my path. Psalm 119:105 ESV
How shall I fight the devil, if I do not read God’s Word?
“Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. And after fasting forty days and forty nights, he was hungry. And the tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.” But he answered, “It is written . . . Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.” Matthew 4:1-4 ESV
How shall I keep myself from sin,if I do not read God’s Word?
“I have hidden your word in my heart that I might not sin against you.” Psalm 119:11
How shall I have peace,if I do not read God’s Word?
“Great peace have they who love your law, and nothing can make them stumble.” Psalm 119:165
Lord, Give us a love for your Word. May we hunger for it more every day, that we may serve our family and answer our calling in truth and love.
“I delight in your decrees; I will not neglect your word.” Psalm 119:16
I have a very specific reason for writing this post. A friend wrote to me and said she didn’t understand why God had not answered her desperate prayer. This post is for her.
Teach me about your love the gift that's from above. When sorrow fills my heart, your comfort alone can part the sea of pain. You lead me on dry ground to the Promise Land. In this life, you will provide the manna and the quail. That nourishes my soul until I see the Promise Land.
” . . . as for me, I trust in the Lord. I will be glad and rejoice in your love, for you saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul.” Psalm 31:6-7
“He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.“Deuteronomy 8:3 NIV
“Every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” refers to spiritual food. It is your relationship with God through the Word of God and the Holy Spirit, who teaches us all things.
Jesus said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” John 16:33NIV
Abundant life is relationship with God. It is knowing the Almighty God, the Creator of the Universe, the King of King and Lord of Lords. It is being able to talk to Him at any time and in any place. It is the privilege of saying, “My Father” and knowing He is listening intently. It is for now and forever.
“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.” John 10:10 NIV
A relationship with God should never be trivialized. Nothing can compare to such a glorious blessing, certainly not things (cars, houses, etc.). Our God is not Amazon.com. He isn’t here to be our Cosmic Santa Claus. Jesus didn’t sacrifice His life in order for us to prosper materially here on Earth. He didn’t have to die to accomplish that. He died to give us eternal life through a right relationship with the Living God which will last forever. May we know the true gift of God.
“For Christ also suffered once for sins, the righteous for the unrighteous, to bring you to God.” 1 Peter 3:18 NIV
“You guide me with your counsel, and afterward you will take me into glory. Whom have I in heaven but you? And earth has nothing I desire besides you. Psalm 73:24-25 NIV
Sometimes, God does not do things the way we want. Why? We may never know while here on Earth. But many times, we understand later, even years later. God is more interested in our character development than in giving us a cushy life here on Earth. We must trust Him.
I had a friend once who was desperate to save his marriage. He was convinced that by going to church and “believing” God, by having enough faith, God would save his marriage. He gave it his all.
But God did not save his marriage. No matter how hard he tried to “just have faith”, it didn’t happen.
Guess what happened to him? He left the church and was never seen again. From his perspective, God and faith didn’t work. That’s because he saw God and faith as a way to get what he wanted. He didn’t understand the true gift of God.
Do you see the disillusionment this can bring and why it causes people to abandon their faith in God? And this is the point! Truth is vital. That’s why we must be like the Bereans, who . . .
“received the message with great eagerness and examined the Scriptures every day to see if what Paul said was true.” Acts 17:11
Jesus said, We must “worship God in Spirit and in truth”. As you read the familiar passage below about the Samaritan woman, I want you to notice four things.
Jesus reveals to her the “gift of God”. (v. 10)
She thinks Jesus is talking about natural things, but he is talking about spiritual things. (v.11)
Jesus shows her the superiority of a spiritual gift compared to a natural gift. (v.13-14)
Jesus reveals to her the kind of worshippers the Father seeks. (v.23-24)
“When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, “Will you give me a drink?” 8 (His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)9 The Samaritan woman said to him, “You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?” (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a]) 10 Jesus answered her, “If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water.”11 “Sir,” the woman said, “you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his livestock?” 13 Jesus answered, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again,14 but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.”15 The woman said to him, “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water.” 16 He told her, “Go, call your husband and come back.” 17 “I have no husband,” she replied. Jesus said to her, “You are right when you say you have no husband. 18 The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true.” 19 “Sir,” the woman said, “I can see that you are a prophet. 20 Our ancestors worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem.” 21 “Woman,” Jesus replied, “believe me, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22 You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews.23 Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in the Spirit and in truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24 God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in the Spirit and in truth.”25 The woman said, “I know that Messiah” (called Christ) “is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us.” 26 Then Jesus declared, “I, the one speaking to you—I am he.” John 4 NIV
Lord, Help us to study your Word daily and love the Truth. Help us to appreciate our relationship with you and to understand your love.
“Thy word is a lamp unto my feet, and a light unto my path.” Psalm 119:105 KJV
When we set out to accomplish what God has called us to do, the enemy will tell us that we can’t (because we’re not good enough) or we shouldn’t (because God’s didn’t really tell us to do it). In my life, this has happened over and over.
At first, we might not realize that it’s the devil telling us lies. That’s because we think it’s coming from our own thinking, but it isn’t. It’s coming from the Father of Lies, the devil. He puts these thoughts in your mind! Jesus said:
“. . . the devil . . . was a murderer from the beginning, not holding to the truth, for there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks his native language, for he is a liar and the father of lies.” John 8:44 NIV
It doesn’t matter what it is, how big or how small. Whether it’s writing a blog, leading a women’s Bible Study, or teaching three little children in a Sunday School class, thoughts of inadequacy will attack my mind. Somebody else would do a lot better job, I think.
There have been moments in the past when I literally began to panic. Thoughts racing through my mind … God didn’t tell you to write a blog! You shouldn’t be doing this! This is all your own idea!
Have you ever experienced this deceitful kind of attack on your mind? God didn’t send you here! God didn’t say …
Do you remember what the Serpent said to Eve? “Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1
This is the Deceiver in action: making you question what God has said. It is nothing new.
After reading Nabeel Qureshi’s book, Seeking Allah, Finding Jesus, I have thought I should prepare myself to minister to Muslim women (in case the opportunity should arise). But then I thought, I’m too old now (67). If only I would have done this earlier in my life. (There goes that liar, the devil, again.) But, guess what happened?
While reading my Bible, I read that Joshua led the Israelites until he was 110 years old! (Joshua 24:29) And Joshua was between 68 and 78 years old when he took over for Moses, before they even entered the promised land.
That’s why we need to read our Bible every day. God might want to show us something! In addition to that, I learned that Moses led the Israelites out of Egypt when he was 80 years old and Aaron was 83!
All of these great men of God were used mightily by the Lord into their old age. God never does things the way we think He will, or like we would. (So much for the “You’re too old theory”.)
As my friend, Annie https://seekingdivineperspective.com recently said, “He doesn’t call the qualified, He qualifies the called.” This theme is repeated over and over in the Scriptures (Moses, Gideon, and David, to mention a few.)
“Moses said to the Lord, “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.” Exodus 4:10 NIV
“Pardon me, my lord,” Gideon replied, “but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”Judges 6:15NIV
“But the Lord said to Samuel, “Do not consider his appearance or his height, for I have rejected him. The Lord does not look at the things people look at. People look at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” 1 Samuel 16:7 NIV (referring to David, the shepherd boy)
Whatever it is that God is calling you to do, He will be right beside you, giving you wisdom, strength, and guidance. It is for His glory. If we were qualified, we would get the glory. But the battle is the Lord’s! To Him be the glory!
“Now there is in store for me the crown of righteousness, which the Lord, the righteous Judge, will award to me on that day—and not only to me, but also to all who have longed for his appearing.” 2 Timothy 4:8NIV
On July 6, I published a post titled “Where is Your Treasure?” It is based on Jesus’ words,
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moths and vermin destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where moths and vermin do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.”Matthew 6: 19-21 NIV
Emma posed this question, “Any advice for someone who needs to be able to support themselves financially and yet, also needs to be careful about how much time is spent on working towards (worldly) success?”
That’s the $64,000 question, isn’t it? Let’s examine God’s Word to find the answer.
The Pharisees asked Jesus’s disciples, “Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and sinners?” (Matthew 9:11)Jesus answered,
“It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. But go and learn what this means: ‘I desire mercy, not sacrifice.’ For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners.” Matthew 9:12-13 NIV
Jesus is quoting Hosea 6:6 which explains the meaning of the verse a little more.
“I want you to show love, not offer sacrifices. I want you to know me more than I want burnt offerings.” Hosea 6:6 NLT
I think Jesus is teaching that we can’t live by a set of rules to be checked off. To please God, we must know God, and allow God to change us into the likeness of Christ. Later, the Apostle Paul writes,
“Do not conform 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
We please God when we seek to be like Him through prayer, Bible study , and obedience.
“Whatever you do, work at it with all your heart, as working for the Lord, not for men . . . It is the Lord Christ you are serving.” Colossians 3:17 NIV
That tells me that I should do my job with all my heart, as if I was working for the Lord. If we are honest, conscientious, hard-working, and kind to those we work with, it is a testimony to others. Jesus said,
“. . . let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.”Matthew 5:16 NIV
“We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is . . . giving, then give generously” Romans 12:6-8 NIV
I believe the answer to Emma’s question is different for every person. Based on my study, here are some thoughts for you to consider as you study God’s Word.
We all have responsibilities, some more that others. Some have a family to provide for, others do not. I certainly don’t think the Lord calls everyone to live in poverty. Some are given the ministry of giving. How could they give if they didn’t have resources?
We need to be aware of what our spending says about us. If I wear $1,000 sneakers while those around me have holes in their shoes, then something’s not right. I must continually ask God to purify my heart. On the other hand, if I dress similarly to other people I work with, well that seems appropriate.
If my job keeps me so busy that I don’t attend church and don’t have time to read my Bible, something needs to change because I am not being obedient to what God has said in His Word.
If I make a lot of money, but I am a generous giver, helping those in need and seeking God’s will in giving, well that seems right to me. If I make a lot of money and spend it all on lavish gifts for myself, I need to start reading my Bible!
Father, Help me to be more like Jesus. Give me a hunger for your Holy Word and teach me to pray. Create a pure heart in me that I might be pleasing in your sight. I want to know you and walk in love with those around me. Give me a heart like David, a man after your own heart. Then I will know how to walk in your ways and bring honor and glory to your precious name. Amen
Thank you for letting me share my thoughts with you, today. Your thoughts and comments are welcomed and appreciated.
I went to my office, laid my head down on my Bible and sighed in defeat, “Lord, I don’t know what to do.” As soon as the words slipped from my mouth, I remembered something that I had read earlier in the day.
When King Jehoshaphat was warned that a vast army was coming against him, he was alarmed and resolved to inquire of the Lord. He called a fast for all of Judah and the people came together to seek God.
King Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly and cried out to God in prayer. He ends the prayer with these words:
“We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you!” 2 Chronicles 20:12 NIV
I quickly found the passage in my Bible and read it over and over. God was telling me what to do: Keep my eyes on Him! I can do that! Immediately my anxiety melted away. My fear disappeared and I felt the comfort only God can provide.
I also remembered, “And let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us,fixing our eyes on Jesus” Hebrews 12:1-2 NIV
“I keep my eyes always on the Lord. With him at my right hand, I will not be shaken.” Psalm 16:8 NIV
What does it mean to keep your eyes on the Lord? Here are some thoughts.
Acknowledge that you can’t fix this in your own strength. Jehoshaphat knew that he was in for a battle that he was not strong enough to win and he didn’t know what to do. The enemy was getting closer every minute.
When we realize that it isn’t within our own ability to fix the problem, only then can we really depend completely on the Lord.
These kinds of opportunities will stretch our faith and bring us closer to God.
You might be wondering what happened to King Jehoshaphat and the people of Judah when they fixed their eyes on the Lord instead of the problem.
This is what the Lord said, “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. (v15) Stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you. . . Do not be afraid. Do not be discouraged.”(v17)
“Jehoshaphat bowed down with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the Lord. . .Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord . . . ‘Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.’ As they began to sing and praise, the Lord set ambushes against the men of Ammon and Moab and Mount Seir who were invading Judah, and they were defeated.” (v18&21)
Take away: They depended completely on the Lord. They worshipped Him. They thanked Him. They praised Him. The Lord threw their enemies into confusion and they were defeated.
Read more about Jehoshaphat’s battle here. (2 Chronicles 20:1-30)
When our battle is too hard, let us fix our eyes on Jesus. Let us worship His holiness, thank Him, praise Him, and give Him glory. When you read God’s Word, God Himself will teach you and encourage you because He says,
“All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the servant of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” 2 Timothy 3:16-17
“But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you.” John 14:26 NIV
Thank you for letting me share my journey with you, today. Comments are welcomed and appreciated.