Monthly Archives: November 2012

God Has Not Left You!

Yesterday I wrote about questioning the Lord with where we are in life and our current circumstances—job, church, relationships, ministries, living and financial situations.   It can be read here.  God seemed to use the post to encourage a lot of people so praise the Lord!  This morning He has led me to share a short testimony about a season I went through recently.  I hope this can encourage you to continue seeking the Lord even in times of doubt—in fact those seasons of doubt are when we should be pressing in even more.  I know that with myself when I have entered a season of doubt it is usually because I have not been hearing from God, and as a result of failing to hear Him I start to doubt the things He has told me in the past.  If you are in one of those seasons right now I would encourage you to never lose hope.  God will show up.

About a year ago God put a clear call on my life to move to Georgia from California.  My relationship with the Lord was strong at this point and I was quite excited to see what He had in store.  My wife and I followed His leading and packed everything up and moved cross country.  The whole ride there the presence of God was with us and I was very encouraged by this.  However after I arrived it was not as I thought.  Not Georgia, but my relationship with God.  It was as if He disappeared.  Here I was who had traveled across the country and left everything that was familiar to follow Jesus.  But Jesus was nowhere to be found.  It’s not that I wasn’t getting fed.  I was reading my bible and going to an awesome little church.  I was fellowshipping with other believers but I didn’t have that personal communion with the Lord.  What was wrong I thought?

I prayed and had people pray for me.  I figured it was just an adjusting period and I would find that communion back pretty soon.  But I didn’t.  This went on for a couple months and the Lord was nowhere to be found.  I started getting very anxious and depressed and from this I started to doubt everything.  What was I doing here on the other side of the country?  Why did I even move?  Is God even there? This got worse and worse but I did not give up.   I remained faithful with prayer and reading my bible and then one morning out of nowhere—God was there.

I woke up at about 5am and checked my phone.  I had an email notification of a blog that I followed.  I started reading it and though I don’t remember what it said, God spoke to me through it.  From that His presence filled the room.  I had never felt the glory of God so thick before.  I started crying and had to leave the room so I didn’t wake up my wife.  I went into the bathroom and God followed me in there.  He remained there with me for a good 2-3 hours.  I cried to Him, talked to Him and really just hung out with the Lord for a couple hours.  I remember being like a little kid frantically saying, “Don’t ever leave me again!”

The reality of that is that He never had.  He was with me the whole time but for whatever reason I just wasn’t “feeling” His presence.  It’s important to know that whenever we do not seem to be hearing from the Lord and we are not feeling His presence it never means He is not with you.  He loves His children and always watches over them.  He will though from time to time withdraw His presence from us to test us and teach us things.

2 Chronicles 32:31 says, God withdrew from him, in order to test him, that He might know all that was in his heart.

If you’re going through one of these seasons today I would encourage you to remain hopeful.  God’s presence will show up.  He hasn’t left you.  Keep pressing into the Lord and you will come out of this in a stronger communion than you have ever had before.  I pray that this post would speak to you and even so that the presence of God would be ushered into your heart as you read these words.

Jesus says:

Those the Father has given to Me will come to Me, and I will never reject them. –John 6:37

God is with you now.  May the veil be removed and give you eyes to see in Jesus name.

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He Comprehends Your Path

He Comprehends Your Path.

I’ve noticed a common worry among Christians—and this is myself included.  We seem to constantly be questioning if our current situations—job, church, relationships—are “where God wants us to be.”

I’m constantly worried about God’s will in my life as if I’m gonna mess it up by not showing up somewhere.  We need to realize that we are just not that big.  We have a powerful God who works all things together for good to those who love God and are the called according to His purpose (Rom 8:28).

But what is my calling?

It’s quite simple actually:

To be conformed to the image of His Son. (Rom 8:29)

Yeah but…

Should I go to this college? Should I date that person? Should I take this job? Should I apply for that job? Should I attend this church?  Should I serve in this ministry?  Should I start my own ministry?  How am I going to pay the bills?  Where am I supposed to live?  Lord what am I supposed to do?

Do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about its own things. Sufficient for the day is its own trouble.

I think what the Lord is teaching here is not that we shouldn’t plan for our future but that we should trust Him more when He says He will provide.  He says He will direct our steps.  Our job is to keep the main thing the main focus.  Our job is to seek Him more than any other job, relationship, school, church, or ministry.

I was getting distressed yesterday because I am in the middle of some life changes and I started worrying.  I wasn’t worrying about today.  I was worrying about tomorrow and much farther ahead of that.  But then the Lord showed me a very simple verse that brought comfort:

Psalm 139:3 says:

You [the Lord] understand my path…

Good! I thought, because I often don’t.

A man’s heart plans his way, but the Lord directs his steps. (Prov 16:9)

Worrying through life creates bondage.  God wants you to give your worries to Him and walk in freedom!

 

His Presence is in the Present

Revelation 4:8 tells us that the cherubim around the throne of God do not rest day or night saying:

“Holy, holy, holy,
Is the Lord God Almighty,
Who was and is and is to come!”

This is a great truth of God that He always was, He currently is, and He will come again.

The LORD is calling you to focus on the middle part of this verse today.

God told Moses to tell the Israelites that I AM had sent him.

Today God is saying, I AM with you now.

His presence is in the present.

May He bless you abundantly today as you sit at His feet.

Join in with the twenty-four elders in heaven who fall down before the throne in worship saying:

You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created.

From Pride to Praise

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From Pride to Praise

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above… -James 1:17

Since coming to Christ a big thing God has been teaching me is humility. The Bible tells us again and again that God wants us to be humble.

Does this mean we have to walk around thinking we never do anything right and that everyone else is doing life better than us?

No! I think some people have misunderstood humility. Humility does not mean low self esteem! Esteem means worth or value, and you are very valuable to God. Because of this truth you should hold yourself valuable. You need to know that you were created with a purpose. You are valuable to the Kingdom!

Humility is understanding where your value comes from. Humility is turning pride into praise. It’s realizing that every good and perfect thing you can do is a gift from God and would not be possible without Him.

For instance:

To be humble I do not have to think I’m a terrible writer, but rather I praise God for giving me the ability to express myself, and I thank Him for giving me something worth writing about! I thank Him for speaking through me and motivating me to write what He has taught me.

To be humble I do not have to think I’m a terrible musician, but I thank God for giving me the gift of musicianship. I look for opportunities to use my gift in worship of Him to bless Him and serve the body.

You see pride is stealing praise from God. So the next time you do something well, praise God for making you and giving you that gift or talent. Ask Him how your gift could be used for the Kingdom.

Glory to God!

He who humbles himself will be exalted. -Matthew 23:12

Enduring Hope

And He said, “My presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.” –Exodus 33:14

Sometimes we need to be reminded of God’s faithfulness.

Just as the Israelites placed stones at the side of the Jordan (Joshua 4), remember the milestones in your life of what God has done in the past.  Hope in His faithfulness to deliver.

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen. –Hebrews 11:1

For we were saved in this hope, but hope that is seen is not hope; for why does one still hope for what he sees? –Romans 8:24

May God bless you with enduring hope today.

Seek the Lord

The Lord your God is in your midst… -Zephaniah 3:17

Tomorrow marks one year of having this blog.  It’s been quite a year to say the least.  I’m very thankful that the Lord has given me a way to express myself and to share some amazing things He is doing and teaching me.  I’m even more thankful for all the wonderful people I’ve met through WordPress.  The idea of people actually reading my posts and being encouraged by them blows my mind.  God is good!  Don’t ever forget that.  The Lord has led me to focus my attention to some other things for a while so I will be blogging a lot less the remainder of the year.

I want to leave you with a challenge to seek the Lord like never before.  Dedicate the remainder of 2012 entirely to Jesus.  Not in a way to earn grace or some step ladder to God’s favor… You are already favored!  I just want to encourage you to give Him your full attention because He deserves it.  He loves you so much.  Bring your heart before the Lord and ask Him if you’ve been putting anything else before Him.

There is power in the name of Jesus!

Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,  to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen. –Ephesians 3:20-21

Trust, Listen, Obey

Trust

Trust in the Lord with all your heart,
And lean not on your own understanding.
–Proverbs 3:5

Listen

It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone,
but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.
–Matthew 4:4

Obey

Has the Lord as great delight in burnt offerings and sacrifices, as in obeying the voice of the Lord?
Behold, to obey is better than sacrifice, and to heed than the fat of rams.
–1 Samuel 15:22