I’m positive that we all have a long list of things that we can’t do.
It’s tempting to focus on this list, especially when it affects us and our lives directly.
For example, sometimes I can’t walk down the stairs normally because my knee swells up. It’s a little bit tempting to throw myself a pity party or allow myself to become angry or discouraged by my limitation.
The reality is, my knee is in this state at this time and I must bear the consequences. It won’t do me much good to sit around and contemplate my limitations, oft becoming more and more discouraged.
It’s always healthier to focus on what we can do.
I can encourage people. Instead of sitting around focusing on being discouraged the Lord used me to encourage somebody. It went like this:
She needed a hug. It was painted into her expressions and the way her shoulders slumped. “Well, back to work I go”. Eeyore had taken over her body and a full-size donkey-of-a-woman stood in her place; on hind legs.
Give her a hug was the nudge that I felt from el Señor, Holy Spirit.
I hesitated and when she left the room I mentioned that I thought I should have hugged her to the other person in the room.
“Oh, yes! Definitely hug her!” was her response. So I decided to hug her when I left.
A few minutes later I walked upstairs and said “hey, I just wanted to give you a hug!”
Within a couple minutes she was crying and saying how encouraged she felt. I felt the presence of the Lord very strongly and we were both laughing and ministering to each other for over an hour.
I felt the joy of the Lord so strongly during that hour of fellowship. She thanked me for “being obedient to the Holy Spirit” and confessed that she had felt spiritually down and dark all weekend. By the time our conversation was over, her affect had changed completely. It was as though life had been breathed into her. That’s what encouragement is.
It’s so tempting to focus on ourselves constantly. Which, in my opinion, is pretty depressing. A better place to enlist my focus is on the Maker of all things. The Father of all, Creator of All, Ultimate Guide, Wise King and Lover of my soul. Wow. What a better thing to be focused on! I can’t think of anything better.
Adrian Rogers once said “to rejoice is a choice”. So choose joy. The best way to do this is to keep your eyes and ears open for the leading of Jesus. God doesn’t look for perfect people to carry out His work. In fact, there is no one perfect but God, Jesus Christ and the Holy Spirit. God has always used the fools to shame the wise.
So give Him the glory today!!!!!!!!!!!!
Like this post if it encouraged you! Leave a comment below saying how God used you when you didn’t feel fit to be used.
Is it you? I wondered expectantly. But no, it wasn’t you.
I continued doing what I know I was supposed to be doing, but it was difficult. I got up to bring something across the room and this time I thought I heard you.
Could it be you? I glanced over in the general direction of my cell phone but didn’t bother to check it. I didn’t want to be disappointed again. Not that my disappointment was overwhelming; in fact I believed I would hear from you. I will venture to say that I even knew in my heart that I most definitely would hear from you. But each time I checked my phone again and again, the doubt started to increase. Or at least that’s what my mind was trying to convince me of.
The battle between the mind and the heart is a tough one at times. And I guess doubt is rooted in the heart.
My mind trusts God. I trust Him with my mouth. But do I really trust Him with my heart if I’m ova hee-uh doubting left and right? It’s a constant battle of anxious thoughts (some small, some large) that I have to hit back out of my mind. Or better yet, beat them into the submission of the Truth.
It’s been 2.25 hours and I haven’t heard back from you.
I’m starting to go into that zone in my mind that has caution tape across the entrance. The Door of Doubt is a wide one. In fact, so it’s so easy to walk through that I find myself lost inside that room too often. The Door of Belief is a small door. I picture it as being very short, like suitable for a small child. And hard to see, easy to miss.
And yet, we must focus on that door. It’s hard to find, it’s hard to pass through, but what’s on the inside of that door is absolute paradise. This is why:
Because — and I know I shouldn’t start off a sentence with “because” — if I truly believe that God has me in His Perfect, Faithful hands… If I truly believe that God works all things together for my good… If I truly believe that He will never leave me or forsake me… then I’m in Paradise. There’s no such thing as a socialist utopia. But there is Heaven. There is a place where nothing is broken, and nothing is lacking. But Jesus said “let it be on earth as it is in Heaven.” Because — here I go again — Jesus died so that we could experience peace with God now.
Why can’t you just respond to my message; is that too much to ask?
Is it possible to have peace with God and be at unrest simultaneously? Or perhaps unrest is not what I’m experiencing right now. It’s more like OCD. I’m obsessively thinking about hearing from this person while not hearing from them at the same time. So now I will pray.
Lord. I should have spoken to you a long time ago about this. I asked you many times for the initiation of the conversation. That has come. I also asked you for the desired result. I do believe it will come, but I am uneasy while I wait. I want to start planning ahead in my mind. I want to hear from this person. I want the screen to flash yellow and the words to flash GREEN … a green light. Go-Time. I want to go. Lord, you know I do. So I wait. And while I wait, I ask. Lord, will you touch this person’s heart even now. Right now. 9:07pm. Lord, will you touch their heart and cause them to respond. Lord will you impress upon whoever else’s heart is necessary to tie up the loose strings. Will you, Lord, bring closure to this situation. Will you close the Door of Doubt, and open wide the Door of Belief, and gently guide me through it? Lord will you help me stop obsessing about the outcome. Will you redirect my thoughts away from my phone and the messages, and instead to focusing my thoughts elsewhere. Being in prayer with You perhaps. Or writing. So I wait. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
I find myself starting to bargain with God. Making empty promises that we both know I won’t be able to keep. And then something happens that I really don’t like. I will be praying for someone, and then the enemy or my mind tells me something like “you’re just praying because you think that if you pray, God will notice you and pay attention to you and weigh whether or not He should give you the desires of your heart.” I hate that. Our sin doesn’t affect God’s love for us. That’s the most beautiful aspect of the gospel.
However, sin has consecuencias. We truly reap what we sow. And when we sow seeds for death, we reap death. If I go to the gym every day for 2 minutes I will not get the same results as if I went to the gym every day for an hour. Duh?! Duh. Same thing applies here: if I spend all my time thinking about something out of my control, I am planting or watering seeds of doubt, worry, anxiousness, etc.
Imagine spending that time praying. Singing. Reflecting on gratitude.
WAIT it’s you.
“It’s not going to work out after all.“
After waiting and checking and waiting and hoping, this answer was… less than satisfactory shall we say?
Alas. I can’t fight it. Because the Truth in the matter is this:
There was nothing I could have done or said differently to charter a different response. I thought and prayed over my responses. I didn’t act with haste. My mind tells me lies, like I should’ve acted hastily or said less or more, but I know that’s not true. And this is why:
God’s plans are unstoppable.
If He meant for me to be somewhere different than where I am, I would be there. I would simply be there.
Who can stand up against God? Nobody!
Who can thwart God’s plans? Not one.
No, that wasn’t the case. I simply was not meant to entertain with this person at this time. And in that Truth, I rest.
I rest knowing that God dictates my steps. He leads me down paths of righteousness for His name’s sake. He leads me besides still waters, and gives me rest. He provides shade for me in the heat of the day, and provides heat for me in the chilly air. He is my sword and my shield, my strong tower. In Him, I rest. Just to know Him and be known by Him is more than enough.
I know I will hear from you again. I won’t be surprised if you change your mind and reach out to me. It’s too late now… maybe next time. We’re all learning through this. We’re all deepening old patterns and forming new ones altogether. I thank God for you, and I know that you too would give him the credit if only you believed. I believe that one day you will.
I think we’re all a little bit guilty of going through the motions and not doing what makes us feel alive. We get stuck in defeating behaviors and just try to make it through the days. Things can seem hopeless when we yearn for change and don’t see it. But God gave us a brain for a reason: to use and to discern and to conquer. To choose what we think about and take every thought captive and make it obedient to Christ.
The following list has been created to help you discover freedom in being who you really are and doing what you really want to do. (Down below will be the “Start” list!)
Here we go:
Stop doing these things:
Doing and saying things to please other people and gain affection, attention, approval, validation.
Agreeing with somebody when you actually disagree with what they’re saying or doing.
Encouraging somebody to do something that you believe is wrong.
Saying you’re going to do something and not doing anything towards doing it.
Letting negative thoughts take reign over your emotions.
Staying sedentary when you know it feels good to move.
Settling for less than you deserve.
Choosing hopelessness, despair, depression.
Feasting on anxiety, worry, doubt. You’re not God. You don’t know what the future holds.
Start doing these things:
Plan a trip to the beach. You can get a really fabulous Air B&B these days for less than $100/night. The cheapest I’ve ever stayed in one was at $18/night in Orlando, Florida. 😉
Get hungry and cook something new. (f you’re like me, the hunger part might not be that difficult) But find a great recipe and try it out with friends. And then feast on it 🙂
Be honest; always…
Stand up for yourself.
Look in the mirror and tell yourself how beautiful you are, and thank God for making you that way!
Accept the circumstances you’re in currently and work with what you have.
Look around the room and list off all of the things you’re grateful for. Here’s mine:
-blue light glasses
-opportunity to write
-opportunity to take pictures
-being able to read my bible today
-being able to pray today, and journal
-just got back from a great walk
-the quiet <3
-actually, the subtle city sounds
-knowing the truth about God’s provision. He will a l w a y s take care of me and give me all that I need
-my hair 😀
-being able to sing out loud and give thanks
SOoooo I could probably go on. There’s something about making a list of all the things I’m grateful for that makes me feel the weight of my blessing. I am extremely blessed and truly lack nothing. Nothing. I don’t need anything. Truly. Some aspects of my life are “up in the air” I guess, but that doesn’t bother me. “Worrying” is on the stop list. Stop worrying. God will take care of His children.
Do you know if you’re a child of God? Not all people are. Only those who confess and believe that Jesus Christ is the son of God and is Lord of all. Do you want to have peace with God and be sure that you will always be provided for? Do you want to rest in the hands of Jesus forever?
I would love to walk you through what it means to put your faith and trust in Jesus Christ to be your Provider, Father, Friend, Brother and source of life and satisfaction. He gave me actual life and I would love to tell you how. Jump on my email list and I would love to talk to you personally about inheriting the peace of God 🙂