Encourgement…

Proverbs 16:9 “In his heart a man plans his course, but the Lord determines his steps.”

 

I love it!! Man has a general idea of where he wants to go in life but God is the one who orders and orchestrates each step. We make the plans but don’t really know the outcome but God has set us up to meet the people we are to meet, go the places we are to go, grow up in the families we’re supposed to grow up in, and live through the things we are to live through, all to make sure we have every opportunity to first be called and then to do what we were called to do. He knows our every thought, want, and desire, and orchestrates our lives to succeed. He wants so bad for us to trust Him (prov3:5), and He longs to be gracious to us and show us compassion (Is 30:18) so that He can do the exceedingly above all we could ask or imagine in our lives (Eph 3:20). He loves us that much….wow!!!!

 

Let Him be the God of justice He longs to be in your life! He says He has higher heights for you…Let Him get you there!!!

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Slow Fade, Part 1– The Call

It truly is a “Slow Fade”, just as that song by Casting Crowns goes. The story of Samson was literally a slow fade into sin and finally death. You can track every decision made that led him deeper and deeper into sin and finally death but the great thing in all this is, that God was still able to use him to destroy the Philistines (read his story Judges 13-16).

His story makes me think, though. Is that really how God wanted his life to go? God gives us free will to make decisions for ourselves. We ultimately still end up doing some aspect of what we were called to do (once we are called, i.e. salvation and infilling) but how it goes down is up to us. It humbles me that God in His great sovereignty allows us to muck things up but still uses us in the capacity we were to be used! Samson was called to be a Nazarite set apart from birth to destroy the Philistines. God didn’t say how he would do it but just that he would be the one to do it!!

over the next few blogs i’m going to look deeper into Samson’s life and see where we could stop ourselves from going down the wrong road.

The Call
Judges 13:4-5
“because you will conceive and give birth to a son. No razor may be used because the boy is to be…set apart to God…and he will bring deliverance of Israel from the hands of the Philistines.”

Once we have been set apart God gives us a “call” His plan for us is set in motion. God knew the moment you would be saved and the thing He called you to even before you were a thought in your mother’s mind (Jer1:5) and under the right leadership and through personal devotion we will be able to walk in the purpose/call God has given us. I can only imagine Samson’s up-bringing. His parents probably uconstantly told him the story of his birth and the purpose God laid out for him. I mean they had to explain why he was the only one not getting his hair cut. He was the weired boy on the block with the long hair. His parents had to tell him!!!

Just like Samson, we need to have those people. Those parents who are telling us what God’s promises are for us! We need someone who is constantly affirming our walk and telling us that we are truly set apart for greatness. For Samson it was his biological parents, but for us it may not be them. It may be a leader in your church, your pastor, your mentor, but we all must have them. Without them we are liable to fall and forget what we were called for. We may cut our “hair”, our tie to God, and lose that relationship.

Tell me: Who is leading you? Who is that leader that constantly reminds you, you were made for more?

Trust who? Lean where?

Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding…” Prov 3:5

We must truly trust that what He has for us is as good as He says it is. This is something that I constantly am thinking about and praying about…Increasing my faith to the point where not matter the circumstance I can rest in the fact that He has something amazing for me through it. I mean He really does, His Word says so, but it definitely can be hard to truly live in that confidence.

This verse had me thinking about the Israelites, when they first came upon the promised land God said to go scope out the land “which I am GIVING to the Israelites…” (Num13:2). They sent scouts from all twelve tribes to explore the land but when they came back all they could talk about was how big and strong and fortified the cities of that land were. The scouts spread doubt throughout the nation even though God said He was going to GIVE them that land! They ended up leaning on their own understanding and allowed fear of the giants in the land to stop them from moving into the land of milk and honey promised to them. They somehow forgot all the miraculous things God did to get them out of Egypt and dwelled on what seemed like an insurmountable task ahead of them. Because of that they were left to wander for forty years (count them! 4-0) until that faithless generation all died in the wilderness. (Numbers 13-14; 32:9-13)

This is sometimes what we do and I say “we” because I am included. We allow fear to dictate to us what we are going to do. We allow our “own understanding” to paralyze us in one place. You understand that the doctor’s report is bad but God says by my stripes you WERE healed. People say you won’t amount to anything, you’re just like (fill in the blank) but God says for I know the plans I have for you….

We lean on our own understanding, our past experiences, instead of allowing God to do the new thing He promised He would do. We believe that person will never change, our family can’t be healed, I’ll never make it but God is saying believe in me and I will make your paths straight…Trust me I got this

It seems so simple but yet it’s so hard to do…Trusting in him with all our hearts and not leaning on our own understanding…Being still and knowing that He is God (Psalm 46:10)…

Lord I pray we get a true understanding of what it means to just be still, and to trust wholeheartedly. You said that You are faithful and just to forgive and that You aren’t a man that You should (could) lie…Let us not knock ourselves out of our inheritance just because we couldn’t trust You…

Traditions Part 2

Verse 7

They worship Me in vain; their teachings are but rules taught by men.

When we just give lip service our worship and praise mean nothing. Power comes from worship. Power comes from praise. Power comes from prayer but if we are just doing it because its “tradition” it will amount to nothing. Our hearts must be a part of our worship or we are wasting our breath. God knows when its not real and He does not accept it. He ignores it. And we are wasting our time faking it. If your breakthrough can come through your worship, praise, and prayer, why fake it? Why not go for broke and actually test God in what He says? Only when we come with our hearts, then will we see God move on our behalf. Sometimes we can get bogged down in tradition and forget the real reason we even go to church, or worship or pray. We put God in a box and when He doesn’t perform we just say He doesn’t really do anything any more. The miracles of the Bible aren’t for me or this time. When in truth God is just looking for us to actually put faith and belief behind those prayers and that worship.

Question for ya: Are you giving God lip service? How can we not put God in a box and begin to actually see all that He says He can do in the Bible???