October 20, 2015

Open for 2015 {Week 40}

Over the last couple of months my weekly blogging has slowed, so I'm working on some fast-forwarding catch up by sharing with you a few things that have stood out in September and October!  I long to share these with you, because I know they will encourage your hearts as much as they have mine.

Last week I wrote about my need (our need) to be OPEN to transformation, a work that only God can do in our hearts, and only in His timing.  Today I want to share with you about how I was feeling in early October and how God challenged me to be OPEN to trusting Him for protection and provision.

Whenever I have deadlines coming up, but I have not had time to prepare for them, I start to get anxious.  My mind rushes to fear and to the disaster that is surely going to result in the future.  (You know, because I know how to predict the future!)  Well, the arrival of October brought the shocking reminder that I had two speaking engagements coming up in a handful of weeks and - other than a few feeling thoughts - I had done nothing to prepare.  Commence internal freak out!

For a few days I was waking up thinking about all the stuff I had to do and how there did not seem to be any way that I could find or make time to prepare for these two commitments.  I was praying about it, sharing with God how I was feeling.  But I always returned my focus to the impossibility of it all.  (I'm a real optimist!)

The morning of October 4th, I sat down for my morning quiet time and God got through to me.  Of course I knew that some of my nervousness came from pride; I don't want to make a fool of myself in front of two groups of people!  That unbelief needed to be confessed.  But the Lord reminded me of an additional problem I had.  It is a problem all Christians have.  When we belong to God, not only do we enjoy fellowship with Him, we also take on His enemy.  And the evil one would love nothing more than for God's people to get stuck in fear, unbelief, self-love, etc.

God called to mind the line from the Lord's prayer:

We have an enemy, but His power is pitiful when placed alongside the omnipotence of Almighty God!  I could pray boldly for protection from his lies and attacks, fully confident in the Lord's ability and willingness to hear my cry and come to my aid.

The Lord went on to remind me that He called me to each of these "gigs."  And though He never promises that what He calls us to will be easy, He does promise to be with us, give us wisdom, guidance, hope, and joy.  God opens the doors and we can trust Him to see us through to the other side.

The beginning of this month was fraught with inner turmoil.  To find peace, I needed to be OPEN to trusting God with all of it.  That meant repenting of my sin, but it also meant turning to God for protection and provision that only He can provide for me, and for you.

May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it.  I Thessalonians 5:23-24

Time to Take Action:
Do you find yourself all tied up in knots today?  Does life seem like it's just a little too much?  This sisa common experience for many of us, even in the midst of things we know God has called us to but the initial excitement has faded.  How quickly we forget that the Lord is poised to come to our aid.  Maybe you have some sin to confess.  So do that!  But also, take some time to say to the Lord, 

I need your protection and provision.  Of course life is too much for me!  I have an enemy who wants me to stop trusting You and I am a finite human.  Deliver me from the evil one today.  Remind me that at all times I can declare I AM A CHILD OF THE KING!  Fill my heart with hope in YOUR ability to provide for me and help me to trust you through each moment of the day, especially the ones that seem impossible from my perspective.  You are faithful, Lord.  Thank you.  Thank you.  Thank you!  In Jesus' name, Amen.

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