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the past few days have been quite interesting with the Lord.  sunday’s sermon was about the Nearness of God and my pastor made one point that has been sticking out in my head A LOT: the nearness of God is SAFETY. and he said when we begin to experience fear we tend to go into plan mode. we plan what to do and how to do it to rid ourselves of the fear. when in fact, what we should do is pause, stop and draw near to God. yesterday the Lord took me to psalm 27. when i got to the end of the psalm, it was as if the final verse screamed at me:

Wait for the LORD;
be strong and take heart
and wait for the LORD.

then this morning i read from good old oswald chambers’ devotional my utmost for His highest and this really stood out to me:

Our problems arise when we refuse to place our trust in the reality of His presence.

as i’ve been waiting on the Lord, feeling quite challenged to be still, trust, and know He is near, i began to wonder: if more people knew they could access the power of the Almighty, would they then believe? if people understood that the most amazing mystery of Christianity is that the Almighty, All-Powerful God of the Universe really does want to talk to them, to engage with them and give them the ultimate freedom for life that can only come from Him. if people knew that as mere human beings we can access that power and His infinite wisdom, would they want it? would they consider knowing Jesus?

i’m blown away by modern technology these days. i’m on a plane right now as i type this! that is INCREDIBLE. i was trying to think of what to choose joy over today. since i’m on a plane you may have assumed i’m going somewhere, and for that i’m totally full of joy, but i don’t really have to choose joy in that case, ha! in a few short hours i’ll see most (missing one sister-SAD) of my family and we’ll enjoy a week of warm sun together. who knows, maybe the trip will grace the blog in some way shape or form :-)

it’s incredible to me though, despite the excitement and blessing of getting to leave the wind chill inflicted city i call home to spend a week in warmth with some of the most special people on this earth, i needed to choose joy and not fear this morning. the enemy just loves to steal our joy and try to rob us of the blessings God provides. but i was bound and determined not to let him win. so today i chose joy and i chose prayer.

i didn’t have a lot of time this morning to spend with the Lord as i thought i had prepared well yesterday for this morning but needless to say when i got up i realized there was still a bit of a laundry list of stuff to do before i walked out the door. but i did make time to pray and then even asked my prayer warrior roommate to pray for me. she has been such a blessing in my life for many, many reasons but one is definitely her gift of prayer.

she reminded me of something we learned together when we did beth moore’s study esther, we can live in a chiastic structure… meaning God can bring us to the “same” place but it can look very different. and only He can do that. she reminded me that even though fears may plague me at times when a situation looks familiar to the old dark past, it is God who can bring us back to those places and now it is a new and bright future. (ps. this is not about my family being an old dark past, just to be clear)

so today i choose joy because God makes al things beautiful in His time (ecclesiastes 3:11) and sometimes He shows us that by bringing us back to places, situations, people, etc. that once seemed dark and sad to show us how bright and full of joy it is now.

proverbs 23:18 – there is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.

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