Dead-end street!

 God's Will  Comments Off on Dead-end street!
Jan 262018
 

“And try to discern what is pleasing to the Lord” (Ephesians 5:10).

One of the greatest pains in life is attempting the impossible:
Pleasing other people!

Just think of the effort and angst we extend every day trying to get others to like or approve or affirm us.

Don’t be fooled!
People-pleasing is a dead-end street!

Whether the people you crave recognition from is your boss, your parent, your friend, or someone from your past-when you position them as judge and jury over your life, you’re putting yourself in bondage.

Jesus came to set you free from this painful pattern of living.
“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed” (John 8:36).

Two choices that helped me turn the corner on this issue are:

Choice #1
I minimize my focus on what others think of me.
Paul faced the temptation to people-please.

Notice his response to people comparing his and Apollos’ ministries in 1 Corinthians 4:3:
“But with me it is a very small thing that I should be judged by you or by any human court.
In fact, I do not even judge myself.”

He minimized the weight he placed on others’ opinions.
“It’s a very small thing,” he said.

Choice #2
I maximize my focus on what God thinks of me.
I’ve had to come to the place in my life where my consuming passion is to focus on God’s evaluation.

Let me suggest four ways to do this:

Spend quality and quantity time with the Lord.
More time with Him will help you know and desire to do what pleases Him most.

Don’t be controlled or manipulated by emotional blackmail.
Some people hold a dynamite stick in one hand and a match in the other and threaten to control you by intimidation.
Just walk away.

Limit enslaving friendships.
People who base relationships on performance, not acceptance, are never satisfied.
Limit their influence and the time you spend with them.

Get alone with the Lord on a daily basis.
And ask, “Lord, are you pleased with my life?

God is the only one who has all the facts-
– sees all the motives and
– knows why your boss is never satisfied or
– why your dad won’t accept you as you are.

Let it go and focus on pleasing Him alone!
Only God’s assessment of your life will matter!!

(PA)

It cannot reach us without rails!

 Prayer  Comments Off on It cannot reach us without rails!
Jan 252018
 

“When we cried out to the Lord, He heard our voice” (Numbers 20:16).

A group of businessmen were flying in an aircraft.

There was a sudden decompression.

As the plane plummeted to the ground-

– one of the men asked his friend across the aisle to pray for them.

“The last time I prayed was twenty years ago!” his friend replied.

But his business companions insisted.

“All right” he said and prayed:

“O Lord, I haven’t bothered You for the last twenty years; and if You get us out of this fix, I promise You, I won’t bother You for the next twenty years!”

God does not consider our prayers bothersome.

On the contrary-

He desires that our very first thought at the onset of a trial would be to come to Him for help in getting through it.

So often, we hear people say, “The only thing left to do now is pray,” when in reality-

God was there all along, waiting for someone to cry out to Him and call down His power.

When you begin to wonder why the storm isn’t letting up, ask yourself-

“Have I requested God’s help yet?”

If the answer is “No,” call to Him and watch-

– as He calms the wind and waves in your life.

Our prayers lay the track down on which God’s power can come.

Like a mighty locomotive-

His power is irresistible!

But-

– it cannot reach us without rails!

(PA)

Pray for God’s favour

 God's Will  Comments Off on Pray for God’s favour
Jan 242018
 

“When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand” (Proverbs 16:7).

You can’t please everybody all the time.

And it’s also a big mistake to try.

Your constant need for approval can end up costing you God’s best.

When you’re doing anything worthwhile-

– expect opposition from those who aren’t privy to God’s plan for your life.

Notice-

Jesus “made himself of no reputation” (Philipians 2:7).

He wasn’t always well thought of by others.

But He knew He had God’s approval.

And that’s what mattered to Him!

In Proverbs 21:1, Solomon says that just like changing the direction of a moving river-

God can change hearts and give you favour with those who’d otherwise reject you.

He also said, “When God approves of your life, even your enemies will end up shaking your hand.”

Does that mean you won’t encounter opposition or people who disagree with you?

No, but when you do, just concentrate on pleasing God and let Him deal with the fallout.

Remember-

God takes up where you leave off.

When you’ve exhausted all your efforts-

He can step in and open doors with the right people at just the right time.

The truth is-

He can get you a better job than you could get on your own, and give you blessings that, humanly speaking, you don’t deserve or qualify for.

Just like the Holy Spirit enabled Jesus to fulfill His life’s mission-

God will call, equip and enable you to fulfill His plan for your life (Luke 4:18-19).

So stop trying so hard to make things happen on your terms.

And begin to pray for God’s favour! 

(PA)

 

Casting your cares

 Faith  Comments Off on Casting your cares
Jan 232018
 

God’s shoulders are wide enough to carry your burdens.

He is sovereign over the universe-

– so He is certainly capable of working out problems and meeting needs.

I want to give you an exercise that will help make casting your cares a practical act.

First-

Admit!

Write on a piece of paper the things that cause your anxiety.

Once you start writing, you may discover a list of items that cheat you out of peace.

Next-

Submit!!

Pray each issue into God’s care.

Recall Psalm 18:35 which promises that He upholds believers in His loving grasp.

Finally-

Transmit!!!

As you pray, visualize placing the situation into God’s omnipotent hands.

For example-

– you may imagine handing over to the Lord what you owe, while saying, “Father, I give You my financial anxiety. I know that You will show me how to get out of debt. You are more than sufficient to handle it, and I trust You to guide me.”

Some people may protest this suggestion.

Because pseudo-spiritual movements also use a method they refer to as “visualizing.”

Don’t let anyone steal what is rightfully yours.

God creates word pictures throughout the Bible.

This exercise merely creates a mental snapshot of the Lord doing exactly what He says He will do (Psalm 55:22; Matthew 6:25-26).

When you have transferred all of your worries to God’s hands-

– wad up that paper in your fist, and then destroy it.

In this way, you symbolize the transaction that just took place.

Your cares are no longer yours.

Every one of them belongs to the Lord.

Walk away in perfect peace!

(PA)

Focus on His Faithfulness

 Faith  Comments Off on Focus on His Faithfulness
Jan 222018
 

Do you ride an emotional roller coaster of faith? Do you feel that sometimes God hides from you? Do you ever wrestle with a problem and never find the insight to explain it? Do you ever wonder why prayers may go unanswered year after year? You are not alone in having these feelings of abandonment by God. You are not alone in having those periods of doubt and frustrations. Look at the words of David in the following Psalms.

Psalm 10:1 Why, O LORD, do you stand far off? Why do you hide yourself in times of trouble?

Psalm 22:1 My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning?

On the cross Jesus quotes Psalm 22:1

Matthew 27:46 About the ninth hour Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eloi, Eloi, lama sabachthani?” which means, “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”

Again in Psalm 13 David cries out:

Psalm 13:1-3 How long, O LORD? Will you forget me forever? How long will you hide your face from me? How long must I wrestle with my thoughts and every day have sorrow in my heart? How long will my enemy triumph over me? Look on me and answer, O LORD my God. Give light to my eyes, or I will sleep in death;

Can you relate to David? I sure can. As you read through the Psalms you see that David does continue to trust God and have faith in God. David realizes as I am sure all of you do, God never turns His face from us. God is always there. We are the ones that turn our backs and hearts from God. Psalm 16:11.

Do you know that God can and will help you beyond your faith and imagination? Eph 3:20.

If you cannot depend upon your faith, just depend upon His faithfulness.

Father, Forgive me when I doubt your presence. Forgive me when I feel so alone and so distant from you. I know you are always there, always patiently waiting for me. I know sometimes as your child you need to press and mold me into becoming all You want me to become. Help me to praise you for caring so much about me, that you take that time to mold me. You have made known to me the path of life; You fill me with joy in your presence, with eternal pleasures at your right hand. In Jesus name.

(PA)