Hope

I look up to the mountains-
  does my help come from there?
My help comes from the Lord,
  who made heaven and earth!

He will not let you stumble;
  the one who watches over you will not slumber
Indeed, he who watches over Israel
  never slumbers or sleeps.

The Lord himself watches over you!
  The Lord stands beside you as your protective shade.
The sun will not harm you by day,
  nor the moon at night.

The Lord keeps you from all harm
  and watches over your life.
The Lord keeps watch over you as you come and go,
  both now and forever  ~Psalm 121~

There are so many wrongs to be pointed out in this season of our nation and world.  There is voter fraud and corrupt government, military scandal, secrets, lies.  The truth is rarely told.  There is murder, there is war, there is rumors of war.  Good has become evil and evil has become good.  Right is wrong and wrong is right.  Fear is normal and kindness is abandoned.  God is an excuse for weakness and rejected at every turn.  But here is my question for you in the middle of all that:  Are you fixated on pointing out what is wrong or are you fixated on the face of Jesus?  Will you sway those who are lost to the Lord with your pointing finger and accusations (whether true or not)?  Will they want what you have when you are in the pit with your mind and your mouth?  I am only asking these questions because I am asking them of myself.  Where is MY focus?  What am I fixating on:  The fact that these people need Jesus or they need MY version of the truth?

I have been caught up in the frenzy.  I find myself drawn to the things that are negative and sensational.  I find myself trying to figure out what the truth is in all the drama.  I find myself getting angry at the injustice.  I find myself biting my tongue to keep from spewing MY opinion…but I spew them in my mind anyway: so what’s the difference between the two?  I find myself arguing, fixating, obsessing.  So here I am…making a choice.  Making a choice to STOP.  What I put my focus on is what I become.  I will NOT become one of the masses.

There is a very clear fork in the road for so many of us.  It is a monstrous battle to curb the need to speak about everything we feel strongly about.  I struggle with this.  I have a lot to say.  But maybe God just wants me to look at Him and leave the rest to His Holy Spirit to take care of.  My actions should scream my love for Jesus. Words mean nothing.  Let me say that again.  My ACTIONS should SCREAM my love for Jesus!

And yet, there is so much hope.  The world may be moving in a perilous direction and “the mark” is closer than we think.  But there is one thing I know.  God is above it all.  He is returning for His Bride.  Will we be ready?  Will we have pointed the lost to Him?  Will we be waiting, wide awake and anticipating His arrival?    We need to pray the Word of God over our own heart, mind and spirit.  We need to fix our minds on the things of God and not on the things that are twisted.  Again…What we fix our minds on is what we become.  Let’s fix them on this….

Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything.  Tell God what you need, and thank Him for all He has done.  Then you will experience God’s peace, which exceeds anything we can understand.  His peace will guard your hearts and minds as you live in Christ Jesus.  And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing.  Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable.  Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.  Keep putting into practice all you learned and received from me – everything you heard from me and saw me doing.  Then the God of peace will be with you.  ~Philippians 4:6-9~

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Pushing buttons and opportunity

I had an interesting conversation with my husband today.  He will be thrilled to know that I have been “chewing” on what we talked about.  Something he said really, really stuck out to me.  It was this…”As Christians, we need to be more bold.”  Okay, okay, you’ve heard it all before.  I know I have.  I have been hearing sermons about this since I can remember.  But what if we step away from all our “Christianese” and “political correctness” for a minute and really think about that statement in a deep way?  I know that as a Christian, my heart sank last Tuesday when the results of the election were announced.  I was sad.  But not because a democrat was elected, but because it was a picture, to me, of our continued move away from God.  It has been happening in a slow and steady way for a few decades now.  But then as the week passed on, I began to have some revelation about it all.

There are many countries in this world who have nothing, which is where, I believe, we are headed.  Yet so many of the people of these nations are the happiest, most content people I have ever seen.  God has a way of stripping away what we are dependent on in order to recognize our need to be dependent on Him.  Let me say that another way…if we depend on our country, our government, our job, our family, our friends there is no place left for us to even see God.  I feel like He is allowing us to be stripped so that we will see our great, desperate need of Him.  It will no longer work to sit on the sidelines and be quiet about what we believe.  Our silence has placed us in this position and it is time for us to take full, complete and total responsibility for where we are.  I know I may be pushing some buttons here, but my husband pushed mine too (in a good way).

 We need to quit wasting time being offended and nursing our woundedness and get about the business of God.  The Bible speaks about the persecution of the church.  I believe we are there.  I’m not trying to scare anyone because I’m not scared.  I am opened up.  I feel uncluttered.  I feel clear.  I am choosing to look at myself and say these words to my own heart.  Pursue God, deeply, wholeheartedly, without hesitation so that when the time comes, we will know what to say, we will know what to do, we will know to be still.  Don’t get me wrong, we still need to pay attention to how we communicate with people and that we are always showing the grace and love of Jesus.  I will not waiver from that.  However, the time for wasting time on personal offenses and excuses is over.  Jesus is coming back.  I don’t know when, but I do know that He is.  This should not make us fearful! It should fill us with overwhelming joy! It should open up our eyes and show us that we have a profound OPPORTUNITY to change the direction of everything we come in contact with.    It’s time to stop being just Christians and start being pursuers of Christ!  There is a difference!