Sometimes I just curse this world.. I’ve realized that I was beginning to let the world take control again. The everyday worry, fears, and daunting task lists grow bigger and bigger each day and sometimes it can overwhelm… I have realized that I have been living “out of focus” for a little while. I am reminded:
6 Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything. Tell God what you need, and thank him for all he has done.
I have been focusing on my
Priority lists instead of the list that God gave me. I have focused on the piles of
bills on my table, the loads on laundry to do, the daunting task of keeping up with ‘life as usual’. Then I am reminded:
1 Peter 2:9
But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a people belonging to God, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.
There is no “life as usual” anymore. I have been called away from worldly worries to focus on a heavenly mission – a bigger priority.
My new list: Focus on what God told you to focus on!
So it took me a little while to realize this but I had my breakthrough moment – rather, my break away moment. I broke away from a world that can’t hold me, a few lists that won’t mold me, and a devil that can’t hold me.
My path is clear. I see it again clearly Lord. Lord I need your help every single day. Guide me back to that straight line to walk with you. The line that is outside all worry and fear. I have come back again to focus on you and what you know is the highest priorities. You told me what’s important, and your priority list is my highest honor.
Keep me in focus Lord. My prayer today: soften my heart, peel back the layers of my existence, and show me the clarity of your will. Amen.
We should all pray that prayer today.
James 4:8 ESV
Draw near to God, and he will draw near to you. Cleanse your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded.
I talk to a lot of people that grew up in a church atmosphere, and for some reason most of these people still don’t understand how to pray. I have heard people tell me that “I feel like I’m doing it wrong” or “I don’t think I understand prayer”. Guys, listen up!
PRAYER IS NOT A METHODICAL RELIGIOUS MOTION YOU TAKE!
Prayer is simple. It is coming to God from a sincere heart, and ‘talking’. In John 15:15 Jesus said “I call you friends”. Think for a moment about your friends. Now think about a specific friend, or mentor that you greatly admire and respect. How do you talk to them? You can start with that idea, then imagine God: A holy, beautiful, sinless, perfect “person”. It is hard to understand with human understanding, however my case stands that you can talk to God like he is sitting in the chair next to you (with upmost respect of course).
For instance, when I get up in the morning, I say a short small breath prayer. What is that? Well, it goes like this: God, lead me guide me and direct me today. Let me be a light unto a dark world, Amen.
However, I generally worship “talk to” God all throughout the day. When I am getting ready for work, I talk to God about my concerns for the day. When I am driving to work, I pray he protects me as I travel, and put me where he wants me. When I am at work, I thank him for the blessings that happen immediately as they occur. I give thanks in EVERYTHING. 1 Thes 5:18 says give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. If I hear a praise song that makes me remember what God did for me, I praise him and thank him and glorify him in my still, quiet places. This song always gets me going :
When I think about the Lord http://youtu.be/QsEGRB695hs
Children are often times the BEST prayers. Why? Because they pray because they want to, not because they feel they have to.
Prayer is basic. Prayer is heartfelt. Prayer is the sincere wanting and needing to be closer to God, not just about asking God to grant your wishes like a genie. God is not going to give you everything you ask, and it doesn’t mean you have to blame him when you don’t get what you thought you wanted. It could be that there is something better coming down the pipes for you. Prayer is giving your heart to God, and asking him to search it, and reveal what belongs there and what doesn’t. Prayer is humbly presenting yourself for searching. Psalm 139:23 Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts.
Prayer is that simple. A little advice, prepare yourself before you come to God. I used to pray this BEFORE I prayed – “God, shut down my thoughts and restless body, let me forget this world for a few uninterrupted moments with you. I want to come to you today, please reveal yourself to me Lord.”
There is no right or wrong way to pray. Prayer is between YOU and GOD. If you pray, and feel God – then he heard you. If you are unsure, maybe you can visit with someone who can help guide you. Sometimes “being unsure” is just a matter of the heart. Sometimes you just feel too full of sin or guilt to feel like you are “worthy” of God to listen or talk back. If that is you, LET IT GO. God will take your burden if you just ask. Matthew 11:28 says “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.
IF GOD SAID IT – HE MEANT IT.
I will leave you with this: Rev 3:20 Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.
If you still aren’t sure that you are being heard, or you feel you don’t understand prayer – Here is something you can start praying for and it may change your life.
I was driving today and started thinking about all the things I am grateful for. What better way to start off the day than to make a list and show gratitude on Grati-Tuesday!
I am grateful for my 2nd chance in Christ. I was saved at 18 years old in my grandmothers church. Though I had heard Gods call on my life- I ignored it for years. I am grateful that he grabbed me on the collar and made me walk a straighter line. With that, I am grateful for the newness within me and the love of Christ that I never truly experienced before.
I want to show gratitude for my sweetie also. To the man that wakes up every morning with a smile on his face and a song on his lips for me. The man who makes the worlds best cup of coffee and hands it to me with a hug and a kiss and a simple “I love you”. Coffee will never taste the same if it’s not prepared by that man.
I am grateful for family. Thankful that they will stand by you and beside you when need be. Extremely grateful to still have my family still with me on this Earth. I can still call mom and dad, my sisters and niece, and hear their voices and laughter on the other line.
I am grateful for the heart of flesh within me. I had been so hardened for so many years, I now understand the difference. I cry when I see things wrong, I have empathy and compassion where there was none. I feel extremely, uncontrollably, human again – and that is a dying breed here.
I am grateful for work. Just to have a job in this downed economy would be enough, but God gave me a job that I love, where I can really make a difference and feel fulfilled.
I am grateful for friends. Not just the many acquaintances I have come to know through work, but true friends. The friends that I would trust my life with. Im thankful to the friends I get to share my walk with God with. Those friends that knew me before and after, and who understand and appreciate who I am today.
I am thankful and grateful that my priority list was assigned and designated by God. That I have marching orders and if I obey, I have the promise of Gods blessing on my life. I am so grateful to be where I am at this point in my life. I feel as though I am a rocketship on a landing pad just waiting for blastoff!
I am grateful for every breathe I take. I pray I never forget how precious the breathe of life really is.
For those of you who don’t know what Brookshires is – it is a grocery chain here in Texas, like a Publix, Winn Dixie, or Food Lion would be. The Blog You Rang, God? reminded me about this story that has yet to be told. I used to believe that God only showed up on Sundays. I thought you could only touch God through being in church. Boy, was I mistaken.
One evening I went to Brookshires to pick up three simple items: Pepsi, Advil, Little Debbie snack cakes. My trip inside wasn’t going to take that long, so I didnt even bother getting a cart. I picked up item #1, gathered item #2, but when I got to isle 10 to pick up item #3… my knees buckled. I was with my boyfriend at the time, and he laughed at me as my legs wiggled beneath me and said I must’ve been so blown away by him my knees buckled. I laughed, and said “No buddy, but I know what this feeling is and I must get out of this store!” I grabbed my item, rushed to the check out, and went straight to the car. There I felt the wind of the spirit come over me and I began to shake uncontrollably.
Now in retrospect this part of the story is funny, but then it was just wild… He walks out to the car and sees me shaking like a leaf and almost convulsing in the driver seat (I was parked..btw, you can’t drive while in a full on holy ghost fit). Anyways, he was ready to call 911 and hospitalize me. Poor thing, he didn’t understand. To be honest, I can’t say that I did either. I just told him to go away, that God and I had some business to tend to. Needless to say he didn’t leave so what ended up happening was this….
I got the holy ghost, touched his hand, then he got the holy ghost. So here we both are, in the middle of Brookshires parking lot, fully lit, cars driving by, security camera fixed on us.. and I am convulsing inside the car, he is shaking outside the drivers side door, and we are both looking mighty silly looking like clucking chickens.
He ended up falling out on the concrete before God let go of him. Once that happened, I got the spirit of laughter, and couldn’t quit. I laughed, and laughed, and laughed..Oh, It was quite a sight to see. When I die, I’m gonna ask for God to replay that for me. I think I will get a kick out of that.
What I didn’t know, was he had never experienced the holy ghost before. He also never spoke in tongues. Well, those two things changed that night. God is definitely real. Tongues is real. Holy laughter is real. God will show up on Sunday in church, and on a Monday in a grocery store.
Oh what a life!
Matthew 28:19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit
We weren’t put on this Earth to roll out of bed, moan and groan, barely make it to the coffee pot, get dressed, go to work, make a meager living, make a couple meaningless transactions, draw a paycheck, and go home to do it over and over again.Our life on Earth wasn’t meant to be that way! We aren’t put here to simply exist and go through the motions – though it’s hard to see that at times.
I was thinking this morning about my aunt. I remember years ago, when I would see her (I was a teenager then), she would come over and want to share something about the bible, or about God. Now, me, at that point in my life – didn’t “get it”. I was more like.. “Oh no, here comes crazy aunt so-and-so again coming to share what Jesus did for her! She has gone nuts!”
(laughing in retrospect) I just didn’t “get it”. I didn’t understand then. When I went back to visit my family this past December, I saw my aunt again. She didn’t have that spark anymore. She had nothing really to share with me, and her visits were mute and hasty. In her embrace I felt her loneliness. I never knew you could feel that emotion from a simple hug – you can. She was one of the few that “got it”. Something happened in her life where God was present. Whether God guided her, protected her, or comforted her in times of need, she got it, she understood. I have no doubt in my mind (knowing what I know now) that God had touched her personally. Then I wonder what changed? What happened? Did life get too much for her? Did circumstance begin to rule her? Did she forget where she placed her bible?
John Hagee said this is one of his telecasts, and I never forgot it:
When you see people with a tattered and torn bible, they rarely have a tattered and torn life.
I didn’t get it then, but I do now. Our days are so short. Every breathe we take is one closer to our last. What are we doing here anyway? Do you think we were put on this Earth just to gather treasures? Build a house and drive a gas guzzler? Enjoy a weekend rendezvous anytime the notion strikes? NO! The bible warns us about this!
Matthew 6:19 “Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal.
Proverbs 23: 4-5 Do not overwork to be rich; Because of your own understanding, cease! 5 Will you set your eyes on that which is not? For riches certainly make themselves wings; They fly away like an eagle toward heaven.
Proverbs 10:22 The blessing of the LORD makes one rich. And He adds no sorrow with it.
We are put on Earth to be the eyes, ears, and hands of God. He can’t touch another life in the ways that we can. Someone may talk to you, but never even dream about talking to God.
- Do you think you were born into your family by accident?
- Do you think you live where you live by accident?
- Do you think your neighbors and friends are by accident?
Each person you come in contact with, offers a chance to minister. And let me just put this in as a side note for some of you…..You don’t have to “minister” as intrusive as: “JESUS LOVES YOU! GET SAVED OR YOUR GOING TO HELL! SEE YOU IN CHURCH ON SUNDAY AND BRING A DISH!”
believe it or not, people do this!
That is NOT how you minister to people.
People never care how much you know until they know how much you care!
It’s time we get into our communities. It’s time we get into our friends and neighbors and find out what makes them tick! Where are they hurting? Where are their needs? Some people may need groceries so they can move from survival mode to actually being able to love and move toward other human emotions. Some people may need someone to talk to over coffee. Some people just need to vent.
We as Christians should be those people who listen. To take time, to minister, to fill the needs. Life on Earth is about the people. It is about saving the lost and guiding the misguided. It’s about telling the truth and shaming the devil. If we can wrap our brains around that one simple truth, we can make our part of the world a little better and increase our treasure in heaven 10 fold.
I don’t know about you guys, but once you get a touch from God, nothing on this Earth can compare to what he can offer you. No amount of money or treasure can give the love, the happiness, the comfort, and the joy that God can. Absolutely nothing can compare.
I pray that you heed this.
I pray it touches you personally.
Afterall, that is what we’re here for.
Take my life and give it meaning
fill me up with love and care
I feel the best is yet to come
and with it I’ll see you there
my hope comes daily now
I get that fresh renewal
instantly my hands flew up
and then my wings they grew
I’ve never felt better
at times, more sane
yet it doesnt matter
it’s the new life I gained
I may stumble each turn I take
I know lifes changing fast
you will guide each step I make
I know you are leading me back
I never thought you would lead this way
but I am thankful you withstood
for all you have done for me
you have always been good.
I will serve you with all my heart
rip me up and lay my-self down
teach me your lesson, if it tears me apart
I will work on my eternal crown
I wish I knew the “how” lord
I know its better this way
my soul is safe with you
my need in you grows each day
keep guiding lord,
and speaking to me each day
without you I will fail
I don’t want to stray
You have the reins now
Im just following you
hard to see it sometimes
when alone- you can’t push through
Im being selfless now
listening for something too
no more filling empty time
I heard the call, Im coming to you