Buckle Up!

For the past few months, I’ve been writing the real personal stuff and posting…well, surface thoughts…it’s time to dig in, folks…

It’s been an incredibley bumpy ride…Hebrews 12:11 in action! 

While much of what I will share in the coming weeks may prove a bit painful to share, the joy far outweighs any discomfort – my prayer is it can serve as a message of how good our God is to see us through each and every trial.

My first entry was a synopsis of a message by Joyce Meyer on Discipline & Self-Control…obviously I had no clue what God was about to do in my life!

She talked about Peaceable Fruit – a harvest of fruit which consists in righteousness–in conformity to God’s will in purpose, thought, and action, resulting in right living and right standing with God

11For the time being no discipline brings joy, but seems grievous and painful; but afterwards it yields a peaceable fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it.

     12So then, brace up and reinvigorate and set right your slackened and weakened and drooping hands and strengthen your feeble and palsied and tottering knees,” Hebrews 12:11-12 (AMP)

When God pushes us out of our comfort zones, it’s to deal with issues (yes, even those we thought we’d dealt with) – it’s His way of saying He’s not going to put up with it anymore!

Hebrews 12:12 is basically says: instead of walking around all “woe is me” – shake yourself off, stand up straight, and be thankful God is willing to help me grow.

Wow!  Isn’t that so true? Discipline rarely, if ever, feels good!  What I didn’t realize at the time? I was embarking on Phase II of My Love Dare with God: Living My Love Dare with God

 

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What’s Your Temperature?

In today’s society, it’s easy to find ourselves trying to “fit in” to whatever social norm seems acceptable, which ultimately means we’re motivated externally vs. internally.

15“I know thy works, that thou art neither cold nor hot: I would thou wert cold or hot.
16So then because thou art lukewarm, and neither cold nor hot, I will spue thee out of my mouth.”
– Revelation 3:15-16

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Do you ever wonder why it is perfectly acceptable and encouraged to go “all out” for things like a favorite sports team, our children’s activities, our careers, hobbies, politics, etc? We wear t-shirts pledging our loyalty to one thing or another, we go to conventions and parties, paint our vehicles and some even paint their faces. We spend substantial amounts of time with others talking about accomplishments, stats, strengths and weaknesses, strategies, and the list goes on. We invite friends into our homes to watch movies or sports on television; we play card games and attend other social gatherings. We invest time and money and more time and more money….

From a social perspective, spending time on those types of things is perfectly acceptable, isn’t it? And yet, striving to live full-throttle for God is often viewed as fanatical or radical behavior….and not in a positive way – why is that????

Granted, feathers may be ruffled or even bristled right about now and that’s OK. I’m not saying those activities are right or wrong – the point is, do we believe God desires, let alone deserves, that kind of attention and more???? Does God want us living for Him in the “normal” temperature range? Or does He desire to see a burning passion? According to Scripture, He’d rather we live our lives for Him or against Him…in other words, lukewarm complacency is not the desired result, folks.

How would we feel if God’s level of interest in our daily lives was less than 100 percent? It’s not as if He takes an interest only when we’re obedient and focused on Him. He is fully invested 24/7 – and it’s usually when we seek Him that we start to catch on to the finer details…

Here’s a personal example: One of the biggest challenges I struggle with is believing God’s call on my life. Sounds ridiculous, doesn’t it? My desire to understand what He’s calling me towards so I can come up with a game plan is crippling me; as a result I’m left feeling overwhelmed and frazzled because I don’t understand the future. Being so wrapped up in getting from point A to point B is blocking Him from showing up and showing off in my life!

The thing is, the desire to control circumstances is like putting God on hold – it’s hovers us in the “normal” temperature range. It’s not as if He doesn’t care about our struggles – He does! He is so interested in helping us move forward, what does He do???? In addition to His Word, He provides examples in ways we can relate!

When I was really struggling, He sent me three separate examples of how others face the same struggles…in a message from Joyce Meyer, Family Life interview with Priscilla Shirer, and through a blog…and that’s just in one day!

So the real challenge we all face every single day is to move beyond circumstances of life and live for God versus self. It’s not about what we can do. It’s about what He can do. And it’s always about someone else’s story.

How do we move beyond circumstances? Joseph is a great example. It didn’t matter if he was a slave, a personal servant, a prisoner, or second in command; he lived each and every day for God – no complaining, no whining about circumstances. The choice is ours…are we in or are we out? I say let’s choose to seek Him daily by digging into His Word and live to exhibit a genuine level of passion for Him far exceeding any worldly interest. In other words – let’s get serious, look beyond circumstance, move out of the social “normal” range, and get radical!