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Angela Light

Walking it out- the great, the messy & in between

Not worried, just ‘concerned’….

Posted by angela on March 18, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

I know we’re not supposed to worry and I have started saying ‘I’m not worrying, I’m just concerned’.
Am I kidding myself with a play on words?

Worry is constantly going over something again & again, wondering ‘what if this happens, or that’ and coming up with possible outcomes or scenarios. Worry includes such a preoccupation with thinking things over, we become almost obsessive about something. We analyze too much. Think it over & over with no different outcome too much. Dream up possible responses to things that may never happen.

The bible tells us to ‘not worry about what we’ll eat or wear’ that you have it covered. But I haven’t found in His word anything like ‘don’t worry about that job issue, this bill that you have no way to pay, that person who is going down a dangerous path’. If the bible covers the bill thing or college tuition or medical bills or getting a new job, I haven’t yet found the verse.

So what do we do? We may think since we can’t find a particular verse that spells out what we should do step by step then we better take care of it ourselves. It’s not covered in the bible, so we better get a plan.

So I dig more through scripture and realize that Jesus was addressing this very thing. No, he doesn’t specifically say ‘your child’s college bill, your medical bill, your job change’ but he did make statements that cover this. When we read through Luke 12 and see that Jesus explains that we shouldn’t worry about the basic stuff like food and clothing much less the bigger things we face. He even said worry accomplishes nothing and has no use. Instead focus on the kingdom and HAVE FAITH. Ahh…there it is. Faith. The basis of our whole relationship. Hmm, back to basics.

After Jesus covered how we shouldn’t worry and gave examples, I saw the one line tucked at the end of Luke 12:28…he said ‘why do you have so little faith?’
Ouch.
But God, it’s not that I have little faith…I do! I have faith in you but this situation isn’t going away and I see nothing for a solution in sight. Surely you want me to do something about this so HELP!

We cry out and sometimes we have a sense of a direction to handle the issue at hand. Many times, we don’t. We panic. We start the scheming and analyzing process AGAIN. Before we know it, we’re knee deep in a full throttle worry session that is starting to make us nuts.

I admit…I have not overcome this area of my life. I try and keep trying but haven’t mastered it yet.
When deadlines are imposed and I have to do SOMETHING and don’t feel or hear a sense from God on what to do…well, what else do we do but worry? Cry? Pray more?

I don’t have an answer to each of the issues I’m facing. I bet you don’t feel you have the answers to everything either.

I’m learning to cling in a new way however. I’m hanging on to the advice of Jesus…”Seek the Kingdom ABOVE ALL ELSE and he will give you everything you need’. Well, I need direction and answers. NOW.

Okay, but I need to see the kingdom above all else. Is it just me or does this feel more elusive at times than it should? I’m making it harder than it needs to be? Ever been there?I catch myself going into the spin cycle of freaking out or worrying. I then read another verse in Luke and almost missed it!

“So don’t be afraid, little flock. For it gives your Father great happiness to give you the Kingdom.” Luck 12:32

Don’t be afraid, little flock. This is so simple yet reassuring! Don’t be afraid of the outcome or this issue. And his term of endearment ‘little flock’ reinforces we are little children he wants to take care of. Just as us as parents want to rescue our children when they’re headed for disaster, he wants to take care of us if we will just get out of the way and let him.

I want this. I want to stop the worry cycle. So why don’t I? It’s a step by step process for me-for you too?

Hang in there with me! We have to practice putting our Seeking of the kingdom FIRST that displays our FAITH. These things in turn will keep us from our FEAR—so our Father will take care of things as he sees fit and as he leads us.

Then, turning to his disciples, Jesus said, “That is why I tell you not to worry about everyday lifewhether you have enough food to eat or enough clothes to wear. Luke 12:22
And if worry can’t accomplish a little thing like that, what’s the use of worrying over bigger things? Luke 12:26
And if God cares so wonderfully for flowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you. Why do you have so little faith? Luke 12:28
These things dominate the thoughts of unbelievers all over the world, but your Father already knows your needs. 31 Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and he will give you everything you need. Luke 12:30-31

 

Check out this site for more about worry this week!!

http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Not ‘good’ enough

Posted by angela on March 4, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 7 Comments

So I was speaking with a new acquaintance last week. She told how her husband had just gone through a heart attack and is now in rehab and what a struggle the past month has been.  I commented how great it is that he’s on the road to recovery and fortunate that she is by his side.

Her next statement has been rattling through my head since she said it “well, I told him God gave him a 2nd chance so he better be really good and not mess it up”. 

I thought she was joking since God doesn’t give us a ‘be good or else’ type salvation. I said something about how great is it that even if her husband isn’t ‘good’ that he’s still held by the Father. She looked at me like I was crazy and said ‘Yeah, right. Like it works that way’ and left.

I’ve been haunted by this exchange. I didn’t get a chance to speak with her further since she left the facility. But it made me realize how many of us may operate in our daily lives with this belief….or even more so—know this is false but continue to act like its true.

Ever have these thoughts run through your head:
• “I better not mess up again. Surely God has had enough of me and all my problems”
• “I lived through this situation by God’s grace—I better work a lot harder to keep Him happy from now on.”
• “God only has so much patience so this time, finally, I better get it right”

Or perhaps you’ve had someone comment to you:
• “Well, you’re one of those church Christian types, so you probably don’t have issues like I do. You wouldn’t get it.”
• “You Christians act like you’re so great but you’re all hypocrites since I know some Christians that do a lot more bad stuff than I do”

Whenever these type exchanges happen, it always saddens me. The depth of misunderstanding so many people have of Jesus followers. Some think we’re all ‘better’ or pretend to be better. Others see what train wrecks many of us are and use it as an excuse that we’re no better than anyone else, so we must be hypocrites.

I know, there are a zillion examples and I’m sure you’ve experienced some in your life as well.

This screams something to me—we have to let them know! Know they are not stuck in their current choices as a permanent prison. There is a way out.

Let them know there is more…much more than hanging out at a church on Sunday. There is something very real that can change their lives, just as it has every believer.

Yes, Christians make mistakes-we all know this. We are human and mess up—some of us a lot more than others (okay, so that was intended for me!)

But when others watch us in our struggle—the unwed pregnant teen daughter, the unkind words, the drug addiction, the cheating spouse, the financial dishonesty,etc . Of course, these are all examples of things none of us want but sometimes happens.

What the world sees is our mistake or colossal sin. What they don’t see is our place with God. What they need to understand is despite our mess, He still holds us and doesn’t kick us out. How do they see that? You, me. We show them. How we humbly give it to Him and walk forward in healing.

We are on a mission, I know. Our mission field is whoever we have contact with on a daily basis. To show them a different way, a different mindset, a freedom they’ve never had before. Yes, a true freedom.

Not something you make up and follow your ‘own’ spiritual journey and redefine who God is based on what you want.

This is an important task friends! We are called to go forth…even in our daily mundane routines. Even when we think no one is watching. Others need to see we are saved by His grace and not our own actions.

I encourage you to reach out to someone you normally wouldn’t this week. Not to unleash a sermon on them, but just a word of encouragement, something to let them know they have value. Many people are so broken they feel there is no value left in them. Or they don’t do enough ‘good’ anymore.

At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another. 4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, 5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit… Titus 3:3-5

But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us. Romans 5:8

Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. Hebrews 4:16

Check out this link also!! http://www.susanbmead.com/light-of-god-video-linkup/

Link up with http://tsuzanneeller.com/

Link up with Kelly Balarie

purposefulfaith.compurposefulfaith.com

Zap me!

Posted by angela on February 21, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 13 Comments

Has this ever happened to you? You’re driving along in traffic and the 2 lane highway is merging into 1 lane. Traffic flows together but then someone decides to make a race out it…They fly past other cars (yes, illegally), trying to get as much in front of the rest of the traffic as they can. The lane starts to end and they are relentless, even to the point of running the other traffic off the road. It’s not their right of way, it’s the other cars-no matter. They want to be first, in front of other cars and they will do what they have to be in front, despite the legality, courteous driving or safety they disregard.

This sad display happened again last night while driving home. We watched in disgust as a minivan was persistent in racing the other traffic. They behaved as massive jerks! The kicker? We were horribly embarrassed to see a Christian bumper sticker and cross proudly displayed on their bumper. YIKES.

I know, this is a usual event in everyday traffic. Rude drivers with self-focus wins over safety-much less courteous driving. But seeing the Christian bumper strips on the rude driver was the smack in the face. WOW…and we wonder why or how believers can get such bad stereotypes assigned to them.

You may think this is no big deal. Why am I writing and whining about such a trivial thing as yet another jerk driver?

Well…I think this does matter. We who profess to be followers of Christ are supposed to be different. Different than the rest of the world. Different in how we behave—to each other and to everyone.

We can’t get caught up in the idea of our behavior only matters with church related activities. Or how we ‘really’ feel in our hearts is all that matters and our treatment of others isn’t a big deal.

• What about when your nonbeliever friend makes a substantial donation to a church but no one even offers a ‘thank you’

• A brand new believer is nervous about being around ‘church’ people but gathers the nerve to enter a new bible study group only to have plastic smiles- they sit alone wondering why they are bothering at all

• You’re busy, you’re distracted and you have a zillion things to do. You rush thru your days and never realize the people in your path that you mowed over, ignored and all that they longed for was a kind word and smile from a stranger.

• We lift our hands in praise and voices in song but don’t lift a finger to be polite to someone

I’m not trying to make anyone feel guity. We’re all guity of something like this at some time. I know I’ve done things I’m definitely not proud of…and that’s just the instances I’m aware of! Hopefully just awareness, something to make us have a half second of thinking again about our actions, may make the difference to someone. Are we really doing anything different than our nonbelieving counterparts if we’re just as rude in traffic, rude in the grocery store, ignore the needs around us?

I guess the biggest shock (and I have no idea why this would shock me) is the treatment some have towards other believers. The bible tells us to lift one another up. We look for other sisters or brothers in Christ then treat them like something on the bottom of our shoes. What has happened to us? We’ve become numb it seems.

Maybe we need a tazer shock. Something that goes off to ‘buzz’ us into a new mindset when we start to veer off into our own self focused mentality.

“I have to get to the next thing on my list & don’t’ have time to say hi to that other mom. She’s annoying anyhow’
BUZZ…ZAP!

Rushing through a store to make it to the next appointment, we run off without a smile or thanking the clerk.

BUZZ ZAP!

Nothing earth shattering, I know. But the basic manners of saying hello, offering a smile, being POLITE, saying thank you…these things are a basic ‘must to’ for many of us but its shocking to see how little its displayed.

So…just a reminder fellow traveler… do a quick check of yourself…if your mother & Jesus were standing next to you, would you behave/speak this way? Just a little check!

Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position. Do not be conceited. Romans 12:16
Philippians 2:5
In your relationships with one another, have the same mindset as Christ Jesus
Hebrews 10:24
And let us consider how we may spur one another on toward love and good deeds,

 

Link up with Kelly Balarie…..

http://purposefulfaith.com

Can I trust you??

Posted by angela on February 12, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 2 Comments

It’s been something of a struggle. Trusting God in the midst of our daily walk when things are NOT going the way we pray or hope or want. This makes me take a closer look at TRUST in general…Can we really trust God to handle all the details? It doesn’t look like He’s doing much at times so how do we keep trusting Him? We know he is CAPABLE but WILL he come through for us?

I think back over instances where I just ‘knew’ you, Lord, would rescue me from a situation. You didn’t. It makes me uneasy with the trust question. Do I trust you could have rescued me? Yes. But you didn’t. So it makes me say I don’t know if I can trust you to save me from a situation. You CAN but WILL you?
I don’t know why you didn’t rescue me from certain things….you did rescue me from some situations, but not others. So in my human mind, it says I can’t trust you to swoop in for a rescue mission every time since you haven’t in the past. In a deeper thought…because I wasn’t rescued doesn’t mean you didn’t pay attention or didn’t care. It means for whatever reason, usually one I don’t personally like, you chose to not rescue me. This is where many people get trapped with their faith. How can someone who professes to love me let me suffer? Let me go thru bad situations? If you love me, you’d rescue me.

WAIT
This is what we see from our perspective. But there is a bigger picture here we don’t see. Frankly when we’re in this mess, we don’t care to see it. We just want out. I think of examples with my own children. They are in a situation that is bad…either of their own making or it just worked out that way. They want me to fix this. But if I swoop in and fix the situation, they never learn how to deal with it on their own or how to look at alternatives or how to maneuver thru struggle. We call this ‘tough love’ sometimes.

Maybe this is what is at hand when you don’t rescue us from a situation. We don’t care about learning some lesson or making ourselves more resilient, we just want out. But it’s not what’s best for us, and we can’t see that. You can. Back to trust…
I discovered in the Jewish bible, the word for ‘faith’ is ‘trust’. What a great perspective—faith IS trust!

“But the person who is righteous will live his life by trust” Romans 1:17 (CJB)

Do we trust you Father? Trust that you really do love us? Really to have what is best for us in your plan? If we’re in an uncomfortable or even horrible position, we just want a rescuer…we don’t care about learning a lesson. But that’s our limited viewpoint. You see the big picture the better good that will eventually come from something.

So please forgive me Father. For all the times I scream and cry that you don’t care enough, love enough to rescue me. Help my unbelief father in trusting you to be the ultimate provider for my good!

Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what he had promised. Romans 4.20

So why all the suffering and leaving us to go thru the ICK when you could so easily rescue us? I think back to the sufferings of Christ…and if he had to suffer, why would I think I shouldn’t?

Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered…Hebrews 5:8

I see from your word that the sufferings teach us obedience. It teaches us to be strengthened in our faith. I hadn’t realized how much a lack of trust is rebellion against you. Your word has stories how your followers rejected your leading due to lack of belief-lack of trust—which really is a form of rebellion.

There you saw how the Lord your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place.” In spite of this, you did not trust in the Lord your God, who went ahead of you on your journey, in fire by night and in a cloud by day, to search out places for you to camp and to show you the way you should go. Deuteronomy 1:31-32

It just seems so exhausting to know it’s a constant walk of battles…thankfully we have already won the battle—we just sometimes don’t realize it and keep battling the wrong things.
Thank you for the victory Father! I DO trust you do what is best—help me in my wavering trust at times! Sometimes just trusting will be my sacrifice.


Offer the sacrifices of the righteous and trust in the Lord. Psalm 4:5

Cry to a loved one in despair

Posted by angela on January 29, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 5 Comments

You feel consumed. The darkness and emptiness have been with you so long that you can’t remember happiness anymore. Why continue? The days are so long, dark and seem to stretch before you like a long road to nowhere. You’re tired. You’ve tried time and again to make things right. You take one step forward and three steps back. You know right from wrong but it just doesn’t seem to matter any more.

Why fight for doing the ‘right’ things when nothing good comes from it?
• You’ve tried a new path, new directions but it left you more empty than when you started.
• You’ve tried to get involved with new people but never fit in.
• Tried a new job but it left you hollow and unfulfilled.
• The loneliness creeps in to such a deep level that no one can reach you

The internal fighting spirit you thought you had seems to slowly vaporize…until thoughts of returning to your old ways seem more attractive than existing in your current life.

Your faith…well, you believe in God but where is He? You’ve cried and prayed and tried to keep on the straight path but you’re losing the battle. You feel abandoned. If God really cared, why would He let you continue to drag on day by day in this battle and not help, not rescue you? Maybe you had it all wrong-maybe this God stuff isn’t what you were taught. Maybe He is out there but you’re not faithful enough, good enough, strong enough to walk a path with Him. He wants too much and you’re too tired to do anything.

Why bother? What future do you really have anyhow? You’ve made such a mess of your life already that most people have already given up on you. Why keep fighting?

The pain is overwhelming and you know exactly what will make the pain go away, at least for awhile.

Sure, it means stepping back into a dangerous life but if it will numb the pain, its worth it. What have you got to lose anyhow, right?

So you give in. You go back to it.

Your life starts to fall apart even more. The family is exhausted from walking this path with you and they’ve had it with yet another battle on this addiction scene.
Where do you go? Why are you even alive if this is all there is?

My cry to you loved one: thru the mental fog I pray you can hear or know this truth:
You Are Loved
More than you’ll ever know. You are not worthless or a throw away. You have value. You are worthy!
Yes, its hard but there is a way out. Even if you can’t see it yet I pray you don’t give up hope. Keep asking and crying out to God, He will provide a way out. You have to take the chance when He gives it.

You have a purpose. You are so precious to God and to others. You may not see it or feel it but its true!

Don’t give up loved one. Keep seeking and hanging on—there is a wonderful future for you! God hasn’t given up on you!

“but I will not take my love from him, nor will I ever betray my faithfulness.”Psalm 89:33

“Because he[b] loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him;
I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
He will call on me, and I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble,
I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life I will satisfy him
and show him my salvation.” Psalm 91:14-16

RUN? me? I don’t feel like it!

Posted by angela on January 20, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 1 Comment

She was panting but wouldn’t stop. “Keep going, DO NOT QUIT” she kept telling herself. Her body was screaming to take a break but she knew better—one second to take a break would turn into stopping all together. She kept going. One foot in front of the other. Gasping for air, feeling a panic starting to set in…”STOP IT!” she screamed to herself. ‘Keep going. It’s all worth it in the end. Forget the feeling of wanting to collapse…keep those feet moving. Go forward. Don’t look back, keep moving’. Her pace slowed but she didn’t’ stop. There was something blocking her running path ahead—no matter. Go around it or jump over it, she told herself. Just don’t quit.

Ever feel like this runner? Gasping for air, fatigue covering you like a wet blanket and you’re motivation is nowhere to be found? Ready to give up and stop going? Keep going! One foot in front of the other…keep it moving!!

I’ve noticed the big talk seems to be what everyone’s “Word of the Year” is. I wasn’t familiar with this concept until this year (I may have been under a rock, its true). At first I thought it was a cutsie way to reword New Year resolutions. But when I heard someone say we don’t just pick a word for ourselves–instead we pray and ask the Father to give us a word He wants us to focus on or realign our thoughts towards.

After thinking about this and praying about it…is this silly or is it truly a meaningful path we can walk with God? I realized something…Its really listening to our Father and His direction.  Its Him giving guidance to His kids. In our search for guidance and new beginnings (since it’s a new year), we turn our ears to be more in tune with His indications.

Many of you already know what your ‘word’ is for this year. What a great encouragement for kicking off new beginnings! If you don’t yet know about this or have a word, I encourage you to not give up. Keep asking the Father for your word…He loves to be personal with us and delights in us relying on Him.

If you haven’t guessed yet, my word was a surprise this year: its “RUN”. I wished I could say I embraced this word quickly. Nope…I kept asking God ‘Are you sure? Run? Me? But I’m tired…” you can guess my list of reasons why the word ‘run’ at first didn’t resonate with me. But on deeper prayer and talking with Him, I now see it differently.

I believe this word can mean something for you too.

 I can now see how it already applying to so many areas of my life—and scripture backs it up!

• Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. (1 Corinthians 9:24)
run with perseverance (Hebrews 12:1)
• Don’t run dry (paraphrase from 1 Kings 17:16)
• I run in the path of your commands, for you have broadened my understanding. (Psalm 119:32)
• He sends his command to the earth; his word runs swiftly.(Psalm 147.15)
• When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble. (Proverbs 4:12)
• The name of the Lord is a fortified tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. (Proverbs 18:10)
• but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint. (Isaiah 40:31)
• You were running a good race. Who cut in on you to keep you from obeying the truth? (Galatians 5:7)

Ouch…that last one burned a little!

So I realize now that RUN can apply to us all in some aspect.

We don’t give up, no matter what the world tells us, how we may feel or how hard it looks ahead. We keep going. We have a different goal than others and our race, marked before us, is different for each one of us. The Father lays a route for each of us follow for our lives…we just have to respond.

I encourage you to pray about your ‘word’ for this new year if you haven’t yet. If you have, please share it in the comments and we can encourage one another! Keep me honest friends as I also fall off the wagon and want to give up sometimes—let’s keep each other running forward to what lies ahead.

Thank you Father for your encouragement for each of us.

New Post Soon……TECHNICAL DIFFICULTIES :(

Posted by angela on January 13, 2015
Posted in Uncategorized  | 1 Comment

So sorry for the LONG delay in getting posts updated…I’ve had a terrible time with technical difficulties. A new post is coming in a few days (if website continues to work!)

Peek into a private prayer

Posted by angela on December 11, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 3 Comments

Father
Thank you for today. For the ability of the senses you have blessed us with. For the ability to see the morning sun, hear the voices of my family, of music, the ability to speak and sing praise to you. Thank you for the ability to drink and eat and process this for nourishment. For the ability to move, walk, to feel. These are truly blessings. We rush and don’t realize these things that are such a part of our usual world…until we don’t have them then we feel crippled. Thank you for the unspoken and unseen we rush past and don’t realize. So stop, wait and sense you in this panic and rushed life is so counter to what we do & learn. Thank you for your patience.

Thank you for being here, in whatever wonderful or horrible moment I find myself. Thank you for reminding me that no matter what I FEEL, your promises override my feelings. Your presence is stronger than my problems. You overcome the obstacles and while you are ever powerful, I am not. I’m stuck and drowning in the murky abyss at times. Thank you for reaching out and holding me, even while I’m screaming that you’ve abandoned me.

My viewpoint is so limited. I see my world thru these human eyes. Thank you for the sense of so much in the unseen that I can trust you to guide this life to where you see the destination. I can’t see where I’m going but if I keep myself focused on You and not my doubt or fear, you will guide this journey to places I can’t imagine. I’m the one that limits it all…my doubt, my fear of the unknown, my insecurity of not having my world in a warm & safe setting.

Keep me on track Father. I need you. We all need you, even if we don’t realize the depth of our need.

Thank you for the struggles I’m cried over and the screams against you. You can handle my despair. My confusion. You are solid while I’m wailing. I call upon you and even when I didn’t see or feel you, you are there. I’m amazed how much you have orchestrated in the smallest details of life. We don’t usually see your work until after the fact. I can look back on some of my darkest, scariest and most desolate times and can NOW see you at work. At the moment, I felt alone since I didn’t see you in the immediate. But you were there, working things out—things I couldn’t see so I was scared and angry for being left alone. I never was alone and I thank you…for being who you say you are, never ignoring your children and being so compassionate to still hold & love us while we’re screaming and crying against you.

Wherever you take me, I pray for the wisdom and courage to follow you. As long as you guide these feet and appoint my path, I will follow you. Thank you for the chance to be your child and a part of your family. Thank you for being my Father and letting me sit with you, knowing you have it all under control and there is no need for me to doubt, panic or try to control anything. You have it covered. Thank you Father.

I know the LORD is always with me.
I will not be shaken, for he is right beside me. Psalm 16:8

Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns,once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you]watchfully. 1 Peter 5:7 (AMP)

“Just let me do it!”

Posted by angela on December 3, 2014
Posted in Uncategorized  | 1 Comment

“Just let me do it!”
I was talking with a friend who was explaining how she was so exhausted and frustrated. She was telling of how while trying to get some work done for a church event, other volunteers were holding up her progress. She was sharing how if they would just get out of the way and let her do it, she’d get it done faster so she could move on to the next thing.

She was spinning. Overwhelmed. Her job, her family, her extended family, a friend she’s helping, church activities. I see the exhaustion etched in her face through her smile. She explains she’s just doing her usual daily routines but her friend needed some extra support; Oh, and her job needed someone to fill in;a family member that needs errand running; church needed volunteers.

I start there—“why did you volunteer to help at church when you’re this crunched with your schedule?” She stares at me like I have 7 heads. She explains the church asked, and it IS church after all so it’s a good cause (continuing to look at me like I just don’t get it). We talk about how there are zillion ‘good’ things we can all be involved in but that doesn’t mean we’re supposed to be. We have to know what is put in our path to pick up and what is to be left on the path.

Ever fall into this pattern also? (Okay, I’m not exempt from this either!)

I admit something about this too: while reading scripture, I used to be confused about doing good deeds. One verse states that faith without works is useless then another states its faith alone-not our works-that saves us.

How foolish! Can’t you see that faith without good deeds is useless? James 2:20
For by His loving-favor you have been saved from the punishment of sin through faith. It is not by anything you have done. It is a gift of God. Ephesians 2:8

So I can see how many of us fall into a misunderstanding. We feel if we’re doing ‘good’ things then we’re on the right track. Surely we’re doing what God would want since these are all ‘good’ deeds, right? The good deeds are not what saves us but surely God is happy with us if we toil for the common good. Ever think this way?

Here is the difference I’ve learned: We are to do what GOD leads us to do. There are a zillion good things but we’re not called to do them all. You are not called to kill yourself with overscheduling so you can do one more ‘good deed’ in the name of the common good.

I encourage you to ask the Father what He wants you to engage in. I truly don’t think it brings Him glory for his children to be worn out, frazzled shells walking around in a trance from exhaustion. This isn’t abundant life He promises us.

How can I say this with confidence? Because I was a classic ‘let me help, let me do it’ overachiever that ended up sidelined with a body that quit from overexertion. I spent a long time pleading with God to heal me and questioning why He didn’t heal me quickly since I was doing all these good things for His kingdom. One day a quiet response came….you’re doing many good things but I didn’t ask you to. This is all your own doing, not Mine. OUCH. Busted.

So I ask you the question: are you doing what the Father has asked of you? Or what you think He’d want because its good stuff, good deeds, helping others, etc? If He isn’t leading you to be an active participant, perhaps he wants your efforts elsewhere-maybe even resting and letting someone else have the chance to pick up the reins.

Jesus set the example. He walked among us with needs everywhere. He didn’t drag himself to each and every need, in every village and town and country. He did what the Father instructed him to do. Another example is the classic story of Mary & Martha.

Martha was working hard getting the supper ready. She came to Jesus and said, “Do You see that my sister is not helping me? Tell her to help me.” 41 Jesus said to her, “Martha, Martha, you are worried and troubled about many things. 42 Only a few things are important, even just one. Mary has chosen the good thing. It will not be taken away from her.” Luke 10:40-42

Ouch again. Many needs are there, many good things. But we need to be sensitive to what the Father has for us to do…not everything that NEEDS done but what He has given us individually and specifically to do.

I recall a saying I had heard many years ago from Joyce Meyer “If the enemy can’t make you bad, he’ll make you busy”. It has stuck with me over the years—I get it. Wearing ourselves out isn’t showcasing the light within us, it just makes us look like frazzled messes. Why would a lost person be interested in being a worn out frazzled mess? I know, not pretty.

I encourage you to take a moment to step back, get some alone time with the Father and ask him to show you what HE wants you to do. Not all the needs in your world, just the need He has specifically for you. Maybe that need is for you to rest.

“For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” Mathew 11:30

Kidding Myself?

Posted by angela on November 20, 2014
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When we were having our first baby, I had so many resources telling me what to expect. We read books, heard tons of stories and prepared an entire room with lots of equipment for our little bundle. But until I was in labor that 3rd day and eventually held the little bundle did I get a glimpse of what childbirth actually was like. I had to go through the steps and live through the experience to really GET IT. I was kidding myself that I ‘got it’ and understood what I was in for just by hearing about it.

Real life is like this!! We can read about places or experiences, see pictures, watch movies and hear firsthand accounts from others, but until we actually WALK and live through it ourselves, we can’t really get a sense of what it’s really like.

I realized this is so much like our relationship with God. We can tell others of Jesus, walking with God, peace/comfort/grace/mercy, etc. Look how many followers or proclaimed Christians know so much about the word! But until they step into the water and are engulfed by the Holy Spirit in them, they won’t really know.

We can try to explain…but words can only go so far. Plus, God is so creative. Not everyone’s journey is the same. What one person experiences with Him could be polar opposite of another. So until someone opens themselves to fully accept Him-experience Him…they won’t know. They don’t know all the blessings and gifts He pours out and their eyes are still sealed shut. They can have head knowledge but without heart knowledge it’s just a black & white photo with a blurry view—instead of the full color 3D action film.

What if you are a believer and follower but still feel distant? I would ask if you’ve thrown it all over board. ALL OF IT. Yes, even the stuff that we don’t think really matters. Sometimes it’s something we don’t think God would ever ask us to do without or open up to Him…maybe it’s something we don’t feel is important enough or even the opposite. It’s something that is so important to us; we don’t want Him to mess with it. What if He tells us to give it up? We can’t imagine the thought of living without it (or someone) so we keep that portion to ourselves. We bury it so deep that we’ve convinced ourselves that we’ve given it all up and still feel emptiness, a wide & deep distance between us & God.

Then the frustration leeks in…why don’t we feel Him? Why is He keeping His distance? Didn’t I pray & ask for Him to enter my life? Why am I doing this if HE isn’t keeping up His end of the deal?! Bitterness, blame, and angry start to surround us deep inside like a slow creeping fog.

Then we continue on. We go forward with life, maybe continuing our church attendance, bible groups, etc but deep down—we have a faith gap. We believe in God but somewhere deep down inside—we don’t feel God is really coming through for us.

All of this because we have kidded ourselves into thinking ‘we’ve given it all up to Him, but He blew it. He didn’t invade my spirit and fill it up or I wouldn’t feel this way’.

Really…it was us. When we finally realize what that area of our life is that we’ve closed off or hidden or even didn’t consider IT as an area for God. Then…THEN we’ll get it. It’ll feel like a weight has been set free.

If you sense there is something you’ve long ago buried but don’t even realize what it is, ask Him to reveal it to you. If you are sincere in wanting to move FORWARD in your walk, He will meet you. He’s there anyhow, waiting.

If you know exactly that area where you’ve kept to yourself, so deeply hidden that you don’t even notice it sometimes—you know what to do. It’s time. Time to step out and stop kidding yourself. You have to take a step of trust and faith that what He has is for your benefit and He loves you. Give it up. Even the most precious or shameful piece that you’ve buried so long ago it feels like ancient history.

Give it to Him. He can handle it and is waiting for you. He’s been waiting all along to fill those empty places.

Surrender your heart to God, turn to him in prayer, and give up your sins—even those you do in secret. Then you won’t be ashamed; you will be confident and fearless. Job 11:13-15

Be still in the presence of the LORD, and wait patiently for him to act. Psalm 37:7