How to live in the fog

Life can often get a bit hazy… like a fog.  Sometimes it gets so thick you just have to sit tight and wait for the fog to lift.  In Exodus Israel followed God in the cloud.  Maybe we should take a closer look at that.  They moved when the cloud moved.  They stayed put when the cloud settled. 

In 1 Corinthians 13:12, Paul writes,

We don’t yet see things clearly. We’re squinting in a fog, peering through a mist. But it won’t be long before the weather clears and the sun shines bright! We’ll see it all then, see it all as clearly as God sees us, knowing him directly just as he knows us! (The Message).

So, are you leaving in a fog? 

Three things to keep you focused (1 Corinthians 13:13):

  1. Trust steadily in God
  2. Hope unswervingly
  3. Love extravagantly

Trust

After reading a passage in Psalms and reflecting on some things in and around my life – I have begun some evaluation.  These are some random questions I began to ask myself:

  • Who do I trust?  Why?
  • Do I trust anyone with everything about me?  Or do I pick and choose certain people depending on the circumstance?
  • How do I know when someone is trustworthy? 
  • What are the traits of someone who is trust worthy?
  • Once trust has been broken – How does someone regain my trust? Is it possible?

trust [truhst]

reliance on the integrity, strength, ability, surety, etc., of a person or thing; confidence.

God is all strength for his people,
      ample refuge for his chosen leader;
   Save your people
      and bless your heritage.
   Care for them;
      carry them like a good shepherd. (Psalm 28:8-9, The Message).

I know at times in life (family, church, job, and other relationships) it is tough to trust.  To have full confidence in someone else can be a scary thing.  Especially if one of those people or institutions has broken that trust.  I think sometimes I am too trusting of others… almost to the point of being naive.  Although, lately I have been catching myself being very skeptical of putting a lot of trust in others.  I don’t like being like that. 

I had surgery on my arm and back this year.  I had these lypoma’s removed.  All is well with me and the places where they were removed.  The strange thing is that I am very guarded still about those two areas on my body.  There was some damage there in the past.  It has been dealt with… yet I still want to protect them especially when someone touches either area.  I don’t even like to touch those places either.

Being hurt or let down by others will make anyone skeptical of putting total trust on the line once again. Does this keep you from trusting God?

I was reading Psalm 28 and this idea of trust came to my mind.  I thought about a few words in the two verses listed above.  (Strength, refuge, save, care for, and carry.)  I asked myself these questions: 

Do I really rely on His strength?  Do I trust Him to be my refuge or fortress?  Do I trust Him to save me?  Do I have confidence that He cares for me?  When I know I’m at the end of my strength do I trust He will carry me?

Ma`owz – fortress

(As found in Psalm 28:8)

place or means of safety, protection, refuge, stronghold

  1. place of safety, fastness, harbour, stronghold
  2. refuge (of God) (Crosswalk.com Bible Study Tools).

When the world all around seems so unstable – Look to God… trust Him with your life!  He loves us both so much!  Run to safety trust the LORD to carry you.

Finding help in a time of trouble

Psalm 50 is on my mind as I lay in the bed.  So I just got up to read it.  I am troubled.  I have prayed and prayed and prayed tonight.  Throughout the day.  For weeks I’ve desired to not worry my prayers to God.  Tonight I am asking God to allow me to breakthrough into a prayer of power and strong faith. 

So now at 12:30 AM I get out of bed to read Psalm 50.  In verse 10, God tells his people he owns the cattle on a thousand hills.  Every bird and animal belongs to him. 

Verse 14 God states, “What I want instead is your true thanks to God; I want you to fulfill your vows to the Most High.”  Hear what God says here in verse 15, “Trust me in your times of trouble, and I will rescue you, and you will give me glory.”

Psalm 50 ends with these two verses:  “Repent, all of you who ignore me, or I will tear you apart, and no one will help you.  But giving thanks is a sacrifice that truly honors me.  If you keep to my path, I will reveal to you the salvation of God.” (23 – 24, NLT).

Do you find yourself in a time of trouble?  Do you need God’s help? Then keep to His path!  Walk His road.  Live in obdience to His Word.  Love Him.  Trust Him.  And give Him thanks!

He’s not looking for our sacrifices – our burnt offerings.  He is asking that we repenttrust him in our time of trouble… give Him thanks – this is the sacrifice He is looking for.  God wants us to stay true to Him.  Put our trust only in Him.  He owns it all.  Everything belongs to Him.  Repent and keep to His path and we will see His salvation.

Life: There’s a lot of fear out here…

Yep, everywhere I turn out here in this land called life I run into this thing called fear.  Fear seems to be gripping this nation, this state, the town, and me these days. 

When I think of fear one of the first things I recall is the show, “The Little Rascals”.  I can recall so many times them somewhere in the dark and something happens that frightens them. 

What happens when one gets fearful?  FREEZE!  I think that’s the reaction for me. 

I stop and ask God to help me deal with the fear… give it to Him.  I stop and look around and listen closely for Him.  Unfortunately, there are times the fear is so strong when I stop to look and listen all I can hear is my own racing heart.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (Isaiah 41:10, NIV).

I have kept this verse on my blog for a couple of months now.  I keep it there as a reminder to look to God in all of my circumstances.  To remind myself not to cave in to this spirit of fear that is getting a grip on this nation.  It’s a reminder that my strength comes from God and He will uphold me when times are tough. 

It’s a reminder to me that there are many people out here living in fear.  It’s partly my job and partly yours to lead people to hope and trust in the One who gives strength to all  who ask.

Photo found Life at the Quinn Home.  Great worship music here too.

Who sits on the throne of your heart?

Does Jesus rule your thoughts, actions, and attitudes? Or does something or someone else take control?

I have been writing in my journal about purpose and God’s plan. How God chooses people to serve Him… and the purposes of that service.

So often I will get into this place where the voice I hear is saying, “You are disqualified.” Then I try to fight off the voice be telling myself to remember King David… nothing he did disqualified him from being God’s man.

I get so strongly frustrated with life way too much. I find it hard not to allow this frustration to rule everything around me and in me.

You have had the vision, but you are not yet to the reality of it by any means. It is when we are in the valley, where we prove whether we will be the choice ones, that most of us turn back. We are not quite prepared for the bumps and bruises that must come if we are going to be turned into the shape of the vision. We have seen what we are not, and what God wants us to be, but are we willing to be battered into the shape of the vision to be used by God? The beatings will always come in the most common, everyday ways and through common, everyday people. (My Utmost for His Highest, October 4).

So as an individual I have a choice to make. Will I give Jesus the throne of my heart? Or will I give my frustrated thoughts of disqualification the throne? Do I continue to give the grumblings of my heart the throne? It’s all just jealousy and anger… I don’t see this person or that person go through what I go through… I ask God, “Why am I singled out to walk this path?” “Do I have the power to make things different?” “Did I miss something along the way only to end up in this place?” “Is that why this brother or that one hasn’t walked my road?” (I pray they never do!) “Have I missed something along the way?” “Have I lacked wisdom?” “Do I control my own destiny or has God led me down this path?”

Oswald Chambers goes on to say, “There are times when we do know what God’s purpose is; whether we will let the vision be turned into actual character depends on us not on God.” (My Utmost for His Highest, October 4).

I am weaving my thoughts out here and turn the electronic pages over to Brad’s blog, “Do I offend you?” The loneliest place of all would be John the Baptist sitting in a prison cell asking my questions. Now I hear Jesus ask me, “Do I offend you?”

Let Go Let God

Last night we watched Facing the Giants.  Tonya told us we needed to watch it.  Early in the movie I sent her a txt, “So, you think I’m a loser.”  (I was just kidding).  This was an extremely inspiring movie.  Scene after scene I just laughed because I could see so much of my life in it.  Why did I laugh?  I guess I’m warped.  I did shed a tear or two as well.

About two weeks ago we had someone in our church portray the life of David… specifically the portion of David’s life when he faced Goliath.  I sat there that morning and I thought about the giants in my life.  I thought it’s time to stand up and face them. 

The movie last night reinforced the thought that it’s time to stand up to the giant.

While reading, praying, and journaling this morning the phrase came to mind, “Let go let God.”  I wrote it down in my journal and began to think about what that really means.

I read Isaiah 56 and 1 Peter 1.  My thoughts are about faith, hope, and trust.

A song came to mind by David and the Giants.  I couldn’t find the one I was looking for on YouTube but I did find the song “Let Go Let God” by David and the Giants. 

I’ve got a lot to say…

…and God is unlocking it all. 

Alright… here I am.  Computer keyboard in hand and ready to type.  I have a world of things racing through my mind at this moment.  The Holy Spirit is working double time on me.  (Maybe I’m just being honest with what He has been telling me for over 20 years – for the first time). 

It’s like I’m a book with a bunch of unfinished chapters in the middle of two bookends (Brad and James).  Thanks guys for the love and encouragement.

 

To reinforce matters Oswald Chambers hit me upside the head today too.

Our Lord’s making of a disciple is supernatural. He does not build on any natural capacity of ours at all. God does not ask us to do the things that are naturally easy for us— He only asks us to do the things that we are perfectly fit to do through His grace, and that is where the cross we must bear will always come. (My Utmost for His Highest, September 25).

So why all of the fear?  What is there to be afraid of?

Do you even know what in the world I am talking about?

I’m talking about 1 Peter 1:7 and Romans 10:14-15.  I’m talking about what Joel said to me back in Summer of 1985 – after I talked with him about 1 Peter 1:7.  He doesn’t remember it I’m sure… but I do.  I’m talking about the Holy Spirit speaking to me in the Fall of 1985 in Old Testament class through Romans 10:14-15.

It’s amazing how our minds recall the “God moments” in our lives. 

It’s amazing how it takes 20+ years to say yes… for such a time as this.