Struggle Well

waitingThis might not look like much, but it’s a plant breaking through the soil. I noticed it a couple of days ago and have been watching ever since. It’s so hard not to push the soil away to see what it is.
However, God doesn’t need my help to do His job. He designed the growth process for that plant. If He thought getting through the soil faster would be best, He would have designed it so.
A friend of mine recently texted, “I’m trying to let God work, but He’s so slow!” Doesn’t this sum up quite well how we all feel? We all want our struggles to cease…yesterday. We desire our God to answer this second. We want the pain, from emotional to spiritual, to end right now.
Yet, do we trust the One who designed the life change process (Set Free Nowww)? Do we believe He knows tomorrow as well as today? Do we have the faith that breaking through the hard soil of our old character, no matter how difficult that may be, will produce the fruit of Christ-like character?
It’s so easy to trust God when we’re tasting the fruit of a changed life, which makes our lives so much sweeter. Real trust, however, comes during the struggle. Real trust is when we don’t intervene in God’s process, either in our lives or in those we see struggling.
Let the Father be God who sees well down the road. Let Jesus’ finished work on the cross do its job. And let the Spirit walk us and them through that struggle to a fruit bearing Christ-like life.
Struggle well my friends by trusting the God who designed the life change process set out in Scripture. Yes, it takes time. The sweet taste of a change life is well worth the wait and struggle.
S“E”t Free Nowww

Save Yourself Embarrassment

rocky soilJesus tells a parable of the seed and soil. One is rocky. The seed takes root, but it withers under the summer heat due to shallow soil. This is a wonderful picture of it. Imagine more rocks and less soil. With more rocks, where could the seed germinate, sinks its roots and then grow strong enough to withstand heat?
Life’s heat and dry times should not rattle a believer! In fact, Scripture says we should expect them. These dry and hot times should not make us wilt. Instead, they should force us to remove the rocks in our lives allowing our roots to go deeper into Jesus.
Mark 4:17 says that when this type of believer is persecuted for Jesus’ name, they do scandalous things (“are offended” KJV). Romans 9:33 even calls Jesus a “rock of offense”. What is offensive or hard for you to believe about or from Jesus that you’re unwilling to let Him change your life and drive your roots deeper to withstand persecution?
If you want to never embarrass yourself through your choices/scandalous actions, under the heat of stress, take the hard stuff Jesus is asking of you and let it take deep root into your heart through exercising that truth by faith Spirit empowered, rather than allowing it to crowd Him out.
Set Free Now“W”w

An Illustrious Career

OasisMy wife and I hiked in the desert in the middle of 96 degree heat. It was awesome. For miles around you can see mounds of sand covered in desert brush. Yet, in the middle of this desert was a true oasis surrounded by sun blocking palm trees. The palms and pools of water were both gorgeous and cool, literally, at the same time.
The San Andreas Earthquake fault ran through this area letting water seep through one of it’s cracks. This water hole allowed for both plant and animal life to flourish.
As we were walking I was thinking about Jesus calling Himself the living water. Only He can make our lives flourish in dry times. There are numerous other descriptive illustrations used for Jesus in Scripture. Don’t just read the Word of God. Listen to it and then think about it throughout your day. The more you do, the more you’ll understand who Jesus is and how He can make your life better now and for eternity.
Tozer once said, “Outside the will of God, there’s nothing I want. Inside the will of God nothing I fear.” Let the truths of those illustration seep into our life. Being with and in Jesus is God’s will!
S“E”t Free Nowww

Logic Isn’t Always Logical

warningI was walking on a very busy street where the right side of the road had about two feet of pavement. There was no sidewalk, which was on the left side of the street. The logical thing to do was to head to the sidewalk, which I started to do when I sensed the Lord telling me to continue walking on the right.
While doing so and contemplating why He wouldn’t want me on the safer side of the street, I found four coins – three pennies and nickel. Then it hit me. Logic is not always logical when it comes to walking with Jesus.
Logical decisions are made when you take all the data you can gather, come to a logical conclusion and then act on that conclusion. Question. What if your data is wrong? What if don’t have enough data? Your logical conclusions could be based on bad or insufficient data, which can lead to hurtful or sinful decisions.
Jesus is the only one who has all the data and can see your situation from every perspective. This is why He tells us to listen to and follow Him. This is also why Jesus practiced what He taught us by filtering everything He said and did through the Father.
Rewards, encouragement from finding these coins, and a changed character come from exercising biblical truths Spirit empowered that Jesus gives us, even when they seem illogical to us. To some this might be scary business, but to those who continually get better at hearing from and following Jesus, it leads to eternal Christlike character, which is a very logical use of time.
Set Fre“E” Nowww

Discouragement Defeater

silhouettes of people on mountainsGolda Meir once wrote, “Whenever I felt overwhelmed by fatigue or my circumstances, which was often, all I had to do was to remind myself that I was now talking as an emissary of the Jewish state, and my tiredness simply drained away.” She overcame her fatigue and discouragement by focusing on her mission – Israel’s survival, which at the times didn’t look too bright.
Paul writes much the same from a Roman jail cell, “I open my mouth boldly to proclaim the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains.” (Eph. 6:20) Paul fought off fatigue and discouragement as he focused on the good work God saved him for – being an apostle to the Gentiles.
Discouragement seems to sneak in when we’re tired and not seeing the results we had hope to see. Yet, we’ve all been given something to do for Jesus while hanging out with Him each day the moment of salvation (Eph. 2:8-10). One of those tasks is that we are ambassadors of the King!
People are watching how you handle life, where their eternal destination, which is far more important than this temporal one, is at stake. Defeat that discouragement by staying focusing on Jesus’ smiling face while becoming more like Him. Leave the results to the Spirit.
Set Fre“E” Nowww