God or Pez Dispenser

He is the Great I AM to whom I owe all that I am.

The following lyrics have been running around in my head, “I couldn’t earn it. I don’t deserve it … Oh, the overwhelming, never-ending reckless love of God.”

He deserves our attention simply because He earned it by what He did for us. So, if we truly believe this, how would it affect how we approach Him?

I mean, do we only come to Him when we need or want something, making God the great Pez dispenser? Or, can we simply sit in His presence because He deserves it?

Being transparent, I find it a little uncomfortable to sit and “do nothing”. Yet, being in His presence is not doing nothing. It is an act of worship because He earned it and deserves it.

Maybe you wrestle with this as well. Your God is more than a Pez dispenser (if you are too young to know what that it is, look it up. LOL) for your every whim and whimper.

He is God. Give Him what He deserves, you. And guess what? You still win as His presence will rub off on you!

Images of God

Images. Scripture is full of them. Images our Father gives us in order to retain our brains with truths that will set us free. 

Mountains are often compared to faithfulness and strength. Rivers bring peace and pleasantness. While our prayers are seen as a pleasing aroma before God.

It’s hard to imagine peace. We can, however, have a calm river slowly meandering downstream fixed in our mind’s eye.

Jesus is peace, not just the bringer of peace. It is who He is. Therefore, we get peace from being in His presence. How? Imagine or focus on that peaceful river. 

The Spirit put that image into Scripture for a reason! He knew we would need visuals in order to grasp who our God is. 

Stress is caused by focusing on what you can’t do or have no control over. Peace comes by focusing on the One who is in control and can do it. Which one would you rather have, peace or stress?

What scriptural image will you choose to focus on about God that can soak into your brain to wash out the garbage thoughts that take you away from His presence?

As you read God’s Word, let the Spirit pop them off the pages and into your brain. Then choose to focus on the truth behind them and your life will be changed for the better. 

Remember, you become what you focus on and what you focus on only gets bigger. So where will your focus be today? 

Review Mirror Perspective

“God has a purpose behind every challenge. He uses them to develop your character.” Rick Warren

In search for work, a man, his wife, and their two sons leave home. Their travels lead them to a neighboring country. That’s a lot of moving!

While in their new homeland, their sons grow up to be men and marry wonderful women. Everyone is fulfilled and content, though, grandchildren elude them.  

Then disaster strikes. Death hits the family big time! First, the dad passes away. Then, the boys follow in him. How much can a family take, right?

The mourning widow decides to move back to the country of her birth. She not only hears there is work, but she also wants to be closer to family.

She left home with a full quiver only to return without anyone but her ex-daughter-in-law. She views herself as a huge failure.

One could draw the conclusion that this family’s history would be better forgotten.

Maybe. The Spirit wrote it down in the book of Ruth for all to remember. She was the daughter-in-law who moved to a new country. She marries an Israeli man named Boaz and becomes the great-grandmother of Israel’s greatest king, David. And, she is a direct descendant of Jesus, the King of Kings.

Was this story one of disaster or one of preparation?

If a disaster, we love a God who can redeem our past mistakes that can be used in the present. Or, our challenges can simply have been preparing us for the good work Jesus has for us now, even if it is years later.

Either way, be encouraged. Jesus is on the throne!

We may not always know the why of life, but we follow a God who does. It may not look like He is control, but He is. This is the practical application of Romans 8:28.

Relax and stop wasting time stressing over your past. Let your God put a smile on your face as you follow Him today. Ruth did and look who she became!

The Why of War

Becoming like Christ is not a one off event, but a daily battle

Israel was set free from slavery and brought home to the Promised Land where Joshua led them in battle to take out all the major players.

Afterward, each of the 12 tribes had mop up operations to handle on their own. It was a test. (Judges 3:4) Would they “obey the LORD’s commands” or follow the gods of the nations they were to defeat?

This was Israel’s why of war. Would they stay free by defeating their enemies through trusting in the LORD or would they compromise and return to slavery? The book of Judges reveals the cycles of victory and defeat.

It’s the same for the believer in Jesus. The moment we became born again, Jesus set us free from slavery and gave us all the tools for victory – His mind, His nature and His Spirit.

He did not, however, clean out the flesh or the old programming stored in our brains. Cleaning out this old thinking, which is at war with the Spirit, is our mop up operation (Gal. 5:16-18).

We are commanded to be transformed or become like Jesus through replacing the old ways of thinking, using the scriptural FREEdom process, with biblical truth thinking and choices to obey Jesus.

Jesus believers in the West must learn what our persecuted brothers and sisters already know. We are at war; and, it’s time to toughen up our faith and win the daily battles.

Will you stand firm in your freedom or go back to slavery (Gal. 5:1)?