A HOPE THAT DOESN’T DISAPPOINT

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                 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.     Romans 5:5

 

I don’t know about you but I’ve been disappointed by hope.  I’ve dreamt of things, longed for things, searched for things and have been obedient to the point of death and yet still ended up wanting.  What I have found often times at the end of my rainbows, have been fool’s gold, or so it seemed.  I’ve chased big dreams, believed God for huge things, and waited for so long to see a hint of His purposes.  I was disillusioned and disappointed because I lacked understanding in the “how and why” He does things the way He does.

Some people give up on hope because it seems too painful to continue hoping only to be disappointed over and over again.  So some settle for the downward dismal lifestyle of I’m-never-going-to-get-my-hopes-up-again.  So what’s worse?  Hoping and being disappointed?  Or not hoping at all and being depressed?  What if I told you there is another option?

Look at today’s scripture again… Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out within our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.  Now we all believe that scripture is inerrant.  So if the Word of God cannot lie, then the truth is that hope does not disappoint.  But how can that be, since you and I have both hoped in some things and still experienced disappointment when they didn’t work out?

My marriage was not what I had hoped for the first 7 years.  I was miserable.  I stayed in a constant state of disappointment.  A business venture failed horrifically and I spent years on unemployment and working jobs that only paid a fraction of what I was used to making.  Every big dream that I had stepped out in faith went nowhere and I lost tens of thousands of dollars.  The list could go on and on with countless heartbreaking stories of things hoped for and things lost, or so I though.

hope that doesn't disappointThe word disappoint means to fail to meet the expectation or hope of.  That’s exactly how I’ve felt so much of my life.  “Failure to meet the expectations of”  so many dreams!  So are Christians supposed to be immune to disappointment?  Is that what this passage is saying?  No, of course not.  Do you see the word “because” in todays verse?  It’s telling us that hope does not disappoint because (for the reason that) the love of God/the Holy Spirit has been poured out within our hearts to help us overcome disappointment!

When we sit with Him every morning, and every moment our hearts are broken, He has the power to override that disappointment. He has the power to give us insight into our situation. He can change our perspectives.  Things that seemed lost can be given a deeper meaning.  Does it mean we won’t ever be disappointed?  No, but it does mean that when those disappointments come, we can sit with God and let Him explain them to us.  Once we have His understanding and a Kingdom perspective we are somehow transformed and able to have hope again.

When I look back on my list of disappointments, I see God’s hand of goodness.  I see the beauty of trusting Him when there was little hope left.  When so many things in my life seemed like they were failing, I would remind myself that God is always good.  I would say out loud, “my life is not what I want it to be but I know God will bring to me all that He has promised. This pain has a purpose.”  I found those purposes in the seasons of disappointment.  I found a strength to persevere that was lodged deep inside and His name is the Holy Spirit.  Oh how many times did He make clear a situation that held me captive for so long?  And now that I am seeing so many of the promises fulfilled, how grateful I am to have continued to believe in His goodness.  He is faithful!  He is faithful to finish what He’s started.

I know that some of you find yourselves in gloomy circumstances right now.  But know this:  you are not alone!  God has not abandoned you.  He has not forgotten you.  There is a beautiful purpose for this pain.  He will not let the pain go to waste, I promise.  Take your disappointments to Him and let Him refresh your mind and restore hope to you.  He is the Hope that does not disappoint!

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God wants to release you from your disappointments.  You are not the only one that has gone through what you are going through.  And it won’t last forever!  Let Him encourage you today.  Let Him speak words of hope to those tender areas of your heart.  Release the anger of being disappointed with your situation, with people and with Him.  Let Him show you that He has your best interests at heart.  Let Him give you understanding in all things that concern you.  As you begin to pray, start the audio track below.  Pour out your frustration to Him and let Him respond to you.  It’s life changing!  And you can hear Him!

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Over the next week renew your mind with the scriptures on hope.  Let them settle down into your spirit, write them on the tablets of your heart, and let them roll off your lips like honey in everything you speak this week.

Day 2:   Read Romans 8:24-25

Day 3:   Read Romans 15:4

Day 4:   Read Romans 15:13

Day 5:   Read Hebrews 6:18, Hebrews 10:23

WHAT LOVE IS NOT

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Love is patient, love is kind and is not jealous; love does not brag and is not arrogant, does not act unbecomingly; it does not seek its own, is not provoked, does not take into account a wrong suffered, does not rejoice in unrighteousness, but rejoices with the truth; bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.  Love never fails.  1 Corinthians 13:4-8

We all dream of a fairy tale romance.  Images of marrying Prince Charming and riding off into the sunset towards the Cinderella life of our dreams…and then we wake up.  We wake up to someone who is, well, hairy…really hairy and smelly and messy and thinks so strangely.  I mean the wiring in a man’s brain is just missing a few connections.  They just don’t think like us incredibly-brilliant-always-right-never-wrong women. {Insert sarcasm here.} God love ‘em!  And I love ’em!  I’m sincerely thankful for the opposite sex and all the wonderful things they bring to the human race.  Thank God my husband doesn’t think like I do.  The world is a better place because of that.  But let’s face it, marriage is NOT meant to make you happy, it’s meant to make you holy.  The word happy comes from the old English word hap which means good fortune, lucky, or turning out well.  So our happiness is directly related to how things are turning out for us.  But what happens if things aren’t turning out so well?  What if we are not happy in our fairy tale?  What happens if Prince Charming isn’t meeting all of our needs and loving us the way Jesus loves the church?  What then?

From the get-go, my husband and I entered into a covenant (not a contract).  A contract is there to protect both parties involved in an agreement.  If one party doesn’t fulfill their part of the contract either party can go their separate ways.  Not so in a covenant.  If one party doesn’t pull their weight, the other party must pull it for them.  They are bound together for life only to be separated by death.  My husband and I agreed that we would never divorce, but death, well, that was always a viable option.  I’m jokingly serious, of course.  There were nights I prayed for God to take one of us out if something didn’t change.  I’m really not kidding, things hit rock bottom.  But thank God for unanswered prayers because He probably would have taken me out.

what love is notI’m going to let you in on a little secret…and I want you to think about this secret in view of how God does it:  Love is NOT love unless you choose to love someone through their worst.  Jesus asked “What reward is there in loving someone who loves you back?”  He said, “Be perfect as your Father in heaven is perfect.”  (Matthew 5:46 & 48)  The original Greek meaning of the word perfect means to be brought to its end, finished, wanting nothing necessary to completeness.  Do you want to know what I saw when I read that?  DEATH!  We die!  Oh God answered my prayers alright.  Someone died, and it was me.  I died to all of my selfish mindsets, to my desire to have someone else meet all of my needs. I died to my self-centered ways because you cannot truly love until you love the unlovable and believe the best about them.  You must see a person in their worst possible state and yet hope in all things, bear all things, believe all things, and endure all things knowing that love never fails.  Knowing that God, who is love, never fails.

We search our whole lives for love, and then we walk away from what we found in search of something better.  We move from relationship to relationship looking for the perfect spouse.  How about we seek out, search for and find the perfect God and then we can love anyone through His love?

I had a real “a-ha” moment several years ago.  This one particular day I was running late for church and I bent down to kiss my husband goodbye on the forehead before leaving.  As I did, he grimaced.  Okay, if you know me at all, my core fear is rejection…and that had rejection all over it.  (What you may not know is that I had been a jerk to my husband earlier that week and he wasn’t feeling particularly loving towards me at the time.)  So I stomped off, slammed the door and started yelling at God.  “He doesn’t deserve my love!” I exclaimed.  “And you deserve Mine?” God asked gently. “I know I don’t deserve Your love God, but You can’t help it!  You love because You ARE love and You can’t deny Yourself!” I yelled.  “Then you love because you ARE love and because I live inside of you and you can’t separate us for we are one!” He said loud and clear.

Wow.  We love because we ARE love, for Christ lives in us and He is love.  That statement changed the course for how I approached love.  We don’t love because someone deserves it.  We love because we are love PERIOD.  We are loved by the One who fills us, the One who loves us even though we don’t deserve it.  A true depiction of love is not loving those who love you back, but loving those who don’t, won’t, or just don’t know how yet.  Love is not a feeling, nor an emotion, but is a choice.  It never feels good to love someone who doesn’t love you back at first, but when love has done its perfect work in you, the reward is priceless.  You get to see firsthand, the loving heart of God…you get to see what love really is, and what love is not.

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God wants to undo your definition of love.  He wants to give you a new perspective on love and He wants to take the pressure off of your loved ones to meet all of your needs.  Only He can do that.  When you sit with Him day after day, He can pour love into your empty broken heart.  Out of this you will be able to love as He loves.  Are you ready to be filled up with the love of God so that you can pour out on a hurt and lonely world around you?  Start out your time with God listening to the audio track I’ve attached below.  Listen to what the Holy Spirit speaks to you about His amazing love.  Write down what He says.  I’m believing for some “a-ha” moments of your own!

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Look over these passages on the Love of God this week.  Learn to walk in love the way He does.  You’re going to be a much “happier” person when you focus on God’s love for you and not the lack of love around you.  Gird yourself in the wisdom of the Word of God.  Let it wash over you and renew your mind.

Day 2:   Read Romans 5:8, Ephesians 2:4-5

Day 3:   Read 1 John 4:7-11

Day 4:   Read Galatians 2:20 

Day 5:   Read John 13:34-35

STRONG IN THE STORM

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“Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.  But everyone who hears these sayings of Mine, and does not do them, will be like a foolish man who built his house on the sand: and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it fell. And great was its fall.”              Matthew 7:24-27

Strong, steady, and stable are three words that would have never described me several years ago.  Oh, I believed in God and I believed He could answer prayer…it just seemed like He’d answer it for everyone else but me.  An old weathered ship tossed back and forth like a battering ram against the dock I was tied to, deep were my scars.  Up and down, in and out as fast as the waves rolled was the pace at which I lost my faith in God’s ability to save me from the storm. 

Faith, it’s impossible to please God without it.  Faith, there’s no way around it in His Kingdom.  It’s the key to everything.  Without faith we whine, complain, throw pity parties, and get angry with God but we never really call it what it is….it’s a lack of faith.  We doubt God’s goodness in the dark storms of our lives.  We don’t see how He could possibly come through.  We think we are the only ones going through the storms we face.

What causes waves to stir and crash?  What brings a storm?  Wind.  It’s gusts of wind that blow down against calm waters and cause billows of waves to rise.  In Mark 4, Jesus tells the disciples to go across the sea to the other side.  But while Jesus was asleep on a pillow, a great and mighty storm arose.  It was thrashing the boat around and filling it up with water.  Now the disciples were experienced fishermen, they knew a bad storm when they saw one.  And this was a bad one.  It was so bad that they ran down to get Jesus, to ask Him whether or not He cared they were perishing.  Read what happened next:

Then He arose and rebuked the wind, and said to the sea, “Peace, be still!” And the wind ceased and there was a great calm. But He said to them, “Why are you so fearful? How is it that you have no faith?”

I want you to see that they were right smack dab in the middle of God’s will and there was a storm!  Just because you find yourself in a storm doesn’t mean you’ve missed God.  Sometimes it’s exactly where you’re supposed to be.  How many times did I think God was asleep on a pillow when I was about to die in my situation?  How many times did I think He didn’t care?  I had built my house on my circumstances, not on His goodness or His faithfulness.  When I felt my life crumbling around me, I went down with it.  I let the wave of my emotions batter me against the dock.  Weathered, worn, beaten, and bruised when all I had to do is loosen the rope that held me captive.  To untie my anchor and let the wind of God carry me where He desired.  You see, I wasn’t a worn old ship, but a sailboat meant to be carried by the wind not beaten by it.  I was to use the wind to propel me not repel me.  Even the darkest of storms have the power to propel us towards our destinies.

strong in the stormSo what should the disciples have done in the midst of their storm?  Think about it.  Put yourself there, in their cold and wet shoes.  We know being afraid and asking Jesus if He even cared wasn’t the right answer.  But what was?  Maybe if they would have said to themselves, “I believe the Master will get us across safely.  He’s on-board with us and He’s not going down, neither will we!”  Maybe if they would have remembered all the marvelous miracles they had beheld.  Don’t you know that it’s in the middle of these storms we see God rescue us miraculously? It’s here where we see Him walk on water and calm the winds.  It’s here, where our faith grows.   And it’s that faith that makes us strong in the storm.  

 

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God is ready to speak calm to the storms in your mind today!  I want you to image yourself in a sailboat on the most beautiful waters you can think of.  I want your soul to be flooded with peace in knowing that God is guiding you in your voyage, even in the not-so-great stormy waters.  As you listen to the audio track, ask God any question you want to.  This is your time with Him.  He’s not going to be offended by anything you ask Him.  But after you ask Him those hard questions, listen to what He says back.  I promise it will calm the storms in your minds and bring peace.  I can’t wait to see what He says to you!

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Meditate on these passages of scripture this week.  Ask God to bury them deep down within your spirits. Read them, write them down, and quote them over yourself until you believe them.  Faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the Word of God!

Day 2:   Read Mark 4:35-41

Day 3:   Read Psalm 107:28-30

Day 4:   Read Matthew 14:23-25

Day 5:   Read Psalm 107:29   Psalm 89:8-9

I EAT ONCE A WEEK

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And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger,                          and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”  John 6:35

 

I lied.  I don’t eat once a week, but I thought it was a catchy title.  There are, however, some people that really do.  Sunday after Sunday we fill seats in churches and are spiritually fed the Word of God, but that’s the only day we eat and that’s just not healthy.

When I was first saved, I was heavily involved in church.  I was there every time the doors were opened.  I loved the fellowship, the camaraderie, the newness of life found in giving my life to Christ, but it never occurred to me to “partake” of Jesus daily.  I would have random seasons where I would study the Bible and pray regularly but that was not the “norm”.  I could see a dramatic change in my behavior and attitude when I stuck to the regiment, but I wouldn’t stay committed and the yucky old me would resurrect and take over again.  Yes, I know the scripture:

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new. 2 Corinthians 5:17.

But quite honestly it takes a while.  Yes, we are reborn instantly into the Kingdom of God when we are saved, but it takes years to undo what we’ve become. Our spirits are saved instantly, but our souls take some time to be transformed. It’s not just holding to a new code of ethics, it’s being moved by His kindness to become the people of God we are called to be.  It’s waking up morning after morning being fed the living Word of God.  With every Koffee with the King moment, we have the opportunity to hear from God daily, be led to hand-picked passages of scripture by God to help sustain us for that day.  Every word He speaks gives us the power to stand strong when the wiles of the enemy come.

bread of lifeUnlike a snake, we can’t eat one big meal a week and live.   I would love to cook a feast a week for my husband and be done.  But feeding him once a week won’t fly around here, and it doesn’t fly in the Kingdom of God either.  In the model prayer Jesus said to God, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Daily bread is the key.  We’ve got to be women of the Word of God, both the spoken and written word.  We’ve become a people that are moved by our passions and emotions, so whatever feels good must be right.  We’ve drifted away from standing firm on the Word of God.   There is a lack of knowledge of what His Word says by those who profess to belong to Him.  I’m in awe at some of the stances some professing believers are taking that are completely contrary to the character and nature of God and to His written Word. We are being led astray by every wind of doctrine, by cunning false teachers that teach another Gospel, that teach man’s own interpretation of God.  But what does the Word of God say? We don’t know because we’ve stopped studying it!  We let people tell us what it says. We should be reading and studying it for ourselves.  We should be having daily times with Him, hearing Him speak and seeing His truth revealed to us.

Look, I’m guilty too!  I’ve slacked off on studying His Word.  I don’t study it near like I used to, but I’m challenging us all to go deeper…to get back to the basics of studying His Word…to spending daily, quality time with Him.  Will you join me?  Will you commit to sitting with Him daily and receiving your daily bread, to giving more time to the study of His written Word?  Let’s become Women of His Word!  But I want to encourage you, if you don’t have a hunger to know Him more, pray for it, God will give you the desire.  Are you ready?

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God is bursting at the seams to talk to you today!  There are so many wonderful things that He wants to teach you about Himself through this time…things He’ll speak to you directly and things He’ll prompt you to read in scripture.  I’ve included an instrumental song to get you started.  Play it, and talk to Him like you would a friend over coffee.  I can’t wait for you to hear Him today!

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Ready to love the Word like King David?  Ponder these verses over the next week and make a plan to go deeper on your own with the Holy Spirit as your guide.

Day 2:   Read the model prayer about daily bread Matthew 6:9-13

Day 3:  Read about the bread we live off of Matthew 4:3-4

Day 4:  Read about King David’s love for God’s Word Psalm 119:97

Day 5:  Read about excitement of God’s Word Psalm 119:162

 

THIS IS NOT THE END OF YOUR STORY

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“For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”    – Jeremiah 29:11

All or nothing, that’s me.  I’m all in or I’m all out and there’s no room for anything in-between.  If I know where I’m going then I just want to get there, and get there quickly.  That means I want a good healthy marriage, no time to wrestle with petty differences; I’m quick to own up to my part and make the godly changes that need to be made.  I want to see the promises of financial blessing immediately in everything I put my hands to because I follow God’s principles with my whole heart.  I want to see the favor of God when I take huge leaps of faith in ministry because I believe in the big things of God.  But expediency never makes for a great story, does it?  The best stories take time to develop.  They have rich
bigstock-Old-rusty-typewriter-39007552meaningful themes, thick fascinating plots with unexpected twists and turns, dynamically interesting (but not perfect) main characters,  wicked and cruel antagonists and by all means, happy endings.  Our lives are stories, are they not?  They twist and turn in unexpected ways and some days (seasons even) seem to last forever.  Some chapters seem to never end but the character that we see developed during them is what makes for great heroes, it’s what makes for great stories.

The evil antagonist in my story, aka Satan, bombarded me with horrific thoughts of suicide most of my life.  With every hardship, like clock-work, the thoughts of giving up came racing in.

“Why do you trust in a God you can’t see?  He hasn’t ever really done anything for you?  How can He be good if He let this happen to you?  Don’t you know that things are never going to change and you are never going to see any of the promises He’s made to you?  Why don’t you just end it now and spare yourself the pain of being such a failure?”

I cannot express, in words, the depth of the devastation I would feel when the rush of tormenting anguish would press down on me.  I thought of every way possible to end my life.  And yes, I was a Christian and loved God with all of my heart at the time.  But still the torment came.  And as overwhelming as the pressure was, I thank God I couldn’t go through with it.  I couldn’t fathom leaving behind two boys to fend for themselves.  How could I have taught them to hope in God all of their lives and yet take my own?  I couldn’t leave them that way.  So I endured the pain of so many failed ventures and remained captive to the oppression… until I had a life-changing conversation with God about it.

Several years ago in the midst of one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever seen,  the Rocky Mountains of Colorado, I pulled my car over on the side of the road and threw a fit.  I screamed and yelled at God and threw the biggest tantrum ever.

“Why? Why have You not answered any of my prayers?  I’ve done everything You’ve asked of me.  I’ve given You my whole life.  I can’t take this pain anymore!  I can’t keep believing You and not see any of the promises You’ve made. Where are You in all of this?  I don’t want to live like this anymore!”

His answer changed me and gave me a new found hope and perspective on the story of my life.

This is NOT the end of your story, Melonie.  I’m still writing it.  You have to trust Me.  This pain won’t last forever, I promise, this too shall pass.  Keep holding on and keep believing in Me.  This is NOT the end!

I don’t wrestle with the overwhelming thoughts of suicide anymore.  You see, I’ve come to realize that He really is writing my story.  And it’s a beautiful story.  It’s full of ups and downs and unexpected twists and turns but there is a common thread.  That thread is the goodness of His hand in every chapter, in every sentence, in every word.  I see His faithfulness.  He’s there writing, orchestrating an amazing story of grace, and I simply have to trust His unseen hand, in His goodness and in His faithfulness.  This is not the end of my story and there isn’t any mistake that I’ve made that He can’t turn into something beautiful, something awe inspiring, something miraculous.  And the pain that some chapters bring really doesn’t last forever but His grace does.  Endurance and perseverance are what this heroine is learning.

So many chapters have since passed since that inspiring conversation with God.  I’ve now seen so many of the promises fulfilled, but you want to know something crazy?  I was okay without seeing them.  Sure seeing those wonderful things come to pass is great, and I’m thankful, but I was thankful before I saw them.  I was complete and whole before they came.  God’s grace carried me through those difficult chapters and God’s grace will carry you too.  This is not the end of your story either.  God is still writing it and it’s a beautiful story!

This is not the end

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God can give you hope for the chapter you’re in right now.  Spend some time listening to His voice today.  He wants to encourage you to hold just like He did for me.  Start the audio track below, sit still before Him and get ready to hear the words of life from the Author of your story.

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Study these scriptures this week to learn more about your story and its Author.

Day 2:   Read Isaiah 46:10

Day 3:  Read Ecclesiastes 3:11

Day 4:  Read 2 Corinthians 3:3

Day 5:  Read Hebrews 12:2

 

BUSY BUT BARREN

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The Lord directs the steps of the godly.  He delights in every detail of their lives. Psalm 37:23

 

How would our lives be different if we actually took this scripture literally?  If we applied it every day?  If we really believed that God delights in every tiny detail of our lives?   That He has promised to help us accomplish the things that concern us?

Jane Austen said “Life seems but a quick succession of busy nothings.”  We run a rat race day in and day out but do we ever really get anywhere?  There is never enough time in one day to accomplish all the things we ought.  We juggle long lists of responsibilities that seem to repopulate upon the crossing off of a single item.  We face real pressures and deadlines in every area of our lives…work, children, husbands, family, and not the mention the extra tasks that we take on at church.  We either feel guilty for not spending enough time doing the right things or we give up trying all together.  We go to bed night after night wishing we could have done more but believing it’s impossible.

Can I let you in on a little secret?  Since the devil can’t pluck us out of the hand of God, then he’s certainly going to try and make us so busy we are ineffective for the kingdom.  Busy but barren!  I’m a woman with many passions.  There are a lot of things I’d love to do, a lot of things can do, a lot of things I’d like to change in this world, people I’d like to help, gifts and talents I’d like to use but I’m careful not to overload myself.  I may have the best intentions in doing godly tasks but even that can be a sin if God’s not leading me in that direction.

footsteps happy is sheI love what Jesus said in John 5:30:

I am able to do nothing from Myself [independently, of My own accord—but only as I am taught by God and as I get His orders]. Even as I hear, I judge [I decide as I am bidden to decide. As the voice comes to Me, so I give a decision], and My judgment is right (just, righteous), because I do not seek or consult My own will [I have no desire to do what is pleasing to Myself, My own aim, My own purpose] but only the will and pleasure of the Father Who sent Me.” [Amplified Version] 

Okay, did y’all catch that?  Jesus said “as I get His orders.”  God the Father was directing the steps of Jesus! What was He thinking?  People were dying, going to hell, and in a real need of a Savior!  He was only there to minister for 3 years for crying out loud; if anyone needed to be busy, it was definitely Him!

Look, even if you have great gifts, talents, and abilities to do extraordinary things doesn’t mean you should do them.  Reminds me of something my older son says, “Just because they make it in your size doesn’t mean you should wear it.” Just because it fits doesn’t mean it’s what you should wear.  Let God direct your steps.  I see so many women bouncing around from one busy activity to another yet they are completely ineffective, fruitless.  Eventually they experience burn out altogether.  But if God directs you, then He will sustain you and through Him (because of your obedience) will cause you to have abundant fruit.

So how does this work in the day to day stuff?  Sitting with Him each morning and letting Him tell you what He’d like for you to accomplish for that day.  Now I’m not talking about common sense responsibilities like: go to work, care for your kids, cook dinner…yes, you heard me, cook dinner! 🙂  I’m talking about big things like:  what activities to be involved in, what activities your children should be involved in, ministry and serving positions, and where to work, etc.  But even the small things like work related tasks to accomplish for the day, what projects to focus on, what book of the bible to study, and so on.  He’s even told me, after completing some tasks, to take a break and enjoy myself.  And I do!  I enjoy my life, every aspect of it.  I work when He says work, I rest when He says rest, I study when He says study, and I lay my head down on my pillow night after night with no regrets.  My days are not wasted, but accomplished.  By my standards? No, by His and by His direction.  Are you ready for that?  Are you ready to let God lead in the day to day tasks?  Are you ready to seize each day and be successful?  Because He’s ready to take the burden off of you and lead you to daily!

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God desires for you to walk in clarity and peace.  He never meant for you to carry the load of accomplishing things without Him.  You don’t have to have everything figured out.   A huge promise that belongs to His children is that we will be led by His Spirit.  He wants to be involved in the daily things that concern you.  He wants to help you be successful.  Take this time to ask Him what you should be involved in and what you should let go of.  Ask Him what He wants you to focus on today.  And get into the habit of asking Him that daily.  Live a life of success from day to day!  Take the next 20-30 minutes talking to Him about all you’ve learned today.  Ask His input and direction in this area of your life.

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Look over these scriptures this week.  See the beauty in God’s direction and guidance.  And relax in the peace of knowing the One who knows all things and trust in His counsel.  There’s no better place to be than beside Him, happy, and stress-free!

Day 2:   Read about our plans :  Proverbs 19:21, Proverbs 16:9

Day 3:  Read about God’s plans:  Jeremiah 29:11, Psalm 33:11

Day 4:  Read about being led by the Spirit:  Luke 4:1, Romans 8:14   

Day 5:  Read more on God’s guidance:  Isaiah 30:21, Psalm 32:8

 

 

HOW DO YOU SEE GOD?

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So the Lord was sorry He had ever made them and put them on the earth. It broke His heart.                        Genesis 6:6 NLT

What you think about God matters.  Your concept of Him is the foundation for every decision you will make in your life.  You worship your concept of God, your faith is in your concept of Him.  Your hope is in who you believe God to be.  How you approach Him is based on your view of Him.

 

When I was younger I believed in God’s existence but that’s about it.  I was afraid of Him.  I believed that if I were to die in the midst of all that I was involved in at the time, I would burn in hell for sure.  My concept of God?  Harsh, cruel, judgmental and full of rules!  I felt like He was going to strike me dead at any moment.  Jesus, well I didn’t view Him like that as much.  I felt more guilty than anything when I thought of Him.  But guilt and fear were not enough to cause me to want to have a relationship with either one of them.  I knew the day I did I wouldn’t be able to “keep my options open”.  I would have to give up my way of life and that didn’t sound fun.

I never thought of God as being a person; not a flesh and blood person as He is a spirit, but a person, with a personality.  He has a mind, will, and emotions.  Yes, God has emotions!  We often associate emotions with emotional or moody, but not the case with Him.  He has feelings, and He feels very deeply but He’s not led into sin with them.  He laughs, has joy, gets angry, has sorrow, weeps, and even grieves.  Why would a God who knows all things, grieve?  It’s because He’s fully engaged in every detail of our lives.  He’s not the aloof Man Upstairs that some think.  God, who created a world full of humans with the power to choose to love Him, let’s Himself fully feel both the joy and pain of all of our decisions.

We are created in His image, so we can see God’s heart in so many of the things we do, well the good things at least.  It’s a desire for every person on the planet to have healthy relationships. Yes, I know we don’t live in a perfect world, and most of our relational experiences have pretty bad.  It’s sad, relationships have the power to teach us more about the heart of God than anything else…as a father, mother, brother, friend, boss, and lover.  Each one of these relationships has the ability to help us relate to and understand God better.  But unfortunately, most of our relationships have skewed our image of God.  We see Him through the lens of all of our broken relationships…fathers who were not there for us, mothers who did not love us, friends who betrayed us, bosses who were harsh on us, lovers who hurt us.

The first encounter Satan had with man in the garden involved him attacking the character and nature of God.  It caused Adam and Eve to question God’s goodness.  Seven thousand years later, he’s still doing the same thing.  He knows that how you view God is crucial to your relationship with Him.

To see Jesus, is to see God.  In John 14:9 Jesus told Philip “Have I been with you so long, and yet you have not known Me, Philip? He who has seen Me has seen the Father.” If you want to see God more clearly, study Jesus.  Read the words in red.  Read the book of John to see the Son of God’s heart revealed.  It will change your concept and view of God.

African American woman in a wheat field - African people

So can you see Him as a person?  Can you see how deeply He loves and desires to share His goodness with you?  Do you know how much joy your love brings Him?  Do you see the tender, soft, compassionate side of Him that longs to be close to you?  Can you also see the pain that He allows Himself to feel with each rejection?  We are not emotionless robots and neither is He.  Can you see Him now?  Can you relate to Him?  And can you live for Him in this new light?

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YOUR KOFFEE WITH THE KING: 

God desires for you to see Him clearly.  He longs to reveal His true nature to you so that you can live the abundant life He has for you.  He wants you to trust Him completely and to love Him deeply.   The good news is that over time, the more you see Him and spend this time with Him, the more you’ll trust and love Him.  It’s hard to trust and love someone you don’t know very well.  And even if you have walked with Him for years, there’s still more to know and love about Him.   So spend this precious time whole heartily devoted to Him.  I believe He has amazing things He wants to speak to you today!  So are you ready?  You can start you conversation by listening to the track below, and keep talking to Him for as long as you like.  I recommend 20 to 30 minutes at least.

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FURTHER STUDY:  

Take some time this week looking at the different types of emotions that we see God experience throughout scripture.  Remember, God is not weak, nor does He change, but He does experience the fullness of sorrow and joy and other emotions.  He is still unable to sin and is always Holy, but I think seeing Him in this light helps us relate to Him so much better.  Enjoy!

Day 2:   Read about God and Joy  Zephaniah 3:17, Isaiah 62:5 

Day 3:  Read about God and Grief Psalm 78:40,  Luke 19:41-42

Day 4:  Read about God and Love 1 John 4:8, Jeremiah 31:3

Day 5:  Read Righteous Anger of God Matthew 21:12-13,  Psalm 7:11