Relax a little

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

This morning I woke up tired of the rat-race. I’ve been feeling tired of always thinking, always boring forward, always concerned with the next thing. Work, events, task lists, get it all done quick quick quick…

I woke up and made my way to the living room with my coffee and sat in the dark, watching the stars – waiting for the sun to rise. All the while the words on my heart were, cease striving and know that I am God (Psalm 46:10 NLT).

The Lord invites us to a slower pace and to a life that is managed and directed by him. I believe that he’s not just to be our first priority, but our source.

He’s the one that needs to be our source of answers, direction, clarity, stability, energy, and willpower. He’s the one that needs to be our source of love, hope, and peace.

Today I feel lead to slow down and breathe. I feel the invitation to live each moment and be at peace with it. I feel like Jesus is whispering to my heart to be present with him and to let him go with me through whatever lies ahead.

Jesus gives us the option to lay it all at his feet and let him take the lead. I think he even prefers it when we slow down and hop in the back seat, surrendering to his leading and instruction. Doing it all on our own is exhausting. What God offers us is full of hope and life.

Read this verse again, slowly. I hope it’ll give you something to hold onto today.

He gives power to the weak and strength to the powerless. Even youths will become weak and tired, and young men will fall in exhaustion. But those who trust in the Lord will find new strength. They will soar high on wings like eagles. They will run and not grow weary. They will walk and not faint. Isaiah 40:29-31

Featured photo by Andrea Reiman on Unsplash

Get ready

The book of Ephesians closes out in chapter 6 with something very interesting. Paul tells us to, “be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on all of God‘s armor so that you’ll be able to stand firm against all strategies of the devil. For we are not fighting against flesh and blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.

This makes me wonder, how many times during the day do we think about what’s going on around us spiritually? I’m guessing that for some of us it’s close to zero. Since it’s not something we can see or physically touch, it’s easy to forget that our enemies are not made of flesh and blood, but that there are evil rulers, authorities, and mighty powers at work in this dark world (as Paul puts it). I ended up putting this passage on my list of verses to memorize because it’s powerful to be reminded that there is more going on than my eyes can see.

But it’s not helpful just to be aware that more is going on, but to also know that the Lord has provided a way for us to stand firm and fight.

Paul tells us to be strong in the Lord and to put on all of God’s armor. The first thing to realize is that God’s armor isn’t like earthly armor. Physical fighting requires a person to acquire certain skills, build strength, and learn to think quick on their feet. But muscles and a cunning mind aren’t going to help us here. In order to be equipped in the spiritual battle, we need to be armed with spiritual things.

Therefore, put on every piece of God’s armor so you will be able to resist the enemy in the time of evil. Then after the battle you will still be standing firm. Stand your ground, putting on the belt of truth and the body armor of God’s righteousness. For shoes, put on the peace that comes from the Good News so that you will be fully prepared. In addition to all of these, hold up the shield of faith to stop the fiery arrows of the devil. Put on salvation as your helmet, and take the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

Notice how every piece of this armor is from the Lord. This armor, this ability to stand firm and fight, has everything to do with God and his provision. Our belt is God’s truths. Our body armor is his righteousness. Our shoes are his peace. Our shield is having faith in his ways (not our ways). Our helmet is the salvation he offers us, and our sword is his Spirit.

One of the biggest parts we have to play in all this is where we’re putting our trust and how we’re prioritizing our time. How can we use the shield of faith if we’re looking to our own logic instead of God? How can we use the belt of truth if we don’t know what the truth is? How can we use the helmet of salvation if we aren’t trusting Jesus for the forgiveness of our sins?

If you need a practical step today, I would encourage you to take time each day for prayer and reading the bible. If you need a book to start in, try Romans. The best way we can start learning to fight is by going to his Word for that first piece of armor, the belt of truth. Only by going to his Word can we learn about God’s character, promises, love and sovereignty.

Place your trust in him today, and let him begin teaching you how to battle.

Scriptures referenced: Ephesians 6:10-17 NLT
Mountain Landscape Photo by Simon Matzinger on Unsplash

 

Come back

I’ve been out of whack mentally and physically this week. I’ve been putting all my mental energies on something I’m waiting on, and I’ve had a lot of dairy lately – which my body doesn’t tolerate well. It’s made for a tough week both at work and at home. I feel pretty drained this morning even though I slept for 10 hours.

But even though the ramifications of the dairy are irritating and uncomfortable, it’s nothing compared to the mental energy I’ve spent on this thing. That is truly what is stealing my peace and my joy.

This morning I spent time with the Lord and was reminded of Psalm 46:10 which says,

BE STILL, AND KNOW THAT I AM GOD.

It got me thinking…what can I accomplish with all my thoughts on what worries or concerns me?

Nothing, except for that which is harmful.

All my worries, all my planning and analyzing, get me nowhere. All it does is make me anxious, discontent, and lose sight if the here and now. It adds nothing to my life. My constant thinking does nothing to speed the process along. My worry actually robs me.

img_4530

Instead, I need to come back to focusing on today, and stewarding what the Lord has already given me. I want to steward it well. He has entrusted much to me, and just because he is working on something else that may come to pass, doesn’t mean that I also need to work on it. I have responsibilities to attend to. I have blessings to enjoy. I have gifts and relationships to invest in and take care of.

God is omnipresent. It’s good to remind myself of this. He is working in many, many ways and areas that I cannot see. But he is also right beside me. He hasn’t left me. While he is working, he is also still teaching and directing me.

So the reminder today is to not get so caught up in what could be, but to come back to God so he can help us steward well what is.


Featured image by unsplash.com/@federicorespini