Keep Walking

Don’t let my enemies gloat, saying, “We have defeated him!” Psalm 13:4 NLT

I’m on board with what you’re doing, Lord. I am laying aside my own plans so that I can have a part in yours. Show me what you would like me to do. Help me to know your voice and to stand firm on what you’ve said.

This verse in Psalm 13 stuck out to me the other morning, and the prayer above is what I wrote in my journal. I keep going back and forth between feeling pretty confident of the things that God has called me to do, and thinking that I’m way off base and I’m trying to manufacture a calling that he never actually issued. Have you ever felt that way?

Have you ever been doing something for God and felt conflicted, wondering if it was actually God who asked you to do it or if you were mistaken? Maybe it was actually just your own idea? It’s such a hard place to be in. It paralyzes you so that you can’t do anything. You want to do what the Lord asks, but you get trapped in fear that he never asked you to do it in the first place. And so the battle rages on.

My husband had some wonderful advice when I told him about my conflicting emotions. In a nutshell, he told me not to let the enemy win by succumbing to doubt, meaning that the enemy will try to put a halt to things by making me just unsure enough to stop moving. In light of that, I need to keep walking in obedience until I know otherwise.

I don’t want to look back a year from now and realize I’m still in this place of uncertainty – waffling back and forth and back and forth. I want to be so far down the track that this is just a distant memory.

If that’s you and you’ve experienced what I have where you’re so scared to do the wrong thing that you just stop and stand still, then start again. Move forward. But do so in faith and in prayer. I believe God will show us when we need to change directions. Or, he’ll address a heart issue when it’s needed. But we’re not to stop serving him. We’re not to stop ministering to people and pointing them to Jesus.

Let’s spend time in the Word this week and dedicate time to prayer. To be honest, it all comes down to this anyway. If we ask God to show us his will for us, I know he will do so.

Move forward in faith, and trust that God is going to determine your steps.

9/18/18 | Psalm 1

Oh, the joys of those who do not
    follow the advice of the wicked,
    or stand around with sinners,
    or join in with mockers.

But they delight in the law of the Lord,
    meditating on it day and night.

They are like trees planted along the riverbank,
    bearing fruit each season.
Their leaves never wither,
    and they prosper in all they do.

But not the wicked!
They are like worthless chaff, scattered by the wind.

They will be condemned at the time of judgment.
Sinners will have no place among the godly.

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly,
but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.
Psalm 1 NLT

Oh, the joys of those who do not follow the advice of the wicked. How interesting is it that the book of Psalms opens with this? It instructs us not to follow the ungodly or the world or our culture – we’re to follow the Lord. This ties into how God’s way is the best way. His designs, his purposes, his plans, his reasons and ideas. This entire psalm speaks to this! When you google wicked online it tells us that it means evil or morally wrong. So do not follow those who are evil or those who are morally wrong. Do not learn from them or mimic their ways. Learn from the Lord.

But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along a riverbank. Doesn’t this sound like what Jesus was talking about when he was telling us to abide in him? This is talking about how we are when we meditate on the law of the Lord. When we meditate on his ways, we are abiding. As we spend daily time in the Bible we are rooting ourselves in Christ. As we do this, we’ll bear fruit in each season. We’ll bear fruit in every season of life. That doesn’t just mean summer. It means fall, winter, and spring as well. Imagine a tree flourishing even in the winter, when everything is dead.

Imagine flourishing and even bearing fruit during the most difficult times of your life – that’s what the Word is saying here. This is what is promised as we abide in Christ. You won’t just experience joy and peace when all is right in your life – you’ll also experience it when all is wrong.

Their leaves will never cease to flourish*, and they will succeed* in all they do.

For the Lord watches over the path of the godly, but the path of the wicked leads to destruction.

What a stark difference the Bible shows us between following the world/culture/morally wrong, and following the Lord. The instruction here is to delight in Word of the Lord and to meditate on it day and night. The blessing is being like a constantly thriving tree.

Recommended reading:

  • Psalm 1
  • John 15: 1-11
  • Galatians 5

*edit mine, alternate definition of “wither” and “prosper”

8/21/18 | For the Glory of God

So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.
1 Corinthians 10:31 NLT

For the past few weeks, Luke and I have been meeting weekly with a mentor couple from church. The above verse was one that they challenged us to memorize and apply to our lives. It’s short and sweet, so it had that going for it, but I was having a really hard time applying it. What does for the glory of God mean? It sounds nice. It sounds like something I should focus on. But what does it mean to give God glory?

I prayed about this for a couple days, and honestly it was frustrating. It felt like someone was telling me to “deadhead the lillies”. I’m on board! If it’s something I need to do I’ll do it! But I have no idea what “deadhead the lillies” means, and until I do, the phrase will mean nothing to me. It’s like someone giving you a band saw and telling you to make a heart. But you’ll never be able to make a heart if no one tells you what a band saw is or how to use it.

I told Luke about my frustration in hopes that God would give him some insight. He prayed about it and read through the entire chapter of 1st Corinthians 10, and God did indeed give him insight. It means to consider God in every situation, and do what brings honor to his name.

This sums it up well:

27 If someone who isn’t a believer asks you home for dinner, accept the invitation if you want to. Eat whatever is offered to you without raising questions of conscience.28 (But suppose someone tells you, “This meat was offered to an idol.” Don’t eat it, out of consideration for the conscience of the one who told you.29 It might not be a matter of conscience for you, but it is for the other person.) For why should my freedom be limited by what someone else thinks?30 If I can thank God for the food and enjoy it, why should I be condemned for eating it?
1 Corinthians 10:27-30 NLT

Spending time on this chapter has shown me that we really need to take into consideration how our actions affect others. There are situations that go beyond never do this and always do that, just like in the passage above. We just need to make sure that, in all things, we are pointing others to Christ and encouraging them in their faith. This is all the more reason to study the Bible and always be listening to the Holy Spirit, so that in every situation we are ready to do what brings glory to God.

The more time we spend in the Word, the more we’ll be equipped, ready, and able to do the work he sets before you. Spend time in 1 Corinthians 10 this week, and as things come up, ask this question: Will how I’m planning to act bring glory to God?