Sunday, May 29, 2011

The Path

Do you often wonder which direction you are headed in this life? If you are to follow the path of least resistance or if you are to follow the path of your heart even though it may be more difficult?

Only you know what is in your heart. God has put a direction in it and you have the obligation of finding out what that is and following His lead. Remember Jeremiah 29:11 states that He knows the plans for you, for good and not for evil.

God may lead you in a path that is totally different than anyone else that you know of - - and in doing so He will bring you into a ministry that your friends have no part. And He shall enrich you with new friends to add to the former ones that you had before. Therefore, you receive double the blessings of the old and the new coming together.

Recently, I left a company that I was with for almost seven years to move closer to my family in Central Texas. In this process, I met many wonderful people who became prayer warriors for difficult events going on in my life at that time. And opportunity after opportunity was presented for the one that I loved who was and is choosing to go his own path instead of the path God has called him to. When that season of difficulty came to a conclusion, I still had them as my friends and I was able to pray for them as they did for me. It was then that I felt led to move again which resulted in the furthest distance I have ever been from my family in Texas. In each place I have met and made beautiful friendships with people that are instantly reignited when we see or talk to each other again. I have been blessed to be able to lead others to Christ and watch them grow. I have experienced the presence of the Lord during prayer time with my friends and have given and received support, encouragement and love. I have taught as well as been taught the Word of God. In conclusion, I have experienced true friendships, in a world that is hard to find true friendships --- connecting with them in thought, in heart and in spirit. And as I leave them in the physical realm, I know that they are with me in thought, in heart and in spirit.

But some may not want to follow the path that God has laid out for them due to being afraid or being alone or being lonely? Of course we shouldn’t let these feelings overrule our final decision on which path to take, but sometimes we allow them to. Keep in mind that: God goes before you. God is on your side. God leads you. God directs you. God goes before you. God loves you.

Jesus takes pleasure in the person who takes the time to be intimate with Him. Once we choose to get intimate with Him, loneliness is negated and compassion and understanding is always close at hand. It is my prayer that you learn this intimacy and watch as this intimacy changes your life from the inside out as it has mine.
(From: My Utmost for His Highest by Oswald Chambers)
The Christian who is truly intimate with Jesus will never draw attention to himself but will only show the evidence of a life where Jesus is completely in control. This is the outcome of allowing Jesus to satisfy every area of life to its depths. The picture resulting from such a life is that of a strong, calm balance that our Lord gives to those who are intimate with Him.

Only you know what is in your heart from Him. So it is at this time, I encourage you to not become overwhelmed with fear or doubts when this time of going and serving in His will become a reality. I encourage you to not let others dissuade you from what you know is true in your heart. I encourage you to grow close to Him through prayer, through study of His Word, His people and through being still.  And as He displays His will for your life, take courage and take His path.

Isaiah 30:21 If you go the wrong way – either to the right or to the left - you will hear a voice behind you saying, “This is the right way. You should go this way.”

If you find yourself off track of what you know God desires from you; it only takes one step to get back on track with Him.

In everything we do we should be imitators of Christ and keep the goal of sharing the gospel with those we come in contact with on a daily basis.

Mark 16:15 And He said unto them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Remember someone’s eternal destiny relies on your willingness to obey Him. Follow His path for you and you will not be disappointed.

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Baruch - whose name means blessed

Do you wonder if God remembers you? If some way, somehow you have been lost in the midst of these busy days? That somehow what you do from day to day doesn’t impact the world? My friend, cast these doubts aside because God loves you, He knows exactly where you are every moment, and you, because of Him, have the power to effect eternity. Wow….take a moment and breathe that into the depths of your soul. You – because of Him – have the power to effect eternity.

I encourage you to remember that God has a distinct plan for each of us and it is always His very best for us. Sometimes it seems that there is no end to the struggles that are in our life – whether these struggles are ones we brought on ourselves or these struggles are due to other people’s decisions that affect us.

Often it is easy to give up hope and not to go on when we are in this state; however, we have many examples to turn to in the Bible who have been where we may be at this season of life. And because of this we can see how they handled their predicament and learn from them. 

In Jeremiah 45, we find Baruch who is being threatened by the King for writing and reading Jeremiah’s preaching to him – in fact the King burns the documents. He finds himself accused of stirring up hostility and then, when he is anxious and overwhelmed and into himself….God steps in speaking truth through Jeremiah, his friend.

Let us join Baruch and see how to overcome when overcome…..

Baruch, whose name means blessed, had his share of troubles -
1.       He was the son of Neriah and served as Jeremiah’s scribe and friend. He wrote down Jeremiah’s preaching and read it to the king’s counselors who took it to the king. Jehoiakim burned it but Jeremiah dictated it again (Jer 36).
a.       Young believers are often discouraged with little difficulties that they meet at first in the service of God. 
                                                                           i.      Proverbs 24:10 If you are slack in the day of distress your strength is limited.
b.      Baruch’ s approach to this situation was instead of counting it worthy to suffer in such a way and with such good company, he was reflecting upon god as the God who had dealt with him harshly.
                                                                           i.      Romans 8:18 For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory that is to be reveal in us.
2.       Jeremiah was accused of being a mere instrument of Baruch’s enmity (Jer 43:3).
a.       Jer 43:3 But Baruch the son of Neriah is inciting you against us to give us over into the hand of the Chaldeans, so they will put us to death or exile us to Babylon.
3.       Jeremiah counseled Baruch to place his confidence wholly in the Lord and not seek great things for himself (Jer 45)
a.       It is our over fondness for the good things of this present time that makes us impatient under its evil things.
b.      God gave him hope that he would be safe though there was destruction all around him. 

Sometimes it seems that our struggles will not cease but on the contrary, they will. God is using you right now to be a testimony to His grace, His love, His strength, His courage, His wisdom – For when you get to know God in His completeness - and not just pick and choose the feel good scriptures - then a whole new level of looking at the world appears!

My friend, wherever you are, you are not alone on this journey as we are all learning and growing every day we are on this earth. My prayer is to keep my face lifted toward heaven with my feet planted on this soil and my tongue speaking eternal life.