A Matter of the Heart

Oct 20 2014

Verse for the Day: Psalm 15:21 Folly brings joy to one who has no sense, but whoever has understanding keeps a straight course. (NIV)

Have you ever been stuck in a long line like at a grocery store, traffic light or construction, shopping mall, post office, MVD or any other line in which you are waiting to be helped? You get impatient and decide to change lanes, lines or direction thinking another way would be quicker. And, as soon as you change, go a different direction or decide to give up, the place you just left ends up to have been the best route after all and you think to yourself if I’d only stayed the course.

What is it about life now-a-days that everyone seem to what instance satisfaction, rewards and attention-it's all about me, no waiting, I'm the most important? The list of self "I wants" seem to be endless. We have fast food, micro wave, express lines, self-checkout, fast tax, and express shipping. Whatever it is, there seems to be a way to get it faster than ever before in history. Regardless what it is that we want or do in life now-a-days the word patience seems to no longer exist in our vocabulary. And while we can get things faster and get there quicker than ever before in life it almost always comes at cost.  

We are seeing higher blood pressures and cholesterol levels and more overweight people from the fast foods we eat; we pay more for express shipping and toll roads to just to save time. And by changing lanes or changing directions in hopes of speeding up the process it usually ends up costing us time and if nothing else more frustration. Impatience can leaves us with ulcers, worries, headaches, stained relationships and in the long run hurts us much more than if we had just stayed the course.

While it may not seem like it when you’re waiting in a long line, staying the course is usually the right answer. In the big scheme of life that is exactly what God wants us to do "stay the course". Following God's plan and purpose for our life may not feel all that exciting or feel like it meets our time lines of when we want things to happen. But just like changing lanes in traffic, grocery store, express mailing or anything else trying to speed up the process usually cost us more; the same is true when we try to change God’s plan and purpose for our life. When we are impatient and don’t wait on God's plans and purpose for our life and try to do things on own it always comes with a cost.

The next time you find yourself stuck in a line why not try staying the course and use that time to speak with The Lord. Use that time to pray for someone in need and ask The Lord to use that time to show you His purpose and plan for your life. 

When you start feeling impatient and wanting things to move quicker remind yourself that life is not a destination but a journey. You don't always win by getting there quicker or faster than anyone else. So slow down, enjoy life and don't allow those moments of impatience to steal  what could be some of life’s most precious moments due to wanting to reach a destination too quickly.   Proverbs 2:6-10 6 For the LORD gives wisdom; from his mouth come knowledge and understanding. 7 He holds success in store for the upright, he is a shield to those whose walk is blameless, 8 for he guards the course of the just and protects the way of his faithful ones. 9 Then you will understand what is right and just and fair—every good path. 10 For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul.

So, here is my challenge to you this week, instead of wanting to run through life hoping to reach some destination as fast as possible - why not enjoy the journey, because those moments you lose can never be replaced. So stay the course and enjoy life and allow God to lead and guide your steps. I think you will find God’s way is always better than anything you try or do on your own. 

Oct 03 2014

Verse of the Day:  Hebrews 4:15-16 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to empathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who has been tempted in every way, just as we are—yet he did not sin. 16 Let us then approach God’s throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need. (NIV)

Well you might have noticed over the last few months I have not gotten as many devotions out as in the past.  And each day I don’t find or make the time to write devotions I feel as if satan is telling me once again “See I told you weren’t good enough”,  “It wouldn’t last”,  “You’re nothing more than a quitter”, “You don’t have what it takes” etc.  I believe one of satan’s greatest weapons he uses against us is to continuously remind us of our past and where we have failed or made mistakes. He wants to drag us back into the muck and mire of past hurts, shortcomings, disappointments, and failures in order to hinder, distract, discourage or derail what God is doing or has done in and through us. 

One of the other things satan is good at is busyness. If he is unable to change our mindset and drag us back into our past failures using them as an anchor he will fill our lives with busyness. And if you are like me or a lot of other people I know, what is the first thing we usually let slide if there are more tasks in the day than there are hours in the day? I’ll let you answer that question for yourself, but for me I know it affects the time I spend with the Lord. Prayer time seems to get shorter, quiet times are less, making time to read God’s Word becomes more of a struggle and writing devotions, well they just don’t happen as often.

Well, like any ship that sails on water has a rudder and an anchor on board to help guide or stop the ship, we also have our past which can act like a rudder or an anchor in our life. The question is will you use your past to be rudder to help stir and guide your future or an anchor to hold you back from what God wants you to do in and through Him. For me I have learned that my past failures and shortcomings are just that “The Past” and I will not allow satan to use them against me anymore. So while I might not be able to get devotions out on a regular basis I will not allow satan to deceive who I am in Christ. 1 Corinthians 5:17 17 Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here! 

Here is one of my all-time new favorite quotes that Pastor Jeff sent me the other day. “The devil knows your name, but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin, but calls you by your name.” (Unknown author)“ I like that! Whenever someone is addressing you with those things that embarrass you, know it is NOT God!” (Pastor Jeff). 

Life experiences have a way of either guiding us to something better or holding us back from our true potential in Christ. When we allow the Lord to use our past experiences in life bad or good as a rudder for our future in Him-for His glory-satan will no longer have control to tempt, divert or deceive  us back into the muck and mire that holds us back from God’s blessing and His glory. So remember this while “The devil knows your name, but calls you by your sin. God knows your sin, but calls you by your name.”  

Romans 8 : 1 & 31  Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, 2 because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free ….31 What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?  (NIV) If your past is feeling like an anchor why not take some time to read the entire chapter of Romans 8 and allow Christ to speak to you today.