Balancing Faith in an Unbalanced World
Entering into week three of receiving daily words from God I have to admit it has helped me keep my focus more on Him as each word given stays in my mind constantly. You focus so much on why God gave you the word and what His intention is for you to use that specific word throughout your day. I have found that this is a truly blessed “exercise” to use and I encourage others to try it, whether you are already on track or whether you need to get back on track. My favorite part is combining all the words at the end of the week seeing the complete message God has given me and I find that it is blessing to more people than just myself and to God be the glory for that. God knows the matters of our hearts as well as our sisters and brothers in Christ so He uses each of us to help each other on our walk with Christ. It is a lifelong journey to stay on the right path and avoid outside circumstances and conflicts to interfere with our destination which is to live in eternity with God, not letting the enemy sway us otherwise.
Witness the Work of God's Hand
My first word of the week was OBSERVE. The main topic that this exercise derived from was “staying full of God” which I shared in the week one hub. To observe is to discover, look at, regard, study, or witness. When we pray we ask for something from God or give thanks to Him for whatever reason we need. Usually we look for the answers to our prayers and at times we don’t see it manifest when most of the time, I admit this is myself as well, we aren’t looking, observing, witnessing the way God intended us to. We are always looking for the bigger picture instead of looking at even the smallest blessings that are in front of us. Put this into perspective of simple living…you are in a hurry and are running late and you cannot find your car keys – our reactions make us look in places we know we may not have placed them but we look anyway and because we are in such a panic we overlook common places because if the keys were in a common place you know you would have already seen them. Instead of looking in a common place for our keys our minds tell us it has to be more complicated and we stress ourselves out. Once we are fed up with looking and beyond late to wherever we are going we stop in complete frustration. After the words exchanged with ourselves and our grunting or complaining is over, we look to the left or right and there they are, right in plain view! I know this or something similar to this has happened to us more times than not throughout our lives. The point being is that instead of thinking simplistically we overanalyze and always over think things making the issues more complicated than they need to be or answers more hard than the problem intended them to be to get to the correct answer. God is not complicated, He does not intend for us to over think, over analyze, and overlook the simple things in life. We just have to open our eyes to observe the simple things, the simple answers, and witness the greatest blessings because of it. God reminds us to come to Him as little children, Matthew 18:4 “Therefore whoever humbles himself as this little child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven.” The thing God is really saying about the word observe is don’t complicate your faith, it obscures your view of Him. Get rid of your pride and loftiness in your life and invite God in to be able to humble yourself to have a clear view of the reality of God’s work all around you.
Let God Fill You With All of Him
In proceeding to the next day I was given my word which was EMPTY. I was able to go into this word from my previous daily revelation. To empty, is to clear yourself, to deplete, to vacate, to want. Thinking about this is the same as emptying yourself of pride, loftiness, unsatisfaction, doubt, worry, anguish, fear, anger, and unforgiveness. God cannot fill us until we empty ourselves of things that can block Him from doing work inside of us. We have to take ownership of our own imperfections, flaws, weaknesses, and materialistic views. In doing this we are able to approach God in humility and allow ourselves to be made uncomfortable by stepping out of our comfort zones so that God can do the work in our lives that we need to do in order to be in the place that He wants us. Things happen and outside circumstances can quickly pull us away from God but if we stop and look and stop blaming outside circumstances and measuring outcomes by these circumstances we can open our eyes to see the work God is doing and why these things are happening to us. He is trying to show us things in all circumstances we may go through in our lives. He cannot complete His work in us until we empty ourselves to Him and allow Him to fill us. We need to fill ourselves with His fruits to be more Christ like in our lives. In Galatians 5:22-26 he tells us the nine fruits of the spirit that we need to live by “But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control. Against such there is no law. And those who are Christ’s have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. If we live in the Spirit, let us also walk in the Spirit. Let us not become conceited, provoking one another, envying one another.” Empty self and fill yourself with the fruits of the spirit and open yourself to God so His will be done.
Seek and Find...
SEEK God in all you do…2 Chronicles 30:18b-19a “…May the good Lord provide atonement for everyone who prepares his heart to seek God”…To seek, is to follow, pursue, chase, or explore. After we go through the emptying of self and filling ourselves with the fruits God is saying to seek Him in all we do. When we pray it is a form of seeking Him. For instance in Matthew 7:7-8 “Ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.” God is telling us that He will answer our prayers, provide our needs and open doors for us if we seek to find Him. We must be diligent in seeking Him, never ceasing to pray, to listen, to spend time waiting on Him to hear him, see what He shows us, and know that He is God. Psalms 46:10 tells us “Be still and know that I am God”, we need to take the time to do this because the closer we get to God the more He can do His will for our lives, the closer we are to Him and the more we will see His blessings all around us. Today I had church and during testimony time the book, My Time in Heaven by Richard Sigmund, was brought up so when I went home I downloaded this book on my kindle to read it. I had been struggling with my faith because of outside circumstances that were beyond my control and I was seriously trying to seek God in circumstances for quite a while telling myself if only I could see God do this or heal that person or if God could just show me then I would be ok…that is not the way to seek God, we have to look within ourselves as I stated in last week’s hub. After reading a few chapters of the book Sunday night, which is about a man that died for 8 hours and went to Heaven and He explains what he saw and throughout the book what Jesus wanted him to do as a witness to people about his experience in heaven, I woke up Monday morning and it was as if something inside me had clicked, like the snap of a finger, I got it. I understood the ways that I was trying to seek God were wrong and why they were wrong and I can’t explain it in words but my spirit was no longer unsettled, I had peace in my spirit and I felt like a new person. Maybe because of this change in my view/belief I was able to see more clearly.
Look Inside for God
In Christ Alone
LOOK all around you, I was told. To look is to gaze, review, pay attention to what is around you, this is different from observe in the sense that when you observe you pay close attention to detail, and seek out answers, to look is to simply see and realize that in paying attention you can receive what God is trying to show you. I related this all to my inner sense of peace from whatever it was from reading the first few chapters of that book that made me feel more alive, spiritually. I was looking for God everywhere but I found Him throughout this day. I would like to share a couple testimonies to go with all of this. To repent is to change, to have a view and look at things differently. Somehow this happened to me overnight. On my way to church my car had something terribly wrong with my rear tire, my tire light was on in my car, the pressure sensor was not reading and it literally shook as I drove, so bad it shook my steering wheel. My husband wanted me to turn around and get his car but we were almost to church and told him that if there was something wrong with the tire we would be able to get help to change it as he has a very bad shoulder problem and I have major back issues. When we got to church there was nothing visibly wrong with my tire but again it shook on the way home so I created an appointment online to have my tire checked at the place I had purchased my tires. I was worried about the costs as I was driving to my appointment on this day I received the word look and I was stuck behind a snow plow for 20 minutes before I was able to reach the highway…prior to reaching the highway I was listening to worship music singing but stopped and for a brief period I began to pray in the spirit. It was extremely brief, maybe a few sentences or so, I am not sure as it was in the spirit but all of a sudden a sense of complete peace had fallen over me within my spirit and I had the sense of God all around me that everything was going to be ok. I finally got to the highway and my car started shaking again, all of a sudden everything just stopped, the car stopped shaking, the light went off and the pressure sensor came back on for the tire and it read the same pressure as the other rear tire. I was in so much disbelief I pulled over. I got out and checked the tire and again it appeared ok. I turned my car off and restarted it thinking maybe the light would have come back on, it didn’t. I cancelled my appointment but had a friend check everything over and everything was fine! If you look at the testimony, God was all over that. Again shortly after I went to let my husband know at work and as I was backing out of my parking space a woman had ran the stop sign and our cars hit, thankfully I was going slow that there was little to no damage on my car and a small dent in her bumper that I popped out for her. She said she was ok with it if I was and didn’t see the need to call the police, again if you look; God covered me with that blessing as well! Keep looking you will see God all over your life in every day, don’t look for only the big things, but look for the small things as well.
Balancing God in Our Life
BALANCE, how to do this? Balance is basically harmony. God wants us to have balance in our lives to be able to handle our relationship with Him, our family, work, friends, church, and any extra-curricular activities whether helping our children or things we do to keep busy. I had to really think about what God wanted me to learn from this word and it did not come to me that easy but after literally mulling it over and over in my mind it finally came to me. The closer we get to God through private worship and prayer, attending bible study and fellowship with our church family, the closer we get to a complete balance in our lives. Think about God in all of this, He created the world in perfect balance; the right amount of light without blinding our eyes, the right amount of heat to keep us warm, the right amount of food for nourishment, the right amount of air to be able to breathe, it is all so perfectly balanced that no other place could sustain such balance for us to live. Unfortunately, even though where we live was created in perfect balance, the world is making us humans fall out of balance and it is pretty chaotic if you stop to look around you at the hustle and bustle of this world. So how can we return to the balance God wants for us to have? In Ephesians 2:4-5 He states that this can only come from God’s heart. “But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved),” God offers us the gift of salvation, the gift of eternal life. God knows the matters of our hearts and knows we cannot find balance on our own. God is always here for us to come to our rescue, to freely give us His love, to have an ultimate relationship with Him, to fill us with abundant love, and blessings. God saves us from our sin, pain, conflict, and balances and restores us to His perfect will. When we accept Christ we begin our road to becoming balanced, because when we do or did this we are going in the right direction of having a balanced life through the life of Christ. It is only through Christ that we can find that balance we so desperately need for living and dealing with the chaos in the world around us because basically he will keep us upright in this world that continues to turn upside down.
Ask God to Increase Your Gifts & Talents
Realize the Reality of Heaven
OFFER…self, to offer is to attempt, present, propose, and submit yourself to the needs of others and to God himself. As Christians we all have a purpose, a piece of the body, to create a whole body in Christ. In the bible it states that “from whom the whole body, joined and knit together by what every joint supplies, according to the effective working by which every part does its share, causes growth of the body for the edifying of itself in love.” Ephesians 4:16. “And do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin, but present yourselves to God as being alive from the dead, and your members as instruments of righteousness to God.” Romans 6:13. We all have a gift from God to use to help glorify the kingdom of Heaven, not that we should boast but that it is a gift from God for His glory. When we offer ourselves to others whether they are members of the church or an unbeliever we are doing the work of God for His purpose. As time has passed throughout my life it seems to me that more and more people do not offer help to others in times of need. An example of this, I know that as women this is something we do in protection of ourselves, but there was an elderly man walking down the side of the road and before seeing this man there was an abandoned car. Putting the two together you realize he is looking for help because his car broke down/ran out of gas. The weather is stormy, cold, snow flying everywhere and you approach this man and like I said as women this is uncomfortable because of fear of getting hurt…however you can imagine if this was you freezing, and just needing help. So God speaks to you and places comfort on you, most people still drive by, however being obedient to God the one who stops to help this man picks him up. The man being in his late 70’s early 80’s is freezing and in tears because he could not believe that 50 cars had passed by him and did not offer themselves help for him to get his car fixed. Why do humans not offer themselves help to others? Think of this older man as your father, grandfather, and seeing the pain and sadness in his face, imagine the sadness God feels when we don’t offer help. I am not speaking of just this particular circumstance but in circumstances where we know we are able to help someone but choose not to because we don’t want to take the time to ask, to utilize the gifts God has given you to expand His kingdom. In other cases people may write on Facebook how mad and angry they are at someone and people always offer what they consider help by adding fuel to the fire to make the person truly resent why they are mad at someone for actions taken against them, this refers to Romans 6:13, “do not present your members as instruments of unrighteousness to sin”, as Christians we need to reply to comments such as these as “your members as instruments of righteousness to God”. Our pastor pointed this out to us at one time…instead of adding fuel to the fire it is our job to offer our knowledge that God has given us to calm the person down and let them know that acting out in anger really only makes the situations worse. Hopefully using the two circumstances you can see how offering ourselves to others to help by utilizing the God given gifts and talents to expand His kingdom will help you in deciding what is the right thing to do the next time we are approached with something where we know we are able to offer our help and use God in all we do.
I woke up to a dream I had where I was running a MARATHON with other people and other members in our church. In the dream I had fallen and I did not want to continue but a man from my church picked me up and said "you need to keep going". This word was placed heavily on me throughout the day. We cannot ever give up on our path throughout our lives towards Christ. “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize? Run in such a way that you may obtain it.” 2 Corinthians 9:24 We as Christians are in a race of life, to get to the prize, which is the kingdom of Heaven. We are all one in Christ (Galatians 3:28) and we all need to help each other. We need to take the time to observe and witness God’s work in our everyday lives, empty ourselves of negative feelings and actions so that God can fill us with His fruits, seek God in all we do with all our heart, look at what He shows us every day and find that perfect balance in Christ so that we can offer ourselves to all who need us to be vessels for God so we can all win the marathon set in place for each one of us. Then in the end we can say to God “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.” 2 Timothy 4:7