Thursday, May 25, 2017

Goliath Is A Big Dude

God Has Equipped You For Your Appointed Work
Read 1 Samuel 16 & 17

What am I doing next?  This question has been at the forefront of my mind the past several months.  It was less than a year ago that I closed my interior design practice, took a job as a preschool teacher, passed four Praxis' exams (to become an art teacher), and now I am officially unemployed!  A lot has happened in a year.  It's strange.  It's uncomfortable.  It's scary.  It's okay.

Deciding to close my interior design practice took well over two years to implement.  What seemed so sudden, was really a work in progress.  God was preparing my heart for this change.  A change that He knew would be very difficult for me.  A change that He knew would benefit me.

Walking into the role of preschool teacher was definitely God ordained.  I never dreamt of being a preschool teacher, yet I received the job offer in a matter of hours and began working the following week.  What people didn't see at the time, was that God had preparing me for this role.  He had been teaching me and instructing me for 8 years as a Bible Study Fellowship children's leader.  I am forever grateful for the wisdom and instruction that I learned at BSF.

As far as art teaching goes... I'm not quite sure this is going to pan out.  Obviously, I don't know the future, but my heart is shifting as I see job after job get filled with teachers, other than myself.

I'm beginning to ask myself, "What's next?"

The truth is, I don't really know what's next.  I go back to thoughts that I had at the beginning of this post... It's strange.  It's uncomfortable.  It's scary.  It's okay.

I find great joy and excitement as I read the word of 1 Samuel 16 and 1 Samuel 17.  I see a servant (named David) sleeping in a field, watching over sheep, killing lions, and wrestling bears.  He's the youngest in his family.  He doesn't even cross his father's mind, whenever Samuel shows up to anoint the next king!  David is a simple shepherd.  I don't imagine that David is sleeping under the stars, dreaming about becoming the next king of Israel.  He's just doing the work that God has placed before him and he does it well.  David, who doesn't even know it at the time, is being equipped by God.  He is being equipped by God to do a work that only he can do.  David is about to slay Goliath.

This is where I am... I am just taking this life (one day at a time) and I can't wait to see where my glorious King of Kings places me next!!!  I can't wait to see the Goliath that God is going to slay in my life.

Monday, May 22, 2017

Obedience Vs Sacrifice

To Obey Is Better Than To Sacrifice
Read 1 Samuel 15

In 1 Samuel 15 Saul was not genuinely repentant for his disobedience.  He wanted to sacrifice (openly) yet disobey God (inwardly).  He wanted the blessing of obedience without obeying.  Samuel quickly reminded Saul, in verse 22 that "... to obey is better than to sacrifice..."

Ever since I was a little girl, I wanted to please everyone around me.  I would make myself sick over whether or not someone liked me or thought I was kind.  I didn't know it at the time, but I carried this behavior into my relationship with Jesus Christ.

God would prompt my heart to pray for an individual - I would take it a step further and quote them scripture while offering "my opinion" on their situation.

God would ask me to adhere to our family budget - I would feel guilty if I didn't give to someone in need.  So, instead of being honest and telling that person that I was not in a position to give them money, I would place our family in a financial bind.

I volunteered for events, too numerous to remember, and justified my disobedience as important work for the kingdom of God.

God simply wanted my obedience; I felt I had to offer him more.  God wanted me to spend time with Him and I didn't think that was good enough, glorious enough or visible enough.  After all, no one would ever know about my time (alone) with Jesus.

I am learn to surrender to this new found relationship with Jesus Christ.  It is different, yet familiar.   I like this new place of obedience.  I'm safe here.  I'm at peace here.  I'm growing here and I'm learning that obedience is much better than sacrifice.

Chuck Swindoll wrote, "The very best proof of your love is obedience... nothing more, nothing less, nothing else."

Saturday, May 20, 2017

True Character Exposed

Your True Character Will Always Be Exposed
Read 1 Samuel 13 & 14

Self-Notoriety and Self- Promotion are two of the most esteemed "virtues" in the 21st Century.  Gone are the days when your day-to-day errands, meals, tasks, and workouts go unnoticed.  It seems that everything from Washing Your Face (at the beginning of the day) to the 5 Things To Do Before Bed (at the end of the day) are documented, blogged about and Instagram worthy.

Don't get me wrong, I like reading about the fabulous dinner that my friend prepared.  I like seeing the way fashion bloggers pair nude mules with a buffalo check top.  The way a women (who has lost 30 lbs) continues to resist the desire to eat (whenever she's not truly hungry) to gain victory over food issues.  I love all of this!  It encourages me, motivates me and makes me want to be a better person.

Often times, however, whenever I see these things - it makes me want to start telling the world all that I have accomplished...  All that I have done...  All that I desire to do...  There is nothing like social media to truly show me: how much of a people-pleaser I truly am.  It also shows me several areas of my life where I need to surrender and stop worrying so much about what I have accomplished.  I am learning that my accomplishments don't have to be displayed for all the world to see.  I am learning that my accomplishments are less and less important as I surrender my life to Christ.  I am learning that my accomplishments are truly not mine; they are Christs, who lives in me!  I completely relate to Paul in Galatians 2:20 whenever he says, "I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.  The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me."

In 1 Samuel 13 and 1 Samuel 14 Saul's true character starts to be exposed.  Saul had a hard time with self-notoriety and self-promotion.  He had such a hard time with it, that he began taking credit for things that he didn't even accomplish.  Saul had such a hard time with it, that he was willing to destroy anyone who got in the way of the attention that he felt he deserved.

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

He Never Changes

I hate to jump right into the deep end (especially without knowing if you have your floaties fastened) but when you’re talking about God there is no other place to jump in.  The truths that you will discover today are deep.  They cut through the chit chat of the day to day and immediately require that you begin treading water.  Waters that many believers don’t want to tread; but that are foundational to the Christian life.  If we, as believers, don’t know and half-way understand whom it is that we serve, then what are we doing?  Why are we doing it? And most importantly, have we ever been truly transformed by this Eternal God whose name we bear?

A. W. Tozer describes God this way, “He is ETERNAL, which means that He antedates time and is wholly independent of it. Time began in Him and will end in Him. To it He pays no tribute and from it He suffers no change.  He is IMMUTABLE, which means that He has never changed and can never change in any smallest measure. To change He would need to go from better to worse or from worse to better. He cannot do either, for being perfect He cannot become more perfect, and if He were to become less perfect He would be less than God.  He is OMNISCIENT, which means that He knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He has no past and He has no future.   He IS, and none of the limiting and qualifying terms used of creatures can apply to Him.”[1]

I would like to take some time for you to get into God’s word on your own.  I would love for you to turn to your concordance (the alphabetical list of words that is generally located at the back of your Bible).  The concordance is a wonderful resource for you to locate different passages of scripture (that pertain to a subject matter) that you would like to study, read or learn more about. 

Today, look up the word(s) ETERNAL and/or EVERLASTING.  What do you find?  Jot down the reference for each scripture that speaks about the Eternality of God. Give yourself plenty of room to write down each scripture that you find: ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

God is eternal.  Eternal means that He has always been (before the beginning of time).  Eternal means that He currently is (right here in the present).  Eternal means that He will always be (for all future events).   

Revelation 22:13 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End.”

Revelation 1:6 says, “I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, who is and was and is to come - The Almighty."

Think about it… God existed before creation.  God has always existed.  God exists now and will exist for all eternity.  BAM!!!  I think my brain just popped!  Let's read that again... God existed before creation.  God has always existed.  God exists now and will exist for all eternity.

God not only exists for all eternity but He remains unchanged throughout all time.  Mariam-Webster defines immutable as, “not capable of or susceptible to change.”[2]  God is not capable of change, not because He is powerless to change.  God is not capable of change, because He is perfect.  It is His perfection that qualifies Him to be God. If he were to change (and become less than perfect) he would cease being God.  So, by His very nature, He is immutable and stable in all His ways.  He is never changing. 

Malachi 3:6a says, “For I, the LORD, do not change.”
What does Malachi say about the Lord? ____________________________________________

Hebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.”
Who is the same yesterday, today and forever? ______________________________________

Not only is God eternal and immutable; but He is omniscient.  Omniscient is just a fancy word that means: God knows everything.  God knows everything from the beginning to the end of time and He knows it without the restraint of timeI love how A.W. Tozer put it in his book, The Pursuit of God, “He [God] knows in one free and effortless act all matter, all spirit, all relationships, all events. He has no past and He has no future.   He Is, and none of the limiting and qualifying terms used of creatures can apply to Him.”[3]

This is such a beautiful realization.  The realization that the limiting and qualifying terms that apply to my simple existence cannot be applied to God.  He is so much more than a mere man.  He is eternal.  He is immutable.  He is omniscient.  He is God!

Daniel 7:14 says, “And to Him was given dominion, Glory and a kingdom, that all the peoples, nations and men of every language might serve Him; His dominion is an everlasting dominion, which will not pass away, And His kingdom is one which will not be destroyed.

[1] Tozer, A.W.  The Pursuit of God. 
[2] Immutable. (n.d.) In Merriam-Webster’s collegiate dictionary. Retrieved from
[3] Tozer, A. W.  The Pursuit of God.  

Sunday, May 7, 2017

The Place to Find Salvation

Your Relationship With the King of kings Is The Only Place to Find Salvation

Read 1 Samuel 11 & 12

I know that everyone has a unique battle to fight.  My battle has been with food, dieting, weight loss, body image, etc.  This battle has been a part of my life so long, that it's taking an extra measure of grace to process.  I'm grateful that God is patient with me and that He gently moves me along this path of restoration and freedom.

The battle is real and it's passages like this, found in 1 Samuel 11 & 12, that are gentle reminders of where (or more specifically, whom)  my salvation comes.  I've talked briefly about this in the past, but I'm afraid it's still a battle I fight day in and day out.

For far to long, I have unknowingly been clinging to dieting and weight loss as a means to salvation.  I am not talking about my ultimate salvation.  God took care of that whenever I was 7 years old.  I am talking about salvation from the defeat and fear that I associate with my body and food.  I have given this topic far too much control of my mind, my life, my emotions and my energy.  I have believed that if I lose "X" amount of weight then I would be saved from this horrible body.  I have believed that if I wear size "X" clothing then I would be saved from the horrible thoughts that I have about myself.  I have believed that if I was successful with "X" diet then I would be saved from peoples opinions of me or perceptions of who I am.

This is absolutely ridiculous!  I have been placing my hope in my next accomplished weight loss.  But then what?  What happens after that?  Where will my satisfaction be?  In myself?  In my diet?  In my size?  In other peoples perception of me?

Samuel is old and gray.  Samuel placed his salvation in the One True God.  Samuel's life could withstand public scrutiny because he walked with God.  He trusted God.  He surrendered to God.  His salvation was in God!

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