Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Pray without Ceasing~

"Pray without ceasing, give thanks in all circumstances for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you." 
1 Thessalonians 5:17-18

When I read my devotionals each morning, sometimes I like to skip around. I don't always necessary do the devotional marked for each particular day, rather reading them out of order or reading even two, three or more a day from one devotional and then the same amount from another. But today, every passage I read came back to this one truth ~~Pray without Ceasing!

Praying and giving thanks in all circumstances is a tall order for all of us, friends, but one that we are commanded to do! I know it's awfully hard for me. Giving thanks when everything in our lives is going in the wrong direction? Can that be right? Why in the world would God Almighty want us to do something like that in the first place? I think I might have an idea that is on His track.

When we give thanks, even though things seem to be falling apart in our lives, we are acknowledging God's ownership over that situation, knowing that He can handle the problem and that everything will be alright. We are saying "Lord, I know that everything is bad right now, but I am believing that things will turn around in your perfect time, and I am thanking you for what you are going to do, even before you do it!"

That is still a tough one for us humans to do tho, because we want to control everything around us and think by rushing ahead, we can solve the problem right now--way ahead of when God has time to do it. After all, we think, He's got a lot to handle and He couldn't possibly have time or be interested in this thing that I am facing right now, right?

WRONG~ Luke 12:17 says "Indeed, the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Don't be afraid; you are worth more than many sparrows." If God cares about the numbers of hair on your head, than He cares about every little thing that happens to you. He CAN take care of that problem for you, you just need to pray and ask for His guidance. Don't be so proud! Reach out to Him~pray about your problem, giving thanks for all the good things in your life and asking Him to help you. He will be there, but you have to seek Him. He's not going to come to you and beg you to trust him, it just doesn't work like that. The Bible even states that we don't come to Him and ask Him like we should. Listen to this powerful verse:

John 16:24 tells us "Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete."

Does our Creator know us or what? We're so proud, we think we can do everything ourselves without the help of anybody, especially Him. But that is not how the Lord wants us to act before Him. The Lord wants us to be humble. James 4:6 says "Humble yourself in the sight of the Lord and He will lift you up."

So, if you have a problem you are facing, like I am right now, look up to God Almighty! Thank Him for all your many blessings and acknowledge His ownership over your problem and pray, pray, pray Pray without ceasing for whatever is going on in your life, claiming the Lord's intervention on your behalf, trusting and believing that His answer will come in His perfect time. It may not be the answer that you wanted, but it will be the answer that He knows is best suited for you in your life right now. Trust Him, knowing that the Creator of the Universe can easily handle your little problem!

                                                               The Lord is my Shepherd © Simon Dewey

                                       The Lord hears our prayers and answers our needs.

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Lord Jesus:
Thank you that we can come to you about each little challenge we face each day. Thank you that you want to be involved in our lives. Thank you Lord for all my many blessings. I have so many and I know they all come from you. Help me to turn everything over to you Lord, knowing that you have the solution and it will come about in your perfect time. Give me the patience I need to wait on your perfect answer and to be at peace with your decision regardless of what it is. Thank you Lord that you love me so much.

In Jesus Name I pray,

Sunday, January 15, 2012

God's plans for us~

I picked up an Upper Room Devotional today at church. A few of the messages really spoke to me, especially one about God's plan(s) for us. I thought, I've gotta write about this, so here it is. You know that famous verse from Jeremiah 29:11 says "For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the LORD, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future." 

You probably know it, even if you're not a Christian. It's been on plates and plaques, coffee mugs, cards,
t-shirts, wristbands, etc. for many years. You may have even had it engraved on something to give to someone who is graduating from high school or college, reminding them that the Lord has His hand on their future. Relax, everything's gonna be fine is the message you're trying to send. God is in control~

                                                                    The Lord has plans for your life~

I've read that verse a thousand times, but this time when I was reading the devotional I picked up on something they wrote about that hit me like a ton of bricks. The operative letter is S. "For I know the PLANS I have for you..." Not the plan for you, the PLANS. I always thought of it as God's plan for my life, not plans....

So, what's the big difference? God has PLANS for you and me. If plan A doesn't work out, just like a GPS, redirect and go to plan B, or plan C, or D, E, F....you get the point, right?

We are going to make mistakes in this life and our loving Father knows it. After all, we're only human, right? Thank goodness there are lots of alternate plans He gives us.

Sometimes it's hard to know the will of God for your life. But, if you make a wrong turn, he will redirect you, if you will let him. He will guide you away from the dead end to a new open door that He has waiting for you! And that door that will be even better for you than what you had planned because it came from Him - and He is the planner of the Universe!

Boy, that can be so hard to do because you're in the waiting game. Waiting and patience is never easy, but I believe it is something the Lord needs us to do to guide us in the right direction. It's definitely something that's not easy for a young person to do in this day and age. They want everything NOW. We live in an instant society and this generation is used to having what they want right now. But sometimes, the Lord wants us to wait on Him. Psalm 27:14 tells us "Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord."

I've been thinking about this alot this week in relation to our youngest son. He had big plans for his future, but unfortunately all his plans came to a screeching halt this past week. But, here's the thing. That doesn't mean God doesn't have a plan for him because he does! That just means that this particular path that our son laid out for himself wasn't part of God's plan for him, so He closed that door. 

Do you have some plans that have fallen apart in your life? Did your life suddenly take a left turn? Does your life feel like a train wreck lately? Did you meticulously lay out a blueprint for the way things were going to go for you and then have your plans go awry? Please don't give up! 

Your life may seem like a train wreck right now,
 but God has a new plan for you~

There are plans for you. God created them when you were formed in your mother's womb. He knows what He's doing. Ask Him for His guidance and He will lead you. Psalm 32:8 tells us "I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you.” This could well be a turning point in your life. You may be at a fork in the road and you need to take new path! Don't be scared, the Lord will guide you if you ask Him. 

                                                                Is your life at a turning point right now?

I remember when I was diagnosed with MS back in 1998. My life was going along just swimmingly according to my plans. I had a wonderful family with great kids and a fabulously supportive husband, a beautiful house with a pool, terrific vacations and a great job. I was traveling and meeting people from all walks of life. I was hanging out with prestigious and talented artists from around the world. In many ways I was living the American dream and I knew it.

Then I was hit with MS HARD and everything changed within a few short years. I tried to hang on but I couldn't do it and I knew I had to make some changes. I was forced to go to plan B. Not that I liked it, but God had other plans for me. Slowly I came around to come into accordance with His new plan for my life. But I didn't go easily. He probably saw me as a screaming and kicking kid wanting to hang onto what I knew best. But, He didn't want that for me. He didn't want me to have a breakdown, He wanted me to have a breakthrough! As so I did with His help~

Our Lord is patient and He is faithful. He shows me each new day the way He wants me to go. I just need to seek His face and He guides me and takes care of everything else. Matthew 6:33 says "But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well."

God has plans for you, too. Don't ever doubt it, because He does. If your life has gone off track lately and seems to be in train wreck mode, seek Him and seek His will. Read your Bible. He will reveal himself to you. He has plans and it might be time for you to switch gears and go to plan B! 

My verses for today are above in red.

My prayer for today:

Dear Lord Jesus:

Thank you for this day. Thank you for the plans that you have for each and every one of your children. Help us to seek your will to live our lives. Show us the way, Lord. We want to live for you everyday. Help our son, Lord. Help Him to seek your new plan for His life. 

In Jesus name I pray,
Amen and Amen