I can sense a difference between when I talk to God about bringing resolution to something I need and when I talk to God for the sake of communion with Him.
Yes, the Bible does say “You do not have, because you do not ask,” (James 4:2). But the context of this verse is in reference to asking with wrong motives. And it discusses the wrong behavior we tend to engage in when we don’t obtain what we desire. Read from verse 1 through verse 3, and the part of not having because of not asking has different meaning. Read and consider.
“What causes quarrels and what causes fights among you? Is it not this, that your passions are at war within you? You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask. You ask and do not receive, because you ask wrongly, to spend it on your passions,” (James 4:1-3, ESV).
No wonder I feel differently in my spirit when my prayer time is about asking for something from Him rather than...
I remember when I was eight years old, we lived behind the church where my dad was pastor, and I was playing in the basement with my Barbie dolls. I randomly had the feeling that my dad was going to be in a car accident. I didn’t feel anxious about it; it was just a thought that passed through my mind. So, as I played, I prayed for God to protect my dad.
Several hours later, my dad came home. He had been in a car accident. He was driving down U. S. Highway 41, the main 6-lane highway that runs through the town where we lived, also known as 3rd Street. Two semi trucks came up beside him, one on each side. One truck driver didn’t see my dad and started moving over into his lane. Thankfully, the light in front of them had turned red and forced everyone to stop. The truck had made it over into Dad’s lane far enough to damage the car, but, because they had all been stopped by the red light, my dad was not harmed. If they had not had to stop, my dad would have been crushed in between the two...
You may be feeling anxious; if so, you are not alone.
Worry about the extent to which the COVID-19 virus will impact us personally and what the future of our world will look like is the concern of today. This is a legitimate emotional and intellectual response to what life has brought our way. We should be concerned and we should do the things we have been instructed to do to handle the situation appropriately.
While we understand we have just cause for concern, many are afraid but are not acknowledging their fear. It’s normal to be afraid when something scares us. And hearing negative news about people suffering and dying, about the reduced availability of necessary supplies, about longer isolation time, about job losses, and about economic crises is scary. But it is not okay, however, to feel afraid and to avoid it or deny it.
Scripture says that God has not given us a spirit of fear (see 2 Timothy 1:7); however, the current life situation has made us afraid. How do we Christi...
The one that trumps all of them is the day I was filled with the Spirit of God - what Pentecostals call the Holy Ghost and others call the Holy Spirit. I was 7 when it happened, and the timing could not have been more perfect. This most important God encounter happened before my very first “worst day” and the years of “worst days” that followed. God kept me through a dark journey.
Another “best day” happened when I was 35 years old. It was the day I sat across the desk from my counselor, and he told me the truth about my story. Freedom from the lies I had unknowingly believed about myself came to me in a matter of seconds as he spoke words of healing.
It took 28 years for me to find the clarity I needed to break free even though I had been living all of them in a growing relationship with God.
I stagger at the thought of what if no one had been prepared and available to give wise counsel. But he was prepared, and he was available, and he was G...
David’s invitation didn’t have contingencies because David’s motive was purely relationship based.
I tend to feel like a wall flower in the company of most people - valueless and intrusive. But I have found my experience to be very different in the company of God.
This testifies to a significant perspective change for me - so different from when I saw God as my punisher (faulty thinking rooted in past experiences).
Counseling facilitated my change in perspective. It healed and established my relationship with God. And my opportunity for counseling was God-given. My financial situation prevented me, but God moved me so that I could receive the hel...
My dream home is an opened-concept lake house with 4 bedrooms/4 bathrooms (master bath: seperate shower/tub w/closed in toilet and walk-in closet), entertainment room, laundry room, sun room, hardwood/tile flooring throughout, gas stove/quartz counter tops, private swimming pool/yard, with a wraparound porch and nestled in the woods.
I've lived in a lot of houses but never this house. But even though my house has never been exactly and completly like my dream home, God has always provided me with a comfortable place to live. Even when we lived in the church Sunday School rooms of the church we pastored, we had enough.
Eugene told me, once, how much he appreciates how I've always been able to make our house a home no matter how little we had. I've come to realize how doing so has been a priority for me because of my value for a safe sanctuary.
I've engaged in and have listened to multiple conversations, lately, about home redecorating. It's a popular topic, and some are even becoming rich...
“Martha didn’t need to earn God’s attention. She already had it simply because of the grace of God.” ~ Finding Rest in a Busy World (devotional)
I’m learning to find my significance in Him rather than from the “idol of productivity” (approval from others and self for performance).
This does not mean I’m doing nothing. It means, rather, that I’m learning to be content with doing what only God may be seeing. Since God has led me to this season, it seems He has deemed this a lesson I’ve needed to learn.
People tend to measure worth by the evidence of the presence and quality of productivity. But God sometimes calls us to obscurity so this cycle can be broken in our lives.
This is what it means to “Be Still.” It’s soul rest. It’s learning to trust that one’s place in God is enough.
I’ve discovered in my quest to make a difference, there are some situations that confront me when I don’t know how to do it. Yet, I’m the one being called on.
Even though the one standing in front of me may lack understanding, my lack of discernment could actually be what causes the door of opportunity to shut. I am accountable to that.
Walking in step with the Spirit is as much about the lives of others as it is about my own life. While I stand firm in the convictions God has given me, I must also give room for people from all walks of life to find a place to see Jesus. Everything about me must be diminished while the light of Christ penetrates.
This doesn’t mean I walk backwards. But, rather, it means the fruit of the Spirit must be present in my life and play a significant role—fruit like long suffering, kindness, and meekness. And my knowing when to speak up or when to stay silent is key.
Throwing truth around will not facilitate the process of people being changed into His image....
Suffering is felt at different levels—through loss, physical pain, persecution, difficult relationships, financial strain, abuse, mental-emotional stress—more severe for some than others.
I would categorize my own suffering to be at the less severe end of the spectrum. God has blessed my life, and my suffering is paled when compared to His mercy and grace He has shown towards me. Nevertheless, any level of suffering, even when God has blessed, is not easy to deal with.
Suffering has challenged my thinking. One suffering season distorted my view of God so much that I spent most of my life believing difficult times were God’s punishment. Yet, another season taught me how to rely on God. The next season challenged my confidence in hearing God’s voice and my ability to wait patiently on Him. So, my experiences with suffering have revealed that suffering will sometimes be used to break and at other times be used to heal; sometimes for both. Whatever the purpose, suffering has been difficult t...
I also realize I have not perfected morality in my life.
No, I don’t lie, steal, kill, nor engage in sexual sins.
But, I do make mistakes. I fail to forgive. I talk about people. I act on my anger. I hold grudges. I justify myself. I forget to pray. I forget to read my Bible. I fail to witness. These are sins, as well. According to the Apostle Paul, to him who knows what to do but doesn’t do it, that is sin. I know what I should do about all of these failures I’ve listed. So it is sinful when I don’t do what I know to do.
Though I’m not sure I’m correct, I don’t think there are levels to sin. I have never believed one can get by with just a little bit of sin while others go to hell over big sins.
But I’m not the judge of what is “little sin” or “big sin”. And I don’t decide how God judges. As a matter of fact, I hope there are people in Heaven I didn’t expect to see. That might be how it will be. Maybe I’ll be the unexpected one.