Doubled Blessings

“After Job interceded for his friends, God restored his fortune- and then doubled it!”
Job 42:10

Have you ever really been going through a difficult time and had those whom you thought were your friends deeply hurt you?   The faces that come to mind when you hear the phrase, they “kicked you when you were down”.  That is where Job found himself.  He had lost everything, his fortune, his family, and his health.  In the midst of the worst days of his life, those whom he called friends came to his side.  Oh, they weren’t there with words of comfort or encouragement.  On the contrary, they were beside him dishing up their plates of pious condemnation.  They were quick to judge Job and tell him all his problems were a result of his own sin.  WOW!  I’ve had some tough encounters with “friends”, but this is bad.

They had their verbal battles and then God stepped in (Job 38-42).  He quickly reveals to Job where he is missing it and reminds him of Who God is and who Job isn’t.  Then, God turns to the “friends”.  He rebukes them and commands them to offer burnt offerings on their own behalf and then have Job pray for them.  Now, this jumped out at me, first of all, because of all they had said.  They were so quick to act all righteous, because their lives were going smoothly and to judge Job, because his life seemed to be falling apart.  So, to have them now offer a sacrifice and hear GOD say that the one man they had deemed the wicked sinner and been judging so harshly is now the one that would intercede for them was huge.  I would say that was a pretty big slice of “humble pie” to eat, wouldn’t you say?
The second part that stood out to me was from Job’s perspective.  You see, after all this time of suffering (and we’re talking deep pain emotionally, physically, and financially), and his friends making matters worse, he now had to pray for them.  In turn for all the ‘headaches” they caused him, he was now suppose to specifically ask God to “not treat them as they deserve”.

This seemed astounding to me, until I remembered the previous chapter where God had first addressed Job.  You see, it was after Job’s encounter with God where he was reminded of his own desperate need for God and his own inadequacies that he was then able to be obedient to God and pray for those that deeply hurt him.  God accepted Job’s prayer on their behalf and they were blessed, because of Job’s prayer. It says, “after Job prayed for his friends, God restored His fortune – and then doubled it!”

So, those names that came to your mind earlier, the ones that have hurt you deeply, have you prayed for them.  I mean prayed that they wouldn’t get what they deserve.  Have you come to the realization, like Job, that we are nothing without God and it is HE who ultimately controls all things (Job 41:11 & 42:1)?  I know this is tough, but there are amazing blessings that follow.  Just look at Job (Job 42:10).  His blessings were doubled, but it wasn’t until “after he prayed for his friends” (the ones that weren’t quite so friendly!)  What blessing is God waiting to pour out to you, but He is waiting for you to recognize Him for Who He is, trust, and obey Him?

May the Lord reveal to us any grudges we may be holding onto.  May He bring a face to our mind’s eye that we need to intercede for and give us the love and capacity to lift them up in prayer.  Our gratitude over the reality that we don’t get what we deserve will show up in how we love those who deeply wound us.  I praise the Lord that He is in control of ALL things, and we can trust Him to do what is right, just, and fair, even when we don’t understand!

Sweet or Sour

“More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb.”
  Psalm 19:10

A man invited his skeptical neighbor over to his orchard to try some of his prized apples. But his friend did not come. He contacted his friend and said, “I suppose you think my apples good for nothing.” His neighbor replied, “Well, yes, I have tried your apples and I think they are the sourest things I have ever tasted.” “Oh,” said the first, “I thought so. You see, I planted the sourest trees I could find around the outside of the orchard, for the benefit of the boys who would steal them. But if you come into the center of the orchard you will find some quality fruit, sweet as honey.”

As I read this story, it reminded me of the sweetness of being in the center of God’s will.  It seems that when we drift from the place God calls us, we find things “sour” in every area of our lives.  We loose our joy, our perspective, and our spiritual stamina.

However, when we are in the center of His will, we enjoy the intimate fellowship with Him that is “sweeter than honey”.  Even when life is hard and we are faced with sorrow and hardship, we still find the sweetness of His presence invading our life.  It is only here, in the center of His will, that the fruit of fellowship with Him overflows into every aspect of our life and affects the lives of others.

God’s plan for us is amazing really!  He calls us to personal intimacy with Himself above all else, and when we are inhaling all that He has to offer to us personally, we find ourselves consumed with Him.  We find ourselves ministering in the unexpected places, and we see supernatural fruit flourishing in and through us.

What about you?  Are you too busy to notice?  Have you taken the time to stop long enough and examine what you are “feasting on”?  When you survey your life over the past month, are things “sour”, because you are choosing to venture into territory just on the outskirts of His will for your life?  Are you choosing to eat of the fruit that leaves a bitter taste in your “spiritual mouth”?  Or, are you enjoying the sweetness that comes from walking in intimate fellowship and obedience with Him?  Do you taste and see the goodness of the Lord in YOUR life?

Take some time today to examine that which you are feasting on and either rejoice in the sweetness of our Savior and His nearness to you, or repent and take the steps back to the precious arms of the Savior, who has never moved from where you drifted from.  No matter where you find yourself today, you can find comfort in the reality that our glorious God, even as He produces fruit in and through each of us, both for our own benefit and the benefit of others, is always waiting for us to “taste and see that He alone is good”.

May the Lord enable us today to put our own agenda aside long enough to evaluate the fruit we are bearing, as well as, the things we are “feasting” on.  May we take the steps necessary to be in the center of His will for our lives, knowing that it is only there that we can taste the sweet fellowship with Him and that others can taste and see His goodness clearly in my life.

Signal Strength


“Look! Listen! God’s arm is not amputated – He can still save!  God’s ears are not stopped up – He can still hear!  There’s nothing wrong with God – the wrong is with you.  Your wrongheaded lives caused the split between you and God.  Your sins got between you, so that He doesn’t hear you.”
Isaiah 59:1-3

Have you ever been in the middle of a conversation on your cell phone and have the call disconnected?  If you have a cell phone, you have most definitely experienced this frustration.  Often times, if the call is important, and we know a dead spot is ahead, we will even pull off the road until we are finished talking just, so we aren’t interrupted.  For me, it is usually in the middle of a very important or really interesting phone call that the signal is lost.  Sometimes, I can look at my phone and see that it is the caller on the other end of my phone who lost signal, because my phone will clearly show full signal strength.  Other times, my phone will read “call signal lost”, undoubtedly showing me that my signal is to blame.  Either way, it is frustrating, but even more so when it is my phone signal that is the problem.  When the issue is my signal strength, I have to wait until I enter into an area that gives strong service before I can attempt to regain the call.  Other times, it may be that I have signal, however I have failed to charge my phone, and the battery is low, in which case, I must quickly plug it into its power source.
Sometimes in our walk with Christ, we may find ourselves frustrated and feeling disconnected to Him.  We may feel like our prayers aren’t getting any further than the ceiling or we simply have little strength.  This verse in Isaiah fifty nine clearly tells us where the problem lies.  If reception is low or communication is lost between us and God, it is always a connection problem on our end.  When the lines of communication are down spiritually, it is always an indication that we have wondered into an area with little or no signal strength, or not spent time with our “Power Source”, and it is up to us to quickly get to a place of full and clear reception, or plug into Christ to regain strength.  Since it is our sin that separates us from God, we much search every area of our lives to see where we are veering off track.  Sometimes, it may be something we are doing, but often times it can also be something we aren’t doing.  Sin is obviously doing that which God clearly tells us not to do, but disobedience is also not doing what He tells us to do.  There may be something He has clearly called us to do and we have refused to surrender our will to His.

God doesn’t change.  He can still save, and He can still hear.  His signal is always strong.  So, how is your communication today?  Are you in a strong signal area spiritually or are you entering a dead spot?  Perhaps your lines of communication were lost some time ago and you are just stewing in your frustration.  Maybe it has been too long since you have spent time with Christ and charged your relationship spiritually.  Wherever you are, the good news is that you don’t have to change your service provider; you just have to change your location or position, or reconnect with your power source.  The service provider, Jesus, is reliable.  Align your heart and life with Christ today, surrender to His will, and reap the incredible reward of intimate communication with Him!  The Creator of the Universe is on the line, and I am sure that is one call none of us want interrupted!

I am grateful that the Lord is still mighty to save and He can still hear.  It’s great to know that, when we have ourselves aligned to His will, the lines of communication with Him are open.  I am so thankful that when we get off track and the communication with Him is broken, He has made a way for us to regain strength, if we will confess our sins to Him.  May be obey Him, spend adequate time with Him, recharging daily, and consistently check our signal strength spiritually.

Love Will Win

Unless you’re living under a rock, you are very aware of the pure evil in the world around us. It’s heartbreaking and infuriating to hear of the depravity of man and what humans are capable of. It’s also overwhelming to scan the landscape of the world around us, even in most of our personal circles of friends and loved ones, and see the pain caused by poor choices, sin, accidents, disease, and death. No matter how old you are, you’ve probably been affected by hate, loss, grief, or pain. It’s just a part of the world in which we live.

I’ve heard people ask, “Why would a loving God do such things?” For a world that has a warped view of God, I can understand the question. The reality is, however, that man himself chooses evil. As a result of sin entering the world, through the choices of Adam and Eve, we have hate, loss, grief, and pain. This was not in God’s original landscape, in the Garden of Eden. The Enemy slithered his way in, deceived Eve, and put a breech between God and His creation. We are simply living in the continual fall out of that.

Certainly my heart breaks, and my blood boils with a righteous anger at the evil around us and even the sin in my own life, but I rejoice, because I know the end of the story. Oh, I don’t know when my day with death will come or even how it will come, but I know that what I see around me, the evil, the pain, the loss, and even the death is not the end. The amazing God that created everything, including man’s free will, also created HOPE for the despair He knew our own choices would create. You see, He hasn’t left us to simply “deal with the fallout” on our own.

In His graciousness, He sent His only Son, Jesus, to take our rightful place under God’s wrath, so that we could be restored to fellowship with Him, the way He originally designed us to be. How amazing is that!!! THEN, as if that wasn’t enough, He has promised that we will live forever, so even the ultimate consequence of man’s sin, death, isn’t the end, for those that have a personal relationship with Christ.

Therefore, as you look around at the devastation that seems to surround us, be encouraged, take heart! It may seem like evil is reigning, but, we know the last chapter. God is on His throne and, no matter what happens, LOVE WILL WIN!!!!


I Need Thee Every Hour

“The Holy can be either a Hiding Place or a Boulder blocking your way.”
Isaiah 8:13

One day as a young wife and mo­ther of 37 years of age, Annie Hawkins was bu­sy with her reg­u­lar house­hold tasks. Sud­den­ly, she be­came so filled with the sense of near­ness to the Mast­er that, won­der­ing how one could live with­out Him, ei­ther in joy or pain, she wrote the words to the hymn, “I Need Thee Ev­e­ry Hour”.

As I read this verse in Isaiah chapter eight, I was reminded of this incredible hymn.  Oh, how we desperately need Him every hour!  We need Him so much more than we could ever comprehend.  This verse revealed to me just a few of the ways we need Him.

I have always heard, and often times claimed, God as my Rock, my Shelter, my Hiding Place, but I was reminded through this verse that God can also be a Boulder.  He is a Hiding Place and a Rock in whom I take refuge, but He is also a Boulder blocking my way.  Many times we find ourselves facing difficulties or trials and discover Him to be our Rock in whom we take refuge, but have you ever considered that He is a Boulder blocking your way?  Blocking your way from what, you may ask.  I found comfort as I was reminded in this verse that, as I am seeking God and finding refuge in Him, as my Hiding Place, He will also become the Boulder that keeps me from wickedness.  He can prevent me from “presumptuous sins” and foolishness.  He can also be the Boulder that prevents evil and harm from getting to me.  He will allow trials to befall me, and will be my Hiding Place during such times, but there are even more times that I believe He is, in fact, a Boulder blocking my way.  He is my Protector on all fronts.  He hides me in the Shadow of His wing when I am hurting or afraid, and He protects me from myself and my own wicked heart, as well as, from that which could bring harm to me. He is able to move the boulders in my life that I cannot deal with on my own, but He graciously makes Himself a Boulder in my life to prevent me from falling and to protect me from harm.

The more I read His Word and uncover all that He reveals of Himself through it, I find He is so much more than we could ever imagine.  He is more to us that we can comprehend.  He is ever present and all knowing.  Even when I do not see what He is doing, I can rest assured that He has my best interest at heart, and He is everything that I need.  I agree with Annie Hawkins when she wrote,

I need Thee ev’ry hour,
Most gracious Lord;
No tender voice like Thine
Can peace afford.
I need Thee, O I need Thee!
Ev’ry hour I need Thee;
O bless me now, my Savior!
I come to Thee.

The Impact of My Personal Pursuit

There is much to gain in our pursuit of greatness. Like a treasure hunter finding his prize, we have the reward of finding that which we are searching for. We gain intimacy with our Creator, personal growth, and wisdom that only comes from the Lord, the wisdom that gives us the ability to handle life skillfully. There is undoubtedly great rewards in choosing to pursue greatness. Have you ever considered, however, the impact your pursuit has on those around you?

Proverbs 10:17 says, “He who heeds instruction and correction is [not only himself] in the way of life [but also] is a way of life for others. And he who neglects or refuses reproof [not only himself] goes astray [but also] causes to err and is a path toward ruin for others.” As I read this verse, I pondered my path, that which I am pursuing, and asked the question, “Am I a way of life for others or a path toward ruin?” Whether we acknowledge it or not, others are watching and many are following the path we are paving in our lives. No matter how long God allows us to live, we will leave a path for others, both the ones we know and the generations we may never meet. I deeply desire for the path that I leave to not only lead others to life, but I desire for the path I leave to be extremely clear. I believe this is done with two vital tools, faithfulness and humility.

Proverbs tells us over and over the value of humility. Even this verse in Proverbs 10:17 tells us that if we want our life to be a way of life for others, we must heed instruction and correction. This is only done through a spirit of humility. We must remain teachable and be intentional about cultivating a spirit that is willing to learn and grow. No matter where we are in our personal pursuit of greatness, we have not arrived. There is still ground to cover and treasures to discover, and we cannot make the journey alone. We are in need of God and others. This spirit that is teachable and willing to yield is true wisdom (James 3:17), and it is a vital component in one’s pursuit of greatness.

The other vital tool that we must cling to in our pursuit of greatness is faithfulness. We can count on discouragement, disappointments, and even heartbreak along our journey, however, the assurance of His faithfulness to us is a solid foundation under our feet. His faithfulness are the markers along our path. We, too, must be faithful, consistent to the pursuit before us. We’ve probably all heart the phrase, “stuck in a rut”. It wasn’t until recently, when a friend of ours, named Clark Beckham, made a reference to ruts. His analogy reminded me that ruts can a good thing. Just like a path clearly marked by years of travel, if I walk in such a way, consistently pursuing the Lord, my life will leave ruts for others to follow. I want the “rut” that I’m creating (that which I am doing), to clearly lead others toward Christ and the greatness He invites each of us to pursue. 

This can go either way, and in fact, it will go one way or the other for each of us. We will each leave a “rut” of some sort, but the daily choices we make and the pursuits of our hearts. We get to choose what the ruts look like, but we only get one life to create them. You may not see them as clearly today, but mark it down, your choices today are leaving a path that points to something. What will it be for you? Will you pursue selfish ambition, a mere corporate ladder, your own self absorbed affections, or will you pursue Christ and all the greatness He is and what He has prepared for you? Through humility and faithfulness, may we each leave ruts, like Proverbs 10:17 says, that are a “way of life” to others. May we be ever mindful that our pursuits matter and they have impacts that we may never live to fully see.

Dino Shaped Lunches and Divine Shaped Lives

Dino Sanwiches

I admit I once lived by rumors of you; now I have it all firsthand – from my own eyes and ears!  I’m sorry – forgive me.  I’ll never do that again, I promise!  I’ll never again live on crusts of hearsay, crumbs of rumor!”
Job 42:5-6

When my kids were young, I would make them sandwiches, and I would cut away the crust, and make them into fun shapes.  I served it on a plate, and always wiped away the crumbs.  It never failed, when I did this, my little guy would come to me and say, “Thanks for the dino-shaped sandwich, Mom!”  This small extra step communicated love to my children. Although the crust and crumbs were still a part of the sandwich, I never served them that part. It was the shape, the part I carefully made with them in mind, that I served them and wanted them to enjoy.

As I read this phrase in Job 42, I couldn’t help but think of these fun shaped sandwiches.  I would never consider serving my kids a plate with just the crust and the crumbs from the counter, and yet how many of us have woke up to the reality that spiritually we have been living on the crust and crumbs.  We go to church, listen to great preaching, we hear testimonies of the greatness of God, and it feeds us.  It’s good, but have you ever considered that this is just the crust, that there’s more?  So much more!  Why do we often settle for the crusts and the crumbs spiritually?

Job came to the stark realization that he had been living on what He had heard.  Oh, don’t get me wrong, it was truth.  What he knew about God was true, but it wasn’t personal, firsthand experience.  He realized that He had been missing the intimacy, settling for the “crusts of hearsay and the crumbs of rumor”.

I’m sure that none of us want to be satisfied with the crusts and crumbs, but rather we want the real sweet center of intimacy with Christ.  I want to take the extra time to get to know him firsthand. The amazing thing is that He desires that, as well. He longs for us to “taste and see His goodness” firsthand.  I want to walk in obedience, so as to see His faithfulness, and I want to take the time (as Job said) to “listen, and let Him do the talking”, so I can learn from Him, intimately and firsthand!

Just as it takes more work for me to make the dino-shaped sandwiches for my kids, it takes more work to grow in our personal walk with Christ.  Just as my heart shaped sandwiches communicate love to my children, so me taking the time to get to know Christ intimately shows my love for Him. The reality that He, the Creator of the Universe, makes Himself available to us, and He, Himself, made it possible for us to intimately know Him, certainly shows His great love for us!

So, next time we carve the crust off that Peanut Butter and Jelly sandwich, may we ask ourselves this question, “Have I carved out the necessary time for Christ today, so that I don’t live off the crust, but on the sweet God shaped life that comes from a personal relationship with Christ?”  It’s only through this firsthand walk with Christ that He can shape our lives into something beautiful for His glory and for the advancement of His Kingdom.

I am grateful that God desires to fill us with the sweetest part of His goodness, intimate fellowship with Himself, and to shape our lives into something more wonderful than we could imagine all for His glory!

Missing the Message in the Miracle

It’s amazing to me how I can read a story that I’ve heard since childhood and God speaks to me in a whole new way. Mark chapter six tells the familiar story of Jesus feeding 5000+ people. As I read this passage recently, I saw it from a different perspective. I’ve considered it from the perspective of the masses and even Jesus’ desire to feed and minister to them, but I had not seen it from the disciples view. As I read verse thirty-five, where they tell Jesus that they are in a desolate place and he should send the people away to “buy themselves something to eat”, I almost sensed a tinge of frustration. They had probably been traveling all day (not in air conditioned comfort, like we do), they were most likely hungry themselves (since it was dinnertime), and I would imagine they were coming to the end of themselves. Haven’t you been there? The moments when you’ve given all you’ve got, and you just need to pull away from the “crowd” or sometimes even the person that is sucking the life out of you. Jesus knew the disciples needed this, but first, He wanted to do something miraculous, even in their weakness or lack of resources.

If you remember the story, instead of sending the people away, Jesus told the disciples to feed them. What? Almost sarcastically, the disciples said, in verse thirty-seven, “Shall we go and buy 200 denarii (this would be the equivalent to about 200 days wages – a LOT of money) worth of bread and give these people something to eat?” The reason I hear sarcasm is because it was obvious, by the question, that it was more than the men had. It would have been impossible, from their perspective. Even if they had this kind of money on them, based on the description Mark gives in verse thirty-five, it was a desolate place, so they would have had a long hike to even get to the food, not to mention, the impossibility to even transport that much food back. Do you see the insanity of what the disciples were asking, or should I say what they were being instructed to do?

Yet, as the story unfolds, we see Jesus do the miraculous, feeding more than 5000 people with just five loaves of bread and two measly fish. Now, you would think this would be a remarkable moment for the disciples, but I think they missed the miracle in this moment and the message behind it. I know this, because in verse fifty-two, it says that they “failed to consider or understand the teaching and meaning of the miracle of the loaves; [in fact their hearts had grown callous -become dull and they had lost the power of understanding].” Could this be because of their own frustrations, fatigue, hunger, or the simple reality that they personally had nothing more to give to the masses and just wanted to pull away from them? Seriously, at first, I asked myself, how in the world could you miss a moment like that? Then, however, I considered the wonders all around me, the moments filled with His miracles, yet I miss them, because I am frustrated, exhausted, or I feel like I have nothing left to give. It’s in these moments that God wants to show us the message behind all His miracles. Can you guess what that is? It’s the message of Who He is. Mark 6:50, just before we are told how the disciples missed the miracle and message of the loaves, Jesus comes to them, as they are being tossed on the sea in a boat, and He says to them, “Take heart! I AM! Stop being alarmed and afraid!” WOW! Could that be the message he was trying to tell them just hours before, as they were tired and ready to send the crowd away, they were hungry and frustrated by their lack of resources, and completely at the end of themselves, yet Jesus was asking them to continue to serve. He wasn’t asking them to give more. He had the resources, He was simply asking them to continue to be available to what He was doing, resting in the reality of the I AM!

This passage, for the first time, has me evaluating the moments around me, where He, the I AM, is miraculously showing me that He is enough. I don’t have to conjure up more to give. I just have to remain available to let Him work through me, and I need to have the right spirit so that I don’t miss the message in the miracle. You see the disciples did, in fact, serve the food, as Jesus dished it out that day, more than 5000+ serving to be exact. This is encouraging to me, because it reveals that Jesus will use me, even if I’m not understanding or I’m totally missing the message. It also challenges me, though, because it reveals that I can be serving, surrounded by the miraculous, but miss the message in the miracle.

What is it for you? Is it a hard relationship, where you think you’ve given all you can, but God is wanting to show you Himself through your own weakness? Is it an opportunity where you don’t have the resources needed or you aren’t capable, in and of yourself? May we all allow the I AM to be all that He desires to be in our lives, and may our hearts be open, even when we’re depleted, so that we don’t miss the message of the miracles that surround us this week.

Growing in Grace

“Being confident of this very thing, that He which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ.” Phil. 1:6

One of the biggest things that comes with a true pursuit of greatness is growth. If we aren’t growing, we are not pursuing anything worthwhile. In the same way, if we aren’t growing, we aren’t effectively leading others.

One thing I am learning about growth is that there is no place, this side of eternity, where we obtain a certificate of completion. Knowing this, I find one of the biggest areas we need to be constantly growing in is grace. We need to remember we are all growing, as we pursue greatness together, and therefore, we need to extend grace to others. I know my own journey better than anyone, and I know the incredible amount of grace that God has extended to me, as well as, the grace that He continues to pour over me, as I grow. I am sure you can testify of the same amazing grace.  It’s this same grace I want to be quick to extend to others. (Keyword being “quick”) I want to be a person who is prompt in responding to others with grace. This is not a natural response, but a learned response. It’s one that must be practiced. When someone hurts you or offends you, is your first response to extend grace, every time? Me, either. It’s a response I am pursuing, because I believe it’s a part of true greatness. I don’t believe it starts with this outward response, though. We must remember the grace we ourselves have been given, and really embrace that grace over our own weaknesses and struggles. Not an excuse to “sin that grace may abound”, but an understanding that we are in desperate need of grace, and our incredible Redeemer extends grace in abundance.

Just as we should be growing in the grace we extend to others, I believe it is vital for us to be quick to extend grace to ourselves. This seems to be the hardest for me. As a natural performance driven woman, who tends to be a perfectionist, I can be extremely hard on myself. Can you relate? It seems the voices in my own mind are harder and louder than anything anyone else says to me. The Enemy (devil) is fierce, but I find he most often gains ground and defeats us in our own minds, as we simply refuse to extend grace to ourselves. When we hold ourselves in contempt, even though we’ve been set free, we keep ourselves chained to inaccurate definitions of who we are.

What is it for you? What lies are you believing and what areas are you refusing to extend grace, to yourself or to someone else? Has someone let you down, and you just need to extend grace and remember they are growing, just like you? I am aware that there are healthy boundaries that are necessary in relationships and in certain situations, but I mean extending heartfelt grace. What seems to be a constant struggle for you? Is there something you feel like you’ve been fighting for years? Maybe it’s poor financial stewardship, a bad temper, or another self sabotaging habit. Whatever it is, don’t let it define you. Remember who you were created to be, who God says you are, and give yourself some grace, remembering that you are a glorious work in progress. We will not be perfect this side of Heaven, but we can rejoice, knowing that the work He has begun in us, He will complete.

Let’s not get hard or bitter, because of others or your own weaknesses. Let’s be encouraged, and continue to grow in grace, knowing that we are fighting for something worthwhile, pursuing something greater than we can imagine, and God is faithful to complete what He has started in us!

Spiritual Closet Cleaning

“Let’s take a good look at the way we’re living and reorder our lives under God”
Lamentations 3:40

I’ve already begun some summer projects and some of those consisted of purging, cleaning, and organizing the often overlooked places of our home. Both of the daunting places I’ve tackled so far felt overwheming when I first begun, but as I started pulling everything out in the open and determining what was truly something that was needed or helpful, I begun to see things come together. By the time I finished, it looked great, everything had a place, and unused items were trashed or given away. Have you ever cleaned out a cabinet or closet?  What do you usually do?  It always seems to start with a good look at what you are dealing with and is followed by a clean sweep of everything.  If you are like me, everything has to come out in order to organize things efficiently, and it is hard work and time consuming.  But, the benefits of organization are reaped in every area of our life.  For me, when my cabinets and closets are organized, it helps with many other areas of our daily home life.  Think about it.  When things are organized you have less stress and chaos, and more time because you aren’t searching high and low for things that don’t have a designated place.  It eliminates clutter and promotes peace.
As I reflected on this verse in Lamentations, I thought of the job of ordering our lives.  This verse says that we are to start by taking a good look at the way we’re living, as oppose to a quick glance.  We are to take the necessary time to really ponder our life.  Then, it doesn’t say that we are to just sweep some things to the side, push things to the back, or even shuffle things for a better “balance”.  It says we are to “reorder our lives under God”.  Did you catch that?  It isn’t that we are to reorder everything “around God”, but rather “under Him”.
In the same way that we would clean and organize a closet, we must take every area of our life and lay it out before God.  We must allow Him to eliminate that which needs to be purged from our list of priorities and add that which is His priority for our life.  Just as cleaning out areas of our home can be tedious, reordering our lives under God can also be hard.  We can often times break a “spiritual sweat” through this process as we relinquish control of everything and submit to His plan and structure for us.  It usually doesn’t look quite like we anticipated.  Often times, even the good things we are committed to can be the enemy of the best things that He has for us.
Just as I love the peace and tranquility that comes from an organized home, I love the peace that comes from a life that is ordered under God.  It reduces stress and chaos, eliminates clutter and the things that just keep me “busy”.  His plan for my life always includes more time, time to sit at His feet and enjoy intimate fellowship with Him.
So, I’m not sure what’s on your To Do List for today, but won’t you join me in some spiritual closet cleaning.  Let’s reorder our lives under God.  The rewards will be extraordinary and the dividends eternal!

Lord, help me to take the time to lay my life, and all I’m committed to, before You and allow You to reorder my life.  Enable me to be willing to release everything to your control and embrace Your priorities for my life.  Thank you that you desire to manage the affairs of my life and that you know just what is best for me, as well as, those around me.