Content To Linger

“We’re in no hurry, God. We’re content to linger in the path sign-posted with your decisions.  Who You are and what You’ve done are all we’ll ever want.”
Isaiah 26:8

Do you dream of the day you will become a parent, own a home, make more money, be debt free, or have the job you’ve worked so hard to attain?  All of us have dreams.  We all have things God is calling us to do, but what should our attitude be as we are on the journey toward our dreams?  It seems our society is always in a hurry.  We rush to work, we rush our kids to and from their activities, we rush to fix dinner, and we rush through our evening routines, to finally get into the bed, only to start over when the sun rises again.  Is this how our journey with Christ should be?  Yes, there are things He has already planned for us in the future.  Yes, it may be His plan for you to become a parent, to attain that amazing promotion in your job, or to own a home, but even if that is His perfect plan, should we be in a hurry to get to where He is calling us?  Should we be in a hurry to accomplish our goals and reach our dreams?  Is it simply all about the destination of the journey or the end result of the goals we set?

In Isaiah 26:8, this verse clearly gives us insight into what our attitude should be.  We aren’t to be in a hurry, but rather “content to linger in the path sign-posted with His decisions”.  In other words, we should not be in such a hurry to get to the blessing or the “final destination”, but, because of the intimacy that we have with Christ, we should be content to linger with Him in the journey, knowing it is the path sign-posted with His direction.  We should be content to follow His pace in the journey, simply because He is there.  He isn’t just in the destination. He is in the journey itself.

The writer then punctuates this verse by saying to the Lord, “Who You are and what You’ve done are all we’ll ever want”. WOW!  Is this our attitude?  Do we really believe if He does nothing else for us, that He is enough?  Can we really say that if we never reach the goal or obtain the dreams we have, that He is enough?  When we can, we will find ourselves content to linger with Him, just knowing that we are on the path that He has marked out for us and that is filled with His presence.

Where are you today?  Are you rushing to the next goal, spending all of your time dreaming of finally reaching your goals and aspiring to accomplish all God has put into your heart to do for His glory?  I believe that, while He wants us to be wise stewards in planning and preparing for the future and in following His perfect will for our lives, His plan is that we “not be in a hurry, but we find contentment in just lingering with Him on the path that He has marked out for us”.  Let’s enjoy Him today and, instead of rushing to the “next big thing”, let’s take the time to remember His promise and remain (or linger) in His presence.

May the Lord enable us today to not be so focus on where He is taking us in our lives or what He may be blessing us with in the future, that we forget the incredible blessing it is today to just linger with Him.   May we, not just say that He is enough, but live like it!

Aloe For The Soul

aloeplant

Each year we usually enjoy a week or so at the beach.  Everyday is spent enjoying the sun, splashing in the salt water, riding the waves, and playing in the sand.  We soak up this fun from the time the sun comes up in the morning until it sets beyond the horizon in the evening, and even then, we can sometimes be found taking nightly walks on the beach looking for crabs with flashlights.

By the end of the week, despite the amount of sunscreen we apply, we have all usually gotten quite a bit of sun.  Now for those of you that are already thinking, “Why wouldn’t you wear sunscreen”, let me assure you, we do.  However, it wears off, and we all tend to forget to reapply it fast enough and, therefore, we usually have a slight pink tint. It’s not bad, so please don’t write me emails conveying alarm. : )  Most of you can probably mentally take yourself to a place where you were exhausted, sticky from salt water, and stinging from the combination of salt and sand rubbing against your sun-kissed skin.  It isn’t until you get cleaned up and are able to apply what we call “the green goop”, commonly called Aloe Vera, that you begin to feel relief.  This green slimy stuff (that we keep in the refrigerator) can actually be some of the most refreshing stuff in the world, after a long day on the beach.  It soothes, heals, and even sometimes anesthetizes your skin.

This week, I was reminded how friendships can be the lotion that heals the sunburns of our hearts.  There are times when the heat and irritants of our world can really get to us.  It’s not always devastating seasons. Sometimes, it’s just the small life-sucking things that the enemy throws at us each day. We can find ourselves feeling exhausted emotionally, mentally irritated, and our spirits can often have a painful sting.  I can think of so many times in my own life where I’ve felt this way and God would use a friend to come along and refresh me.  Sometimes, it happens through a phone call, an email, or perhaps a letter in my mailbox.  Whatever it may be, it always comes at just the right time (after a long hard day) and it has a way of bringing comfort and can even invigorate me to keep going in this journey of life.

Does someone come to your mind that’s been a refresher in your life recently?  Did you take the time to thank them and communicate just how God used them to bless you?  What about you?  Are you consciously being a refresher to others?  Can you think of someone this week that you called, emailed, wrote a letter to, or text with the sole purpose of encouraging them?  We all have moments where life just seems too “hot” to handle and the irritations seem to be rubbing in ever direction.  Let’s be conscious this week to not only thank those who are used by God to rejuvenate us, but to also take the time to reach out and be that soothing lotion to another parched and weary soul!

Faith or Facts

 

I read an interesting story that took place up in Hamilton, Ontario. A group of workmen were trimming some trees, preparing land for development. On a low hanging limb, which was to be cut off, they found a bird’s nest with young birds in it. The workmen were troubled. Some of them insisted that the limb must come down, while others pleaded that it be left until their next trip, in order to give the birds time to become strong enough to fly away. After some discussion, the limb was left. Some months later, the tree trimmers came again and cut off the limb. As they studied the nest, which was now empty, they noticed a little piece of paper, which had been woven into the nest. They examined it and found it had been taken from a Sunday school paper. On it were these words, “We trust in the Lord!”

This story was fascinating to me. These workmen didn’t want to cut down a limb for fear that it would destroy the birds.  Although I am well aware of the fact that these birds didn’t intentionally take this particular piece of paper with these words on it, it is a sweet reminder of how we should trust in the Lord, the One who made Heaven and earth, even when it seems our security and comfort are being compromised.

In II Samuel chapter 24, David is tested in the area of his faith.  It appears to be a harmless decision at first, as David orders his men to go and take a head count throughout the country.  He wanted to know just what he was working with.  How much power did he have at his disposal?  We notice, however, in verse 10 just how fatal a decision this was, when David says, “I have sinned badly in what I have just done.  God, please forgive me for I have been really stupid”.  The Bible says in this verse that David replaced trust in God for statistics.  God makes it clear to us in this chapter that this is not only a stupid thing to do, but it is sin, and it is costly.  The consequences for David were that 70,000 people died throughout Israel.  God was merciful and showed compassion, but there was a definite price to be paid for David’s lack of faith.

What is it in your life today?  Are you looking at the statistics or facts of your finances, your future, or your health, at the expense of trusting in the Lord?  How easy it is to substitute our faith for the facts that are laid out before us.  God wants us to be knowledgeable; however, He does not want our faith to be in our own understanding (Prov. 3:5).  We are called to trust in that which we cannot see (Heb. 11:1).  It may seem silly to put it this way, but just like those small birds, I want to build my life and my home on the foundation of faith in Christ.  It is my prayer that when my life is over, and I am on the other side of eternity, and people sift through the remnants I am leaving behind, that they, too, will find my life clearly marked by those words, “We trust in the Lord”.

May the Lord help us today to pass the tests of faith that He will allow into our lives.  May we stay focused on Him and not on the statistics or facts around us, living our lives in such a way that others would “Taste and see that the Lord is good;” and they would say, “Blessed are those that trust in Him.” (Psalm 34:8)

Fuel & Fun in The Journey

Today I thought I’d do a random post of a few things that I am enjoying, in recent days. Some of these things fuel my pursuit of greatness and some are just plain frivolous or fun! I am all about sharing great finds with others and I believe we can glean much from each other, even if some of those things are just some extra fun things, that may just make your smile a little bigger on any given day! These are in no particular order, but they are all some of my current favorite things…

May favorite drinks, other than water, is a cup of decaf coffee with this Salted Caramel Creamer. It’s delicious and, although I don’t have coffee everyday, I do enjoy a sweet cup and the “Ahhhh” feeling that comes with it for me! I also love my Complete Shake.  I have a few different ways I enjoy it, but for a quick snack, I mix it in my fabulous shaker bottle with coconut water. It’s also very refreshing, after a great workout (you know, the kind that leaves you shaking all over and crawling to the refrigerator for some nourishment).

I am probably late to this “game”, but one thing that I recently started enjoying is audible books. I have been on tour with my husband some over the last few weeks, and due to the fact that I get motion sickness, I am extremely limited on what I can accomplish while the bus is moving. I have really loved being able to pop in my earbuds and listen to great books, like “How to Win Friends and Influence People”. I love learning, growing, and becoming better, especially as a wife, mom, friend, and leader. This is a great book. Check it out, if you haven’t read it. If you’re like I was and never tried audible, this is a must! Seriously, you can clean your house, cook dinner, ride on a tour bus (with your eyes on the road), or unwind at the end of a day, while you listen to the book from your phone, Ipad, or computer! I’m a new fan!

I am still reading regular books, and my favorite right now is Moving Mountains. This is a great book, recommended to me by my sister. It is about praying with passion, confidence, and authority. It’s challenged me in my own prayer journey and I have a post coming up in just a few days, where I will share an exciting answer to a long time prayer that God gave me recently! If you like to read and you’re looking for a great book to add to your reading list, this is a great choice.

Another thing that I enjoy, that is much more frivolous, is my face scrub, night serum, and lip serum.  I can’t say these help in my pursuit of greatness, but they sure make my face feel great! I have a precious friend, Tori, that helps me, and I love that it can be so customized, for each person. You can explore it HERE!

On a parenting note, Circle by Disney is AMAZING! I was skeptical and waited a little while before making the purchase, but I am loving it!!!!! I can control the wifi throughout my house, as well as, the content viewed by each person in my home. Each child has his/her own settings, including time limits, bedtimes, and safety features. I can control it all from my phone! Did I say this is AMAZING? I just got it this month, but I, seriously, love it! If you have preteen or teenage kids, this is a must!

One more thing that makes me smile is my youngest sister’s blog. She has such a way with words. She encourages her readers in the stuff that matters, while sharing the simple things in everyday life. Whether you need encouragement in life, motivation for fitness, you have an infinity for cupcakes (or anything sweet), or you just like reading excellent material, you’ll want to start following CupcakesnCrunches!

This was fun and I hope you enjoyed browsing and exploring some of my favorite things! My other favorite things will have to wait for another post. Do you have a few favorite things in your life right now that fuel your journey or just add some fun to your life?

Better Than I Asked For

I can look at my life on any given day and see the countless ways God blesses me, beyond what I deserve. I have an incredible husband, who loves me and leads me in a passionate pursuit of holiness. I have four stellar kids, treasured extended family, and priceless friends. Seriously, like many of you, this blog could not contain all that God has done for me! If you’re reading this and thinking, “God hasn’t done anything for me!” Let me remind you that HE is the One giving you things like the oxygen you just inhaled, that heartbeat you just had, and the eyes you are reading this post with. He holds this world suspended in nothingness, by the word of His power, and He does so at just the precise place and just the right angle, so that we have our four seasons, and the vital temperatures needed for sustained life. We desperately need Him, whether we recognize that reality of not, and He is far better to us than we deserve.

This isn’t usually something that’s hard to acknowledge for me, although there are times, when my eyes can become blinded by my own inconveniences, frustrations, disappointments, or even grief, and I can forget just how good He is. There are other times, however, where I see His goodness in a different way, in a way that makes Ephesians 3:20  come alive. This verse says, “Now all glory to God, who is able, through His mighty power at work within us, to accomplish infinitely more than we might ask or think.” Let me give you a recent example from my own life of what I mean.

I have prayed for quite some time that God would bring my youngest sister closer to family, making it easier for all of us to connect and be a part of her family’s life on a more regular basis. Having a family of six myself makes getting to NYC difficult and very expensive. I knew God could answer this request, but boy, did I underestimate what He would do!

When my brother-in-law applied for a job several months ago, right here in our city, I was overwhelmed with excitement. As I began praying in amazement that it was even a possibility, it was as if God was whispering in my spirit, “Would this be close enough?” I chuckled in my spirit, began to dream a little bigger, and continued to watch in awe as HIS plan for them unfolded.

After months of praying, God swung the door wide open for the job, giving my brother-in-law a great place to shine at what he’s good at, while, at the same time, giving a local organization a top notch leader, who will add value to all they do in the community! Our family, as well as, theirs, were stunned at how God had answered our prayers to bring them closer to “home”. I am still overwhelmed with gratitude that we serve a God that cares about the intricate and intimate details of our lives.

There were many details God continued to orchestrate, to prepare them for the transition ahead, and this post couldn’t contain the many ways that HE was gracious and faithful through every detail. It was awesome to watch the Lord “manage the affairs of their life and direct them, as they trusted in Him and didn’t lean on their own logic.” (Prov. 3:5-6)

The Lord grew my own faith in this journey of praying with my sister and her family, and it challenged me to pray even more specific, God sized prayers. I believe God is able to do the impossible, and I couldn’t help but wonder how much we miss, simply because we fail to ask Him. He is looking for those who will trust Him and believe great things from Him. This is one way we honor Him for the great God that He is!

I am speechless when I consider the ways He loves me! Don’t get me wrong, the answers to my prayers aren’t always what I ask for. They are, however, always for my good.  I am grateful for the times that God chooses to bless us, beyond what we could ask, think, or even imagine! Sometimes, His goodness is revealed through an answer different than our request. Often times, His goodness is seen through a request granted, just as we asked.  This week, as I help my sister and her family move into their home, RIGHT HERE IN MY NEIGHBORHOOD (yep, God made us neighbors!), I am rejoicing that this particular blessing was far better than I asked for!

Here Today, Here Tomorrow

Have you ever heard the saying “here today, gone tomorrow”?  Money, happiness, and material things are often here today and gone tomorrow, which means that they don’t last very long.  I can think of very few things in life that really last.  The Bible compares even our very life to a “vapor”.  When looking at the big picture, most of what we have is here today, gone tomorrow, but I can think of one priceless thing that is here today and will be here tomorrow.

Hebrews 4:7 says that “God keeps renewing His promise and setting the date as today”.  This means we can cash in on His promises every day!  Just take a moment to think of a few of these incredible promises.  Proverbs tell us that as we acknowledge Him, He (Yahweh, the faithful covenant keeping God) will direct our paths.  Philippians tells us that we can do all things through Christ who strengthens us.  Psalms says that as we wait on the Lord, He will strengthen our heart.  The promises are countless.  He promises to meet our every need emotionally, mentally, physically, and spiritually and these promises are for you, right now, no matter what you’re facing!  Hebrews 6:18 says that “God can’t break His word and because His word cannot change, the promise is likewise unchangeable”.

Isn’t it great to be reminded that every promise of God is available to us each and every day?  It’s no wonder why the writer of Hebrews says in chapter six, “We have every reason to grab the promised hope with both hands and never let go”.  From now on, when you hear the idiom “here today, gone tomorrow”, I hope you will quickly think of the rich promises of God that are, in fact, “here today, here tomorrow”!

Lord, thank you for your promises.  Help me to apply them to my life today so that I can reap the benefits that you offer to those who are obedient to You.  Thank you that they are not just promises for today, but they are unchangeable and they never expire!

Just What the Doctor Ordered

Did you know you had the ability bring healing, to yourself and others?  Did you realize that you have the power to poison yourself and others, the capability of killing, and also of giving life?  Let me elaborate, before you think I have fallen off of the “theological rocker”.  The Bible says that our words can heal and help or they can wound and maim.  It says, in Proverbs 18:21, “Words kill, words give life; they’re either poison or fruit ~ you choose.”  Proverbs 15:4 tells us that “kind words heal and help; cutting words wound and maim.” We have the power, through that small muscle in our mouth, called the tongue, to actually help and heal the spirit of others, just by the words we speak. The words we utter can have the same power over our own lives.

Proverbs is filled with verses that deal with our words.  It is amazing to consider the affect our words can have.  Just think of the words you have spoken in the past 24 hours.  Have they been poison or fruit?  Proverbs 18:20 says, “Words satisfy the mind as much as fruit does the stomach; good talk is as gratifying as a good harvest.”  What are you offering to others with your words?  Is your conversation with others a pleasure? (Prov. 15:23)  Are you allowing your words to lift others up? (Prov. 12:25)

We’ve all heard the saying, “sticks and stones may break my bones, but words will never hurt me”, but we all know, the reality is that our words can actually hurt others far more than sticks and stones.  Proverbs 12:18 says, “Rash language cuts and maim, but there is healing in the words of the wise”.

Just as a medical professional has to carefully measure any medication that they prescribe, the Bible clearly says that “a wise person measures their words”. (Prov. 10:19b)  Don’t you want to be a person today that carefully measures each word, before you speak it, and assess whether each word will help and heal or hurt and maim?  Don’t you want your communication today to be sweet to those that have to digest it and to be a healing balm to those around you that may be hurting?

Can you think of those around you that need to experience healing through your words today?  Perhaps you have already spoken words that have wounded someone and today you need to make it right.  Maybe you know someone that is in dire need of refreshing and encouraging words and you need to take the time to simply make that phone call and offer help.  Whatever it may be, may you take the time to measure your words and decide whether you are giving poison or fruit to your listeners.  May we each rise to the occasion, answer the calls for help, and serve those around us that are in need of “medical assistance”. Could it be that our words are just what the doctor ordered for someone hurting around us today?

May the Lord help us to choose to speak words that uplift and encourage, and to be careful not to wound those around us by the things we say.  May we think twice before speaking once, and consider the effect of every word, before we speak it.  Let’s pursue greatness in our words this week!

Not Like I Expected

Sometimes, in our pursuit of greatness, God brings opportunities into our lives that far exceed our expectations, and sometimes, they are even completely contrary to our expectations.  This is what happened to me just three years ago, and I am still stunned at what it has turned out to be.

In January of 2013, as I enjoyed lunch with one of my dearest friends and her mom, they shared with me about an opportunity to buy my own franchise. Because I was already benefiting from what this company provided, it was a “no-brainer” for me to buy in. With no restrictions, minimums, or requirements, and only a $50 investment, I signed on the dotted line. I have to tell you, I did not ask the first business question, because I had no intention or desire to develop this business. I only saw this as a way to save a little money on something my family was already benefiting from. I can remember declaring my lack of interest, intention, and desire, by telling my precious friend, “I do not have the time or the need for another job, I am not a salesperson, and I will not be sharing this with anyone!” Boy, did God have other plans; plans far bigger than my limited understanding.

As I became more educated on the mission of this company and the significance of the benefits my family had experienced for almost six years, I became overwhelmed with a moral obligation to share what I had learned with everyone I cared about. I had no idea that this passion would launch something bigger than I ever imagined. With no previous business experience on my part, just enough knowledge to make me a ball of “ignorance on fire”, and a deep desire to help those I love, God launched this unexpected blessing!

This opportunity, that I said I didn’t have time for, has been something that fits into my everyday life, rather than something I squeeze the most important parts of my life around. This job, that I said I didn’t need, is now helping put two of our kids through college, and it has afforded me so many wonderful opportunities. Even this week, I have enjoyed touring the Grand Canyon, the Red Rocks of Sedona, and Phoenix with my BabyGirl (my firstborn). Oh, sure, I’ll enjoy our National Conference for a few days, as well, where I will be stretched and educated, in order to do what I do even better, but all the while, I am investing in the life of one of the most treasured people on the planet, my daughter! How many people get to do that and call it a J-O-B? I would still say that I am not a salesperson, but I learned early on that what I really do is educate others by sharing my story and what I’ve gleaned in my own journey of wholeness. The statement I made just three years ago, which punctuated my resolve of what I would not do with this opportunity is comical to me now, as I passionately share with everyone I can, because I have come to see this opportunity as a blessed calling to empower people to be all that God has created them to be, in every area of their lives. I am blessed to be a part and have a front row seat to the transformation in the lives of others. I am fortunate to, not only see significant personal growth in my own life, as a result of this opportunity, but I am also able to empower others to become the strong, godly leaders they were destined to become. Can I tell you the sweetest gift of all?  I am blessed to do it all, without leaving the roles I love most, being a wife and mother! I am still a stay-at-home mom! What a blessing!!!!

This blog is not, nor will it ever become, a commercial for anything. I am just wanting my story to encourage you to keep your eyes open. This opportunity has taught me that, I am prone to miss God’s provisions and blessings, if they aren’t packaged as I expect. As we pursue greatness, we must remember that we have limited perspective, and therefore, we must trust Him to direct us. Sometimes, His blessings will be disguised as a distraction. Many times, His provisions come in the most unexpected ways. For me, this is one opportunity where His blessings and provisions were far beyond what I could see when He dropped them in my lap and, even now, I am still learning just how much bigger His purposes are in this, even beyond what I currently see.  His plans are so much higher than what we can think or imagine!

I pray I will have eyes to see what He has for me. I don’t want to miss any opportunity for personal growth, a chance to invest in the lives of others, or an occasion, no matter how big or small, to bring Him glory! I love what God has allowed me to do through our company, the people I’ve met along the way, and the lives I’ve been able to touch, in just three short years.  I am constantly adding business developers to our team, and I am blessed, as I see them experience, firsthand, these unexpected blessing, as well! More than anything, I am humbled and deeply grateful for the person He is molding me into, as I pursue His greatness and the great things He has ordained for me to walk in, even when the opportunities aren’t packaged quite like I expected!

Watching For Road Signs

Do you remember taking the required tests to get your drivers license?  First, you take the written test (that you hopefully study for), making sure you know the signs on the street, the correct speed limits, and the rules of driving.  A year later, you take the driving test, where you drive with an instructor who critiques how you follow the driving laws.  Teenagers study, or should study, for this test, and they look forward to the reward that comes from passing, which is the license to drive.  From this moment on, we drive countless hours throughout our lifetimes.  Whether we are taking a long road trip or just driving to work each day, we must continually follow the signs of the road.  We follow the directions of the street signs to get to our desired destination, we follow the speed limit signs in order to avoid a ticket and a fine, and we obey other signs and signals for our safety, as well as, the safety of those around us. They are definite consequences, good and bad, based on whether or not we follow the appropriate signs on the roads.

The Bible says in Hebrews 12, “If those who ignored earthly warnings didn’t get away with it, what will happen to us if we turn our backs on heavenly warnings?”  God has given us His guide book.  We are called to study it and obey its content.  He has spelled out in His Word directions that will take us where we need to go, and He has also given us warnings that will protect us and those we love.  If you are like me, you can think of times when you were driving, rushing to get to your destination, and going a little faster than you should have been.  You pass a police car and quickly press your brake to slow your vehicle to a more appropriate speed.  Why do we do this?  Of course, it is because we want to avoid getting a fine and having to pay for our violation of the law.

If we will keep our spiritual eyes and hearts open, God also has warnings and clear directions for us to appropriate, as we travel through life everyday, but we must choose to respond appropriately.  The cost for disobeying God’s law is far greater than any monetary fine we would incur from a speeding ticket or traffic violation.  We are driving through life with the “Instructor” (God) watching our every move.   Just as the driving instructor riding with a student driver, God is watching how we appropriate the laws He has laid out for us. He doesn’t do this out of a mean spirit, but rather out of a deep love and desire for that which is best for us. The consequences for failure can be great, but the reward for obedience is freedom.  Freedom to live the abundant life He has created us to live.  Oh, and the destination is Heaven.  If we will follow His Word, we will not only end up in the “joy of our reward” but we will have abundant life along life’s journey. This doesn’t mean the journey will always be smooth or easy, but we will have His presence guiding us, comforting us, and strengthening us every mile!

So, as you consider your life and your pursuit toward greatness, how’s your driving lately?  I mean your spiritual driving.  What are the signs God is revealing to you today?  Is He telling you to slow down long enough to hear His clear direction, because you are moving too fast on a given route?  Is He flashing you a bright yellow “Yield” sign, because you are driving too close to unsafe territory in a certain area of your life?  Maybe He is attempting to wave a warning flag at you, because you are dangerously traveling down a road toward making a decision that He knows isn’t best for you.  Whatever it is, take the time to “brake”, receive His word, and follow His direction.  The destination promised will be sweet, and the journey itself will be full of joy!

Checking the Parameters of Your Fence

roaringlion
Have you ever been to the zoo and watched a lion up close?  I can remember taking our children to the zoo and actually having a day when the lions were active, rather than sleeping and looking harmless and lazy.  The lion we saw, on this particular visit, was pacing back and forth in front of the glass, as if he were looking for a way to get to the gazing people on the other side.  Every few steps he would growl or roar, in an attempt to be intimidating, which I must say, was working for me.  I wanted to keep my distance from the glass, even with the knowledge that he couldn’t get through. I wanted to be on the outskirts of the crowd. I did the math and figured I didn’t have to outrun the vicious cat. I just needed a head start, to give me time to grab my kids and outrun everyone else, should the fierce, hungry beast find a weak spot in that clear barricade.

Even at the thought of this “safe” encounter with the king of the forest, I can’t help but think of the verse in I Peter 5:8, “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary, the devil, walks about like a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.” This verse warns us that our adversary, the devil, is like this roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  Just as the lion at the zoo kept pacing, looking for the slightest chance to get through to what he saw as a great meal, so Satan is stealthily moving back and forth along the parameters of our life, just waiting for the slightest opening that would enable him to attack.  Oh, he doesn’t need a big opening.  The large lion at the zoo that was eyeing us, as he licked his chops, wouldn’t have needed a large crack in the glass to get through.  It would have only taken a small point of weakness in the window, and he could have used his gigantic paws to pounce through to his appetizing audience on the other side.  It is the same way in our lives, as it relates to our Adversary.  The slightest vulnerability would do, because it is there, in that unguarded weakness, that he would focus all his energy, until the weak spot became an all-out opening for his attack.

Cracks in the fences of our lives can come in all kinds of areas.  They can be that one television show that we know isn’t honoring to God, but we say “it isn’t that bad or at least it’s not…”  Perhaps it is a relationship that we are sensing God’s “red flags” in, yet we aren’t heeding his warnings.  For some of us, it may be a root of bitterness, that we are refusing to address, as we keep telling ourselves it will just go away with time.  Whatever it may be, if it goes unattended, it will become a point of access for the adversary, and once he is inside your fence, he wreaks havoc on every area of your life.

What about you?  Have you checked the parameters of your life’s fence lately?  Are you making daily inspections to find the weak spots, because your Adversary certainly is.  Don’t let him find a break in your fence.  You must take the time to do the necessary daily inspection.  Go over your heart and mind, using the Word of God as your “fence mender”, and attend to any areas that need to be restored.  I believe this is what it means when it says for us to “be sober, be vigilant”.  We have a responsibility to keep the fences strong in our life in order to stay protected from the one seeking to devour us, and to protect all that God has entrusted to us.

May the Lord show us today any areas in our lives that are unguarded.  May he reveal the places that need our attention or surrender, and give us the ability to do whatever necessary to fix the “gap”.  May we be encouraged in knowing that we are not protecting our lives alone, but if we will just take the time each day to meet with Christ, it is during that time that he will reveal where we are weak and how HE can be strong for us.