I was recently promoted at work and I’m now in a supervisory role. I knew coming into this position, that there were going to be numerous challenges and issues to deal with right off the bat. I knew about the staffing shortages in each program, the HR challenges I’d be facing with the employees, the fact that I would now be directing a program area I haven’t worked in years, new employees that need training…the list literally goes on and on. I also know that God specifically called me to take this position. He encouraged me and opened doors every step of the way while I was making the decision to even apply for it. Now I’m here…and just as I expected going into it…I’m feeling completely surrounded!! Surrounded by issues and challenges and enemies. I see my enemies all lined up in front of me…ready to attack. BUT…I know that the Lord is also there!! Every step along the way, God brings a certain scripture or a song or a word of encouragement to continue to light the path in front of me. Last week, He brought a Psalm. Psalm 23 took on a whole new level of meaning for me.
“The Lord is my Shepherd; I shall not want. He makes me lie down in green pastures. He leads me beside still waters. He leads me in paths of righteousness for his name’s sake. Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me. You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; you anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows. Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life, and I shall dwell in the house of the Lord forever.”
So…you’re walking through the valley of the shadow of death…so something really hard in your life right? Whatever that is for you – fill in the blank….illness….addiction….relationship problem….for me right now it’s work. The scripture says “You prepare a table before me” so God PROVIDES and not only that he blesses us…but don’t miss the word before! He prepares a table BEFORE me. God is not only walking beside me through these struggles…He goes before me. Now here comes the part that really hit me…IN THE PRESENCE of my enemies. How beautiful is this? God goes before me and prepares a table/provides/blesses me…in the presence of my enemies/problems/challenges. Even though I may feel completely surrounded and overwhelmed right now with all my enemies staring me down…God is going before me….he’s providing for me. The next part says He anoints my head with oil. So he’s preparing me, right!? Next…my cup overflows. So it says He’s leading me to GREEN pastures and STILL waters…He’s going BEFORE me…He’s PROVIDING for me…He’s PREPARING me…all in the very presence of all the problems that are surrounding me. Praise God…He makes my cup overflow with blessing!! That’s a promise from God I’m standing on!!! When I start to feel under attack and overwhelmed …I’m going to repeat this over and over if I have to. God is FAITHFUL and He CAN be trusted. His promises then stand true now still!!
He WILL provide. Whatever you’re walking through…keep going!! SEEK Him through the struggle and ask Him to provide you with daily bread…whatever that is for you. His promises are true and amen!!
Lord Jesus…It may LOOK like I’m surrounded…but I’m surrounded by YOU.
“There is much more of God available then we have ever known or imagined, but we have become so satisfied with where we are and what we have that we don’t press in for God’s best. Yes, God is moving among us and working in our lives, but we have been content to comb the carpet for crumbs as opposed to having the abundant loaves of hot bread God has prepared for us in the ovens of heaven! He has prepared a great table of His presence in this day, and He is calling to the Church, “Come and dine.” -Tommy Tenney
Are you satisfied where you are with life? Friends, He wants so much more for us! We have access to our Heavenly Father’s full abundance through Christ…are you seeking it? Are you content with your life and your relationship with the Lord? We should never be satisfied or comfortable…we must always be chasers of God seeking new instruction for our lives through the Holy Spirit.
God wants us to want Him. He wants us to know Him and seek Him in all things. Pressing in to God’s best starts with pressing into the truths spoken in His Word and through sincere prayer. Open your Bibles…speak to Him…continue the chase…be blessed.
Deuteronomy 4:29 “But from there you will seek the Lord your God and you will find him, if you search after him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
Why is it that we find it so hard to surrender our lives to God? We say we have faith and trust Him, yet when it comes down to it we struggle with actually letting go and letting God be in control. Why? I think it’s fear. Fear of the unknown…fear of change…fear of getting out of our comfort zones. Ultimately, we are afraid of not being in control. We stand at the edge of the precipice and stare down, thinking only about how far down it is. I know it seems like a long way down, and in the flesh it is but there is no distance too far for the Creator. God will meet you where you are, but you have to trust Him. When God leads you to the metaphorical cliff, don’t just step off reluctantly…have a bold faith and jump! Each time I’ve “jumped”, I have found that the invisible safety net was right below me all the time. Don’t be afraid to make that move, take that job, talk to that person or make that decision…follow the leading of the Holy Spirit. You know when He’s been talking to you. Surrender your life to Him…let Him be in control and JUST BELIEVE and TRUST!
Isaiah 41:10 “So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.”
Psalm 55:22 “Cast your cares on the Lord and he will sustain you; he will never let the righteous fall.”
Mark 5:36 “Jesus told him, Don’t be afraid; just believe.”
I had an absolutely surreal experience on my drive home last Saturday that I just have to share. I was spending some time with the Lord just thanking Him for everything that He is doing in my life right now when something really awesome happened. You see, I was still suffering from some old emotions and baggage that I was carrying with me from when I was overweight. Even though I had been able to let go of a lot of my old thoughts of being worthless and not being good enough for anything or for anyone, I was still carrying some of those with me. These unexplainable waves of emotion just started falling over me. He told me that despite all the feelings I’ve had in the past, I do have worth. He told me that I’m needed, I’m loved, I’m valuable, that He has a purpose for me and that I AM His child! I could literally almost feel myself wrapped up in the biggest hug ever.
Thank you Father for breaking down those walls and old mindsets that hold me back from becoming the person you intended me to be. Thank you for showing me that through my faith in Christ, I am reborn – the old me has gone away. Thank you for reminding me that I am your child – a child of the one true King!
Psalm 136:26 Give thanks to the God of heaven, for his steadfast love endures forever.
Galatians 3:26 For you are all children of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
Our great God is absolutely amazing! I am so overcome with a feeling of peace right now that I just had to share it with you. So for those of you that have not been following my blog – me and my family are planning a move to Arizona. I’ve been applying for jobs in Phoenix since this past June and have not yet found “the one”. I had recently applied for one that I thought (okay, I hoped) was the one. I found out last week that I did not get that job. I wasn’t upset about it because I know that the Lord has the right one in mind for me and that obviously wasn’t it. The Sunday before I found out about not getting this job, the sermon at church was about how you have to give God some room to work in your life – if you try to have full control of everything, you’re not leaving Him any room. I felt like that sermon had my name written all over it; it sure hit home. I realized that this is exactly what I had been doing the past few weeks – trying to stay in control. I wasn’t consistently leaving Him room to work in my life because I was trying to go about things in my own ways. I have the proactive, planning, take control kind of personality and my human nature gets in the way sometimes. I guess you could say I’ve been gently reminded that I am NOT the one in control and everything WILL turn out the way it’s supposed to if I let go of the control freak nature and give Him some room to work. So I took a step back (again!), I lifted up all my doubts and worries to Him and re-confirmed my trust in Him. I’m still unsure of when all the pieces are going to come together but I have hope that they will. I have been filled with such an overwhelming peace, a peace that could only come from Him. My Lord has a perfect plan for me – I need only be patient and wait for it to be revealed.
Romans 15:13 “May God, the source of hope, fill you with joy and peace through your faith in Him. Then you will overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.”
John 14:27 “I’m leaving you peace. I’m giving you my peace. I don’t give you the kind of peace that the world gives. So don’t be troubled or cowardly.”
Thank you Jesus for always leading me back to the path when I start to wander. You are faithful God, forever.
My mom and I were talking yesterday and she shared a story with me that I just have to share. In 1980 my parents packed up everything into a U-Haul and moved from Arizona to Tennessee. When they got to Tennessee, they couldn’t find work. Six weeks later, they moved back to Arizona and unpacked the U-Haul. While unpacking, they discovered that there had been a leak in the U-Haul. The ONLY thing damaged was my mom’s Bible that was packed in a box with other books. The Bible was still wet from soaking up water but nothing else was damaged or even damp!
What a great story! My parents knew that The Lord had saved their possessions from being ruined by that Bible soaking up all the water. This story is so symbolic of God’s love for us. He loves us so much that He would take it all upon Himself to save us!
Praise The Lord!! Thank you Jesus for taking it ALL for us!!!
I struggled with being overweight all my life. I was overweight as a child and it only got worse as an adult. Two years ago when I gave everything over to The Lord, my weight was causing me so much physical and emotional pain that I just couldn’t take it anymore. I was at my breaking point!
At church this week, something the pastor said really hit home. He was talking about Mark 14:36 and how God sometimes has to let us go through things instead of removing us from them so that we can learn and grow spiritually through the experience of what we’ve gone through. It totally reinforced my thinking of why I struggled with my weight all those years despite prayers for help. I had to go through all of that because that is what ended up bringing me to Him. I needed to get to the point where I could admit to myself and to Him that I couldn’t do it on my own, I needed His help. He needed me to come to Him and by an act of faith give it all over to Him. Now that’s a lesson learned the hard way!
He wants to help all of us this way – freeing us from the chains that sin wraps around each of us but He can’t step in and help until we are ready to receive it. It’s not easy getting to that breaking point or for others it may be giving up control but it is so worth it!! When I gave up and handed my life and weight loss struggle over to Him, He took over when I couldn’t. So yes I had to learn the lesson the hard way, but I wouldn’t change a thing even if I could. My struggle brought me to my Lord and Savior!! Thank you Jesus!!!
So I’ve been struggling lately in the sense that I feel like there is something that the Lord has planned for me, that He is going to use me in a particular way but I can’t quite put my finger on it. At times I feel like I am so close to putting the pieces together as to what it is, but I can never seem to grab onto it even though I sense it directly in front of me. I’ve been praying and praying that what the Lord has in store for me be revealed but it just seemed that I never got any closer to grabbing on to it. It’s like I had so many questions and none of them were getting answered and the more I searched, the more confused I became. It had been some time since I had done any reading in my Bible and it finally occurred to me (thank you Lord) that I needed to get back in The Word. I randomly chose to start reading in the book of John. All I can say is WOW! Even though I didn’t read anything that specifically pertained to the questions I’ve been struggling with, my eyes were completely opened up! John 1:1 “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” Then I recalled Genesis 1:3 “And God said, “Let there be light”, and there was light.” So what did this show me? There is EXTREME power in the Word of God! His Word not only spoke all of creation into existence but “the Word was God”! No wonder I wasn’t getting my questions answered!! No wonder I’ve felt like everything was so unfocused!! It was all becoming absolutely crystal clear – when you are with His Word and in His Word, you are with Him.
So another lesson learned for Jenny – STAY IN THE WORD!!! There is power in The Word, there is clarity in The Word, God himself is IN THE WORD!!! As I get back to daily reading of the Bible, I have faith that my questions will now start to get answers. How exciting!! I’ll keep you posted…
Thank you Lord for always lighting up my next step on the path!