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.
This thing called life is a real struggle sometimes, isn’t it?! We go through seasons in our lives when things are going along great and we’re on top of the mountain and we go through seasons where we can feel like we’re wandering through the desert. I’m thankful for those mountain moments but I’m also thankful for those moments in the desert because they bring me back to Him.
I don’t know if you’re like me or not but it’s sometimes easy to get caught up in the undertow of life…it can start to sweep you under. I believe there are times that our Heavenly Father allows us to feel overwhelmed. He wants us to need Him! He wants us to KNOW that we need Him. He wants us to ask for His help and rely completely on Him! I have this verse on my desktop right now:
Psalm 61:2 “From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee, when my heart is overwhelmed: lead me to the rock that is higher than I.”
This is such a good reminder for me and I hope it will be for you to on those days when you start to feel like you’re walking alone in the desert. He’s right there with you…but He’s waiting for you to ask for His help. He’s waiting for you to KNOW that you need Him. He’s waiting for you to literally raise your empty hands up to Him and say “Father, I can’t…but I know you can.” Jesus is not only our Savior…but also our Lord. He IS our Rock that is higher than we are. He is the one that we must cry out to when our hearts feel overwhelmed. He wants to help us…but He wants us to ask Him. He wants us to have enough faith to truly believe that He’s working it all out for us. He wants us to trust Him and completely surrender it all over to Him.
Oh Father, I can’t…but I KNOW You can. My breakthrough is coming…
“Salvation is not a goal to be achieved…it’s a gift to be received.” -Robert Morris
That my friends, is called grace. Salvation is something we could never earn. It is a gift of grace, by faith in our Savior and Lord Jesus. How great is our God that loves us enough to give us this amazing gift of grace.
Ephesians 2:8 “For by grace you have been saved by faith. And this is not your own doing, it is the gift of God”
So who did you used to be…before you knew Jesus? On my drive to work this morning I was inspired to ask you this question. As sure as the sun sets each evening, if you have a relationship with Jesus you are changed from the former person you used to be before He was in your life. If you know Jesus as your Lord and Savior, you ARE forever changed!! 2 Corinthians 5:17 says “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation. The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” So now…you changed person you…what’s changed? How have you seen your life transformed since walking the lighted path with Jesus? Has your thinking changed? Have you changed the words you use? Do you desire to help and serve others in a new way? Are you more generous? Do you have less worry and more peace in your life? Do you hear that small inner voice of the Holy Spirit guiding and directing you? How about an unexplainable hope and joy?
We have so much to celebrate!! DON’T EVER FORGET how far you’ve come and how you’ve been changed and transformed…that’s your testimony and it’s your job to share it with others.
Well, look at you now…a changed, beautifully transformed and beloved child of the One True King!!
Blessings to each of you on your faith journey! I pray that you will always keep Jesus as the focus as you walk…
I read this earlier from the Heart of the Prophetic…”People in bondage to religious thinking cannot fully understand spiritual things. They look to the letter of the law without the lens of the Spirit of God.” Well said!! Religion does not save you and give you hope and peace that passes all understanding. Our hope must be deeply rooted in Jesus Christ…our cornerstone, our Rock and our Redeemer! Instead of “religion”, seek a RELATIONSHIP with the Savior Himself!
It’s all about Jesus my friends! His blood shed on the cross not only made it all possible but sealed the new Covenant and PROMISES us that if we believe in Jesus as our Lord and Savior that we ARE saved! Thank you Jesus!!
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.”