Praying God’s will…

God recently answered one of my prayers and taught me a life-changing lesson along the way in praying His will. 

My husband Craig had not had a job with a regular schedule that would allow for regular family time in the almost seventeen years we’ve been married. It was really taking a toll not only on our marriage but also our two girls were craving some time with their dad. My oldest daughter had come to me on several occasions in tears because she was needing some quality dad time. Craig and I were also drifting apart. 

Last month Craig’s schedule rotated to where he had every Sunday off for the month. That first Sunday that he sat beside me in church I felt a closeness to him that I hadn’t felt in a long time. The second Sunday was the same thing. I had such a strong feeling come over me and I spent some time with the Lord in prayer after that and prayed in a way I had never really prayed before…I prayed what I knew of God’s will from the truths I knew from His word. This time my prayer was not based on what I wanted, but what I knew that God wanted for us and for our marriage. I declared the truth that Gods will is for Craig to grow in His faith and relationship with Christ and I knew by that closeness I had felt with Craig next to me in church that Gods will was for Craig to go to church regularly. I declared the truth that Gods will is that our family would be strong together and have time to spend together because marriage is a covenant that God takes very seriously and the family was His plan for us. I declared the truth that He put Craig and I together and it’s His will for us to continue to not only grow closer to God but to continue to grow closer together in our marriage. 

About a week later Craig came across a job posting for a job that, for him, sounded too good to be true. It was a job working outside which he enjoys that would give him every evening and every weekend off. He submitted his resume that night. The next morning he got a call for an interview…praise God! Craig has now been at this new job for two weeks and I can already see a difference in him and in our family. 

After talking to him later about everything, he told me that he hadn’t been actively looking at other jobs for at least a month. The day he came across this job posting, he felt like he was supposed to go on and check out the listings…this job was at the top. 

Friends, we have such an awesome God! You will NEVER regret learning the truths in His Word, the Bible. I’ve learned such a  lesson through this about praying God’s will. When we align our requests to the truths in His word, we are asking according to His will and not ours…and He is faithful! 

What if…

So what if you’ve gotten on the wrong boat? What if you thought all along that you were headed in the right direction but it turns out that the course you’re on isn’t taking you where you thought it was going to take you?

Let’s talk about religion for a minute…my heart has been so troubled for the people that only know Jesus through religion and not through a personal relationship. There are so many people out there that are steeped in their religion and the traditions of that religion and as a result are completely missing out on what God really intended for them…a deep and very personal relationship with them through Christ Jesus. Religions are man made. Religions are based on people’s own efforts to be made right with God. Gods plan was not based on people’s efforts and works, Jesus was and is the plan! He made each of us to be in relationship with Him. Jesus bridged that gap and allows us to have a relationship with God the Father. 

Religion says pray this prayer – Relationship says just talk to Me

Religion says do this or say this at this time – Relationship says follow the Holy Spirit that I’ve given to guide

Religion says you can only take communion if you’re in right standing – Relationship says all are welcome at My table, My blood paid the price for all and if you believe I died for your sins, you are in right standing

The only way to salvation is through faith in Jesus Christ. Jesus must be the cornerstone that our faith in God is built on…no one else and nothing else. John 14:6 says Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” 

What if you’ve been on the wrong boat this whole time and you just didn’t know it? Afterall, you don’t know what you don’t know…

Friends, this is something that has been constantly on my heart for the past couple of years. There are people that are on the wrong boat or have missed the boat completely and it saddens me so much that they are not able to fully experience all of what God has for them. I’ve started many blog posts on this topic over the past two years but the words never fully came together. A few mornings ago, I was in my prayer time and this sadness came over me again and the phrase “it’s like they’ve gotten on the wrong boat” came to mind. I guess it could have been the wrong train or plane or pathway, but God chose the word boat…haha! In any case, if this message spoke to you, then it was for you. 

God is inviting you into a real relationship through His Son Jesus…make sure your current course is headed in the right direction…

What if…

He works all things together for good…

I want to share something with you friends…a real life example of Gods provision, His answer to prayer and how He truly does work all things together for good. 

My church has an outreach program called Second Saturdays. The second Saturday of every month, the church sends a group that has signed up (usually about 250-450 people) to help out and serve the local community in various ways. Last month our group served the Phoenix Rescue Mission by cleaning and  painting a new kitchen space that would be used for in house job training for the women’s facility to train the ladies on a skill that could be used to find employment, we also did deep cleaning of their main kitchen and cafeteria as well as packing 1,000 lunches for the homeless downtown and making gift bags for the staff and residents of the mission. I had a great timing serving at the mission that day, fellowshiping with the residents and fellow volunteers and being the hands and feet of Jesus! Today at church, I found out the rest of the story and how God had even greater plans for what we were doing there that day. 

The 1,000 lunches that were packed were supposed to be picked up by someone that day and distributed downtown Phoenix but the man that was supposed to come pick them up never showed up. The outreach pastor from our church was sitting with a van loaded with 1,000 packed hotdog lunches and now had no idea what he was going to do with them. As he sat in that van, he asked the Holy Spirit what he should do and was guided a few blocks away where he came across a team of people in matching t-shirts from another church that were downtown sharing the good news of Jesus with the homeless. You see, this group had been praying for food that morning so they could feed the people that they were trying to share the gospel with. Praise God!! I mean come on people…Praise God!!! He is so great and is always faithful!! What the enemy means for bad, He always turns around and works every little detail out for good. 

Thank you Father for Your constant  provision and your faithful answer to prayer. 

Romans 8:28 “And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose”

Chasing after God…

“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.”

A thankful heart…

One of the things I have learned in my walk with the Lord is how important it is to start each day with a thankful heart. My best days are those that I start my day by thanking and praising Him for everything He’s doing and providing for in my and others lives. 

A few years ago I had the opportunity to be a part of an evangelical outreach mission called Revive Twin Cities. I had such a truly amazing experience…can’t even put it into words! I spent a week enveloped in an event where the power of Holy Spirit was so strong and we saw God move in such powerful ways. Of course when I got home I was completely fired up and had a new stream of people and things to pray for and about but I was completely surprised when…every single time I would start praying for these things, the Holy Spirit would tell me to “thank Him”. Over the course of the next few days, every time I would think about Revive, I would be redirected to thank and praise Him for every aspect…the way He had changed my heart through this event, His power which I had experienced, the people I had met, the testimonies I’d heard, just everything. So I thanked and I praised Him over and over…He is SO worthy of all that praise! Every time I would thank and praise Him, I would get this burst of excitement all over again for what I had just experienced. It was through this that I learned the true importance and significance of starting my time with the Lord with a thankful heart that praises Him.

It’s no wonder why my best days are those where I start with a thankful heart…we were made to worship and praise Him! 

Our thankfulness acknowledges His presence in our lives and prepares our hearts to humbly bring our requests before the Lord…which He faithfully responds to! Psalm 100:4 says “Enter His gates with thanksgiving, And His courts with praise. Give thanks to Him; bless His name.” 

Heavenly Father, you are worthy of all our thankfulness and praise! You…who created Heaven and Earth and each of us in it. You…who sent your Son Jesus to save us and give us hope. You…who is faithful and answers our prayers. You Father…are worthy of all praise…thank you! 

Well, look at you now!

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…