Living Light

Stirring The Deep


4 Comments

Support and Faithfulness

Godly Support of Others

In these days as many are facing trials and challenges it’s so important to have the right support of others, for that can make all the difference. In this video, I talk about the support we should seek as well as be and the impact it can have in our walk.

Counting on God

We can’t expect God to answer our prayers according to our expectations … but we can count on His faithfulness in everything. In this brief video, I talk a bit about what can we expect from God and why sometimes our prayers aren’t answered as we expect.


10 Comments

The PERFECT Counselor

The PERFECT Counselor

Matthew 6:33-34 But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof.

I’ve been focusing on seeking God. One way I’ve been doing that is by choosing three characteristics of God each week to meditate on. At the start of my quiet time I think on these qualities, letting them sink in. This past week one was God as our Counselor. As I’ve been learning to seek and listen to His counsel, the listening part takes practice, His counsel has astounded me. The detail in which He speaks about my situations is amazing. Just this morning, I was seeking clarity on a particular situation. His guidance was specific and complete. He speaks to us in our spirits where we know it’s perfect.

Isaiah 9:6 For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

Imagine the most incredible counselor. One who is always available day or night. Will let you talk as long as you want. Doesn’t bill you. Leads you to each next step. Tells you what you need to hear when you need it, no sooner or later. (Otherwise, you wouldn’t get it or be overwhelmed, or it’s too late.) Won’t let you dive into something without counsel – though you may chose not to listen or follow. If you are trying to listen, will make sure you hear. Won’t mislead you. Won’t leave you confused. Knows you better than anyone else. Has complete understanding of everyone and every situation. Has perfect wisdom. Will guide you on the perfect path for you and those around you. Cares for you more than anyone else. Desires your very best. Will never give up on you. Gives you mercy when you don’t listen. Always forgives your rebellion to his counsel. Loves you more than anyone else in your life.

We would all love to have this kind of counselor. And if we are a child of God, we DO. Do we really understand what we’ve been given? Do we listen?

John 14:15-17, 26 If you love Me, keep My commandments. And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever– the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all things that I said to you.

Others can be a good sounding board, offer advice, and share their experiences that are similar with ours and while they can be a blessing, their counsel doesn’t and can’t compare to what we receive from God. It isn’t one or the other, it’s building a relationship with God in which we learn to hear His counsel, and understand the support of others is to be built upon that sound foundation. It takes time to learn to hear His voice. But we need to be seeking to be able to hear Him so we can truly live an effective and satisfying life and one that truly glorifies Him. We can’t solely rely upon the counsel of others, because it’s limited and often can be “off” or incomplete. God can use others to speak to us and He often does. But this interaction doesn’t replace seeking and hearing His counsel from Him. From Him, it’s deeper, richer and more complete than any we’ve ever experienced. It’s just different. It’s like being taught by Him verses by a human. You can’t compare. It’s completely different.

God is all knowing. He knows us better than we know ourselves. He knows every side to a situation. He knows what lies ahead. He knows what really happened in the past. He has perfect wisdom. There is nothing He can’t counsel us in. He is an expert at everything. He is more than qualified to counsel us and He wants to. He asks only that we seek and trust Him.

During a trial is when we feel we need our counselor the most, however in reality we need Him all the time. Yet it’s in trials, He can seem to be distant or not as vocal. But He is closer than we know because we are a part of Him. He will never leave us. His care is perfect. We need to trust Him at His lead and the manner He is coming and speaking to us is perfect. Too often we have expectations about how He should be speaking or leading us, instead of being still, listening and realizing He is coming to us in the perfect way. Our expectations of what we think He should be doing prohibit us from seeing what He is doing. Sometimes it’s the silence and the stillness we need the most.

Don’t settle for less, when you’ve been given the best. If you take time to listen, His counsel will astound you and change your life as you develop a listening ear.

Psalm 31:3 For thou art my rock and my fortress; therefore for thy name’s sake lead me, and guide me.

Related Posts:

A Gift Often Left Unopened – the Holy Spirit

Reworking our Mindsets to be Spirit-Led

Listening to the Spirit

Bookmark and Share


26 Comments

In God’s Strength, Not Ours

In God’s Strength, Not Ours

 

Some time ago, I read a secular book on writing and attended a Christian writers conference within weeks of each other. I’m going to share with you something that greatly impacted me at that time to remind us of who we are in God and what we have.

What struck me was that the advice from those at the conference and from the author of the secular book was basically the same. Everything about becoming a successful writer stemmed from you and your strength, not God. Why was there no difference? Aren’t Christians to be living in God’s strength, not man’s? Then why was the counsel the same?

Many Christians are living like mere men. God calls us to live in His strength and that shouldn’t look the same as the world’s ways, should it? I speak to myself as a reminder as much as anyone else. There is a better way to live, so why settle?

When you dive into the Bible, what you find is a description of a life with God that varies from what the world offers. Below are some elements of our lives when we are living in His strength:

  • We work in situations beyond our capabilities.
  • We are not limited to what we know; we are limited to what God knows, which has no limit.
  • God accomplishes a lot with a little.
  • God moves in the hearts and minds of others to accomplish His will in our lives.
  • God uses ordinary people to accomplish mighty works.
  • We work yet at the same time rest, because it is His power working through us.
  • We often work in areas or in ways that are specifically our weaknesses so we learn to trust Him.
  • We are prospered beyond our own capabilities.
  • We are asked to do something for which we aren’t prepared.
  • We don’t endlessly strive.
  • Our efforts don’t equal our returns – they equate to God’s work in us, which is much more.
  • There is no rat race in God’s Kingdom.
  • There is balance, rest and satisfaction.

I’m sure there are many more but these came to mind. Each scenario above creates an opportunity for the power of God, not man, to be displayed. God revealing Himself to the world through us is what our lives are about. And that means we will be living beyond our capabilities in many ways – it is uncomfortable and glorious all at the same time.

If you look at the characters in the Bible (Peter, Paul, Daniel, David, Moses, Joshua, Gideon, the prophets) they had one or more of these aspects. Their lives showed the strength of God, not the power of man. Often times they got scared, doubted, questioned, but they pushed forward with God.

Makes you think . . . what does your life show? What will be the story of your life? What would it read if it was in the Bible? What does it tell the world about who and what you REALLY trust?

For the child of God, there is a new way of life. Often God puts us in situations beyond our abilities so we can learn to trust Him. Our trust isn’t in our talents, skills, or gifts, how many extra hours we work, or if we did all the necessary preparations. It’s in God’s ability, power, and strength, because we are here for His glory not ours. In Him, we do what we never could. That is our life.

Running the rat race like the rest of the world isn’t for us. Nowhere in the Bible do I find that to be the case. Look at the Israelites. God established their life full of celebrations and feasts. I have never seen a group of people rest so much and yet accomplish what they did. God provided for their physical needs. He defeated enemies far stronger. He guided them and instructed them in every facet of life. They were living a life that was impossible in their own strength and God was glorified. However, our lives also aren’t about sitting around – but following His lead and moving forward in His strength.

Striving, toiling, and living by the same rules as the world – what is the difference then? What is the abundant life that God brought to us in Christ? His life consumes ours and that means everything changes. Yes we work but it is in a different strength. It isn’t our work, but His in us.

I know it can be extremely uncomfortable living beyond yourself. You aren’t in control so at any moment it feels like things could turn for the worse. Because of this discomfort, we often give into the fear and hold back from moving forward into what God has laid on our hearts. Like Moses, we are full of buts and what ifs. Exodus 3:11, 4:1, 4:10, 4:13. It isn’t easy to live in His strength, to make that leap and let go of what we have always trusted in. It takes time. If it was easy we would all be there. But God is offering us a much better way to live. I’ve tasted it. If we feast on His pure Word and seek to do it His way, then He will show us the way and give us the faith to live as He ordained – in abundant life, in His presence. If this life is your desire, then step out and follow Him beyond your strengths into His. Pray to let go of the control and to have a peace about it – God is driving now.

Psalm 21:13 “Be exalted, O Lord, in Your own strength! We will sing and praise Your power.”

Bookmark and Share