Living Light

Stirring The Deep


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Here Comes the Son

Here Comes the Son

 I woke to “Here Comes the Sun” in my head; and rightly so …

as obedience to truth sets you free and manifests the Son in you.

 He sent His word and healed them, And delivered them from their destructions. Psalm 107:20

Not man-made commands, religious rules, formalities, or protocols, … anything external, but the words of the Eternal Father spoken to your individual heart is what sets you free from the pit of death and the prison of your mind. All of which, Christ made possible. It’s His spirit speaking to your spirit words of life; as they are words infused with His spirit and His faith. When His words are heard and received, spirit to spirit, then obedience is possible and exponentially powerful because of the love exudes.  He is speaking; are you listening?  Jeremiah 11:7-8, 9:13-14 When you listen within, for that is where the Father speaks to you, He gives YOU the truths that YOU need to be free.

A personal reflection  …

The other day, I saw a “funk” rising on the horizon of my soul. It’s like a dark cloud that manifests various thoughts contrary to peace, truth, and love. I’ve learned it’s the sensation of a battle rising in my mind as God is bringing in a glorious truth to reveal and dislodge a lie. As the truth moves in, it transcends me into a deeper level of love; thus power and freedom in my mind and soul.

Knowing what was approaching; I asked for the truth to set me free. (A very powerful prayer) And God answered …

“Seek to put on immortality; think nothing of the flesh that is quickly passing away.”

Now this may not mean much to you, because it was for me, but those words burned like fire into my soul. I heard them before, but this time they went much deeper. They burned off the muck of lies clinging to the sides of my mind causing me to act in ways contrary to the love of the Father. Because of it being the Father’s perfect revelation at the perfect time, I readily received it. I embraced it and the lie I had been serving was expelled; thus obedience.

With this truth written on my heart, I obey/live in this Truth and no longer the lie. The living/obedience to this truth is easy because of the previous truths He has assembled in me supporting it in combination with His power at work in my soul. Ephesians 1:19 See the grace in the midst of obedience? Immediately, the dark cloud dissipated and the Son rose on the horizon of my soul. Victory gained. 1 John 5:4

A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also. At that day you will know that I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. And he who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I will love him and manifest Myself to him.” John 14:19-21

If you ask, listen, and obey, the Father is faithful to give you the truths that shatter the prison bars of your mind. This is the process of the flesh-mind burning, being destroyed, purged, and dying, and His Divine Mind being knit to yours.

The fire of truth will season us all. 1 Corin 3:13-15. Question is do you recognize the fire; know what to seek, how to listen, and walk (obey) in that truth? Do you embrace the heat and learn the truth in love? Or do you wallow in the muck and misery of your imprisoned soul?

Obedience Tainted

The concept of obedience has been greatly tainted with various doctrines/philosophies calling to the extremes; all masking its powerful truth. When the Father is talking about obedience, He is talking about pure love; loving Him, loving you, and loving others.  All His words spoken to your spirit serve love. 2 John 1:6 AND to truly love is impossible without attachment to the Diving Mind of God for He is truth and pure truth comes from His spirit directly to yours. He is the Truth and power you need to truly love. To obey Truth is to love.

To love with the love of God is to know and abide in honor, holiness, purity, righteousness, and wisdom, which are all different angles of His love. All these characteristics we must be taught by God the true meaning of. These concepts are all deeply intertwined and cannot be separated. For those who separate these in their beliefs; for example … “yes, he is love, BUT he is just …” which is spoken to justify horrific doctrines (ie. eternal torment), they aren’t serving God, but Satan. The separation makes them not truth and thus they are the doctrines of lies and false images. Satan is the father of lies, there is no truth in him. He can’t put together these concepts because they are truth so under his doctrines they remain broken false images and counterfeits of the real thing. 1 Timothy 4:1-2 Doctrines that keep you from the power of obedience in love are not of God but of the god of this world who feigns truth.

Knowing the Father is knowing these characteristics and their concinnity. Jeremiah 9:24

Obedience Lived

Each one of us has our own network of lies that keeps us from knowing love, having love and giving love. Only the Father who knows the interworking and depth of our spirit can give us the truth we need right now; the next building block to freeing our minds. The truth builds. HE assembles the truth in you. YOU go to Him directly, listen and follow. Ask for the truth to be set free as He reveals the bondage in your life. He’ll reveal one by one, and with each transition from a lie to the truth; you step away from the pit toward the light. Psalm 107:9

Truth is truth. When we live/obey in the words of God; we become spiritually alive and our lives bear the glorious fruit of truth. John 17:3 Christ enables us to obey as He comes intimately into our soul and instills the truth and the power to live it.

The disobedience that will destroy you and keep you in the pit and prison of your mind, is a refusal to listen and obey the beautiful truths your Eternal Father is speaking to your soul to set you free and abide with Him in love. Jeremiah 13:10, 12:17, Hebrews 8:10

Obeying the truth allows Christ to manifest Himself to you, for He is truth … Here Comes the Son.


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Redemption by God’s Hand

Redemption by God’s Hand

God is love. God is righteous. He isn’t one or the other. He is both ALL the time; He is righteous love. When you know God, then you know this love and you begin to see it in ALL His ways; and certainly in His plan of salvation for mankind.

The spirit of rebellion in each of us leading to sin thus death first revealed itself in the Garden of Eden. At its appearance, God foretold His salvation. Genesis 3:15 A Seed (Christ) of the woman, would defeat such a spirit forever. God, the perfect Father and Creator, set out to develop His creation into a people who could abide with Him forever in perfect righteous love. He is love and for a true bond of love to exist, love is given and received in its purest truest form. Mark 12:30 He had the love; and His creation would to.

With the choice of following self in the Garden of Eden, mankind showed their weakness; their ability to go against God’s will of perfect love. They demonstrated that without being governed by the Spirit of God from within, they would go their own way forsaking God’s, thus severing the bond of perfect love. When Adam and Eve received as truth the lie based in fear that they were “missing out,” fear and lies were brought into this creation. Genesis 3:1-8 They chose to go against God’s instructions, which kept them in perfect love with God, one another and creation. Now they were no longer governed by pure love, but fear, and not by truth, but lies. Thus sin existed in them and in creation. Adam and Eve didn’t understand the consequences of going their own way for they only knew God’s perfection, until the moment they went astray in their hearts. This was the first time they were exposed to anything related to death and death itself.

Now all of God’s children are born in pain. Genesis 3:16, 3:20 Eve is the mother of all living. And because of sin, her children, us, are born in pain (sin). All have to come through death/sin then into true life. Hebrews 9:27 This journey teaches us the consequences of going our own way, (an understanding Adam and Eve originally didn’t possess) and our need to have the mind of Christ to truly discern between good and evil, right and wrong. Even Christ, as our forerunner, learned obedience (righteousness) through the things He suffered. Hebrews 5:7-8 God took their transgression and thus ours, and used it to teach mankind an very important lesson for life to exist eternally: only God’s will is good, thus we have to be a part of Him. He put creation on a path of salvation in which He would give us His spirit with the mind of Christ so we would always walk in righteous love with Him. 1 Corin 1:30

Challenge: To Really Believe in God

As we saw in the OT, people will not believe in God; that His ways are better, He forgives and He is love. When He laid it all out they wouldn’t follow Him. Isaiah 48:18, Deuteronomy 28 They wouldn’t receive His forgiveness and repent. When their sin manifested terrible consequences, they kept rebelling. When He spoke from heaven, did amazing miracles, and showed His power, they still strayed. Finally in Christ, He showed the depth of His love and forgiveness, people still would not believe so He would be Lord of their lives. (True belief is walking in God’s truths because you know and love Him; not simply acknowledging His existence, who He is or what He does.)

Consider your own life, how often do you look to your understanding instead of following God? No matter what we learn or know, following self is like a cancer we can’t rid ourselves of. We can’t believe God to wholly follow Him. Luke 16:30-31, Romans 7:24-25 (If we truly believed, we would follow wholeheartedly.) As Adam and Eve did, we’ve done the same. The difference in our relationship with God now verses the Old Testament, is that now Christ is preparing His vessels (our souls), which He purchased by His blood, to fill them with His righteous, so we can abide with God forever as eternal creations.

Victory of Christ

Christ did for us what we couldn’t; became our faith. Hebrews 12:2 By His spirit in us, we are able to believe and follow; to possess a spirit having the mind of Christ which is being poured out on all flesh. Ezekiel 39:29, Ezekiel 11:19-20, Hebrews 8:9-11, Acts 2:17 Christ had to die and resurrect to be the seed of life; a seed that once it died could be raised in many. John 12:23-25 He had to die so His spirit could be resurrected in many, because no one would truly believe God or follow Him unless they were a part of Him. 2 Peter 1:4 No one comes to Christ unless God calls Him. John 6:44 No one can come to the Father expect through Christ. John 14:6 It’s all God’s work by His spirit. Something dead can’t bring itself to life. Something unborn can’t birth itself. For us to believe, really believe, we need His spirit and this is what He is giving us in abundance.

Becoming a new creation who can abide with God forever is the purpose and victory of Christ. 1 Corin 15:55 Without God’s spirit living in us in such a fullness as Christ, there will always be sin and death. Ephesians 4:13, 1:10, 3:19 For us to be God’s creation who can abide with Him for eternity, we have to have the mind of Christ and this is exactly what He is giving us in these days, though some are rejecting that voice, wisdom, and good conscience to their own destruction.  1 Timothy 1:19-20

Our sin is harsh; it is death. When we see what it creates in the Old Testament; death, destruction, stoning … it is horrific. Thus, in His love God destroyed it in Christ. He destroyed the seed of death. He destroyed the self-will in all of us through Christ’s death and resurrection. Being birthed in pain, we learn the death nature of self-will. By God’s grace in Christ, the self-will dies and souls are married to Christ and transition into eternal life. Though dead, He resurrects to us to life and starts to mold us into eternal creations.

 Romans 7:24-25 O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? I thank God–through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.


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Where Do You Worship?

 Where Do You Worship?

As you think about the New Year, setting goals and making resolutions, consider the one act that will affect you and your year more significantly and powerfully than anything else, where you worship.

What’s the temple(s) of your life? What do you give your resources to, energy and time, to cultivate in your life? How do you make your decisions and choices? What do you sacrifice other things and people for, including your sacred time with God each morning? What are your priorities that come above all else? Mark 12:30-31 What/who do you put above God and abiding in His truth? Matthew 6:33 What doctrines and philosophies are you truly serving and worshipping with your thoughts and actions? Write out the answers to these questions and be honest, it will reveal what you truly serve.  True change follows honesty.

Below is just a sampling of the temples we build, sacrifice for and thus worship at … when these are our temples, there is one outcome …

Career achievements

Job Security

Intellectualism

Health

Beauty

Money

Family

Relationships with other gender

Self-empowerment

Control

Victim/Helplessness

Religion/church

Self-righteousness/being right & fair

Pride

Consumed in the darkness of the lies of this world, we build, sacrifice, serve and thus worship at a myriad of temples, like those above, trying to create the rest, fulfillment of hope, purpose, peace and love we desperately long for. Yet, God in His love for us has shown us how to obtain what we truly long for exceeding our expectations. For the life we seek, God instructs us to forsake and destroy all other temples in our lives, and take part in building His temple. Mark 14:58 It’s the temple of truth in our souls in which God’s spirit dwells. Eph 2:19-22 It’s the kingdom of God within us. When this is our temple, then all else in our lives follows as it should and as we deeply desire.

The temple(s) of your choosing will lead to one of two outcomes because there are only two paths in this earth pilgrimage; one of truth and one not, one of life and one not, one of God and one not. If you choose temples like the ones listed above the outcome is of increasing angst, hardship, worry, fear and stress. If you choose to build God’s temple within you, the outcome is growing peace, rest, joy and love.

What are you experiencing, which outcome? The outcome reflects the temple(s) you are currently worshiping at. If it’s the results of angst and fear, are you going to continue to build and worship at the same temples and get the same results?

Not only does only one temple bring the life you truly seek, but there is only one which will stand as all the rest are cast down.

1 Corinthians 3:13 each one’s work will become clear; for the Day will declare it, because it will be revealed by fire; and the fire will test each one’s work, of what sort it is

In the Day of the Lord, all temples, the work of our hands, will crumble except the One. As the Day of the Lord dawns, now is the time to examine and realign your life to build the everlasting temple, the kingdom of God within you. If the presence of the living God is within you, you need nothing else for His presence manifests every need and desire as it should be.

As you decide your path for this year, meditate on these verses

Psalm 37:5 Commit your way to the LORD, Trust also in Him, And He shall bring it to pass.

Psalm 34:10 The young lions lack and suffer hunger; But those who seek the LORD shall not lack any good thing.

Matthew 6:33 “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

John 6:28-29 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”


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Be a Tree: Rest

Be a Tree: Rest

One of my greatest temptations is to try to fix myself instead of entrust ALL to God. Not sure why it’s still an issue, as I’ve seen over and over again that my efforts avail to frustration, failure, and bondage while God’s work has brought deliverance. Perhaps until now I never really took time to consider just how useless my efforts are and more importantly how contrary they are to God’s instructions to rest in Him, thus a sin.

I suppose to be Mrs. Fix-it tempts me because this philosophy is everywhere in our society and it speaks to our desire to be in control (to be able to have life go according to our will). It paints the illusion that the changes I desire are occurring. This is why the self-help philosophy (as many religions are) is so captivating, you feel you are doing something, taking control, thus moving forward. But, it’s an illusion and instead places huge burdens we can’t really manage. Feeling the sand bags on my shoulders is a sure sign I’m striving when I should be trusting God.

God calls us to rest, wait, and trust. His commandments aren’t burdensome. 1 John 5:3 His yoke is easy and His burden light. Matthew 11:30 When we live His way, we are trusting in Him and not ourselves to perform ALL things for us. Psalm 57:2 God’s way is the only way that makes any real significant transformation for good, true good, in our lives because only He is good.

God calls us to enter into His rest. If we don’t we are being disobedient. Hebrews 4:10-11 Entering into His rest means to cease striving from ours works in all things as He did from His. Could God be that good? Yes.

Most every religion is about your works, about “the law”; what you do in your strength to be who you are suppose to be. They’re about taming your self-desires so that you live a life that is acceptable and good (according to that religion’s definitions of these terms). But what God, the Creator, calls us to isn’t a religion of laws, but to die to our self-will ruling altogether and become a new creation that is a part of His divine nature. As a part of Him, we desire what He does. It isn’t living out some law; it’s living according to His will because it’s who we are as a part of Him.

God is the Creator, not us. He invites us to be a new creation by His design and power. It isn’t taming our old self; it’s all the old things passing away and all things becoming new. 2 Corinthians 5:17 God is the One who works in us. Phil 2:13 We are His workmanship. Ephesians 2:10 It’s a completely different way of thinking that is unlike anything this world offers, because it can’t. The world can’t create something entirely new, but God can and does in us.

God’s gift of eternal life, His life, is real and powerful. The manifestation of His Spirit in us comes little by little, not all at once. This pacing is His design to teach us numerous truths along the way; mercy, love, grace, compassion, humility, perfection of His will, and His sovereignty. Think of all the things we learn by going through this process and it not being immediate. If instant transformation was best, then that is how God would have created it.

Because it isn’t an instant experience, when my impatience starts to intrude, I want to take charge and speed things up. It doesn’t work that way. I’m not the Creator, God is. My part is to rest in His work.

God compares us to trees to teach us about His process of design in making us into who He desires us to be. The tree is in the seed. But the tree is far greater than the seed. We start as a seed. As we are planted in good soil, God’s truth, we start to grow. A tree doesn’t effort its growth; it grows because it’s planted in good soil with proper water and light. We are to let God grow us into the plant He created us to be in all our uniqueness as we abide in Him. We are to let Him be the authority in who we are and what we do. He is God after all.

What is our part then? To abide in the good soil, God’s Truth, and leave the rest up to Him. We are the tree. Have you ever seen a tree strive to grow differently than it does?

When I think about being a part of the divine, I imagine God’s pure and perfect love united to truth flowing through me into the lives of others. Every thought, word and action is governed by His love. My temptation is to try to do this myself or at least speed things up. God gave us a much a better way than our own efforts. He gave us His Spirit and by His life dwelling in us, it changes everything. God makes my love abound, not me. 1 Thessalonians 3:12 When I try, not only am I striving and not resting, trying to tame my rebellious flesh, trying to do God’s job, embracing a “religion” instead of the power of God flowing through me, carrying a burden that I’ll never fulfill, but I’m disobeying God. 1 Thess 4:9

Be planted in good soil, and leave the rest to God. When you do, He will grow you into who you are supposed to be. You will grow in the manner and rate that is best for you. You will abide in rest and peace because you are doing your part and trusting God to do His. It’s truly a much better way to live and the only way to true and abundant life.

God is faithful, perfect in His care. Let go and trust Him. Have no confidence in the flesh or in your ability to “create” yourself. He calls us to this rest and level of trust.

Be A Tree

Workmanship of my Maker
Letting go of being my own creator

A beautiful tree of His design
Fashioned to a new state of mind.

Resting in the soil of truth eternal
Is my daily labor for this small kernel.

Nourished to a majestic tree
Fashioned as no other to be.

His light shines ever brighter
Lifting my soul somewhere higher.

To the heavenly places of His domain
Releasing the strongholds of suffering and pain.

My life I commit to His hands
Destroying the wickedness by His plans.

Breathing in my soul His life divine
A part of His nature, one of a kind.

All my striving is in vain
For I’m not the Creator, but the slain.

Letting go I surrender to His mold
New life awaits as I enter into His fold.

~ Rachel DiPaolo
August 4, 2011


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Living with Purpose and Meaning

Living with Purpose and Meaning

 

Living with purpose and meaning is something we all desire; it’s a desire implanted us by God. In the video below, I talk about three different perspectives to consider in relation to fulfilling our purpose as God desires. I hope it’s an encouragement to you.

For more information on this topic, check out my podcast, Finding Our Purpose in Unity with God.


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Is Your Temple Being Built?

Is Your Temple Being Built?

 

Get out a piece of paper and write down a typical week for you. How is your time divided? What consumes your time? What do you do with your spare time?

The most important activity for believers is building the temple. Was that on your list?

The eternal temple of God is made of the souls of the true believers in Christ. It’s the place God will call home for eternity. So the most important activity we do is prepare/build that place for Him, have you been building?

How do we build?

Among many attributes, God is holy, truth and love. For God to fully manifest Himself through us as the temple we have to be in unison with Him in these areas as noted in the scriptures. As oil and water don’t mix, neither does a corrupt soul lacking these and God’s spirit.

 

The soul that is able to hold God’s spirit is one that is pure, structured in truth, and consumed in love.

Purity

First, Jesus Christ cleansed our souls with His sacrifice. In Him, our slates are wiped clean.

Truth

Second, Jesus Christ builds a structure of truth within us. Jesus is the Word of God. It’s the Word, truth, that sanctifies. John 17:17 He gave us His Spirit, the Holy Spirit, who writes truth on our hearts and minds as He instructs us in the ways of God. 1 John 2:27 As we abide in the Word, putting the truth in us, the Spirit uses that truth in conjunction with our lives and constructs a framework of truth in our souls. I talked a bit about this in the video Prepared for Christ’s Coming.

In Proverbs, it talks about the importance of seeking and obtaining true wisdom and understanding that is of God, not this world. Proverbs 4:5-9. Wisdom and understanding are fundamental to the lives of believers, because these are what make up that framework of truth in our souls, which allows God’s spirit to dwell in us.

An important aside to this concept; we are to seek wisdom, but gaining wisdom isn’t dependent on our IQ. It’s dependent on the ability of the Holy Spirit to teach us and write it on our hearts and minds. Therefore, ANYONE, as God wills, can gain the wisdom and understanding of God. Hebrews 8:10-11 Further, this process varies greatly for everyone. It’s a journey and not instant. You may have many ah-ha moments, but the process of building a framework of truth takes time in abiding in the Bible being taught by the Holy Spirit and Him working out those truths in you and your life.

Love

Finally, Jesus Christ reconciled us back to God, so now we can abide in His presence. When we draw near to God, He draws near to us. Because God is love, when we draw near His love starts filling our lives. Like our earthly relationships, when we cultivate a relationship with God, the fruit is love.

Many professing believers neglect to partake in the second and third phases. They understand the purifying done by Christ, but neglect the latter two – abiding in the truth so that framework can be built and cultivating a relationship with God so that His presence, especially His love will reign in their lives. This is why many operate in their self-will and not in accordance to one who is abiding in truth and love.

I think this negligence is why many are called but few are chosen. Matthew 22:14. Christ died for all people. Christ died that all may be saved. But few move onto walking in the purpose of His tremendous gift.

Look at the list you made at the beginning. Do you spend time abiding in the truth to gain a soul lined with truth? Do you nurture your individual relationship with God like you would do with a spouse (remember He calls us His bride)? This is how the temple is built.

Many people spend incredible amounts of time building up their earthly habitations whether homes, careers, health, families, and relationships and neglect the principle thing – their soul. It’s the one aspect that matters and affects all else, and if they neglect it, the rest greatly suffers as Haggai instructs us.

Haggai 1:6- 7 You have sown much, and bring in little; You eat, but do not have enough; You drink, but you are not filled with drink; You clothe yourselves, but no one is warm; And he who earns wages, Earns wages to put into a bag with holes.”

Thus says the LORD of hosts: “Consider your ways!

God says seek FIRST the kingdom of God, Him within you, and His righteousness and all else will be added unto you (the physical necessities of life). Matthew 6:33 Many people attend to the physical first, thus lose out on both. If you attend to the spiritual, then both will prosper. It’s God’s law of how He created this life.

Now you see why building the temple is to be the priority. Your belief systems affect EVERYTHING. If you change those, everything changes.

Each one of us is to do our own building of our part of the temple, our soul. No one can do it for us. We can support each other in the building process (which is very important and it’s part of building the temple as well because we are all conncted), but no one can actually do the building for us.

Restructure your list to make building the temple the first priority. Yes we have to work, attend to our families and health, but those should come second, because when you attend to the main thing the rest follows as it should. I’ve tested it out by taking on this promise 10 years ago. My life has proven it true in every way. It isn’t instant by any means because building truth and cultivating a real relationship with God isn’t easy in a world of lies, but it’s the path.

Now you see why this life isn’t just about being comfortable. God has a much greater mission of preparing His eternal dwelling.


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Finding Your Purpose Through Unity with God

Blog Talk Radio: Finding Your Purpose Through Unity With God


A new PODCAST (click above link to listen) is available on how you find your purpose/calling by drawing near to God in truth and spirit.

Overview: Most all of us long to have a sense of purpose that is beyond just eating, sleeping, and working day in and day out. For some of us, this unfulfilled aspect has plagued our lives sending us into places of darkness and despair. In this show I share my personal struggle and journey. I talk about our purpose and how it is found in a relationship with God because we were created to be in unity with Him. Apart from Him we will remain unfulfilled and ever searching. Though the world offers glimmers of hope in this area, only in God is it found to its fullness as we desire and God desires for us.


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New Year – Time for Goal Setting

New Year – Time for Goal Setting

Crumble up that piece of paper with your New Year’s goals and resolutions. We’re starting over, unless this word above is at the top of your list as the building blocks of your life.

As the New Year dawns, setting goals is a task that comes to many of our minds. We’re reminded of the goals we set last year, all the ones we didn’t accomplish (sigh) and the ones we did (yeah!) We reflect back on how life didn’t go as planned and wonder why we bother setting goals in the first place. Some of us resolve not to set goals so that we aren’t disappointed despite the proven fact that those who set goals accomplish far more than those who don’t.

As you are thinking about your priorities this next year, I want you to consider ONE very important goal. The most important goal you will every make because it affects all the others; a goal given to you by YOUR God. The first and most important activity you partake of in your life. Love God with all your heart, soul and mind.

Mark 12:30 ‘And you shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, with all your mind, and with all your strength.’ This is the first commandment

What do you do when you love someone? Think about the love of your life or the one you hope for. You can’t wait to see them. You make them a priority. You reorganize your days because of them. You are devoted. They consume your thoughts. You can’t get enough of their presence. You talk and listen, you hang on every word. You replay what they said in your head trying to figure out what they really meant. You share your inner most thoughts. You aren’t always hanging out with just their family and friends. You want to be alone and intimate.

This passionate engagement is how we should be with God. Drawing close to Him means abiding in His words and letting them permeate our lives in faith, stirring the deep. Just as we long to hear the thoughts, desires, will, and concerns of those we love, if we love God or want to grow in love with Him we will spend time with Him in His Word, listening, talking, sharing, and growing. And being with the family, other believers is wonderful, but it doesn’t and can’t replace alone time with Him.

Here is a little test for you. Who do you say God is to you? Do your actions match your words? Many say they love God, but their choices and how they spend their time tells a different story. Let yours tell the same story. Be authentic. Be real.

If God is YOUR God, don’t you want to know (deep personal knowing) Him, especially because He tells you to know Him? Wouldn’t you want to know the One you are trusting with your life? Isn’t it true that we actually can’t truly trust without knowing?

I challenge you in this New Year to make your actions match your words. Make God a priority, THE priority. Spend quality time with Him each day in prayer, reading the Bible, and listening to His counsel. Spend time with Him as you would with someone you love. Treat Him like YOUR God. Treat Him like YOUR first love.

If you didn’t set another goal but this one, it wouldn’t matter because this is the only one that truly matters and when you do this simple act it affects every other purpose and plan you have.

A good goal is SMART

Specific – Decide on a place and time each day to meet with God.
Measurable – Track the times you spend with Him.
Attainable – Chose a time that you’ll be able to be consistent. Consistency helps habits to form.
Realistic – Be realistic – like 40 minutes each day verses 2 hours.
Timely – There is no better time than now to make God THE priority in your life.

Over 10 years ago, I started seeking God and spending time with Him each day. It was the most impactful life-changing decision I’ve ever made. The ripple affect of spending time with God each day has been astounding touching every area of my life and every aspect of my soul. It’s the best discipline I’ve ever kept. It changed everything. I read Matthew 6:33 and did it. I didn’t worry about anything else; I just focused on seeking God. His Word is true – all else did follow as it should.

God made it simple – seek Him and live. Amos 5:4 He is the way to abundant life as He has planned for you. Don’t make it more complicated than it is. Seek Him. Put Him first. He’ll handle the rest.

If you are already spending time with God … perhaps try to take more time to being still and listening for His still small voice. With practice you can learn to tune into His voice more clearly to hear His perfect counsel and wisdom for you life. Also, try staying connected throughout the day. Pray before major tasks. Make additional time to be still and listen. Try to be more consciously connected to Him throughout the day so that you can pray without ceasing.

If you set any other goals make sure they are ones that allow you to spend time with God each day.

Start by writing TWO love letters to God; one reflecting where you are today and one reflecting where you want to be at the end of the year … that second letter is a reflection of where you are headed.

Happy New Year!


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A Superhero’s Strength (PART II)

A Superhero’s Strength

(PART II)

Continued from previous post, How to Become a Superhero (PART I)

What does working in God’s strength mean?

In 2006, God called me to write. At the time, I didn’t like writing. I didn’t think I could write. I had nightmares of writing from the months of writing my masters thesis in graduate school and a corresponding chapter for a scientific book. (sounds exciting, hey?) It was probably one of my least favorite activities. So the fact that I felt compelled to write, I knew it wasn’t my idea, but God’s – especially because I’d be writing about a relationship with Him. After a painstaking week of making the decision to leave the familiar waters of my career behind and plunge into unknown depths, I committed to it. The next day, I sat down, prayed and started writing and … the words flowed. Every morning as I sat down at the computer I prayed – God help me, I can’t do this alone. He always did. I was and still am totally dependent on Him to put words on a page for others to read.

Once committed, God gave me the desire. I enjoy writing. It’s fulfilling and challenging. It’s surprisingly rewarding. It’s been an incredible experience of acting in and depending on God’s strength.

However, though God has shown His faithfulness in this venture every day for five years, I still get a little anxious each time. I am still completely dependent on Him because it has always been about His strength and not mine. However, though it’s “uncomfortable” and I feel “out of control” it’s glorious at the same time as I see His working in my life and I wouldn’t trade it for anything.

The Role of Prayer

One of the most powerful ways of embracing God’s strength is through prayer. When we are in God’s will, what we pray will be done. John 15:7 Prayer of a believer who is seeking God’s will is extremely powerful.

In prayer we are reminded God is in control. It’s His power and not ours that makes a difference. In prayer, we humble ourselves to His will. We shift our confidence from us to God. We sync up our lives with His will. We are asking God to do the best for all effected by a situation. We are aligning our minds with truth. We look to God’s strength not ours. We admit our need for help and call upon God to help. Prayer stirs things up. It changes the situation. When we are in line with God’s will, our prayers are powerful.

Dealing with Difficult People

An example I’m sure many can relate to of working in God’s strength where prayer has proven powerful is dealing with difficult family members. Ones who have treated us or those we love poorly. Who have taken advantage. Who have abused the privileges of being part of a family.

On one occasion, as I was seeking God’s counsel with a family member, He told me to establish healthy boundaries but to love that person. (The boundaries would help me to love.) On our own truly loving someone like this can be a difficult task. The resentment, pain or anger may be too much to get past. We can try to fake love and care, but it’s not only hypocritical but a waste of time because our true feeling come out.

However being God’s will that we love him/her, He will provide what we need to truly love. I’ve seen Him do it time and time again. Our part is to be willing to walk in God’s will and submit to it and pray. (It’s easy for our pride to interfere with a willing heart to be humble and love.) With a willing heart, we pray for a heart to love that difficult person. Before each interaction with him/her, we pray for God to give us the right heart and mind. We ask other believers to pray for us.

Summing Up

When we are operating in God’s strength, instead of trusting ourselves to accomplish a project, grow a business, repair a relationship, provide for our family, or protect our family, we can look to God to do those things through us. His strength gives us the ability to do what we do with resolve, persistence and passion. We can approach each day with the attitude of doing what is in front of us, leaving the outcome is in His hands. We are obedient to Him, and leave the results up to Him. Not only does this provide a tremendous peace, but what He’ll do through you will surprise you.

One warning … be prepared to only receive what you need today. God will provide what we need, when we need it. Philippians 4:19. The problem is we want strength not just for today but the rest of the year. We want to feel superhuman. However, God gives what we need today. That daily provision keeps us dependent on Him and not ourselves so that we don’t make an idol of ourselves, or anything else. It is for our own protection and freedom. Matthew 6:34.

2 Corinthians 12:9, Philippians 4:13

If God has put a passion or purpose on your heart don’t give up. Don’t trust in you or your strength, trust in His. Pray and move forward and see how He brings it to pass. You were never meant to accomplish anything alone. Purposes created by God whether our vocation or to truly love another can only be accomplished by the union of you and Him. Yes, it can be uncomfortable living beyond yourself and yet it’s glorious at the same time because you constantly see God at work in and through your life. It creates an intimacy with God that is rich because of the level of dependency and connection you have to have to live and work in His strength.

What will your life story tell? What do you want it to tell? Let it be a powerful story because you trusted in God’s strength that took you to places beyond yourself.


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How to be a Superhero (PART I)

How to be a Superhero

(PART I)

Awhile ago I read the Long Walk to Freedom by Nelson Mandela and Hard Work by Roy Williams. I was compelled to read these books, though I didn’t know why.

As I was nearing the end of Hard Work, I knew why; the dedication these men showed for their passion. Regardless of obstacles or situations beyond their control, their resolve to their passion and their purpose was astounding. At that time, I needed that resolve – and God used those books to show me what that meant. But I couldn’t have that resolve without God’s strength.

As believers we are God’s workmanship created for certain purposes. Ephesians 2:10. However, when challenges arise putting us face to face with our vulnerabilities, fears, and weakness, we can have the tendency to pull back, become stagnant, or give up. We start to believe we don’t have what it takes like the resources, ability, wisdom, or energy.

Often for what God calls us to do, we don’t have what it takes of ourselves. However, as a believer we never face anything alone. God is working in and through us to accomplish the works He created us to do. Our part is to submit and do what He says. When we submit to God’s work in us by being obedient His word and leading, then we have His strength and are able to accomplish far beyond what we imagined, yes like a superhero.

Therefore for the challenge that lies in front of us, like a struggling marriage, health issues, demanding work, or problematic children, we don’t have to be concerned about our endurance, ability, or resources because God’s strength is working in and for us. When we realize what we’ve been given, we do what we normally wouldn’t do. We live gloriously beyond ourselves.

It’s fundamental to a life of a believer to learn to work in God’s strength. In order to accomplish the purposes that God created us for, we will have to act outside our comfort zone so we will need His strength.

There are many reasons for God wanting us to live beyond our own strength; here are three.

1. When we are acting in God’s strength, His power is reflected in our lives and He is glorified. Our very lives give Him praise, because what is accomplished is obviously done by Him and not us. As our lives reflect Him, He is shown to the world. Like Daniel in the lions’ den, it wasn’t about his strength to be able to close the lion’s mouth it was about God’s. And who got the glory? God.

2. Living beyond ourselves drives us to trust in God because we are totally dependent on Him. John 15:5 We were created to live in union with God, not separate. Trust is key to that union and being rightly related to God as He desires. Daniel had to trust in God. No one else could save him. He trusted, and God delivered. Talk about forming a tight bond. How Daniel’s trust must have grown from that experience.

3. Because of our reliance and need of God, we develop a deep intimacy and relationship with God grounded in love. When God delivered Daniel from that lion’s mouth, what that must have done for their relationship.

Because fulfilling our purposes will require us to trust in God’s strength, we can only be in God’s will if we are willing to act outside our comfort zone. That means we have to learn to work and trust in His strength and not our own. On the flip side, God only gives us strength for what is His will. If we are acting outside His will, we won’t have His strength. Therefore, it’s our job to seek His will for our individual lives and walk in it.

What does that mean practically?

To be continued …