Category Archives: Making GOD decisions

You CAN…but!

Last week out of the blue I became very, very sick.  I mean S-I-C-K.  The rest of the week I had no appetite and cringed at the thought of eating anything and I’m just now eating again!

You know how we do.  We get sick and replay literally everything we’ve eaten to try to pinpoint the culprit…instead of avoiding it in the first place.  I’ve always had a lot of digestive issues and I know what I should eat and should stay away from but sometimes I just gotta have it.  Nothing wrong with having it…right?  Although I’ll never know, I think my ‘want to’ got the best of me and made me sick. I indulged a LOT in things I shouldn’t have and it cost me a week’s worth of feeling good.

We live in a world where anything we want is literally at our fingertips…whether it’s a good thing or a bad thing.  Even the stuff we know we shouldn’t have we find liberal access to.

Unfortunately as adults no one is going to slap our hands and tell us “no-no” when we reach for what we know will hurt us and what we don’t know will hurt us. It’s up to us to figure that out for ourselves.  Once we’re hurt by it, be it food or another desire or indulgence, do we get it or continue to reach for it?  Knowledge is knowing it could hurt us; wisdom is knowing it will and acting accordingly.

I’m very conscious of what I ingest this week and I hope I’ve learned my lesson.  I’ve suffered greatly because of not applying wisdom to my knowledge.  KNOWING something isn’t enough.  Acting based on what we know could yield tremendous benefit.

People say they know God, know His Word and know the difference between right or wrong.  If that’s true, why are we in the mess we’re in? Culturally we obviously need more than knowledge – we need wisdom.  Just like I did when I did all that eating.  I hope I don’t have to go through that again.

James 4:17 (NASB)  “Therefore to one who knows the right thing to do and does not do it, to him it is sin.”

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What Did You PickUp?

Monday I was all excited because I was going to meet a friend and we were going to one of my favourite places in this area.  So I get ready, go outside to put something in the car to find a flat tire!  UGH! Someone had told me about a place very close to me that plugs tires so I inflated the tire as best I could and go to that place.  I knew this tire had a slow leak but whenever I took it somewhere we could never find the leak.  This business I took it to provided extra effort after I told him it often loses air.  He jacked the car up, took the tire off and began to search every inch of the tire.  Turns out I had picked up a tiny nail.

Two things came to my mind.  First, we “pick up” stuff knowing we’ve got it and don’t think it’s much until we see the results of the recurrent problem.  We pick up heartaches, anger, bad eating habits, bad habits in general and think a little bit of this and that won’t hurt us – until we end up sick or in some kind of predicament we can’t get out of.  If we had just dealt with it when we first were exposed, maybe we wouldn’t be in the present situation.

Sometimes we don’t know we’ve picked up anything.  I had no idea I had a nail in my tire, I just knew there was a problem with that tire. At the first sign of trouble I didn’t pursue the problem, I just treated the symptom – I needed air so I put air in it.  I was thinking it happens, the changes in the weather, etc., just normal tire stuff.

Life gets us that way doesn’t it! We think ‘no big deal, I can handle this; it’ll go away…’ then BOOM we find ourselves facing a big ole mess.  What have you picked up? What has attached itself to you that’s causing a leak in your spiritual life?

What have you picked up?  Let’s make an effort to pray about and deal with what we know we have and pray for God to expose those things we don’t know we have.  Presenting ourselves to Him to expose what needs to be dealt with is always a great idea.

Psalm 139:23-24:  “Search me, O God, and know my heart.  Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, and lead me in the everlasting way.” (NASB)

Don’t Go Back!

I’m writing my very first novel.  I’ve written short stories and devotionals and this is my first attempt at such a big project.  Every time I open the document, I go back to the beginning and critique it to the point where my allotted time to write is more times than not consumed by this process.  Over and over and over again, I start at the beginning and find that I’m frustrated and disappointed when I’ve not made any progress.  I can’t seem to get anywhere!

Oh that’s a word for our lives isn’t it?  I see that same pattern in my life and in my walk with the Lord.  I keep going back to painful, regretful spots and “pick the scab”.  The Lord does His part and keeps His promise.  I see & feel where He’s touched that area of my life and forgiven me and helped me move past it…but I keep opening the wound.  I keep going back to that place which makes me feel like I’ve not progressed or gotten over it.

Stop going back! Stop it! When you find yourself remembering that initial pain, hurt, shame or loss, remind yourself you’ve already lived through it; why put yourself back in that spot?  Remember how sweet God was to give you just what you needed to move on and not be stuck in that place.  When familiar, painful memories of what it felt like when it was happening invade you, intentionally stop yourself and say, “God’s allowed me to live through that once, I don’t need to survive it again”.  Yes, remember all He’s brought you through.  NO don’t relive the agony again.  You don’t have to.  You’re here, not there.  That was yesterday; this is today.  See the difference?

We have to be intentional in our lives.  Yes, things happened that were excruciating but we have to sometimes forcefully remember, it’s not that way now.  We’re past it.  Let’s stay past it.  Let’s don’t go back.  Let’s move forward.

This morning I opened the novel document and wouldn’t allow myself to look back.  Not today.  Today I’m making progress.  What about you?

Philippians 3:13, 14 NASB:  “Brethren, I do not regard myself as having laid hold of it yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead, I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.”

Always Chasing

That beautiful dog that had looked friendly for years wasn’t friendly today.  Big German shepherd that I had seen numerous times before decided to bark, growl and chase my car.

That’s a picture of the enemy.  He sits quietly as you pass by and do your routine things.  He doesn’t flinch lots of times – he just watches.  Rest assured, he watches.  He’s always there waiting for an opportunity for a surprise attack.

Sometimes he visibly and actively pursues you and you know it.  Other times, he’s lurking in your complacency and when you least expect it he’s on you, in you and working through you.  He’s always there.  Don’t ever doubt it.

Why even try to avoid him?  If he’s always pursuing why even try to avoid him?  Here’s the thing. YOU can’t! You’re not strong enough to fight him off, not fast enough to outrun him or smart enough to outwit him.  On your own, despite your best efforts he’ll beat you every single time.

As that dog chased me and Sampson, I looked at him and smiled.  We were safe in the car.  No matter how fast he ran or how hard he tried to get to us, because we were protected by the car – far faster than he – he would never catch us.  We were in something he couldn’t penetrate.

As long as we stay close to God the enemy may bark, show his fangs and give chase but he’s no match for our Protector. The enemy can only hurt you if you remove yourself from God’s protection.  Had I stopped the car and gotten out, I would have been bitten, Sampson would have fought him, or both. I had the choice of stopping and challenging the challenger. I chose to stay in where I knew we were safe. We rolled on leaving the aggressive dog behind.

That was a word to my Spirit. Keep moving.  Keep allowing God to protect you.  You may hear, see and even fear the enemy for a time but remind yourself he’s no match when you’re “in” Christ.

1st John 4:4:  “You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.”

He’s Portable!

My favorite time of the day is the beginning when it’s quiet.  That’s prime time with God’s word and prayer.  I’m facilitating a Bible study and read through the day’s scripture (2nd Peter 1:3-11) which is all about already being equipped to be “partakers of the divine nature…*” (v4).  Verse 5: “Now for this very reason also, applying all diligence, in your faith supply moral excellence…*” (emphasis mine).  To me this scripture says we already have in us (through Jesus) His nature and best qualities but it’s up to us to APPLY them, which indicates choosing to exhibit the things in verses 5-8. After studying these verses I could feel God prompting me to stay longer taking His word in so I did, even reading them out loud, then praying.  I felt like a mighty warrior woman, ready for the day and went on with my plan.

Then it happened.  A text upset my apple cart and I watched my very well-organized day go right out the window.  I felt my blood pressure going up and my attitude going down.  Then I remembered the scriptures I had read, studied and prayed over just a little while earlier.  I saw a very distinct crossroad recognizing immediately this was a rubber meets the road moment.  I could APPLY what I’d just read or I could allow frustration to dictate the rest of my day.

That sweet time with God doesn’t have to end when we close our Bibles..and it shouldn’t! All that love, provision, grace, mercy, knowledge and wisdom we glean from spending time with him is portable.  HE goes with us.  Here’s the rub: It’s up to US what we do with Him as we live out the rest of the hours of the day.

Just because we spend a little time in the Word doesn’t mean much if we’re not willing to APPLY it to our lives and choose to live it out.  Everything we need to be a blessing and live this day being pleasing to and loving on God has been already endowed to us as Christ followers. Don’t leave Him where you left your Bible.  He and all of His attributes are in us and with us, no matter what the day brings.  Let’s access Him, choose to live and act to be pleasing to Him.  The Bible goes on to say in verse 10 as long as we PRACTICE these things we will NEVER STUMBLE*!  That sealed the deal for me, and I pray it does for you too.

*2nd Peter 1:3-11/Taken from NASB Translation.