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Keep On Keepin’ On…

Mom?

Mom?

Mooooooommmmmm!!!

MomMomMomMomMomMomMom!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Every single child has the ability to be persistent. Not necessarily the virtues and how to be politely persistent, but they’ve totally got the concept down to a science!

Let me ask you this question….how persistent are you with Jesus?

Do you ask Him something? Pray about a situation you are going through? Talk to Him about the hardships of life? How about questioning Him about the plans He has for you?

Do you ask Him once? Twice?

Do you talk to Jesus so much that you are so busy talking and thinking about your own stuff that you aren’t quiet enough to hear that He’s actually trying to answer you?

Just like with a small child who keeps calling out for Mom or Dad or whomever their caretaker is; they are so preoccupied with their own need and what they want to ask or what they desire to happen that they cannot hear the response. I’m very thankful that Jesus never responds to me like I did sometimes with my kids…you know what I mean…that exasperated (and sometimes loud) “WHAT??? What do you want?”

But in God’s Word, He asks us to be persistent. Check out the same verse in two versions:

Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ‭TPT {The Passion Translation} says, ““Ask, and the gift is yours. Seek, and you’ll discover. Knock, and the door will be opened for you. For every persistent one will get what he asks for. Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for. And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.”

Persistent Seeker…

In the Amplified Version (AMP) it says, “For everyone who keeps on asking receives, and he who keeps on seeking finds, and to him who keeps on knocking, it will be opened.”

‭‭Everyone who keeps on…

But here’s the key ~ it’s not just about the persistence.

We must be willing to seek and knock. And we must be willing to wait.

In these verses it doesn’t say that the answers we seek, the path we are looking for, or the doors we knock on, will be opened immediately. It just tells us that they “will be opened.”

Take a quick minute and do a little activity for me ~ it’s easy and you don’t even have to get up…

Open both of your hands to where your left and right cute little pinky fingers are touching. Now stretch out your thumbs as far as they will go. Imagine that your left thumb is the day you were born and your right thumb is the day you will meet Jesus face to face.

The span of your whole life is in the palm of the mighty hands of Jesus. And He sees your WHOLE life ALL at once! We only get one day at a time. We have no idea what will happen even five minutes from now let alone 5 years from now. But Jesus does. He can look at us and see our whole life all at the same time. He knows whether or not that the thing you are asking Him to do right now is good for you or not.

When Jesus says ‘No’ to us, it feels like a punishment sometimes. But because He sees our whole life, He knows when to say no to the things that will cause us harm in the future. We have to trust Him with the no’s as much, or possibly even more than, the ‘yeses’ we get from Him.

When we become persistent seekers of God, our mind and heart will be at rest with Him instead of being on the bus to crazy town when we make our life all about our self.

A persistent seeker of God reaches beyond what is seen and sweetly leans into the comfort of knowing that God has the best for us. This is not to say that life will easy when we are trusting Jesus. In fact, scripture promises that there will be hard times and difficult circumstances (Hebrews 6:12; Isaiah 43:2) but we will not be taken out by them. Only God knows what is for our good and what would be a detriment to our life.

I can’t help think about that old country song, “Sometimes I thank God for unanswered prayers.” Oh my word friends! Just think back to prayers you used to pray in high school…and who you might’ve dated or married had God not intervened!  Seriously! I’m not saying that they were bad people, just that the Lord knew best and knew who would be the right one for you! Maybe you don’t even have to look back that far…maybe that song phrase resonates with something you prayed for last week and now you can clearly see that it was for your good that God didn’t give you what you asked for!

Persistent Seeker…

Let those words truly sink in.

Do you see that it doesn’t use the verbiage of being a ‘persistent asker’ ~ yes we are to ask the Lord for guidance, direction, future plans, anything really! But we are to first be seekers of what God has for us.

I actually just laughed out loud right now as I imaged the sweet face of my grandma. She used to say, “Ask any question that you want, but always be prepared for a ‘yes’ or a ‘no’ answer.” She first said that to me when I asked one of my daughters (when they were a toddler) if they wanted to take their bath. I was completely baffled when my sweet child looked at me and quite confidently said, “No thank you.” What? Politeness aside…what?

But it was a great lesson for me in the art of ‘asking’!
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Before I sign off for today, let’s go back and really sit with The Passion Translation of Matthew‬ ‭7:7-8‬ ~

““Ask, and the gift is yours.

~ The Lord wants to give us good gifts…gifts that will glorify Him through our lives.

Seek, and you’ll discover.

~ When we seek the scriptures we will absolutely discover every answer we are looking for. It’s all there. It’s always been there. When you have those “aha” moments, highlight the verse and put the date down so you can come back to it and remember what God did for you on that day.

Knock, and the door will be opened for you.

~ Walking over the threshold of knowledge in God’s word is the best door you can walk through. Jesus wants to invite you in to share in those good words but He also wants to be invited in to the living room of your heart.

For every persistent one will get what he asks for.

~ We are called to have enduring tenacity before the Lord. But after we have truly sought after what is best for us through scripture, we will come to know what we need to be persistently asking for. However, when we get so off track, sometimes the Lord will give us that thing we are begging for even though He knows it won’t be good for us. That is a painful place we put our Father into, but He is there through it all with open loving arms when we return to Him, trusting Him for what we truly need.

Every persistent seeker will discover what he longs for.

~ As we daily seek scripture and spend time in prayer with the Lord, He will not disappoint us by keeping secrets.  He longs to reveal to us the plans He has for us. Jeremiah 29:11-14 {AMP} For I know the plans and thoughts that I have for you,’ says the Lord, ‘plans for peace and well-being and not for disaster, to give you a future and a hope. Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will restore your fortunes and I will [free you and] gather you from all the nations and from all the places where I have driven you,’ says the Lord, ‘and I will bring you back to the place from where I sent you into exile.’

Anywhere in scripture where you read that Jesus ‘will’ do something…He absolutely will! He will hear your prayers. He will hear your unique voice, be it a whisper, a groaning, a celebration, or a cry of desperation. He hears you!

And everyone who knocks persistently will one day find an open door.”

~ The Lord may have you in a season where you are about to go through a new door. I myself feel that I am in that place and boy oh boy do I want that door to open. TODAY! But I have walked with the Lord long enough to know that if I kick that door down before He opens it before me, I will miss the true beauty of what is next for me. Humans are inpatient. That is why we need our companion of the Holy Spirit to quiet our minds and remind us of the beauty that is in the waiting.

And hey, windows are to be looked out of or in to…not climbed out of. When the door isn’t opening yet, don’t be tempted to use that proverbial window. When God opens the door that you have been persistently knocking on, you know it will be the right time to walk through in the fullness of all He has planned for you.

Be persistent, be a seeker, be a door-knocker ~ but first be obedient to His plans in all that you do.

Blessings,

René
What door are you knocking on

 

 

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

God’s clock isn’t broken…

Why can it be so difficult at various seasons of our life to worry about how and when things will happen that we are anxiously waiting for?  Time is one of the most elusive elements of our earthly life.  It can be liberating but it can also seem completely suffocating.  It all depends on the situation at hand.

Doesn’t it seem that we LIVE by the clock?  Cramming all that we can (and sometimes not doing anything) into those 24 hours we have each day.  We walk around with our “to do list” on our phone, or a piece of paper, and cross of our tasks as they’ve been completed.  I will tell you honestly, if I do something that wasn’t on my to-do list to begin with, you betcha that I add it onto the list just so I can cross it off!  What is it that is so satisfying to cross off jobs from our to do list?  The feeling of accomplishment?  The feeling that we are contributing to our family, our community, our world?  The answer is a big huge YES to all of those things.  But finishing our to-do list is not to be the main focus of our days.

God created time….Genesis 1:5, “God called the light “day,” and He called the darkness “night.” Evening came and then morning: the first day.” And in verse 14 of the same chapter, “Then God said, “Let there be lights in the expanse of the sky to separate the day from the night. They will serve as signs for festivals and for days and years.”

{Remember…every good thing that God created, it’s Satan’s number one goal to ruin it…be careful with your time.}

God’s clock isn’t broken….how do I know this?  Because He doesn’t even have one!  And because I believe that Scripture is true & perfect when we read how God created time, for what purpose it has, and for what it does not mean to Him.

Even the dictionary.com definition of time, agrees with this idea: “duration regarded as belonging to the present life as distinct from the life to come or from eternity;finite duration.”

Scripture has a more powerful definition though (of course!).  Many of you probably know the verses in the first part of Ecclesiastes 3 that all begin with “there is a time for…..” ~ however, how many times do we continue reading in chapter three?  The passage below is so beautifully written as to God’s usage of time within humanity.  Time was not created for Him…time was created for us!

Ecclesiastes 3:9-15, What does the worker gain from his struggles? I have seen the task that God has given people to keep them occupied. He has made everything appropriate in its time. He has also put eternity in their hearts,  but man cannot discover the work God has done from beginning to end.  I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and enjoy the good life.  It is also the gift of God whenever anyone eats, drinks, and enjoys all his efforts.  I know that all God does will last forever; there is no adding to it or taking from it. God works so that people will be in awe of Him.  Whatever is, has already been, and whatever will be, already is. God repeats what has passed.

If you have to stop and go back and read those verses again…please do so and let them soak in.  There is no point in history, in our own past, and in our future, that God hasn’t already been a part of. In our struggles and in our triumphs, God has been there.  When we have felt that God wasn’t there, we have to take a good hard look at our own attitude and will realize that it wasn’t God who was far from us but that we were far from Him.

I recently saw a post on facebook that said, “No matter how many steps away from God we have taken, it only takes one step to turn back to Him.”  I know, it’s kinda one of those cheesy, dare I say “christianese” type of statement…but it’s true!  I’m not encouraging you to run away with abandon knowing that God will be there when are done running.  That is not the point.  What I’m trying to convey is that at times we make life harder than it needs to be, and we make our walk with the Lord harder than it needs to be.  Christ came to live, die, and rise again, to bridge that deep chasm our sin creates and to reconcile us back to Him.  He gave the ultimate price so save us.  He is constantly ready and waiting to welcome us back into fellowship Him.

The Lord has given us the intellect to plan ahead and a heart to feel deeply and enjoy those plans.  But we have to remember to surrender those plans to Him, to let Him mold and shape those plans into something even better than what we can imagine.  God wants us to enjoy our life…but to enjoy our life with Him first and the rest will fall into place.

You may be getting ready for a new challenge in your life ~ whatever that is, God is already there in it.  No matter the difficulty that is coming, or the sheer excitement of what is coming ~ God is already there.  He is not beholden to the concept of time.  It is a wild thought, but right now while you are reading this, God is with you.  And at the same time, He is in your tomorrow, your next week, and your next year.  And He never changesHebrews 13:8 says, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.”

Many years ago, my husband & I started a business with two other families from church.  Those 8 years were some of the most difficult, most challenging, and most joyful that we’ve ever had.  We learned how to truly trust the Lord with all aspects of our life.  Especially financially.  My faith was stretched to points where I thought I would break apart.  But instead of breaking, the Lord would show me how He had grown my faith to a new place.  I also had a wonderful revelation in the fact that there is no “last minute” with God.  When we had no idea where the money would come from to pay our mortgage and put food on the table, God would always provide (and always in miraculous ways!!) and I found myself saying, “Whew!  God came through just in the last minute!”  But that wasn’t true.

God came through in what I felt was MY last minute.  God came through in HIS perfect timing.  Like we read in the above verses in Ecclesiastes 3, “God works so that people will be in awe of Him.”  And every time, I was absolutely in awe of Him.  

Take every day as a gift of time and make each moment count as you serve the Lord in all the things that you do.  Every action, every conversation, every thought ~ let it be a reflection of your relationship with Him.  And yes…even a nap can be honoring to the Lord!  While living on this earth, Jesus experienced exhaustion and would take time out to rest.  If your a “list” person, make that to-do list but before you start crossing tasks off, pray over your list and give it back to the Lord.  Ask Him to show you what the most important things are for that day.  And if you have little ones and they interrupt you during one of those tasks…stop what you’re doing.  Hug them, see what they have been drawing, watch them do a somersault.  Your tasks will still be there….those toddler years will zip by, so enjoy them now!

Blessings,

René

Ecclesiastes 3 verse 14

Christian Mentors, Moms, Parents, Stay at Home Moms, Women's Ministries

Visits to the Past

What is the best way to deal with your past in order to move forward with your future?  Just VISIT!!  Here’s a few tips for the trip:

~ Bring a map! ~ 

Psalm 31:2-4Turn your ear to me, come quickly to my rescue; be my rock of refuge, a strong fortress to save me. Since you are my rock and my fortress, for the sake of your name lead and guide me. Keep me free from the trap that is set for me, for you are my refuge.”

~ Don’t pack an overnight bag! ~

Isaiah 43:18-19“Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.”

~ Take your ID, so that you remember who you are! ~

I Corinthians 3:16-17Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit dwells in your midst? If anyone destroys God’s temple, God will destroy that person; for God’s temple is sacred, and you together are that temple.”

1 Peter 2:9, “But you are a chosen people, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, God’s special possession, that you may declare the praises of him who called you out of darkness into his wonderful light.”

~ Don’t bring back souvenirs! ~

2 Peter 1:3-11, “His divine power has given us everything we need for a godly life through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness. Through these he has given us his very great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature, having escaped the corruption in the world caused by evil desires. For this very reason, make every effort to add to your faith goodness; and to goodness, knowledge; and to knowledge, self-control; and to self-control, perseverance; and to perseverance, godliness; and to godliness, mutual affection; and to mutual affection, love. For if you possess these qualities in increasing measure, they will keep you from being ineffective and unproductive in your knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ. But whoever does not have them is nearsighted and blind, forgetting that they have been cleansed from their past sins. Therefore, my brothers and sisters, make every effort to confirm your calling and election. For if you do these things, you will never stumble, and you will receive a rich welcome into the eternal kingdom of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.”

You have a beautiful future ahead of you!  A magnificent plan has been set forth for you long before you were born!  God has a spectacular journey for you ~ not an easy one, but one that is more incredible than you can possibly imagine!

So as you move forward in the future, there will be some necessary trips back to your past. Events that you will have to face in order to move forward.  People you will need to extend forgiveness to in order to see clearly the path God has for you.  You don’t need to do either of those things by yourself.  Through the strength you receive from the Lord, you CAN do astonishing things!!

But don’t move back there!  Tether yourself to the Word of God so just in case you feel yourself slipping deeper into the past than you need to be…pull on that tethered rope and let the Lord pull you back to safety!

Blessings,

René

 

Proverbs 23:18, “There is surely a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Proverbs 24:14, “Know also that wisdom is like honey for you: If you find it, there is a future hope for you, and your hope will not be cut off.”
Jeremiah 29:11, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”