“Do It with Passion!”

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There is one thing that really gets me going and that is seeing someone work their gift or talent with passion.  Oh, I have seen people operate in the blessings of the Lord with dryness and being very dispassionate about what they were doing, and can I tell you, there is no comparison.

Talent, skill and position can only carry you so far in life because if what you are working in is not a drawing force eventually people will stop paying attention to you; eventually, people will become just as dispassionate about what you are trying to put forth.  John Maxwell said,

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position,” (ThinkExist.com).

I agree wholeheartedly.  People want to follow one that gets their soul stirred up.  People want to walk the same course as one who is set ablaze for a cause; who is consumed with a yearning to get things done and to excel to be all that God has called them to be.

That word consumes gives the idea of allowing oneself to be spent for the cause.  John 2:17 spoke of Jesus in this sense when it says, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house has eaten me up.”  Other versions actually use the word “consume,” (see also Psalm 69:9).  This was said after He overthrew the tables in the temple.  His passion for God’s house stirred inside of Him and would not allow Him to pass by and watch what was going on without saying or doing something about it.  Jesus spent Himself for the cause of God.

In Psalm 119:139 also talks about being taken over with passion.  “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  The cause of God was so alive in him that the psalmist couldn’t help but be cut to the heart when others would come against His word.

Where the Spirit of God operates there can be no dull or dry commitment.  It’s all the way or nothing at all.  There has to be fervency, (Rom. 12:11).  One has to be on fire with and for what God has placed on the inside of them.

“It is the Spirit who gives life,” (John 6:63, NASB).  There is no deadness when the Spirit of God is in full operation and if you are passionate about what God has given you, you should be Spirit-led, Spirit-full, and Spirit-alive!  You should be on fire with passion!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  Put your all into it!  Let what God has placed on the inside of you bubble up and boil over to the outside that men “may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Mt. 5:16).  The things you do may or may not gain attention but the things you do with passion draws people closer to Him.  God gets the glory when people see what He is doing through you and they want to be a part of it.

Live life passionately.  Live life like the Spirit of God is alive in you; live life on fire for Him.  If you are going to sing, let your voice ring out with a burning love till it reaches the souls of others drawing them in.  If you play the drums then beat them like the heart of God beats in you.  If you are going to write, write that your words are felt more than they are read.  If you are going to preach, preach as if the cloud from the glory of the Lord has already filled the temple beckoning men to take notice of His presence.  The same is true for any gift or talent God has placed in you.  Whatever you do, whatever your gift, whatever your skill do it with passion!

I don’t know if God is calling you to overthrow some tables but I do know that He is calling you to operate like He’s alive in you.  He’s calling you to use your might and be passionate about what He has given you!

Be blessed.

Photo Source: Pixabay

Encouragement in God Alone!

My Project 457-001

“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,” 1 Samuel 30:6b, NKJV

Distressed –  yeah!  Discouragement – you betcha!  Disappointment – inevitable!  Depressed – my middle name!

These were all things that David, the once proud warrior, was facing.  Upon returning back to Ziklag, David found everything was lost.  Not only had the city been raided and burned to the ground, but their families, their wives and children were now the captives of the enemy.

How devastating it must have all been!  Things can be replaced but to have your families at the mercy (or not the mercy) of an enemy – it’s too much to bear.  “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4, NKJV.

Have you been there before?  Crying until you can’t cry no more?  That’s a brokenness that can’t be easily healed.  It’s a state of desperation to where there is no quick answer.  Nothing but the tears on the pillows.  No solace.  No comfort.  No peace.  “No more power to weep.”

David’s situation grew even dimmer when the people who were closest to him turned their backs on him.  “The people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,” 1 Samuel 30:6a, NKJV.  These were the men that rode with him.  Those that fought in battle with him.  Those whom David gathered together as a band and turned a bunch of nobodies into somebodies.  Yet, here they are on the brink of committing a great evil against an innocent man.

Everybody needs somebody to blame.  At least, that’s what you hear many say and we see this kind of primitive blame placing here.  To them, David is to blame and David will be the one to pay the price.

Have you ever felt that you were in this alone?  As if the whole world has turned their backs on you as David’s men did with him?  You feel like you are battling alone and everyone else is just ready to cast stones at you?

David’s desperation led him to where all of ours should – the LORD!

“David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”  The only place where true solace and comfort of the heart can be found – in God!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16, KJV.  Thank God we don’t have to go this alone despite what our circumstances may look like.  God has privileged us with an opportunity to invite Him in the process of dealing with our hurts and disappointments.  How many times have you turned to a friend in a time of need and they were nowhere to be found?  Or, worse yet, they couldn’t do anything to add to your comfort or just didn’t care?

God does not do that!  He openly shows His love and concern by allowing us to dump it all on Him.  Come to the throne that we might get!  Get what?  “Mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In a time of need?  Yes, David surely was.  He had nowhere else to turn.  He found out the hard way how quickly people will forsake you.  Regardless, it didn’t dim his hope.  David knew from past experiences where his help came from.  He could sing like the other psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1-2, NKJV.  Over and over again, God has proven himself in the life of David and this time would be no different.

I wonder how many of us have that diligent past relationship with God, knowing that when we are in a time of need, we can turn to Him over and over again?  Has our life been so, in following after Him, as David’s was, that the connection of encouragement we receive from the LORD is ever-present?

David initiated the search for God’s help.  He didn’t ask the people’s opinion of what he should do.  He didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity because everybody was against him.  He didn’t give up or throw in the towel because recovery seemed impossible.  “David said to Abiathar the priest . . . Please bring the ephod here to me . . . So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?’  And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,'” 1 Samuel 30:7-8, NKJV.

“Without fail recover all.”  God is the only one who could ever make such a promise.

The point of this all is very simple.  God is our source for everything; even encouragement.  It’s nice to get a “Good job!” from people once in a while or a pat on the back – but it is God whom we look to.  Sometimes situations will be so bad that we feel totally isolated from all.  Yet, we are also in a position to be so full.  To be able to recover all “without fail.”

Only what we find in strengthening ourselves in God can be labeled “without fail.”  Only the encouragement we have in Him will endure and never falter or fade.  He is our staying power.  He is our strength when we are weak.  Our shelter in the midst of the storm.  Our hightower.  Our fortress.  And, so much more!

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sometimes those measures mean turning a deaf ear to everyone else and their negativity about the situation and looking to God for counsel and help.  And He will, “without fail,” be your help through it all.  Find encouragement in God alone!

Minister encouragement to yourself through God’s grace today!

 

“Recognizing Jesus”

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“And it came to pass, that, while they communed together and reasoned, Jesus himself drew near, and went with them. But their eyes were holden that they should not know him,” Luke 24:15-16, KJV

Can we even imagine what it must have been like for Christ’s disciples to witness His crucifixion? Many of them were eye-witness to the miraculous feats He did and the miracles He performed. So, how could it all end like this? He was the One, of this they were sure; why did this to happen to Him?

Dumbfounded and flabbergasted – just plain ole, “I can’t believe that just happened,” attitude. All of these emotions must have truly assailed the psyche of those who were closest to Jesus. There was so much hope tied up in who they believed He was, now all seems to be at a loss. “What more can we do?” With that, they carried their heavy laden hearts down the road, believing all to be lost for good.

It is sad to be in the presence of Jesus one moment, and the next, to be completely taken aback and wondering, “What in the world just happened?” If truth be told, we have all been there at one point or another. Everything is going peachy-fine, and the next, BAM! A side-blow of life has come and knocked our understanding of the way things were down.

These disciples were no different from most of us. Going through hard times of sadness and misunderstanding can obscure one’s view. Whether traveling with a buddy in this or going the road alone, it is sometimes hard to contemplate all the who’s, what’s and why’s of everything that has gone wrong.

Believe you me when I tell you, I know what it is to be sad. I know what it is to be hurt and confused; to be let down, disappointed and left to feel unloved, neglected and disrespected. I know what it is to be talked about and to have my name run over. Going through these particular events can leave us reeling with the same thought I penned to the disciples, “What in the world just happened?” And just like the disciples, sometimes it’s hard to see clearly.

Dealing with trials is like being in a crowd that’s taller than you and trying to see the main event. The crowd becomes all the things we put up with, and the main event, of course, is Jesus. We know He’s there and we know what He can do, but to view Him is hard because of the crowd; because of the trials. We jump up to catch glimpses; we try to push our way through, but the crowd is unyielding, blocking our way.

Jesus was there, walking and talking with His disciples, but they didn’t recognize Him. They couldn’t see through the events they just witnessed to recognize that this is Jesus, Him of whom they are speaking. Tragedy has shielded their sight. That’s why I’m glad Jesus stepped up when He did, lest they would have felt all hope was gone.

A clear vision of Jesus, no matter where we find ourselves in life, is imperative to our Christian faith. That’s why I love the Word of God! When no one else can comfort me or help me through times of sadness, His Word is unfailing! It gives me a very clear view of who Jesus is, helping me to recognize Him even in the hardest of times. All of God’s Word is inspirational. In every book I have found help to keep grounded in Him, but there’s something special about the Psalms. In it is praise and worship, but also the cries of the human heart when life seems overwhelming.

Jesus used the Word to help with the dismay of His disciples at this tragic time (Luke 24:27).  I attempted to pick a few favorites to list, but was unable. I have too many highlighted and each one speaks to me on a personal level. I admonish you to prayerfully go through them for yourself. Find the ones that speak to you and make them your own to hold on to. I guarantee that there is more than one with your name on it. God’s Word can help you to clear out the crowd so that you can see the main event; so that you can recognize Him when everything and everybody else is trying to get in the way.

Photo Credit: Pixabay

“Unload My Burdens on the Lord”

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Photo Credit: Gospelgifs.com

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles,” Psalm 34:6

“Cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for you,” 1 Peter 5:7

 “Relax.  Relate.  Release.”  If you grew up during the time when the sitcom: A Different World  (IMBd) was running you will immediately recognize this phrase.  When the character Whitley, played by Jasmine Guy, was at a point of being super stressed out in life she went to see a therapist.  The therapist offered this three-word phrase to her in order to help her speak calm into her own life.  Using funny hand and body movements, Whitley went through her hard times quoting, “Relax.  Relate.  Release,” over and over again to herself.  The funny thing is people who have seen that episode or catch it on reruns now, never seem to forget that one.  I often hear individuals jokingly say to one another, “Relax.  Relate.  Release.”  If you were to do a simple google search you would see how many people have that three-word catchphrase as their mantra.

 You have to see the humor in it all.  As ironic as it all is, this is in fact what humanity tries to do.  Come up with some self-constructed solution on how to handle the troubles that we sometimes go through.  Libraries and bookstores, television infomercials, computer ads popping up – many are designed to help somebody deal with something.

I love God.  He not only sits on His throne as Sovereign of the universe but, He sits as, “Our Father.”  There is a unique love that fathers have for their children.  There is a protective instinct that these men have that causes them to be on guard for the care and welfare of their families.  To make sure all is well; to make haste to run to the aid of the little ones when they cry out.  Our heavenly Father is no different.  As a matter of fact, He set the course for all other fathers to follow.

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”  God does not turn away from the sincere heart that is seeking Him.  If you are His child and are crying out for His help, the Father hears.  Not only does He hear but He sees.  He sees the disappointment and the heartaches.  He sees the tears and the loneliness.  He sees!  But, it doesn’t stop there.  He did something about it.  He did something to proactively change the situation.  “He saved him out of all his trouble.”

A lot of people feel that unless it’s a big, major upset in life, they ought not to bother God about it.  Let me draw your attention to that three-lettered little world in this verse, “all.”  All means everything.  God is concerned with every aspect of your life, big or small.  If it bothers the child, it bothers the Father.  So, go ahead, cry out!  Let your heavenly Daddy know, “I’m hurting.  This is too much for me.  Please, help me!”  Cry out!   God’s got ears and He hears.  Cry out!

“Cast all your cares upon Him” because “He cares!”  I really don’t think people believe that enough.  He cares for you!  He cares for me.  He cares about this mess I’m in.  He cares!  Why do I feel the need to carry all this junk by myself?  To deal with all this mess myself when He cares?  He gave me permission to get rid of it.  To cast it all on Him and yet, we’re still holding onto it like we can handle it better than Him.  How’s that been working out for you so far?  If you keep doing the same thing you are going to keep getting the same results.

I think it’s time that we, as professed children of God, start taking our Daddy, our “Abba, Father,” (Gal. 4:6), at His Word.  It boggles the mind of one who will deny such an infallible re-source as our God.  Yet, people do it every day.  Today is different.  Today, I don’t want to carry this whole load myself any longer.  These burdens are too heavy for me – so, I cry out!

 What will you do today?

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Encouragement in God Alone!

My Project 457-001

“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,” 1 Samuel 30:6b, NKJV

Distressed –  yeah!  Discouragement – you betcha!  Disappointment – inevitable!  Depressed – my middle name!

These were all things that David, the once proud warrior, was facing.  Upon returning back to Ziklag, David found everything was lost.  Not only had the city been raided and burned to the ground, but their families, their wives and children were now the captives of the enemy.

How devastating it must have all been!  Things can be replaced but to have your families at the mercy (or not the mercy) of an enemy – it’s too much to bear.  “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4, NKJV.

Have you been there before?  Crying until you can’t cry no more?  That’s a brokenness that can’t be easily healed.  It’s a state of desperation to where there is no quick answer.  Nothing but the tears on the pillows.  No solace.  No comfort.  No peace.  “No more power to weep.”

David’s situation grew even dimmer when the people who were closest to him turned their backs on him.  “The people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,” 1 Samuel 30:6a, NKJV.  These were the men that rode with him.  Those that fought in battle with him.  Those whom David gathered together as a band and turned a bunch of nobody’s into somebody’s.  Yet, here they are at the brink of committing a great evil against an innocent man.

Everybody needs somebody to blame.  At least, that’s what you hear many say and we see this kind of primitive blame placing here.  To them, David is to blame and David will be the one to pay the price.

Have you ever felt that you were in this alone?  As if the whole world has turned their backs on you as David’s men did with him?  You feel like you are battling alone and everyone else is just ready to cast stones at you?

David’s desperation led him to where all of ours should – the LORD!

“David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”  The only place where true solace and comfort of heart can be found – in God!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16, KJV.  Thank God we don’t have to go this alone despite what our circumstances may look like.  God has privileged us with an opportunity to invite Him in the process of dealing with our hurts and  disappointments.  How many times have you turned to a friend in a time of need and they were nowhere to be found?  Or, worse yet, they couldn’t do anything to add to your comfort or just didn’t care?

God does not do that!  He openly shows His love and concern by allowing us to dump it all on Him.  Come to the throne that we might get!  Get what?  “Mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In a time of need?  Yes, David surely was.  He had nowhere else to turn.  He found out the hard way how quickly people will forsake you.  Regardless, it didn’t dim his hope.  David knew from past experiences where his help came from.  He could sing like the other psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1-2, NKJV.  Over and over again, God has proven himself in the life of David and this time would be no different.

I wonder how many of us have that diligent past relationship with God, knowing that when we are in a time of need, we can turn to Him over and over again?  Has our life been so, in following after Him, as David’s was, that the connection of encouragement we receive from the LORD is ever-present?

David initiated the search for God’s help.  He didn’t ask the people’s opinion of what he should do.  He didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity because everybody was against him.  He didn’t give up or throw in the towel because recovery seemed impossible.  “David said to Abiathar the priest . . . Please bring the ephod here to me . . . So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?’  And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,'” 1 Samuel 30:7-8, NKJV.

“Without fail recover all.”  God is the only one who could ever make such a promise.

The point of this all is very simple.  God is our source for everything; even encouragement.  It’s nice to get a “Good job!” from people once in a while or a pat on the back – but it is God whom we look to.  Sometimes situations will be so bad that we feel totally isolated from all.  Yet, we are also in a position to be so full.  To be able to recover all “without fail.”

Only what we find in strengthening ourselves in God can be labeled “without fail.”  Only the encouragement we have in Him will endure and never falter or fade.  He is our staying power.  He is our strength when we are weak.  Our shelter in the midst of the storm.  Our hightower.  Our fortress.  And, so much more!

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sometimes those measures mean turning a deaf ear to everyone else and their negativity about the situation and looking to God for counsel and help.  And He will, “without fail,” be your help through it all.  Find encouragement in God alone!

Minister encouragement to yourself through God’s grace today!

 

“Do It with Passion!”

My Project 67-001

 

There is one thing that really gets me going and that is seeing someone work their gift or talent with passion.  Oh, I have seen people operate in the blessings of the Lord with dryness and being very dispassionate about what they were doing, and can I tell you, there is no comparison.

Talent, skill and position can only carry you so far in life because if what you are working in is not a drawing force eventually people will stop paying attention to you; eventually people will become just as dispassionate about what you are trying to put forth.  John Maxwell said,

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position,” (ThinkExist.com).

I agree wholeheartedly.  People want to follow one that gets their soul stirred up.  People want to walk the same course as one who is set ablaze for a cause; who is consumed with a yearning to get things done and to excel to be all that God has called them to be.

That word consumes gives the idea of allowing oneself to be spent for the cause.  John 2:17 spoke of Jesus in this sense when it says, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house has eaten me up.”  Other versions actually use the word “consume,” (see also Psalm 69:9).  This was said after He overthrew the tables in the temple.  His passion for God’s house stirred inside of Him and would not allow Him to pass by and watch what was going on without saying or doing something about it.  Jesus spent Himself for the cause of God.

In Psalm 119:139 also talks of being taken over with passion.  “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  The cause of God was so alive in him that the psalmist couldn’t help but to be cut to the heart when others would come against His word.

Where the Spirit of God operates there can be no dull or dry commitment.  It’s all the way or nothing at all.  There has to be fervency, (Rom. 12:11).  One has to be on fire with and for what God has placed on the inside of them.

“It is the Spirit who gives life,” (John 6:63, NASB).  There is no deadness when the Spirit of God is in full operation and if you are passionate about what God has given you, you should be Spirit-led, Spirit-full, and Spirit-alive!  You should be on fire with passion!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  Put your all into it!  Let what God has placed on the inside of you bubble up and boil over to the outside that men “may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Mt. 5:16).  The things you do may or may not gain attention but the things you do with passion draws people closer to Him.  God gets the glory when people see what He is doing through you and they want to be a part of it.

Live life passionately.  Live life like the Spirit of God is alive in you; live life on fire for Him.  If you are going to sing, let your voice ring out with a burning love till it reaches the souls of others drawing them in.  If you play the drums then beat them like the heart of God beats in you.  If you are going to write, write that your words are felt more than they are read.  If you are going to preach, preach as if the cloud from the glory of the Lord has already filled the temple beckoning men to take notice of His presence.  The same is true for any gift or talent God has placed in you.  Whatever you do, whatever your gift, whatever your skill do it with passion!

I don’t know if God is calling you to overthrow some tables but I do know that He is calling you to operate like He’s alive in you.  He’s calling you to use your might and be passionate about what He has given you!

Be blessed.

“Unload My Burdens on the Lord”

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Photo Credit: Gospelgifs.com

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles,” Psalm 34:6

“Cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for you,” 1 Peter 5:7

 

“Relax.  Relate.  Release.”  If you grew up during the time when the sitcom: A Different World  (IMBd) was running you will immediately recognize this phrase.  When the character Whitley, played by Jasmine Guy, was at a point of being super stressed out in life she went to see a therapist.  The therapist offered this three word phrase to her in order to help her speak calm into her own life.  Using funny hand and body movements, Whitley went through her hard times quoting, “Relax.  Relate.  Release,” over and over again to herself.  The funny thing is people who have seen that episode or catch it on reruns now never seem to forget that one.  I often hear individuals jokingly say to one another, “Relax.  Relate.  Release.”

 You have to see the humor in it all.  As ironic as it all is, this is in fact what humanity tries to do.  Come up with some self-constructed solution on how to handle the troubles that we sometimes go through.  Libraries and bookstores, television infomercials, computer ads popping up – many are designed to help somebody deal with something.

I love God.  He not only sits on His throne as Sovereign of the universe but, He sits as, “Our Father.”  There is a unique love that fathers have for their children.  There is a protective instinct that these men have that causes them to be on guard for the care and welfare of their families.  To make sure all is well; to make haste to run to the aid of the little ones when they cry out.  Our heavenly Father is no different.  As a matter of fact, He set the course for all other fathers to follow.

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”  God does not turn away from the sincere heart that is seeking Him.  If you are His child and are crying out for His help, the Father hears.  Not only does He hear but He sees.  He sees the disappointment and the heartaches.  He sees the tears and the loneliness.  He sees!  But, it doesn’t stop there.  He did something about it.  He did something to proactively change the situation.  “He saved him out of all his trouble.”

A lot of people feel that unless it’s a big, major upset in life, they ought not to bother God about it.  Let me draw your attention to that three-lettered little world in this verse, “all.”  All means everything.  God is concerned with every aspect of your life, big or small.  If it bothers the child, it bothers the Father.  So, go ahead, cry out!  Let your heavenly Daddy know, “I’m hurting.  This is too much for me.  Please, help me!”  Cry out!   God’s got ears and He hears.  Cry out!

“Cast all your cares upon Him” because “He cares!”  I really don’t think people believe that enough.  He cares for you!  He cares for me.  He cares about this mess I’m in.  He cares!  Why do I feel the need to carry all this junk by myself?  To deal with all this mess myself when He cares?  He gave me permission to get rid of it.  To cast it all on Him and yet, we’re still holding onto it like we can handle it better than Him.  How’s that been working out for you so far?  If you keep doing the same thing you are going to keep getting the same results.

I think it’s time that we, as professed children of God, start taking our Daddy, our “Abba, Father,” (Gal. 4:6), at His Word.  It boggles the mind of one who will deny such an infallible re-source as our God.  Yet, people do it every day.  Today is different.  Today, I don’t want to carry this whole load myself any longer.  These burdens are too heavy for me – so, I cry out!

 What will you do today?

Encouragement in God Alone!

Strengthen%20yourself%20in%20the%20Lord_012

“But David strengthened himself in the LORD his God,” 1 Samuel 30:6b, NKJV

Distressed –  yeah!  Discouragement – you betcha!  Disappointment – inevitable!  Depressed – my middle name!

These were all things that David, the once proud warrior, was facing.  Upon returning back to Ziklag, David found everything was lost.  Not only had the city been raided and burned to the ground, but their families, their wives and children were now the captives of the enemy.

How devastating it must have all been!  Things can be replaced but to have your families at the mercy (or not the mercy) of an enemy – it’s too much to bear.  “David and the people who were with him lifted up their voices and wept, until they had no more power to weep,” 1 Samuel 30:4, NKJV.

Have you been there before?  Crying until you can’t cry no more?  That’s a brokenness that can’t be easily healed.  It’s a state of desperation to where there is no quick answer.  Nothing but the tears on the pillows.  No solace.  No comfort.  No peace.  “No more power to weep.”

David’s situation grew even dimmer when the people who were closest to him turned their backs on him.  “The people spoke of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved,” 1 Samuel 30:6a, NKJV.  These were the men that rode with him.  Those that fought in battle with him.  Those whom David gathered together as a band and turned a bunch of nobody’s into somebody’s.  Yet, here they are at the brink of committing a great evil against an innocent man.

Everybody needs somebody to blame.  At least, that’s what you hear many say and we see this kind of primitive blame placing here.  To them, David is to blame and David will be the one to pay the price.

Have you ever felt that you were in this alone?  As if the whole world has turned their backs on you as David’s men did with him?  You feel like you are battling alone and everyone else is just ready to cast stones at you?

David’s desperation led him to where all of ours should – the LORD!

“David strengthened himself in the LORD his God.”  The only place where true solace and comfort of heart can be found – in God!

“Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy,
and find grace to help in time of need,” Hebrews 4:16, KJV.  Thank God we don’t have to go this alone despite what our circumstances may look like.  God has privileged us with an opportunity to invite Him in the process of dealing with our hurts and  disappointments.  How many times have you turned to a friend in a time of need and they were nowhere to be found?  Or, worse yet, they couldn’t do anything to add to your comfort or just didn’t care?

God does not do that!  He openly shows His love and concern by allowing us to dump it all on Him.  Come to the throne that we might get!  Get what?  “Mercy and find grace to help in time of need.”

In a time of need?  Yes, David surely was.  He had nowhere else to turn.  He found out the hard way how quickly people will forsake you.  Regardless, it didn’t dim his hope.  David knew from past experiences where his help came from.  He could sing like the other psalmist, “I will lift up my eyes to the hills – from whence comes my help?  My help comes from the LORD, who made heaven and earth,” Psalms 121:1-2, NKJV.  Over and over again, God has proven himself in the life of David and this time would be no different.

I wonder how many of us have that diligent past relationship with God, knowing that when we are in a time of need, we can turn to Him over and over again?  Has our life been so, in following after Him, as David’s was, that the connection of encouragement we receive from the LORD is ever-present?

David initiated the search for God’s help.  He didn’t ask the people’s opinion of what he should do.  He didn’t continue to wallow in self-pity because everybody was against him.  He didn’t give up or throw in the towel because recovery seemed impossible.  “David said to Abiathar the priest . . . Please bring the ephod here to me . . . So David inquired of the LORD, saying, ‘Shall I pursue this troop?  Shall I overtake them?’  And He answered him, ‘Pursue, for you shall surely overtake them and without fail recover all,'” 1 Samuel 30:7-8, NKJV.

“Without fail recover all.”  God is the only one who could ever make such a promise.

The point of this all is very simple.  God is our source for everything,  even encouragement.  It’s nice to get a “Good job!” from people once in a while or a pat on the back – but it is God whom we look to.  Sometimes situations will be so bad that we feel totally isolated from all.  Yet, we are also in a position to be so full.  To be able to recover all “without fail.”

Only what we find in strengthening ourselves in God can be labeled “without fail.”  Only the encouragement we have in Him will endure and never falter or fade.  He is our staying power.  He is our strength when we are weak.  Our shelter in the midst of the storm.  Our hightower.  Our fortress.  And, so much more!

Desperate times call for desperate measures.  Sometimes those measures mean turning a deaf ear to everyone else and their negativity about the situation and looking to God for counsel and help.  And He will, “without fail,” be your help through it all.  Find encouragement in God alone!

Minister encouragement to yourself through God’s grace today!

Photo Credit: http://clckyogle.org/encouragement-part-4-clc-kyogle.html

“Do It with Passion!”

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There is one thing that really gets me going and that is seeing someone work their gift or talent with passion.  Oh, I have seen people operate in the blessings of the Lord with dryness and being very dispassionate about what they were doing, and can I tell you, there is no comparison.

Talent, skill and position can only carry you so far in life because if what you are working in is not a drawing force eventually people will stop paying attention to you; eventually people will become just as dispassionate about what you are trying to put forth.  John Maxwell said,

“A great leader’s courage to fulfill his vision comes from passion, not position,” (ThinkExist.com).

I agree wholeheartedly.  People want to follow one that gets their soul stirred up.  People want to walk the same course as one who is set ablaze for a cause; who is consumed with a yearning to get things done and to excel to be all that God has called them to be.

That word consumes gives the idea of allowing oneself to be spent for the cause.  John 2:17 spoke of Jesus in this sense when it says, “And his disciples remembered that it was written, The zeal of thine house has eaten me up.”  Other versions actually use the word “consume,” (see also Psalm 69:9).  This was said after He overthrew the tables in the temple.  His passion for God’s house stirred inside of Him and would not allow Him to pass by and watch what was going on without saying or doing something about it.  Jesus spent Himself for the cause of God.

In Psalm 119:139 also talks of being taken over with passion.  “My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  The cause of God was so alive in him that the psalmist couldn’t help but to be cut to the heart when others would come against His word.

Where the Spirit of God operates there can be no dull or dry commitment.  It’s all the way or nothing at all.  There has to be fervency, (Rom. 12:11).  One has to be on fire with and for what God has placed on the inside of them.

“It is the Spirit who gives life,” (John 6:63, NASB).  There is no deadness when the Spirit of God is in full operation and if you are passionate about what God has given you, you should be Spirit-led, Spirit-full, and Spirit-alive!  You should be on fire with passion!

Ecclesiastes 9:10 says, “Whatsoever thy hand findeth to do, do it with thy might.”  Put your all into it!  Let what God has placed on the inside of you bubble up and boil over to the outside that men “may see your good works, and glorify your Father which is in heaven,” (Mt. 5:16).  The things you do may or may not gain attention but the things you do with passion draws people closer to Him.  God gets the glory when people see what He is doing through you and they want to be a part of it.

Live life passionately.  Live life like the Spirit of God is alive in you; live life on fire for Him.  If you are going to sing, let your voice ring out with a burning love till it reaches the souls of others drawing them in.  If you play the drums then beat them like the heart of God beats in you.  If you are going to write, write that your words are felt more than they are read.  If you are going to preach, preach as if the cloud from the glory of the Lord has already filled the temple beckoning men to take notice of His presence.  The same is true for any gift or talent God has placed in you.  Whatever you do, whatever your gift, whatever your skill do it with passion!

I don’t know if God is calling you to overthrow some tables but I do know that He is calling you to operate like He’s alive in you.  He’s calling you to use your might and be passionate about what He has given you!

Be blessed.

“Unload My Burdens on the Lord”

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Photo Credit: Gospelgifs.com

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles,” Psalm 34:6

“Cast all your care upon Him; for He careth for you,” 1 Peter 5:7

 

“Relax.  Relate.  Release.”  If you grew up during the time when the sitcom: A Different World  (IMBd) was running you will immediately recognize this phrase.  When the character Whitley, played by Jasmine Guy, was at a point of being super stressed out in life she went to see a therapist.  The therapist offered this three word phrase to her in order to help her speak calm into her own life.  Using funny hand and body movements, Whitley went through her hard times quoting, “Relax.  Relate.  Release,” over and over again to herself.  The funny thing is people who have seen that episode or catch it on reruns now, never seem to forget that one.  I often hear individuals jokingly say to one another, “Relax.  Relate.  Release.”

 You have to see the humor in it all.  As ironic as it all is, this is in fact what humanity tries to do.  Come up with some self-constructed solution on how to handle the troubles that we sometimes go through.  Libraries and bookstores, television infomercials, computer ads popping up – many are designed to help somebody deal with something.

I love God.  He not only sits on His throne as Sovereign of the universe but, He sits as, “Our Father.”  There is a unique love that fathers have for their children.  There is a protective instinct that these men have that causes them to be on guard for the care and welfare of their families.  To make sure all is well; to make haste to run to the aid of the little ones when they cry out.  Our heavenly Father is no different.  As a matter of fact, He set the course for all other fathers to follow.

“This poor man cried, and the Lord heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.”  God does not turn away from the sincere heart that is seeking Him.  If you are His child and are crying out for His help, the Father hears.  Not only does He hear but He sees.  He sees the disappointment and the heartaches.  He sees the tears and the loneliness.  He sees!  But, it doesn’t stop there.  He did something about it.  He did something to proactively change the situation.  “He saved him out of all his trouble.”

A lot of people feel that unless it’s a big, major upset in life, they ought not to bother God about it.  Let me draw your attention to that three-lettered little world in this verse, “all.”  All means everything.  God is concerned with every aspect of your life, big or small.  If it bothers the child, it bothers the Father.  So, go ahead, cry out!  Let your heavenly Daddy know, “I’m hurting.  This is too much for me.  Please, help me!”  Cry out!   God’s got ears and He hears.  Cry out!

“Cast all your cares upon Him” because “He cares!”  I really don’t think people believe that enough.  He cares for you!  He cares for me.  He cares about this mess I’m in.  He cares!  Why do I feel the need to carry all this junk by myself?  To deal with all this mess myself when He cares?  He gave me permission to get rid of it.  To cast it all on Him and yet, we’re still holding onto it like we can handle it better than Him.  How’s that been working out for you so far?  If you keep doing the same thing you are going to keep getting the same results.

I think it’s time that we, as professed children of God, start taking our Daddy, our “Abba, Father,” (Gal. 4:6), at His Word.  It boggles the mind of one who will deny such an infallible re-source as our God.  Yet, people do it every day.  Today is different.  Today, I don’t want to carry this whole load myself any longer.  These burdens are too heavy for me – so, I cry out!

 What will you do today?