Happy Tuesday and Post 4th of July!
July 5, 2016
Let’s jump right into His Word.
“Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, and before you were born I consecrated you; I appointed you a prophet to the nations.” Jeremiah 1:5
God is talking to Jeremiah in 1:5. God speaks with Jeremiah many times over many years. Actually, He doesn’t only speak with people from the Bible, He speaks to us. How is He speaking to you today? Are you hearing what He is saying?
Is knowing God speaking to us reassuring and comforting in our everyday lives of controlled chaos? It should be. This is true when our human mind tends to make us feel like we are lacking purpose, adequacy, or direction. But, God has a purpose through it all for you and me. Yet, there will be our tribulations and breathtaking events of awesomeness! But similar to Jeremiah, Deuteronomy 31.8 says, “It is the Lord who goes before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forsake you. Do not fear or be dismayed.” He is always there for you. God should be glorified. He is there for us in the middle of those important decisions or when you think you are losing a little control of a situation God steps in and let’s you know He controls it all.
As I reflect on life before a relationship with God, I may have a response like Jeremiah did in verse 6 where he says, “I do not know how to speak for I am only a youth.” To me, this youth represents not knowing God. I focused only on myself and was hurtful to others in the process. This would include lacking in confidence or being boastful and only being about myself. In our lives it also can mean being fearful and lacking courage to take that next step. God doesn’t say, “Go; you are ready” he says, “Go; I’ll go with you”. Today, in all choices He is walking alongside you waiting for your call.
In my “youth” I was unhappy with many decisions I was making in my life. Most of the time trying to answer, prove, and do everything on my own making one mistake after another. This was the point where I was ready to “lose my life” like in John 12:25.
whoever loves his life loses it, and whoever hates his life in this world will keep it for eternal life.
I was about myself and stayed there for a long time until God purposefully put me around events in my life that allowed a life-changing attitude to surrender it all to Him. My excuses I would make started to change. “I don’t have enough money. ~ What am I doing with what I have? “; I’m not smart enough. ~How am I using God’s gifts?; I don’t have two parents. ~ Am I being an example for God? I don’t go to church. ~ What am I doing with my time? The list can go on and on about excuses I could make to allow myself to have a “stay-theist” attitude or I can do it myself! I could just stay in my own dysfunctional world and not let anyone in or do what I had to in order to superficially make connections with others. Yet all along God has known me and had a plan. He has this plan for you too. Each of us have a purpose, maybe you don’t know it yet? The details of our plan we don’t know and often can change in our lives but we know the root of what we need to do as a Christian. We are to love, obey, and serve God. In doing this our mission will become more clear.
Do not say I’m only a youth; for to all whom I send you shall go, and whatever I command you, you shall speak. Do not be afraid of them, for I am with you to deliver you, declares the Lord. Jeremiah 1:8
Struggling with confidence, failures, and insecurity keeps you from doing many things and often making poor choices to compensate. Lacking in my faith because of my inadequate abilities outside of surviving skills, lack of experiences outside of an addiction dependent divorced household, and the tendency to make bad choices for the benefit of myself and no one else around me. This faith that God is with you allows your choices of serving to be about Jesus-Others-Yourself (JOY).
So what changed? Letting God into my life and surrendering to the relationship He planned for me. Not only as a last resort thing anymore. Dedicating waking hours with more consistent communication throughout my day. Being thankful and grateful for giving me one more day to impact His kingdom. I believe now that God is with us all the time and knowing this gives me the confidence to obey His call even if I’m unsure about the results.
For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare[a] and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope. Jeremiah 29:11
When God gives you a job to do, He will provide all that we need. By no means have we figured out what job He has planned for us, but the doors God opens will lead us to a place he has already prepared. I pray for our desire to seek His guidance. Turn to Him prayerfully and ask am I doing this for me or for You Lord?
No, we don’t have it all figured out, we are human. We are tempted by sins that sometimes we follow through on and in turn ask for forgiveness. We divinely and prayerfully follow God’s plans other times. Either way, God transforms us by changing our hearts. Whether lacking in confidence or full of confidence or in-between does our decisions, actions, and whole heart trust and serve God?
“Behold I have put my words in your mouth. See, I have set you this day over nations and over kingdoms, to pick up and to break down, to destroy and to overthrow, to build and to plant.”
God gives you all you need in order to fulfill His plan for you. In reading, “The Places You’ll Go” by Ortberg I’m reminded of this glory. He goes before us and is with you throughout ALL you do. God doesn’t promise a trouble free or temptation free life but that He will be with us and we need to call on Him. He will walk with us through the storm and calm the seas.
“Jesus looked at them and said, ‘With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.’” Matthew 19:26
Dear God, You alone are the Creator of everything. You have a perfect plan for all of us. You are the perfecter of my faith, and I thank you for the Grace when I didn’t believe or trust in the seemingly impossible dreams you had planned. Help me to have courage to place my faith in You in all things. To trust your strength when mine fails. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your master plan. Stir in my heart a passion and gratefulness for all that you do in my life. Thank you for the comfort we have knowing you are always with us. Amen
Today’s Reading: Joshua 7; Psalms 137–138; Jeremiah 1; Matthew 15