Tag Archives: Trust

Getting in Tune with God

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Life… every time I think I have a handle on it, God speaks to me as if to say “Really?”

Twice this morning God brought to my thoughts Proverbs 3:5-6

Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths.

Trust… I think I trust Him, but then I’m not sure if I even get it. If I “trust” Him, why am I always trying to fix life? Why can’t I just wait for Him to open doors instead of picking the lock? Seriously? That’s a good thought. It’s just a shame I don’t take my own advice. I’m still blaming Eve. If she had trusted God and not eaten of the tree of knowledge of good and evil, my life would be so less complicated. Just think about it… not having to live life by trial and error. That goofy fruit really messed things up, rather than having the mind of God, I now have the mind of me… that’s seldom good.

Lean…What must it have been like to literally lean into the bosom of God? I think of the Apostle John who said in John 13:23 “Now there was leaning on Jesus’ bosom one of his disciples, whom Jesus loved.” That always cracks me up! I read it as if he says… “the one whom Jesus loved… He liked the others. But I was His favorite.” But how wonderful would it have been to have sat with Jesus face to face and had a conversation where the Lord’s advice wasn’t a guessing game as I so often feel it is now. I know… the Holy Spirit is within me, and if I was really the Jesus Chick I’d know what He wanted me to do. Well you’re right and I do know what He wants me to do, He wants me to trust and lean but not upon my understanding, upon His. It’s the human perception that causes the error… that doggone smarty tree again. The one of good and evil.

Hindsight is always 20/20. God wasn’t trying to keep Adam and Eve from enjoying life; He was sparing them the full weight of reality.  Reality bites. Reality is where lust replaces satisfaction. What God had for Adam and Eve was perfect and what Satan introduced them to was doubt. Genesis 3:1b Yea, hath God said, Ye shall not eat of every tree of the garden?”

That same lingering doubt is in my mind today… Is that really what God wants me to do? Its then that I must

Acknowledge… Just admit that you can’t go it alone. Adam and Eve were not created to walk in the garden alone, they were created to walk in fellowship with God. He had their path laid out for them until Satan entered the scene and created paths, in the plural sense. God’s way was and still is “one way.” John 14:6Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.

In order to get back into fellowship with Him, He created that path home which I took in 1996 when I acknowledged that I couldn’t go it alone and that I needed Jesus in my life. I still have self-will, which is what gets me into trouble and causes confusion. Life isn’t a guessing game when it comes to decision making. We don’t have Jesus face to face, but we do have Him heart to heart. If I’m not hearing the answer to the question I’m asking, then my heart is not in tune to God’s heart and I need to tune it up through the Word of God and prayer.

I hope today finds you in tune!

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That’s my God!

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On shouting ground again this morning with the Word of God! Some days I’m just as apt to give God a sigh of frustration with the world here below. That was last night… Oh how my heart broken for God when I saw once on fire Christians now catering to a world who would who has not hope, and the unsaved looked at me as though I was to be pitied because I didn’t have the intellect to know that God does not exist. I watched as my fiddle case was examined by one such man as he read the verse from Psalm 100 that I have scribed across the case with a sharpie. He admired my penmanship but appeared not to know the Author. They attempt to play gospel music as though it were any other song, but they can’t. Ha! I love it, that’s my God. The One that shows up at the party uninvited and says “Hey, I created you. Don’t pity my girl Shari, you should be so lucky to have what she does.”

Whew Doggie! That’s my God!

Psalm 71 put me in this mode this morning. I was feeling a tad forlorn from the antics of my fellow pickers last night. They’re good people, please don’t miss understand. I wasn’t at some bar in the boonies… well I was in the boonies but not at a bar. It’s a friendly non-alcohol gathering of musicians that are wonderful, wonderful people… but there are a few who would rather God not come up in the conversation because it makes them extremely uncomfortable. It makes them uncomfortable because they don’t understand my God.

Read the “My’s of Psalm 71”. I encourage you to read the whole chapter it’s quite a read.

  • My Trust – (vs. 1) When the world has let you down, in Him you can depend.
  • My Strong Habitation – (vs. 3) When there no place that feels like home, He is there.
  • My Rock – (vs. 3) He’s solid and unmovable. There is no storm that can phase my God.
  • My Fortress – (vs. 3) On my ever side, even my blind side. God has me protected.
  • My God – (vs. 4) When I accepted Christ Jesus as my Savior in 1996
  • My Hope (vs. 5) Today is the anniversary of my Father’s death in 2003, but because of My Hope I’ll see Him again!
  • My Trust – (vs. 5) When my brother was killed at 19 and my Mother was asked why she didn’t blame God, she said how can I blame the only One who will allow me to see him again. That’s trust!!!
  • My Praise – (vs. 6) From before my birth God created me to be who I am and love His people the way I do. I’ll rejoice in every opportunity to serve Him.
  • My Strong Refuge – (vs. 7) That same purpose has on more than one occasion caused an attack on my life but in Him I have safety that no man can touch.
  • My God – (vs. 12) It bears repeating!
  • My Help – (vs. 12) Indeed this very morning he helped me out of the pit of despair the world had created and planted me back on shouting ground.

Oh, Read on weary Pilgrim, we serve an awesome God who’s there for you this day.

I love ya, hope I encouraged you. Be blessed Friend.

 PSALM 71 In thee, O Lord, do I put my trust: let me never be put to confusion.

Deliver me in thy righteousness, and cause me to escape: incline thine ear unto me, and save me.

Be thou my strong habitation, whereunto I may continually resort: thou hast given commandment to save me; for thou art my rock and my fortress.

Deliver me, O my God, out of the hand of the wicked, out of the hand of the unrighteous and cruel man.

For thou art my hope, O Lord God: thou art my trust from my youth.

By thee have I been holden up from the womb: thou art he that took me out of my mother’s bowels: my praise shall be continually of thee.

I am as a wonder unto many; but thou art my strong refuge.

Let my mouth be filled with thy praise and with thy honour all the day.

Cast me not off in the time of old age; forsake me not when my strength faileth.

10 For mine enemies speak against me; and they that lay wait for my soul take counsel together,

11 Saying, God hath forsaken him: persecute and take him; for there is none to deliver him.

12 O God, be not far from me: O my God, make haste for my help.

Another Lesson in Faith: Reset

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Faith. I say I have it, I truly try to live it, but it’s not evident unless it’s tried; and tried it is again and again. I try not to whine for my trying of the faith really is piddly by comparison to so many others I know. My trials of faith are for the most part about provision and my stress level is about a 3. I often wonder if my stress level is so low because I don’t have sense to know how much trouble I’m in. Insert grin here. I know that’s not the case. My God is Jehovah Jireh; my Provider! Its an awesome thing to know God as a personal friend and have that continual abiding presence in your life. I write bold but my heart is humble.

Three things about faith that keeps my stress level down:

1. Faith in God Alone

1 Timothy 1:4-6

Neither give heed to fables and endless genealogies, which minister questions, rather than godly edifying which is in faith: so do.

Godly edification comes from reading and studying the Bible, going to church and Christian fellowship. Those are the things that fuel faith in God alone. We were certainly meant to have relationship with people, but its those very relationships that can get our eyes off God’s design and onto the world agenda. There has got to be a stable force in ones life that you can hit the reset button and come back to that place where security lies and that is our relationship with God alone. Where you tune out the world and their agenda and get into the solace of the Savior and stop trying to control your own life. Let Him lead.

2. Faith unfeigned is untainted

Now the end of the commandment is charity out of a pure heart, and of a good conscience, and of faith unfeigned:

A pure heart in this world is hard to come by.  We’re bombarded with the vulgarity of media that draws our minds in directions God never intended and each time it occurs it draws us further away from God and that security is now a broken trust in people and God because we’ve allowed our minds to view things in good conscience we shouldn’t have. Faith is hard to maintain when our focus is off of God’s design for us which is to serve. By this shall all men know that you are my disciples, if you love one another, John 13:35. By serving people in the relationships that God has entrusted us with our minds are refocused on Him and our soul revitalized. The world would have you believe that satisfaction comes in serving and appeasing self, when the truth is charity with a pure heart thrives on serving others.

3. Faith Janglers are everywhere, even in the church.

From which some having swerved have turned aside unto vain jangling;

The importance of knowing and studying the word of God cannot be stressed enough to me. I need to hear it everyday, else I take the lazy way out and trust men (and women) to fuel my faith. The number of people who call themselves Christians and yet never feel compelled to study the Word and attend church is staggering. And what happens is that the world fills their heads full of “vain jangling” (nonsense) and when trouble comes they don’t even know where the reset button is located. They trust in man’s ideals to get them through.

This is a new day for me, full of the unknown. Today I began unemployment again. It’s a good thing I work for God, His grant funding is called grace and He has an unlimited supply.

Reset! Ahhhh, there You are God…

Just Shy of Hai

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Every day our lives hinge on what transpires in the course of that day. One phone call could drastically change the order of our lives, one conversation, or one decision could have us hastening to the throne room asking God to intercede. The daily news and social media are filled with those stories. And seldom ever is it that there is a single person involved. The circumstance may revolve around that one person, but there’s usually a long list of people in tow, friends and family that are affected vicariously.

We Don’t Travel Alone

When Abraham received his marching orders from God that decision not only affected his own life but his wife, nephew, servants, etc. on the relocation of their family. No doubt there were some midnight conversations of debate, wonder, excitement, perhaps even an argument or two, but praise God for the faithfulness of the man of God who lead on and make decisions based upon God’s wisdom, not his own.

Genesis 12:5-10 KJV
And Abram took Sarai his wife, and Lot his brother’s son, and all their substance that they had gathered, and the souls that they had gotten in Haran; and they went forth to go into the land of Canaan; and into the land of Canaan they came. And Abram passed through the land unto the place of Sichem, unto the plain of Moreh. And the Canaanite was then in the land. And the Lord appeared unto Abram, and said, Unto thy seed will I give this land: and there builded he an altar unto the Lord , who appeared unto him. And he removed from thence unto a mountain on the east of Beth-el, and pitched his tent, having Beth-el on the west, and Hai on the east: and there he builded an altar unto the Lord , and called upon the name of The Lord. And Abram journeyed, going on still toward the south. And there was a famine in the land: …

The word “Bethel” means “house of God.” And the word “Hai” means “heap of ruins.” So Abram was between Bethel and Hai. Just to the west was the “house of God,” and just to the east was the “heap of ruins.” Sound like any decision making you’ve experienced? I often find myself just west of Hai. I fly by the seat of my pants, make decisions on a whim, leap and the net will appear attitude and all the while my wonderful Lord waits for me to come crawling back west.

Praise God for the scripture that reminds me that our Heavenly Father has forgiveness as far as the west.
Psalm103:12-13
As far as the east is from the west, so far hath he removed our transgressions from us. Like as a father pitieth his children, so the LORD pitieth them that fear him.

Glory!

Abram’s decision was of God, he was right in leaving. But we’re not always in that position, are we? Our people don’t always make decisions with our best interest at heart. We don’t always make decisions with our peeps best interest at heart; we’re closer to Hai than Bethel on a pretty regular basis.

So what then? Even Abram in his obedience journeyed to a land of famine. Do you think he got the eye brow from little miss attitude Sarai… probably. It is this time that there is nothing left to do but trust. Whether you are the one who transgressed or the victim of the transgressor… hit the altar and trust.

This message was brought to you just shy of Hai…

Trust Issues

T.R.U.S.T. – Total Reliance on Something Tested

I use my cell phone as an alarm clock, and as it goes off in the wee hours of the morning there are usually message popping up on the screen as well, it’s certainly not uncommon. But an encourager in the faith who occasionally and very randomly messages me awoke me this morning with that acronym, a word of encouragement and scripture from Psalm 44. He didn’t know that I needed it. Only those very close to me knows that I’m facing another time of uncertainty in my life. And Satan, who has been trying very hard to discourage me, has been thwarted at every turn by the Lord. I’m so humbled, because my weak faith certainly doesn’t deserve it.

Over the past few days I’ve been meeting my past. Memories, people, things… and as I walked across the campus of Glenville State College I happen to run upon a previous boss, that I loved, and in my frustration I ask “God why is this happening? Why now, when I need encouragement, am I meeting past failures?” And as sure as my name is Shari, He spoke to my heart and said those weren’t failures, those were provisions. Those were times when you had nothing and I gave you great things. Why do you always depend on yourself?” So I reflected again on the people and the places of my life… and sure enough there it was as He had said. Provision, and not of my own.

Psalm 44

His Work

1-8 We have heard with our ears, O God, our fathers have told us, what work thou didst in their days, in the times of old.

How thou didst drive out the heathen with thy hand, and plantedst them; how thou didst afflict the people, and cast them out.

His Weapons

For they got not the land in possession by their own sword, neither did their own arm save them: but thy right hand, and thine arm, and the light of thy countenance, because thou hadst a favour unto them.

Thou art my King, O God: command deliverances for Jacob.

Through thee will we push down our enemies: through thy name will we tread them under that rise up against us.

For I will not trust in my bow, neither shall my sword save me.

His Worship

But thou hast saved us from our enemies, and hast put them to shame that hated us.

In God we boast all the day long, and praise thy name for ever. Selah.

His Word

In the scripture, and through the message of another child of God he encourages me to praise Him today, for He alone is faithful. My secular job ends September 30th. In these very uncertain times not having a job can be an issue. I’ve been here before, several times… And each time God did a miraculous work! I’ve been here since the day I told God “no” to full time ministry in 2010. Do you think that’s a coincidence? Me neither.

For those who do not know the story, I did not tell God “no” in disrespectful rebellion (though it was rebellion.) I told Him “no” because I really couldn’t see the “how.” After jobs kept “mysteriously” ending I stopped asking “how” and began asking “when?” I’m still waiting for that answer… rebellion comes with a price.

To Sob, Sing or Believe?

question & meAfter about the 4th or perhaps 40th bad news post on Facebook this morning, my heart was overwhelmed. I was on the verge of either breaking out in tears or song, I knew I had to do something, so rather than explain myself to the rest of the office, I opted to do a quick blog. The page was full of God’s children from birth to retirement fighting battles. They were hurting, their family’s hearts were broken and worry consumed many of their minds and the why’s started coming upon me.

God why does that innocent little child have to suffer like that?

Why does that mommy have to go through that?

Why is it that that man of God, who wants to do nothing more than serve you, has to suffer so?

Why does that man who served our country have to suffer through the rejection of government accountability?

Good grief and o my goodness, that list of why’s went on and on!!

So I turned to the Word of God for reasoning as He is the only One who I know I can trust for answers and I found myself at a familiar passage of scripture:

John 14:1

Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

I have to believe God’s got this heartache in His hand and under control… “But it would be way better if I had a reason Lord,” I continued to question God. So I read on until I came to verse 14 of chapter 14 to which it read “If ye shall ask any thing in my name, I will do it.”

Woop… stop the record. “Anything?” But God, that’s not how it works. I’ve seen things not go as we ask, why is that in there? In my soul I heard… Go back and read it as I intended it.

Verses 12-13 prior to that read:

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go unto my Father. And whatsoever ye shall ask in my name, that will I do, that the Father may be glorified in the Son.

Twice it is said that He will do whatever we ask, but not once did it say “as we’d ask it.”

So that child that I asked God to heal, He will. That veteran that I ask God to assist, He will. That Preacher that needs healing and provision, He will provide for. But there’s something attached to that healing and provision, and that is “that the Father may be glorified in the Son.” It’s the Son’s decision on how my request is answered, but it is for certain that God will get glory, and it will be well. That’s hard for us to understand when we’re witnessing the pain in this moment of time that way out there in eternity is reason to rejoice. I don’t have the answers… I want the problem fixed, and now would be a good time. But God’s word says I may have to wait, and in so waiting, glory!

If God fixed everything the way we want Him to, how much would we miss out on? And how much worse might things be.

I’ll trust God.

Face to Face with God

Mark Lowry wrote the words to a song titled “Mary Did You Know” in 1984 when his pastor asked him to write the program for the living Christmas tree choir presentation. I’ve heard the song again and again, and each time I have to wonder what it was like to be in Mary’s situation. A young woman, a child by our definition today, pregnant out of wedlock in the eyes of the world, carrying the Messiah in the eyes of God. My mind wonders to what the conversations would have been between her and Joseph those months of waiting for the birth of Jesus. As the child grew inside of Mary, they were afforded the time to get to know one another without intimacy. No doubt they both turned to God on multiple occasions and asked questions that may or may not have been answered. Why? How? When? It was a faith like we have never known, or have we?

After all, do we not carry God Himself with us? I know I have asked questions like:

“Why do You choose to use me, Lord?”

“How will I know if what I’m doing is what You’d have me do, Lord?”

“When Lord will I know Your purpose?”

I’ve asked and answers have come, but not as I wished they would have. I wanted clearly defined resolution, but more often than not I got the absence of wonder. I didn’t get an answer, just the absence of anxiety or stress ~ Peace.

I don’t think Mary could have possibly known what the future of that Baby Boy would be, but she knew that she was a part of it and for her that was enough. She thought on it, deeply, Luke 2:19 says ~ “But Mary kept all these things, and pondered them in her heart.” And so this morning I find myself pondering God’s purpose in my life as 2013 winds to a close and I’m asking God to open doors in 2014. His doors, not mine. I’m so very grateful for His knowledge that comes from within at the right time. If I don’t know something now, it means I’m not meant to know now.

2 Corinthians 4:6 ~  For God, who commanded the light to shine out of darkness, hath shined in our hearts, to give the light of the knowledge of the glory of God in the face of Jesus Christ.

I believe when Mary stared into the face of baby Jesus, she knew all she needed to know. And although I desire to know more, I have to continue on believing that God will reveal His desires to me in His time, and if I continue to search for the answer to life’s questions in the face of God, in due time I’ll find them.

Psalm 105:4

Seek the Lord, and his strength: seek his face evermore.

That’s Not Reasonable!

We need to Reject Reasoning

That idea came to my mind and I immediately thought, “That’s not reasonable!” After all, reasonable is the least we can be right? And then it hit me, “When did God ever settle for the least?”

Mark 8

Jesus had had quite a day! He’d been challenged by the disciples and fed 4,000 people with seven loaves of bread and a few fishes. (Mark 8:1-9) He’d been challenged by the Pharisees for a sign (Mark 8:10-12) and gave them nothing; and He’d again been challenged by His disciples when they failed to remember who He was only hours after the miracle (Mark 8:13-21). They thought they’d let Christ down.

Christ, who was fully God and fully man. What kept the man side of Him from smacking people in the back of the head, I have no idea. When we’ve seen God do great things, why do we expect less. God didn’t settle for less, why should we? The world will tell you that failure is acceptable. Don’t worry about measuring up. Settle for what bread and fish you have. And so we do and tell our kids, it’s good enough. And God says, not so.  Look what I can do with what you have, stop settling for less.

We reason His provision

We say we believe Matthew chapter 8, and yet we don’t allow God to move like that in our lives. We’ve never trusted our bread and fish to Him. I’m not a prosperity gospel believer. I don’t believe you speak wealth into your lives any more than you can speak yourself onto the moon. But I believe in provision. And sometimes God gives us the miracle and sometimes He gives us instructions. And I believe we should show our children that if we trust what we have to Him and obey His words, He’ll provide for us. They need to know Who it is that controls the world. And to the world, that’s not reasonable. The disciples had just seen Christ feed 4000 and then got into a boat and thought God was upset with them because “they” forgot the bread. They forgot He was their provider.

We reason His providence

Christ left that miracle feeding or 4000 and was faced head on by the religious of the day who sought a sign; (Matthew 8:11-12) to which He replied “There shall no sign be given unto this generation.” God doesn’t have to prove Himself to anyone. And yet, someone with a sincere heart, who willingly gives and does for the cause of Christ, to them God says in Malachi 3:10 ~ Bring ye all the tithes into the storehouse, that there may be meat in mine house, and prove me now herewith, saith the Lord of hosts, if I will not open you the windows of heaven, and pour you out a blessing, that there shall not be room enough to receive it.”

Our families need to know that God doesn’t have to prove Himself to anyone, but He will to those who love Him.

We reason His precepts

Mathew 8:15-16 ~ And he charged them, saying, Take heed, beware of the leaven of the Pharisees, and of the leaven of Herod. And they reasoned among themselves, saying, It is because we have no bread.

The disciples thought it was about them. Christ said “No, it’s about Me.” The desire of the religious leaders to have a sign was a rejection of His ministry. Jesus warned the disciples not to reason Him out, just trust Him. We need to understand that if the Bible says it, it’s truth. There’s no work involved in getting to Heaven, just trust and obedience. They go hand in hand. If we believe what the Word says, and we trust in Christ, we’ll obey. It’s not to say we won’t occasionally fail, we will. But it’s then that we understand the protection of God. He does not condemn His children; He helps them back up and puts them on the path again. That is the challenge that He sets before us to show the world Who is in control. Sometimes God puts our own world out of control so that we have only Him to lean on. It’s then that the world can see Him. It’s not when “we” can do it. It’s when there is absolutely no reason “that” should have worked. And God says, “that’s ME.”