Pastor recently told us that on vacation he fasted from all his electronic devices and concentrated on verbal communication with his family. Wow, that’s radical! (food for thought)
Communication takes a lot of effort; it’s just easier to smile and nod. How did I get to this place? I use to be such a talker. I would like to blame it on age: hard to hear, can’t think fast or clearly enough, too much effort….At times when I do want to share something, I can’t always find someone who will take time to listen. We live in such a “fast” culture, and not many of us really listen.
My conspiracy theory is this: the enemy is attempting to choke out our personal testimony. The world is screaming “hate, deception and self-interest,” while many Christians (myself included) have quietly retreated into “peaceful meditation and prayer closets.” Don’t take this wrong, we desperately need both, but if it is “in place of,” we need to “recalculate.” Satan is the prince of the power of the air (Ephesians 2:2) and the air is getting more and more polluted. I know that I plan to make a deliberate effort daily to use my voice to share and declare verbally who my God is for me today and find someone to bless with His love, grace, mercy, friendship, fellowship or whatever the Holy Spirit shows to share. I believe the Lord has something to say to each of us, all the time. We need to listen and speak. Let’s get brave and see what happens.
Lord Jesus, help us to understand the importance of our testimony. We are Your wonderful creation, and we want to become brilliant communicators of who You really are and who we really are in You.
When I was growing up it seemed there was a fear that we would appear ‘conceited or arrogant” if we were too self-confident. They did a good job with me, because I was always looking for approval or acceptance. I was always the last one picked for a team sport or a date for the prom. (awe) However, I am grateful that we don’t have to depend on other people to have Confidence. It’s better to trust in the Lord. (Psalms 118:8)
Webster : the feeling or belief that one can rely on someone or something; firm trust. the state of feeling certain about the truth of something. a feeling of self-assurance arising from one’s appreciation of one’s own abilities or qualities.
Even now, I don’t have any trouble remembering that (without Jesus) there is no good thing in me. But for us to be “Salt and Light” to the world we need to be able to radiate CONFIDENCE. This confidence is in Whom we believe. It has to get past our thinking and become part of our testimony. My favorite scripture in this area:
Comfort ye, comfort ye my people, saith your God.
It seems that our world has lost its balance and nothing makes sense. However, most of what we are seeing lately is not new to many other parts of the world. Violence and evil has been having its way since the beginning of the fall. We are now seeing its ugly head rise up in our Country in a greater way. Believers, awake and believe that our God is not blind or deaf to the cries of the people. The Church is to be His voice and hand extended, ministering His Grace and Comfort to those in need. It all seems like “too much,” but our God is still in control and still hold the whole earth is in the palm of His loving hand.
Our stand is to reach out where He shows us, speak what He says to speak and refresh ourselves in His love. We must pray with confidence, knowing that our God of Mercy and Grace will cause what the enemy means for evil to be for His great good and glory. It’s hard for us to see from His perspective because He sees all things finished from the beginning. Our test is to trust and be confident, He is who He says He is and He will do what He said He would do! We must never give in to fear; that is such an insult to our Loving God who has promised that He will provide and protect us, as well as work it all out for Good according to His purpose for those He loves. (I guess that just about covers us all)
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. ( Romans 8:28)
Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do. ( 1 Thessalonians 5:11)
Lets continue to pray for our leadership SWC: Local, State and National.
Father I thank you that you have a purpose and plan for this Nation, as well as each and every one of your Children. Help us to look to you to develop our part in your plan. As we pray for our National leadership, we refuse to be influenced by fear and disturbing news. We trust you and seek Your face and Your heart.
Oh, but he does. If he doesn’t initially he will eventually. He said ask, SO when has He not been true to His word? If He is answering why are we not hearing? The hearing part is where we need instruction, correction, encouragement and patience.
When you prepare your heart to talk to the Lord and find the place of comfort in His presence, enjoy Him for who He is for you, knowing that He loves and cares for you and the problem you are about to bring to Him, you can thank Him for the input and advice before He even gives it. Then you are ready to listen. Ask for help to discern what part of this situation is your responsibility and what part should you expect Him to take care of. So often we want a quick fix to a situation that took a long time developing. Some of the greatest hindrances to hearing Him speak are fear, anxiety or impatience. It’s hard to comprehend that in the spiritual realm, time is not part of the equation. He may have already answered your prayer it just hasn’t manifested yet. Or the Lord may be waiting for someone involved to be obedient to something He has already spoken.
I have heard that every successful relationship needs to be visited or rather upgraded every 3 to 5 years. Relationships operate on relating (duh). If we’re not careful, time and lack of investment can erode a relationship. We wake up one day and find that “we are growing apart” (how many times have we heard this in couples contemplating divorce) A relationship is a living breathing entity. It needs to be fed, watered and cleaned up after. Most of our relationships are probably, God designed. They help us grow and become better people, even the difficult ones. Then there’s the special ones, the person that you may not have seen for a long time but when re- united it’s as if you were never apart. People enrich our lives and provide our need to be loved and appreciated. (mostly) The ones that do not are prayer projects and will help us grow as well.
Pastor has been talking about “Fresh”. We need to be looking at “what is fresh about my relationship with Jesus?” The Holy Spirit is great at helping us when we want to refresh and be refreshed, just ask Him.
Jeremiah 9:23-24 “Let not the wise man glory in his wisdom, let not the mighty man glory in his might, nor let the rich man glory in his riches; but let him who glories glory in this, that he understands and knows Me.”
Ephesians 1:16- I ask, the God of our Master, Jesus Christ, the God of glory – to make you intelligent and discerning in knowing him personally, your eyes focused and clear, so that you can see exactly what it is he is calling you to do, grasping the immensity of this glorious way of life he has for Christians, oh, the utter extravagance of his work in us who trust him – endless energy, boundless strength!
What are your thoughts? How do you enrich your relationships?